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Tasting Like a house fire - what has gone wrong

Leon Berman

Newbie
SMF Premier Member
1
0
Joined Oct 17, 2017
I currently run a GMG - approx one year ago, my pellet source closed and I decided to start experimenting with different pellets. I was not happy with the smoke flavor I was getting, so at the same time added a smoke tube to the mix. I tried different brand pellets and different wood combinations. Even though my family and friends thought all the food I made was good, I could taste something was "just not right" - almost bitter smoke. For a while, I blamed my rub, which I changed back to my original blend - but this did not help. Then I added a Smoke Chief smoke generator, which amplified the taste I was was fighting - and now my meats were tasting like an acrid house fire. Once again, I tried different pellets in the Smoke Chief - but same results. I am trying to solve this - do I: Keep changing Pellets, Mix pellets, use less smoke, scrap the whole she-bang and start from scratch?? Feedback please
 

retiredbadge

Fire Starter
46
12
Joined Apr 28, 2017
I am happy with my pellet smoker, but not overly excited. The best “smoke” still comes from my regular charcoal/wood smoker. If there are pellets out there that give that great taste I have not found them yet.
 

bregent

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
1,440
445
Joined Mar 1, 2014
I currently run a GMG - approx one year ago, my pellet source closed and I decided to start experimenting with different pellets. I was not happy with the smoke flavor I was getting, so at the same time added a smoke tube to the mix. I tried different brand pellets and different wood combinations. Even though my family and friends thought all the food I made was good, I could taste something was "just not right" - almost bitter smoke. For a while, I blamed my rub, which I changed back to my original blend - but this did not help. Then I added a Smoke Chief smoke generator, which amplified the taste I was was fighting - and now my meats were tasting like an acrid house fire. Once again, I tried different pellets in the Smoke Chief - but same results. I am trying to solve this - do I: Keep changing Pellets, Mix pellets, use less smoke, scrap the whole she-bang and start from scratch?? Feedback please
There are lots of folks that are satisfied with the flavor they get from a supplemental pellet smoker like the AMNPS or a tube. To me, it has the smell of a campfire or ashtray. I'm happy with the smoke profile I get on my pellet grill using Lumberjack hickory without any supplemental smoke generator. Right now I'm smoking with Cookin Pellets Perfect Mix and it's very nice too. Last week I smoked a tri-tip starting at 180 for 90 minutes and it had quite a strong smoke profile.

Try using a 100% hickory pellet in your grill and don't use the tube and see if you get better flavor.
 
Last edited:

schlotz

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
860
232
Joined Jan 13, 2015
Been using BBQ'ers Delight exclusively for the last 3 years without a flavor issue. Highly recommend them.
 

philh

Meat Mopper
281
28
Joined Feb 5, 2012
I use B&B pellets. I have been very happy. From what I hear they are rebranded BBQ'ers Delight Pellets.
 

lwestby

Newbie
17
3
Joined Oct 31, 2017
Try a handful of chips on top of your heat deflector and skip the tube for now. See if that makes a difference.
 

smokin218r

Smoking Fanatic
493
145
Joined Jan 14, 2015
Sounds to me like too much smoke.
Too much heavy smoke can cause the "bitter" taste you are getting.
Run your smoker with the exhaust wide open and make sure the stack is free of obstructions.
Don't use any additional smoke generators until you find the pellet you like.
 

pmillen

Newbie
5
10
Joined Jun 20, 2015
After 6 years of smoking on my Cookshack Fast Eddy PG500 here's what I've concluded–
  • Pellet pits produce more subtle smoke flavor.
  • Some manufacturers provide ways to increase smoke by adjusting the auger cycle. They vary the smoke from thin blue to thick white.
  • Smoke tubes and mazes produce white, harsh smoke that tastes of creosote. Avoid them unless you like burping smoke for a day.
  • Many users who were offset and gravity fed smoker users miss the distinctive charcoal smoke taste.
 

pmillen

Newbie
5
10
Joined Jun 20, 2015
It sounds to me like you aren't getting a clean pellet burn (not enough air). Is the combustion fan okay? Correct speed? All vanes intact? Can you look at the fire and determine if it's different from when the pit was operating to your satisfaction?
 

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