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Chip-skiff
09-22-2013, 06:45 PM
We've got two Weber kettles, large and small, and I've been learning to smoke foods while grill-roasting them. I started with hickory and boneless pork ribs-

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Ae_85uRQgVc/UagEV0VorjI/AAAAAAAAEFI/EsYdmV-Luo0/s800/ribs2.jpg

Then, BBQ chicken thighs with apple: great. Then I did a pork loin roast with apple chips: wonderful. The latest attempt was a 4-lb. chicken with a mix of apple and cherry, which was brilliant.

I'm wondering what woods go best with what meats (or other food items)? The woods that are locally available here are native alder and river birch. I can buy hickory, mesquite, apple, cherry, and maple chips.

Any particular stand-out combinations?

leikec
09-22-2013, 06:53 PM
I don't think you can ever go wrong with apple or cherry.

Jeff C

Chip-skiff
09-22-2013, 07:01 PM
Trying to get my courage up to do a small turkey that's been in the freezer a bit too long.

Chip-skiff
09-22-2013, 07:13 PM
I don't have a smoker, just two kettle grills. I brined the chicken, which grilling experts advise, and would do the same for the turkey. The only problem is having to start further batches of coals and add them partway through the cooking process, which means juggling a hot turkey.

LeeG
09-22-2013, 08:42 PM
Chip, it's easy to over smoke foods in the Webber. Think of it like hops. The more you use the fewer people who can enjoy the food. This weekend I slow cooked some pork with briquettes and apple wood sprinkled occasionally in small amounts. Then when the smoking wood was burned out I slathered the the meat with an apricot mango chipotle glaze for the last hr.

You can introduce smoke at different times and different amounts.

LeeG
09-22-2013, 08:45 PM
I don't have a smoker, just two kettle grills. I brined the chicken, which grilling experts advise, and would do the same for the turkey. The only problem is having to start further batches of coals and add them partway through the cooking process, which means juggling a hot turkey.

Get a grill with hinged sides. Find a good hardwood briquette. Trader Joes used to have a spectacular charcoal, pillow shaped, but the latest is pure garbage, worse than Kingsford which is ok.

ron ll
09-22-2013, 09:33 PM
Alder with salmon.

Paul Pless
09-22-2013, 10:48 PM
hard to go wrong with apple,
cherry is good too but its worth removing the bark,
pecan though is my favourite

Old Dryfoot
09-22-2013, 10:56 PM
I'm partial to mesquite but it's a love it or hate it flavor for most.

Chip-skiff
09-22-2013, 11:15 PM
Brook trout are also wonderful smoked. When I stayed in a remote patrol cabin, with great fishing and no refigeration, I used to smoke them in a pit in the ground, covered with an old old dishpan. Well-smoked, the fish would keep quite a while.

I looked on the Weber site and found a hinged grate that would make adding charcoal simpler.

https://fc03a76d7309b5c68d79-d0aeafc7cd9ebb5eae45c08affdb0cc5.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.c om/308835_194x144_b.jpg https://fc03a76d7309b5c68d79-d0aeafc7cd9ebb5eae45c08affdb0cc5.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.c om/308835_194x144_a.jpg

They also have a poultry roaster:

https://fc03a76d7309b5c68d79-d0aeafc7cd9ebb5eae45c08affdb0cc5.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.c om/8838_194x144.jpg https://fc03a76d7309b5c68d79-d0aeafc7cd9ebb5eae45c08affdb0cc5.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.c om/8838_194x144_b.jpg

oznabrag
09-22-2013, 11:25 PM
Hey Chip,

I like pecan on pork. It's sweeter than hickory, and easier for me to come by.

For beef brisket, I'll take post oak.

As to smokers, the Brinkmann Gourmet is my favorite of the simple, occasional-use, serious-amateur water smokers. No muss, no fuss, and the water pan acts as a regulator, of sorts, to keep the temp in that 215ºF zone.

The Gourmet has the fully-enclosed fire pan, and I have used one to cook two fresh hams at once. I installed thermometers top and bottom, laid my fire in just right, and set that thing off. 10 hours later, the temp had not varied by more than 5º, and the hams were perfect.

If you decide to go that route, give me a shout and I'll let you know how to lay that fire.

Later,

John

BETTY-B
09-23-2013, 03:49 AM
Hey, there's John! Welcome back, dude!

I have been using plum almost exclusively the last couple years. Wonderfully sweet flavor.

jonboy
09-23-2013, 04:17 AM
Whoa....

Do you realise that running a charcoal grill for an hour of grilling, you produce 11 lbs of CO2?

Add wood chips... and it gets even worse.

Twice as much, incidentally, as a propane grill.

Does the environment stand a chance?


Hey BF you are the most committed petrol head on the whole forum and I love your tales and recounted adventures... but an occasional charcoal bbq ? you're not going on all green on us are you?

And I would like your source for those figures ...I don't doubt, but would like to make comparisons for other cooking methods.

Back to the topic... trying different woods is easy..... I keep an old electric chainsaw cleaned and with no oil at all... all you need is about a cupfull of wood chips so I set up the saw horse, put a tarp on the ground and make several cuts in whatever is to hand... here we have almond and olive, a beautiful strong aroma, but a bit dominant, holme oak and holly last a long time, cherry and apple, quince wood, almost any hard fruitwoods....

and if you cold smoke its quite different to all the methods above...light one small piece charcoal and cover with the chips. they will smoulder for hours, with almost no heat.. I use a galvanised bucket with a trivet over the chips and the meat or fish stacked on other trivets or grills above. after some hours, the food will keep for ages and you can cook when and how you want.
For cold smoking a haunch of venison or a whole ham or other large cut you need to be it more organised I have the fire in a pit or half oil drum with a well fitted lid, and a six foot runof 4" extractor tube to the shed where the food is hung.

With this method I've smoked a ham , a tray of cheeses, onions and garlics still on the rope, and about twenty whole mullet gill-sticked, all at once, on different racks. Of course youll need much more fuel, and even smouldering large chunks of wood, and pay more attention , but the results are super and no cross transfer of flavours.
24 hours should do it, depending how wet the food is, if you have brine cured the meat for example.

Experiment costs nothing ...even if it goes wrong it will still be edible, if not quite what you intended!

StevenBauer
09-23-2013, 06:01 AM
You need to set that Weber up for indirect heat. Meathead covers it pretty well here: http://www.amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/charcoal_grill_setup.html

Mrleft8
09-23-2013, 07:35 AM
Cherry and Maple.... Your River Birch will be good too. Lots of sugars.
For your turkey..... Consider cutting the spine out, and butterflying it. Marinate in plain yoghurt with some corriander, garlic, cardamom, and paprika, over night (as it thaws out in the fridge works out fine) then add a half cup of lime juice about 20 minutes before you put it on/in the grill/smoker. Flip it a few times to get that smoky goodness all through it.

oznabrag
09-23-2013, 08:08 AM
Whoa....

Do you realise that running a charcoal grill for an hour of grilling, you produce 11 lbs of CO2?

Add wood chips... and it gets even worse.

Twice as much, incidentally, as a propane grill.

Yet, the propane grill releases carbon that has been sequestered for millions of years, as opposed to the carbon in charcoal, which was freely bouncing around in the atmosphere only a short time ago. The charcoal is referred to as being 'carbon neutral'


Does the environment stand a chance?

With people so willfully ignorant and denialist as yourself calling the shots?

No.

bogdog
09-23-2013, 08:15 AM
http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/woods.html

oznabrag
09-23-2013, 08:20 AM
http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/woods.html

Yeah, that Weber 'Smokey Mountain' is very similar to the Brinkmann 'Gourmet' but costs roughly 10X as much.

LeeG
09-23-2013, 08:20 AM
Mate... I've been a greenie since I was a teenager.... and my petrol-heading is done on some pretty fuel-efficient vehicles.

Yeah, it was tongue-in-cheek.... and I've closed the link down now. I'll see if I can find it for you.

edit.... here it is.

http://michiganradio.org/post/which-greener-gas-grill-or-charcoal

From the article you provided:

When it comes to straight up carbon emissions – gas grills win hands down. Run your gas grill for an hour; emit 5.6 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air. Use charcoal briquettes for an hour of grilling; emit a whopping 11 pounds of CO2.

Fair enough.

But what if we look at the total carbon cycle of propane gas, a fossil fuel and charcoal, which is a bio fuel?

For that answer, we’ll turn to Bill Currie. He’s a professor in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Michigan.

“You have to think about, can we replace the carbon back in the pool that charcoal came from? Can we replace it biologically over a reasonable period of time? And with charcoal, the answer is yes, we can re-grow those trees," says Currie.

That’s because charcoal is made out of wood, which is a renewable energy source. So if charcoal is harvested locally in a sustainable way, the re-grown trees can absorb the CO2 - which makes charcoal essentially carbon neutral. So charcoal made out of wood which is renewable. Propane gas on the other hand is made from oil. Not renewable.

“Fuels that are based on coal, oil, petroleum based fuel, it’s not possible to put that CO2 back where it was biologically in a reasonable amount of time. And that’s the big difference,” says Currie.

oznabrag
09-23-2013, 08:24 AM
From the article you provided:

For that answer, we’ll turn to Bill Currie. He’s a professor in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Michigan.

“You have to think about, can we replace the carbon back in the pool that charcoal came from? Can we replace it biologically over a reasonable period of time? And with charcoal, the answer is yes, we can re-grow those trees," says Currie.

That’s because charcoal is made out of wood, which is a renewable energy source. So if charcoal is harvested locally in a sustainable way, the re-grown trees can absorb the CO2 - which makes charcoal essentially carbon neutral. So charcoal made out of wood which is renewable. Propane gas on the other hand is made from oil. Not renewable.

“Fuels that are based on coal, oil, petroleum based fuel, it’s not possible to put that CO2 back where it was biologically in a reasonable amount of time. And that’s the big difference,” says Currie.

I learned right here on this forum that it is not possible to put that carbon back where it came from, biologically, EVER.

Coal, and petroleum were formed from the dead tissue of plants which died before the evolution of the wood rot fungus, so any tree that dies today is giving its carbon back to the atmosphere.

Coal and oil will never be formed on this planet again, no matter how long we wait.

Durnik
09-23-2013, 08:39 AM
Oh, dina tell the adiabatic oil crowd that, it'd ruin their whole day..

Hmm -

Let me see if I can find you some e-dresses.. ;-)

enjoy
bobby

Chip-skiff
09-23-2013, 11:26 AM
Thanks for all the knowledgeable chat. I do know how to set up indirect heat with a Weber kettle, which I did to cook the whole chicken. Since I cook for two, most often, a large-capacity smoker might be more than I need.

Another question: to gather alder or river birch for smoking, do I cut it green and bark it, then season for a bit? Or can I use standing dead trunks, and bark it? There's a lot of recently-dead alder on the river by our house. It rots quickly and I'd think that punky wood wouldn't be a good choice for smoking, although I might be wrong.

RE: Carbon footprint, we generate a bit more electricity from PV arrays than we use each year (the excess goes to the grid), grow most of our vegs, hunt close to home, and drive a 60 mpg hybrid car. So I reckon we can burn a bit of charcoal without feeling guilty.

Mrleft8
09-23-2013, 11:35 AM
Punky..... Nah.... Punky means decay which means spores.... I'd go with semi-seasoned barkless bits. The shards from splitting firewood work very nicely.
The few times I've used green (as in it was alive until minutes before it went into the fire) wood there's been a somewhat sour tinge to the food.....
I've been known to soak Cherry, Maple, Apple and even Oak in a little cider before putting them on the fire.... And I usually use cider or orange juice watered down in the pan anyway.

Chip-skiff
09-23-2013, 11:48 AM
Oh, dina tell the adiabatic oil crowd that, it'd ruin their whole day.

What the devil is adiabatic oil?

Mrleft8
09-23-2013, 11:50 AM
What the devil is adiabatic oil?

It's what adiabatic cooks fried chicken in....

Paul Pless
09-23-2013, 11:50 AM
What the devil is adiabatic oil?oh, there have been threads. . .

J P
09-23-2013, 11:51 AM
Lately I've been using black locust and apple mainly because that's what I have cut up. Did some chicken legs this weekend and liked the way they came out. Salmon with apple wood is a combo that I like as well.

I had a stash of plum wood that I enjoyed using, briefly, for cooking ... until someone burned it all up one night in a 'campfire'. Ah well, it had been her plum tree.

My favorite though would have to be curlleaf mountain-mahogany. Chip, you should be able to round some of it up in Wyomin. I have it growing on my property and need to scrounge up some of the dead stuff. Burns slow and hot with great flavor.

I also have native (thinleaf?) alder and water birch but haven't tried either of them for cooking yet.

Chip-skiff
09-23-2013, 11:53 AM
oh, there have been threads. . .

Getting a straight answer from you guys is like. . .

(insert simile)

Chip-skiff
09-23-2013, 12:01 PM
My favorite though would have to be curlleaf mountain-mahogany. Chip, you should be able to round some of it up in Wyomin. I have it growing on my property and need to scrounge up some of the dead stuff. Burns slow and hot with great flavor.

We have curly-leaf mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius), although it doesn't grow large: main trunks up to about three inches. I've used it as firewood and it burns so hot that it can warp the cast-iron top of a stove. It's also very dense and doesn't absorb moisture— I thought of using it for smoking but was worried that it would just catch fire and burn the meat.

Still have a big piece somewhere that I packed home from a wildfire in Utah. We were cutting handline with chainsaws, and the chains would go dull in no time: it takes silica up from the ground and distributes it through the wood, so it's hell on edged tools. I used to shape it for powderhorn caps, when I was making trade goods for buckskinner gatherings. One of the few woods where you can polish the endgrain without filler: beautiful and hard as nails.

ron ll
09-23-2013, 12:08 PM
Whoa....

Do you realise that running a charcoal grill for an hour of grilling, you produce 11 lbs of CO2?

Add wood chips... and it gets even worse.

Twice as much, incidentally, as a propane grill.

Does the environment stand a chance?

I realize this is tongue in cheek, so is what follows :) . But everytime I see a comment like this, my first question is, "How many kids to you have?" As I have none, does that mean I get to produce CO2 equal to what my kids, grandkids, great grandkids, etc. would have produced? :D

bobbys
09-23-2013, 12:12 PM
We use alder , dry alder cut up but we soak it just before use.

There are a million billion alder trees here so we just got using it.

My neighbor has a smoker run with propane , its very easy to use i gave up smoking on the grill or anything else.

Had smoked tuna, salmon, bacon and beans, chicken, sausage,.

Had fresh tuna off the boat everyone said it was the best tuna they ever had..

next day we make tuna mixed with mayo for sand witches.

ron ll
09-23-2013, 12:16 PM
Okay, back to on-topic:

We finally broke down and got the Big Green Egg and I love it. What I do with salmon is (after she puts the secret spices and condiments on it) I alder smoke it for 30 minutes at 250 degrees. Now around here, most people cringe at how long that is to cook salmon. But at that low temp it is perfect and has a great alder smoke flavor. I use unflavored chunk charcoal to heat up the egg, then when I get it stabilized at 250, I add the soaked alder chips or even better, green alder chunks, wait for it to come back up to 250, then put the salmon on (skin on the grate, no foil).

LeeG
09-23-2013, 12:29 PM
What the devil is adiabatic oil?

Maybe he meant abiotic?

LeeG
09-23-2013, 12:30 PM
Sand weetchez?

Mrleft8
09-23-2013, 12:32 PM
We have curly-leaf mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius), although it doesn't grow large: main trunks up to about three inches. I've used it as firewood and it burns so hot that it can warp the cast-iron top of a stove. It's also very dense and doesn't absorb moisture— I thought of using it for smoking but was worried that it would just catch fire and burn the meat.

Still have a big piece somewhere that I packed home from a wildfire in Utah. We were cutting handline with chainsaws, and the chains would go dull in no time: it takes silica up from the ground and distributes it through the wood, so it's hell on edged tools. I used to shape it for powderhorn caps, when I was making trade goods for buckskinner gatherings. One of the few woods where you can polish the endgrain without filler: beautiful and hard as nails.

The risk of dense, very hard wood catching fire and scorching your meat is reduced by severely restricting the draft. Actually, harder, denser woods are better. You know how pine and Spruce will flash burn, and how harder woods like Mesquite or Manzanita tend to glow...... Reduce your air supply and let that dense stuff just smolder...... I should also note that I have no experience with "Curly leaf Mahogany"...... So you might want to check to make sure it's not going to kill you, like using Manchineel wood....

J P
09-23-2013, 12:40 PM
We have curly-leaf mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius), although it doesn't grow large: main trunks up to about three inches. I've used it as firewood and it burns so hot that it can warp the cast-iron top of a stove. It's also very dense and doesn't absorb moisture— I thought of using it for smoking but was worried that it would just catch fire and burn the meat.

Still have a big piece somewhere that I packed home from a wildfire in Utah. We were cutting handline with chainsaws, and the chains would go dull in no time: it takes silica up from the ground and distributes it through the wood, so it's hell on edged tools. I used to shape it for powderhorn caps, when I was making trade goods for buckskinner gatherings. One of the few woods where you can polish the endgrain without filler: beautiful and hard as nails.

Yeah, got to be careful with it; was used for smelting ore.

I've always kept a wishful eye out for a straight-ish piece of trunk thinking it might make a nice fretboard and bridge for a string instrument, or maybe turned and bored for a whistle or flute.

Chip-skiff
09-23-2013, 01:00 PM
Okay, back to on-topic:

We finally broke down and got the Big Green Egg and I love it.

This one?

https://a248.e.akamai.net/f/248/9086/10h/origin-d4.scene7.com/is/image/GanderMountainOvertons/420720_L1?$product$

ron ll
09-23-2013, 01:08 PM
This one?



No, this one.

http://leominstericeandoil.com/images/big_green_egg_large.gif

oznabrag
09-23-2013, 04:12 PM
This one?

https://a248.e.akamai.net/f/248/9086/10h/origin-d4.scene7.com/is/image/GanderMountainOvertons/420720_L1?$product$
Yes, that one!

Not a Big Green Egg, but a Brinkmann Gourmet.

Should run you about $75, as opposed to the $750 for the Egg or the Smokey Mountain.

It is, in my opinion, the best cheap smoker going. Brinkmann sells all the parts, too, so when you burn out the fire pan after a couple of years, you can get a freshie for peanuts.

Try it. You'll like it.

Just remember that it takes a particular type of laziness to smoke meat well.

Chris Coose
09-23-2013, 04:55 PM
the best cheap smoker going.

I used a tin shower, tipped upside down with a little webber and an old blanket for the door, for years.

Hot smoked ocean fish and cold smoked ham and bacon.

Used maple mostly.

switters
09-23-2013, 04:56 PM
Alder and Apple mixed for salmon and trout. Depending on the brine and finished product most of the smoke taste happens in the meat in the first few hours, especially if you have any sugars in the brine. Once the outside hardens off adding smoke doesn't do any good.

I like my fish smoked hard like you said, long lasting. I have worn out two little chief electric smokers in the last 20 years, very easy to use. I have a fair amount of apple and some plum down this way I would trade for some alder if the harvesting is easy for you. The only alder I know of down here is on public property along the river, but I might start looking for some standing dead after the water goes down some more.

I also like Mesquite and cherry mixed for red meats and elk jerky.

Chip-skiff
09-23-2013, 05:06 PM
I used a tin shower, tipped upside down with a little webber and an old blanket for the door, for years.

Ha! By the patrol cabin where I stayed, on a lake at 10,200 ft. that was teeming with brook trout, I dug a pit the size of a round grill that I found there. I'd start some charcoal and when it was ready, pop it in the hole, then cover it with wood chips (no good smoking wood up there, so I packed the chips in). Then I'd set the grill on, covered with trout, and top the whole thing with an old dishpan that someone had used to grain their horses— it was dented and had a couple of holes in it.

Smoke would pour out of the holes for a while, diminishing. I'd leave it 'til the dishpan was cool to the touch.

The fish were a deep red-orange, similar to smoked salmon. I caught so many fish that I used to swap them to the sheepherders for cuts of lamb.

robm
09-23-2013, 06:35 PM
Saskatoon wood (Amelianchier species) works great. Lots of sweet smoke. Use it dry, it seems to burn better green. Peel off the bark.

Try it on smoke grilled halibut, sprinkled with curry powder and cilantro, held on with a few spoonfuls of white wine and soy sauce. Or salmon, chicken, pork, beef...

ron ll
09-23-2013, 07:47 PM
That looks like a great smoker. I just wanted to clarify that the Big Green Egg is a barbecue that also happens to be a good smoker. But if you just want to slow smoke stuff, the Egg is way overkill.

Old Dryfoot
09-23-2013, 07:55 PM
Now that the topic of cheap has been raised, has anyone here attempted Alton Brown's flower pot smoker?

http://www.naffziger.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/smoker.jpg

http://www.naffziger.net/blog/2008/07/05/the-alton-brown-flower-pot-smoker/

Chip-skiff
09-23-2013, 08:00 PM
If I brought home a $750 grill, I would end up upon it, alas!

LeeG
09-23-2013, 08:04 PM
Alder and Apple mixed for salmon and trout. Depending on the brine and finished product most of the smoke taste happens in the meat in the first few hours, especially if you have any sugars in the brine. Once the outside hardens off adding smoke doesn't do any good.

I like my fish smoked hard like you said, long lasting. I have worn out two little chief electric smokers in the last 20 years, very easy to use. I have a fair amount of apple and some plum down this way I would trade for some alder if the harvesting is easy for you. The only alder I know of down here is on public property along the river, but I might start looking for some standing dead after the water goes down some more.

I also like Mesquite and cherry mixed for red meats and elk jerky.

That's the way to paint a picture.

oznabrag
09-23-2013, 08:58 PM
That looks like a great smoker. I just wanted to clarify that the Big Green Egg is a barbecue that also happens to be a good smoker. But if you just want to slow smoke stuff, the Egg is way overkill.

I'm really not a grill guy. I tend to mis-cook things. They're either under done or scorched!

I have friends who drool over that Big Green Egg, though, they say that even I could use one!

oznabrag
09-23-2013, 09:16 PM
Now that the topic of cheap has been raised, has anyone here attempted Alton Brown's flower pot smoker?

http://www.naffziger.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/smoker.jpg

http://www.naffziger.net/blog/2008/07/05/the-alton-brown-flower-pot-smoker/

No, and I'll bet he never tried my chimney-tile smoker, either!





http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc250/woodjunkie/IMG_0888.jpg

StevenBauer
09-23-2013, 09:23 PM
As a beginner I find having a good thermometer is the key to avoiding the "mis-cook". I got a Maverick digital for Father's Day with two sensors: one for the temp in the grill/smoker and one for the temp of the meat.


Steven

Canoeyawl
09-23-2013, 09:26 PM
We have here some interesting local woods and I slice up a few varieties in my band saw about an 1/8" thick, keep them in a small bucket on the porch and place a couple of pieces about the size of my thumb in my (propane) grill for flavor. It doesn't take much.

In no particular order
Olive wood
Apple wood
And my favorite, a local oak known as Tan-Oak. I use the bark dried and broken up into golf ball sized chunks (it's thick) All these are a by-product of my heating system (firewood) and this might be the best. I often just use that alone as "brickettes" - no propane. We have a tiny boat style, rail mount Force 10 bbq on the back porch outside the kitchen door, and use it almost every evening. My smoker is a store bought electric Little Chief and alder or apple is very good there, but experimenting is fun and most fruit/nut wood is very good.

Old Dryfoot
09-23-2013, 10:27 PM
No, and I'll bet he never tried my chimney-tile smoker, either!





http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc250/woodjunkie/IMG_0888.jpg

Clay flues... brilliant!

Mrleft8
09-24-2013, 07:05 AM
Now that the topic of cheap has been raised, has anyone here attempted Alton Brown's flower pot smoker?

http://www.naffziger.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/smoker.jpg

http://www.naffziger.net/blog/2008/07/05/the-alton-brown-flower-pot-smoker/

Yes. They work OK for chicken and fish..... Not so much for ribs. I also found that they're very good for making faux Tandoori chicken.

oznabrag
09-24-2013, 09:03 AM
Clay flues... brilliant!

I'm afraid it looks more brilliant than it actually was, in use.

It worked very well, mind you, with the spring-loaded cookie-sheet/firebox-door being pretty much air-tight and draft-adjustable, but the flue tile itself was wet when I started, and the fire cracked it all to pieces. The pieces stayed in situ, though, and the smoker delivered a pork rib roast to the Thanksgiving table in fine style.

Durnik
09-24-2013, 09:40 AM
What the devil is adiabatic oil?



Maybe he meant abiotic?

I've seen both terms used. It (roughly) refers to hydrocarbons being generated continuously by the earth sans a feed stock such as the organic mass - "dead tissue of plants which died before the evolution of the wood rot fungus" - osnabrag referred to, but I suspect you're familiar with that meme. Meant in jest (mine, not John's) as a response to the idiocy/intentional misdirection of "charcoal CO2 is the same as oil/coal CO2", ignore it & lets continue with a thread I am watching with great interest.

Thanks for the expertise & experimentation, folks.

enjoy
bobby

Old Dryfoot
09-24-2013, 10:17 AM
Yes. They work OK for chicken and fish..... Not so much for ribs. I also found that they're very good for making faux Tandoori chicken.


I'm afraid it looks more brilliant than it actually was, in use.

It worked very well, mind you, with the spring-loaded cookie-sheet/firebox-door being pretty much air-tight and draft-adjustable, but the flue tile itself was wet when I started, and the fire cracked it all to pieces. The pieces stayed in situ, though, and the smoker delivered a pork rib roast to the Thanksgiving table in fine style.

Thanks.
I've read a fair bit that says clay has real advantages due to it's thermal mass. It's suppose to make controlling an even heat over time less of a task than one might have with a light metal bodied smoker.

katey
09-24-2013, 10:21 AM
You could accomplish the same thing by adding some clay something-or-other to any smoker, though. I have unglazed clay quarry tiles that live in my electric kitchen oven for similar reasons. I first tried them as pizza stones and then decided that they held the heat so well that I leave them in there full-time.

Chip-skiff
09-24-2013, 11:55 AM
Thanks.
I've read a fair bit that says clay has real advantages due to it's thermal mass. It's suppose to make controlling an even heat over time less of a task than one might have with a light metal bodied smoker.

That Green Egg grill is ceramic, no? Wonder if it's breakable if knocked over (by large dogs, wandering livestock, or drunks)?

Chip-skiff
09-24-2013, 11:53 PM
Another question: is aspen okay for smoking?

Mrleft8
09-25-2013, 07:55 AM
Any wood that doesn't have a lot of resin (Pine, D-Fir, Spruce Etc.) or toxic oils should be OK...... I don't particularly like Mesquite because it has a very pungent, strong aroma. So if you are fond of, or at least not repulsed by the aroma of burning Aspen it should be fine.

Chip-skiff
09-28-2013, 01:18 PM
Got some beaut wild sockeye salmon and set up the small Weber kettle to hot-smoke it. Started about 12-14 briquets, raked them to the edge, then set in a can with an inch of water. Put damp apple chips on the charcoal, then the salmon in the center over the water can. Put on the dome with all vents opened, and let it go. When the wind shifted, I rotated the dome without taking it off. After forty minutes it was no longer smoking and the dome was starting to cool. Let it go another ten minutes while I got the other stuff ready.

The salmon was wonderful: done but not dry, with unscorched skin. Rich smoke flavor. It'd be great for company.

I'll have to try with some alder from along the river and other woods— maybe aspen or serviceberry.

Mrleft8
09-28-2013, 02:03 PM
You don't really use "Briquets" do you?.....

Chip-skiff
09-28-2013, 04:34 PM
You don't really use "Briquets" do you?.....

I do for most cooking. I also buy lump charcoal, but the size of the chunks varies so much that it's hard to get consistent heat when using the small Weber kettle.

ron ll
09-28-2013, 04:57 PM
Brickets are fine for the heat when using smoke. Just remember to not use too many and NEVER start them with solvent.

Chip-skiff
10-24-2013, 08:42 PM
Cut some dead alder off the path along the river (our land is in an easement for public access). Cut it into 2-inch pieces and then split them with a hatchet into chips: laborious.

We had some old Copper River salmon, a bit frosty and freezer burnt, that I thought would be best smoked. Started the charcoal, then put a round cookie tin in the center with water and laid on the soaked alder chips.

It came out a bit dry, owing more to the long stay in the freezer than the cookery. But it tasted great. The alder lends a sharper tang than apple or cherry. I smoked extra pieces for eating on bagels with cream cheese.

Paul Pless
10-24-2013, 08:54 PM
by coincidence i collected a pile of acorns today, but i've never used them before, i hope lefty chimes in on smoking with them

Mrleft8
10-25-2013, 08:09 AM
3 years ago I smoked two hog bellies with White Oak acorns. Very, very good. I probably used 20 gallons of acorns along with some Sage tops and Apple cider in the steam pan.

Paul Pless
10-25-2013, 08:11 AM
I probably used 20 gallons of acornsi got maybe five gallons

did you use them green? or wait till they were dry?

Mrleft8
10-25-2013, 08:16 AM
If they fell off the tree, they're ready. I had 2 hog bellies (about 40 Lbs of bacon) if you're just doing a shoulder or some ribs 5 gallons ought to be fine.

Boston
10-25-2013, 10:02 AM
I have two outdoor ovens, one is a smoke oven, cheap brinkman I've had for years, the other is a modified barbecue grill. I cook outdoors almost all the time. Pretty much every meal, snow, rain, makes no difference unless I'm using the smoke oven.

I'm pretty picky about what wood I cook over, with the grill I only use the gas to start the wood, then I shut it off and cook over just the wood. I cook a lot of game animal, so White Oak is one of my favorites, Mesquite is best for smoking game IHMO. Alder for fish in the smoke oven, or on the grill.

I've pretty much smoked or grilled everything that crawls runs swims or flies. made a lot of mistakes, just about burned down the back yard smoking some duck and elk sausages. That was fun, wrecked a few hundred dollars worth of stuff on that one. But all in all, its a lot more fun than cooking indoors.

Oh and the kingsford competition briquets as a base in the smoker. I tried the hardwood charcoal but it doesn't burn as hot as the briquets or keep the smoker at the right temp long enough.

Oh and easiest way to clean your outdoor ovens is to just light them on fire. Build a campfire out of whatever hardwood you have laying around and just let it burn off all the build up. Works like a charm. Just remember if there is a gas bottle involved to remove it first ;-)

Chip-skiff
10-26-2013, 01:07 PM
Prime grilling season is about done, here. I still do some grilling in winter, but by dinnertime the air is usually really cold and it's hard to keep a grill at a consistent temperature. For my birthday next spring, I'm going to ask for a Weber Smokey Joe grill/smoker.

http://www.meijer.com/assets/product_images/styles/xlarge/1000947_077924081576_A_400.jpg

I think the 18.5" size would be just about right. We've got two Weber kettles (14.5" and 22.5") that are going on twenty years old, and I've replaced the charcoal grate in one and the top grate in the other (with a hinged model for adding coals). The Brinkmann smoker looks okay, but I'm a fan of Weber stuff: really durable.

oznabrag
10-26-2013, 01:24 PM
Prime grilling season is about done, here. I still do some grilling in winter, but by dinnertime the air is usually really cold and it's hard to keep a grill at a consistent temperature. For my birthday next spring, I'm going to ask for a Weber Smokey Joe grill/smoker.

http://www.meijer.com/assets/product_images/styles/xlarge/1000947_077924081576_A_400.jpg

I think the 18.5" size would be just about right. We've got two Weber kettles (14.5" and 22.5") that are going on twenty years old, and I've replaced the charcoal grate in one and the top grate in the other (with a hinged model for adding coals). The Brinkmann smoker looks okay, but I'm a fan of Weber stuff: really durable.

Excellent choice!

I recommend the Brinkmann to people who want to get their feet wet without spending a bundle, but the Weber is the cat's pajamas!

P.S. I believe that is a 'Smokey Mountain'. The way I remember it, the 'Smokey Joe' is smaller.

Chip-skiff
10-26-2013, 01:33 PM
P.S. I believe that is a 'Smokey Mountain'. The way I remember it, the 'Smokey Joe' is smaller.

Right-o! FIFM = fixed it for me.

Paul Pless
10-26-2013, 01:36 PM
Garbanzo, when ya gonna tell us non-texans bhow to do a brisket up right? In my experience, its the most difficult of the 'traditional' smoked barbecue to do properly.

Chip-skiff
10-26-2013, 01:40 PM
Garbanzo, when ya gonna tell us non-texans how to do a brisket up right? In my experience, its the most difficult of the 'traditional' smoked barbecue to do properly.

My next try will be to smoke it in the morning for about 30-40 minutes, then wrap it in foil with some onions and Gates rub and slow-cook it in the solar oven all day long. Last time I did the smoking after the slow cooking, and it dried out.

Paul Pless
10-26-2013, 01:50 PM
i know a couple of pros, cattlemen back in alabama, that turn out really good brisket, i've seen them smoke them, wrapped loosely in foil. . .

another method of cooking brisket i have seen them do when camping, is to build a large fire in a hole, wait for it to become just coals, then place a brisket well wrapped in foil over the coals, place more coals on top, then bury it, then fish or hunt all day long, dig it up when returning to camp and its been done perfectly every time

oznabrag
10-26-2013, 03:09 PM
Garbanzo, when ya gonna tell us non-texans bhow to do a brisket up right? In my experience, its the most difficult of the 'traditional' smoked barbecue to do properly.

First, I am not a Texan. I have only been here since 1995!

Second, there's a whole lot of mumbo-jumbo associated with the 'real' methods, and I disregard all of them, except for my own 'real method'.

Rule #1: It takes a particular sort of lazy, semi-drunken lollygagging to get this right, for me, anyway, and I suspect you will fit right in, laup.

If there are any questions about procedure, you may answer them with the studious application of Rule #1. That is a very good thing, because there are always questions.


Now first, you need some sort of smoker, and it needs to be big enough for a Packer's Cut Whole Brisket and a lot of breathing room.

Second, you need to get a PCWB that weighs in at 15# or better.

This is important.

Third, you wash the slaughterhouse offa that thing, dry it off with paper towels or what-all, and rub in some Kosher salt. Do not trim the fat. That would require extra effort.

If you are feeling fancy, you can rub in some pepper.

Are you feeling fancy, laup? Refer to Rule #1. If you are too lazy to grind that much pepper, there is hope for you yet!

If not, another IPA should answer any doubts. I did say IPA, as in beer. At this point, it is 3:30 in the morning before the big party, and whiskey can wait until you have a full head of steam.

Now, once you have a good, hot SMALL fire going, you place the brisket in the indirect, side-draft smoker FAT SIDE UP.

The size and intensity and the SIZE of the fire is of paramount importance. Also, you have to watch the SIZE of the fire. Did I mention that it needs to be hot? And small?

As with most other slow smokes, you are shooting for 212ºF to 220ºF

Once again, laup, it takes a particular type of drunken laziness to accomplish the proper fire. You want a bed of glowing coals about the size of a 1-quart bowl, with small pieces of firewood in various states of combustion, and then, usually, a larger piece with its end in the coals and burning with that nice, hot, nearly-smokeless flame.


Rule #2: All firewood must be absolutely Dry as West Texas In August, or drier.


When these elements are in place, it is time to crack open another coldie, and start telling more lies. The point of this all-important step is momentarily to forget that you are cooking a brisket for an hour or so.

Repeat as necessary, keep the fire just so, turn the meat end-for-end (not over) every few hours and allow about an hour per pound.

So there it is, laup, if you get up at the crack of 3:00, and make your preparations, you can serve that brisket right around 7:00 PM, or so.

Oh, wait. There is another rule that was generated specifically for those who simply do not get the spirit of this thing.

Rule #3: You can not rush good brisket.

There you go!

Paul Pless
10-26-2013, 04:08 PM
Rule #1: It takes a particular sort of lazy, semi-drunken lollygagging to get this right, for me, anyway, and I suspect you will fit right in, laup.

**** dude, am i that easy to read???

actually what you say is very true for most barbecue, lazy is a good attitude to have. . .
thanks for the instrucciones
your fire method is somewhat different than what I use for pork, i'll give it a shot next go round, as your method seems about five percent lazier than my method, probably because you're older than i and not in as good a shape, but i have aspirations:D

Boston
10-26-2013, 05:16 PM
Never tried brisket, or pork, don't really eat beef much or pig, but rack of lamb or bison I've got some experience with. Every smoker is different, the thermometers are always off and yes, brinkman is a cheap way to start. Unless you get the gas model, your not going to be getting in much over 200° but of course then your going to be tasting gas on all your food. Same with foil. I've got a Lodge cast iron dutch oven, I put stuff in with the lid cracked a bit to let in the smoke if I'm all that concerned about drying anything out, it also distributes the heat really well so if I've got to open things up and add more coals it doesn't allow anything to cool off to much.

Oh and beer is a definite must if your really a connoisseur ( <-- thank all the gods for spell check on that one ). Its also important how high you set whatever off the coals in the smoker. Hotter and less smoke lower, cooler and more smoke higher. I've got four settings in mine to play with depending on what I'm cooking.

Oh and another good trick is to soak whatever your going to spice the boil pan with overnight so it actually spices the boil pan, otherwise your just pretending.

Chip-skiff
11-17-2013, 01:24 PM
We've had a small (11 lb.) turkey in the freezer since just after Thanksgiving last year, so I decided to hot smoke it in the large Weber kettle. I bought two steel baskets for the coals and set a foil roasting pan between them to catch drips. I also got a top grill with hinged openings so I could load more coals or smoking chips without taking the meat off. Very handy. Here's a photo off the net:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-eEOwNSPW2fg/Ti4s9QEBC4I/AAAAAAAAFRw/LlM03e8zG8k/s1600/IMG_1182.JPG

The turkey was covered with Gates Classic dry rub. Soaked some applewood chips and poured the water into the pan, so the steam would be apple-ized. Set it up like this (someone else's photo)—


http://www.smoker-cooking.com/images/t3.jpg

Started the turkey breast down, then flipped it an hour along when I added fresh coals and more apple chips. Total cooking time was about 2-1/2 hours.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-CsT_UXUYyCM/Uog1MZ__poI/AAAAAAAAE0c/3k9u2VU-F9g/s700/sturkey1.jpg

Beautiful, even colour and a deep smoke taste. The breast was tender and juicier than our usual oven-roasted bird (note the run-off on the carving board).

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-hqMuLwrYZIE/Uog1PaDsGpI/AAAAAAAAE0k/p_1TFxF7qrU/s700/sturkey2.jpg

Next time, I might decrease the chips, since the Wolf Goddess thought it was a bit too smoky. But I'd not done anything this large on a grill and am pleased with the result.

Captain Intrepid
11-17-2013, 01:48 PM
Decided to do a bit of BBQing yesterday. Just a cheap bbq, some lump hardwood charcoal and a couple chucks of mesquite wood for smoke. Got a few pieces of pork belly marinating to make char siu. Delicious! Afraid the pictures are rather poor quality, I was more focused on eating then photographing. :D

http://imageshack.us/scaled/landing/607/dtrd.jpg

http://imageshack.us/scaled/landing/401/ktem.jpg

The BBQ works ok, but doesn't really draw well enough for the charcoal to burn as hot as I'd like. I think the old hand drill will be coming out to fix that!

oznabrag
11-17-2013, 02:43 PM
We've had a small (11 lb.) turkey in the freezer since just after Thanksgiving last year, so I decided to hot smoke it in the large Weber kettle. I bought two steel baskets for the coals and set a foil roasting pan between them to catch drips. I also got a top grill with hinged openings so I could load more coals or smoking chips without taking the meat off. Very handy. Here's a photo off the net:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-eEOwNSPW2fg/Ti4s9QEBC4I/AAAAAAAAFRw/LlM03e8zG8k/s1600/IMG_1182.JPG

The turkey was covered with Gates Classic dry rub. Soaked some applewood chips and poured the water into the pan, so the steam would be apple-ized. Set it up like this (someone else's photo)—




Started the turkey breast down, then flipped it an hour along when I added fresh coals and more apple chips. Total cooking time was about 2-1/2 hours.



Beautiful, even colour and a deep smoke taste. The breast was tender and juicier than our usual oven-roasted bird (note the run-off on the carving board).



Next time, I might decrease the chips a bit, since the Wolf Goddess thought it was a bit too smoky. But I'd not done anything this large on a grill and am pleased with the result.

I gotta say that I might have to get wunna doze grills like datn raht derr!

I would most likely have chosen the opposite schedule on the flip, but if it turned out the way you like it, then I will support your choice. :D

wardd
11-17-2013, 03:44 PM
old railroad ties will smoke anything

Chip-skiff
11-17-2013, 03:49 PM
When I was a Boy Scout, a couple guys cooked their hot dogs over a smoky fire of creosote brush. They tried, but couldn't eat the things: super nasty.

Chip-skiff
11-17-2013, 04:01 PM
Thnks— Looked up a recipe for Char Siu pork. I've eaten it in restaurants but never made it. That'll probably be my next grilled dinner.

Captain Intrepid
11-17-2013, 04:05 PM
It's delicious! If you make it with pork belly it grills up incredibly quickly. As soon as the fat starts to render it flares up and finishes that side almost instantly. I like to eat it on bean noodles with broth. A little bit of pork goes a long way that way.

Chip-skiff
12-22-2013, 01:31 PM
Most people in Wyoming don't grill in the winter: the wimps. But I'm still learning. So I decided to hot-smoke a piece of brisket on the small Weber kettle. Started right after breakfast—

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-ym-GO4J7uMU/UrcsOPHtVUI/AAAAAAAAE_c/qpVAIihJ4sY/s750/smoke1.jpg

Sprinkled the meat with Gates Classic dry rub and gave it a quick char on both sides before adding the soaked chips (apple and alder) and putting on the lid.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-SpQFWaLtcrs/UrcsR1ANIwI/AAAAAAAAE_k/teaJ_xq8rtI/s640/smoke2.jpg

Let it work for about 45 minutes, 'til the smoke thinned out.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-egNTe-xCznc/UrcsUctLcoI/AAAAAAAAE_s/H6uMJj7hJW8/s750/smoke3.jpg

It smelled like heaven, but was still raw in the middle. So I thick-sliced an onion and wrapped it up in foil, and popped it in a 225° oven. After two hours, I lowered it to 200°. The smell was driving me nuts. After seven hours, it came like this:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-NegjaC0wsYc/UrcsYh2Aj9I/AAAAAAAAE_0/CSlUvyeoxoE/s750/smoke4.jpg

Note the amount of juice in the pan. The meat was somewhat dry. The Wolf Goddess suggested (on the phone, since she's helping her mom) that I reduce the cooking temperature a bit and turn the foil packet several times, so I'll do that next time. In any event, with mustard potato salad on a bed of fresh greens, and hard cider, it was a fiesta:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-BpYCm3nB_rk/UrcscrRVY3I/AAAAAAAAE_8/Z-y3DTtOppo/s750/smoke5.jpg

The meat pulls nicely. I made a big BBQ sandwich yesterday. Enough left for a couple meals— I'm trying resist snacking, but it has a wonderful smoky flavour.

Not perfect, but I am getting closer.

Captain Intrepid
12-22-2013, 03:24 PM
Now I'm hungry, thanks Chip-Skiff.



Saw this while I was poking around. Sounds fascinating, smoking with tea, rice and sugar.

http://www.finecooking.com/videos/tea-smoked-salmon-citrus-cucumber-relish.aspx

Chip-skiff
01-01-2014, 09:36 PM
Hard to explain my fascination with smoke-cooking in the winter, when it's storming. But somehow it improves the flavor. This was a brief interval during which the sky could be seen.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-nfBG2zRVGdw/UsTMKIUPafI/AAAAAAAAFFI/N8EPrpx3Bxg/s750/cook2.jpg

After I got coals going, it started to snow again, but with the lid on that doesn't matter.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-HjaEfD585b8/UsTMHJjuOHI/AAAAAAAAFFA/LWmsVQlCJ1g/s640/cook1.jpg

The Wolf Goddess is away, so I cooked a Cornish hen with mesquite chips for smoke: just over an hour and it was done—

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-6p1pbw0taJs/UsTMOFuEekI/AAAAAAAAFFQ/qwVYD4U-FEo/s640/cook3.jpg

I use a cookie tin in the center, and pour the water used for soaking the chips in it, so the steam is also scented by the wood.

Best chicken so far. I'm not a regional partisan when it comes to smoking wood. So far, I've used hickory, apple, cherry, alder, and mesquite. There's some dead serviceberry nearby and I'll try that next.

Boston
01-01-2014, 11:12 PM
Nice, we had a little blizzard roll through today down here in CO while I was in the middle of barbecuing a steak. It was nice out there in the snow and cold, with the fire going and the steak sizzling away over a hardwood fire. I don't think its an odd fascination at all. My spectacular roomy thinks its weird, hates the cold actually, but she sure doesn't mind grass fed steaks cooked over a hard wood fire..

Cheers

Chip-skiff
03-06-2014, 04:20 PM
It is nice cooking outdoors when the weather puts on a good show. I remember one early-season trip to Cedar Mesa, in Utah, sandstone canyons once inhabited by nomads and later, pueblo people.

It had been snowing, so to avoid the deep, slick mud I was following the bedrock on top of the mesa along a canyon rim. Then, with the sun going down, it started snowing harder. I found a break in the rimrock and scrambled down looking for shelter in an overhang (there are many). I located a small one just under the edge of the rim. The larger ones have small dwellings or burial sites, which I wanted to avoid.

I shucked off my pack and noticed a nice rock shelf for a backrest. Then I saw a few flat slabs tipped up and realised they were reflector stones, to direct radiant heat from a fire back toward the rock shelf. The pit at their base was filled with sand so I dug it out and found charcoal. Slipping on my parka, I scouted under the rock brows for deadwood and gathered a stack, then kindled a blaze. I sat back and relaxed, legs spread so the warmth would reach the insides of my thighs. I'd been so focused on building a fire that I hadn't really looked around.

So I did, and there was a thick black smoke streak on the overhang, right above the firepit, and on both sides, handprints, dozens, outlined in red oxide. They're made by mixing up fine red pigment and taking a mouthful, then blowing it through a tube at a hand held flat on the rock.

http://raysweb.net/patterns/images/hands-500-20.jpg

I had the sensation of a kinship deeper than shared humanity, specific to that place— I'll leave it there.

I put a billy on the coals to boil and watched the snow slanting across the opening, whiting out the rocks and sand and sage and juniper, with a nice clean heat on my face and the smell of smoke.

Don't recall what I ate, but I do remember it as one of the best meals of my life.

Hugh Conway
03-06-2014, 04:25 PM
I like Oak. Oak castoffs from boat stuff smoke well. So do live oak scraps. For an interesting wood - Persimmon. Good for pork and chicken and turkey.

Chip-skiff
03-06-2014, 04:33 PM
Actually, the reason I opened the thread was file a brisket report. I'm still trying to do the thing right.

Last night I covered a half-brisket with dry rub (KC Butt since I ran out of Gates) and bagged it. This morning I started a small bunch of coals in the little Weber kettle and covered them with soaked hickory and alder chips: nice thick smoke.

The brisket stayed on 'til the lid was nearly cool. When I lifted the lid, Ruby appeared and took a hearty sniff, then gave it a four-star wag.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-cvPKIEZPVwI/UxjgsPTAScI/AAAAAAAAFRM/9wiJUjb5mss/s700/brisket.jpg

Well-smoked for sure, with a nice bit of char on the bottom. I sealed it in foil with sliced onions and some hot water, and popped it in a 350°F oven, which went down to 300° after a half hour. I'll probably turn it down another time, to 250° or so. The last brisket I cooked had a great taste but was a bit dry and tough, so I'm hoping the moisture from the onions and the water help this time.

For sides on previous occasions, I've made potato salad, saffron rice, BBQ-style beans, red beans and rice, cole slaw, fresh cob corn, and boiled greens. Any other ideas?

switters
03-06-2014, 05:15 PM
Just got caught up with this thread, now I'm starving.

Chip-skiff
03-06-2014, 05:18 PM
Just got caught up with this thread, now I'm starving.

What a good BBQ joint in Fort Fun? I tried a Texas BBQ place south of town, on 287, but wasn't too impressed. Their brisket was dry and tough, just like my previous tries.

Mrleft8
03-06-2014, 05:28 PM
Brisket is really difficult to do properly unless you have a real "Wet smoker"..... Gotta have a lot of steam. I like to use apple cider and water 50/50 to produce the steam. The other thing is to make a reduced stock based sauce to "rest" the brisket in when you take it out of the smoke.

Chip-skiff
03-06-2014, 05:33 PM
Brisket is really difficult to do properly unless you have a real "Wet smoker"..... Gotta have a lot of steam. I like to use apple cider and water 50/50 to produce the steam. The other thing is to make a reduced stock based sauce to "rest" the brisket in when you take it out of the smoke.

Hmmm. Since I'm trying to use what we've got (Weber kettles) I might never buy a proper "wet" smoker. I do have tactics for getting steam in a kettle grill, but in the small one the limited space makes it somewhat difficult.

Since the sliced onions and hot water, along with juices from the meat, yield stock at the end of the cooking process, can I rest the brisket without unwrapping it?

One book I've got insists that you have to take the foil-wrapped brisket and put it in a paper shopping bag to rest it. Ever heard that?

switters
03-06-2014, 05:43 PM
What a good BBQ joint in Fort Fun? I tried a Texas BBQ place south of town, on 287, but wasn't too impressed. Their brisket was dry and tough, just like my previous tries.

Brother Mels is as good as it gets for FOCO, somehow it always tasted better out of the portable smoker than at the new restaurant.

The boys at Mojeaux's do some good slow smoke but I have not seen any brisket on the menu in a while and that was what they did best. The wives took over the books after the first year and it hasn't been the same since.

Rubbing Butts, another food truck with a smoker, is good if you see them. Sometimes they will be at the main intersection in LaPorte on Sunday afternoons, they have a lot of catering gigs these days so we don't see them on any kind of regular schedule anymore.

Mrleft8
03-06-2014, 05:44 PM
Hmmm. Since I'm trying to use what we've got (Weber kettles) I might never buy a proper "wet" smoker. I do have tactics for getting steam in a kettle grill, but in the small one the limited space makes it somewhat difficult.

Since the sliced onions and hot water, along with juices from the meat, yield stock at the end of the cooking process, can I rest the brisket without unwrapping it?

One book I've got insists that you have to take the foil-wrapped brisket and put it in a paper shopping bag to rest it. Ever heard that?

You want a pretty good amount of liquid for the resting period........
Never heard of the paper bag method.

Chip-skiff
03-06-2014, 08:16 PM
You want a pretty good amount of liquid for the resting period........
Never heard of the paper bag method.

That's from Grilling and Barbecue by the editors of Cook's Illustrated. People who eat my cooking are always sending me cookbooks as gifts. Is that a compliment, or a hint?

Mrleft8
03-06-2014, 09:54 PM
That's from Grilling and Barbecue by the editors of Cook's Illustrated. People who eat my cooking are always sending me cookbooks as gifts. Is that a compliment, or a hint?

Probably.... Yes. :D
Yanno, Chip...... I wasn't always a good cook, and I'm still not, always, but I like to learn from other peoples experience, and expand on that bad decision..... ;)

Chip-skiff
03-06-2014, 11:08 PM
Okay: brisket report. Excellent flavor. It was beautifully moist and tender, and will pull very nicely, but the bottom got too much heat on the grill and a half-inch of meat was black and tough as a scorched boot.

Some day, I will get it right, but today was not the time.

pefjr
03-07-2014, 04:47 PM
We've got two Weber kettles, large and small, and I've been learning to smoke foods while grill-roasting them. I started with hickory and boneless pork ribs-

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Ae_85uRQgVc/UagEV0VorjI/AAAAAAAAEFI/EsYdmV-Luo0/s800/ribs2.jpg

Then, BBQ chicken thighs with apple: great. Then I did a pork loin roast with apple chips: wonderful. The latest attempt was a 4-lb. chicken with a mix of apple and cherry, which was brilliant.

I'm wondering what woods go best with what meats (or other food items)? The woods that are locally available here are native alder and river birch. I can buy hickory, mesquite, apple, cherry, and maple chips.

Any particular stand-out combinations?You are doing the same as I do. I prefer the Weber for smoking as it's faster and easier, and I use the large one. Small one for just grilling. I also use green cedar, never buy it as it grows every where even in Vegas. 2 hrs on a Turkey Breast, less on everything else, only 20/30 minutes for Salmon. Those small rock hens are delicious, smoked.

Chip-skiff
10-22-2014, 12:34 AM
RIP Bud, who is no longer with us.

Will there be any grilling in heaven? That's more or less what hell is famous for: the original pit BBQ.

Anyhow, I got a Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker, the 18.5 inch model, and am learning to use it.

http://www.tyden.cz/obrazek/4a7adc5ff1906/weber2-4a7ae0910cb28.jpg
The first go was a beef half brisket and a pork shoulder roast, with hickory. I had trouble keeping the temp even and didn't put enough water in the bowl, which boiled dry. The brisket was a bit dry, but had good flavor. The pork roast was slightly underdone, but edible (and tasty).

Second time out, I tried some salmon (dog or chum, which is sold as keta) since it costs about 1/3 what king or sockeye do. Bought five pounds, which I thought would fill one grill (and I didn't care to muck up ten pounds of fish at one go.)

Cured it in a salt/brown sugar brine for 24 hours, then put it on a metal rack in the basement with a fan on it to dry the surface (which the recipe calls the pellicle and claims is the crucial step). After four hours, I fired up the smoker and roasted some green chile (on sale when I bought the salmon) using the bottom section, which would also do for cooking steaks. The chile took about 20 minutes, as the coals evened out. (Once you have a nice, even char on the peppers, pop them in a plastic bag to steam until they cool, when you can scoop out the seeds and peel them.)

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-I89g-M80k4M/VENNw0B8_CI/AAAAAAAAGZc/5gJEVEK9jiM/s700/greenchile.jpg

The Weber book recommends 50 briquets and I used 35, and heaped them in the center of the grill, so they would maintain their heat, but produce less overall. If they're spread evenly, they burn more quickly and, if you shut the draft to cool things, down, tend to go out. That was a problem on the first run. If salmon gets too hot, it exudes sticky, white globs of albumen. For smoke, I had inch-thick chunks of alder, sawed and split, from a standing dead trunk on our riverbank. I've been hot-smoking salmon on the Weber kettle and found that alder gives a nice smoke tang without overwhelming the taste of the salmon. Plus it's free for the gathering.

I held the temp (on the built-in thermometer) between 150° and 175°F, for between 3 and 4 hours, basting hourly with a mix of maple syrup and lemon juice. Here's the result:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-EkHwCyh0Rng/VEMN1ZirnQI/AAAAAAAAGZM/-ROQwQODcpI/s800/salmon1.jpg

The fish was flake-tender, slightly sweet (I was worried it might turn out as salmon candy), and on the whole, very pleasing. We had two small pieces for dinner and I peppered and vacuum packed the rest, then popped it in the freezer.

On my list are a whole brisket (Montreal Smoked Meat), big pork roasts, a couple roasting chickens, and p'raps a turkey.

This is the turkey I did last year, in the big Weber kettle, with apple for smoke.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-CsT_UXUYyCM/Uog1MZ__poI/AAAAAAAAE0c/3k9u2VU-F9g/s700/sturkey1.jpg

Captain Intrepid
10-22-2014, 12:56 AM
The pellicle is vital. Without it the fat runs out of the meat. Looks delectable!

Stiletto
10-22-2014, 01:10 AM
Chip, that looks delicious! Did you try manuka smoking when you were in NZ?

I used to do the occasional carpentry job for an old lady who used to feed me with manuka smoked flounder, amazing!

Chip-skiff
10-22-2014, 12:17 PM
Chip, that looks delicious! Did you try manuka smoking when you were in NZ?

I used to do the occasional carpentry job for an old lady who used to feed me with manuka smoked flounder, amazing!

I wish I had, but my cookery hadn't evolved to that point. We had a hibachi-type grill and I did the usual stuff on it. In Ireland this May, we stayed on the west coast with a couple who had a wee fishing boat and caught the fish that they smoked and served: salmon, of course, but also a smoked mackerel that was delicious.

The only fish I can catch near home that turn out well smoked are trout, particularly brook trout, which have deep pink flesh. Staying in a patrol cabin above a lake in the Wind River Range, I used to catch my limit of brookies on dry flies and smoke them in a pit, covered with an old dishpan— crude, but the results were excellent.

Just did a quick search and found a photo of the cabin and the lake, as I recall, a bit above 3000 meters:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-FRQxzoBbKzQ/VEfpJQsYbWI/AAAAAAAAGbU/043cORexUjo/s840/cross%2520lake.jpg

Old Dryfoot
10-22-2014, 12:49 PM
Idyllic and delicious in one thread.

Boston
10-22-2014, 01:08 PM
Awesome cabin Chip. I pas through the wind river area once or twice a year. Its stunning

Todd Bradshaw
10-23-2014, 04:42 PM
I've done whole turkeys on the Smokey Mountain Cooker a couple of times, following the recipe that came with the smoker. They have you brine it in a salt water/pickling spice mix for about three days before smoking it. The white meat comes out really nice, though it has a fairly dry texture from the brining that seems better as an appetizer-style food than as a main course. We always found that the dark meat came out way too salty, so now we only smoke the turkey breasts, rather than the whole bird. It's also somewhat faster, though it still takes several hours.

Chip-skiff
10-23-2014, 08:05 PM
I've done whole turkeys on the Smokey Mountain Cooker a couple of times, following the recipe that came with the smoker. They have you brine it in a salt water/pickling spice mix for about three days before smoking it. The white meat comes out really nice, though it has a fairly dry texture from the brining that seems better as an appetizer-style food than as a main course. We always found that the dark meat came out way too salty, so now we only smoke the turkey breasts, rather than the whole bird.

That seems like way too long in the brine. The turkey I smoked was in brine for 2-3 hours. The salt taste was about right for me and it was marvelously moist and juicy (look at the cutting board.)

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JQUmsoQNagc/VEmk9nGvpBI/AAAAAAAAGcQ/WJeeTTLtU2U/s700/sturkey2.jpg

The Wolf Goddess found it too smoky for her taste, so next time I'll smoke for about half the cooking time, and maybe try pecan rather than apple.

Todd Bradshaw
10-23-2014, 08:54 PM
If you intend to eat it the same way you would a roasted turkey, your method makes more sense. The product that their recipe yields is quite different and very good, but best in small doses on crackers.

Chip-skiff
10-23-2014, 09:10 PM
If you intend to eat it the same way you would a roasted turkey, your method makes more sense. The product that their recipe yields is quite different and very good, but best in small doses on crackers.

A 12-lb. turkey, in small doses on crackers, would last us about ten years. I can see why you do breasts.

For the next smoke-out, I think I'll get some enormous cut of pork, a picnic roast or the like. And also a full brisket for Montreal Smoked Meat. Had it in Montreal and would like to have it again.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-B9kwgeSr8Hc/VEmztGbV4zI/AAAAAAAAGcg/O6d-hiofa08/s720/smokemeat.jpg

Chip-skiff
12-02-2014, 01:45 AM
Just did some bacon. I ordered three solid pieces of side pork, which the butcher gave to me frozen and wrapped. But when I got home, I discovered that the flitches were sliced.

So I trussed them up tight with cotton string. Then, in a ziploc bag, I mixed up a cure with kosher salt, Prague #1 Powder, brown sugar, maple syrup, black pepper, and water. Put the three flitches of side pork in and laid it in the back of the fridge. Turned twice a day for a week.

This morning I fired up the smoker, plunked the pork on, and used hickory chunks for smoke. 160-225°F, for three hours, to an internal temp of 150°F.

Bingo—

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-EA_EW14xwFQ/VHzermZgQzI/AAAAAAAAGqU/YgHMHHlagG0/s800/bacon.jpg

Couldn't wait for tomorrow's breakfast, so I made spaghetti alla carbonara (charcoal burner's spaghetti) with bacon pieces, parmesan cheese, eggs, herbs, and black pepper, tossed with the drained, hot pasta.

If it's not the best bacon I ever tasted, then I don't remember the best. Definitely worth the effort.

Next time I'll try pecan for smoke, or maybe mesquite. Ever had mesquite-smoked bacon?

WszystekPoTrochu
12-02-2014, 04:12 AM
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