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Over-smoking with my reverse flow - Page 2

post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by LenDecaturAL View Post

Hey Ink,

While you are out riding, keep an eye out for an apple orchard, they may have some pruned limbs from last fall that are already seasoned and ready for burn. Apple has a good flavor.
Will do. There is a property on the way to to town that has a few dozen apple trees on it. Have never seen the gate open yet, suppose I can just leave a note. I did get a cord+ from a fellow that owns a tree trimming business. Waiting to hear back from the first fellow I dealt with, he said he is just waiting to get the call from his buddy that oversees a few apple farms...
post #22 of 27

The only way I can see possible to oversmoke anything is to use too strong a wood on too light a meat.  Like smoking chicken or fish with mesquite.  Even then the 'smoke' never penetrates deeper into the meat than maybe an 1/8".  Over smoking a full packer brisket or even a 6lb pork butt is near impossible IMO.  You can dry it out, you can not cook it 'done' enough, etc, but I don't see how you can over smoke anything.

That said, I will qualify this by saying I'm only using a WSM.  If you're keeping a low, even temp also the wood no matter how much you have in teh smoker is only going to smolder at that low temp for hours and not give off anymore smoke in 6hrs than it would in 20hrs.  IMO, if you feel like you are oversmoking your meat what is probably happening is that you are cooking at way too high a temperature for too long.

post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoryB View Post
 

The only way I can see possible to oversmoke anything is to use too strong a wood on too light a meat.  Like smoking chicken or fish with mesquite.  Even then the 'smoke' never penetrates deeper into the meat than maybe an 1/8".  Over smoking a full packer brisket or even a 6lb pork butt is near impossible IMO.  You can dry it out, you can not cook it 'done' enough, etc, but I don't see how you can over smoke anything.

That said, I will qualify this by saying I'm only using a WSM.  If you're keeping a low, even temp also the wood no matter how much you have in teh smoker is only going to smolder at that low temp for hours and not give off anymore smoke in 6hrs than it would in 20hrs.  IMO, if you feel like you are oversmoking your meat what is probably happening is that you are cooking at way too high a temperature for too long.


I have to totally disagree, you can OVERSMOKE even with milder woods and may also leave a nasty creosote coating on the meat.

The smoke not penetrating you are talking about, you may be confusing with a smoke ring, ...Smoke flavor will continue to build as long as smoke is applied...the smoke ring stops not the smoke flavor.

 

 

Your last part of your post has me totally confused.

  "If you're keeping a low, even temp also the wood no matter how much you have in teh smoker is only going to smolder at that low temp for hours and not give off anymore smoke in 6hrs than it would in 20hrs"

 

especially this part,

 "if you feel like you are oversmoking your meat what is probably happening is that you are cooking at way too high a temperature for too long."

post #24 of 27

I guess I don't understand how its possible to over smoke meat at temps of 200-250 degrees.  If the primary fuel in a wood smoker is wood or wood pellets in a pellet smoker and you low and slow cook meat on either of those type of smokers you would by that token be over smoking meat every time you used it.

 

My comment about a smoker full of wood smoldering at a low and slow temp was meant to present that only a minimal amount of smoke is going to be present in a 200-250 degree fire as opposed to a fire burning 350-400+ degrees which is too hot, not low and slow and will dry out and ruin your meat in a smoking situation.  In a basic bbq situation in a fire 200-250 degrees there just isn't enough smoke produced to ruin a pork shoulder, packer brisket, full turkey or even multiple chickens.  Unless you're cold smoking something the amount of smoke you are producing is going to be equivalent to the temperatures you are cooking with.

post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoryB View Post
 

I guess I don't understand how its possible to over smoke meat at temps of 200-250 degrees. If the primary fuel in a wood smoker is wood or wood pellets in a pellet smoker and you low and slow cook meat on either of those type of smokers you would by that token be over smoking meat every time you used it. You can over smoke at lower temps and in my experience you can over smoke at lower temps much easier than over smoking at higher temps.

Remember, smoke can also be controlled by oxygen, less oxygen and more smoke, if you choke a fire too much and smolder a fire you may get nasty smoke.

My comment about a smoker full of wood smoldering at a low and slow temp was meant to present that only a minimal amount of smoke is going to be present in a 200-250 degree fire Smoldering smoke is just that, you will get a lot of smoke from a smoldering fire and much of that may be unwanted smoke. as opposed to a fire burning 350-400+ degrees which is too hot, not low and slow and will dry out and ruin your meat in a smoking situation. Again, this is not true. So you are saying that you get less smoke at lower temps?

To be honest I can control my smoke at either temp but find LESS smoke during higher temps.

In a basic bbq situation in a fire 200-250 degrees there just isn't enough smoke produced to ruin a pork shoulder,  packer brisket, full turkey or even multiple chickens. Really?, if it's poor fire management you sure as heck can ruin a cook at those temps or any other temp for that matter. Unless you're cold smoking something the amount of smoke you are producing is going to be equivalent to the temperatures you are cooking with. ????? So you are saying the temperature dictates the amount of smoke, what about time, meat temperature and surface moisture???????? I cold smoke cheese at 50° with an A-MAZE-N smoker, so you are saying if I bump the temp up to 80° I will get more smoke.

I think I would get more smoke keeping it in thee smoker longer than messing with the temps.

 

To be clear, my comments are based on a stick burner using wood.

Not trying to argue, I'm just not on the same page as you, sorry.

post #26 of 27

OH, no arguement here either.  I was thinking about that after my last post too that I hope I'm not coming off as arguementative.

 

After re-reading the entire post it sounds like to me that the way you could over smoke something in one of those wood burners is to get too much fresh wood in at one time vs having majority burnt down, even smoldering coals.  Like the initial responder stated its a matter of how you manage your pit.  I think I have this straight now...i think.

 

The only example i would have of what could be deemed as 'over smoked' in any way would be at a place here in Des Moines called Jethro's.  Any time i've ever had their smoked wings there you can smell them coming from 10' away as they have a VERY pungent smoke smell on them and in addition to that the only moisture coming from them is from the sauce applied.  From my POV that dried out, pungent, brutal smoke assault smell could be construed as over smoking, but IMO its a combination of too strong a wood for that light of meat and either too much time on the smoker or cooked at too high of a temp on the smoker. 

post #27 of 27

you need to look at a few factors with the smoke.

One is to make sure you have seasoned your reverse flow smoker correctly...a nice long burn, and wipe on some cooking oil of some kind to coat the metal.  that makes a big difference and makes a nice starting point or foundation.  Your fire should be on some kind of rack that allows ash to fall away while still allowing for enough heat and smoke to enter the cooking area.  if the is smothered by ash and coals it will produce a very heavy smoke flavor that may be bitter or smell like a chimney.

 

There is an art to figuring out your firebox as the height of the fire and the size of your firebox are factors.  To make the fire box smaller you might add a layer of fire bricks to the inside and use fire bricks to raise your burning platform.  Also make sure you understand how your firebox burns to know how much air to let in.    A digital thermometer will also help you understand how long you can maintain a perfect burn before adding more fuel. 

 

When adding charcoal make sure it has already started elsewhere.  Adding black, fresh charcoal will produce food with an annoying black coal charring that looks sloppy.

 

The perfect smoke is 250F and a barely visible plume of smoke leaving the system.  fight to maintain that.  if there is ever white smoke open the grill get the meat off and get control of your firebox. 

 

all of the above is valid if you have a good source of firewood.  wet or  over-seasoned wood will produce a horrible smoke that will reek of a chimney.  the moisture content of the wood will have a HUGE impact on flavor.  it might be a good idea to invest in a wood moisture analyzer and keep track of moisture content as you continue to master your device.   Also try mixing long-burning charcoal with a bag or two of store-bought oak, hickory or cherry so you know what right burns, smokes and tastes like.  

 

Once you go through all the trouble of figuring out how to use your barbecue device for divine food you will understand why people don't like to share their wisdom--because it take a lot of time and effort.

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