Guys, need a little advice.

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saugeyejoe

Fire Starter
Original poster
Dec 24, 2010
59
10
Findlay Ohio
I’ve been smoking food in my Masterbuilt propane smoker since August 2010 with pretty good results.   I copied Bearcarver (many thanks) recipes for the most part but ventured on my own here and there and have been happy with the results.   I recently “upgraded” to a MES 30 and added an AMAZN smoker to the arsenal with hickory and apple dust. I broke it in with pastrami using a combination of whiskey barrel and apple chips on Friday and it was outstanding.  I just finished about 6 pounds of belly bacon, it was cured for a week with TQ, brown sugar and a few other misc. spices.   I placed it in the MES, set it at 100F and lit the AMAZN smoker filled with apple dust.   I closed the vent almost all the way and held temp within 10F the whole time, outside temp was ~60F.   The AMAZN smoker worked great, burned nice and slow so I left it on for about six hours.   The belly bacon was cut up into 4 ~  1 ¼ lbs slabs, placed on the top two shelves to the left of the AMAZN smoker which was just above the empty water tray.   When I pulled it out the smoke had a bitter smell to it.   I placed the bacon in the fridge for several hours and then sliced it up.   Everything looks good but that bitter smell drives me nuts.    I noticed the same smell when I cold smoked some cheese in my propane smoker using the AMAZN smoker, I used apple with that also.  The cheese is still in the fridge for another week or so until its tastes better ot that smell goes away.  I guess what I’m asking is does the apple wood tend to do this, or am I doing something wrong.   I told my newbe buddy who is smoking some belly bacon tomorrow to leave the vent all the way open to get some more throughput with the smoke and use some ice if needed to keep the temp down.   Any opinions would be appreciated.  Couple of pictures of the bacon.

I am also a victim of smoking desensitization, the food out of the smoker  tastes much better the next day to me.   I guess all the smoke for hours on end has a negative effect on me while cooking all day.

1d978090_downsized_0319011942.jpg


97ac7ef1_downsized_0319012006.jpg


The one on the left was an end piece, little more smoke.
 
When you say "  I closed the vent almost all the way and held temp within 10F the whole time". I think this may be your problem. The exhaust vent needs to be open for the smoke to circulate properly. If you have the vent closed down you have a chance of creosote building up. Now I don't know if that is possible with the AMNS. Maybe Todd will see this & comment. Did the bacon taste good? Was there any bitter taste to it? Anyhow the bacon sure looks good!
 
Top vent should be wide open.

I also pull the chip handle out about half way.

 Hope this helps.

  Craig
 
The bacon tastes good, just has a little hint of bitterness here and there.   Next time I will leave the vent all the way open and open the chip chute as suggested.   I think I just over smoked this batch.   There was quite a bit of smoke rolling out when I opened the door.   Thanks for your help.  
 
Being a stick burner I am not sure I am qualified to offer advice but one rule that seems to be common among all types of smokers is  Thin Blue Smoke and exhaust vents wide open.  You may try reducing the amount of smoke entering the chamber and allow it to just pass over the  bacon before exiting the smoker.  6 hours in the smoke is not overdone at cold smoke temps.  I would try to use just the amazin next time and allow the temps to stay in the 80 degree range.  Never heard of anyone saying the cold smoke temp was to low.  We do ours in the wintertime (60 degree) and shoot for 18 - 24 hours in the smokehouse when possible.  You can always go back to Bearcarver's recipes and see if you still have a bitter taste, then you know whether its you technique or the way you changed the recipe.

Al
 
Being a stick burner I am not sure I am qualified to offer advice but one rule that seems to be common among all types of smokers is  Thin Blue Smoke and exhaust vents wide open.  You may try reducing the amount of smoke entering the chamber and allow it to just pass over the  bacon before exiting the smoker.  6 hours in the smoke is not overdone at cold smoke temps.  I would try to use just the amazin next time and allow the temps to stay in the 80 degree range.  Never heard of anyone saying the cold smoke temp was to low.  We do ours in the wintertime (60 degree) and shoot for 18 - 24 hours in the smokehouse when possible.  You can always go back to Bearcarver's recipes and see if you still have a bitter taste, then you know whether its you technique or the way you changed the recipe.

Al


Al,

I just caught on who your avatar is. I can't think of his name but he had that cajun cooking show. It didn't matter what he cooked I just loved the guy.
 
Al!!!!!

 That would be Justin Wilson!!

  Craig
 
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