another how to,,,,,,,,

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another how to,,,,,,,,

Post  lipsmacking on Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:04 pm

hey guys hope your all well

i was looking for a bit of advice, ive been doin alot of q'ing and i love it as does me wife but she who must be obeyed only likes it covered in spice or marinade and not plane i think its because i use the minion alot and im sure as the unlit coals start to burn they give the meat a "chemically smokey" taste is there any way of avoiding this as i would like ear aches to finally go lol

thanks again all
mat

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Re: another how to,,,,,,,,

Post  steveheyes on Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:48 pm

What charcoal are you using?

If it's not instant lighting it should not be chemical tasting.

I've used a number of brands of briquettes and I don't get an artificial taste from them. Good quality briquettes use a natural starch binder so it should be flavourless.

Obviously lump is a better solution but getting decent lump in the UK is not easy.

Are you hitting the smoke too hard, i.e. oversmoking it for your wife's taste?
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Re: another how to,,,,,,,,

Post  lipsmacking on Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:08 pm

well im using lump from b&q but ive had it with a few different brands

the wood im using is steve raichlin oak wine barrels but i only put 1 lump on (unsoaked) as i said with spice or marinade it gorgeous but i would like to do some without this

cheers
mat

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Re: another how to,,,,,,,,

Post  steveheyes on Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:29 pm

Intriguing...

With the exception of instant lighting stuff which is soaked in chemicals. Lump is a natural product, there should be no additives in it whatsoever. I could understand if you were using some dodgy briquettes with a crappy binder in it but with lump you shouldn't be getting problems.

The only other thing I can suggest is to try coconut charcoal. It's lower ash so the smoke might be cleaner. But like I say I dont get any problems like this and I have a pretty sensitive pallette.
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Re: another how to,,,,,,,,

Post  lipsmacking on Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:37 pm

its not instant lighting , maybe its just cause b4 weve only ever tried smoked stuff from shop which i know i totally different thanks for ur help steve ur a star will just keep trying different methods see how we get on

cheers

mat

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Re: another how to,,,,,,,,

Post  All Weather Griller on Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:05 pm

Try avoiding the minion method. I have had a significant amount of feedback now from very experienced judges (thanks Jackie, Rocky, Feeney) that would lead me to believe that it is the method that leaves the unpleasant taste.

The method I am trialling at present is to have half fill my charcoal basket and put in two chimney starters of lit charcoal. I then assemble the smoker around that with the waterpan in and filled but the lid off. Leave it to burn for 10 mins or so, let the fumes vent... then put the lid on and bring it down to temp. put in the meat and then add the wood chips.

I have noticed a nicer flavour doing it this way. I will warn you though its not as efficient as the minion method both in time and fuel. When I restock it, I do it one chimney at a time... I think the excel comes into its own when you need to restock. Separating the cooking sections is so easy. Much better than my webers.
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Re: another how to,,,,,,,,

Post  steveheyes on Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:30 pm

Going to chip in here...

I too got petrol comments at the BBBQS Southern championships. I was doing Minion in the method that was recommended to me which was to make a kind of donut shape of unlit and then pouring hot coals in the middle, letting the fire burn outwards.

I then did a bit of research and tried an approach which might be similar to what Adie has just described. I put a bit of unlit in the middle of my basket making sure there's plenty of space all around. I then pour a chimney of lit on top, making sure I fully cover the unlit. I got this from a forum post on an American site which explained that the burning coals act as a filter for the fumes. I do then leave the cooker 15 minutes to let any fumes burn off.

I also give my charcoal a stir every hour or so and I get a good few hours before I need a top up. Like Adie says though, the top up is dead easy with the ProQ.

I reckon I get nearly as good performance as I was getting with the first method in terms of burn times. i got no petrol comments at Sheffield.

My other comment to Adie would be, I wonder if you hit your meat at Sheffield with too much smoke. Oversmoke gives an acrid taste that could be likened to petrol flavour. (To be fair though, I thought your Pork and Brisket tasted good at Sheffield) You did use a lot more wood than me at Sheffield. I really backed off on the wood after the Surrey comp and I'm much happier with the results.
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Re: another how to,,,,,,,,

Post  RichardD on Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:05 pm

I know *exactly* what you mean about the chemical taste. I got the same - no, it wasn't instant lighting stuff. Yes, I was using the minion method.

Two things I think *might* be at work. Firstly, with a new unit, it might take a few cooks to burn off any residues from the factory, whereas after a few sessions it should be nicely "seasoned" inside (a bit like a wok). Secondly - and I suspect this is more likely - we have poorer quality briquettes here in the UK, where the producers are using all sorts of stuff in them, whether as the main fuel or the binders. I *know* the briquettes I have used (from Saisburys) had a coal-tar, petrochemical sort of smell when they start to burn, despite *not* being their instant lighting stuff. If these chemicals are driven off once the briquettes have got properly up to temperature, it would explain why the minion method is less than ideal.

I know that my last cook was a lot better - but I'd left the coals a good hour before starting to cook the main meat, and used a lot less smoking wood too.

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Re: another how to,,,,,,,,

Post  Dr_KY on Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:12 pm

I use menion all the time BUT I'm using the lump from cash and carry. It comes in larger chunks and some need to be broken down but I haven't had a problem with taste. I did get hammered at the comp about my brisket but I knew I would about half way through the cook. I made a critical mistake during the cooking process and as luck would have it I was able to blame it on lack of sleep.
For some reason when I compete my brisket takes a beating but at home and catering it never fails. I know why I keep screwing up and now I need to fix it.
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