Author Topic: Too much or not enough smoke  (Read 585 times)

tpcdelisle

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Too much or not enough smoke
« on: May 07, 2022, 08:06:08 PM »
Hey everyone. After looking at numerous posts about smoke flavor, Iím curious about opinions if you think you have more problems of too much smoke if not careful or if you have problems getting enough smoke on your meats. For myself, a newbie with only 7 cooks on my 3D WiFi, I have to make sure not to add too much wood. I feel like it could get way to Smokey for my taste and I like smoke taste. How is it for others; do you have to be careful to not over smoke (too much wood) or do wish that you could use more wood and get more smoke. 🤔
Tony too!
From Southeast Indiana / Greater Cincinnati

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old sarge

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Re: Too much or not enough smoke
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2022, 09:09:38 PM »
Good question.  I once went with a total of 12 ounces of hickory in 4 ounce increments each time the smoke ran out. Ruined a nice butt.  Very tarry on the outside and ugly bitter. Pulling and mixing it up did not help.  Tossed it. I find 3 to 4 ounces of hickory is plenty for my family's taste for ribs and butts although I have gone to 6 on full packer briskets on occasion, by request, but generally stick with 4 on briskets.  I use a OXO digital scale to figure weight when guessing is out of the question or I am splitting rather large chunks.  You might want to add more if the wood has a milder profile but smoke is smoke and creosote is creosote.
David from Arizona
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barelfly

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Re: Too much or not enough smoke
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2022, 11:29:10 PM »
6-8 oz is what I usually use for butts or brisket. Smaller cuts, itís 2-4 oz. AT times, Iíve thought some things could use a bit more smoke. But that is only the larger cuts only.

One thing Iíll ask you, are you smoking with cold meat? Straight out of the fridge to the smoker box? Smoke adheres to cold meat better, so just curious if thatís how you go about your smokes.

Jeremy in NM
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lcdearman

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Re: Too much or not enough smoke
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2022, 08:29:56 AM »
I've often wondered if not just the quantity of wood matters, but also how it is divided up. In other words, it seems to me that 2 2oz chunks of wood will produce a lot of smoke quickly but stop earlier than if I use 1 4 oz chunk. I've also toyed with soaking 1 chunk in water to delay the smoke (as per the amazing ribs website), thus giving me a longer smoke time.

All of that said, I generally use 1-2 oz for small stuff (wings, thighs, ribs), 4 for tri-tip, picanha, and brisket flats/points, and 6 oz for butts. I haven't done a full brisket yet.

I've never had anything on my #2 that was too smokey, but I learned that lesson on my Orion cooker. My first cook on it was ribs and chicken breasts and I used a LOT of chips. Tasted like I was gnawing on sticks, had to toss it all in the trash.
Clay from Taylor, TX
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tpcdelisle

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Re: Too much or not enough smoke
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2022, 04:32:19 PM »
David, Iím using about the amount of wood as you. Iíve maxed out so far at about 4 oz on both butts and on a brisket point, and 2 oz for chicken, meatloaf, etc. I thought that was great for our tastes.

Jeremy, I agree about smoke adhering to cold meat better and thatís what I do as well.

Clay, thatís a great point that you make about the size of wood pieces. Iíll have to experiment with that.

What made me question this about smoke levels was reading posts that some arenít getting enough smoke and Iím wondering why.  I definitely donít have a problem getting enough smoke for our tastes and I was just wondering if Iím missing something. My wife and I have judged quite a bit of bbq and weíve tasted many levels of smoke and I was just curious if it is a smoker issue of not burning the wood enough or if others just like that much more smoke than us (of course, nothing wrong with that). Anyway, just curious about others wood usage.  Thanks guys.
Tony too!
From Southeast Indiana / Greater Cincinnati

Smokin-It 3D WiFi
Smokin-It 3 Analog
Bellaís Cold Smoke Generator
Recteq B380 Bullseye
Meat Your Maker 1 hp #22 Grinder
Beswood 250R 10Ē Slicer
Former Air Force
Retired FAA Air Traffic Controller
Anova Sous Vide
Super foodie of world cuisines

old sarge

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Re: Too much or not enough smoke
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2022, 10:12:38 PM »
Some folks who say they aren't getting enough smoke may be volume and some may mean flavor.  I belong to a few forums and one in particular is fond of the masterbuilt brand (after they mod/fix all its inherent faults).  They us a device that you fill with pellets to produce smoke that last in the neighborhood of 12 or more hours. This replaces having to fill the wood chip tray every half hour.  You can achieve the same long hours of smoke with the Bella or similar device. As for my experiences, I am quite happy with the flavor I get from 3 to 4 hours of active smoke and so is the family and guests. At some point when the meat hist 140 degrees ( I am assuming that is the surface temp and slightly below the surface) conventional wisdom says the meat will not absorb any more smoke flavor.  Not sure how true that is but when I had the old stick burner, the smoke ring never made it past 1/4 inch penetration.  Below is a link that may help:
https://amazingribs.com/more-technique-and-science/grill-and-smoker-setup-and-firing/what-you-need-know-about-wood-smoke-and/
David from Arizona
US Army 70 - 95
SI 3D & Big Red Controller
CS 066
Lodge Sportsman Grill
Weber Kettle
Ducane Meridian 42 inch Grill
LEM MaxVac 1088A
LEM Big Bite #8 Grinder
Chef's Choice 665 and Rival Slicers
Old Hickory Knives
InstantPot Duo80 Plus

tpcdelisle

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Re: Too much or not enough smoke
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2022, 10:37:48 AM »
Thanks for the article David.  I read it when I first joined the forum on your suggestion. Iím also like you that I wrap beef or pork by 165ish degrees and that is plenty for us.  I have an old Masterbuilt and because I could never get any decent amount of smoke, I purchased a medium sized Smoke Daddy. That definitely helped but I had to refill after about 30-45 minutes. It was smokier though.  I just was wondering if I was missing something by using less wood.  I sure donít want to trash some good meat with tons of smoke way beyond our taste. Thanks.
Tony too!
From Southeast Indiana / Greater Cincinnati

Smokin-It 3D WiFi
Smokin-It 3 Analog
Bellaís Cold Smoke Generator
Recteq B380 Bullseye
Meat Your Maker 1 hp #22 Grinder
Beswood 250R 10Ē Slicer
Former Air Force
Retired FAA Air Traffic Controller
Anova Sous Vide
Super foodie of world cuisines