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how do you increase the smoke flavor?

TennisbumTennisbum Posts: 228
edited 6:46PM in EggHead Forum
The last few cooks I have not had much smoke flavor or a smoke ring. Did two butts warmed almost to room temp and one brisket, almost to room temp.
The gasket is almost shot, original one, and I do get some leaking between lid and base. I was using chunks on both cooks.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.


  • NC-CDNNC-CDN Posts: 703
    I don't bring my butts to room temp. I've always thought the meat will take more smoke while it's cold, but when it warms up it won't take as much. Do you spread the chunks throughout the lump? What kind of wood? Personally I like a nice smoke flavour, but not overwhelming.

    I would doubt a bit of smoke coming from the gasket has anything to do with not having a smokey flavour. THe EGG is still filled with smoke.
  • guzzijasonguzzijason Posts: 143
    Yes, it's my understanding that meat won't take on smoke after a certain temp, so if you put it on when its a bit cooler, you have a larger window of time to take on smoke. If you're using wood chunks for smoke, make sure they create the most smoke early in the cook. After a few hours, the smoke won't have much effect on flavor.

  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 13,001
    I never bring butts to room temp. When the egg is stable at temp, I take the butt out of the fridge, apply the rub and throw it on. Once in a great while, I might rub in advance, but the butt gets wrapped and goes back in the fridge. Doesn't come out again til time to put it on the grid. I always have plenty of smoke flavor and ring.

    Oh, and I always use hickory for smoke wood. Gasket doesn't matter.

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


    Central Connecticut 

  • BrokersmokerBrokersmoker Posts: 646
    If you want a good smoke ring I was always under the impression that you put the meat on chilled straight from the fridge :huh:
  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    Actually, many people confuse the smoke ring with smoke flavor. These are two different and unrelated things. The smoke ring is nothing more than a chemical reaction that produces the pink color you see on the meat. It has no smoke flavor to it. The smoke ring forms below 140 degrees, and then it is too hot for the chemical reaction to take place.

    Smoke flavor comes from smoke being deposited on the surface of the meat. Smoke flavor does not penetrate the meat to any great degree. Smoke flavor will accumulate as long as there is smoke present in the cooking chamber, regardless of the meat's temperature.

    So, keeping the meat cold may increase smoke flavor because you have to cook it longer and the smoke has a longer time to deposit on the meat. But the meat will take on the flavor all cook long.

    One way to increase smoke flavor is to keep the surface of the meat moist as this can aid the smoke particles in adhering to the meat.

    For more information, you can consult Harold McGee's classic book, On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen.
    The Naked Whiz
  • guzzijasonguzzijason Posts: 143
    makes perfect sense!

  • KokemanKokeman Posts: 819
    What kind of wood are you using? You need to use a strong smoke wood. I use hickory on butts to get more smoke favor.
    Here is list that Spring Chicken posted.

    Woods for smoking:

    Acacia is similar to mesquite but not as strong. This wood burns very hot and should be used in small amounts or for limited amounts of time.

    Alder has a light flavor that works well with fish and poultry. Indigenous to the northwestern United States, it is the traditional wood for smoking Salmon.

    Almond give a nutty, sweet flavor that is good with all meats. Almond is similar to Pecan.

    Apple is very mild in flavor and gives food a sweetness. This is good with poultry and pork. Apple will discolor chicken skin (turns in dark brown).

    Apricot is great for poultry and pork. This wood is similar to hickory but is sweeter and milder in flavor.

    Ash has a light, unique flavor. This wood burns fast.

    Black Walnut has a heavy flavor that should probably be mixed with other wood because of the bitter taste it can impart.

    Birch has a similar flavor to maple. This wood is good with pork and poultry.

    Cherry has a sweet, mild flavor that goes great with virtually everything. This is one of the most popular woods for smoking.

    Chokecherry has a bitter flavor and should only be used in small amounts for short period of times.

    Citrus woods like lemon or orange have a moderate smoke that gives a light fruity flavor that is more mild than apple or cherry.

    Cottonwood is very mild in flavor and should be used with stronger flavored woods. Avoid green wood.

    Crabapple is very similar to apple wood and can be used interchangeably.

    Fruit, like apple, apricot or cherry, fruit wood gives off a sweet, mild flavor that is good with poultry or ham.

    Grapefruit is a mild wood that produces a good, smoky flavor. A good wood for any meat.

    Grapevines make a lot of tart smoke and gives a fruity but sometimes heavy flavor. Use it sparingly with poultry or lamb.

    Hickory adds a strong flavor to meats, so be careful not to use to excessively. It’s good with beef and lamb.

    Lemon is a mild wood that produces a good, smoky flavor. A good wood for any meat.

    Lilac produces a good supply of mild, sweet smoke. A popular wood for smoked cheese, but also good for poultry and pork.

    Maple, like fruit wood gives a sweet flavor that is excellent with poultry and ham.

    Mesquite has been very popular of late and is good for grilling, but since it burns hot and fast, it's not recommended for long barbecues. Mesquite is probably the strongest flavored wood; hence its popularity with restaurant grills that cook meat for a very short time.

    Mulberry is sweet and very similar to apple.

    Nectarine is great for poultry and pork. This wood is similar to hickory but is sweeter and milder in flavor.

    Oak is strong but not overpowering and is a very good wood for beef or lamb. Oak is probably the most versatile of the hard woods.

    Orange is a mild wood that produces a good, smoky flavor. A good wood for any meat.

    Peach is great for poultry and pork. This wood is similar to hickory but is sweeter and milder in flavor.

    Pear is similar to apple and produces a sweet, mild flavor.

    Pecan burns cool and provides a delicate flavor. It’s a much subtler version of hickory.

    Plum is great for poultry and pork. This wood is similar to hickory but is sweeter and milder in flavor.

    Walnut has a heavy, smoky flavor and should be mixed with milder flavored woods.

    Other good woods include: avocado, bay, beech, butternut, carrotwood, chestnut, fig, guava, gum, hackberry, kiawe, madrone, manzita, olive, range, persimmon, pimento, and willow

    You can also find other wood products around made from wine and whiskey barrels that impart a very unique flavor. I have a fondness for Jack Daniel whiskey barrel wood.

    Woods to AVOID would include: cedar, cypress, elm, eucalyptus, pine, fir, redwood, sassafras, spruce, and sycamore.
  • TennisbumTennisbum Posts: 228
    Thanks for the input. Somewhere my brain said to let bring to room temp. WRONG! Ok so next time if from the fridge to the BGE. Also I use a lot of hickory, apple and cherry chunks when smoking.
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