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"Smoke" flavor?

SWMBO says she can taste a smoke flavor in everything I've cooked so far. Admittedly, I did use some wood chunks when I made chicken wings the other day, but today I started with fresh lump (BGE brand that came with the egg) lit with Rutland fire starters, I made sure the starters were done and there were plenty of glowing red coals before I closed the dome, and I let it stabilize at 375 for 45 minutes. 

I didn't see any smoke coming out of the egg, but my wife said her salmon still ended up with a smokey flavor. Do I need to tell her everything will have that flavor or is there something different I can do?  I don't always notice the flavor when she does, but that could just be because I enjoy it. 
Large BGE
Huntsville, AL
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Comments

  • DMWDMW Posts: 13,827
    Morgantown, PA

    XL BGE - S BGE - KJ Jr - HB Legacy - BS Pizza Oven - 30" Firepit - King Kooker Fryer -  PR72T - WSJ - BS 17" Griddle - XXL BGE - Akron Jr - BS SS36" Griddle
  • RedSkipRedSkip Posts: 1,400
    Experiment with different types of lump.  Some have a more neutral flavor than others, and always let the egg stabilize for 30-60 minutes prior to putting your food on.  This will help burn off the VOCs in the lump and provide the less smokey flavor as well.

    Best of luck!  My wife hates the smoke flavor too, but I'm hoping to change her taste buds with time.
    Large BGE - McDonald, PA
  • theyolksonyoutheyolksonyou Posts: 18,077
    Rockwood, next question 
    Jason NW GA- home of carpet and Mexican restaurants
    LBGE, MM, BS (Blackstone and the other kind)
    One sorry Labrador

    My chili did not suck. My wings either. 
  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 10,423
    edited July 2016
      A tried and true way to tell how your food will taste is by holding your hand over the exhaust vent of the egg for a few seconds then use the smell test.  If your hand smells good then so will your food if not let it burn a little longer. 
      Not trying to start a "this lump is better than xxx" discussion but I had the same problem with BGE lump, hell I almost got banned from cooking on the egg.  I ran across this guy that sold Ozark Oak(no longer available) in various parking lots across several states so I tried it and it changed my cooking game.  Now I'm a Rockwood diehard. All is good unless I add too much wood to a cook.  

      Quicker answer no everything doesn't have to taste crazy smokey.  You won't notice the flavor because you are in the smoke while cooking and your desensitized to the taste .  How do your proteins tastes the next day as leftovers?

    -----------------------------------------


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • TheophanTheophan Posts: 2,651
    I used BGE charcoal when I first got my BGE, figuring not necessarily correctly that they'd only put their name on the very best charcoal.  I genuinely like the smokiness BGE lump gives food, but there's no question that even without any wood chips at all, BGE lump (A.K.A., Royal Oak) will impart a mild smokiness to food.  I like that, but if your wife doesn't, a different charcoal, notably such as Rockwood, might do better for her.  I'm on my first bag of Rockwood, and I have to say that so far, I do like it.  I get less of the "bad" white smoke when I first burn it out of the bag than I did with BGE lump, and it's even a little less expensive.

    I used BGE lump for years, and I loved it, but if your wife really hates the smokiness, I'd urge you to try a bag of Rockwood.
  • bhedges1987bhedges1987 Posts: 3,201
    Yeah try a different lump. 

    Kansas City, Missouri
    Large Egg
    Mini Egg

    "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us" - Gandalf


  • Darby_CrenshawDarby_Crenshaw Posts: 2,657
    You're cooking over hardwood lump. Regardless of brand, there will be some stuff not fully carbonized (i.e. It'll always be smokey to some extent).

    i don't care what anyone says, all lump will have some smoke. If not, it's no different than cooking on a gasser. 

    Using yesterday's lump will greatly reduce this. 

    Make sure the fire is burning clean. And don't shut down the BGE and leave food in it (so called 'dwell').
    [social media disclaimer: irony and sarcasm may be used in some or all of user's posts; emoticon usage is intended to indicate moderately jocular social interaction; the comments toward users, their usernames, and the real people (living or dead) that they refer to are not intended to be adversarial in nature; those replying to this user are entering into a tacit agreement that they are real-life or social-media acquaintances and/or have agreed to or tacitly agreed to perpetrate occasional good-natured ribbing between and among themselves and others]

  • dgordon2ncdgordon2nc Posts: 100
    Another vote for rockwood!  I used the Bge lump when I first got my egg a year ago. And royal oak. But then after a few months my wife said things were too smokey even though I wasn't using anything other than charcoal. I switched to rockwood. Problem solved!
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 24,953
    As above, along with Rockwood, Wicked Good charcoal is quite smoke neutral.  And if you can't find either locally then go to http://www.firecraft.com/category/charcoal-wood  and order Rockwood-free shipping >$99 and best if you go with increments of 3 bags/order (so 6 for the free shipping) as they do a great job of shipping 3bags/box.  FWIW-
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • jeponlinejeponline Posts: 290
    Thanks for all the input. I think I'll definitely give Rockwood a try. My only local options so far seem to BGE, Royal Oak, or Cowboy, so I'll order online. 
    Large BGE
    Huntsville, AL
  • Tony_TTony_T Posts: 303
    Cowboy is also very smokey
  • Jeepster47Jeepster47 Posts: 3,827
    You have a spouse, like me, who is extra sensitive to smoke.  My wife is the one who talked me into buying the first BGE ... and then was disappointed in the smokeness.  I tried several different lumps and settled on Rockwood ... talked my dealer into carrying it, so it's now available locally.  You have some Rockwood dealers reasonably close to you ... check out this website:
    http://rockwoodcharcoal.com/where-to-buy-lump-charcoal/

    As others have said, there will be some carbonized wood in any lump ... unless you buy the Binchotan stuff that is.  What you're looking for is lump that has a high carbon content and low residual wood stuff.  There are some other good lumps out there ... look on TheNakedWhiz's website for alternatives.

    Also realize the the Royal Oak Enterprise corporation has a large number of facilities around the USA.  Thus, their product is not as consistent from state to state as other manufacturers.  Plus they bag lump under the Royal Oak, BGE, Nature Glo, GFS, and other lessor known brands.  That doesn't mean each brand is the same as the other, just that it's made by the same corporation.

    PS ... friends don't let friends cook with Cowboy lump.

    Washington, IL  >  Queen Creek, AZ ... Two large eggs and an adopted Mini Max

  • theyolksonyoutheyolksonyou Posts: 18,077
    I think you're local Ace should be able to order Rockwood. @stlcharcoal
    Jason NW GA- home of carpet and Mexican restaurants
    LBGE, MM, BS (Blackstone and the other kind)
    One sorry Labrador

    My chili did not suck. My wings either. 
  • Darby_CrenshawDarby_Crenshaw Posts: 2,657
    Cowboy is maple and oak

    you guys really need to quit with brand fetishes. 

    If you need a particular brand in order to cook, you are doing something wrong. 

    It's a poor craftsman blames his tools


    [social media disclaimer: irony and sarcasm may be used in some or all of user's posts; emoticon usage is intended to indicate moderately jocular social interaction; the comments toward users, their usernames, and the real people (living or dead) that they refer to are not intended to be adversarial in nature; those replying to this user are entering into a tacit agreement that they are real-life or social-media acquaintances and/or have agreed to or tacitly agreed to perpetrate occasional good-natured ribbing between and among themselves and others]

  • theyolksonyoutheyolksonyou Posts: 18,077
    Cowboy is maple and oak

    you guys really need to quit with brand fetishes. 

    If you need a particular brand in order to cook, you are doing something wrong. 

    It's a poor craftsman blames his tools


    My egg will only light with premium lump, so there's that. 
    Jason NW GA- home of carpet and Mexican restaurants
    LBGE, MM, BS (Blackstone and the other kind)
    One sorry Labrador

    My chili did not suck. My wings either. 
  • Jeepster47Jeepster47 Posts: 3,827
    ... It's a poor craftsman blames his tools


    @Darby_Crenshaw ... a good craftsman buys good tools and learns to use them correctly. 

    Washington, IL  >  Queen Creek, AZ ... Two large eggs and an adopted Mini Max

  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 10,423
    Cowboy is maple and oak

    you guys really need to quit with brand fetishes. 

    If you need a particular brand in order to cook, you are doing something wrong. 

    It's a poor craftsman blames his tools


    I hear what you saying and really think I understand it too. When your cooking with cowboy is your burn clean time longer? That is what I experienced when I used several bags of it.  I realize anything will burn clean eventually but some of these guys including myself on most cooks during the week don't have the time or mainly patience for and extended clean burn period.  Just looking for your thoughts.  

    -----------------------------------------


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 4,450
    I think you're local Ace should be able to order Rockwood. @stlcharcoal

    Any Ace in Alabama, yes.
  • blind99blind99 Posts: 4,935
    was it a direct cook, at normal grate level? or indirect?  for an indirect, lower temp (275-325) cook, i think rockwood is less smoky than other brands. but for a quick, 'grilling' cook - direct, 450 - any lump works fine. i like salmon grilled direct, at usual grate level, about 5-7 minutes flesh side down, then flip and finish to an IT about 135.

    try a few cooks with no wood chunks, a little higher heat, see if the taste goes away. i definitely 'oversmoked' food when i started.
    Chicago, IL - Large and Small BGE - Weber Gasser and Kettle
  • Darby_CrenshawDarby_Crenshaw Posts: 2,657
    ... It's a poor craftsman blames his tools


    @Darby_Crenshaw ... a good craftsman buys good tools and learns to use them correctly. 
    Betting my rib roast is as good as yours, without mailorder lump. But you know, just a guess
    [social media disclaimer: irony and sarcasm may be used in some or all of user's posts; emoticon usage is intended to indicate moderately jocular social interaction; the comments toward users, their usernames, and the real people (living or dead) that they refer to are not intended to be adversarial in nature; those replying to this user are entering into a tacit agreement that they are real-life or social-media acquaintances and/or have agreed to or tacitly agreed to perpetrate occasional good-natured ribbing between and among themselves and others]

  • Jeepster47Jeepster47 Posts: 3,827
    Or, to add to @blind99 's comment, use some milder wood for smoke.  Avoid the stronger woods like Oak and Hickory.  Try some of the fruit or citrus woods.  I tend to favor apple for pork and orange for poultry.

    Washington, IL  >  Queen Creek, AZ ... Two large eggs and an adopted Mini Max

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 24,953
    Lump, related issues and Friday night...away we go!  Seat belts fastened and popcorn...  hang on  ;)
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • blind99blind99 Posts: 4,935
    @jeepster47 i keep 2 or 3 different kinds, usually but apple is my go-to.  there's nothing it's bad with. never tried orange, though, i'll have to look for it.
    Chicago, IL - Large and Small BGE - Weber Gasser and Kettle
  • Darby_CrenshawDarby_Crenshaw Posts: 2,657
    edited July 2016
    Cowboy is maple and oak

    you guys really need to quit with brand fetishes. 

    If you need a particular brand in order to cook, you are doing something wrong. 

    It's a poor craftsman blames his tools


    I hear what you saying and really think I understand it too. When your cooking with cowboy is your burn clean time longer? That is what I experienced when I used several bags of it.  I realize anything will burn clean eventually but some of these guys including myself on most cooks during the week don't have the time or mainly patience for and extended clean burn period.  Just looking for your thoughts.  
    My point is: brand is not the issue. Never has been the issue. I have seen aesthetes here come and go over a dozen plus years, and you cannot name a lump that was not flavor of the month 

    cowboy was "the" lump. Then royal oak. 
    Then BGE. Then weekend warrior

    all good. All burn and all have personalities

    it isn't the lump. And it never is the lump 

    it's whether the fire is clean or not. And there are waaaaay more things influencing whether a fire is clean or not than the name on the bag

    yes. Some manufacturers source wood differently (Royal Oak sourced horrible stuff from South America for a while which they sold cheaper). BGE doesn't source anything. They just slap their name on RO. 

    Weekend Warrior stopped selling a line because they couldn't maintain a steady source, and honorably retreated to a slightly lower (so slight, no one would have noticed if they didn't point it out, but they did) quality and were up front about it. 

    Point is: if your problem is limited to the brand of lump? You are one incredibly accomplished and discerning chef. 

    Wait til the smoke smells good. If the smoke smells good, it'll taste good

    problem is fundamentally: wife doesn't like *any* smoke? Then you are in trouble. Because no lump is perfectly carbonized. 

    Or rather, if it were, why cook over it? Why have a grill that uses a natural wood product and beg for none of that to telegraph through?

    no judgement here. Honestly 

    i just think it's odd so many think their lump is so criticaL. 

    89 vs 92 octane is quibbling. Especially with 10% ethanol in either of them 

    [soap box dismounted]

    [social media disclaimer: irony and sarcasm may be used in some or all of user's posts; emoticon usage is intended to indicate moderately jocular social interaction; the comments toward users, their usernames, and the real people (living or dead) that they refer to are not intended to be adversarial in nature; those replying to this user are entering into a tacit agreement that they are real-life or social-media acquaintances and/or have agreed to or tacitly agreed to perpetrate occasional good-natured ribbing between and among themselves and others]

  • jeponlinejeponline Posts: 290
    She's complained about the flavor on 3 cooks. I only tried to have a smoky flavor on one of them, 2 of them including tonight's I had no chunks at all. 

    Closest rockwood dealer is about 30 miles. Not sure when I'll have the time for the drive, so it might be faster to order online. 
    Large BGE
    Huntsville, AL
  • jeponlinejeponline Posts: 290
    Cowboy is maple and oak

    you guys really need to quit with brand fetishes. 

    If you need a particular brand in order to cook, you are doing something wrong. 

    It's a poor craftsman blames his tools


    I hear what you saying and really think I understand it too. When your cooking with cowboy is your burn clean time longer? That is what I experienced when I used several bags of it.  I realize anything will burn clean eventually but some of these guys including myself on most cooks during the week don't have the time or mainly patience for and extended clean burn period.  Just looking for your thoughts.  
    My point is: brand is not the issue. Never has been the issue. I have seen aesthetes here come and go over a dozen plus years, and you cannot name a lump that was not flavor of the month 

    cowboy was "the" lump. Then royal oak. 
    Then BGE. Then weekend warrior

    all good. All burn and all have personalities

    it isn't the lump. And it never is the lump 

    it's whether the fire is clean or not. And there are waaaaay more things influencing whether a fire is clean or not than the name on the bag

    yes. Some manufacturers source wood differently (Royal Oak sourced horrible stuff from South America for a while which they sold cheaper). BGE doesn't source anything. They just slap their name on RO. 

    Weekend Warrior stopped selling a line because they couldn't maintain a steady source, and honorably retreated to a slightly lower (so slight, no one would have noticed if they didn't point it out, but they did) quality and were up front about it. 

    Point is: if your problem is limited to the brand of lump? You are one incredibly accomplished and discerning chef. 

    Wait til the smoke smells good. If the smoke smells good, it'll taste good

    problem is fundamentally: wife doesn't like *any* smoke? Then you are in trouble. Because no lump is perfectly carbonized. 

    Or rather, if it were, why cook over it? Why have a grill that uses a natural wood product and beg for none of that to telegraph through?

    no judgement here. Honestly 

    i just think it's odd so many think their lump is so criticaL. 

    89 vs 92 octane is quibbling. Especially with 10% ethanol in either of them 

    [soap box dismounted]

    At only 10 cooks in, I'm no expert yet, but if a different brand of lump will make it easier to get to the clean fire that you are describing, I'm willing to give it a try. 

    I personally love the flavor and have no complaints, but will try reasonable measures to make it more mild so my wife can enjoy the food more. 
    Large BGE
    Huntsville, AL
  • theyolksonyoutheyolksonyou Posts: 18,077
    jeponline said:
    She's complained about the flavor on 3 cooks. I only tried to have a smoky flavor on one of them, 2 of them including tonight's I had no chunks at all. 

    Closest rockwood dealer is about 30 miles. Not sure when I'll have the time for the drive, so it might be faster to order online. 
    Ace. Ask them. They can order. 
    Jason NW GA- home of carpet and Mexican restaurants
    LBGE, MM, BS (Blackstone and the other kind)
    One sorry Labrador

    My chili did not suck. My wings either. 
  • jeponlinejeponline Posts: 290
    jeponline said:
    She's complained about the flavor on 3 cooks. I only tried to have a smoky flavor on one of them, 2 of them including tonight's I had no chunks at all. 

    Closest rockwood dealer is about 30 miles. Not sure when I'll have the time for the drive, so it might be faster to order online. 
    Ace. Ask them. They can order. 
    Closest Ace is also about 30 miles. 

    I'm leaning towards firecraft. Looks like that have other fun toys too. Anyone ever try the bison lighter?
    Large BGE
    Huntsville, AL
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