Why Stale Smoke Is Bad and How to Avoid It
In general, smokers offer some of the easiest ways to cook food. Not only do they ensure tons of flavor from your finished product, but you can play around with different types of wood pellets for some fun experimentation.
Of course, you must maintain smokers. Otherwise, you can fall into the trap of cooking with old smoke. Maintaining a constant heat source, with air flowing through the smoker, keeps your smoke live and sweet. Stale smoke is bad news. Stale smoke is not just bad — it also costs you time and energy in frustration and wasted food.
Below, we look at how to avoid falling into the trap of delivering dirty smoke BBQ to your hungry guests.
What Is Stale Smoke and How Can You Tell if It Has Gone Rogue?
If you take a closer look at your Grilla Grills smoker, you will notice it constantly pushes smoke out rather than holding it in. Ventilation remains a critical component to healthy smoking. Otherwise, the smoke lingers in the smoker, and everything starts to get dirty, oily and crusted. This type of environment often produces meat with a layer of creosote, a bitter substance that has a numbing effect on humans and destroys the flavor of the meat. If you’ve ever wondered, “Why does my smoked meat turn black?”, it could be from your environment.
You may have already experienced creosote or food that has been cooked in bad smoke. If the flavors you tasted were anything but sweet, succulent and delicious, the smoke was probably to blame. Plus, if you saw black soot on smoked meat, you can be sure stale smoke was to blame.
Avoiding the Effects of Stale Smoke
Obviously, no pitmaster wants a reputation of serving meat covered in a black layer of nasty tasting grime. To avoid the embarrassment and price of stale smoke, keep your smoker working in top-notch condition using these steps:
Step One: Check the Vent
Air flow is essential for smokers, so watch for blocked vents. The best time to test it is before you put any items in your smoker. That way, if you have a problem, you can fix it before it affects your dishes.
Step Two: Keep a Clean Smoker
In general, stale smoke will not come from a tidy smoker. Few pitmasters love to clean their smokers, but they know it is essential to great results. Follow the cleaning instructions to a “T”, and all your T-bones will taste great.
Step Three: Look for Black, Charred Meat
Maybe your smoker seems to vent properly and looks all right. Then why is your meat coming out all black and charred? These are signs your smoke could still be bad, even if everything seems to look okay otherwise. Unless you had a bad cut of meat, you might want to conduct a thorough cleaning and switch your smoke fuel.
Step Four: Get High-Quality Fuel
The fuel you use can affect the quality of your finished smoked meat. You can find top-notch fuel such as flavored wood pellets in many places, including at Grilla Grills. Buy a brand you can trust that doesn’t remove the smoked flavor from the meat.
Step Five: Allow the Fuel to Heat up Completely
Never throw your items on a smoker before your fuel has properly moved past the initial stages where it produces white, thick smoke. When the smoke takes on a bluish cast, you are good to go.
Go for the Good Smoke
Now that you know how to avoid bad smoke make it a practice to follow the simple routine listed above. That way, your smoked meats will have a happy ending on someone’s plate!