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heavy smoke taste

bbq_with_a_beerbbq_with_a_beer Posts: 6
edited February 2012 in EggHead Forum
How long should I allow the charcoal to heat before starting to cook? I allowed the egg to heat up to 600° and threw on some steaks. They seem to have a nasty smoky taste. I am using bge charcoal. Any suggestions?


  • Give it the sniff test. Hold your hand over the smoke for a few seconds, then sniff your hand. If you like the way it smells, you'll like the way your food tastes. Don't get hung up on time.

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  • I find if I let the egg stabilize at a temp it does not take long for the 'bad' dark grey smoke to vanish.

    If you can see loads of smoke - it is the wrong type (Search for VOC).   As mentioned above - smell some - it it smells bad, then it will taste bad also.

    Learning to stabilize the egg will become useful when you start to try different types of cooks also as opposed to 'just' grilling.

  • What method did you use? The BGE method of shutting the egg down promotes a heavy smoke flavor because the steak grease drips on a suffocating fire, creating grease smoke. This is not good. Check out the naked whiz's T-Rex steak method. You may find his method works better for you.

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  • SteveWPBFLSteveWPBFL Posts: 1,323
    What were your cooks before this one? If it has been a while since your Egg has seen 600F you may have been trying to cook while your Egg was self cleaning!
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    I'm betting you cooked them by following the BGE method of searing and then shutting the vents. Any steak will taste bad that way from the fat dripping and smoldering with no place to go, but rib eyes especially

    How did you cook them?
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Pretty much like you are explaining. Started at 600° or so to sear and then I closed the vents down by half to lower the temp and finish cooking. Just as you said the egg filled up with smoke and fave them a bad taste.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Yeah. Incomplete combustion. Candle smells great when burning. Blow it out and the smoke smells sooty and horrible.

    Same for the egg. Trying to throttle back will choke the fire. Sooty smoke.

    There are a few ways to cook a steak on the BgE. No time to explain them. Hopefully someone will chime in re: Trex, hot tubbing, etc.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Stike* thanks for the info. Much appreciated.
  • Thanks everyone for the helpful info and looking forward to another bbq!
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited February 2012
    try these alternate ways of cooking a steak.  forget about times.  times are rough. 

    Trex (named after 'Trex' on the old forum):
    get your egg to sear temps, but don't let it sit there too long heating up. make sure the smoke is clean burning (smells good).  sear to your liking on each side.  you are going for color and sear, you are NOT cooking the steak through.  after a couple minutes each side (if it sticks, it's not ready to flip), take it off the egg and let it rest on a plate.  it will continue to warm up.  drop the egg to roast temps, about 400 max, this will take about 20 minutes (giving the steak time to warm up) .  steak goes back on (on to a raised grid even better) and is roasted at this more gentle heat, raising the core temp while not blasting (and overcooking) the exterior. Cook to your desired internal temp (get a good, fast thermometr. Thermapen is fastest), minus 5 to 7 degrees.  It will carryover that 5 to 7 as it rests on the plate before you eat it.

    Xert ('Trex', reversed), also called the reverse Trex:
    Steak goes on at a lower temp (some have gone as low as 250, but let's keep things same-same as compared to above), say 400.  Raised grid is ideal, but not critical.  Roast the steak at this lower temp to about 15 to 20 degrees shy of your ideal internal temp.  Briefly remove it while you raise the grill temp to 600, 700, 800 (whatever you like to sear at).  Put it back on to finish.  Again, pull at 5 degrees (or more, say 7) degrees shy of your desired internal temp.  It will carryover those 5 to 7 degrees while resting.

    Hot-Tub:  Put the steak in a ziploc bag (or keep it in the foodsaver vacuum bag if it's already in one), and submerge in hot tap-water (in a bowl) for a while, until the internal temp is raised.  maybe 20 minutes to half an hour.  I do not obsess about water temp, or time, so much as just seek to kill the chill, and warm the steak.  My tapwater probably hits 130 or so.  I change the water when it gets cool to the touch.  Then, take the steak out of the bag, pat the steak dry, and sear to your liking.  Keep an eye on the internal temp, because the searing will push the steak a little higher, but it will already be at 100 internal (or even higher) before it hits the grill.  this is often confused or mislabeled 'sous vide".  sous vide is an entirely different process, cooking at low heat (120, 130, 140) for extended periods of time.  This looks a lot like it, but we are merely raising the core temp of the steak.

    All three do what "leaving a steak at room temp" pretends to do.  That is, we raise the core temp of the steak gently, and independently from the searing process.   If you cook a cold steak merely by searing, blasting it with incredible heat, you will end up with a small core of 'ideal', surrounded by a lot of grey overcooked meat.  Raising the core temp (whether at the beginning, middle or end of the cook) gently, and then restricting the sear to a brief period only, gives you a perfectly done steak across the entire thickness of the meat, with the desired level of sear on the exterior.

    (had no desire to try typing that on my phone last night)
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • I have the same issue, but especially while cooking chicken thighs.  How can all the grease from the chicken skin dripping into the fire and burning be avoided? I have tried direct and indirect with a plate setter, different coal and have also tried a variety of temperatures, but no matter what I try, it all seems to taste like burnt grease. My temperatures are stable before I put the thighs on and the smoke is fine before putting the chicken on.  Once the thighs go on though, thick smoke pours out of the top (which I have also tried with and without the daisy wheel on ) the entire time. I have thought about trying a drip pan, but I figured the grease would just burn in the pan as well and make a huge mess. Any suggestions?
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    try a drip pan over the plate setter.  if you use an actual pan, you'll have to clean it.  but i use two pieces of aluminum foil (heavy duty).

    lay them on top of each other on your counter.  fold of one edge a couple times very tightly, to crimp them together.  then unfold them like a newspaper page.  working in a circle, crimp the excess to from a round throwaway pan the size of your platesetter.

    it's crinkled enough that there's some space under it (so it doesn't burn).  after the cook, next day when the grease is cold, i just fold it up on itself and toss in the trash
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Thanks Stike.  If I wanted to cook a lot of chicken(16-20 thighs) on my large BGE, some of the thighs on the perimeter would still be hanging over the edges of the plate setter and still dripping directly over the coals then burning.  Can the chicken be cooked on mutiple levels so that ALL the chicken is directly over the plate setter and the homemade drip pan you describe catches as much grease as possible or will the grease from the top level create issues when dripping onto the chicken at the lower level?  Also, do you think cooking at two different levels like this will result in chicken that is done at two different times?

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