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Open Lid leading to Bitter Taste

OMG EggsOMG Eggs Posts: 118
edited 12:14PM in EggHead Forum
I've been egging for almost a year now, but for the most part I'm doing low & slow, steaks and inferno temp pizza.

This weekend I did some multi-level grilling with Kabobs, corn and some other veggies. The food all had kind of a bitter taste.

I think I've got a pretty good grasp on the problem - I was opening the lid pretty frequently to adjust everything and this was causing more coals to light up resulting in some bitter flavors. That said, I'm not sure about what I should do to prevent this from happening in the future.

Other info, I filled the coals to the top of the firebox and let it burn for about 45 minutes. Grill temp was about 400 at the grate and I did a direct cook.

Any suggestions? Thanks


  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    It is a fact that opening the dome will cause the lump to flame up given enough free air exposure time.

    When there is flame there is less smoke and I would think that would lead only to a burn of the food if that. Acrid smoke will create an acrid flavor in the food.

    Acrid smoke can come from putting the food on the egg too quickly after a light or adding flavor wood to a hot lump bed.

    The egg doesn't need to have a high lump level to cook at high temperatures as long as the cook is not too long in time. Keep in mind there are few foods that need high temperatures for long periods of time.

    Here is a fire in the large with high temperature, using all old very small pieces of lump from previous cooks. The aver age size is about the size of a thumb from the first knuckle to the end of the thumb. The lump is loaded to just above the holes in the fire box.




  • stevesailsstevesails Posts: 990
    was the smoke clear when you put on the food. sometimes takes an hour for me to get it that way.. I always give myself an hour, just when i thnk it is never going to go clear, it clears up
    XL   Walled Lake, MI

  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    An hour seems like a long time to me. How are you lighting your lump bed and in how many places?

  • stevesailsstevesails Posts: 990
    an hour may be an exageration. 35 -40 is probably closer, I have an XL, using royal oak from Walmart, and i use the weed burner, I light an area about 6 inch diameter.
    XL   Walled Lake, MI

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,203
    two ways i know to get that bittter taste. last few cooks were low and slows like chicken thighs done direct, or when i havent used the egg in a couple weeks and it got really damp in there. if its really wet it as taken 2 to 3 hours to burn clean for me, the only test is to smell the smoke before putting the food on, if it smells clean your good to go
  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    Did you use some sort of marinade on the kabobs? Perhaps oil dripping on the coals creating a bitter taste? I cook with the dome open often. As long as the lump is burning clean, the only off flavors that are generated are a result of something I have allowed to drip on the lump (oils, fats, liquids, etc).
  • stevesailsstevesails Posts: 990
    The other thing i do to reduse the burnt fat taste is to cook with the DFMT completely off when cooking chicken and things that drip and burn. adjust temp woht the lower vent control. I seems to get the "bad" smoke out of the egg faster.
    XL   Walled Lake, MI

  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    I suppose it is worth mentioning/speculating that with small pieces of lump, you can get high temps if you only put a small amount in because the air can get trough the thinner layer of lump, vs. a big pile of small pieces.
    The Naked Whiz
  • OMG EggsOMG Eggs Posts: 118
    You guys are awesome! I'll give all of these suggestions a shot, really appriciate the replys
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    I haven't used an XL so not sure of the charastics, but lighting with a weedburner should all but eliminate any 'bad smoke' at all. When I light the large or smaller eggs it only takes 2 to 5 minutes and the lump is lit and the smoke exiting the dome is usually pleasant - not acrid at all.

  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    I have noticed that too. If I want very little smoke flavor in the food I will leave the DFMT off the egg's too. Cowboy Lump seems to have less smoke aroma than RO. I mostly use RO and some Mexican mesquite.

  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    That burn was done back when folks were saying not to use small pieces of lump as they can not get to a higher temperature.

    Guess I will have to start saving some up and try a top of firebox level burn/cook.

    I would guess with thumb size lump it will take some wiggle rod use, but once the lump bed is burning and has developed a good draw it will burn fine. The more wood surface the more intense the burn will be.

  • stevesailsstevesails Posts: 990
    I can appreciate that, I have found that if i dont let the smoke burn clear,, not blue, but clear, My wife hates the food that I make,

    so, I just go with the flow, takes a little longer to get the cook started, but since it is the first thing i do, all the prep stuff can be done while is it getting ready and coming up to temp.
    XL   Walled Lake, MI

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