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Too much hickory smoke1

newbiesmoker1

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Joined Oct 15, 2010
After years of viewing bbq pit masters on TV I decided to try my hand at smoking meats.

I use a Brinkman Gourmet electric smoker and Cowboy brand hickory, mesquite wood chunks and  apple, hickory, and mesquite chips both purchased from Lowes.

In opposition the the Brinkman's instruction manual I don not put the wood directly in the lava rocks in and around the electric element. Instead,  the wood is placed in a heavy duty, square  metal  cake pan. Then the cake pan, with the wood inside is placed directly on the heating elements.

At first I tried soaking the wood. It did not impart smoke flavor to the meat.

Next, I tried placing the dry wood directly into the cake pan. Now the food is overpowered by the smokey flavor.

Also, I add more chunks after the old chunks are reduced to ashes and smoldering coals.

How can I get the smoke just right?
 

pineywoods

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Welcome to SMF glad you joined us. You can try using less wood or try placing a piece of foil over the pan and then just poke a few holes in it to allow the smoke to escape. I think the biggest mistake people make when learning to smoke is using too much wood and getting white billowing smoke. You want a Thin Blue Smoke (TBS) or no smoke and just the smell of it. We have a saying if you can smell the smoke so can the meat.
 

cheezeerider

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Joined Apr 8, 2010
Welcome to the forum. I agree with Pineywoods. I have the same smoker, and though I am by no means an expert, I would suggest breaking the chunks down a little smaller and placing them on the lava rock bed. I make sure there is about 1 1/2" of space between the wood and the element. That is what works for me. If the wood is too close to the element it will burn too quickly and ignite (it happened to me a couple times). I also put 2 pieces of charcoal on the rock bed (advice from someone else on the forum) and do the same with them. Take your time and experiment. It will take a few trial runs to get the results you want. I'm still tweaking my smokes. Keep in mind that food smoked with too little wood will taste a lot better than food smoked with too much wood.

Have fun and don't give up. Once you get it right, you won't regret it.

Enjoy!
 

richoso1

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Thanks for joining us at the SMF. In regards to your question, Pineywoods gave you some sound advise. It's all good my friend.,
 

meateater

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I use a Brinkman Gourmet electric smoker and Cowboy brand hickory, mesquite wood chunks and  apple, hickory, and mesquite chips both purchased from Lowes.

I would not use mesquite chunks until you get used to using them, to powerful for a newbie just my thoughts. Now chips burn to fast even for a newbie, I suggest getting a mellow wood in a chunk like apple or maple and soak them for a day or two on your first smoke to get used to the wood burning process. JMHO!
 

cwalk

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Joined Feb 25, 2010
Hickory is a very strong overpowering smoke anyway. I dont use it anymore cause it is to smokey. Im a fan of cherry now. But use as little hickory as possible cause it dont take much
 

phrogs4ever

Fire Starter
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11
Joined Feb 14, 2010
I personally love the bold smoke flavor of hickory on my pork butts.  It's a large enough hunk of meat that once you pull it, the inside meat blends with the stronger smokey meat nicely.

If what you're smoking is too overpowering, consider only "smoking" for the first two hours.  Don't continue adding wood chips/chunks, just let the temperature of the meat slowly get to where you need it.  I've read that meat can only absorb smoke up to 140deg, but there is no rule that says you have to add smoke for that long.  For ribs, chicken, or turkey I use a fruit wood; and a blend of fruit/pecan wood for my brisket.  The fruit woods offer a lighter, balanced flavor that everyone will enjoy.
 

squirrel

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I know when I first started I used too much wood. Jeez I nearly caught the neighborhood on fire.
 Didn't take long to figure than one out

 

eman

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I personally love the bold smoke flavor of hickory on my pork butts.  It's a large enough hunk of meat that once you pull it, the inside meat blends with the stronger smokey meat nicely.

If what you're smoking is too overpowering, consider only "smoking" for the first two hours.  Don't continue adding wood chips/chunks, just let the temperature of the meat slowly get to where you need it.  I've read that meat can only absorb smoke up to 140deg, but there is no rule that says you have to add smoke for that long.  For ribs, chicken, or turkey I use a fruit wood; and a blend of fruit/pecan wood for my brisket.  The fruit woods offer a lighter, balanced flavor that everyone will enjoy.
Meat does not stop absorbing smoke till you take it off the smoker or wrap it in foil.

The formation of the smoke ring is what stops at 140degrees.

I'd stay away from hickory and misquete untill you can get the tbs. Once you learn your smoker and learn how to controll the smoke then try the heavy smoke woods again. The fruit woods are alot harder to oversmoke with. Apple , peach or pecan are some great woods . Pecan mixes well w/ any fruit wood
 

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