Web Analytics Made Easy -
StatCounter
Jump to content
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Dono

Smoke Struggles

Recommended Posts

I traded in my stick burner for a BB32 and I absolutely love it.  But I struggle to get a decent amount of smoke flavor.  My most recent cook was a brisket and I was experimenting with a higher temp cook; 320.  I used several pieces of pecan and 3 pieces of post oak.  About 7 or so pieces all about the size of a guys fist buried in a full basket of charcoal.  And I also put some post oak in my small smoking pot on top of the charcoal, holes down.  I got a decent bark and smoke ring and the brisket was super juicy, but the smoke flavor wasn’t quite there.  Apologies no pictures.  The same thing happened to my pork butt and the beef and pork ribs too.  Those cooks were lower temp about 275 or so.  I feel like my chicken is about right, cause it really doesn’t take to much smoke on the birds.  Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions on how to amp up the smoke taste?  I mean, I don’t want it to overwhelm, just be a little more aggressive. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Dono,

I've had HEAPS of smoke with the few low/slow cooking sessions I've had with my KK.

My first brisket was cooked with a handful or two of mesquite pellets in a simple foil pack with a few holes stabbed into it... so much smoke that I was worried the neighbours would call the fire-brigade, and got told off by the wife as even with all windows shut the house was smokey inside...(photo below).

More recently ribs done using the KK external smoker attachment again with pellets; also heaps of smoke.

After the epic smoke-fest that was the brisket, I toned things down when doing my pulled pork- and used a few wood chunks as you have done; with a more subtle smoke profile (and happier wife).

I'm sure others will chime in- but there are options if you want to up the smoke!

Cheers

Remi

9432aed6-b445-49d3-8dc1-7e2125622b31.jpg

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On your longer cooks, like ribs, butts and brisket, you can try spraying them periodically with apple juice/cider vinegar/water/bourbon/beer - whatever strikes your fancy. Smoke likes a damp surface to stick to, so by lightly spritzing the meat during the cook after the bark sets (several hours in), say every 30 mins to an hour, you will pick up some more smoke flavor. Just be careful and don't overdo the spraying each time, as you don't want to wash off that lovely bark that you've worked so hard to create. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had the same issue with the last few butts I smoked - very tender and moist with a great smoked ring but very little smoke flavor. I actually smoked one last week in the KK but didn't post pics because I was so aggravated with the lack of smoke flavor. I've cooked ribs and beef that had a nice smoke flavor, but they were relatively short cooks (4 to 6 hours vs. 12 to 16 hours for the butts)

I've tried both with and without using a smoke pot as well as using a heavy rub and a light dusting of SPG. I've had success in the past;  the only thing I can think of is where I bought the butts - I've been taking my mother to the grocery store and, since she doesn't like my preferred store and I don't like her preferred store, we've been going to a compromise store that has a different brand of pork products. The labels on at least some of the butts from this store have had a blurb indicating that they may have been injected with a brine solution - I'm wondering if that is at least part of the issue.

I've ordered the KK cold smoker;  its scheduled for delivery Monday and will use that for my next attempt. The compromise grocery store had butts on sale for $0.99/lb and I couldn't resist that price and bought the limit of 2. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, jeffshoaf said:

The compromise grocery store had butts on sale for $0.99/lb and I couldn't resist that price and bought the limit of 2. 

That's an excellent price. Meat prices have gone crazy the last couple of months, so I'm always on the lookout for a good bargain, even if I have to drop down a bit in quality over my usual brands/grades. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/1/2021 at 10:58 AM, jeffshoaf said:

I've ordered the KK cold smoker;  its scheduled for delivery Monday and will use that for my next attempt. The compromise grocery store had butts on sale for $0.99/lb and I couldn't resist that price and bought the limit of 2. 

I have been thinking about doing the same @jeffshoaf.  Thought before I do, I’ll play around with it a little more.  If my experience had not been so consistent over several different types of cooks, I might question the meat as well.  But my purchases have been from multiple places.  My next test is going to be the mesquite that @mguerra recommended and the spraying that @tony b recommended.  I rarely used mesquite in the off-set because it was such an assertive flavor.   I salt brine stuff now, where I did not in the past.  So I may ease up on that and go back to the old way of seasoning.  Right before the cook.  I’m also questioning if the kiln dried wood chunks are the culprit.  I never used those before my KK.  

The last thought….I have noticed that using to many wood chunks definitely causes flare ups and makes the temp harder to control.  It’s all good, just making my way through it.  Thanks for your thoughts!  

I would appreciate knowing how your cold smoker works out for you.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Dono said:

I would appreciate knowing how your cold smoker works out for you.  

The cold smoker was delivered yesterday and I'm planning on using it Saturday with a spatchcocked chicken. Since the chicken is a relatively short, cook, I can monitor the cold smoker pretty closely for that -- I tend to put butts in the KK around 8 or 9 pm and let then go overnight and I wouldn't be able to sleep worrying about the cold smoker if that was my first use!

I picked up some apple chips for the chicken but will used hickory for the butt. 

Edited by jeffshoaf
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Dono said:

Appreciate the “cold” advice @DennisLinkletter and @jeffshoaf.  I do tend to take my meat out about an hour or more before going on the grill. Will try it out on the next cook.  

I think letting meat come to room temperature before cooking is one of those things that everyone "knows" that has been passed down for years without question that just isn't valid, like searing sealing in the meat juices. Every thing I've seen where someone actually tests it by comparing a room temperature cut to a refrigerator temperature cut cooked the same way at the same time has shown no advantage to tempering. Even some of the folks who are obsessive over food safety don't question the tempering thing.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



×
×
  • Create New...