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Smoke

ViennaJackViennaJack Posts: 357
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
One thing I have yet to master since getting the LBGE last October is using wood chunks for flavor smoke.

When I used my bullet smoker it was no problem, I either soaked the chunks of wrapped them in HDAF with a couple of fork holes and got perfect results every time.

On the Egg I've tried similar methods and obviously I'm not doing something right. I've had good results on a couple of occasions and have had oversmoked food on others (you know, the kind of oversmoking with the bitter nasty taste where the skin on the chicken has to be discarded or the outside of the roast has to be scrubbed in order to make the food edible!)

I've read that some here use chunks without soaking and that others soak. I've gotten to the point now where I settle for whatever smoke flavor I get from the lump, which is OK but gets a little boring. I want to start using hickory and apple again.

The other day I tried a chunk of hickory wrapped in foil on a 250* low and slow picnic shoulder cook and I ended up pulling the wood out and extinguishing it when it seemed like it was smoking way too much, even in the foil.

So how about y'all? Please share your smoke secrets here! Chips or chunks? Soak or dry? HDAF?

Comments

  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    I have a hard time finding chunks out here, mostly use small chips. I use sprinkle some chips on the lump and usually put in 3 AF soaked chip tubs with holes and let it go.

    If I have chunks, I put them in dry. One in the glowing lump and two others in areas that will take some time to ignite.

    GG
  • DynaGreaseballDynaGreaseball Posts: 1,409
    What works for me is simple. I always plan to get all of the smoke flavor added in the beginning of the cook. In other words, I don't use much wood, and I let it smoke until it appears to have almost completely disappeared before I put the meat on. Some say the color of the smoke should be light blue (having turned from the heavy looking, kinda gray color when first started burning). Well, my eyesight must not be all that great. To me it gets its best flavor once all the smoke color has begun to disappear.

    I never spread chips or chunks around so that it will keep smoking throughout the cook. Seems to me, that defeats the purpose of letting the new smoke burn off. Maybe, with my way, it only works for a 1/2 hour or so. Probably contrary to what others do, but this works for me. GOOD LUCK!
  • DynaGreaseballDynaGreaseball Posts: 1,409
    I think smoke flavor preference is one of those things that varies with every cook, and family. My brother loves the smoke flavor so much he puts the meat on when the smoke is gray and billowing. And he tries to prolong the smoke production for as long as he can. Just too smokey and bitter for me. But...whatever floats your boat, huh?
  • Bob-OBob-O Posts: 211
    Ditto on how I smoke. I never soak wood. It is very easy to over smoke on the egg.
  • EggtuckyEggtucky Posts: 2,746
    Takes some experimenting Jack to find what you and yours like..I like the smokier the better on just about everything..then there's the 'soak' 'no soak' debate..not to mention the let it stop smoking before you add the meat debate...I see professional bbq'ers do it both ways successfully..personally..there is a lot of smoke flavor retained in the egg and the lump if you let it at least clear the heavy smoke before adding the meat..to me this gives a much more subtle smoked flavor..for heavier flavor..I have put the meat on as soon as I add the chunks..also I do it a little different depending on the cut..for ribs..I let the smoke clear and take them straight from the fridge to the egg (not room temp)..for butts..I let them sit for an hour or so at room temp before putting them on..for long cooks..I sometimes layer the chips in the lump as I add it to the egg...you can get eggcellent and various results with the egg..just takes some experimenting.. ;)
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Eggtucky,

    I used to layer the chips, however, I also change chip flavor often. When layering I will always have some chips in the lump for several cooks.

    Chunks straight in combo with foil tubs (with water) will allow a delayed/prolonged flavor smoke. Once done I remove the AF tubs and the lump is still clean for the next change of flavor.

    Speaking of flavor smoke, I really like fruit woods, apple and cherry. I just tried some grape vine. Grape has a sweet smelling smoke and the flavor in the meat is really good.

    At times we like a very heavy smoke flavor, the direct/foil combination works well for us.

    GG
  • Mike in AbitaMike in Abita Posts: 3,302
    I use chunks when available. (Never seen Jack Daniels Oak barrel chunks) I normally place three or four good size chunks in with the lump and then start the egg. Allow the temp to stabilize at which point most if not all of the smoke has cleared. Then put my food on. :)
  • Beanie-BeanBeanie-Bean Posts: 3,092
    Jack,

    I've given up on the soaking method, which is what I always did back in the kettle days. In fact, I was still soaking wood until about two months ago. Depending on how much smoke you like on your food, I'd throw a chunk of wood on (I put mine directly in the center of the cooker on the lump) and let it catch on fire and smoke for a few minutes. Lately, my gauge that it's safe to put the food in there is that my eyes aren't crying anymore when I open the lid :laugh: Seriously! You still get some nice smoke for whatever you're cooking after the thick/heavy stuff has burned off for a few minutes. That's the stuff I've found to be bitter--especially mesquite.

    The chunk size I generally go for in the bag of wood is one about the size of a coke can cut in half. That seems to do just fine for whatever I'm trying to smoke. I still have some chips, and just sprinkle those in with the lump for the low-and-slow cooks. For anything else, I'm going for the chunks.

    Hope this helps.
  • ViennaJackViennaJack Posts: 357
    Thank you all for the feedback. I think what I've been missing here is waiting long enough for the wood to burn and "stabilize". I can particularly relate to the eyes-burning comment - that's how I knew that I was on the way to oversmoking the other day when I ended up pulling the wood out. The smoke was harsh and just not right.

    I'll try your suggestions, thanks again!
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