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Doc-G

Smoking Meat

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Greetings fellow foodies,

I have a question to ask. I recently smoked some pork ribs. I smoked them in my SmoKing 1100 Turbo Smallgoods smoke oven at 100 degrees centigrade for 3.5 hours with RedGum wood chips.

I used a rub which contained from memory: salt, pepper, paprika, brown sugar, celery powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder.

Due to lack of time I used a store bought BBQ sauce.

The flavour was good but they had a slight bitter or acrid taste. I ever so slightly remember something about certain smoking conditions that could cause this. Could somebody tell me if this is the case?

Could it possibly be caused by the rub or the sauce?

I know paprika can be very bitter if too much is used. A combination of paprika and smoke perhaps?

For the next batch I am using ColKlink's rub and a home made BBQ sauce. The rub was excellent on my brisket so I assume it will also work well with the ribs. The sauce I made is much better than the store bought one. I also removed the membrane from the ribs this time so I expect to get a better result this time rather than chewy ones I got last time.

Any other tips that anyone can give?

Cheers,

Doc-G

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You've got to use a huge amount of paprika IMO for it to get bitter, so I'm not thinking that was the culprit. Is RedGum a brand, or a type of wood? Based on some of my experience, if you form softer wood smoke (or green wood smoke) at a low temperature, you do get a more acrid, bitter flavor, so I would look at that.

Have you tried using sawdust instead of wood chips? That would be my suggestion.


I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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Combination of factors.

Celery which gets bitter.

Plus your wood was burning instaed of generating a light smoke.

Not only bitter but also carcinogenic.

I find that I control smoke better with sawdust instead of woodchips soaked or not.

I dont know if you are in NYC but if so, I have found that the best way to smoke without generating bitter soot is to use these smoke incense sticks.

They are the freaking best.

http://www.korin.com/product.php?pid=425&c...&mnum=TK-634-02

I think you can actually mail order so you can get it anywhere.

trust me it works......really well.


Edited by Vadouvan (log)

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Doc,

I've been there and experienced that nasty taste... long story short, it's from too much smoke. Lighten up on the amount of wood and that should help. Make sure its got good air so it's smoking and not smouldering and that should do the trick.

It's unlikely that you are getting the off-flavor from spices or sauces unless your spices or sauce are bad.

Cheers,

Brian


Brian Misko

House of Q - Competition BBQ

www.houseofq.com

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I agree with the too much smoke thing. Once at the cabin, we didn't have enough charcoal, so used wood almost exclusively. I should have pulled them off the grill after an hour or so and finished them in the oven. This seems to be more of a problem with ribs than butts or brisket.

BTW, are you using sauce while they are still on the smoker?


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Leave out the celery and onion powder. Add some ground allspice (for pork only) to the rub and mix until mix has a subtle allspice smell. I don't use brown sugar either. If you have wood chunks from a nut bearing tree (hickory, pecan, etc) use them after soaking in water. I like to finish the cooking (last 2 hours) covered in the oven away from the smoke.


Cooking is chemistry, baking is alchemy.

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You are getting creosote. The smoke is being generated at too low a temperature. I expect the outside temperature was low, and the smoker not well insulated. Next time

a) Use more air

b) Wrap at lest the bottom part of the smoker in an old balmket

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Thanks for the tips.

I'll lighten up on the smoke next time and make sure it is a little better ventilated.

To answer a couple of the questions:

Redgum is a type of wood. It is pretty popular here in Australia for smokng smallgoods.

I have also left out celery on the rub and cut down on the paprika. So hopefully will improve the flavour.

I will let you guys know how it all works out.

Thanks again.

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I am a furniture maker by profession, and I must tell you to stop using the red gum. It's scientific name is Liquidambar styraciflua, and is also called sweet gum. It is a member of the witch hazel family and should have the astringency and bitterness of "witch hazel" lotion. It is frequently used for furniture when people can get it. The redgum is the heartwood of the tree and thus has the MOST of the extractives and bad stuff (to eat) in it. So stop using it and try something else; you might even be poisoning yourself.

Ray

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Hi Ray,

That is an interesting point. Is the redgum the same as the red gum that we have here in Australia? The reason I ask is that Redgum is seen as a very good thing to smoke with here in Australia. It's a pretty well established thing here and people pay a premium to buy small goods smoked in red gum.

That said however, I will try something else tomorrow if I can.

Thanks for the advice anyway. Let me know however if you can about whether your redgum and the one we have here are the same. The redgum here is a type of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus Rostrata) and is a hard wood with a red colour. Having seen some pics on the web, your Liquidambar styraciflua looks very different. That is all I know about it. You would think that the smallgoods industry here would know if it was toxic or not but I wouldn't put it past them to use something toxic!

Cheers,

Doc-G


Edited by Doc-G (log)

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Getting curious about this, I went a-googling. I found this site on Australian trees that lists several Eucalyptus sp. that have the common name Red Gum. There is one Angophora costata that also has the common name Red Gum. You can copy the various species into google and get pictures. I have to guess that what you are calling Red Gum isn't the tree Ray was referring to.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Being away for the weekend right now and not near my reference works, I will get back to you about whether eucalyptus is OK for one's health. Redgum is a common name, and those can be shared by many different species. One should be wary of anything they use to provide smoke or anything else.

Sunday night (my time) I should know more.

Ray

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Why am I thinking that smoking with most Eucalyptus might give the meat overtones of a cough drop. :blink: Perhaps this is one of those local things that has a long tradition and works well. For instance, I wonder who first thought to use that Texas nuisance tree, mesquite, to smoke with. They use a relative in Hawaii, kiawe, for the same purpose.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I'm not sure if you mentioned if you are using wood with bark on it or not - the use of bark seems to almost always cause undesireable flavors, give it a try without any bark on the wood and perhaps smaller portions of wood as needed for smoke. Best of Luck! :cool:

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Thanks, Ray. I am interested in what you find about our "Red Gum." If it is like what we call "Sweet Gum" in the south, I am sure it wouldn't be good.

And, byron, what you say about bark is pretty much true. I use the "Minion Method" for firing my Weber Smokey Mountain and intersperse wood chunks in the charcoal. If there is a lot of bark, I knock it off. But I am not meticulous about it. I smoke at 225F at the grate for the most part. Also, keeping the top vent all the way open keeps things moving and the condensation of nasties to a minimum.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Back from my weekend away.

I see several Eucalyptus species which are known to cause health problems, and the listing specifically is concerned with Australian timbers(!). They are: E.delegatensis (irritant to eyes, nose throat and causes dermatitis); E.globulus (dermatitis); E.coolibah and microtheca (skin irritant); E.microcarpa and marginata (irritant to mucous membranes & eyes, nose, throat); and several more.

There are some eucalyptus species on the west coast of north America, and I am pretty sure one supplied the "flavoring" for an over-the-counter med called Vicks, at least originally. That must be yummy in smoked meat!

Considering the possibilities offered by the eucalyptus species and the witch hazel ones, I would be careful not to use them to smoke food, for obvious reasons. If one is not in the USA or Europe, I wouldn't recommend any woods to them, because of the confusion caused by common names vs scientific ones. Here is the USA the safe ones are maple, ash, birch, hickory, corn cobs, mesquite (probably).

Even if one does not get sick, what happens to the flavor of the food? I would bet that (an unsuitable wood) is the cause of the strange taste of your smoked meats.

Ray

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Fifi:

Redgum IS the heartwood of sweetgum, the L.styraciflua. Great for furniture, but be wary for foods. If one has a ready supply of it, the europeans love to buy it for furniture. We don't get any here in the Northeast.

Ray

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No wonder it tastes funny if you are smoking meat, you wanna to try tobacco instead. :raz:

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Bringing this old thread forward to show Mr. Kim's latest project.  He's agreed to smoke some butts for a fundraiser for our church womens' group.  This is less than half of what he'll end up smoking:

DSCN0012.JPG.08e36953f405c40f604ebe346f76c394.JPG

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14 minutes ago, Kim Shook said:

Bringing this old thread forward to show Mr. Kim's latest project.  He's agreed to smoke some butts for a fundraiser for our church womens' group.  This is less than half of what he'll end up smoking:

DSCN0012.JPG.08e36953f405c40f604ebe346f76c394.JPG

 

Oh, I'm looking forward to this! We still occasionally experiment with meat-smoking, but it's an annual thing and we could stand some pointers.

 

Are those pork butts?

 

(Incidentally, we used to have exactly that same countertop material. I still like the looks of it!)


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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If I had a dollar for every one of those I've smoked...

 

Does he use a basting sauce, or just a dry rub?


Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Just now, Smithy said:

 

Oh, I'm looking forward to this! We still occasionally experiment with meat-smoking, but it's an annual thing and we could stand some pointers.

 

Are those pork butts?

 

(Incidentally, we used to have exactly that same countertop material. I still like the looks of it!)

Yep, pork butts.  He's just finishing putting on the rub and I'm helping him wrap them in plastic wrap for the fridge.  He'll start them tomorrow morning at 5 or 6am.  I'll post updates and the final results!

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1 minute ago, kayb said:

If I had a dollar for every one of those I've smoked...

 

Does he use a basting sauce, or just a dry rub?

No baste.  Just dry rub.  He says he's tried apple juice, but hasn't noticed any difference.  He uses a mix of apple and hickory wood for pork.  

 

All rubbed and ready to be wrapped:

DSCN0013.JPG.00aa3a1651e045808f791ecfa4fe1ebb.JPG

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Hot smoking?  What smoker do you use?

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