Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Hop on down to your nearest EGG dealer this week to pick up some Easter EGGcessories! Here are a few that may be useful for Easter, the V-rack, electric charcoal lighter and flexible skewers! Now that Spring is in the air, it's time to think about getting out to one of the many #EGGfests around the country - see a list here

Too Much of a Smokey Flavor

Hi guys, 
First week using the egg.  So far I have cooked chicken wings, pork roast, a brisket, and more chicken wings.  The first 3 cooks I did I used soaked Maple chips which came out really good..  For the brisket I did a 7 hour slow cook at about 200 degrees which was cooked almost to perfection, the problem however was I felt it had too much of a smokey flavor.  Someone even commented and said "it tastes like a camp fire" lol.  Everyone still seemed to enjoy it though I personally was disappointed because I thought it had a 'camp fire' taste as well. (i may have used the wrong wood to smoke with, I used what I thought was a OAK log that I cut up in to small pieces but it may not have been) The following day I cooked chicken wings again without the wood I used the previous day, I went back to the soaked maple chips and again I felt the smokey flavor was too powerful like the day before.  Does anyone have any idea what I could be doing wrong or what I can do to get a good smokey flavor not "camp fire".

Thanks

Comments

  • NDGNDG Posts: 615
    I had this issue when I first started as well.  I found out that the key was to let your coals (especially if you have a "new" batch of charcoal) burn for a longer period of time before putting on your food.  What you are probably tasting is "bad smoke" aka the "VOC"  volatile organic compounds that have not burned off the new charcoal yet.  This will make your food taste like a camp fire.  I always wait about 20 mins for these to burn off, then do a quick smell test before starting my cook.  For the smell test, just waft your hand over the top of the egg  .  . . what you smell is what your food will taste like.  Other do this test by sight rather than smell, and wait until the smoke is clear rather than blue (blue = camp fire).  

    That is my take, but I would do some more research on this forum by typing in "bad smoke" or "VOC" to get other options . . good luck!  
    Columbus, Ohio
  • Gotta wait for the clear smoke.
    Piero from South Etobicoke in Toronto, XL-BGE
  • Mud PigMud Pig Posts: 433
    You may also want to try chunks instead of chips for a low and slow.  I only use wood chips for burgers or steak.  Everything that goes more than an hour gets chunks.  Once the initial bunr is over you get a nice blue smoke for a much longer period of time.
  • tshuggztshuggz Posts: 12
    now when you say clear smoke, do you actually mean clear or white?
  • tshuggztshuggz Posts: 12
    Im sorry I am confused.  What is blue smoke? When I put the wood chips on it made a thick white smoke and that is all I've seen.
  • NDGNDG Posts: 615
    The smoke color debate is tough - this is why I go by smell.  In general, you want to stabilize your egg so you get a clear smoke or, as some say, a nice thin blue smoke.  Disregard my response about about blue always being bad - I find it hard to distinguish smoke color between blue and white sometimes.  To make it simple, burn your charcoal longer and avoid the heavy nasty white smoke . . . then report back - good luck  !
    Columbus, Ohio
  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,036
    The key for me is not smoke color.  I take a whiff of the air coming out of the top vent.  If it smells good, the grill is ready.  If it smells camp fire, then give it another 5 - 10 minutes and and take another whiff.

    Another source of odor can be grease drippings.  Lots of grease drippings and a small fire can result in nasty smoke.  If I do wings, I have a drip tray raised off of my platesetter a tiny bit to provide air circulation under it for indirect. If I do them direct, I'm doing them at 400* or above so the grease is burning in a fire.  If grease has dripped all over the egg, you may want to heat it up to 600* and burn it off before your next cook.
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • First week!  Welcome - I agree with posts above.  

    Lump can affect 'smokiness' too.  Usually you get a free bag of green egg lump, and that is smokey stuff.  I use Ozark Oak, nice mild flavor.  I add wood chips/chucks to get the smoke if  I want - and it doesn't take much.

    Great resource here:


    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Austin, Texas.  I'm the guy holding a beer.
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 4,063
    Like @ndg said most likely you just need to give the egg more time to stabilize and "trust your nose".  Hold your hand over the top of the egg and then smell your hand.  

    You may have also simply used to much wood.  You mentioned it was a "log".  Was it fire wood that had been dried out (seasoned)?  

    Also - you said you were cooking at 200.  Is that dome temp?  That is a pretty low temperature to cook at the entire time so the fire might have been in a constant state of "snuffing" and relighting.  I would suggest raising the temp to around 250 dome at least to get a steady burning fire. 


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 
  • tshuggztshuggz Posts: 12
    Wow, now that you say that it makes sense. For the first two cooks which I considered to be better than my last three I used Cowboy lump charcoal and then I switched to the green egg lump.  I will try to Ozark Oak Lump charcoal, thanks for the tip.  
    One more question I need to clarify.....
    When I decide to add wood chips for extra smoke.  I soak them for an hour or so then when I add them on they create a thick white smoke.  Do I let the white smoke pass before adding food?

    Thanks
  • My rule is simple: If the smoke smells bad, food tastes bad. If the smoke smells good, food tastes good.

    My family is smoke sensitive so I don't add a lot of wood for smoke. Some, but not a lot.

    ........................................................................................

    Flint, Michigan.  Named the most dangerous city in America by the F.B.I. three years running.

  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,036
    tshuggz said:
    When I decide to add wood chips for extra smoke.  I soak them for an hour or so then when I add them on they create a thick white smoke.  Do I let the white smoke pass before adding food?

    Thanks
    No need to wait. 

    I don't use chips (I use chunks), but I think most people do not soak them.  There's no harm in it, but if you have spread the chips around, the fire will get to them and you'll have smoke throughout the cook.  This is especially true on low and slow.
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • My family is also sensitive to the heavy smoke taste. I personally only use smoke wood on ribs, brisket or pulled pork. In other words, low and slow. On any other cook, we get enough smoke for our taste from the lump itself.
    Clarendon Hills, IL
  • I don't soak - the forum talked me out of the need to do it. I use chunks mainly.  If you are using seasoned wood, the water only soaks in a little and doesn't make much difference.  Don't use green wood...

    @Fred19Flinstone has it - smells good, tastes good.  I'd try a few cooks with lump only until you are happy with your lump choice. The engineer in me says "modify one variable at a time."

    have fun!
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Austin, Texas.  I'm the guy holding a beer.
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 4,825
    For a new egger, I suggest you let the lump do the talking, or smoking. Try a few cooks with just the lump, no smoke wood whatsoever. This gives a base point. When you do add smoke wood, it is spread throughout the lump and added before you light. The egg can add an almost overwhelming smoke flavour without seeing smoke coming from the DFMT. 
    I've never been able to get my egg to hold at 200º grid. Were you reading your dome thermo and has it been calibrated? Assume the brisket was between 3 and 5 pounds. With a calibrated dome thermo, try at least a 250º dome temp. 


    Delta B.C., Canuckistan - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
Sign In or Register to comment.