Is there such thing as too much smoke?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by finsfree, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower

    I tried grilling chicken thighs using only wood (Australian Pine). Australian Pine is in fact an oak not a pine, by the way.

    The favor came out metaliic tasting...too much smoke? Temp was around 240 degree for about 1 hour. The meat was perfect just the taste was very bitter and metallic tatsing. This wasn't a new grill either been cooking on this thing for about 6 months.

    My guess is when cooking with wood have an open flame? Closing the lid traps that thick smoke in and ruins the favor.
  2. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Last edited: Jun 6, 2013
  3. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm not a stick burner, but I'm pretty sure that you have to let the wood burn down to the point where it's not giving out the thick smoke.
  4. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    To answer your question, yes, you can get too much smoke.  Your issue, however, sounds more like creosote buildup on the meat.  Its a harsh chemical in smoke that can result from poor air flow in your smoker allowing the heavy smoke to just sit on your meat.  You don't say what kind of smoker you're using, but surely it has an exhaust vent/damper of some kind.  As a rule, this needs to remain full open to allow the smoke/air to circulate and exit the cook chamber without sitting in there on your meat.  If you need to control temps, do so with you intake vents/dampers, or with smaller beginning fires.

    Hope this helps.

    It looks like this is your first post.  When you have a chance, stop over in the Roll Call forums and introduce yourself.  It'll give other members a chance to give you a proper welcome.

    Good Luck!

  5. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower


    I have never heard of such a thing...and yes I was closing and opening the exhaust vent to adjust the temp due to windy conditions.

    Thank you very much  
  6. I think you can get too much smoke.  I call it the ashtray effect.  My family likes smoke flavoring to be a component of the flavor profile -- not the overpowering element.  However, I agree that you probably have creosote.  The thin blue smoke should kiss the meat on the way by.  I always ensure the top vent is open more than the bottom so the exhaust is clear to keep from getting the ashtray effect.
  7. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Gotta paint the other side of the picture...creosote is in ALL smoke and does give the most flavor we love but when it get's out of whack is the problem.  
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2013
  8. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

      I have heard that if you burn wood with bark on it, that contributes to the over smoked taste.

  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    finsfree, morning....  As a suggestion, build a fairly large fire.... Let it burn down until it is coals....  cook using the coals as the heat source.....  You can add a few small splits, that have been preheated, (some do that inside the smoker)....  or chunks.....  When using certain types of flavor woods, especially strong flavored ones, 15 - 30 minutes gives me the smokey flavor I'm looking for...  others, I can handle several hours of smoke...   Dave   
  10. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the information.

    By the way, my grill is an Oklahoma Joe offset smoker (very very nice gril). I just have to learn to master it.

    So, this the 1st lesson learned....too much smoke...creosote...:(

    I'm not doing that again!!!
  11. billsfan53

    billsfan53 Newbie

    When I smoke I only use enough for
    Light smoke
    I have a propane smoker and i crank it to
    High until it starts to smoke then add the meat
    and turn it down to 225
    Always comes out great
  12. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Looks like your getting some good info to your problem...
  13. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    nasty stuff.

    if it tastes like this....

    ...........Do this

  14. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower

    Gotcha! hahaha!
  15. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Australian Pine is a conifer, native to Australia, that has been imported to the US. While it is not strictly a pine as we know it, it is not a tree usually associated with BBQ.

    It is  this tree-    Casuarina equisetifolia - Australian pine   , it is not a member of the Quercus genus, which is the genus of the oak trees.                      
    While your fire control may have played a part in the off taste, so may have your choice of wood.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2013
  16. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  17. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower

    I've never tried any other wood yet, so this is all new to me. I live in South Florida so what would be my wood choices...only oak?

    Thanks for the help.
  18. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower

    By the way, the 2nd batch came out much better. No nasty tasting meat this time...less creosote.

    Exhaust vent wide open.
  19. crockadale

    crockadale Smoking Fanatic

    There is mango all over the place down here try that. I have friends that use A Pine and I don't like it...but they usually use it for wild pig.
  20. expat smoker

    expat smoker Smoke Blower

    I would avoid mango wood, as it has the same toxins as poison ivy and while it may not bother some people, if someone with an alergy consumes it, then they could be in serious trouble.

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