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Creosote?

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    Creosote?

    I smoked a plate of short ribs today. They turned out ok. I noticed a slight bitter flavor on a couple of bites. Am thinking its creosote. Lit coals Noah's method. Temp was at 300 when I hung the ribs. It dropped to 250 within 15-20 minutes. Cracked the lid for a few minutes to bring temp up to 320, then left it alone.

    Anyone have problems with bitter flavor on their food? What did you do to fix it?

    #2
    When I was first learning, I had this happen. Narrowed it down to unseasoned wood, or not enough airflow. Started leaving exhaust vents wide open, and using seasoned wood, and now over a decade later no issues.

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    • Ahumadora
      Ahumadora commented
      Editing a comment
      Exacto

    #3
    Yep I always keep my top vent about 3/4 open and control temp with my bottom vent. I know this is backasswards from what the instructions says but it sure cuts down on the build up in the lid. Now I have a DigiQ and it controls the temp.

    Comment


    • pkadare
      pkadare commented
      Editing a comment
      There is no top vent on a PBC.

    • mountainsmoker
      mountainsmoker commented
      Editing a comment
      Didn't know he was using a PBC, sorry.

    #4
    Yeah, but I'm using the PBC. Just has the bottom vent. Its set where I should be for my elevation. Use regular Kingsford Briquettes, as is recommended.

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      #5
      Some PBC folks reporting a creosote taste have tracked it down to one of two sources:

      1. The fire is not well-lit at the beginning, and as new charcoal takes up the burn, it can release some creosote-tasting components. The problem is solved by letting the fire burn 5 to 10 minutes at least before adding meat. That way all the charcoal in the basket is pretty warm/hot and not likely to release those bad-tasting components.

      2. The lid's surface is really gunked up with possible mini-stalactites hanging from it. Humidity from the cook condenses on the lid and drips back on to the meat down those stalactites. That can cause a bitter or off-tasting flavor. I keep my lid clean by setting it ajar (about 1/3 or whatever allows it to keep its balance) at the end of a cook and letting the fire heat it up. When the lid is nice and hot I take a putty knife and scrape all that gummy buildup off. Then I reseat the lid and let the fire burn itself out (rebars removed). That cleans it up nicely. I do this lid-cleaning routine every 8 to 10 cooks.

      HTH,

      Kathryn

      Comment


        #6
        I always make sure the fire is burning clean and hot before I add the coals to the basket. A good, solid shake of the chimney before adding them gets all of the ash off and ensures that you have a ripping hot bed of coals to add to the fire.

        I also let the barrel run, with the lid off, for 5 mins to make sure the fire is taking.

        Dont worry to much about your damper setting, get it to where it needs to be and leave it. I control the temp more by cracking the lid or not cracking the lid. I usually run my bottom damper at about 1/2 open, most of the time.

        Also, letting the PBC settle in at 250 F is nothing to worry about. You can let it run there without issue for hours and hours. When I am cooking with the PBC, I let is move between 230 F and 300 F all the time. Let it do its thing.

        Comment


        • Alabama Smoke
          Alabama Smoke commented
          Editing a comment
          Spinaker is half open for the bottom damper based on your elevation or have you found that that works better for you regardless of elevation? Mine never settles in down near 250. I have to plug top vent holes to get down that low. Also what charcoal are you using?

        • Spinaker
          Spinaker commented
          Editing a comment
          I just go by what works. I have never really paid attention to the elevation thing. Alabama Smoke

        #7
        I figured out that if I follow the lighting procedure on the PBC website I get that weird kind of flavor...which is what I'm thinking you have and in my opinion it's from not letting the charcoal get a good burn going. Since I've started using the lighting method that fzxdoc has written up i'm having way better cooks.
        I've also stopped chasing temps on the PBC....mine loves to run at 325 and that's where i let it run.....it makes some awesome pulled pork and chicken!!!

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        • hogdog6
          hogdog6 commented
          Editing a comment
          My experiences exactly.

        • HawkerXP
          HawkerXP commented
          Editing a comment
          What's that Disney song...? "Let it Go, Let it Gooooo" pbc, pbc...

        • man_of_magic
          man_of_magic commented
          Editing a comment
          Same experience here. My first few cooks had some nasty flavour issues, up untill I started with firing it up with some more power. My pbc runs up to 375 sometimes......but I let it goooo, let it gooo😉

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