Chemical taste after my firsts run with my WSM 14"

Lise

New member
I fired up my new WSM 14" yesterday and cooked some chicken breasts. It took about 1 1/2 hours to get them to 160 degrees, as I didn't put enough coal in and was learning to work the beast. The final product had an unpleasant chemical taste. Where did I go wrong? Was it too long over the smoke? Did I need to season the smoker with a few empty runs? Or was it the charcoal I was using, Kingsford "Original" briquette (with "100 years" featured on the front)? Or the 2 fist-size chunks of Kingsford Cherrywood? TIA!
 
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Chuck G

TVWBB Member
If you didn’t season the WSM first, that is likely your problem.
i don’t have a manual handy, but I would run a load of charcoal at high temp (vents open) to burn off the manufacturing oils.
 

Ed Pinnell

TVWBB All-Star
I don't use Kingsford for that reason. Other people love the stuff, and once it's lit it works great, but unlit I get that same taste. I suggest trying another brand of charcoal.
 

ChuckH

TVWBB Member
Ok I will ask the $64,000 question. Did you use any starter fluid? If so did you wait till all of the briquettes were ashes over? Gotta ask.
 

Lise

New member
Nope. I used one Weber lighter cube. I let the coals mostly ash over. Should they all be completely white?
 

Doug D

TVWBB Hall of Fame
I doubt charcoal brand or pre-seasoning (or not) were to blame. An hour and a half is a long time to cook chicken breasts. Being bland in flavor to begin with, poultry is easy to oversmoke, especially if you try to do it "low and slow" like pork or beef. For chicken, and particularly white meat, consider "smoke roasting" at a higher temp, 300-350F, and go light on the smoke wood (if any). The faster, hotter cook will also lessen the chance of drying out the relatively lean meat.
 

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
There is no need to season a WSM before use! There are no manufacturing oils in a WSM.

Nothing wrong with Kingsford Original. Your lighting method sounds fine. Try again with half of a fist-sized piece of smoke wood.
 

Ron De Hoogh

TVWBB Super Fan
I doubt charcoal brand or pre-seasoning (or not) were to blame. An hour and a half is a long time to cook chicken breasts. Being bland in flavor to begin with, poultry is easy to oversmoke, especially if you try to do it "low and slow" like pork or beef. For chicken, and particularly white meat, consider "smoke roasting" at a higher temp, 300-350F, and go light on the smoke wood (if any). The faster, hotter cook will also lessen the chance of drying out the relatively lean meat.
I agree with Doug going hotter and little to no smoke wood YMMV
 

Chuck G

TVWBB Member
There is no need to season a WSM before use! There are no manufacturing oils in a WSM.

Nothing wrong with Kingsford Original. Your lighting method sounds fine. Try again with half of a fist-sized piece of smoke wood.
I stand corrected. I season all cooking devices out of habit.
 

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