Going back to using more charcoal

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by eaglewing, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. eaglewing

    eaglewing Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Ever since reading this article that floats around this site a bit:


    ...About using all wood thru out the smoke, I have been not liking the TASTE or outcome 'physically' of my smokes. I have a stock pile of Hickory so that's what I use. Maybe it's the hickory.

    BUT, when I used to use mostly charcoal (before reading the article) and then throwing on large chips for the flavor and smoke, it seemed I was making GREAT FOOD everytime!! I think that's what I need to go back to doing. This is occuring mostly in my Banderas!!

    I kind of like the way the charcoal maintains a heat temp and then when getting close to used I throw in the chips.

    It's me being picky, the wife says she don't see it but I know I do. She just likes smoked meat no matter what...LOL
  2. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I just did some chicken quarter on the UDS using charcoal. This is the first time since I got my Horizon. I sit on the other side; I think the charcoal gives a much stronger taste to the meat than an all wood smoke. It could be the nature of the UDS too, I guess.

    What I do know is, everyone that tastes the product from the Horizon using wood prefers it to charcoal on the UDS.
  3. I think it is the nature of the UDS and the meat cooking directly above the charcoal effects. I notice that when I use the UDS with charcoal and chunks, the meat is not at smoke flavored and the smoke ring is barely there. When I smoke on my offset, with both charcoal w/chunks or sticks, the smoke taste it stronger and the smoke ring is a heck of a lot deeper. I think the UDS makes the difference.
  4. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    But what you are saying is just the opposite of what I was saying. To me the drum produces a stronger taste.
  5. gooose53

    gooose53 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    If I could smoke on the drum only that would be my choice. My smokes always turn out great, even beating out my $3,000 smoker.
  6. txbbqman

    txbbqman Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    First let me say I prefer wood to charcoal any day.

    The problem may be with your wood, if you are using all hickory this may contribute to the "off" taste you are getting.

    Hickory is an awesome wood and I love using it, however most people find an all hickory smoke to be overwhelming. What I do is I cook with primarily oak and then throw in some "flavor" wood ie Hickory or Pecan or Mesquite or whatever.

    Also another problem you may have is how old is your wood?
    If it is very old wood, you could have bad things growing in it, mold, fungus etc or it could just simply be rotten and this will definitely cause an unusual taste in your meat.

    Good Luck Hope this helps and hope you don't give up on wood
  7. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Absolutely, I would say the "off flavor" you are getting is from the use of Hickory for heat and flavor. I would use a neutral wood such as Oak for heat and add the other "flavor woods" periodically thru the smoking process. I have also used Maple for both heat and flavor and that too gave me a very neutral smoke.
  8. A stronger charcoal taste from the UDS, less smoke is what I expierence. When I use the offset, I get less charcoal and can really taste the smoke.
  9. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That very well may be it.
  10. eaglewing

    eaglewing Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    This may very well be my problem. I have NOT YET tried to use OAK as a neutral wood, the only thing neutral I ever used was charcoal.

    AND YES, some of the chips or logs I throw in there are a little too OLD to be using really... since I already sold enough of my 'CHIPS' on craigslist to pay me back for my stock pile of Hickory, I will now not use anything remotely bad any more... save it for my neighbors patio firepit.

    Besides, this weekend I will be going to the hunting farm and cutting up a whole load of 6 month old downed oak and hickory and being a lot more selective!!


    (I can't believe I might actually becoming this picky about my outcome product.... I guess that's a good thing [​IMG] )
  11. txbbqman

    txbbqman Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Tis a very good thing my friend.....WELCOME TO THE ADDICITION

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