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First smoke done - now have questions

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Okay, so I built my mini WSM and seasoned it using Kingsford briquettes that I had for dutch ovens. My wife asked if I was gonna make anything but as I looked we only really had some ground turkey so I figured what the heck and filled it with cheese and wrapped it with Jeff's rub and bacon. This was my first at making the rub and smoking on a smoker. Here are some pics.


I was too into the build to take more pics. I used an 11" terra cotta saucer. The Imusa needed a good amount of crimping but got it to fit and look somewhat decent using a bit of leather between the pliers.


Here's the meager fatty


On the grate


Some TBS! I was quite excited about this yet after about 20 minutes the smoke got more quite and more billowy. I had the top open all the way and the bottoms about half. I ended up pulling my chunk of apple and wrapped it in foil with a few holes which seemed to help.


After 2 hours, I put a little sauce on.


Pulled off and cut. I'm really not too sure what I'm looking for. the bark looked nice, the Mexican blend cheese wasn't completely melted and the turkey doesn't have enough fat.



It tasted okay but the smoke taste was a bit pungent. The apple wood came from a friend who cut the branch down a few months ago so maybe not seasoned enough? Did the white smoke give too much creosote (we didn't have numbness) and it wasn't too creosote flavored - just a bit off I guess. 


The experience was quite fun and the little thing went 8 hours easily going from 225-250. I had it at 400 for a bit while it was seasoning too. I am a bit disappointed with the food though, particularly the smoke. Should I get a bag of wood from a local store to try and see how that is?


How can I best control the smoke to not get white stuff? I see a lot of people just throw chunks in their baskets with their charcoal and that seems to do fine.

post #2 of 6
Nice job on the mini build! Sounds to me like the wood wasn't seasoned enough. That and you might have waited it out for another 15 minutes or so and it might have cleared up on its own. As for the overly smokey flavor, remember that bacon was already smoked, and the turkey has very little of its own flavor, so guess what the predominant flavor is going to be? For next time bury a chunk or two of well seasoned wood in your pile of unlit coals (if you're using the Minion method). I also like to leave a well in the center of the pile to drop my lit coals in and I'll put a small chunk at the bottom of that. Then when I drop my coals in I have smoke right away which will clear out to thin blue in under a half hour. In the meantime, the buried chunks are preheating so when they ignite there is little to no puffy white smoke.
Good luck and it'll keep improving every time you fire up the mini.
post #3 of 6
When I fire up any of my smokers I'll put whatever of my flavor wood on top of my charcoal chimney as I'm getting it going. This does two things; get the flavor wood warmer to get thru the white smoke phase faster and if it starts "sweating" I'll know it's not seasoned enough and I'll replace it with another piece of wood.

8 hours for a fatty? The ones I've done take around two and a half hours...
post #4 of 6
Congratulations on your first smoke. The pungent smoke flavor could be from several (or a combination) of different reasons.
White smoke is a thick smoke, not hurtful for short periods as long as you try to thin it out, which you stated you had done by venting, which is another reason for a pungent smoke flavor. Any ground meat absorbs smoke a lot easier, faster, and deeper than any slab or hunk of meat, having your ground meat smoking for 8 hours would have embodied a heavy smoke flavor. Having your smoke source to close to your meat will cook the smoke directly into the meat instead of allowing it to be absorbed.
Hope some of this helps you with your next attempt which I will be watching for.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input and help. So for now would it be best to grab a bag of chunks from Lowes or HD and see if that helps?

Also I was laughing pretty hard because I didn't clarify - they cooked for 2.5 hours but the smoker went for 8 ;)

I like the idea of some wood in the chimney. I only put one piece in this time (minion) but I'll bury some for the next one and see how it goes. Again, thanks for the insight and comments.
post #6 of 6
That is a good laugh, I was wondering how a fatty could sit on a grill for 8 hours lol. To answer you question, just make sure the wood you are using is well seasoned. To clarify I am talking about dry inside, not salt and pepper haha. I am not a regular grill user but it sounds like you got some great tips and ideas from the other guys. I am sure your next attempt will be more successful.
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