Hit $900 on a video lottery machine last Monday so I decided to spend part of it on a new smoker. Bought the Oklahoma Joe Longhorn model at Walmart for $429. Stopped by my local hardware store and got a 3 inch elbow to lower the exhaust to grate level. Bought some high temp sealant to seal all the cracks and then bought some fiber wood stove gasket to seal the cook chamber door and firebox.
Seasoned it all day the next day and then fired it up for my first cook on Sunday. I purchased a beef brisket point from Wally for $27.99. Seasoned it with Aaron Franklin's suggestion of half and half salt and pepper. Let it warm up for an hour to room temperature. Cooked at 250 degrees with hardwood lump charcoal and apple wood from an apple tree we cut down 2 years ago.
I cooked it for 4 hours until it hit 165 degrees and then foiled it for another 4 hours. Came out nice and tender and juicy from the foil. I let it rest in the smoker uncovered for an additional hour before slicing.
The meat had a perfect smoke ring, had just the right tenderness, but tasted AWFUL!!!
Had the dreaded bitter smell after slicing and then had the bitter, over-smoked taste.
What the heck did I do wrong? Do wood smokers require less smoke than a drum style? I used the same wood I've smoked with for the past year. Never had this happen before.
The Meat was edible but it was just way too bitter. I don't know if I didn't season the smoker long enough, if my wood was bad, or if I just got too much smoke involved.