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Smoke taste

Absolute newb here. I have done chicken halves, burgers, steaks and had a run at spare ribs. Love the info on the forum. I got pretty good with my Weber gas but was really looking for being able to do low and slow as well as the taste of charcoal from my youth. There's the thing. I've been really happy so far. I've heard of kids saying "this burger tastes funny" because they have no familiarity with charcoal. I didn't count on my wife though. I realize that asking meat cooked over lump charcoal not to have some smoke taste is like complaining that the swimming pool is wet. However, I think I'm to fault here. I notice that the smell/taste early on is much more pungent and not as pleasant as later in the cook. I think my impatience has resulted in doing a fair amount of cooking while burning off the VOCs. In the experience of the folks here, do you think that could be the case? If it is, what is the best way of avoiding this on direct cooks as well as low and slow? I think I've developed a pretty good idea on this but am looking for the voice of experience. Thanks.


  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,770
    First up-welcome aboard.  Reading your post you have a good sense of the issue; the resident VOC's in the lump.  The easiest solution is to wait til the "smoke smells good".  This is a variable based on new/used lump, volume of burning lump, final cooking temperature and your nose sensitivity.  I would just wait til the smoke (or in many cases-no smoke) smells right then start the cook.  A frequent topic of concern out of the gate.  FWIW- 
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • ncmoosencmoose Posts: 10
    Thanks. Looking over things it looks like it is an issue for new users. (Use the search, man) Same reason my shirt smells bad when I light things up, I guess.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,770
    I happen to like the smoke shirt smell but SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) has a whole different opinion :)>-
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • Billy Grill EggsterBilly Grill Eggster Posts: 404
    edited August 2013
    I'll agree with lousubcap. wait for the smoke to not smell like smoke and wait a little longer. Also the choice of lumps will make a difference. I find lump made of Mesquite and some other South American woods tend to have a stronger smoke taste.  USA made Oak has the least smokey flavor I feel.

    Wilson, NC
    Large BGE - WiFi Stoker - Thermapen - 250 Cookbooks

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