Bitter Meat

Discussion in 'Pork' started by mules, May 5, 2010.

  1. mules

    mules Newbie

    Tried 3 smoke in my webber with smokenator - butt, bb, chicken. Meat was good texture and cooked well but had an extremely bitter taste - couldn't even eat. Used 3 then 2 then 1 pieces of hickory with briquettes (minion method). Temps were very steady 250-260 dome and 225-230 grill. Am I choking the fire too much? I don't know what elses it could be........
  2. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Check your vents are they closed all the way???? You want them open for if the smoke can't get out it will create some bitter tasting food. You got to have good air flow for good Q.
  3. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Did you have plenty of air circulating in the smoker? Stale smoke can cause creosote, and this can lead to a bitter taste in meats. Always keep the top vent open to help circulate the smoke. You want to strive for TBS, not rolling cloads of smoke. This can sometimes mean that you are using too much wood at one time.
  4. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Rich is right on here top vent should be open and use the bottom vents to control the fire. You want thin blue smoke or no smoke and just the smell of it. Creosote is a nasty taste for sure
  5. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yep these guys know what they are talking about. Sounds like you weren't getting enough air flow so you smoke was just lingering around in the smoker. Also where you getting white billering smoke or nice thin blue smoke? You don't want the white smoke it between that an the smoke not being able to exit the smoker they will cause some really nasty tasting meat. Make sure you top vent always stays open and try backing off on the hickory. Hickory is a pretty strong wood. I will usually throw a small chunk or two of hickory and then some chips of apple or cherry when I smoke. Hopefully we are able to help you out. Stick with it and give it another try and you will get there in no time. If you have any questions you just ask and someone will help you out. Good luck.
  6. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    P.S. Like Piney said you don't need to see it you just need to smell the smoke. Some refer to it as Ninja smoke.
  7. mules

    mules Newbie

    Should the top vent be 100% open? I am going to try some bbs on sat - I'll let everyone know how they turn out.
  8. placebo

    placebo Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If your on a WSM then yes top vent all the way open.
  9. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    With about any type smoker I would suggest having the top vent wide open
  10. jaxgatorz

    jaxgatorz Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Always !!! That was your issue... Better luck this time[​IMG]
  11. rstr hunter

    rstr hunter Smoking Fanatic

    I think with propane or electric this is true, however with my Chargriller, you'd never keep temps low enough by doing this as it is a charcoal heat source regulated by air flow.

    Other thought on why it could be bitter besides those listed above (which are likely the case). Look at the charcoal to make sure it doesn't have a mesquite flavor added, they do make charcoal like that as well. I'm sure it's not the case, but may want to double check to be safe.
  12. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

  13. The top vent/exhaust/smokestack should remain fully open while cooking.
    Temperature Control/Fire Control is regulated by the amount of air intake....
    More air intake = Hotter fire/Higher Temperature ~~ Less air intake = Cooler fire/Cooler Temperature.

    You will notice when driving your car/truck, regardless of how fast or slow you go, the exhaust is always fully open and unobstructed. Speed is determined by how much you depress the accelerator....The air intake is your "accelerator" on your cooker....HTH

  14. greechneb

    greechneb Fire Starter

    As others have said, keep the exhaust completely open. I have no problem with my Chargriller to keep the temps around 225 with the exhaust open. I've even managed to hold at 200 as well. The only time I close the exhaust is after it cools off to help keep it clean.
  15. mules

    mules Newbie

    Thanks everyone for the input!!!!!!!!!! You guys are fantastic. I am too anxious to wait until saturday to try the bb's so I am going to try some bone in chicken thighs tonight!
  16. hog warden

    hog warden Smoking Fanatic

    Along with what others said about the venting.......

    You smoked pork and chicken. Hickory is one of the stronger smoking woods. Mesquite sometimes is used for smoke and that will do just about anything in. Grilling maybe, smoking no. I don't use hickory for much of anything but beef or some summer sausages, which are also beef or deer.

    Pork and chicken do better with milder fruitwoods like cherry, apple, mulberry, pear, peach, etc. Nothing much stronger than pecan or oak. And if your heat source is charcoal, you really don't need much smoke. For turkeys on the UDS, I don't use anything but charcoal, and they come out fine.
  17. mules

    mules Newbie

    Thanks everyone for the input. I believe the problem is solved. Did the chicken thighs last night (I know, I know, no qview=didn't happen). I was having a little trouble keeping the temps down (250-260 on maverick), but I believe that the kettle must have some leaks cause I had the bottom vent pretty much closed (top vent open).
  18. mmm did you maybe burn the sugars in the happened to my friend before..just checking
  19. mules

    mules Newbie

    I don't think it was the sugar - tried many diff combos of rub and some no sugar.

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