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len440

Too smokey

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Did a 4 bone prime rib for Christmas and it came out too Smokey. Filled up Joe classic 'll  with fresh charcoal and 4 first sizes chunks of hickory. Same amount of hickory I used day earlier for ribs. Same bag of royal oak as the ribs, charcoal was size of baseball's and down to golf ball sized lumps. Had problem keeping temp at 250 about 2 hours in temp dropped to 190 had to open bottom vent really wide to get temp back to 250. Roast had a really storms smoke taste. Any id as why?

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Just guessing, I am thinking maybe your fire might not have been  completely established when you put your PR on. When you first light your fire and until it is established, it will put out a thick white smoke that will leave an over smoked harsh taste on whatever you are cooking. Also, when it comes to wood smoke, I believe less is more. Personally, I generally use only one chunk of pecan or apple. Hickory is a little too sharp a taste for my smoke palate. 

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Had the fire going for about 1 hour before placing pr on grill starting to think perhaps when the fire died down to 190 and opened the vents to get it back to 250 might be the culprit. This was a new bag of royal oak charcoal used it the day before for ribs all the coal in the bag was baseball sized and smaller, might have created a air draw problem causing part of the fire to die and neede3d a lot more air to maintain the burning., and i had a mix of about 70% new coal and 30% left from the ribs the night before.

 

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I tend to think that cooks with a stick-burning background probably would have a very different take on wood chunks in gerneral. So, I'll skip that part of the discussion

 

1 hour ago, len440 said:

Had the fire going for about 1 hour before placing pr on grill starting to think perhaps when the fire died down to 190 and opened the vents to get it back to 250 might be the culprit. This was a new bag of royal oak charcoal used it the day before for ribs all the coal in the bag was baseball sized and smaller, might have created a air draw problem causing part of the fire to die and neede3d a lot more air to maintain the burning., and i had a mix of about 70% new coal and 30% left from the ribs the night before.

 

 

Letting the grill burn for an hour is only one ingredient in the good fire recipe. For instance- the amount of that time that the grill was at your target temp and holding. There is always a reason, in my opinion, for a significant drop in temp. But, I can only offer a uneduated guess or two from my experience.

 

First, ash: you topped off with fresh lump but, did you stir the ash? This would be less of a necessity with kick ash baskets or the KJ lump basket.Next I'd look into whether the lump was perhaps damp. In Ohio, there is the combination of near freezing temps at night and warming during the day. If the grill was left outside, that 30% of lump left over could have taken on moisture- i.e., the water content high. A tale tell sign, in my experience, is difficulty in lighting it. But, if the fresh lump was lit initially, the drop off could have occured as the fire attempted to transfer to the damp lump.

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after having the left overs i think the strong smoke taste was from the charcoal and not the hickory chunks, it kind of smelled like the smoke when first starting it . I'm beginning to  think when the fire died down and i opened  the vents this might have caused the smoke of the starting charcoal to over power everything . I know the 4 chunks might have been a bit much but i'm changing over from using a gasser and the smoke flavor isn't the same yet. I had thought i had the charcoal figured out for this grill ,but i have some more to learn , I'll get there one day only had my joe for about 5 months. Keeper,Walus, John and Texas thanks for your input Have a smoking good new year.

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I had a problem one time with a prime rib that turned out too smokey.  It almost had a sooty taste and smell.  Since then I've been cooking them on the Joetisserie but I put one of the deflector plates on the bottom and put a little water in it to keep the fat from burning and smoking.  Since I started using the drip pan I haven't had a problem.

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When I first started out cooking in the backyard probably 30 years ago I was using a Weber Kettle, I used those Weber charcoal baskets and put one on each side of the kettle with a gap and a drip pan in the middle. I had a grate that had lift panels on both sides so I could access the charcoal bins easily during the cook. At that time I thought smoke should be pouring over my PR from start to finish on a probably 2 1/2 to 3 hour cook. I used dried oak from a tree my dad cut down on his property, and kept putting fresh chunks on top of the burning charcoal as the last ones burned down. I thought my PR was amazing back then, but I remember having a strong smoke aftertaste in my mouth and nose  and my skin smelling like smoke  the next morning after a PR  dinner the night before. Looking back It's pretty easy to see that my cooks were totally over smoked and I simply  saturated the meat with smoke and resin. Now a days, I use maybe one chunk of pecan and often just go with plain lump. So yes, I think if you go overboard, like I used to, It is possible to over smoke even a big cut like PR. 

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As others have pointed out... I have found that prime rib  and other beef roasts  (especially the lean cuts) suck up smoke flavor more than other cuts of meat and I no longer add any smoking wood (or maybe just a very little like a pecan or even a touch of oak for a short duration) when cooking these cuts.  You still get a good wood fired flavor but as an enhancement to the meat even with no added wood.  

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I'll have to try this again but with a chuck roast instead, and leave out the chunks. This was the same procedure i use  for the pork butt i smoked before the only difference was the fire dying down and having to open the vents to get the heat back up. Also this was the first beef i had smoked   mostly ribs and pork butts before. And seeing i've only had my joe since July i'm  still learning how to use it, makes great  ribs pulled pork and some fantastic steaks. Almost forgot a few 600 Degree pizza , thanks for the recipe John.

 

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Two things. 

- I love smoked beef. 

- It's easy to over-smoke food with a Kamado. 

 

The first is personal preference. You're trying things so you'll find out what you like.

 

But first, give true smoke flavor a chance by letting your fire mature before putting on the food. The only time smoked food ever tasted bad, I added wood to a smokey fire. Before blaming the beef, try adding a little wood after you get clear smoke from the fire. I have a London Broil leftover in the fridge that I hit with about a dozen chunks of hickory; very smokey, but also very good! (to my taste, at least!)

 

Have fun,

Frank

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key is you have to let the white smoke go away before you put any meat on grill otherwise you will get exactly what you have described

let your grill burn for awhile

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The charcoal was at 250 for several hours before the temp dropped i think the strong smoke was from the coals reigniting  when i opened the vents up, maybe i should have pulled the meat off til the coals relit. This is the second time the grill had done this i'm wondering if the fact that the bag of kingsford had no large pieces in it they were all the size of baseballs or smaller this is the second bag like this, (don't know if it was shipped this way or the handlers at wally world used the bag for a punching bag. The first bag the fire did the same thing and same size of coals, So i'm thinking with the smaller sized of coal maybe i have a air draw problem i have the factory grate in the bottom,. Had no trouble doing a 10 hour smoke on a pork butt with larger sized charcoal.Maybe i should be more selective of the size of charcoal and drop a few hints to my better half about a kick ash basket. Plus i'm still learning the grill and controlling the fire, never owned a gas grill , As a side note i'm EXTREMELY impressed with Kamado Joe and the backing of their warranty. Looks like i'm starting to ramble here so everyone have a smoking new year.  

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2 hours ago, len440 said:

The charcoal was at 250 for several hours before the temp dropped i think the strong smoke was from the coals reigniting  when i opened the vents up, maybe i should have pulled the meat off til the coals relit. This is the second time the grill had done this i'm wondering if the fact that the bag of kingsford had no large pieces in it they were all the size of baseballs or smaller this is the second bag like this, (don't know if it was shipped this way or the handlers at wally world used the bag for a punching bag. The first bag the fire did the same thing and same size of coals, So i'm thinking with the smaller sized of coal maybe i have a air draw problem i have the factory grate in the bottom,. Had no trouble doing a 10 hour smoke on a pork butt with larger sized charcoal.Maybe i should be more selective of the size of charcoal and drop a few hints to my better half about a kick ash basket. Plus i'm still learning the grill and controlling the fire, never owned a gas grill , As a side note i'm EXTREMELY impressed with Kamado Joe and the backing of their warranty. Looks like i'm starting to ramble here so everyone have a smoking new year.  

Brother, I believe you are overthinking this.  Reduce or eliminate the hickory chunks.

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