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Anyone have a smoker?

Den Feb 19, 2009 07:07 AM

I just picked up a smoker yesterday and can't wait to get it going and try some ribs and pork shoulder. Does anyone have a smoker and any good recipes?

  1. baldwinwood Feb 19, 2009 07:21 AM

    You might have just made one of the greatest purchases in your life time!

    What kind of smoker do you have?

    I'll try and attach a photo of my pork explosion i made in the smoker a few weeks ago.

     
    4 Replies
    1. re: baldwinwood
      Den Feb 19, 2009 09:33 AM

      I went on the cheap side but it got great reviews, the Kenmore gas smoker. It looks like a metal cabinet.

      1. re: baldwinwood
        mrgrotto Feb 19, 2009 01:54 PM

        You made the pork explosion!?!? Awesome. As soon as it's warm enough I'm firing up the smoker.

        Actually, I'm plugging it in. I have an electric smoker like a lot of folks in this thread. Pretty cheap and I hope to soon upgrade but it's churned out some good q on a tiny back porch in a city.

        1. re: mrgrotto
          baldwinwood Feb 20, 2009 09:50 AM

          You will LOVE the explosion!!!

          1. re: baldwinwood
            mrgrotto Feb 20, 2009 10:58 AM

            It might kill me, but it will be a fine way to go.

      2. m
        malibumike Feb 19, 2009 07:29 AM

        I have a Cookshack Amerique and love it, you can cook up real pulled pork, brisket, etc just like the pitmasters of the south do. There is a forum that has plenty of recipes. it is:

        http://forum.cookshack.com/eve/forums

        9 Replies
        1. re: malibumike
          baldwinwood Feb 19, 2009 08:05 AM

          Are cookshacks electric smokers? Not sure you can call em smokers, some produce good results, but theres nothing like cooking with real hardwood and chunks of wood.

          Backwoods are the best smokers i have ever cooked with.

          http://www.backwoods-smoker.com/

          1. re: baldwinwood
            m
            malibumike Feb 19, 2009 09:15 AM

            Yes cookshacks are electric, but this means you dont have to get up in the middle of the night numerous times to add wood. Meat only takes in a certain amount of smoke anyway, it forms a smoke ring about a quarter of an inch in and no more is absorbed. On the Amerque you set the temp you want the meat to finish at and the cook temp, say you are doing a 15 pound pork butt, you want it to fall off the bone like pulled pork you need to cook long and low temp say 195 for meat temp and cook temp at 225 plug in the probe and it takes over, this may take anywhere from 16 to 20 hours, when done it will go down to 140 and annunciate it is done. You do add you choice of hardwood chunks to the smoke box, unlike some smokers it is a moist smoker you never add a pan of water. Even a novice will produce product just like the best pitmaster.

            1. re: malibumike
              baldwinwood Feb 19, 2009 10:39 AM

              I can run my backwoods 7-8 hours with adding any fuel, and sleep thru the night also.

              1. re: baldwinwood
                m
                malibumike Feb 19, 2009 11:38 AM

                Yes but unless you time it just right you'll have to get up at least once in the evening and it also means if your smoke takes say 20 hours you or someone else cant go anywhere either that day or the next because someone will have to add wood 2 or 3 times.. I'm sure you get great smokes but for the average person that has a full schedule they wont use the smoker near as much as an electric. Another point is that with and electric you dont have to add any smoke at all, there may be times(few hopefully) that you have some people over that may not want smoked meat but want it to fall off the bone.

              2. re: malibumike
                rcspott Feb 19, 2009 11:33 AM

                I have a Cookshack and as it does produce good smoke flavor I don't get any smoke ring with mine, even adding a few briquettes to the smoke box does not produce the "ring". Just curious how you are cooking to accomplish the smoke ring.

                1. re: rcspott
                  m
                  malibumike Feb 19, 2009 01:05 PM

                  Actually the only meat I can see the smoke ring on is Tri Tip, On brisket I cant see it even if it is actually there, The point I was trying to make is that the smoke will only penetrate to a very small depth so you dont have to have smoke for a full 20 hours, only about the first 2 hours.

                  1. re: malibumike
                    c
                    cocktailhour Feb 20, 2009 04:16 PM

                    I get a smoke ring on both pork shoulder and brisket. I am hoping to get my ring bigger, but it is very noticeable. The smoke in my smoker lasts several hours, but not anywhere near 20. It is slow cookng over hardwood briquets for the rest of the time.

                  2. re: rcspott
                    scubadoo97 Feb 19, 2009 03:12 PM

                    The Cookshack and the Masterbuilt both are so effecient with the use of wood that there isn't enough NO2 to get a good smoke ring but the proof is in the tasting

                  3. re: malibumike
                    c
                    cocktailhour Feb 19, 2009 12:30 PM

                    I don't have to add fuel for 20+ hours in the Egg--a ceramic cooker--when I am smoking. It's one reason why I love it.

              3. c
                chileheadmike Feb 19, 2009 07:46 AM

                Lots of good info here.

                http://www.rbjb.com/rbjb/rbjbboard/

                What did you get. I've had my Weber Smokey Mtn for 10 or 12 years, still chuggin along.

                1. j
                  jzerocsk Feb 19, 2009 07:56 AM

                  I usually crib most of my recipes from the "Virtual Weber Bullet" website.

                  1. c
                    cocktailhour Feb 19, 2009 08:27 AM

                    I have a Big Green Egg, which you can smoke or grill in. For pulled pork, there is an Elizabeth Kramer recipe that has been published many places. I spice rub the pork. Put it in smoker at around 200-225 with a drip pan and smoke it/cook it for as long as I can, up to 22 hours. I use hardwood briquets and hickory chunks. Sometimes I brush on a mop a few times during the cooking. It works great and freezes well, so I like to do 10+ pounds at a time.

                    for brisket, I still have not perfected the tenderness, but I use a spice rub with chili powder and use mesquite.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: cocktailhour
                      p
                      powillie Feb 19, 2009 07:57 PM

                      May I offer some input on brisket? When I do a brisket, I will apply the spice rub several hours before putting it on the smoker and allow the meat to come up to room temperature. This will let the spice rub pull some of the moisture from the meat and allow the smoke to penetrate better. Trim the brisket of big chunks of fat and the silverskin, but leave some fat for flavor. Most of the fat will render out during cooking. I do not use chili powder or mesquite, that's a Texas thing, which may be what you are looking for. For the spice rub ,I use a spicy mix; for the fire, a mix of charcoal and hickory chunks. Charcoal by its self will not produce the smoke that we are looking for. Of course you are are already doing this. About the tenderness. Cook the brisket at the temperature you are using until the internal temperature of the brisket is 185-190 degrees. Usually 6-8 hours. Remove the meat from heat and allow to rest for 30 minutes or so. Thinly slice the brisket across the grain, 1/8" inch or less. If you are using a full brisket, there will be a separate piece from the flat where the grain of the meat runs opposite. It is important to separate this piece so you can slice it across the grain. This piece is used by many restaurants to smoke again for burnt ends. For a drip pan, I use a cast pot filled with beans for barbeque beans. Mix inexpensive pork and beans (they have more liquid than the more expensive brands) with catsup, mustard, vinegar and a sweetener, I use pancake syrup. As the meat cooks, it will drip taking some of the spice rub with it.. This , along with the smoke, will flavor the beans. When the meat is finished, mix the beans up and let it rest for while. I believe you will like it.

                      1. re: powillie
                        Den Feb 20, 2009 06:02 AM

                        Interesting about the beans. Do you put them in for the whole time the meat is in?

                        1. re: Den
                          p
                          powillie Feb 20, 2009 02:40 PM

                          You can. I check them each time that I add more charcoal and wood. When they thicken, I will pull them off or add some water. Also, when slicing the brisket, there will be little pieces of charred meat. I mix these into the beans. The sauce will soften them and create these little treasures in the barbequed beans.

                        2. re: powillie
                          c
                          cocktailhour Feb 20, 2009 04:23 PM

                          thanks for the tips. You are right, I am going for a Texas thing. Real Texas barbecue is brisket, which is what I grew up on. For pork (I think) I cook it to above 200 (210) degrees because the higher temp melts the last layer of connective tissue. I can't remember what I aim for in brisket. since the heat is so low in the egg, it does take longer than 6-8 hours, which I don't mind.

                          the bean idea is interesting, but slightly horrifying from a Texas persepctive! (this is said with a grin for the passionate differenceds in regional 'cue). I may try pintos though, and not a lot of sugar/maple. or maybe use sweeter beans like you use for pork--since I make it Carolina style, it may go better.

                          Gosh, now I really really want barbecue.

                          1. re: cocktailhour
                            p
                            powillie Feb 20, 2009 05:54 PM

                            Texas,huh? How about pintos cooked over a mesquite fire, topped with a scoop of pico de gallo, and served with hot tortillas? I'm hungry.

                      2. m
                        MikeA Feb 19, 2009 08:46 AM

                        I have an electric smoker and have used wood chips with usually good results. In general, do people prefer wood chips or chunks (or pellets) for an electic smoker.

                        1. scubadoo97 Feb 19, 2009 09:08 AM

                          I recently purchased a Masterbuilt Electric Smokehouse. I had looked at both the Cookshack and the MES. The Cookshack is certainly more solidly built but at the time I couldn't justify the difference in cost. One benefit of the MES is that you can add wood without opening up the door and it has a nice top vent that can be adjusted to facilitate good air circulation which is key to not getting that creosote build up on your food. The Cookshack has a baffle for cold smoking. The MES doesn't but you can easily adopt cold smoking techniques with the MES.

                          1. porker Feb 19, 2009 07:40 PM

                            For plenty of info, you can check out BBQ source
                            http://www.bbqsource-forums.com/invbo...

                            For many years, it seemed I was BBQing in a vacuum - being in Canada, real Q is somewhat obscure, Most everyone thinks of grilling.
                            Before the advent of something called internet, getting specialized information was slightly different than it is today - I went through PLENTY of bbq trial and error. Too much smoke. Too hot. Too long. Not long enough. etc etc

                            In other words, look for tried and true methods for your smoker and go from there - it should save you time and effort.

                            Heres a good method for ribs.
                            Theres a gent on the forum above who is credited with a 3-2-1 method when Qing ribs. I had come to an approximation of this on my own, but when I saw it in print, slapped my head and said 'Of course! The genius of it all!'
                            Dry rub your ribs, smoke for 3 hours (about 225), wrap in foil and keep heat at 225 for 2 hours (no more smoke), finish unwrapped for 1 hour (3-2-1).
                            I like to slather my favorite sauce and grill as a final touch.

                            Shoulder is different as is brisket, etc etc.

                            I have two, an offset barrel smoker/grill combo, and a propane fired cabinet smoker.

                            1. d
                              duck833 Feb 19, 2009 08:21 PM

                              I have a cookshack FE100 pellet pooper, all heat is from wood pellets. Computer controller etc, fill with pellets and get a good nights sleeep.

                              Also have a large Big Green Egg, and do wonderful stuff with this also.

                              In the past I have had Weber Smokey Mountains (4 of them), Klose Pit with 8' cooking chamber on twin axle trailer, homebuilt pits and others.

                              Having a FE100 and a BGE kind of gives me the whole deal with ability to do pizzas, large cooks, high temp steaks, or just small low and slows.

                              1. b
                                BeckyAndTheBeanstock Feb 20, 2009 08:36 AM

                                One of my favorite smoker recipes is for a smoked apple salad. I love experimenting and smoking non-meat things (though I've ended up with some beautiful smoked salmon too). I posted the recipe for the smoked apple/bleu cheese salad on my food blog: http://beckyandthebeanstock.com/?p=132

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: BeckyAndTheBeanstock
                                  Monch Feb 20, 2009 12:05 PM

                                  After research, I ponied up for the Bradley Digital. Looking forward to delivery and the tasty fun that will follow.

                                  As to recipes and ideas, you might surf to the Bradley Smoker website and their forums.

                                  Lots of info there: http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/

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