Hello everyone. I have a vertical plywood smoker that I have been using for years. I put a propane bq unit in it and have always smoked from 140-175 degrees. I recently killed some hogs and cured the pork according to the direction. First mistake, way to salty. Wanting to cold smoke I took a three inch steel pipe and welded a 1 inch horizontal tube about an inch from the top. I then made a very tight fitting swinging door on the top to allow the ease for adding more wood chips. In the bottom I took a piece of drywall wire and rolled it into a pyramid to allow for more air flow for smoldering in the bottom of the pipe. I use pretty much only hickory and light the fire by a propane torch.
Here is my problem On my test run for the generator I set it up outside the smoker in the correct operating position. Once started I noticed my smoke was a very heavy bitter smelling, almost sludgy in appearance. Not the the sweet smell when burning wood at higher temps. I put the pork in the smoker and smoked with this heavy smoke for 2 hours and outside temps.
I still notice the odd smelling smoke and my bacon tastes just as bad as the smoke smelled and as I mentioned the salt was way to high. Trying to save my 20 lbs of bacon I soaked the slabs in water for a day and a half in my 10x16 walk in cooler. After this I used the same wood but cranked my heat up to about 160 and watch the heat so it never went over. I saved it. I removed some of the salt and most of the bitterness but some is still their.
Any suggestions on why the cold smoke smells and tastes so thick and bitter? I use bagged hickory chips and have used this same bag on hot smokes with great results