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Lump that is less smokey? (for poultry)

bcrawfo2bcrawfo2 Posts: 85
edited 7:59PM in EggHead Forum
So...tonight was my trial run for a Thanksgiving turkey.
I was more worried about time/process than anything.
That went well. wife has never liked poultry I made in the BGE. I've done a few splatch'd chickens and the turkey got the same result. She doesn't like the smokey flavor. This realization came tonight with the turkey
I use Wicked Good all the time.

For my turkey I used a single chunk of apple (smaller than my fist).
Is there any particular charcoal that is less smokey? I know NakedWhiz has reviews which I'll get to later once I hit the couch.
Has anyone else had someone be oversensitive to smoke flavor?


  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 13,011
    Personally, I don't notice much smoke flavor when using any of the several brands of lump I've tried (including WG). But then, we all know that wives are more sensitive to, well, to most everything. :) If she doesn't like smoke, you shouldn't have used wood chunks, not even the mild apple.

    Could have been worse - at least you didn't use mesquite. :) Next time, try it without any smoking wood.

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!


    Central Connecticut 

  • sharhammsharhamm Posts: 255
    I don't like a strong smoke flavor on my meat. Are you letting the lump burn off and seeing clear smoke before you put your food on? Can take 30 to 40 minutes. That was my mistake the first few times i used the egg and the food was not "egg worthy".
  • It is not the lump. You don't have a clean burning fire.

  • PhilsGrillPhilsGrill Posts: 2,256
    Along with what the others below have said, leave the top damper totally off and adjust the temperature with the lower vent only.
  • my thoughts to make your wife happy with food from the egg

    - use no extra wood smoke chips
    - let the fire burn for a long wile after you get to temp then add the food.

    give it a shot giving her the least amount of smoke possible. you can always add smoke down the road.

    Best of LUCK - steve
  • Thanks everyone who responded so far. I'll try no top damper on some chicken breasts or something.

    She hadn't locked onto the "problem" until tonight. I guess the other cooks I did had enough marinade to cover up the smoke.
    I had a clean temp for about two hours before I put the bird in. I know that's a long time...but I had other things going on.

    Also...last night I did a clean burn of a whole load of lump.

  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 13,011
    And don't add any smoking wood.

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!


    Central Connecticut 

  • smoky bsmoky b Posts: 648
    try cowboy. it is not my favorite but seems less smokey than RO. if you wanted to go hardcore, you could get some kamado coconut charcoal. that stuff is odorless. (burns super hot but is expensive)
  • Yes...that goes without that we've figured out it's the smoke.
  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    The top damper has absolutely nothing do with smokiness...its purpose is ONLY to control CWM said...your fire was not stabalized...give the egg time to to stabilize, if you add no wood in less than an hour there will be NO smoke coming from the dome..hence no smoke, no smokey flavor..other than the faint hint of natural the egg and give it the or she..wont be disappointed
  • Lots of good advice already mentioned and i'll second the fact that wicked good is fantastic for low and slow cooks but requires ALOT longer burn time to get clean smoke. Several of my friends, and myself, only use it for all nighters and use GFS Royal Oak or similar for everyday use. Occasionally I like to mix the two also for good results.
    Give it another go as your not the first to have this problem and it is easily fixed with a little practice. Smoke-less food is a must at times at my house also ;)
  • I still say my fire was established.
    Sorry for the long explanation...but maybe I'm doing something fundamentally wrong.
    I started my fire at 11:45. This was way early, but my son was about to nap in the room I have to go thru to get out to the egg. So...I set my dampers to where I thought I'd be about 225 (as to not waste too much lump). At about 1pm I cranked it up to about 350. It stayed here until I put the turkey in at 2pm.

    The only thing I can think I might be doing not letting the fire go big and then crank it back down before the egg actually heats up. But...if I do that, I risk going too high and having to wait for it come back down.
  • SkySawSkySaw Posts: 649
    As Michael (CarolinaQ) has mentioned a few times, I think the only problem is the apple.

    I have done 2 turkey cooks recently. The first used no smoking wood at all, and the turkey had no smoke taste - not even cold from the fridge the next day.

    I don't like much smoke on my turkey, and it's easy to over-smoke a turkey. Even chicken can take more smoke than turkey in my opinion. So, for my second cook, I added a small piece of cherry to the fire once the turkey hit 130 degrees. They say that meat does not take on much smoke flavour above that temperature range. I let the cherry start to burn for a bit before closing the lid to get rid of most of the volatile compounds that make smoke white and taste bad.

    That is about as much smoke as I can handle on a turkey. A fist-sized chunk of apple at the start of the cook would be too much for me, and clearly was too much for your wife.

    Next time, leave the wood out, do an indirect cook, and I'm sure it will be great.

    I hope it's not too late to try again! I once over-smoke a turkey so badly on my Weber kettle that my wife refused to eat turkey from the barbecue for 12 years.

  • I never ran a test but it seems that cooking with no DFMT on top would decrease the smoky flavor. To have a fire at a certain temperature means you need a certain amount of charcoal to be burning. I assume (yes I know) you would have the same amount -or very close- of lump burning to maintain said temp whether the DFMT is on or off. Smoke rises and with nothing in the way it gets out of the cooker sooner with less chance to hit the food. Of course this all theory. Cheers.
  • Thanks Mark.
    It's too late for this Thanksgiving.
    I'll gather up the suggestions (no top damper, no smoke wood period, diff lump, etc) and maybe try a few combinations on a turkey breast or two.
  • Yeah, practice on chickens or turkey.

    Taste is an individual thing. See if you can find a system that works for you.

    I have been cooking on my Egg for a little over 3 years now. My family doesn't like smoke. I let it burn clean, no daisy and I still get a little flavor of smoke, especially with chicken and especially with the leftovers.

    I usually use R.O. but also use Cowboy when I want low smoke cooks. based on recent experience I'm starting to think that R.O. burning clean (sometimes a half hour or more) may be a more odorless cook than Cowboy.

    nothing like baking up some dessert breads that taste like charcoal smoke!
  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    Based on really shouldn't be getting a smokey taste..leave the wood out out on your next attempt..and just go with what you are doing now and you should be fine..personally I add an apple chunk to my cook..but that's just a personal preference....
  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    Once you have an established or stabilized lump fire burning...ther is NO smoke..other than what you add in the form of chips or chunks...thats is other than the lump can be proven time and time again..
  • I understand that when a fire starts up that it is burning inefficiently. That is the reason for the heavy smoke. Someone posted recently about a burning candle, blow it out and it smokes a lot because the wick is now burning inefficiently. Once a lump fire is established I know it is burning much cleaner. But if it smokes a lot before it is established I would imagine it will still smoke once established, just to a much less extent. I know that you no longer see smoke, but something is burning, so there has to be a little smoke, no?
  • BordelloBordello Posts: 5,926
    That was my first thought too or he may have drippings from a previous cook giving off ill tasting smoke.

  • I burned a whole load of lump the night before, stayed 600+ for a good while. Cleaned plate setter and dome pretty good.

    One thing that I came up with this morning, as I was cleaning my drip pan. I used a 14" pizza pan. I remember half of the pan was wet...the other half was dry/burnt. I think my drip pan was off level. Could that have caused the apple and some wine to burn?
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,020
    a fist sized piece is actually a pretty big piece of smoking wood for turkey. i actually use a smaller amount of pecan pellets, they smoke burn fairly quick compared to the chunks so the smoke isnt there as heavey as long. get the egg burning cleaner, you should only see a transparent wisp of smoke at most if its burning clean. now heres the kicker, some people are adamant that they dont like smoked turkey, you can cook two birds, i do, 1 in the bge, one in the oven. they will eat only the smoked bird leaving me with oven leftovers, and i still loose the argument about the smoked turkey year after year after year. :whistle: good thing there is smoked gravy to drown that oven bird in B)
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