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Almost $40 worth of food down the drain!!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by shea1973, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. A little over a week ago I had some friends over and I smoked 3 full rib racks and some chicken legs and thighs.  I put a rib rub on the ribs and the chicken was marinated with a Bourbon maple marinade.  Well finally the ribs and chicken were done.  But it turned out to be a disaster!  The ribs and chicken had a fowl taste to them!  Not sure what caused it, I know the meat was Not bad.  So not sure?  I used Hickory and cherry wood to smoke them. 

    So anyone have any ideas what might have caused the fowl flavor?
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
  2. pokey

    pokey Meat Mopper

    I would need a lot more info. What kind of smoker? What temperature were you cooking at? For how long? How much smoke did you get? If white smoke was billowing out of your smoker, you could have ended up with creosote on the food, which is nasty stuff. You get a tingling numbing sensation with creosote.
  3. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    If I had to guess (which I am) I would say that you over smoked it. The old saying around here White Smoke is bad and the Thin Blue Smoke is what you want. If you put too much wood in your smoker then you will get big bellowing white smoke then you are creating creosote and that's your bitter taste that you are /were tasting. Now we all have learned from our mistakes and that's one of the things that we are doing here trying to teach folks the do's and don'ts around here. Now I do see that you're new to this website an all. I think you should look up the E-course and it's free and it will give you the basics on smoking and some really good techniques too.
  4. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    The only bad smoke I have had was way back when I was using a charcoal R2D2 Cajun smoker.  I used peach wood gotten from a local orchard, put on top of the charcoal.  The food tasted like you described.  There were many possibilities.  The branches might have been treated with pesticides.  The bark may have had lichen and/or mold on it.  But most likely, I burned too much wood too hot and got heavy white smoke.

    Tell the guys here what sort of smoker you used, and where you got the wood.  Consensus seems to be -- too much smoke.
  5. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    That was my first thought too.

    How heavy was the smoke? Thick & white?

    Any fresh wet black stuff (creosote) on anything?

    Did anybody's lips & tongue tingle & maybe feel a little numb awhile after eating some?

  6. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Creasote would get my vote.  To heavy a smoke would be second.
  7. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I am with all the above, to much smoke and overcoked
  8. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I thought chicken was suppose to taste fowl. [​IMG]

    I think like everyone else you probably over smoked it. But if you  could add some info like Pokey asked maybe we can nail it down without guessing

    Sorry to hear about a bad smoke , but they do happen
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
  9. deannc

    deannc Master of the Pit

  10. I don't remember what color of the smoke was.  But I smoked the ribs and chicken for about 3 hours.  I do know that I was having trouble with the the temp, it got up to like 300 degrees for like almost an hour![​IMG]   I tried to lower the temp, I open all the vents on bottom and top to get some of the heat out.  I also threw some water on the fire to calm it down, but that didn't seem to help.  The ribs where kinda on the dry side, they were over cooked.  The chicken however seem to be find, just the fowl taste.  Nobody complain about a tingling numbing sensation.  One thing I did think about is that it has been almost 2 months since I cleaned the smoker out. 

    It is a Brinkman, as for the model and everything I am not sure.  But here is a pic of it.

    I used Hickory wood, had up to 3-4 logs in it at a time.  I also used Cherry Chips that I soaked in water for a while, then put on the wood about every 30-45 minutes.  I heard that you get more smoke out of chips soaked in water, so that is why I soaked them. 

    Thank You
  11. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    First thing you need to do is take jeffs free smoking e course.

    Second , Try using charcoal instead of wood or mostly charcoal w/ just a stick at a time of wood.

     When you are trying to controll temps you neeed to Close the intake not open it . When you open it ,you are suppling more O2 for the fire.

     Clean out the smoker , Try using the 3-2-1 method next time for your ribs. Step back ,take a deep breath and try again!!!!
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2010
  12. richoso1

    richoso1 Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Need to sigb up for the E Coarse?   

    Go to Home, then scroll about half way Down the page, and on the right side you'll see where it says "Get the Smoking Basics" 5-day eCoarse. That should get you started. It's all good my friend.
  13. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Here is a link to Jeff's 5 Day Smoking Basics eCourse.

    Click Here it's "FREE" ... 5 Day eCourse
  14. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Not sure, but I think throwing water on the fire could cause some quick creosote too.

    At this point, forget it, find out more about your smoker (I don't know anything about that one), and give her another try real soon.

    Everybody stumbles a little now & then.

    Won't be long you'll be lookin' back and laughing about this episode.

    We're with you all the way!

  15. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thats one sweet unit ya got there, It looks like a NB Bandara, I love to have one like it. Clean it out, read some posts, try using lump  for heat and dry chips or chunks for smoke.  We all have been through this early in our carreer. good luck on the next one
  16. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    Give a detailed account of that smoker, how you did that smoke job and we will straighten you out. You will need a good couple of therms to know where you are at. Kinda like a speedo so you don't get a ticket. [​IMG]
  17. old poi dog

    old poi dog Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    On your next try with the smoker, do something for yourself just to sort things out.  Don't put any undue pressure on yourself until you've got it sorted out.   I remember it took me 4-5 tries with  ribs before I shared it with others besides my poor wife.

    Last edited: Oct 31, 2010
  18. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Did it taste like licking a burnt stick?
  19. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Creosote, Creosote, Creosote!!

    Been there done that and learned how NOT to do it again.  For the next batch try lump charcoal and add chips sparingly.  You need to achieve the TBS(Thin Blue Smoke) we all strive for.  Once you figure out how to get it, you'll turn out some awesome BBQ.

    Don't give up, but learn from this experience.

  20. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

     When smoking, top vent should never be more than 50% closed, usually most folks run with it 100% open at all times. Also opening the bottom vents feeds the fire oxygen and lets it burn hotter, so if you are trying to get temps down you want to close your bottom vents 100° and leave the top vent open.

    Soaking wood doesn't really do a whole heck of a lot IMHO, but some folks swear by it. Also if you are smelling smoke, you are getting smoke, whether you can see it or not. Try using fist sized chunks of wood instead of chips. They burn slower and longer giving you a nice smokines and thin blue smoke.

    Don't knock yourself, we have all been there and done that. [​IMG]