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I got a smoker...and am out of ideas

j
japhyryder Mar 25, 2009 02:34 PM

i got a smoker two years ago and have pretty much mastered your typical bbq. any suggestions for different things i might try smoking. i've got the brisket, ribs and pork butt down.

i was particularly thinking about a duck, but i don't know...

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  1. Sam Fujisaka Mar 25, 2009 02:40 PM

    FISH!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Sam Fujisaka
      kchurchill5 Mar 26, 2009 06:40 AM

      Salmon, Coho, trout. Not sure what is readily available to you. Ham is great, chickens I love. Just did three a couple of weeks ago. Cornish hens are great, veggies like someone mentioned, pork loins or chops.

      I'm sure I'm being repetitive.

      1. re: kchurchill5
        revsharkie Mar 30, 2009 07:54 PM

        Chickens are really easy to do. I do pork loins in mine. I've wanted to do some jalapenos, but didn't have any luck the first time. Maybe I didn't leave them long enough.

        I have a Brinkmann barrel smoker, charcoal-fired.

        1. re: revsharkie
          kchurchill5 Mar 31, 2009 07:04 AM

          chickens are great!! I love them.

          Jalapenos are great too but haven't done that many. I need to try more of them for sure.

    2. k
      kali_MM Mar 25, 2009 02:46 PM

      Smoker, smoker, or a "smoke box attached to your grill" smoker?

      If it's the first... I'm envious... pulled pork, brisket, fish, turkey, any other kind of critter...

      If it's the second... I'm lost too... don't have the requisite temperature control.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kali_MM
        Morganna Mar 26, 2009 03:39 AM

        I don't have many problems controlling the temperature on my smoke box attached Brinkman barrel grill. :) I love it! :)

      2. Joe MacBu Mar 25, 2009 03:18 PM

        Definitely fish.
        Cure some pork belly and cold smoke it into bacon (hot smoked is pretty good too).
        Goat or lamb leg.
        Cold smoked cheese.
        Almonds
        Sea salt

        1 Reply
        1. re: Joe MacBu
          s
          sibaik Mar 31, 2009 04:20 PM

          There was a recipe in last week's LA Times Food Section on hot smoking pork belly to make homemade bacon. I was wishing I had a smoker to do so...

        2. danhole Mar 25, 2009 03:19 PM

          Smoked chicken, turkey, cheese, garlic, chicken livers, rib roast, flank steak, pork chops, vegetables. If you can eat it, you can smoke it!

          1 Reply
          1. re: danhole
            danhole Mar 27, 2009 08:45 AM

            Let me add to my list:

            Hamburgers
            Lobster
            Beans, after you cook them, smoke them for a great flavor
            Potatoes
            Mushrooms
            Any game birds
            Almonds

          2. c
            cstr Mar 25, 2009 03:28 PM

            Salmon, turkey legs, sausage and cheese, yes cheese.

            1. Passadumkeg Mar 25, 2009 03:34 PM

              Scallops, mussels and clamms.

              1. d
                duck833 Mar 25, 2009 03:54 PM

                get over to the Big Green Egg site, lots of ideas. Also the cookshack site and the vitual weber buttet site, tons of ideas and receipes.

                Local brewpub is using smoker for small hamburger sliders, dang they are really good. I use mine for turkeys, salmon, cod, cheese and lots of other great stuff.

                1. scubadoo97 Mar 25, 2009 04:09 PM

                  Things I'm smoking regularly.
                  Chuck roasts: An alternative to brisket. Great for pull beef sandwiches
                  Fish: Salmon smoke hot and cold. I had cold smoked salmon for breakfast today. Any high fat fish will smoke well
                  Corned beef to make pastrami. I've recently made a couple of these. Soooo good. coat corned beef in pastrami spices and smoke
                  Cheese: again cold smoking required.
                  Nuts: I did a lb of almonds the other day. I was able to control the salt on these and they turned out great.
                  Vegetables: Not long back I cold smoked a big tray of cut corn to make a wonderful smoked corn soup.

                  1. steakman55 Mar 25, 2009 04:22 PM

                    I use a Weber and cook on indirect heat with chips, and the perfect cut of meat is a boneless pork loin. Trim the silver skin, and coat nicely with the holy trinity (salt, pepper, garlic) Cook on indirect heat about an hour, sometimes less sometimes more, depending on the heat. Take it off just as the pink in center is about white and cover for a few minutes. This is a great addition: put some washed sweet potatoes and roast them at same time. The skin almost chars, but separates and peels off easier than ever. They have a nice smoky flavor, and need no butter, or anything else. Super accompaniment to the pork loin, which my kids call "pig log"

                    1. keith2000 Mar 26, 2009 12:18 AM

                      I don't think anyone said tomatoes. Yes to the duck I smoke duck breasts almost every week the smoke adds such a nice layer of flavor to the duck meat.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: keith2000
                        dinaofdoom Mar 28, 2009 12:09 PM

                        there is a local farm that does smoked tomatoes (think sun-dried but even more delicious and succulent).
                        given this year's weather, the tomato crop probably won't bear enough to support their smoking endeavors.

                        they are absolutely phenomenal so tomatoes get my smoker vote.

                        1. re: dinaofdoom
                          d
                          danieljdwyer Mar 30, 2009 10:56 AM

                          Smoked tomatoes are a wonderful thing. They absorb smoke flavor very quickly, so, in addition to the delicious dried preparation you describe, you can leave them moist enough to use to make barbecue sauce, use in chili, make ketchup, and, well, anything really.

                      2. Davwud Mar 26, 2009 04:20 AM

                        Salt.

                        Garlic.

                        DT

                        1. baldwinwood Mar 26, 2009 05:28 AM

                          Smoked duck is so good, its insane. I first get a big pot of water boiling, and poke little holes all over the duck and dip it in the boiling water for a few minutes. This will remove some of the fat. Not sure what type of smoker you have, but if it has racks, place a pan under your duck while you smoke it. Not only will you have some great duck, but the fat you have will make some insane, veggies/hash browns or what ever else you want. I smoke my birds at pretty high heat, 300+.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: baldwinwood
                            c
                            Claudette Mar 29, 2009 06:01 PM

                            baldwinwood - is it possible to separate and save the duck fat from the water afterward? (I like to cook w/ the fat, and wonder how to dispose of the dirty water if one doesn't remove the fat?). TIA.

                            1. re: Claudette
                              baldwinwood Mar 30, 2009 05:35 AM

                              I m sure if you let the pot of water cool, than place it in the fridge the water and fat will separate.

                          2. mrbigshotno.1 Mar 26, 2009 06:33 AM

                            Get one of those cheap Cook's shank ham, smoke it long and slow (about 160*) for about 8 hours. Unbeleivable how good it comes out.

                            1. rcspott Mar 26, 2009 06:52 PM

                              Smoke some salmon with this recipe, very simple and very tasty.

                              http://www.salmonuniversity.com/rs_ht...

                              1. s
                                Sal Vanilla Mar 26, 2009 08:08 PM

                                I agree with everyone on the salmon. Other fish that are fab on the smoker are any mackerel, wahoo, amberjack.... Oily ones. Cut the wahoo in steaks. It keeps better. If fish is plentiful, try mixing it up with brining it first. You might take a couple goes to get it perfect with the brine, but it is worth it.

                                Did nobody say chicken?? Chicken is absolutely yum on the smoker. Add some apple wood chips to mix it up. You can use the apple wood with a slab of pork belly to make your own bacon. Sigh. Yum.

                                Dark meat is better than white unless you brine.

                                Turkeys are also really good. You could do a breast and make lunch meat. Way better than store bought and cheaper.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Sal Vanilla
                                  Davwud Mar 27, 2009 04:14 AM

                                  I smoke turkey legs and necks and use them in place of ham hocks.

                                  DT

                                  1. re: Davwud
                                    s
                                    Sal Vanilla Mar 27, 2009 06:32 PM

                                    What a good idea DT. Sometimes I feel cranky about ditching those necks. I will save them back now. Smoked turkey legs. What a good idea.

                                2. m
                                  malibumike Mar 27, 2009 09:02 AM

                                  Dont know what kind of smoker you have but I cold smoke salmon, it is just like Lox(take the salmon put it in a pan, rub both sides with maplle syrup and rock salt, put in fridge overnight, take out and rinse off) put it in my cookshack amerique, it has a cold smoke baffel that you put a metal bowl of ice on, put your salmon on the fish rack above the ice pan, put in your alder wood or other favorite, turn on the smoker to 150f just leave in for 30 minutes turn off smoker and leave in smoker for one more hour, take out put in fridge for a few hours to make slicing easier or freezer for one hour. Then I slice with electric knife and slice thin just like Lox is sliced. If I use a regular knife it doesnt slice as well as the electric. Great for Lox sandwiches or served on the side with scrambled eggs for breakfast.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: malibumike
                                    alliedawn_98 Mar 27, 2009 11:27 AM

                                    Wow, I don't think we could cold smoke on ours but I do love lox! I've had it the past two mornings for breakfast with cream cheese spread on an english muffin....yum! Now I'm all out and probably won't find another good deal on it for a long time.

                                    We make meatloaf on ours. I love to make a meatloaf stuffed with cheese. YUM!

                                    Jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese that I add various things to, like pineapple, chives, crab meat, etc. then wrapped in bacon and then rolled in rub or brown sugar are just awesome. Those things go so quickly at a party that we can not make enough!

                                    We've also done the sausage loaf with cheese in the middle but it wasn't a favorite at our house.

                                    Oh and nothing beats baked beans off the smoker!

                                    1. re: alliedawn_98
                                      scubadoo97 Mar 27, 2009 06:33 PM

                                      You can cold smoke if you make a smoke generator. One easy method that I use is the "tin can" smoke generator. Take a tin can from you favorite 15 oz bean or vegetable and cut the top but leave a hinge. I drill a hole near the bottom and insert a soldering iron. Fill the can with chips or wood pellets and plug in the soldering iron. Before I use the can I heat it over my gas range to burn off all the nasty coatings. Also don't use a soldering iron that you used to melt lead solder. Buy a new one. They only cost around 10 bucks.
                                      The can will smoke for at least a couple of hours and produce very little heat. Depending on your ambient temperature you can easily maintain a temperature below 90 F.

                                      1. re: scubadoo97
                                        Sam Fujisaka Mar 27, 2009 07:00 PM

                                        Brilliant!

                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                          scubadoo97 Mar 28, 2009 07:16 AM

                                          Sam, before I got a smoker I was cold smoking salmon in my Weber gas grill. Just used the grill as a smoke box with the smoke generator sitting off to the side. A card board box would work too. You have to be careful since there is some heat given off my the smoldering chips so you have to not put your fish too close to the can and watch your temperatures. A bowl of ice in the smoke box will also help to maintain the temperature well under 90 F.

                                          I'll be using mine today to cold smoke some scallops which I will finish off inside and they will be served on top of a smoked corn soup. Hot smoked salmon broken up into a bowl of rotini pasta with an arugula pesto will be the entree for tonight.

                                          1. re: scubadoo97
                                            alliedawn_98 Mar 28, 2009 08:03 AM

                                            Wow, I never would have thought of doing that! Thank you so much!

                                            Now, I need to find a nice piece of salmon. lol

                                  2. j
                                    jeanmarieok Mar 27, 2009 12:00 PM

                                    We use our smoker almost every weekend we are home, from April thru Oct. Nearly always throw a chicken or two on, for chopped chicken for everything from enchiladas thru caesar salads. Just S&P, or a little adobo. The chicken definitely keeps, tightly wrapped in the fridge, for 4 or 5 days.

                                    My favorite things to smoke -
                                    kielbasa - we'll do a couple of lbs of the cheap stuff, double wrap and freeze, and use it for jambalaya, red beans and rice, and my husband loves it in scrambled eggs. No skill involved in this, either. Just put it on and let it go until the casing almost splits.

                                    Baked beans - we have run the smoker for 4 hours for just baked beans - one of the best things ever.

                                    We've smoked provolone a few times - kind of good, but too much smoke on cheese is not good. Hard to know where the line is. But if you like a challenge, cheese might be for you.

                                    Smoked chicken livers and lamb kidneys were outstanding - need a light touch there, too. In general, they never make it to the plate, they are just eaten directly off the smoker.

                                    Pork tenderloins

                                    ground pork and beef, mix into burgers,season with oregano and garlic. quick char on both sides, smoke until cooked thru - tastes like a 'souvlaki' burger.

                                    Turkey breast - use a water pan with aromatics - really good, we slice and make sandwiches.

                                    Turkey legs - big hit with the redneck men I know

                                    We also have a 'chest' smoker that's electric, with a sawdust pan, that we use for bacon and canadien bacon. But that's a true 'cold smoke' smoker, and we haven't done too much except pork belly for bacon and pork tenderloins for canadien and peameal bacon.

                                    1. mamaciita Mar 27, 2009 06:21 PM

                                      I have to second (or third. . .) sea salt. My friends love to find smoked Maldon in their gift bags--no occasion necessary.

                                      1. s
                                        Sal Vanilla Mar 27, 2009 06:34 PM

                                        Anyone ever smoked lamb before?

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: Sal Vanilla
                                          Passadumkeg Mar 27, 2009 06:54 PM

                                          Yes ribs & leg both whole and butterflied.

                                          1. re: Passadumkeg
                                            kchurchill5 Mar 28, 2009 07:09 AM

                                            Same with the leg, butterflied as well and turned out very good. A little rich I though but still tasty. Just me I guess. Dad loved it. Took a while but it was nice for a change.

                                            1. re: kchurchill5
                                              Passadumkeg Mar 28, 2009 10:43 AM

                                              I like mutton even more, when I can find it.

                                              1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                kchurchill5 Mar 28, 2009 11:20 AM

                                                never tried but I bet it would be good as well. My gramps hunted as did I with him growing up so deer, rabbit, turkeys, duck, pheasant, etc I'm used too. Lots of freshwater fish from MI, now salt water but still fish freshwater now and then. Did a couple of hogs and others we caught hunting. We used to offshore in Lake MI and catch more coho/shinook than we could ever eat including browns in the Manistee River ... We smoked and froze a lot. Sometimes they would come home with 4-5, 40lbers. LOTS of fish. Our neighbor raised pigs and cows and he used to give us one every year. He also ownded a meat packing or butcher company locally so ... again ... smoke pork and beef was another favorite. We had 3 freezer chests full of frozen goods

                                                1. re: kchurchill5
                                                  Passadumkeg Mar 28, 2009 02:33 PM

                                                  Smoked venison roast, the haunch is too big for my smoker.
                                                  I teach Hemingway fishing strories of the Mich. area.
                                                  You sound like the civilian disguise of Wonder Women.

                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                    kchurchill5 Mar 28, 2009 02:41 PM

                                                    Born in Dearborn, grew up 45 min south of Traversity (Bear Lake) Low key, small summer town, 900 total winter population. Hunted and grew up the tom boy with gramps. I did everything with him. He just passed 2 weeks ago, 96. Pretty damn good. Skied, ski instructor, cross country, hunted, snowmobile, ice fished, hunted everything, gardened. Huge garden, canned, froze veggies, pies, you name it. We spend every weekend and all summer (mom a school teacher) and every vacation other than Easter ... always in FL (Sarasota area). This was since age 2. Well maybe not hunting at age 2 ...

                                                    I wouldn't change it for the world. Learned a lot. Venison, yes, our friends had the industrial smoker (meat company so ... size wasn't a problem. I can't remember everything we did but they we just in town so close by. Our lake was 3 x 1 1/2 so not big and the town was on the opposite shore but not far. I remember 1 grocery store, nothing worth buying, 1 IGA, 1 bank, library, school, med clinic, marina, gas station, 1 fried chicken restaurant, dairy queen and nothing else, LOL. Small town.

                                                    I love venison and duck. Dad said we did pheasant too, don't remember. Hard suckers to shoot!!

                                                    1. re: kchurchill5
                                                      chef chicklet Mar 31, 2009 03:57 PM

                                                      You think they're hard, try quail.
                                                      I too grew up with a hunter, fisherman you name it. My Dad could do anything and make anything. All this talk about the smoker reminds me of how he'd drive to see me, pack his little truck with ice chests, and bring me salmon, shrimp, crab and jars of canned smoked salmon and albacore. My boys dad would take the jars of salmon to work to share and everyone would fight over it. How very lucky we are.

                                                      1. re: chef chicklet
                                                        Sam Fujisaka Mar 31, 2009 06:07 PM

                                                        Your Dad loved you like my dad and Mom loved me and my brother.

                                        2. Will Owen Mar 27, 2009 10:23 PM

                                          I just fired up the '70s water smoker for the first time since Labor Day, and did a well-salted & seasoned piece of tri-tip. Kind of like firing up a B-52 to bomb a Girl Scout Day Camp, but it worked very nicely and now I have maybe three meals' worth of lovely succulent smoky meat.

                                          I'd really like to get one of those sidewinder rigs with the firebox over here and the food in a chamber downwind from it. I've seen setups like that at OSH - does anyone have any experience with them?

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Will Owen
                                            bermudagourmetgoddess Mar 30, 2009 09:44 AM

                                            All right after reading I am so smoking some meats this weekend...Think I will do some smoked pork chops!

                                            We used to smoke Marlin, which was out of this world, but smoked tuna is just as good along with smoked wahoo or porgy...will have to try the smoked lobster when season is in again.

                                            1. re: Will Owen
                                              bkhuna Apr 17, 2009 04:08 PM

                                              Will, I've gone through a few smokers in my life, including the offset firebox style you asked about. Mind you, the one I had, a New Braunfels Black Diamond, wasn't the best in terms of build and ease of use. It leaked air and controlling the temperature required a lot of hands on time.

                                              I now use and am totally devoted to the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker. It will run and keep a fairly steady temperature for 12-14 hours on one load of charcoal. It has it's drawbacks like anything else, but the food it produces is great and it won't eat up all your time by having to futz with it ever hour.

                                              If I could afford one, I would buy a high end (Kloss, etc.) offset smoker, but for the money the Weber can't be beat.

                                            2. keith2000 Mar 30, 2009 09:58 AM

                                              smoke a pork butt grind it and make your own smoked sausage

                                              1. d
                                                danieljdwyer Mar 30, 2009 11:24 AM

                                                Meat is pretty well covered, so I'll add that many vegetables, and even fruit can be smoked. Peppers (sweet or hot), and, as noted below, tomatoes work particularly well. If you completely dehydrate peppers on the smoker, you can use them to make your own paprika. Smoking is a great way to preserve things, whether to make dried fruit, jerky, or dried herbs.
                                                This one is weird, but here goes. Back in college, I broke out the smoker every football weekend to guarantee we had the best food of any tailgate on campus. Being a normal college student, getting up on a Saturday morning in time to have a brisket ready for afternoon games was hell. Eating made it less so, and I soon discovered that there is no better way to reheat leftover pizza than on a smoker.
                                                But, really, try anything. If it's small enough to fall through the grate, buy a mesh grill basket, or just wrap in cheesecloth. It might not be worth firing the smoker up just to smoke potato chips, but if you're going to fire it up for something big, you might as well try some small things, or fire it up and try a whole lot of smaller stuff all in one glorious afternoon.

                                                1. PattiCakes Mar 30, 2009 12:01 PM

                                                  I buy turkey breasts when they are on sale, and smoke 'em in a batch of 4-5. Then I use my trusty vacuum sealer & seal them individually. Hubby always takes a couple on his annual fishing trip. I make soup out of them as well -- awesome flavor. Wonder if you could make your own sausage & smoke it?

                                                  You can smoke a ham and a pot of beans at the same time & let the ham drippings go into the bean pot.

                                                  1. b
                                                    babaoriley7 Mar 30, 2009 07:37 PM

                                                    Atomic Buffalo Turds... google it. Delicious smoked.

                                                    1. Scargod Mar 31, 2009 06:19 AM

                                                      Eggplant is great on the grill! Smoked-even better.
                                                      Duck has been mentioned and chicken over apple wood. Duck smoked with apple wood is fantastic!

                                                      24 Replies
                                                      1. re: Scargod
                                                        d
                                                        danieljdwyer Mar 31, 2009 06:31 AM

                                                        Do you know of any books that talk about what woods work best with which foods, or with various flavor profiles? Or is that wisdom a strictly oral tradition?

                                                        1. re: danieljdwyer
                                                          Scargod Mar 31, 2009 07:08 AM

                                                          I'll have to check my books on woods. I also have some on grilling/smoking.
                                                          I KNOW THIS! Some woods are bad for you! There are some that give off toxic materials!
                                                          I'll get back on this; I have a woodworking friend who knows more on this subject than I do, and he has a wood-fired oven.

                                                          1. re: danieljdwyer
                                                            kchurchill5 Mar 31, 2009 07:16 AM

                                                            1. Alder's natural sweetness is especially suited with pork.

                                                            2. Apple's natural sweetness is good for any type of meat. It's great in combination with other woods.

                                                            3. Cherry is especially good with beef and pork. It has a tendency to turn meat a rich mahogany color. It's best to balance Cherry wood with Hickory, Alder, Oak or Pecan.

                                                            4. Hickory is the all-time favorite of many Midwest and southern state barbecue cooking teams. Too much hickory smoke can turn meat bitter.

                                                            5. Maple is quite similar to Alder wood. Maple is sweet and also darkens the color of meat. Balance it with Alder, Apple or Oak. Sugar Maple wood is the sweetest.

                                                            6. Some say to use only Honey Mesquite wood. The Wesatch variety of Mesquite "pops" embers. Mesquite is oily in nature, so it burns hot and fast.

                                                            7. Oak. Red Oak is the best variety for smoking.

                                                            8. Pear, Peach and Plum. These woods require a certain level of expertise in their use. Peach and Plum woods tend to lose their flavor shortly after being cut. For the best results, make sure you the fruit bearing kind of Plum.

                                                            9. Pecan is a member of the hickory family, and becoming more popular for smoking. This is a pungent wood, which should be used sparingly.

                                                            10. Dogwood is quite similar to Oak in its smoke flavor.

                                                            11. Grapevine cuttings add a nice flavor to fish, poultry and beef. You could achieve the same effect by soaking wood chips in an inexpensive wine before throwing the wood on the coals.

                                                            12. Herb woods, such as Basil, Thyme and Rosemary are usually used in combination with other woods. A good combination would be Alder with Basil, and Maple with Rosemary
                                                            ------------------------------

                                                            From a email someone sent me a few months ago. Hope this helps a little.

                                                            1. re: kchurchill5
                                                              JanPrimus Mar 31, 2009 11:24 AM

                                                              I use the wood off my pear tree for fish/poultry and have zero complaints. It is a bit more delicate, but I love it.

                                                              I just smoked a full turkey two weeks ago and I do not think I could ever go back to a oven turkey again.

                                                              1. re: JanPrimus
                                                                scubadoo97 Mar 31, 2009 11:39 AM

                                                                Any edible fruit bearing tree should be fine as a wood source.

                                                                1. re: JanPrimus
                                                                  kchurchill5 Mar 31, 2009 11:48 AM

                                                                  Pear sounds wonderful. I agree with subadoo97. Any fruit wood is usually great and offers good flavor. Usually less flavor but a milk flavor is good.

                                                                  I love smoked turkey. Did a small one about 2 months ago which was great. Did 3 chickens with applewood recently. Amazing flavor. I use chips but have a local dealer who carry's lots of varieties and also can get whole packs of logs. My last was fresh cherry wood. 4 logs. 15.00 but I chop it all up and then bag. I usually use it all pretty quick but makes a great flavor.

                                                                  1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                    Passadumkeg Mar 31, 2009 03:11 PM

                                                                    I'm starting to get jealous of ya'll's BBQin'. I just looked out the window outside my sun porch. There is still 3' + piles of snow on the patio area where I grill. Shoveling off this section of roof has left big piles of snow. I can't even get out the door. I'm wondering if it's too soon to take the studded snow tires off the cars.
                                                                    Well at leas I can comfort myself on Maine shrimp and the start of soft shell (steamers) clamming season.

                                                                    Nanookkeg

                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                      kchurchill5 Mar 31, 2009 05:12 PM

                                                                      Now that I'm jealous of ... not the snow that is. A couple of days under 40 and we panic, LOL. We just stay inside with large coats, fireplace, hot cocoa or hot butter rum and don't leave. NO BBQ that day. We are whimps!!

                                                                      But yeah, lucky most days, that's for sure. I worked on the boat today. 77, sunny, windy so a bit bumpy, wore a bathing suit and tank top and shorts. Sorry to rub that in and I was warm, :) And tonight, yes BBQ'd fish I caught today, sorry.

                                                                      Someone has to put up with this miserable:"hot" weather. Just think Come August we will be dripping and you will be enjoying a comfortable Sunday afternoon. All is fare in ...... You get it.

                                                                      My memories of northern MI. Went to college early am, left after 4 hours of classes. Walked to class 65 and nice, coming home ... blizzard and 6" on the ground. It was a very cold walk. I don't miss the snow that is for sure and many mornings I couldn't open the front door either.

                                                                      1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                        JanPrimus Mar 31, 2009 06:02 PM

                                                                        I did my last brisket in my smoker on a day that we got six inches of snow...I tended the fire and shoveled all day.

                                                                        FWIW I am looking to upgrade my smoker. I am thinking of even doing a Faux Outhouse Smoker. I would like to be able to smoke a good amount of sausages or fish at a time. I am keeping my eyes out for the right design.

                                                                        1. re: JanPrimus
                                                                          kchurchill5 Mar 31, 2009 06:11 PM

                                                                          At my house I had a nice big smoker ... now I just have a small one but I still try my best to pretty much make as much as possible. I remember BBQ'ing in the snow many times. Now it isn't that but T-storms. Fish what is what I loved to do. Coho, Shinook, Browns, Walleye, Trout. Lots of up north. Now it is amberjack, mackerel, mullet, salmon, a few others.

                                                                          Never did sausage would love to.

                                                                          How did your brisket come out. I did that many times and it was always yummy!!

                                                                          1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                            JanPrimus Apr 1, 2009 07:19 AM

                                                                            The Brisket was Scrumyumdillyicious!

                                                                            On the sausage front....if you don't own the book Charcuterie by Brian Polcyn and Michael Ruhlman you need to flop on over to Amazon.com and get your self a copy.

                                                                      2. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                        Scargod Apr 1, 2009 04:09 AM

                                                                        Obviously living in the wrong place, dude! Smoke something. It will warm up the earth and help melt your snow.
                                                                        Idea: sell smoked snow water to the city slickers!

                                                                      3. re: kchurchill5
                                                                        PattiCakes Apr 17, 2009 12:44 PM

                                                                        We are fortunate to have a couple of apple trees in our yard & use that wood in the smoker. I also save my apple peels in plastic bags in the freezer & throw handfulls of those on top of the wood once it's a-goin' good.

                                                                        kchurch -- I hadn't thought about using the herbs, but what a great thing to do. I'm always cutting back my rosemary & thyme, so I could just throw that in there.

                                                                    2. re: kchurchill5
                                                                      DockPotato Mar 31, 2009 02:43 PM

                                                                      There is a lot of gummy exudate on a peach tree. How does this effect the process?I'm thinking about conifers and turpentine here.

                                                                      1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                        d
                                                                        danieljdwyer Mar 31, 2009 06:43 PM

                                                                        Thank you. This is great info.

                                                                        1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                          Scargod Apr 1, 2009 05:57 AM

                                                                          http://www.justsmokedsalmon.com/plank... mentions alder, maple and cedar. Check out their recipe page!

                                                                          The following is courtesy of my friend Ray, who is a fine woodworker, craftsman and foodie. He is seldom active on the internet but has posted on egulllet:
                                                                          "Whatever you do, stay away from walnut, because it is poisonous (kills horses when used for bedding), and few things grow beneath a walnut tree. Other poisonous woods include rosewood and some pines, ebony, teak, ipe, and probably any tropical wood which resists decay or insect attack (that's how they resist the attack). I would stick to the woods in your list and not try other things. There is a LARGE list in "A Guide to Useful Woods of the World" of woods which could be used for anything, with caution to protect oneself."

                                                                          I have worked with rosewood and you must wear a mask or it will tear your lungs up!
                                                                          I wonder about the safety of using cedar, as far as chips for smoking food, given its ability to repel insects (as Ray mentions, above).

                                                                          1. re: Scargod
                                                                            Passadumkeg Apr 1, 2009 06:22 AM

                                                                            Avoid poison oak and sumac unless cooking solely for mother-in-law.. Heh, heh, heh.

                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                              kchurchill5 Apr 1, 2009 06:46 AM

                                                                              That I so totally agree with :)

                                                                            2. re: Scargod
                                                                              d
                                                                              danieljdwyer Apr 1, 2009 06:42 AM

                                                                              Cedar chips can kill rabbits when used for bedding. Not sure what that means as far as safety for humans, but, following a similar logic as that applied to walnut, it's probably a good one to avoid. Also, overly resinous woods like that can cause chimney fires when used in a fireplace, so I imagine they dirty a smoker up good.
                                                                              Would it be safe to say that one should stick to hardwoods?

                                                                              1. re: Scargod
                                                                                mrbigshotno.1 Apr 1, 2009 08:17 AM

                                                                                Hickory, mesquite,apple,alder, cherry, oak,pecan, (pecan hulls even better) If you can't get it from these..oh well.

                                                                                And as far as the mother-in-law business, use oleander.

                                                                              2. re: kchurchill5
                                                                                Scargod Apr 1, 2009 08:35 AM

                                                                                Thanks, ma'am. As with hickory, too much mesquite can add some bitterness. Perhaps others are that way, too? Can you have too much of a good thing, smokin'?

                                                                                1. re: Scargod
                                                                                  kchurchill5 Apr 1, 2009 08:38 AM

                                                                                  apple wood is still a fave, also cherry... my two faves for smoking. Milk but great flavor.

                                                                                  1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                                    Scargod Apr 1, 2009 08:52 AM

                                                                                    I don't understand the "milk" flavor...

                                                                                    1. re: Scargod
                                                                                      kchurchill5 Apr 1, 2009 09:22 AM

                                                                                      Sorry, missing glasses still. MILD. Or old age, :) I'll stick with the glasses defense.

                                                                          2. pikawicca Apr 1, 2009 06:32 AM

                                                                            Onions, shallots, garlic, peppers of all kinds, Roma tomatoes, mushrooms, tomatilloes. Store in freezer bags in the freezer, and grab some when you need to punch up the flavor of a salsa, soup, stew, or sauce.

                                                                            1. bkhuna Apr 17, 2009 03:57 PM

                                                                              Theres a story to be told of the guy (me) who decided one year to use his little Brinkmann smoker to do a goose for Christmas. It's was the same week that the guy had to buy a pressure washer to clean the patio....

                                                                              Fish, hams, sausages are things that do very well on a smoker.

                                                                              1. c
                                                                                chef4hire Apr 17, 2009 04:59 PM

                                                                                at my resto we smoke soft shells before we fry them up, we cold cure then smoke duck breast to make duck "pastrami", I smoke sausage & duck carcasses for a special black eyed pea gumbo...the list goes on and on...chicken livers & veggies for terrines

                                                                                I find that we use the smokers for prep just as much as for finished products

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