View Full Version : bitter nasty meat, please help!!!

05-31-2010, 10:55 AM

I've tried using my new smokintex 1400 three times and have been unsuccessful at making ribs that are even edible.

The first time, I used a recipe rub on country style ribs then loaded the wood box three times over the course of 5 hours. The smoke taste was completely overpowering. I learned that this was just too much wood.

Second batch was babybacks, recipe rub, less wood, only 8 oz plus another 4 oz of wood. Same result, completely black overpowering smokey bitter flavor

Last night, beef ribs & chicken, no rub, smoke cook for 3 hours with only 6 oz wood then another small chunk when I basted them with a good store bought KC style sauce. Still we had a overpowering bitter black smoke flavor.

This last method I've used for probably 10 years with my old smoker so I know it works great.

Here's my setup. I have the smokintex, and use the pan that came with it as a water pan on the rack right above the smoke box.

I've been setting it at 220 and leave it alone. The meat is moist and jucy but like I said before overpowering.

The wood is hickory chunks that fit in the smoke box and is a brand I've used for years.

The smoker seems to run properly and white smoke comes out of the top.

What am I doing wrong?

Am I still using too much wood?

I know there's a learning curve but I've been smoke barbqueing for 30 years. I'm obviously no expert but this one's got me stumped.

Thanks very much!

05-31-2010, 08:39 PM
OK, here's an update...

I tried a rack of baby backs using only 2.4 ounces of hickory and the ribs came out great!

2.4 ounces was just one little chunk of wood!

I'm much happier now that I've learned that this smoker is extremely efficient!

05-31-2010, 09:16 PM
Just as Ksanders said about 2 to 2.5 ounces of wood is all you need. I cook mine at 225 for about 4 hours. A couple times I have opened up after 3 hours and brushed with a little sauce and cooked for another hour.

This is not like a regular smoker. You will have better results by using very small chunks of wood and then as you have success you can try adding wood in small increments for more smoke flavor.

Don't feel bad. I was ready to throw in the towel too before I discovered that less was more! :)

06-01-2010, 06:22 AM
Yes way to much wood. Use a mild sweet wood and only 2-3 oz for the entire cook. Dont use any sharp flavored wood till you get use to your smoker. I prefer cherry or apple for ribs and chicken. Your 1400 will handle the rest. Takes some getting use to.... Good Luck.....Steve

06-01-2010, 08:50 AM
This is probably the most common mistake of the ST rookie, especially if you have been used to smoking on a stick-burner. We simply think it impossible for a chunk of wood the size of a golf ball to do justice to our ribs. Not to worry, I did the same thing. My first batch of ribs were totally inedible! Good rule to follow is to start with a little wood each smoke and work your way up. I'd rather have something that is tolerable than something that I have difficulty swallowing!:eek:

On another note, the static environment of the ST smokers do not need a water pan. Air moves so slowly that the moisture from the meat is actually self-basting. No need for the water pan. I have actually got to the point to where I wil open the door for 15-20 seconds just to dump some moisture, especially on "enhanced" ribs.

Can't stress enough the need to keep good notes. In doing so, you can replicate a good smoke as well as improve on the ones that were lacking.

Just a few thoughts...;)

06-01-2010, 09:42 AM
Thanks very much for the advice...I was getting frustrated!

In our old smoker we'd use a whole bag of wood each time we used it.

Now, we'll probably use a bag or two a year!

Time to try a brisket. :)

06-03-2010, 03:44 PM
Less is more. That is what I have learned. Try using 1 oz of wood and then move up. 2 oz is stil sometimes too much (depends on the wood). I had similar problems when I first started. Seriously - try less wood.

06-08-2010, 01:06 AM
Tonight I tried it again. This time cooking a pork shoulder using the "mister brown" recipe in the "smoke & spice" cookbook

For wood I used 4 oz of apple.

The results were truely amazing! The best thing was that the wife said it was delicious and ate seconds!

Thanks for all the help!

06-08-2010, 07:42 AM
Gotta keep the wife happy. Now your ready to start experimenting just keep good notes and dont over power anything....Good Luck......Steve

06-08-2010, 11:05 AM
Congrats! Agree with Steve. Keep the Mrs happy! One word of warning: When you do chicken, go very light on the wood. Poultry takes on smoke like no other meat. Might start with an ounce & go from there.

Have fun!!! :D

08-12-2010, 07:04 PM
I see all these references to oz's of wood. Do ya'll really weigh how much wood you are using? And if so, what are you weighing it with?

08-13-2010, 11:54 AM
After a while you'll be able to eyeball what 2oz (or whatever weight). But, "yes," when I first got my ST I used a digital postal scale to weigh wood.

08-16-2010, 06:17 PM
I agree with all the above...they know what thay are talking about. However, I like alot of smoke in my meat and use only about 4 ozs.


09-03-2010, 10:57 PM
Hi Billy Bob
I have tried a great recipe after going to a Cuban party here In Florida.
I marinate overnight in bitter orange juice...Near BBQ sauce isle. I add kosher salt 1/4 cup, same of minced garlic? Overnight, then rub with light brown sugar, touch of cumin, coriander, thyme, cayenne, Ginger salt and pepper. I use 3 oz. Of hickory chips and smoke for 4.5 hours at 225. Remember I live in Fl. And times mY vary- let me know how they come out for u