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How Get Smokier Taste?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hey all:

Been using my MES for over a year now, smoking Boston butt, turkey, chicken, pork ribs, etc, etc. Always happy with the tenderness, I've been sometimes disappointed with a lack of smoky meat flavor.

The latest example was Thanksgiving turkey. Filled up the water tray with hot water. I let the MES reach temp (225) for 30 minutes, then placed the wood chips. Only when the smoke started did I put the turkey in.

Smoked it for 7 hours, til the bird reached the right temp. I even lowered the temp of the smoker the last few hours to allow more smoking time while the bird stayed at around 160. Put in hickory chips often enough to get a thin smoke (okay, sometimes a bit heavier than that, but never less than TBS). Let 'er smoke the whole 7 hours. The meat was tender and juicy, but barely smokey in flavor!

This has happened with many of my projects. I understand that the MES tends not to give a smoke ring, and I rarely have much of a bark on my pork efforts. But what can I do to get more of a smokey flavor to my meats?

post #2 of 18
Well, you are doing ecerything right. Only sugestion I have is to try mesquite.

Good luck!
post #3 of 18

smokier meats

I have been smoking almost every weekend with my MES since June, and I have never had a problem with smoking taste. I usually use hickory although I have used other wood, it isn't as tasty as hickory.
I am confused by the number of folks out there that seem concerned about the smokiness of their efforts-it seems many want a constant smoke. When I bought our smoker I was cautioned not to smoke too much, or it would be inedible. For example, last weekend I smoked 2 7.5 lb butts for 12 hours, adding wood (hickory chips soaked overnight) about every 2 hours. It tasted fine, and I only added wood 3-4 times. (Once the foil goes on, the smoke won't absorb-I had other things on there by then)
It all boils down to personal choice and experience in smoking.
I even asked several family memebers if the smoke flavor was enough, and they all said it was. I suppose you would almost have to over-smoke some meat to get a feel of too-much smoke! I guess I like the taste of the stuff as well as a smoke taste (cream cheese, etc.)
There are many folks on here who smoke more than I do, so absorb all you can from them.
post #4 of 18
Can't help but notice that this issue NEVER comes up with charcoal or woodburners.

Seems pretty common with electric and gas smokers though....
post #5 of 18


maybe i'm reading it wrong but it looks like you only added chips at the beganing. you need to keep the thin blue smoke going at least till your meat reachs 140 deg . w / my mes i usually add at least once an hour.
post #6 of 18
You can add chips all the time until you are done or until it is in the foil, it will still take the smoke after 140', just no more smoke ring.
post #7 of 18
I have an electric as well (Royal Oak) and I can get as heavy a smoke flavor or as light by adding different sizes of wood. I have concluded in my own lavatory experiments (j/k) that small chips yield smaller smoke flavors and larger junks tend to give a heavier flavor. It may well have to do with the time the larger chunks burn versus the smaller ones, I don't know.

Also, I always soak my wood before I get it into the chip tray which really gets it going quick as well. You can also add a couple of pieces of natural charcoal to your chip tray and that also will help some.

I hope that helps some.
post #8 of 18
One thing I have noticed is the day that I smoke, things don't seem to taste as smokey as the next day. I think you can be desencitised being around it during the smoke.

post #9 of 18
Another thought is to try some chunks, that is all I use in my MES.
post #10 of 18
I note this with almonds. After smoking they go back into the zip bags and the smoke taste develops and improves over the next couple of days
post #11 of 18
put some liquid somke in your water pan
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Nope, I added hickory chips all along. I appreciate the lots of suggestions here, but still am puzzled. Does hickory really not impart that much smokey flavor? Does size (of the chips) really matter?
post #13 of 18
Again... this is a non-issue with coal- or wood-fired smokers.

You are paying the price of opting for convenience; there's no way to sugarcoat it.
blech - what's the point of somking then??
post #14 of 18
One thing that may be causing issue:

If you are around the smoker all day, and smelling the smoke flavour, perhaps you are accustomed to that smell it by the time you eat.

Sense differ from person to person so that might be something for you. Can you tell any of those flavours after eating leftovers a few days later?

That might be something to try, although BBQ leftovers are hard to keep after a few days because they are so damn good! :D
post #15 of 18
add more chips then you usually do everytime you refill the tray. The MES can pump out as much smoke as you want, you just have to give it the fuel. When I first started smoking on the MES I had the exact opposite problem where I was using too much smoke. Also like ronp said, try using mesquite. IMHO starting off with too little smoke and working up to where you like it is waaaaay better then starting off with too much smoke and throwing your food away.
post #16 of 18
I had this problem in my MES then I quit putting Water in the pan, seems that the steam created doesn't allow the smoke to penetrate the meat. also make sure you have your meat probed and check it frequently cuz it is my experience and understanding that meat quits taking on smoke once the inside temp reaches 140-145 degrees.

Just my 2 cents worth
post #17 of 18
Maybe you should try to let the smoke flow alittle longer. I use chips/chunks thought out my entire smoke.
post #18 of 18
I'm able to get plenty of bark on my pork butts. Try spraying with a 3:1 mix of apple juice and Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum about once an hour. This will enhance your bark and give you some added flavor. Of course, I think a big part of the bark is the type and amount of rub you apply before smoking.

And yes, being around the smoker all day I think desensitizes you to the smoke flavor. I've always been very satisfied with the amount of smoke flavor in my pork and other meats.
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