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CAN'T SMELL SMOKE IN MEAT

Millberry

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OK--when you quit laughing--I have a question--maybe a nose problem. I read that an electric smoker (which I have) does not help a lot smoke-wise. OK--here is dummy's question: Am I supposed to TASTE the smoke in the meat? (as oppose to smelling it in the meat). I love the smell of my cherry wood chips--my post oak chips. When I am finished smoking my meat and sit down to eat---I can not tell what I used--So it's me? My wife loves my cooks.. She also can't tell. Is it my smoker? I have a good chance to buy a WSM this week---now I am wondering about it.
 

MJB05615

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Welcome from Ga!
Jake is 100% correct. I often find that the next day, the leftovers seem muc stronger in the smoke flavor. An article I read a while ago suggests once you are done cooking, go inside, take a shower and completely change clothing before eating. That may improve the flavor strength for you.
 

gmc2003

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You should be able to taste a smoke flavor in your food. With that said - I can't tell the difference between fruit woods used. I can tell the difference if I used a fruit wood or hickory, or mesquite.
 

tag0401

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The only difference I can tell in smoke is between good or bad smoke and strong woods like hickory and mesquite and milder woods like fruit woods. I’ll agree with Jake I go nose blind as well after a long day of smoking.
 

chef jimmyj

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Yep, most likely nose blind. Several years ago, I started cooking the Thanksgiving Turkey on Tuesday or Wednesday. The family, and especially myself, enjoy the meal MUCH more not having smelled and sampled sides all day on Thursday. Plus there is no hassle getting everything heated and on the table.
The Shower post Smoke MJB suggested works well too. The Steam of the Shower helps clean the smoke from your nose and sinuses....JJ
 

smokerjim

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as the others said smoked meat taste better a day or two later, i don't think your meat is going to smell like cherry or apple or i don't think you'll taste the difference, it won't taste as strong as hickory or mesquite.
 

Compressor59

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Like many have said about going nose blind plus we are our worst critics. I'm often disappointed with the results after a long smoke but everyone else says it's good. But the next day I enjoy it much more.
 

noboundaries

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Electrics don't produce quite the same level of smoke flavor as an offset or a charcoal smoker. There are techniques and devices you can use to increase the smoke flavor, but it doesn't read like that's your issue.

It appears you cannot distinguish the wood used. Nose blindness aside, when I first started smoking, I could only distinguish hickory and mesquite. Everything else tasted the same. Chicken was my key to learning to distinguish the flavors of medium woods (fruit, oak, nut) in my WSM. Nowadays, though, I only use mesquite, hickory, oak, and cherry.
 

thirdeye

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Bear with me on this.... you taste with your eyes, your nose and your tongue. Properly smoked food should not be overwhelming to the nose or the tongue, but should have a pleasant smokiness that should compliment the flavor of the meat. And frankly, it's hard to get that level of flavor. So, what does it take? "Less is more better" is the best advice I've ever gotten, and that was 45 years ago. Don't worry about not being able to identify specific flavors of woods, hardly anyone can. If you can distinguish between a light flavor (like alder and apple), a medium flavor (like cherry, peach, maple, and maybe pecan), or a heavy flavor (like oak and hickory) that is good enough because I guarantee you your guests can't pick the specific woods either. Mesquite is unique because it is likely the strongest flavor wood. I grew up using it and we always burned it down to coals which I like. I use mesquite lump for beef, but it's too strong for me as a flavor wood in chunk form added to charcoal.

Chips kind of have a bad rap because in the '70's they were the shortcut to wonderful smokey food which was only available from BBQ joints or from backyard barbecuists that spent hours cooking dinner. Chip manufacturers always recommended soaking them in water (which is wrong) and of the few early brands of electric smokers only the Big Chief/Little Chief and maybe some bullets like Brinkman survived. Other uses for chips were adding to charcoal by the handful on your Weber kettle, which is like a flash in a pan, or using in a smoke tray or pouch on a gas grill.

Will your electric smoker burn pellets? I have vintage Big and Little Chiefs and pellets work wonderfully, and it takes small amounts.
 

whistlepig

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Some may not be able to taste the difference in the different woods although I do have preferences. I can taste the differences between something cooked on a gas, grill, a charcoal grill, and smoked.
 

Millberry

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Bear with me on this.... you taste with your eyes, your nose and your tongue. Properly smoked food should not be overwhelming to the nose or the tongue, but should have a pleasant smokiness that should compliment the flavor of the meat. And frankly, it's hard to get that level of flavor. So, what does it take? "Less is more better" is the best advice I've ever gotten, and that was 45 years ago. Don't worry about not being able to identify specific flavors of woods, hardly anyone can. If you can distinguish between a light flavor (like alder and apple), a medium flavor (like cherry, peach, maple, and maybe pecan), or a heavy flavor (like oak and hickory) that is good enough because I guarantee you your guests can't pick the specific woods either. Mesquite is unique because it is likely the strongest flavor wood. I grew up using it and we always burned it down to coals which I like. I use mesquite lump for beef, but it's too strong for me as a flavor wood in chunk form added to charcoal.

Chips kind of have a bad rap because in the '70's they were the shortcut to wonderful smokey food which was only available from BBQ joints or from backyard barbecuists that spent hours cooking dinner. Chip manufacturers always recommended soaking them in water (which is wrong) and of the few early brands of electric smokers only the Big Chief/Little Chief and maybe some bullets like Brinkman survived. Other uses for chips were adding to charcoal by the handful on your Weber kettle, which is like a flash in a pan, or using in a smoke tray or pouch on a gas grill.

Will your electric smoker burn pellets? I have vintage Big and Little Chiefs and pellets work wonderfully, and it takes small amounts.
Yes it will burn pellets --tried that. Your reply was unreal. I can't thankyou enough for taking the time to help this poor soul.
 

Millberry

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Some may not be able to taste the difference in the different woods although I do have preferences. I can taste the differences between something cooked on a gas, grill, a charcoal grill, and smoked.
Thanks
 

Millberry

Smoke Blower
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Joined Nov 12, 2020
Electrics don't produce quite the same level of smoke flavor as an offset or a charcoal smoker. There are techniques and devices you can use to increase the smoke flavor, but it doesn't read like that's your issue.

It appears you cannot distinguish the wood used. Nose blindness aside, when I first started smoking, I could only distinguish hickory and mesquite. Everything else tasted the same. Chicken was my key to learning to distinguish the flavors of medium woods (fruit, oak, nut) in my WSM. Nowadays, though, I only use mesquite, hickory, oak, and cherry.
Thanks a million....
 

Millberry

Smoke Blower
SMF Premier Member
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Joined Nov 12, 2020
Yep, most likely nose blind. Several years ago, I started cooking the Thanksgiving Turkey on Tuesday or Wednesday. The family, and especially myself, enjoy the meal MUCH more not having smelled and sampled sides all day on Thursday. Plus there is no hassle getting everything heated and on the table.
The Shower post Smoke MJB suggested works well too. The Steam of the Shower helps clean the smoke from your nose and sinuses....JJ
Nose blind huh? Oh well. lol Thx
 

Millberry

Smoke Blower
SMF Premier Member
118
77
Joined Nov 12, 2020
The only difference I can tell in smoke is between good or bad smoke and strong woods like hickory and mesquite and milder woods like fruit woods. I’ll agree with Jake I go nose blind as well after a long day of smoking.
I think your answer is about "right on" . Thanks for taking the time to answer me. (At least I won't throw smoker over the deck railing -yet)
 

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