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Burning Wing Drippings

I cooked wings on my large yesterday for the first time, and I had a mess with burning drippings. (375 indirect; giant wings, three to a pound) My drip pan was elevated off the platesetter by a half inch. I had a healthy fire going. About 20 minutes into the cook, smoke was just pouring out of the egg. I thought of putting water into the drip pan, but I didn't want to "steam" the wings; I wanted them crisp. Fortunately, the wings didn't pick up a "bad smoke" taste (my stepson, an aficionado, kept saying, "These have such a great taste!"), but I want to avoid this situation in the future. Suggestions? 
Owner of a large and a beloved mini in Philadelphia


  • BYS1981BYS1981 Posts: 2,115
    So let me see if I have your scenario correct.

    After your fire was at temp and smoke was clear you put on wings that put out a white smoke? You didn't mention acrid tasting which is a characteristic of bad smoke, so I assume the smoke you saw was stuff that missed drip pan or landed in a hot drip pan.

    I usually don't worry about that smoke because it is commom with chicken, but ways to reduce it would be drip pan, like you used, and putting drip pan in the last minute might help too. My thinking with last minute drip pan is it will not be as hot to create smoke when fat renders and drips into the drip pan.

    Personally, I haven't noticed a taste difference so I don't worry about it.
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 7,268
    I have seen something like this and I wonder if it is liquid from the chicken actually burning and making steam.  I agree if it didn't smell too bad I wouldn't worry about it too much. 

    One tip I have heard is putting sand in a drip pan.

    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • After wearing out two drip pans, i just started using the light weight foil to protect my plate setter.  Works like a champ!!  And i just wad it up and throw it away.  And the drippings never stain the plate setter. 
  • Never had an issue with a raised drip pan, must have been some fire. Overdrip might have caused it as some one noted. I've also heard some posters use salt in the drip pan. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • jlsmjlsm Posts: 862
    No overdrip. The initial smoke cleared. And no acrid taste. Might have been steam, but it was a hell of a lot of it. Might try sand or salt, though seems like a waste.  
    Owner of a large and a beloved mini in Philadelphia

  • Much discussion on this over the years.  The consensus always is that burnt drippings don't add anything negative to the cook.  In other words, I don't ever add water to the pan, I just cover my pan with foil for easy cleanup and let the drippings turn into a black mess.  Never noticed any bad taste from this.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • I like the smoke -- it makes my neighbors go crazy !!
  • FockerFocker Posts: 2,178

    I add water to the pan.  Burnt drippings do cause a nasty, acrid, off-flavor.

    Indirect was always my method of choice with the Weeber, and it transferred over to the egg.  But I usually don't like to hover over a grill and flip constantly.

    Tried spatchcocking and doing a brick chicken with a CI round griddle and CI burger press.  The chicken was practically fried due to the excessive amount of grease.  Couldn't imagine all of that burning in the lump and creating something positive. Smell the egg when those drippings are burning...not good.  

    Quad Cities

  • I think the grease drippings flash when they hit the foil and cause the flames that help make the wings crispy.  I can see the flames following the inside curvature of the dome almost touching the wings stacked up "high in the dome".  I never turn them and they come out crispy and ready to be sauced.


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