I am new comer to the low and slow bbq scene and have a persistent problem I am trying to find my way out. It is explained below with a bit of text, sorry if it's too long , just trying to give as much as possible info upfront.
Bit of a background:
I have got an Auplex Kamado ( Char griller from Bunnings ) and joined the forum only in last April
Started experimenting with controlling the temp etc using a Chargriller lump charcoal pack initially with few cooks like slow roast chicken , bread, pork belly etc. (Idea was to get familiar with Kamado cooking as I come from a Ziggy gas grill for about 4 years.)
Also got a bag of apple wood chunk pack ( Bunnings - Fornetto brand ) to learn the basics of smoking with Port shoulder, ribs, chicken with basic seasoning.
After the first bag of charcoal was finished I bought a Heat Beads lump charcoal 20kg pack from Bunnings and started doing more low and slow cooks.
Smoking has been done in : 225 - 250 F range so far.
In almost all of the cooks I get somewhat 'harsh' smoke notes in the meat. I am not sure if this to be described as 'Acrid' but to me it has an after taste of a burnt wood than actual smoke flavor if you get what I mean. I still can feel the smoke flavor but this strong smell is over powering that.
I suspect that this could be creosote and scratching my head to figure out what I am doing wrong here. ( I came to this conclusion after reading many articles online and trying to relate to my problem)
This problem is more pronounced in the Head Beads lump I got lately ( may be I am becoming more aware of this now compared to the very first few cooks in the kamado as I get to know the smoky flavor and reading articles online).
I have done a couple of slow roast chicken with Char Griller lump with no smoke wood at 2 hours at 250 F - There is no such after taste but a nice light smoky flavor from charcoal. This tasted nice.
I am sure the very first few cooks must have been due to it had some 'white smoke' present ( Only came to know this white smoke is undesirable about a month ago ).
But during the last 5 or 6 cooks I deliberately waited around 1 hour to let the grill come to the 250 F region and white smoke disappear to a very faint smoke ( thin smoke ) before putting the meat on the grill.
What I have tried so far:
1) Wait till the white / thick smoke to thin out.
2) Use a single wood chunk only - buried half way into the charcoal and waited till the thick smoke to thin out.
3) Use a single wood chunk - introduced onto the charcoal after the grill is almost at the target temp and then waited till the new white smoke to disappear.
4) Split a single wood chunk and put it on coals , one on the fire patch and the other away to be lit later when charcoal burns through , again waited till the white smoke to disappear.
Although I wait till the smoke to thin out, after I open the dome to place the food on the grill, I sometimes see the Kamado spit out a bit of white smoke for couple of minutes , could be due to the extra oxygen supply when the lid is open and the fire is stoked again.
I tried to place my palm above the top vent and tried to smell the palm for the smoke smell - very strong smelling at first but after couple of minutes the palm smells more like smoke than fuel .
Could you please help with the above ? What could be the problem and what should I do to troubleshoot ?
I am a bit worried that I may never be able to get a that perfect smoke taste everyone is after
Thanks everyone for reading, appreciate your thoughts.