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Bad Wood?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi folks,

I fired up m ECB electric this morning and started a rib smoke. My mouth is watering already thinking about those suckers.

Typically when I walk past the smoker, I smell the sweet odors of hickory smoke. The last couple of times, however, the smell has been less "hickory sweet" and more like the smell from burning a pile of branches.

My question are thus:
Do wood chunks vary that much from brand to brand? These hickory chunks are a much cheaper variety than the previous bag I had.

Do you suppose it's possible I may have too much residue inside the smoker? If so, would "warming up" the smoker longer before placing meat on help? I usually don't wait too long (15-20 minutes).

Thanks for any advice you might have.

Matt P.
post #2 of 7
Could have been these new chips/flakes were a little moldy or might not have even been totally hickory. But another thing, were these pieces of hickory with or without bark? Bark will give off a different smell than the wood. More bark there is the nastier the smell and taste I believe. But I rarely use hickory myself, its too heay a smoke. I prefer apple, cherry and mesquite. The residue inside the ECB I doubt was the source unless it was extremely heavy and began smoldering or actually was burning.
post #3 of 7
You might want to inspect the inside of your smoker, you may have creosote building up. If so, you can sometimes just scrape it off with a plastic putty knife. Then again, you might have to really scrub her down and reseason. Wood chunks shouldn't vary that much, as long as all the chunks are really hickory that was stored correctly.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Very interesting,

So is there a particular way to store the wood other than keeping it dry in the garage?

The hickory does in fact have quite a bit of bark in it. The previous package I used did not have hardly any bark, so that may be one of my issues.
post #5 of 7
I be thinin yall got a bag a chips that had sumtin elese mixed in. I make my own most a the time so's I know what be in the barrel. Kinda look at the bag an see ifin the wood all looks the same. The processor might a been gettin down ta the bottom a the wood chip pile an scooped up sumtin else.

My chips er made from branch's of whatever tree I'm processin, so I got a fair amount a bark in there, ain't never had no problem with em. My chunks are made from anythin larger then 1 1/2 inch. I just slab em out an let em dry.

I keep mine in either barrels (vented) or in tubs with some holes ta let the air circulate. Keepin em dry an outa the sun seems ta be the best storage.

Hope yall have better luck on the next batch.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

Just wanted to let you know that even though I smelled odd smells at various points throughout the cooking process, the ribs nevertheless came out the best yet for me. This is the fourth time I'm cooked spareribs. The smoke flavor may have been a bit much, but perhaps the suggestion of using apple or cherry instead of hickory would be worth a try.

And while we're talking about ribs, I'll just mention that on my ECB the 3-2-1 method isn't quite right. I need about a 4-2.5-1.5. It always seems longer on my ECB. But I'll tell you what, it was worth the wait! Can't wait to smoke some again!!
post #7 of 7
Sometimes wood that has not been seasoned (dried & aged ) will smell bad when burned. I use the rule that if if doesnt smell good when burning i dont smoke with it
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