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Bittersweet smell on pork belly when cold smoking

mrad

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I have my second Pork Belly that I am cold smoking in my Blazn Grill Works Grid Iron pellet grill when using the amps tube with the grill off. When I did the first one about a year ago, and ended up with a bitter/sweet smell on the bacon and grill. Two nights ago I threw another pork belly in the Blazn with the AMPS lit for about 4 hours. I noticed it seemed to produce much more smoke than when the AMPS is used with heat. When I took the pork belly out, it had that same bitter/sweet smell.

I also noticed I am getting a black tar like build up in the grill.

Any suggestions on how to get that deep smokey flavor. When I use heat with the grill turned on, I can get the smokey taste and smell.
 

thirdeye

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A long time with a gentle smoke will give you the best smokey flavor.

When you are cold smoking with pellets, you need as much draft as possible, and the largest volume smoker you have to avoid the exact problems you are seeing. How much intake does your pellet cooker have, and can you block the door open and still achieve a good draft?
 

bregent

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I agree, it's probably a draft problem and the smoke is not moving through it fast enough. IMO, pellet grills do not have the right shape to make good cold smokers. What some folks do is rig them so that the fan runs without burning pellets. Some pellet grill controllers actually have a mode for this.

For cold smoking, I use a cardbox box rather than my pellet grill. Draft is much better.
 

mrad

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I did try putting clothes pins at the bottom of the grill lid last night. This left about a 1/2 inch opening on the bottom down to about a 1/4" at the top . I may try to modify it a bit more before I throw the belly back on for another cold smoke.
 

mrad

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Thanks for the advice on the dust. will the dust work in the tube, or should I use the tray?
 

bregent

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I may try to modify it a bit more before I throw the belly back on for another cold smoke.
If you've previously cold smoked it for 4 hours and it already had an unpleasant 'stale' smoke odor, I wouldn't smoke it any more. Slice it and let it mellow out for a few weeks. It will have plenty of smoke flavor.

If you do want to smoke it again, I would first wash the surface thoroughly to remove any residue, creosote that may be on it.
 

73saint

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Are you curing the pork belly and then smoking? I assume so since you are cold smoking just making sure.
 

zwiller

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Thanks for the advice on the dust. will the dust work in the tube, or should I use the tray?
Tray for the dust but there are some guys making their own dust and using the tube. If a cardboard box doesn't sound cool (it doesn't to me), you can certainly repurpose something cool. In my neck of the woods all sorts of smoker can be had on Facebook marketplace Craiglist etc for practically nothing.
 

indaswamp

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Thanks for the advice on the dust. will the dust work in the tube, or should I use the tray?
Dust will work in the tube, but you need to really pack it in tight with a metal rod of some kind. I use a short piece of 3/8" rebar.
https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/new-amnts-oval-tube-will-burn-daves-coarse-pellet-dust.284931/#

You will get a very thin blue smoke with dust in the tube which is what you want when cold smoking. Won't be bitter at all....as long as you have good draft.
 

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