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Cold Smoke Test Run, smoke smells bitter???

smokesniffersmokesniffer Posts: 2,016
edited February 2013 in EggHead Forum
Well let me tell you, I love all this bacon talk on this forum. Picked up an 8 lb pork belly yesterday and it is curing in the fridge as we type. I wanted to try the cold smoke method, so bought a few parts and threw them together and fired up small egg. She is sitting at 225* and right now the Large egg is at 71*, put the thermopen down the top vent. Seems to work well enough. Ambient temperature today is 42*. Question to anyone who cares to answer, I am using apple wood chunks that I cut by hand with a hand saw, so now oil from a chainsaw. The smoke smells kind of bitter. I don't use a lot of smoke in my cooks so I don't know if this is normal or not. Should I just store bought chips or chunks. Would it smell better? I don't want to screw up 8 lbs of belly. I would have some serious explaining to do.
Large, small, and a mini


  • FockerFocker Posts: 8,291

    Is the wood seasoned or green?  From what I can remember, seasoning wood means to let the wood dry for a full cycle of year. 

    I would buy some chips and compare.  Chips may be better at consistent cold smoking over chunks.  Also, it may be easier to control the amount of smoke using chips. 

    billyray and Mighty_Quinn use this setup.  They may be of more help.  

    Quad Cities
    "If yer gonna denigrate, familiarity with the subject is helpful."

  • I use seasoned chunks and don't notice any bitter smell. I drop 2 on the fire and let them get going for 10 minutes or so before putting bellies on large.

    I get the fire in the small up to 300ish, but I don't think that should really matter here. I do wonder why you're seeing a rise in temp inside the large. I haven't seen an increase at all working in those ambient temps and my fire is hotter. If I touch the dryer hose, it's only warm the first foot or so heat not getting all the way to large egg.
  • Hi guys. My wood is seasoned. Did feel the vent and it was only warm to touch right close to the cap.I might try another trail run and run the small running a bit hotter. And what temperature should the egg with the bellies be at? Thank you for all your help, and willingness to help answer a rookie dump questions.
    Large, small, and a mini
  • Under 90 is ideal for bacon...I personally would even try to stay well under 80.
  • Thanks Mighty Quinn, I will do another rest run and try to dial in the small's temp. Going to give the seasoned apple a shot. Does about 6 or so hours of smoke sound about right? I have heard of people going longer but wonder if that is to much of a smoke.
    Large, small, and a mini
  • Of course that's a matter of preference. My last batch I went 11 hours and its seems perfect for me... I like a nice smokey bacon though. I would think 6-8 hours would be a good start. You could always pull it and slice a piece to try, keeping in mind the smoke will be stronger on the end piece you slice off and it will mellow with time. Throw it back on if you want more smoke.
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 6,925
    I did 6 hours of smoke but my AMS went out twice. Prolly got 5 hours of smoke. Got great smoke color and I let mine rest in freezer bags in fridge for a few days after because it smelled so strong. When I cook it I can barely taste smoke. Just an FYI
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
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