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Lighter Fluid taste in food??

grillgirlgrillgirl Posts: 5
edited 8:13AM in EggHead Forum
If no lighter fluid is used - why would a lighter fluid taste be in the food. Lump Charcoal Used with wood chips?
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Comments

  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    How long did you let the lump burn before putting the meat on?

    Mike
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  • I let it get up to 400 degree's and about 20 minutes.
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  • Make sure the smoke is clear then add food.
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  • crghc98crghc98 Posts: 1,006
    Once you get it up to temp let the fire burn for awhile until you are getting no smoke, or that light bluish smoke....your were picking up the smoke from a fire that was not burning cleanly....
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  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    Like Louisiana Redneck said, was the smoke clear or a hint of blue. Not gray or white.

    Mike
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  • The smoke should be clear - not white? I can't recall if the smoke was white or clear when I added the food?
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  • Would that be the only reason that it would have that flavor - the smoke color?
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  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,938
    dont put the food on until the smoke smells like a clean burning wood fire, if it smells bad your food will taste bad. ;)
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  • Smell it, thats a good response.
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  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,938
    fresh lump needs to burn a little before it burns clean, the smoke will turn almost transparant when burning well. also leftover grease from a previous cook could be in there and still needs to be burned off a little
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  • Thanks everyone. I'll make sure to look for the color of the smoke! :)
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  • I've noticed sometimes that going by smoke color doesn't always work for me. It's probably more a matter of the background color that I'm trying to view the smoke against (neighbor's house/yard) than anything else, but sometimes when I think I've got a clean fire going, I'll go out and open the dome and get a whiff of stinky, burning-tire reek. I generally just follow my nose, when it comes to deciding when to put the food on. Once I can't smell the chemical odor, I'm good to go.

    Time is also very variable. It's going to depend on what brand (even what batch) of lump you're using, how big/hot of a fire you've got going, etc. Sometimes it takes only a few minutes, sometimes (low temps, especially) it takes more than a half hour...usually around the 15-20 minute mark for me.

    It's always nice using lump leftover from a previous cook...no wait time needed...clean from the get-go.

    And it's not always the lump, either. I've had pizza come out tasting nasty because I had a messy plate-setter. The burning grease on the plate setter gave off a similar stench and ruined my pizza. Now I wrap my plate setter in foil, or use a drip pan for indirect cooks.
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  • One thing that hasn't been mentioned so far is what may have spilled down onto the coals on the previous cook. That could be coming back to haunt you.

    Also, you can start out with new lump and build a 400° fire without actually burning all of the new lump along the sides. And as you are cooking, the fire gradually spreads to the new lump giving off the yucky stuff right into your food.

    I've heard of some Eggheads doing a one-hour burn before cooking anything. I'm guessing they are trying to get rid of all the bad stuff before putting their expensive meat on. I typically go about 45 minutes but have been known to be impatient. It's a Taurus thing.

    Finally, I've had new lump go 'sour' on me. Storing in a damp place will cause it, or did in my case. Of course I didn't know it was sour until after the fire was going pretty good, then it stunk. Just like the others said, smell it and you will know when it's ready. This is also true when you use smoking wood. Not all smoking woods are clean.

    Spring "Lots Of Things Don't Pass The Smell Test These Days" Chicken
    Spring Texas USA
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  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,938
    there is one other thing, how did you light the lump, sometimes if you add food too fast the starter cube or sawdust wax block etc hasnt had time to burn out and that can be nasty as well
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  • All the above answers are helpful. What may seem confusing is how do you use wood chips in this scenario.

    When I get a good, clean fire (I will sniff the smoke coming out of the dome), then I put my dry wood chips (hickory, apple, maple, whatever) on the coals just before putting my meat on the grill. That seems to maximize the exposure to the smoke.

    For low and slow cooks, I intersperse either chips or (preferably) chunks, throughout the lump. I then light the lump on top and as it burns down, it encounters new wood during the cook.
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  • tach18ktach18k Posts: 1,607
    I alwasy bring my egg to 250 and hold for 30 minutes till I'm ready to bring it to cook temp. Better cooking at 250 for 30 minutes than watch 400 go up in smoke for 30 minutes. I always put my new lump on top, and I also make sure the old sauce has burned off, also make sure all your cooking items , grate, plate setter, and things are in the egg as well.
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  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,339
    And trust your nose!
    Better luck next time. You have received good advice.
    Chris
    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
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  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,339
    Good post Ben. The nose is all powerful, and should be trusted. If the smoke smells good (and clean smoke smells REALLY good) it's time to put your food on. There is no particular time to wait. So many variables which can all be simplified by using your nose....and starting your fire early if possible.

    This is a great thread, and will be educational for many.

    Hey...regarding what many say are bad vibes to the forum....All you folks out there getting into these long threads yap yapping and trying to prove a point....I understand. It's freakin winter and the days are long. It happens every year. This forum is great.

    All the best.
    Chris
    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
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  • Instead of Yapping, they ALL need to be doing inventory and placing orders for fresh DP rubs in preparation for the "Great Spring" cooking season! :woohoo: :woohoo:

    PS - That includes me - the ole Ragin' River is getting REAL low. :ohmy: :ohmy:
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  • RVHRVH Posts: 523
    Ben, just view the smoke with a 7% neutral gray card as a background...you DO have a 7% neutral gray card, don't you? :P
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  • RVHRVH Posts: 523
    Some of the best advice I've received is:
    1) don't even think about placing the food on the grid until the smoke has a pleasing aroma.
    2) when you think you are ready to place the food, wait
    another 10 minutes.
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  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,339
    Good advice, but you can skip #2 once you get #1 down!
    Cheers
    Chris
    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
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  • RVHRVH Posts: 523
    Hi, Chris. You are, of course, right. But #2 is a good failsafe for #1.
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  • I just place an order for Raging River, Swamp Venom, and Cowlick yesterday. Had them throw in a tee shirt for good measure.
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  • BullyCBullyC Posts: 142
    hI Grillgirl

    Most of responses seemed very good, but I actually had same thing happen to me once. It was not bad smoke or
    old food flavor, IT was actually the Lump itself.
    I bought a bag of lump from Whole Foods. OMG
    this Lump was so bad I could not believe it. Forgot the name on it but again it was sold at Whole foods.
    Horrible, Use quality lump, like royal oak, wicked good,
    BGE Go to Naked whiz.com and you will learn a lot about Lump. Good luck Bullyc
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  • BullyCBullyC Posts: 142
    hI Grillgirl

    Most of responses seemed very good, but I actually had same thing happen to me once. It was not bad smoke or
    old food flavor, IT was actually the Lump itself.
    I bought a bag of lump from Whole Foods. OMG
    this Lump was so bad I could not believe it. Forgot the name on it but again it was sold at Whole foods.
    Horrible, Use quality lump, like royal oak, wicked good,
    BGE Go to Naked whiz.com and you will learn a lot about Lump. Good luck Bullyc
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  • :silly:
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  • Does the same advice hold for when one is using wood chunks only, no coal? I ask because, before receiving a Green Egg (am staining the table this weekend!), I have been using a Smoke Vault which is a propane fueled smoker with wood chunks sitting atop a thick metal plate. The smoke has been heavy in the beginning which I took to be a good thing ~ it wasn't until I read this forum that I realized that I may have been making a newbie mistake all this time. Should I have / should I be waiting for the smoke to clear? (I do plan to continue using this set-up in conjunction with the egg...more space to cook and feed the hordes! :woohoo: )
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