Author Topic: Creosote off the air vent?  (Read 1846 times)

Offline smokin stu

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Creosote off the air vent?
« on: January 05, 2006, 03:04:06 PM »

First time I cold smoked anything.  I had the temp at 100 for five hours, smoked with apple the whole time.  Pulled my brined and now smoked fillets of Coho Salmon out of the BS and on one of the fillets, a big black wet spot.

I had creosote or some such thing dripping down from the air vent.

What is going on here?

I wipe down the inside of my BS with hot water after each use, but admit to not wiping down the ceiling of the unit.  I usually unscrew the air vent thingy and clean that up as well.

Should I be doing something else to prevent a black smudge on an otherwise beautiful deep red to orange slab of mouth watering smoked salmon?[:p] I cut the black section out as I am not one to eat creosote marinated food, and it ruined the look of a spectacular fillet.

The rest of the fish was spectacular by the way.

Offline whitetailfan

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Re: Creosote off the air vent?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2006, 04:02:23 PM »
Hi Stu,
You appear to be taking more precaution than I do in cleaning your smoker, so it is unfortunate you had this problem.  What I believe caused this issue is two part.  First of all the smoke will build up around the vent over time, and obviously you can't get it all.  Second, moisture builds up at the top and will drip back down if the vent is not opened wide enough to allow the moisture to escape.

Now most of the time, this happens to me on a hot smoke and specifically more-so when I'm doing jerky.  I perhaps notice it more because like your salmon, I get drips on my perfect looking jerky pieces sometime.  This should not necessarily happen during a cold smoke, but at 100 deg, I'm sure some moisture is escaping the salmon and causing the back drip.  The good news is its just smoke gunk, and not likely to kill you as creosote is.

Did you salmon have a good pellicle before you started, or was it still damp to the touch?  Could be just a low spot in the fillet that had moisture in it, that combined with the smoke to make a yukky spot?????

Good luck and keep on smokin[:p]

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Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Creosote off the air vent?
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2006, 06:40:35 PM »
In addition, if possible open your vent more.

I have the same problem when I am smoking salts. Here is what I do. It will not work for all situations, but gives you another option. To prevent the moisture from dripping down on my salt, or any other food, I line one tray with 2-3 layers of cheese cloth and put that tray on the top shelf. The cheese cloth will absorb any moisture that drips down and prevents it from going on the food. The disadvantage is that you will loose one shelf. If you are doing salmon or other thinner cuts of meat, you can still use all four racks, just invert one rack and place the cheese cloth on that, then you can place that over the top tray. Again, the disadvantage is that you will need at least one extra tray.