Author Topic: Bitter Flavor - Wide Open Vent  (Read 1368 times)

Offline Shuswap

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Bitter Flavor - Wide Open Vent
« on: November 01, 2015, 07:21:04 am »
I attempted to triple smoke maple bacon.  After curing for a week and then, after rinsing and drying, adding another dusting of maple sugar for a 2nd week, the process called for 3 eight hour cold smokes with a day of rest between the 2nd and 3rd days.  I thought 72 pucks for 24 hours of smoking a lot so I cold smoked in my OBS using a Pro Q smoke generator filled with oak dust.  I did two 8 hour days of smoking then a fry test. The flavor was very bitter from creosote build up. I think I have to increase the air flow in the smoker since the vent had been wide open. Because of this I skipped the 3rd day of cold smoking.
The last phase of this English Bacon process is to age and mature the flavors for 4 – 6 days. I did 6 days in a room around 50F and that helped greatly to reduce the bitter flavor but I’m still not satisfied.
Any thoughts on fighting the bitter flavor greatly appreciated.

Offline cathouse willy

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Re: Bitter Flavor - Wide Open Vent
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2015, 09:18:58 am »
Shuswap you didn't mention which recipe you used but Habanero's calls for 3hrs of smoke per day for three days and I find that's plenty, so 8hrs of smoke per day seems like a LOT of smoke. Sorry can't help with the bitter taste.
Here's a link to Habanero's recipe for triple smoked bacon

Offline beefmann

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Re: Bitter Flavor - Wide Open Vent
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2015, 11:13:23 am »

A few things to  check on During the smoke. which may lead to a  bitter taste...

1) condensation dripping down from the top,,, I kinda doubt this considering the  vent was wide open
2) The catch pan / tray for  the  pucks became dry ..  letting the  pucks burn causing the ambers,, and the  burnt wood drift onto the  meat hence the  bitter taste.. keep a  watch on this issue,, it can  happen quite easily
3) to much  smoke in general applied at once,, ,3 to 4 hours max at any  one given  smoke,, best to do 3 hours,,, cool /  place in  fridge,, ,over  night,, repeat ..

hope this helps
Where Da Beef ! ! !
OBS with Original 900 watt mod
auber PID with Smoke timer and duration time
Rec Tec RT 680 pellet grill

Offline Shuswap

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Re: Bitter Flavor - Wide Open Vent
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2015, 11:39:03 am »
Beefmann your 3rd item jibes with advice I got from Hab by pm:

"My first thought is that is a lot of smoke. I make triple smoke bacon in the Bradley using bisquettes, but I only apply 3 hours of smoke each day, and the rest of the time I just air day the bacon. If you can, check with the commercial processor. Often they will say smoked for 8 hours per day, but actually they may only apply some smoke for a short period, then hold it at a certain temperature for the remainder of time. The reason for the length of time, is not necessarily the length of smoke application, it is also that you want to "gently" dry the meat at the same time. The loss of moisture concentrates the flavors of the meat.

When making triple smoke bacon, I do leave the vent wide open, mainly to help keep the heat down. Bradley has an advantage over producing "cleaner" smoke than most other methods. The burner plate only heats up to 550°F. The lower the temperature the wood burns at the "sweeter" the smoke. Burning at higher temperatures, like I suspect the Pro Q smoke generator burns, will produce chemicals in the smoke that tend to be more bitter. Using the Pro Q smoke generator, I suggest that you apply maybe 1 or 2 hours of smoke, and air dry the remaining 6 hours, at the same temperature.

Below is my Triple Smoke recipe. "
« Last Edit: November 01, 2015, 11:41:37 am by Shuswap »

Offline KyNola

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Re: Bitter Flavor - Wide Open Vent
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2015, 06:50:07 am »
I must have dreamed this but when I read your post earlier I thought it said the oak dust had been collected from wood you had used to make some chairs.  If that is the case is it possible that the wood you used had been treated with some sort of chemical?  That could account for a bitter taste especially when combined with the length of time the bacon was smoked.

If I am incorrect about the source of your wood dust, I sincerely apologize and just chalk it up to me losing my mind even more than usual.

Offline Shuswap

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Re: Bitter Flavor - Wide Open Vent
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2015, 07:10:15 am »
KyNola, the sawdust is from table saw cutting of untreated white oak lumber only after the boards have been planed to width and thickness.  Good thought though because I have recycled white oak that had been previously varnished (gym flooring) but I wouldn't use the sawdust from that.

Because the ash was pitch black I am seriously considering adding a 1/4" black pipe nipple to the box and connecting an aquarium pump to that for better air movement.  As I understand it smoke needs to move past the product not rest on it.