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In a smoking slump.

mdboatbum

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For the last year or so I've not been smoking much. Life just got in the way. Over the past few weeks I'd decided to remedy that. And one after another, my efforts have resulted in less than stellar results. Starting Memorial Day, did pulled pork. Meh. Flavor wasn't awful, but not great. Texture was off too. Dry and crumbly on the outside and tough in the middle. Then went camping and did ribs and chicken wings. Used a store bought seasoning and all you could taste was salt.
Then a couple runs of chicken resulted in black, nasty skin that tasted like an ash tray. Creosote. So I scrubbed the inside of the lid of the mini with ez off, as there was a thick crusty coating on it which I assume was dripping nasty condensation on the food.
So last night the wife brought home some beautiful ribeyes. Inch and a half to two inches thick, beautiful marbling, bone in. I did my standard reverse sear. Salt and pepper about an hour before going in the smoker. Smoked with one chunk of pecan at 250° until the IT hit 125°. Rested and seared in butter in a screaming hot cast iron skillet.
The result? AWFUL. Flavor was off, like gasoline with old cigarette butts floating in it. Somehow managed to overcook them as well. Came out between medium and medium well. Plus they were dry and tough.
I'm about to give the damn smoker away and dust off the crock pot at this point.
If I were just starting out I'd chalk it up to lessons learned. But I've been at this a while and, not to sound egotistical, have made some pretty incredible grub on that very same mini.
One final note, part of the off flavor last night may have been the Cowboy lump. They seem to be back up to their old tricks. The bag weighed almost nothing, and was basically a mixture of dust and huge chunks. And it stunk while I was lighting it in the chimney. It was all they had at the hardware store.
Sorry for the negativity, just irritated. I was SO looking forward to that steak.
 

SmokinAl

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Hey Man,

Sorry to hear about your misadventures.

But I've seen some of the stuff you have smoked & I'm sure you will be back with the best ever Q.

We have all had some disastrous smokes, but I know that you will overcome your slump.

Hey you didn't get that "OTBS" badge for nothing!

I see some great Q coming from you on the horizon!

Al
 

sota d

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Sounds like you've pretty much figured the problem with each recent smoke. Just take the advice we often give-learn from your mistakes and keep pushing on. You've posted some amazing smokes here, so you know as well as the rest of us that you've got what it takes! Push on, you'll get thru this. I'm looking forward to some more of your inspiring smokes! Happy smokin', David.
 

chef jimmyj

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Bad Taste can be a Cool burning Fire. There was also a thread last week of a guy using Lump that had the same issue, must be some bad Lump going around. The rest of the un-even, Under done Pork and Over done Beef, sounds like your Therm needs to be verified accurate. I like Med/Rare and with a reverse sear, I smoke to 110-115 and sear to 125 MAX. After the rest and a 5-10° rise they are perfect Med/Rare. You got the Smoker Yips...JJ 
 

dirtsailor2003

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Bummer MD! I can say that I will never use cowboy lump again. I hadn't used any for years. Then a few weeks back I was given a bag. Same old story, small chunks (chips?) full on branches. Spit sparks all over the place and off flavor too. Thankfully I was Bach n it or there would've been hell to pay at the dinner table.
 

GaryHibbert

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That really socks MD. You're having a real bad streak!! The good news is that bad streaks, just like lucky streaks, always end--although sometimes they seem to last forever.

Just hang in there and you'll climb out of your slump. We both know you can put out some serious Q.

Gary
 

mdboatbum

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Thanks guys! I think I just need some more practice. Maybe I'll smoke those ribs today and see how it goes.
I appreciate all the encouraging words!
 

seenred

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Hey boatbum...sorry to hear of your struggles, but I doubt if you've become "smoke challenged" all of a sudden.  I think you're on the right track...just a little out of practice.  I'd say smoking/cooking is like most things...you gotta stay at it to stay sharp.  Hang in there brother and keep plugging away...you've turned out too many tasty smokes to give up now!  


Red
 

daveomak

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Hey Bum......   I hear there are a bunch of cherry trees lining some road in your neighborhood...    Maybe you could cut a few branches into small chunks so they would dry fast...  or throw them in your oven to speed things up.....    Just don't get caught....  I hear those cherry trees were a gift from some friendly nation....
 

joe black

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I heat there's an epidemic of brain farts going around. For Memorial Day, I misread my clock and added an hour to my ribs and CSR's. Man, that was some tough, over cooked meat. Oh well, just suck it up and get back in the groove. That's what everybody told me. I know your quality of smoking. It won't take you long. Hang in there.
 

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