BRADLEY SMOKER | "Taste the Great Outdoors"

Smoking Techniques => Hot Smoking and Barbecuing => Topic started by: icerat4 on August 16, 2006, 02:41:12 PM

Title: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: icerat4 on August 16, 2006, 02:41:12 PM
let the old timers chime in. ;D
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: robs on August 16, 2006, 06:23:33 PM
Use liquid smoke. Sorry Icerat - you know I had to. :P
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: TomG on August 16, 2006, 07:37:35 PM
I just read the section of Smoked Meats in Harold McGee’s “On Food and Cooking; The Science and Lore of the Kitchen.” He basically states that smoking preserves the surface of the meat, and kills or inhibits the growth of microbes (bacteria).  During cold smoking, smoke vapors are deposited on the surface of meat, as much as seven times faster then when you are hot smoking

I haven't read the book but have no reason to believe that Hab's quote is not accurate.  That being the case it would seem that 1 hour of cold smoking is the equivalent of 7 hours of hot smoking.  The practical implications are that you might need only 1 puck cold smoking for each 7 pucks hot smoking. ::) ::)
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: Habanero Smoker on August 17, 2006, 03:03:32 AM
As Olds has posted many times; the smoke flavor should not over power the other flavors. You should be able to distinguish most flavors.

Cold smoking can increase smoke flavor. Also the lower temperature you smoke at the more effective the application of smoke will be. The drier the surface of the product at the beginning of smoking; the better smoke will adhere and penetrate. You can always increase smoking times. Or experiment with different woods.

What is your end goal?
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: icerat4 on August 17, 2006, 06:22:17 AM
Good one robs  ;D. I like that. One back at me. Im AM ON the floor rolling laughing too funny. :D.NICE
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: robs on August 17, 2006, 06:16:05 PM
I just want to taste alot of smoke. I've been doing 4-5 hours on a brisket and I can hardly taste the smoke. I allways preheat to 225 and leave at 225 until finished. I think that temperature at the begining of the smoking process is key here.

Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: Smudge on August 17, 2006, 06:33:38 PM
Wow I can't believe anyone can't get good smoke flavoring. I'm the opposite I guess, I find I'm using the two hour smoking for most things, and still feel its overpowering at times.

Just a reminder, smoking anything once the internal temperature of the meat is 140 and above is non-productive. One is merely burning pucks IMO. 
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: robs on August 17, 2006, 06:44:02 PM
Wow I can't believe anyone can't get good smoke flavoring. I'm the opposite I guess, I find I'm using the two hour smoking for most things, and still feel its overpowering at times.

Just a reminder, smoking anything once the internal temperature of the meat is 140 and above is non-productive. One is merely burning pucks IMO. 

Good post. I guess everyone has different tastes? Or is it that I'm using hickory? Maybe I need something stronger.

Is it internal temp of 140 or surface temp of 140?
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: asa on August 17, 2006, 08:05:22 PM
Surface temp of 140, I'm told. That's where the smoke flavoring deposits, clings, adheres, or whatever it does.
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: TomG on August 17, 2006, 09:51:49 PM
What is your end goal?

Ahh!!  I Want to be as good looking as the Icerat ??? ??? ???
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: Oldman on August 18, 2006, 07:16:20 AM
Quote
As Olds has posted many times; the smoke flavor should not over power the other flavors.

My opinion only... Smoke should be looked upon like salt and pepper. They enhance not distroy the nature flavoring of the product being smoked.

Quote
I just want to taste alot of smoke. I've been doing 4-5 hours on a brisket and I can hardly taste the smoke.
Use Mesquite. It so strong some folks here call it the Devil's wood.

Quote
Wow I can't believe anyone can't get good smoke flavoring. I'm the opposite I guess, I find I'm using the two hour smoking for most things, and still feel its overpowering at times.
I totally agree.

Quote
Or is it that I'm using hickory? Maybe I need something stronger.
Try Alder as it a milder smoke and has a nice flavoring to it.

When we have tried cold smokin' of meat for the grill we have not been impressed at all. That was until we went to an hour or less of smoke.... as stated different strokes for different folks.

Olds
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: icerat4 on August 18, 2006, 08:06:43 AM
I think this all goes back to personal taste buds.Each and everyone is different .Kinda like a finger print. ;D  .Me and robs will just toss some liquid smoke on our stuff if we need more smoke LOL  :D.
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: Smudge on August 18, 2006, 06:09:14 PM
It seems to me that if more smoke flavoring is desired you need to lay off the high heat in the early part of the cooking process. 
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: robs on August 19, 2006, 05:27:31 AM
Im trying the lower heat towards the begining on the next few smokes.

If that doesn't work, I'm filling the water bowl with liquid smoke. Im kidding.
 :P
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: robs on August 29, 2006, 10:16:47 AM
Help me out guys. Here's what I did on my last smoke:
- 5lb brisket
- hickory pucks
- First 5 hours: smoke generator only (15 pucks). Maintained heat under 140 f.
- heat up to 225 after the 5 hour mark

Result:
- Absolutely no smoke tastes whatsoever. I've had multiple people verify this.
- Brisket has about 1/16 inch brown layer around the edges. That 1/16 of an inch tastes a little bit like smoke.

I'm at a loss. It can't just be that I'm using hickory, or they wouldn't make hickory pucks. I've even tried not using a rub, thinking that it may be preventing the smoke from penetrating the meat.

When I empty the water bowl, the pucks are just a little brown on the inside yet. Do you think that they aren't burning all the way? This is just some of the pucks. Some are also completely black.

HELP!!!!!
rob



Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: TomG on August 29, 2006, 11:42:01 AM
Robs,   Is it possible that you live in a Smoke-Free Zone ??? ::) ::)

Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: icerat4 on August 29, 2006, 11:44:31 AM
That was funny tom .Good one ;D :D
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: robs on August 29, 2006, 11:45:53 AM
Ok, thanks really funny, but not much help! I need smoke flavor! Seriously, do I have a bad smoke gen?

I got way more flavor out of my little chief  :-X
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: Oldman on August 29, 2006, 12:29:01 PM
More smoke flavor... I can turn a piece of meat into an ash tray..... I would call Bradley and see if they cna help you.
Olds
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: robs on August 29, 2006, 12:34:50 PM
More smoke flavor... I can turn a piece of meat into an ash tray..... I would call Bradley and see if they cna help you.
Olds

Thanks Olds. This really doesn't sound right, does it? I have the same result nomatter what I smoke: pork, beef, etc.

I allways give it 5 hours of smoke and I can never taste any smoke.
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: Habanero Smoker on August 29, 2006, 12:42:20 PM
I would call Bradley. Fifteen pucks is a lot. If you or anyone else can't taste any smoke, especially hickory then there is something wrong. It looks as if your heating pad on the generator is not getting hot enough to generate smoke as it was designed to do and it is probable just hot enough to char your pucks. My generator turns my pucks completely black throughout. How much smoke do you observe coming out of the vent?
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: iceman on August 29, 2006, 01:27:46 PM
I think Hab is on to something. When I was playing around with voltage drops on the generator I could burn a biscuit at a lot lower temp and voltage than was normal. Like Old's said I can get the meat like burnt tree bark if I want to. I just did some pastrami last week and only 4 hours of smoke and it was plenty smokey tasting. Dang, I'm drooling again Habs. I'm just guessing your burner plate is weak from the sounds of it. (This has happened to others). Best to call Bradley and just have them replace the generator and get back to smoking. ;)
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: Habanero Smoker on August 29, 2006, 01:33:40 PM
One other thought, did this problem begin before or after you hooked up you PID? I would trouble shoot first and run the BS without the PID.

Iceman, now you got me thinking about the pastrami; you are going to make me make an extra trip to Sam's to get a couple of flats.
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: robs on August 29, 2006, 01:34:40 PM
Generator on it's way. I'll keep you posted with the results.

Thanks guys.
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: robs on August 29, 2006, 01:35:35 PM
One other thought, did this problem begin before or after you hooked up you PID? I would trouble shoot first and run the BS without the PID.

Iceman, now you got me thinking about the pastrami; you are going to make me make an extra trip to Sam's to get a couple of flats.

I haven't been using the PID. But I can't tell you why just yet.... ;)

Like I said (or didn't I) I've had this smoker for 8 months and have never tasted the smoke....

rob
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: iceman on August 29, 2006, 01:55:32 PM
Forgot to mention robs, if you have a IR thermometer shoot the burner plate. It should read 420f to 460f under normal conditions. Lower than that and you'll get the type of burn you were talking about.
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: robs on August 29, 2006, 01:58:07 PM
Forgot to mention robs, if you have a IR thermometer shoot the burner plate. It should read 420f to 460f under normal conditions. Lower than that and you'll get the type of burn you were talking about.

Very good idea. Thanks for the input.
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: bubbagump on August 29, 2006, 04:41:38 PM
One other thought, did this problem begin before or after you hooked up you PID? I would trouble shoot first and run the BS without the PID.

If wired correctly the PID should not control the burner plate at all. It runs independant of the PID.

Bubbagump
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: robs on August 29, 2006, 05:53:04 PM
One other thought, did this problem begin before or after you hooked up you PID? I would trouble shoot first and run the BS without the PID.

If wired correctly the PID should not control the burner plate at all. It runs independant of the PID.

Bubbagump

This is true. Using the diagram I supplied, the puck burner is not affected.
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: MallardWacker on August 30, 2006, 12:15:32 PM
Mesquite my chum, Mesquite.
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: robs on August 30, 2006, 12:23:29 PM
Mesquite my chum, Mesquite.

I think I'll try this next. Might be kind of hard to get that ol "hickory smoked" flavor though...

Mabye using a mixture of hickory and mesquite would work.

Out of curiosity, what would happen if the pucks were soaked in water for a few minutes? I'm not saying this would be a good idea, I'm just wondering what would happen.
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: MallardWacker on August 30, 2006, 12:31:21 PM
robs...

Man they will fall apart in a heart beat....Before you go off and buy some of that them there Mesquite, beware and for warned this not your Mothers Mesquite.  This stuff is freek'n strong.  If I was to use it again, and that may be a long time, I would use half as much as you normally use, tho I have never done it, mixing a puck or two of Mesquite with Hickory might be what you are looking for.  Go easy with that stuff.
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: robs on August 30, 2006, 05:50:44 PM
robs...

Man they will fall apart in a heart beat....Before you go off and buy some of that them there Mesquite, beware and for warned this not your Mothers Mesquite.  This stuff is freek'n strong.  If I was to use it again, and that may be a long time, I would use half as much as you normally use, tho I have never done it, mixing a puck or two of Mesquite with Hickory might be what you are looking for.  Go easy with that stuff.

Thanks for the warning regarding the soak. I'm just throwing ideas out there. I will pick up some mesquite and try a puck or two mixed with the hickory.

Thanks!
rob
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: kiyotei on October 01, 2006, 07:21:30 PM
Rob, looking at your last comments about smoking the meat for 5 hours at a temp of 140, is that not a health risk?  That's an awful low temp for such an extended time with raw meat?  According to my Weber smoking manual, meat should not be kept below 140 for more than I think 3 hours.
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: robs on October 01, 2006, 08:41:18 PM
I don't think so, because smoke is introduced. I'll let the more experienced members chime in.

rob
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: kiyotei on October 11, 2006, 09:00:46 PM
According to Webber, the smoke will not retard things like botulism (which flourishes in anaerobic environments).
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: Chez Bubba on October 12, 2006, 07:04:33 PM
I'm tired & don't feel like doing the research, but manxman, JJC & others had a very detailed & informative discussion on this topic on another thread.

If I remember correctly, which I very well may not, botulism isn't a concern because of the final temp you take it to, but there are some other nasties that come into play & might make you fill the bowl with pudding or worse.

Anyway, my main point is, do a search for that thread. It is fascinating reading presented from guys who really know the facts.

Kirk
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: manxman on October 13, 2006, 03:51:25 AM
Quote
looking at your last comments about smoking the meat for 5 hours at a temp of 140, is that not a health risk?


I would suggest having a read through the articles below for anyone concerned about food poisoning as it should answer any concerns.

Very often the answer to queries depends on individual circumstance and it is difficult to give a definitive answer if all the what, if's and but's are not known.

For example I cold smoke fish at room temperature for 8 hours but the fish has been brined and the smoke adheres to the fish during the smoking process. However, whilst smoke is a decent antimicrobial and antioxidant, smoke alone is insufficient for preserving food in practice. The main problem is that the smoke compounds adhere only to the outer surfaces of the food; smoke doesn't actually penetrate far into meat or fish hence the importance of curing from a preservation point of view which in itself is probably more effective at inhibiting growth.

However, food nowadays is generally cured less than in days of old when long term preservation was required and there were no freezers, curing and smoking nowadays is often more about flavour and taste rather than preservation.

That is why I make absolutely sure I cook my cured/cold smoked fish thoroughly where appropriate and am very careful with my "lox" type preparations!

It is worth bearing in mind this quote from the food poisoning articles:

"However, the "danger zone" where harmful bacteria can multiply is almost always quoted as 40–140F. (5–60C) This is the temperature range to remember and food must not be allowed to linger in this zone"

Conversely, linger generally means more than two hours, however leaving it longer than two hours does not mean you are going to get food poisoning, only that the odds are increased in favour of it happening. Similarly the growth rate of bacteria falls off rapidly above 113F and very few can grow above 122F, the optimum temperature for growth being 98/99F, human body temperature. It is therefore all about making informed choices....."you pay your money and take your chance"!  ;)

If in doubt, err on the side of caution.

http://susan.rminor.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7

http://susan.rminor.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9

http://susan.rminor.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=12
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: Habanero Smoker on October 13, 2006, 05:29:16 AM
I just like to add; what most are unaware of is that the 2 hours in the danger zone is what the FDA is considering a cumulative period of time. For example, if you purchase you meat at a market and it takes you 30 minutes to drive home and get the meat in the refrigerator, that 30 minutes counts as part of the 2 hours. Refrigeration only retards or stops the growth, it does not kill the bacteria.
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: manxman on October 13, 2006, 05:49:45 AM
Quote
I just like to add; what most are unaware of is that the 2 hours in the danger zone is what the FDA is considering a cumulative period of time. For example, if you purchase you meat at a market and it takes you 30 minutes to drive home and get the meat in the refrigerator, that 30 minutes counts as part of the 2 hours. Refrigeration only retards or stops the growth, it does not kill the bacteria.

Very good point HS, and not only that, if the meat has been in say a warm/hot car for example or you have done other shopping before going back to the car it may take a good while after it has been put in the fridge to cool down again so that 30 minutes may soon becomes an hour or longer!  :)
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: Chez Bubba on October 13, 2006, 05:22:55 PM
See, I told ya. Thanks manx.

I did forget to tell you that they use really big words! ;D ;D

Kirk
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: icerat4 on October 13, 2006, 05:25:10 PM
 ;D
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: manxman on October 14, 2006, 12:54:59 AM
Quote
I did forget to tell you that they use really big words!

Haha...... it's looking up how to spell them in the dictionary that takes the time!! :-[ ;) ;D
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: vmmike on October 14, 2006, 10:57:50 PM
Okay, now back to the smoke flavor.  Sorry to put a first post in the middle of this one but.........  ??? I feel Rob's pain.   :'(

My background is twenty plus years of smoking with a offset smoker with a vertical tower.  All my smoking has been done in Texas, with Mesquite(for beef) I used charcoal for heat and Moskeet  ;) for flavor.  I usually smoke for 9-10 hours with a target temp between 200 F and 225 Fand then just heat for another six plus @ 200 F, for 12# to 15# briskets.

I have been complemented for my great tasting, melt in your mouth meat with great flavor.  Typically I get a 1/4 to 3/8  inch penetration on the smoke.

Anyway, since I burned out the firebox on my last smoker(all that Moskeet), I figured I look around and found this Bradley deal online.  It looked great to me and I didn't have to get up all night tending the fire.  So I bought a Bradley Digital Six Rack Smoker....  Let the games begin!  :D

I broke in my smoker at 275 F for four hours with a two hour smoke time with special blend.  They came with the smoker and I don't think I will ever use them  ;D for anything else except the last two pucks to push.(What is special blend anyway? :o)  I bought mesquite, apple, cherry with the smoker.

My first real smoke was a 9# bricket with 5 hours of Mesquite and heat for 9:40 @ 200 F.  I then did some more dry heat @ 200.

The result was a very nice baked brisket with absolutely no penetration and no smoke flavor.  :-\  My wife commented on how the BBQ had my typical consistency, but, NO FLAVOR...... ???

I am open to suggestions and I will check out the temp on the plate, but I don't think that is the problem as most of the bisquettes were nothing but coffee grounds on the bottom of the catch bowl.  A few of them remained entact and appeared completely spent/charred up, burnt etc, etc.

My inclination is to open the vent more and turn down the heat to 180 F and increase the smoke time for the next smoke.

I have read along the way that meat will not accept smoke past an internal temp of 160 F so the 140 F quoted earlier in this thread makes some sense and isn't that far off my other source.  What's 20 F among friends? :)  Well maybe in this crowd its a lot as we look at installing PID's to control heat to a gnat's.... I mean REAL CLOSE.  8)

Point me in the direction and I shall try.

Thanks for any advice in advance.

Your humble student of the great smoke (be it elusive)

Mike
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: Habanero Smoker on October 15, 2006, 05:38:03 AM
VMMike;

Welcome to the forum. The only question that I can give you an answer on is what is special blend. The special blend bisquettes are a mixture of all the other wood flavors except the mesquite.

As for you not getting enough smoke flavor, I can't help you there. It appears that your BS is functioning fine. Using 5 hours of mesquite  in my BS would be over powering for me. I've never had a problem with not enough smoke flavor. I usually have the opposite. Reading your post, I can't think of anything else, other then to make sure the surface of the meat is dry before applying smoke. That will help somewhat. I usually do not do that for large cuts of meat, because as I stated I've never had a problem of not getting enough smoke flavor.

When you talk about "no penetration", are you talking about the absence of a "smoke ring"? You are not going to get a "smoke ring" by using a electric smoker. You can only get a "smoke ring" by cooking over organic fuel such as wood, charcoal and/or gas. Burning of these types of fuel produces trace amounts of nitrogen dioxide. When it comes in contact with the meat surface it dissolves and eventually converts to nitric oxide, which react to the pigment in the meat to form a "pink ring". This can penetrate to a depth of about 1/3"-3/8" (8-10 mm). Although you are producing smoke in the BS, the bisquettes are not burning hot enough to produce traces on nitrogen dioxide, or in the amount that would be needed to create a "smoke ring."

As far as the PID's, and the Raptor/Guru's; those devices were added on by members who own the original BS, way before Bradley thought of producing a digital smoker. We did not have the option to buy the digital, as you had. In a way I'm glad, because the original can be customized more by the owner. My opinion, if you got something that can control the temperature down to a gnat's, then why not take advantage of it.

Hopefully, someone can come up with the answers to solve your problem.
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: mattmilw on October 15, 2006, 06:12:24 AM
VMMike-

My Bradley experience has been simillar to yours. It's easy to use, produces very tender, moist meat, but there just isn't much in the way of smoke flavor. From what I've read on this forum, some prefer a lesser level of smoke flavoring, whereas I prefer it to be more pronounced. I'm not looking for an overpowering flavor, but I don't want any doubt that the meat came out of a smoker. I've tried mesquite, and I agree it's the strongest flavored bisquite, but it still doesn't impart the amount of flavoring that my old wood burning smoker did.

My solution at this point is to pull a finished butt, place it in a foil pan, and put it back into the Bradley at a low temp, and smoke it for another hour. This improves the smoke flavoring a bit.

I read this forum regularly, and follow the advice of it's dedicated participants, but I'm still not quite there.  I am haviing fun trying to find a solution though.



Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: icerat4 on October 15, 2006, 08:24:02 AM
I have no problem tasting the smoke .Its gota be this personal taste bud deal. ;D.Maybe too much drinking paint thinner killed the buds.Use the devils wood and go longer on the smoke this should help i would think.Just my 3 cents. 8)
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: kiyotei on October 15, 2006, 11:46:46 AM
hey manxman, thanks for the links on food poisoning.  I found them very intersting.  I've had some bad luck with getting sick eating at restaurants and friends houses so I'm a bit paranoid now a days.
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: TomG on October 15, 2006, 07:06:17 PM
According to Webber, the smoke will not retard things like botulism (which flourishes in anaerobic environments).

How anerobic is the BS oven while smoking?
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: Arcs_n_Sparks on October 15, 2006, 07:15:14 PM
oh oh, getting technical now....... Need a drink........ :D :D :D

Since you need enough oxygen to oxidize the pucks (that is what burning is about), I suspect it is not a fully anaerobic environment. With smoke coming out the vent, air is coming, it is probably not a stoichiometric (ouch!!!!!) mixture. Of course, it could be oxygen starved, and you would be okay.

Let see.....another drink.....let's get some oxygen sensors....... another drink.....he11, you guys figure it out...... ??? ???

Arcs_n_Sparks
Title: Re: How to get more smoke flavor.
Post by: manxman on October 16, 2006, 01:50:09 AM
Quote
How anerobic is the BS oven while smoking?

Strangely enough I had the same conversation with someone over the weekend, my partner is a microbiologist and shares my interest in smoking. She helped me by proof reading the food poisoning articles for example. ;D

We basically came to the same decision as arcs n' sparks, it is probably a reduced oxygen enviroment but not anaerobic.

Not that we spent too much time discussing it, there are more pressing things in life!!  ;D