Saturday, June 09, 2007

Strong Smoky Undesirable Taste

Q: I bought a smoker this weekend and tried to smoke some ribs. I used dry hickory chunks from the store. The meat had a really strong smoke taste that kinda numbed your tongue. Do you have any tips to avoid this strong undesirable taste?

A: That was the chemical known as creosote which has a somewhat burny taste and numbs the lips and tongue upon contact. This is usually the result of green wood, not enough air flow into and out of the smoker, using only wood in too small of a smoker or a combination of the three.

Unless you have a fairly large smoker then, in spite of what it says on the bag of hickory chunks, it really needs to be used in addition to lump charcoal.

Use lump charcoal to get the fire going and get the smoker to the desired temperature, then add wood chunks on top of the coals for smoke or you can place them in a smoke box for even better results.

I like to use wood chips in smaller smokers wrapped up in a big piece of aluminum foil with some holes poked in the top and laid right on top of the coals. It will start smoking pretty quickly and you can have another one ready to put on when that one stops smoking.

Keep applying smoke until the meat reaches about 140 degrees at which point you just keep applying heat with the lump charcoal until the meat reaches the desired level of doneness.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Free Meat Smoking Log - PDF Format

I have created a Smoking Meat Log based on the one at the virtual bullet website. That one has its' good points but is designed primarily for the weber smoker.

I designed this one to be more user friendly and to allow some flexibility in using charcoal, electric propane or wood.

This file is in PDF format.. easily downloadable and printable.


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Smoking Beef Ribs

Q: Jeff, how long would you smoke a rack of beef ribs at a temp of 225 - 250 degrees? Go by looks, or time?

A: Beef ribs are not a specialty of mine but I have turned out some good ones in the past.. I like to remove the membrane on these things especially since it is thicker and more rubbery than the ones on pork ribs.

Be sure to season them real good as well with a sticking agent like plain yellow mustard or you can mix together some apple juice + oil (90/10 mix) and use a really flavorful rub.

All beef ribs are different so it can take anywhere from 6 to 8 hours to get them tender at 225 degrees. I have not tried the 3-2-1 method on them but I have a sneaky feeling that it would do wonders for them.

I think the main test for doneness would be to check the tenderness by trying to pull a couple of them apart. When they start tearing easily, they are done.

Like brisket, they have a lot of connective tissues and only low and slow will get them to the point of being tender and tasty.. patience is the key.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

How to Smoke Meat - Free eBook

Here is my newest eBook on the subject of smoking meat. Interestingly enough it is called, "How to Smoke Meat".

Some of the contents include:

  • Smoking Meat Terminology
  • How to use a Charcoal Chimney
  • How to make a Foil Smoking Pouch
  • How to use a Brinkmann Water Smoker (ECB)
  • How to use a Vertical Charcoal Vault-type Brinkmann Smoker
  • How to Smoke Meat on an Electric Smoker
  • How to use a Horizontal Offset Charcoal/Wood Smoker
  • and much more..

For now it is free for the taking;-)

Click here to download a copy


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New Smoking-Meat dot com Newsletter Archive

I have completely reworked the existing Smoking Meat Newsletter archive to make it easier for me as well as easier for you.

It is now simply 4 columns representing the last 4 years. Below these 4 columns are the months in chronological order with each one being a link to that month's newsletter.

Feel free to check it out at:

Have a wonderful Day!!

Jeff Phillips

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

April 2007 Smoking Meat Newsletter


The SM Newsletter for April 2007 has been posted to the website.

If anyone is subscribed to the newsletter but not getting the emails then it may be that your email service is filtering out what it "thinks" is SPAM.I have a great article on how to whitelist the domain.

If you are having this problem.. be sure to read over it at your convenience and take the proper steps to make sure that emails from always end up in your inbox.

Thanks and everyone have a fantastic day!

Jeff Phillips

Sunday, January 28, 2007

January 2007 Smoking Meat Newsletter

The January 2007 Edition of the Smoking Meat Newsletter is now ready to be viewed at the following link:

Best Regards,

Jeff Phillips