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I'm having an issue with my smoking

I'm still feeling my way around the egg so bear with me.  I've cooked a chicken and leg of lamb with apple wood chunks and they came out okay but both tasted over smoked and almost metallic.  I figure it's either adding the smoke to early (in each case it was the entire cook, about and hour), too much wood or not allowing the wood to burn long enough before I put on the meat.  Is there a good rule of thumb for adding smoke to a cook?


  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 14,013
    I bet you added it too close to the cook. You want clean smoke(thin blueish smoke, not thick, grey smoke) that smells like you want to eat it. I usually add it 30 minutes before the food when I am doing a "low and slow" like pork butt. The other thing is too much wood. The egg is incredibly efficient so you only need 3-5 chunks of wood for a average cook.
  • sox203sox203 Posts: 22
    Thanks, my last cook I limited to one good sized chunk of wood. I did add it only 5 min before the cook, I'll give it 30 next time.
  • NibbleMeThisNibbleMeThis Posts: 2,293
    That doesn't sound like too much wood, I've used more than that without a problem.  I think Eggcelsior is right, the wood might not have been smoking clean yet.  Look for the smoke to turn from thick white to clear or light blue like this:


    How long that takes varies.  I've seen it take 15 minutes, I've had to wait almost 1 hour a few times.
    Knoxville, TN
    Nibble Me This
  • GreenhawKGreenhawK Posts: 398
    I agree with above.  The two pictures are a great example.  You should almost only see the heat wave coming out.  

    Also poultry and lamb tend to soak up more smoke than beef or pork, so it's more important to let it clean the white smoke out first.
    Large BGE Decatur, AL
  • sox203sox203 Posts: 22
    thanks, I'll give it a go with a spatchcock tonight.
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,347
    Don't soak it and if you can see the smoke, prolly too much wood. Temps also matter, I find anything much over 325º smoke is not clear. In the egg there is no flame, just a smouldering mass of greatness. 
    Depending on your lump, there may be enough smoke already. For chicken using RO I seldom add smoke wood. 
    Delta B.C. - Move over coffee, this is job for alcohol!
  • Good smoke is smelled but not seen. All good input above
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  • danv23danv23 Posts: 813
    I just watched Bobby Flay cook a pork roast on the egg.  He threw SOAKED apple chips on the fire and then IMMEDIATELY threw on the pork.  People like him create people that don't know what they are doing.  No soaking, ever, and bury your chunks and/or chips in the lump.  I use cherry chips when I cook turkey breast (on the carcass) and I put in some lump, then dry chips, lump, chips, lump, chips.  Light, get to temp (350) and wait until the bad white smoke is gone.

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  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,986
    I disagree. I was mixing the chunks and still do... But I wasn't getting that smoke flavor I wanted. I still mix chunks but after a 30 burn off I lift the ps and jam a chunk right into the 3 areas I lit, replace ps and throw the meat on. Since I've had better flavor and more compliments. My hickory is really seasoned. I don't know if new store bought chunks are freshly cut or seasoned.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • CANMAN1976CANMAN1976 Posts: 1,590
    Maybe a dumb question here but I always thought we are supposed to burn the voc's off the "lump charcoal" then add the food.Do we also do this burn it (for clear smoke) for the wood chips/chunks or are smoking woods like apple,cherry etc ready right away?

    Hows ya gettin' on, me ol ****? 

    Kippens.Newfoundland and Labrador. (Canada).
  • TerrebanditTerrebandit Posts: 1,718
    I never add wood on chicken. The lump itself adds plenty of smoke flavor. I might add a few chips during a long pork or beef cook.
    Dave - Austin, TX
  • Medic72072Medic72072 Posts: 23
    You always want to make sure you soak your wood chunks or chips in water.  If not, they will just burn and not give you the smoke you want to flavor the meat.  You need to try not adding so much to meat like lamb, and fish,  These meats will take the smoke much easier that beef or pork.  Just try soaking you wood in water first then not adding as much with lamb, chicken or fish.  I have never had problem with too much wood and smoke flavor when smoking beef or pork, but I usually do big pieces like brisket and Boston butts.  
  • Medic72072Medic72072 Posts: 23
    Also, I probably only wait 5 minutes after putting the wood on before I put the meat in the smoker.  I think just adjust the amount of wood chunks to get the right amount of smoke you want for the kind of meat you are smoking.
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,986
    @sox203...try different ways till you find yourself.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • Black_BadgerBlack_Badger Posts: 1,182
    One of the first things I learned on this forum and have practiced consistently ever since, but water produces stream hot wood produces smoke. I never soak my wood chunks any more. I use one or two chunks of apple for chicken, for our five for pork and a mix of hickory and apple for beef.

    Cheers all-
    Finally back in the Badger State!

    Middleton, WI
  • ST1SSDVST1SSDV Posts: 30
    Take a few chunks of hickory about as big as a chicken eggs and submerge it in water for a day or two.  Put a weight on top to keep them submerged.  Then take the chunks out and split them.  I think you will find that the water has only penetrated about 1/8 of an inch. As long as the Egg isn't wide open, dry chunks will smolder.  If you can't get chunks, soaking chips can help slow down the burn rate somewhat and produce smoke for a little longer.  I use 2 or 3 chunks if I plan to smoke
    something like a turkey, some ribs, Boston Butts or a couple of chickens.
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