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Help! Chicken breast disaster!


Joined Jul 27, 2016
So I found this awesome recipe involving a ncie simple rub and some bacon.. Throw it in my electric smoker with apple wood chips- set at 225 for about 2.5 hours( took it out when it hit 165).  Looked awesome and super moist..... When I took the first bite all I could taste was smoke....  Super disappointed, but taking this as a learning opportunity as I am farely new to smoking meat.  I am assuming I put in too many wood chips?  I have been reading about blue smoke and I am assuming that was my problem.  Not 100% sure but any input would be much appreciated.


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Nov 23, 2011
Just sounds like you had too much smoke going. If you have thick, white smoke billowing out, it's too much and can make the meat taste bitter. Hang in there buddy!


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Joined Aug 27, 2008
Considering that after hanging around the smoker while cooking, and then tasting strong smoke (exposure desensitizes your sense of taste and smell), yes, too much smoke wood was used. Smaller items don't need to bathe in the smoke for nearly as long, because they have more surface area exposed per serving than large cuts of meats. For chicken pieces, steaks, chops, country-style ribs, etc, I only smoke for 30-45 minutes, and if I have them in with something big that I'm smoking long-term I often opt to finish them on a hot grill. If only smoking smaller items, then just a handful is sufficient.

Now, if you decide to try smoked potatoes, you can let the smoke roll from start to finish without worry of strong smoke flavor. Same for squashes, onions, etc. Smaller veggies like asparagus, and especially broccoli which has a huge amount of surface area only need 10-15 minutes in the smoke.

As for chips and longer smokes, consider using a small amount of chips along with varied sizes of chunks. A handful of chips will bring on smoke heavier and faster, then a smaller chunk will take over as the chips are losing their output of smoke...then the larger chunks take over from there. Larger chunks can smoke for 10-12 hours, depending on conditions, while chips may be done and gone in less than an hour. You can get longer lasting smoke with little to no tending of the smoke wood if you blend the sizes of smoke wood.

I digressed...food for future thought...

BTW, welcome to the SMF Family!!!



Smoke Blower
Joined Jul 30, 2015
Sounds like you might have used too much wood. You have to go light with chicken. That's my $0.02 and worth every penny!


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Group Lead
Joined Feb 9, 2009
Hello MPE104, and welcome to our forums!  I think the guys have you covered...it's likely a combination of applying smoke for too long, and/or the smoke being too heavy.  IMHO, it's actually pretty easy to over-smoke poultry.  

The silver lining is, you learned from this experience...and I'll bet your next try will be better because of it.  

Happy Smoking!



SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Jun 22, 2009
Welcome to the forum!

Glad to have you with us!

Most of the guys with electric smokers use an Amazen tube or tray.

You get nice thin smoke for hours without having to add chips.




Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Joined Aug 27, 2008
OH, forgot to mention this: if your rig has an adjustable exhaust vent, make sure it is open. A closed or under-ventilated smoke chamber will result in a stagnant smoke. At some point short into the game, you will notice a strong, acrid flavor and possibly a numbing or tingling on your lips, tongue and inside you mouth. Stagnant smoke is usually the culprit...ventilate well and you should never experience that problem.


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