Anyone experienced an issue with their smoker having too much smoke? It is making my meat look really dark. Thanks!
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looks are tertiary to taste and texture... are you getting a bitter or acidic flavor?
what are you cooking, what type of smoker, etc.? a few more details would help us troubleshoot or offer suggestions...
No doubt the meat can look dark. Mine cooks come out dark but that is more about the rub than anything else. And the bark is good. Too much smoke can be and is a problem if too much wood is used. The taste can be very bitter. As a newcomer to electric smokers many years ago, on my first butt and before I tried a brisket, I added wood about every 3 to 4 hours. I estimated 3/4 lbs of hickory was used in total. I had smoke for nearly the entire cook. The butt was very sticky, covered in a black tar like goo. Call it creosote. Not edible. From that moment onward, I never exceeded what CookShack recommended. I bought a scale and weighed the wood, cutting the chunks to the recommended weight. No more issues.
I have the SM025 and have done maybe 6 or 7 smokes, ribs and butt. I cannot do a smoke without the creosote taste. The last 2 smokes I only used 1oz of wood. One was hickory and the other apple. While the creosote taste was less than when I used 2 or 3 oz of wood, it is still off putting. That taste should not be there at all. I am at a loss on how to use this smoker and get a clean good tasting smoke without the creosote taste. Before upgrading to the CS smoker I used pellets on my grill as a makeshift smoker and I got decent smoke and never got the creosote taste. Everything I read talks about the need for air flow to prevent creosote and there is very little airflow in the CS smokers. There must be a way to get good results as the company has been around a long time but I haven’t figured it out yet..
I only had one bad creosote coated smoke - a butt. I used a total of 12 ounces of woo. Every time the smoke died out I would add 3 more ounces. I threw it out. Not edible.
You are correct, these smokers are pretty air tight. Try dropping your drip pan to the ground creating a little more space for air flow. Be advised too much air and you could get combustion. As with any burning wood, flame consumes most of the smoke; starved for air and you get billows of acrid smoke. You might also look hard at your wood box for discoloration relative to where you place your wood chunk. If over a heat discolored are, try placing the wood in another area that is somewhat cooler/lack discoloration.
Beyond that, make sure you use a quality wood, preferably without bark and if you are not weighing the wood, start. It is easy to under estimate weight.
Let us know whether you are getting all ash or mostly charcoal at the end of the smoke.
Charcoal indicates a slow burn. Ash indicates combustion.
Well, I have to say I've never had this in almost 9 years with my SM066. I never use more than 2 - 3 oz of wood for long smokes, only about one oz for short stuff like burnt ends or fish. I think oldsarge is onto something about hot spots in the firebox. Maybe check clearance between the box bottom and the heater element? I think it should be just clear but not too far away. Also, just my personal taste, but I never use hickory except for smoked nuts. I use peach for pork, alder for salmon, and pecan for beef. Mesquite is out of the question - too harsh.
*Late edit* Just noticed the original post was under fast eddie pellet grills, so maybe some replies are not relevant.
OK, seems that I am on the wrong category forum but for now I will keep it here and hopefully there will be no confusion.
I have a SM025 wood chunk smoker. I will answer all questions from above.
-There is not a hot spot on the wood box, however the element slopes from back to front, so high in back and lower in front.
-The foil drip pan is on the ground under smoker, so it is as low as it can go. The drip hole is always clear and never covered.
-Wood is all from cookshack and I did remove bark on last smoke.
-At the end of smokes the wood has always been ash, never charcoal.
-I always weigh wood.
Thanks for jumping in with your input.
I would give Stuart a call during the week and he can put you in touch with a tech. Good luck!
The heat element on my 066 runs just opposite of yours. It slopes up from the back of the smoker to the front. The wood box actually sits on the heat element and not the rails under the wood box. This was the same for my 009 and 045 smokers. When the heat element sags down over several cooks I bend it back up. There is a very visible hot spot on my wood box from the heat element.
Idahomike, You are obviously a fan of Cookshack smokers. You had a 045 which is just larger than my 025. Have you never had a problem with the acidic creosote taste and if so how did you correct it? Thanks
I have had the creosote taste back when I first started using the cookshack smokers. This really didn't bother me back then because I was getting the creosote taste from the old barrel smoker that got replaced by my old CS 009. I was just getting into smoking and was doing my best imitation of Tim Allen (actually I think Tim Allen was copying me). I was loading the wood box as full as I could get it and refilling it when the smoke stopped rolling. That is about the time I found the old Cookshack forum and started learning from some very good people how to smoke using the Cookshack smokers. I know that over feeding your smoker is not the problem since you said that you are only using 2 to 3 oz of wood. What type of wood are you using? Mesquite can cause this acidic creosote taste with very little wood in the wood box. I have found that there is a fine line between really good smoke flavor and can't eat it when using mesquite. Oldsarge is right about giving Cookshack a call. When you call them you are talking to the people that built your unit. They are very friendly and helpful.