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Reducing the "Smoke" flavor

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
For those that love ribs but not the smoke flavor...
What are some tips for reducing the smoke flavor.
Here's what my newbie brain tells me:

Don't use wood. Just charcoal.
Don't put meat on too soon. Let coals burn a bit longer.
Keep top vent open (WSM)

Foil for the first hour (this is a wild guess because the smoke permeates most when the meat is raw? True? False?) then unfoil?

Use a particular rub/mop ?

Thanks for your tips.
post #2 of 28
Are you trying to reduce the amount of smoke flavor or eliminate it?
post #3 of 28
If you like ribs but don't like them smoked. Here's a recipie I've used and they come out really delicious.

2 racks of baby back ribs
2 each Red, Green, Yellow peppers - Julianne cut
2 Vidallia onions - Julianne cut
6 cloves garlic - crushed
Lowery's Season Salt
Ground black pepper

Rub the ribs down with Garlic, Salt and Pepper.
Cover with onions and peppers and wrap slabs individulally in foil for four hours in the refridgerator.
Let rest at room temp for 1 hour before cooking
Leave wrapped in foil and place in 350* oven for 6 hours or until meat pulls back from the bone.

That's just one I've tried.


If you still want some smoke flavor. You could add a little liquid smoke to this recipie. Or you could just smoke them for an hour or so then finish them off in the oven.
post #4 of 28
What kind of wood are you using? There are woods with a milder smoke such as apple
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
for the last batch i just used the kingsford coals with the mesquite in it. No extra wood.
In the hot summers I don't want to use an indoor oven. I really want to use the smoker.

So, I would like to eliminate it as much has possible. Just a hint would be nice.
post #6 of 28
Mesquite is about the strongest smoke flavor you can get I'd suggest using something different and see how you like it hickory I think would be middle of the road and apple would be much milder
post #7 of 28
Like Pineywoods said, try out something like apple. You can pour on lots of apple smoke and it is such a light flavor that it is hard to really over do it.
What kind of smoker are you using?
I noticed when I first started and used my Brinkman electric gourmet it would give a much heavier smoke flavor than when I started on my sNp.
post #8 of 28
What i like to do is use a mixture of oak and pecan wood you should defantility try different types of wood before you foil your meat. Mesquite is a very strong smoke. also use real wood coals not kingsford coals.
post #9 of 28
Try using lump charcoal and use apple wood for the smoke.
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
What about the idea of using just lump charcoal or just kingsford? nothing else.
I just bought the Weber Smokey Mountain.

One think I did do due to schedule conflicts of sorts was to put on the meat before the grill got to temperature.
So the smoker was still pretty "smokey" inside at that stage. Much more so than it would have been if I had waited until it got up to 225
which would have been another 30 minutes, at least. Does it seem like that would make a significant difference ?

Thanks again
post #11 of 28
Yeah, not allowing the smoker to come up to temp sure could have given you the result you don't like. It could even have imparted somewhat of a creosote flavor. Were the ribs bitter? I guess it still isn't clear to me at least what they tasted like that you don't like. Have you had ribs that you were confident were smoked properly and still didn't like the taste, or is it just this batch?
post #12 of 28
I think it's in proper technique more than anything. I found burning all wood using the info found on here for proper fire management gives a less smokey flavor (which like) than just a few chunks of wood with charcoal in the uds.
post #13 of 28
Yes, just using lump charcoal would be a good idea. Just make sure it is not mesquite charcoal. I have done a few cooks using just Kingsford Comp on the UDS. Has a very light flavor just by itself

Yes, that will make a significant difference -- speaking from experience icon_redface.gif

And like Rick said, a lot of it is tecnique. Most of my "oversmoked" taste in the beginning was just poor fire management. But it gets better with practice.

post #14 of 28
>>>like Rick said, a lot of it is tecnique. Most of my "oversmoked" taste in the beginning was just poor fire management. But it gets better with practice.<<<


milder wood plus gaining experience in tending your fire will help a lot.

something else you can do is use lump charcoal with no smoking wood, or use wal-mart charcoal (sam's choice) briquettes, which have little bits of wood and give an extremely low-profile, subtle smoke smell and taste.

if you use briquettes such as kingsford that have no bits of wood, there will be no smoke smell or taste at all
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Ok. So I think I know what to do for next time. Plan better and try just coals, period.
Then up the smoke just a bit with something like apple until I can just taste the difference, once I feel like experimenting.

No, it was not bitter but I believe I did experience that on a previous smoke.
post #16 of 28
No smokey taste, easy. No wood. Gas Grill or put them in the oven. No smoker, no smoke. Pretty simple.
post #17 of 28
Sounds like a good plan. I tried some of those briquettes with the mesquite in them and found them strong in my char-griller so I'm sure they were potent in your efficient WSM wink.gif
post #18 of 28
Here's the best place to start since you have a WSM. www.virtualweberbullet.com The info here might save you a lot of grief down the road.
post #19 of 28
That is an important one. Keep the top vent open.
post #20 of 28
Yes - top vent ALWAYS wide open...

I have an abundance of apple wood, cut into splits that are 2-3" thick and 8 - 10" long. Father's Day weekend, I used 20 of those splits and the smoke flavor was STILL mild.

The moral of the story is that, per ususal - the advice from everyone here is great!

1 - top vent always open, control temp with intake vent.

2 - use a mild wood

3 - fire management...you want a small amount of fuel and an active fire, not a large amount of fuel that is just smoldering. Now - if you read up on the minion method, it would SEEM to contradict what I'm saying, but not really. With the minion method, you DO have a large amount of fuel - but you have to have your air intakes adjusted so that this fuel is slowly "burning"...not sitting there smoldering...just practice practice! Remember that big billowing white smoke is bad...just a thin blue smoke that sometimes you can't even see!
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