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Special smoking board?

Of course, for no particular personal reason whatsoever, I was wondering if a smoking board (perhaps as a sub-board of the HC board) would be a nice idea for 'hounds to exchange recipes, techniques, tricks & tips, etc., without being drowned out by the heavy traffic already happening on the HC board.

Just a suggestion.

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  1. And for no particular reason either, I'd love it if this happened. It seems to be a rather "lively" topic and it's hard to find sometimes, especially using the words "smoke" and "smoking" to search.

    6 Replies
    1. re: c oliver

      I think it would be great for beginners to help with first steps as well as for seasoned pros to get into drawn-out fights about the "right" and "wrong" way of doing things.

      J/k about the last part. That never happens :-D

      1. re: linguafood

        I guess it's like any other new (to me) technology. I'll learn by doing. I also suspect I'll initiate threads cause I can't find the info even though it's certainly here. I do think it's a good idea. It's not REALLY about cooking IMO.

        1. re: linguafood

          I dunno . . . Do you really want hounds to start smoking? It's really hard to quit.

          And is there a "right" and "wrong" way? Light the cigarette, inhale, exhales, repeat until done.

          (Sorry . . . I couldn't resist. It's just what popped into my head when I saw the thread title ;)

          1. re: gaffk

            But should they start smoking it may be of benefit to teach them how to do it and look like Bogey. The single greatest smoker ever!!

            DT

            1. re: Davwud

              "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks in to mine."

        1. Maybe a board called "Where there's Smoke" or possibly "Fire & Smoke" or "From Ashes to Eating" or just "The Phoenix" (although that one might get a bunch of Arizonans excited for the wrong reason).

          6 Replies
          1. re: Servorg

            I honestly don't care what the PTB decide to call it. Having it would be nice, however.

            1. re: linguafood

              To me it's along the lines of the cookware board. It's NOT cookware, cause it's about technique. And it's not about cooking cause, again, it's about technique and hardware. I know the PTB don't jump head long into creating new boards but, now that you brought it up, I think it makes sense. Plus those not interested in those subjects won't have to even look at them. Good job, l.

              1. re: linguafood

                Just thinking about ways to "promote" the product. Probably a "by-product" of too much Mad Men viewing...(after all, Jon Hamm is almost chow-centric)

                1. re: Servorg

                  One more board title idea: "Up on Smoke"

                  1. re: Servorg

                    One more - (with all due apologies to Jerome Kern)

                    "Smoke Gets in Your Food"

                    1. re: Servorg

                      Sung by many, sung best by The Platters.

            2. I see your point but "Special smoking" evokes all sorts of things having little to do with food.

              1 Reply
              1. re: MplsM ary

                Yes, I could see that. But once we get beyond that (quite understandable) juvenile reaction, we might be able to move on and think about whether it could be useful for the CH community.

              2. There have been plenty of threads on smoking and barbecue over the years. Woodburner's discussion of a technique for doing a pork shoulder on a Weber Kettle, for example, is a Chowhound classic thread (on par with fourunder's slow cooking beef roasts and Sam's "Magic House"). See http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/608684

                I can't say that I ever before felt that a dedicated Board on the subject was necessary as, for a long time now, several of us have shared our ideas, techniques, trials, and tribulations on the existing Boards. Nevertheless, it seems that the times have changed in the two plus decades I've been makin' barbecue. I mean, us dinosaurs can't help but note, if nothing else, the change in the applicable verb from "barbecue" to "smoke". I always only used the latter for cold smoking and plant products. The World, however, spins and I'm too old to keep tryin' to shove a stick in the spokes.

                I have held fast to my old school notions. For example, the idea that cookin' in the backyard was the sole domain of the XY crowd was a startin' point. Good barbecue is the product of the elements - especially here at the Shore. Cook times are measured in the number of beers consumed while the flesh is on the grates. No attempt is complete until, moments after you hear the phone in the house ring, your wife asks you when it will be ready:

                "Darlin', you know that 'cue's done when cue's done. Tell your Sister to bring a bottle of tequila and we'll share the crusty bark, OK?."

                You get the idea.

                Barbecue, to me, is art, while much of the rest of cookin' is science. It's luck as opposed to odds, it's line fishing as opposed to draggin' a net, it's the beauty of a double stanza as opposed to a double byline. To understand, let me note that I scavenge wood from trees the neighbors cut down. A chain saw and axe are as much a part of my practice as is a pair of tongs and a chimney starter.

                By way of sympathetic parallel, I offer the words of Crash Davis:

                "I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days."

                That all bein' said,* and as some of you may know, I'm an open-minded, accepting, guy. I hate being too old to ANYTHING. I know things need to flow and that I need to be fuel for someone's dinner someday. Thus, I wholeheartedly offer this crusty old bastard's imprimatur on the notion of a "Smoking" Board (or maybe they could make it broader and we could just discuss "Outdoor Cooking" or "Grilling and Barbecue"**?). Just promise me that, no matter what kinda newfangled, electric monster you may employ, you guys will discover how fantastically underrated barbecued mutton leg can be (I advise oak and cherry for fuel - avoid mesquite)?

                *Thank you for indulging my need for preface.

                **I will, hereby, reserve the right, in perpetuity, to object to the use of the letter "Q" in the word.

                51 Replies
                1. re: MGZ

                  Or using "Q" as a word. LIke fingernails on a blackboard every time I see or hear it. Phenomenal writing btw. And I like the title "Outdoor Cooking."

                  1. re: c oliver

                    IOU XLNT BBQ would be a message I'd like to get on my phone...(g)

                    1. re: Servorg

                      But, "The brisket's ready. Bring more beer!", would be better,no?

                    2. re: c oliver

                      "And I like the title 'Outdoor Cooking.'"

                      Yeah, in retrospect, that gets my vote too. We could talk hibachi, open pit, Weber, etc. Hell, even dogs on sticks, you know?

                        1. re: jrvedivici

                          Why not? I know people who take one on camping trips.

                            1. re: jrvedivici

                              In North America hibachi are also those small, cast iron charcoal grills, but are called shichirin in Japan. When thewy were introduced the name hibachi was mistakenly used. The name hibachi is also mistakenly used for what is actually a teppan, the long, flat, steel cooking surfaces used in so called hibachi steak houses, more appropriately teppanyaki restaurants.

                              Hibachi actually means fire bowl in Japanese, and they were clay lined wood bowls, or porcelain bowls, filled with charcoal, and used for heating, first by the Samurai and aristocrats, then by the general public, then later for cooking, lighting cigarettes, etc. They were popular in homes and public places for heating until WWII or so.

                              1. re: JMF

                                Thanks for the clarification. Yeah, I thought it was what you first described.

                                1. re: JMF

                                  Thank you, you understood my confusion.

                              2. re: MGZ

                                Although with Outdoor Cooking it would also include camping and backpacking cook, or a fire, etc.

                                Also not all smoking / barbecue is done outside. I had my smoker set up in the garage at my last place with the smoke ducted outside.

                                1. re: JMF

                                  "Although with Outdoor Cooking it would also include camping and backpacking cook, or a fire, etc.

                                  Also not all smoking / barbecue is done outside. I had my smoker set up in the garage at my last place with the smoke ducted outside."

                                  Hell, I'm cool with any euphanism we adopt. I have both a propane grill and a propane turkey fryer/seafood steamer I use to prepare things out of the house, so I don't think that smoking is the best way to limit a new board. Moreover, I love discussing cookin' with real wood. Why not simply call it somethin' like "Cooking Out Of The Kitchen"?

                            2. re: MGZ

                              Hmm, I wonder who said this on another thread:

                              "I find it a bad idea to tell others how they can express themselves or what words/phrases they can and cannot use."

                              1. re: carolinadawg

                                Sometimes, the difference between dictatin' and objectin' can be as hard to see as gettin' that second foot in bounds. Sometimes, there's just that feelin' that it was a good catch. Sometimes, there's that realization that the perspective of the guy on the ground is better than goin' to commercial for an instant replay. Sometimes, it's just time to get another beer and wait for the West Coast game. All 'cue's not the same and all wings don't cost five cents anymore.

                                Nonetheless, Touche, my friend. Touche, indeed.

                              2. re: MGZ

                                I must admit, when I read the subject like of this thread, and saw you had such a lengthy response, I thought you were going to take this into an entirely different direction.

                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                  Lengthy indeed. Particularly enlightening? Hm.

                                  1. re: linguafood

                                    Hell, Lingua, all that verbosity was in support of your idea after all. Indulge an old man occasionally, huh?

                                    1. re: MGZ

                                      Oh, alright. We smokers should stick together.

                                  2. re: jrvedivici

                                    Listen, my friend. When I step to the line and read the defense, I'll make my calls. Your job is to put those 300 plus pounds in the way of that linebacker. Don't worry about what I decide to do with the ball, ok? I'm the one who got drafted early and is gettin' paid the big bucks to get us each a ring, remember?

                                    1. re: MGZ

                                      Further proof, offensive linemen are the most unappreciated of all. I'm so thankful I played defensive line, although for you, I shall block with all my might, Eli MGZ.

                                  3. re: MGZ

                                    BRAVO, MGZ! Geezers Unite!!! That was a Tour de Force!!!

                                    I couls see a board named, very simply, Barbecue, to include all the varieties of cooking inside/outside, with direct grilling, low and slow BBQ/smoking, cold smoking, charcoal/wood and even (gasp) gassers!!! We'll just have to straighten those guys out... or live and let live !

                                    1. re: woodburner

                                      I'm not even sure what "barbecue" means. I use the term "grilling" and will soon be branching out from there.

                                        1. re: carolinadawg

                                          I've never heard it not also used as a verb.

                                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbecue

                                          The point is it's just one method of outdoor cooking.

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            "I've never heard it not also used as a verb."

                                            Right you are. The ubiquitous and ever popular derivation that gets shortened to "4 Cue" - usually shouted while driving ones car to another driver who has somehow wandered into ones path...slowing one down by at least a millisecond or two.

                                            What about "planking?" As in pinning that side of a salmon to a cedar board (and not laying across some object while maintaining a rigid body) and letting it bask in the reflected glory of ones (fire good...me start fire) flaming pit.

                                            1. re: Servorg

                                              Servorg, you overlooked the opportunities on a washing machine during the spin cycle with an unbalanced load of towels.

                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                Is that an ancient form of twerking by some chance?

                                            2. re: c oliver

                                              Guess you didn't read that wiki page you linked to then. In any event, my point is, it's a food, not a cooking technique, in this part of the world.

                                              1. re: carolinadawg

                                                I think you're not right about that. From wiki

                                                "Contrast to grilling[edit source | editbeta]
                                                Often times the two phrases "barbecuing" and "grilling" are mistakenly used as interchangeable words, although they imply completely different cooking methods. Grilling is a cooking method that uses dry heat, supplied by burning wood, charcoal or gas flame, and the heat is applied to the surface of the food being cooked. Typically food is cooked quickly using this method. Barbecuing is a slower process that uses lower heat and often the food is cooked by the heat of the smoke itself, rather than directly by the heat of the burning wood." (excerpted from North Carolina Barbecue)

                                                You get barbecue by barbecuing. You can't have the latter without the former. And it can also be an adjective, i.e., "barbecued pork."

                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  Umm, you're completely missing my point. But it's all good. Have a great night!

                                                  1. re: carolinadawg

                                                    I'm truly not trying to. Could you explain please?

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      Barbecue - bar-b-q (n) That semi-annual American summer event featuring Dad in his sansabelt shorts, open toed leather sandals, and black socks, holding tight to a glass of Canadian rye whiskey while arranging charcoal briquettes in a pyramid form on a grill. Common features include: hot dogs, hamburgers, and chicken that is burned on the outside and raw on the inside; Mrs. Johnston's "Famous" potato salad in a mauve Tupperware container; and the lingering stench of Kingsford lighter fluid hanging in the air.

                                                      In other words, semantics schmantics - let's talk about the best way to make beef ribs (I vote indirect grilling)!

                                                2. re: carolinadawg

                                                  This thread is not about discussing semantics.

                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                    As a folow up to my most recent post, as well as a suggestion as to why some general board about cooking outside/with wood/in the "Norman Rockwell" way, etc., I merely suggest this thread (which I subtly hinted at previously) as a solid example of why a new Board shouldn't be just about "Smoking" or "Barbecue" or "Curing Salmon". http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/912667

                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                      How can we have a board if we can't even agree on what it means or includes?
                                                      To me, it could include grilling, indirect smoke, cold smoking,
                                                      those Lil Chief smokers, which lots of folks use here in the PNW for salmon, vegetables, types of wood, and anything else that might fit. :)

                                                      "Smoke em if you got em"

                                                      1. re: bbqboy

                                                        So perhaps my suggestion of "Fire & Smoke" is gaining strength then?

                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                          I like it. Smoking can benefit almost any food as far as I'm concerned, but I'm a bit biased. :)

                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                            Let's do this one in the key of "A". . . . It's A - Em7 - D - A. Follow me for the changes and watch my foot for the rhythm Oh, and so he don't get ornery, indulge the Big Fella with the first solo on his horn . . . .

                                                            "I've seen fire and I've seen smoke.
                                                            I've seen chimneys that I thought would never light.
                                                            I've seen lonely times when I almost ran outta beer,
                                                            but I always thought that I'd taste barbecue again."

                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                How about this one;

                                                                Smoke smoke smoke your meat
                                                                Near a gentle stream
                                                                Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
                                                                BBQ tastes like a dream...........

                                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                  Yeah, Man, way I remember it, that's some olden days A - E strummin'. Maybe we could make it more fun as a twelve bar blues, sittin' around as the fire starts to dwindle? Pass the bottle shit, you know? Trade licks on a few guitars?

                                                                  1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                    Smooooooooke, on the waaaaa-ter.
                                                                    A brisket in the Traeger!

                                                              2. re: bbqboy

                                                                Well, it actually wasn't I who suggested the topical board include *any* type of outdoor cooking, which is why I specifically asked for a *smoking* board.

                                                                Whether enough people can agree on the necessity of such a board remains to be seen.

                                                                I'd be perfectly fine with *just* a smoking board to include

                                                                "indirect smoke, cold smoking, those Lil Chief smokers, which lots of folks use here in the PNW for salmon, vegetables, types of wood, and anything else that might fit."

                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                  One person's two cents: The subject of smoking foods is broad enough in its application, and deep enough in its intricacies, that there should be MORE than enough available discussion to warrant a dedicated board about "Smoking"....period.

                                                                  YMMV

                                                                  1. re: Monch

                                                                    I believe YM and MM might be identical.

                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                      THERE it is, Lingua!

                                                                      Cheese, to shrimp, to brisket, to andouille....

                                                                      Hot smoking, to cold smoking....

                                                                      Mesquite, hickory, alder, apple....

                                                                      Without even TALKING about timing, equipment, etc....the limited permutations above are significant.

                                                                      Shall I tell the story about buying the Bradley digital smoker in disgust, because I had stupidly overcooked fifteen pounds of hand-made andouille in the wood fired barrel smoker and ruined the whole batch?

                                                                      Whoops...I guess I already did.

                                                                      1. re: Monch

                                                                        I s'pose that my basic qualm would be about how one defines the parameters of what is "smoking". What's the temperature cut off? Does Servorg's salmon pinning count as "smoking"? What about when I do my wings in the chamber of the offset at 300 degrees for around three-quarters of an hour before laquering on sauce and charrin' over the remaining coals? If that isn't, is it "smoking" when I put the wings in the chamber and let 200 degree smoke carress 'em for almost ninety minutes* before I let 'em cool and deep fry crisp before saucing?

                                                                        Should equipment be relevant? Is it only for white coat "smoking" in an electric machine? Can blistered fingered trolls offer their suggestions about how to modify a Home Depot Brinkmann with tiles and a few spot welds so as to permit both indirect cooking and traditional barbecue "smoking"? Can anyone offer thoughts about how to set up to smoke hams before attic aging? Is it ok to make general suggestions that anytime one does an outdoor cook/smoke they should (a) know the source of the heat in order to shut it down in an emergency, (b) have a hose plugged into a working outdoor faucet, (c) maintain a charged fire extinguisher, (d) all of the above?

                                                                        Then, there's that entire debate about how to cook brisket, but I'll put that on the back burner for now . . . .

                                                                        Way I see it, limiting any new board to only "smoking" is on par with limiting "Home Cooking" to only using the oven. Sure, lotsa good stuff can come of it, but did you ever try and pan fry a trout with bacon in the oven? Stir fry vegetables? Boil pasta?

                                                                        *Please note the imprecision of times. That's where skill and style overtake study and science. I mean, I'm sure that new bridge between Oakland and San Francisco is a modern feat, but I'll bet you that the tourists will keep takin' their fog enhanced pictures facing Marin.

                                                                        1. re: MGZ

                                                                          No, all equipment discussions belong on Cookware. :)

                                                                          And semantics (about what is bbq) belong on Not About Food.

                                                                          I'm not sure that creating a specialty board helps a topic. It may keep it from being swamped by more popular topics, but it also isolates it from the general audience. Special Diets shows one or two updated/new threads per day. Vegetarian seems to be down to 1 every 4 days. Spirits is doing much better.

                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                            I think that was very well put. I just think we may consider the importance of exposing notions to a "general audience" differently.

                                                                            For what it's worth, here's a funny old discussion of "barbecue semantics". http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/835563

                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                              I'm not sure that creating one would HURT the topic and it would relieve those not interested from having to even see the topics. And I frequently think that "Cookware" is awfully broad so perhaps an occasional spinoff could help.