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How much hickory is too much?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I tended to stay away from hickory since I hear negs about it turning food bitter.

Since all the bbq places down south in florida use hickory I wanted that strong smoke flavor in my meat.

Im going to smoke some ribs and brisket this weekend with hickory but wanted to know how can I tell if it is too much smoke? I dont want inedible food
post #2 of 14
What kind of smoker are you using?
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
brinkman smoke n pit with the firebox on the side
post #4 of 14
I see it as

smoke is such as herbs/spices

you smoke to taste

some herbs/spices you prefer more than other,so I use wood to taste

the one wood is not the other one

hickory is not so much a problem,example with Mesquite u must pay more attention that's my opinion

and by doing it you get the experience

and your question (how can I tell if it is too much smoke?)

there is not that I know,a visual test

taste test and experience
post #5 of 14
Usually, hickory is not as strong as mesquite. Don't worry about not being able to see a lot of smke, if you can smell it, you're doing ok. Go on the light side at first, from that point you'lll know how to adjust. Good luck my friend.
post #6 of 14
I would use a fist size chunk and place it away from the coal. Far enough so it won't catch fire, but close enough so it starts to smolder. A very light steady stream of light blue smoke coming out of the stack is what you want. If you can barely see the smoke, your doing it right.

Are you using charcoal or wood for your heat?
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Charcoal for heat. I usually just place the wood on top of the charcoal. I will go with the idea of close enough to smolder
post #8 of 14
Man, I'm sorry for the delay in responding. Whenever we have nasty weather, it seems like the comp slows w a y d o w n.

Anyhow, yeah if were to just throw it on top of the coals, its just gonna burn up right quick like. Its takes a little getting used to, but once you find the area that it needs to be away from the coals, its easy. If you want a stronger tastes, you might add 2 chunks. Just have to run it a couple times to see how it works for you. I run a stick burner and this method works great for me.
post #9 of 14
If you get billowing white smoke this will cause a bitter taste. Like others said if you can smell it your smoking.
post #10 of 14
Question though.
Do some meats require heavier smoke?
I want to do Andouille next week and all the examples I see of people doing Andouille tend to have a much heavier, almost billowing smoke.

Is smoked sausage the exception to the TBS rule?
post #11 of 14
When I smoke sausage I do it the same as any other smoke. Billowing white smoke will cause creosote and this causes the bitter taste.

I am limited in my sausage making experience but I have always been told that when cold smoking the amount of smoke the sausage takes depends on the amount of time in the smoker. Im sure someone with more experience will be along to either confirm this or correct me if needed. If im wrong Im sorry.
post #12 of 14
I've had good luck with a fist size chunk of hickory, wrapped in aluminum foil with some holes punched through... this allows to wood to smolder without actually catching on fire.
post #13 of 14
myself I love hickory and i use it on damn near every kind of meat..you can over do it so moderation is the key.

The only other type of wood i really like so far is apple..but i aint tried em all yet
post #14 of 14
If you follow the "lite side" recommendations suggested, there is no way you will have inedible ribs.
I love hickory and use it the majority of the time. My wife is sensative to smoke, and I've had no problems with hickory on any type of beef or pork with her.
With that said, if I use Hickory on ANY type of poultry (Chicken, Turkey, Pheasant), she just can't eat it. Doesn't bother me, but does bother her so I just don't smoke birds with hickory. I use oak with just a tad of apple.
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