Ask TKP: Getting Addicted to Smoking (Meat)

Hello everyone my name is Bob, and I think I'm becoming a smoker...

I've gotten a charcoal and an electric smoker in the last year and when I've got time, I can't get enough of it. I was wondering if anyone had any tips/tricks they'd be willing to share for different types of meat. Maybe even some non-secret recipes for rubs and/or sauces. I recently discovered the Alabama white sauce, which may or may not be the greatest find since the Fuller family. Hopefully I didn't miss an existing thread, but appreciate any wisdom you might be able to provide!

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Enjoy! My little tip is don't ever clean the inside of it. Your flavors will build their own character and complexity in the smoker and carry over to the meat like a Premier Grand Cru Bordeaux in an Oak Barrel.

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

I've been smoking for a couple years ago. Got a Masterbuilt propane. Smoking Meats Forum is my go-to when I have questions. Just search what you're looking for and it's probably been covered many times. https://smokingmeatforums.com/index.php

Edit: I use Memphis Meathead dust. Just google it and make it yourself.

Wanna save time?
Marinate and cook in the oven, then finish it off in the smoker for the last 2 or 3 hrs.
This way you can still work a 9-5 job and have smoked meat on weekdays.

"When you're green, you're growing. When you're ripe, you rot." -Ray Kroc

I'm going to have to disagree here. If you want to get the best BBQ flavor while saving time, you should start in the smoker and finish in the oven. Cooked meat doesn't absorb much smoke flavor as compared to raw.

I definitely say smoke first then finish in the oven, if you're going that route

Apple is the best all-around wood IMO.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

Try mulberry if you can find it. Another great all-around smoking wood.

I may give it a shot... if I can find it. You know of any stores that carry it?

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

It is also the hottest burning wood so you have to make sure you are solid with your temperature control!

WSM owner here. I enjoy smoking birds more than pork at the moment, if only because boston butt just takes so damn long. But we did make smoked pork nachos for Saturday's game and it was solid, so I might be back on board.

  • More preference than opinion: I'm not a fan of wrapping your shoulder in foil and finishing in the oven. Yes, you reduce your cooktime, but you sacrifice that amazing bark.
  • Big fan of a 24-hour brine, pat down and then a dry rub. Brine really opens up the pores and enhances the flavor.
  • HIGHLY recommend smoking chickens and/or turkeys, then making stocks out of the carcasses. The smokiness is like a bullet train to Flavortown, and it's awesome in risotto. Also, smoked curry chicken salad. You're welcome.

Also, one of my co-workers is a competition bbq-er. When he's smoking for his family or friends, he sets up his WSM and uses a PartyQ to just run it overnight. It essentially modulates your smoker temperature for you (so long as you have enough fuel), so you can sleep instead of tending to the vents. I've yet to take the plunge, as I still enjoy the journey, but he loves it FWIW.

So I smoked a 9lb butt for about 19 hours between saturday and sunday. I had it wrapped in foil from the start and kept it around 215-220 until finishing around 235-240 for the last couple hours. I know the electric smokers don't get that charcoal flavor but damn they're convenient for long smokes. As far as the foil goes though, you mention the bark. Ever notice a trade-off when using/not-using it between the moistness of the meat vs the bark?

Taylor... looking desperately...now throws it DEEP..HAS A MAN OPEN! CAUGHT! DANNY COALE! ALL THE WAY! OUT OF BOUNDS, at the three...

The stock tip for risotto is spot on. Tried that with some pheasants a friend shot on a trip (grilled, not smoked though), and a added a mix of mushrooms to the rice. We agree I get some birds next time he goes on pheasant trip so I can make it again.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Love my Weber Smokey Mountain too. Once you've used it a few dozen times, you get to know how your smoker runs. No problem running a 12 or 14 hour smoke. I start my smokes at bedtime on Friday or Saturday, wake up once around 4 or 5 to add fuel, then add more around 8 or 9 am. Pork is ready to go that afternoon. Best thing about BBQ is that it's hard to mess up! Google "Magic Dust" rub - it's a good one. Dinosaur bbq dry rub also solid. Recipe is online. No oven finish for me. I wrap my pork in foil only when I take it out of the smoker. Let it sit for a while wrapped up, then get some of those big pulling forks. Eastern Carolina bbq sauce is what my family likes. It's vinegar based. Half cider vinegar, half white - add some brown sugar, some of the Magic Dust rub, and a few dashes of Texas Pete. Bam!

Can't beat a bird on the smoker either. They cook much faster...you cook at higher heat - 300 or 325., just like you would in the oven, only with smoke! Brine that meat for better results.

Like I said, once you've used the smoker for a few years, you don't need all those fancy temperature probes and wi-fi alerts. You'll know when your smoker is ready for more fuel and when that meat is done....

Try smoking mozzarella cheese - it'll change your life. Wrap it up in cheese cloth and hang from the grates. Don't use much coal....just a dozen or so lumps and some good wood. Lower the heat the better. Try keeping that smoker under 200. 90 minutes - BAM! Good eatin'.

BBQ Pit Boys on YouTube. These guys know how to cook.

JP

Smoked mozzarella cheese? you have just blown my mind

I want to taste dirty A stinging pistol In my mouth On my tounge

Gouda also smokes well.
Try smoking nuts too.

I can't handle all this smoking greatness guys

I want to taste dirty A stinging pistol In my mouth On my tounge

Like Pierson, I too have the Weber Smokey Mountain (22").

T-ROY Cooks has a bunch of helpful videos related to the WSM – Check him out on YouTube.

Recently, I've been able to set the vents to get about a 235 degree grate level temp, and be able to step away for 6-7 hours (enough time to sleep) and get a nice cook in. I just did a pork butt on Thursday for the UNC tailgate – put it on at 5pm, and it was done by 9am the next day. This one was the first time that I did wrap in butcher paper, as I tried to maintain the moisture since I was stepping away for about 7 hours in the later part of the cook, when you typically want to spritz the meat.

My favorite cook is brisket – love the challenge to get the brisket just right as (in my opinion) it's the most difficult cut to smoke.

BUTTS

3/16/2018--On this day in history, UVA became the first 1 seed to lose to a 16 seed in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

Invest in a good digital thermometer. Weber Igrill2 is what I use. Its bluetoothed to my phone so I don't have to lift the lid when I need to check the temperature of the meat and of the smoker.

Link

Absolutely invest in a good thermometer. If you are looking for a slightly less expensive option:

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Agree with Pierson on dry brine, but make sure you start at least 24 hours before cooking. The benefit of a dry brine is that moisture pulled out of the meat dissolves the salt and soaks back in. If you don't dry bring long enough, the liquid won't soak back in and the meat could be a bit dry. Also, when dry brining, make sure to use a salt free or low salt rub. Otherwise you'll be piling salt on top of salt.

For a good all purpose rub, try Meathead's Memphis Dust. Works very well on pork and chicken, but I don't care for it as much on beef because of the sugar content. On beef, I like simple rubs, sometimes just black pepper.

If you haven't tried a fatty, do it now! It's breakfast sausage rubbed, stuffed, and smoked. You can also skip stuffing and do a "naked" fatty, which is also delicious. Memphis dust works great as a rub because it's salt free (breakfast sausage is already salty). They are great stuffed with cheese and chilies.

I think I've heard of those. Had a friend do it and wrapped it in bacon

Taylor... looking desperately...now throws it DEEP..HAS A MAN OPEN! CAUGHT! DANNY COALE! ALL THE WAY! OUT OF BOUNDS, at the three...

I've seen bacon wrapped fatties stuffed with brats. The possibilities are endless. Although sometimes I like the simplicity of a naked fatty.

Excellent thread creation! I love it.

I've been smoking boston butts on my Weber Kettle, and have had great success. I want to try and do a turkey here very soon, any tips/tricks from the TKP family?

"It's a miracle in Blacksburg, TYROD DID IT MIKEY, TYROD DID IT!"

Put a seasoned butter under the skin and in the cavity, as turkey skin is a real flavor blocker. Make sure the smoke can get into the cavity. Though with turkey I usually just drink half a can of Foster's, fill the can with seasonings, and do it beer but chicken style at a slightly higher temperature, something between a grill and a smoke, to save time and keep it moist. Also, most turkeys come pre-brined with a sodium solution, so keep that in mind when buying and seasoning.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

When smoking a brisket, it is a bit easier to get a consistent smoke with a smaller piece of meat, like 6-9 pounds, and if you are looking for more food, just cook a few more pieces of meat. If you do a rub, would highly recommend adding coffee grounds and smoked hot paprika to the rub.

if you are looking for a good starter, check out this one. It's not the best, but definitely gets the job done.

I use an egg, and have never had a problem holding temperature over night.
Like pecan chips for poultry - gives it a beautiful brown color. Applewood is always good. Adding soaked bay leaves really kicks up chicken.
I make my own rubs in an old coffee grinder. Big fan of ancho chillies in a pork rub. Pink peppercorns for beef. I put it on at least 24 hors before cooking.
The only way I've really gotten herb flavor to not burn off is to make and inject a little herb oil.
I feel like the more you can do to bring it up to room temperature before you start the better the flavor penetrates.
The leaner the meat the lower and slower to prevent drying. I aim for about 175 for poultry or fish, 200 for brisket or ribs, but will go to 210 for pork butts.
If you want to add flavor from liquid, use it in the brine, or maybe inject. Putting it in a liquid pan to add humidity does not taste any different to me than using water.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

I don't have a smoker, but I can second using whole dried ancho and guajillo chile peppers in marinades and rubs. For marinades you can just throw them in the blender with your liquids and rest of the dry ingredients you are using. When using in rubs, toast it for a little in a frying pan, then grind them using a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. You can also use an empty pepper mill if you tear it into smaller pieces before hand.

Using whole chiles is SOOOOO much better than using store bought powders. There is so much more flavor in it. I use a chile pepper marinade all the time when grilling skirt steak. I started with ancho and guajillo, but have experimented with different peppers like chipotle.

...Alabama white sauce...

via GIPHY

My first reaction when I saw the thread title was the old comedy routine by Steven Wright......"I wanted to start smoking, so I'm wearing a nicotine patch. I'm working my way up."

Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in bad humor.

I can't tell if you're not sure what it is or because you're anti-vinegar-based sauces. So just in case it's made with mayo, apple cider vinegar, salt, sugar, black pepper, paprika and chili powder. At least that's how I learned it. Goes great with pork and chicken

Taylor... looking desperately...now throws it DEEP..HAS A MAN OPEN! CAUGHT! DANNY COALE! ALL THE WAY! OUT OF BOUNDS, at the three...

Neither. I know exactly what it is. I love Eastern Carolina vinegar sauce. I'm anti-mayo.

Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in bad humor.

Ah fair enough, my mistake then!

Taylor... looking desperately...now throws it DEEP..HAS A MAN OPEN! CAUGHT! DANNY COALE! ALL THE WAY! OUT OF BOUNDS, at the three...

lol, yeah, my first thought ... hot trash

Had some friends pitch in and buy me a Pit Barrel Cooker as a gift when I got my first job back in march. it has incredible volume to it because stuff hangs from meathooks -- we're talking 8 racks of ribs at once. It is designed to be as painless as possible and very easy to learn -- it uses charcoal and smokes hotter (~280-320 F) but it saves a bunch of time that way. pretty much a hybrid smoker/grill. I've done brisket, pork butt, hams, and ribs in it so far. Planning to do the turkey for thanksgiving as well.

As far as tips and tricks: definitely invest in a good thermometer. don't be afraid to experiment around with your wood chips. I did ribs with pecan and cherry before the clemson game and they were the best yet

Chem PhD '16

Best money (only 300 bucks) I've ever spent on food related items.

Yeah, seriously amazing value for it. I would have bought it myself even if it wasn't a gift.

Chem PhD '16

Also a PBC owner and proponent. Paired with a good dual (food and ambient) thermometer it's been the cooking device I've gotten the most value out of.

I've been able to tune mine to a 215 temp for ribs & butts and get it higher for chickens and turkey (best T-giving turkey ever). I've done a couple prime rib roasts that have been awesome as well. The only thing I haven't liked and need to work on is fish.

Another website to check out for reviews and recipes is amazingribs.

When you say tune, do you mean hardware modification or do you mean just playing with the vent? If it's just keeping the vent more closed, do you worry at all about choking out your coals?

Chem PhD '16

No hardware mods. Just the vent, good thermometer and lighting process (how much coal I use in the Weber chimney starter, how much time I let it burn with the lid cracked or off before covering). My vent has been set at about 3/8" at the widest point for more than a year. Fuel makes a difference too which is why they recommend plain Kingsford but understand the desire for applewood etc.!

There's a message board on amazingribs (meatheads site) that has a slew of folks who have modded, experimented with fuels and created recipes with the PBC in mind.

I guess I'll pay more attention to my lighting process from now on!

Chem PhD '16

If you've already got an electric smoker and it doesn't have temperature control this is definitely a game changer
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01JP8DYFK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s...

It took about 30 minutes to figure out how to work it since it's not an intuitive device and I seem to remember the manual using a very oriental take on the english language, but for $30 it's made my smoker a plug and play experience and it's been a great purchase. Also, it can turn a crock-pot into sous vide cooker which made some good steaks.

It also greatly simplified my wiring greatly, but I don't expect that to be an issue for anyone else.

I need to take a newer picture with the thermostat but it doens't really change how it looks.

Once you have temperatures managed I'm very much a fan of trial and error. Start with the basics, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper is a fine rub to start with for pretty much anything, and as stated above apple wood is also a great place to star. From there, keep on trying new things. Other than a couple of waaay over smoked chicken thighs early on in my smoking career, I can't say anything that's come out of my smoker has been anything less than great so don't be afraid to be to take risks.

"Hokie religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid." Han Solo

Kamado smoker checking in. Anything pork is my favorite and best smoke. So far this thread has given me some neat ideas to try next time I get time for a long one.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

I have MES. My first smoker and have only been doing it about a year. Only downside to the MES is that it doesn't get too hot and the electric piece isn't at a constant temp so smoking at lower temps with original hardware is difficult imo. Got a pellet tray to smoke with pellets to insert into it.

Problem I've found with poultry is that I can never get my skin crispy. Meat has tasted fine but skin has always seemed rubbery. Any help suggestions?

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

Have you tried letting the skin dry a bunch before you cook it? Rub it with a fairly salty rub, and leave it to sit uncovered skin side up in the fridge overnight. Either that or finish it over coals or on broil in the oven for 10 minutes if you are smoking at a really low heat.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

I don't let it dry before cooking. Like for a chicken, I'll brine it then dry it with a paper towel then put a compound butter under the skin or herbs and olive oil before adding a rub and let it sit overnight.

Smoke it normally then just before it's ready, knock off any loose rub, if I can, add some more fat under the skin and get it close to the heat.
You should be able to get nice crispy skin that way.

They other way to do that is to take the skin off and cook it on its own for something resembling chicken skin chips.

If you are putting the rub on, with salt, and letting it sit overnight, you are drawing the moisture out of the skin, which helps dry it. If you cover it loosely, or in a container with a lot of air, it's basically the same thing. Sealing it in a tight plastic bag does not work as well. I did mention the butter for a turkey above, but have not found chicken needs it as much. I think we kinda saying the same thing differently? Never tried the skin chips though.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Sugar or salt in the rub, will do the same as well as honey but, with a dry rub, you draw it out then as the water gets to the salt or sugar. It's drawn back into the cells or, forms a crust but yes, dry the skin but not the bird.
If you put fat under the skin, it'll keep too much of the moisture from passing out and getting lost in the atmosphere.

But yeah, were taking different approaches to the same result.

I referred to it as drying the skin as that's is what AB described it as on the episode of Good Eats I learned it from before I knew google knew everything and Iron Chef was American. Likely had HS science fair depictions of water molecules keeping the other compounds from getting together, but don't remember details.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

I've got a side firebox smoker I got for a song over a decade ago.

I smoke quite often.
I like brines for anything except beef.

My favorite woods are fruit tree but I've discovered another source of fun wood. I like to use wood staves from oak barrels well used for wine and whisky then beer. All the use mellows the oak and adds flavors from the beverage. I have also have played with spent grains from brewing beer.

My favorite rub is about 8 parts brown sugar 4 parts kosher salt and 1 part each of onion powder, granulated garlic, chilli powder or dried chilli and then a mix of whatever else I feel like, black pepper or coriander or wasabi powder, Garam Marsala, ginger root, dried lime peel, etc.

It'll do 6 butts at 1 time. For last week's game I did 20 thighs at one time.
Each winter just before it started getting cold outside, it gets a wire brushing, a new coat of engine black then I completely season it again with oil or lard.

The wood handles and table get a new coat of VT maroon too. But it gets worn off.
I've replaced the thermometer 2 times, the grates inside loose integrity and warp every couple years. Most of the hardware has been replaced with decent stainless steel I think just the body including the doors and hinges, is still original.

Someone gave me an XL egg a few years back. Absolutely love it. Good thermometer is key. I have a Maverick.
Have done a ton of pork. Smoked a turkey last year for Thanksgiving. Super easy. I smoked a bunch of turkey breasts once - those are great and you can do a few - each with different flavors. Thinking I will do that this year for Thanksgiving along with the fried one and the oven one....Recently I have been smoking chicken thighs for pulled chicken. Easy, cheap and quick....makes for a good weekday dinner. When I first got the egg I spent hours watching youtube videos.....so addicting....

that's a helluva gift

some nice recipes in this ...

BGE recipes

Wow. That is some good info. Thanks for posting.
Going to take some time getting through all of that.

yeah, great base info, good explanations and cool things to try that i typically wouldn't have thought of doing. the googles hooked me up many yrs ago.

Thanks for the link. I've got a XL BGE and I'm always looking for recipes. Meathead at amazing ribs is my go to site typically.

The only thing I haven't seen anyone mention is Ham. I usually do one for Easter. Very easy smoke and since with most hams you're just looking to get things warm a very forgiving cut to practice getting temps to hold.

Run to Win. Pass To Score

Here's a really good tailgating food my buddy developed over the summer.

Boneless chicken thighs, cut in half. Wrap in 1/2 slice of bacon per each 1/2 chicken thigh. Pin the bacon around the thigh with a toothpick.
Smoke it.

Then you can take that and either eat it then or, freeze or refrigerate until game day.
When ready to eat just grill it normally until heated through and has nice grill marks.

It's like chicken flavored crack on a stick. Great beer food too.

Only thing I can add as a WSM owner (the other owners had great tips), is that you should learn to make a faux Cambro.

Grab a cheap cooler from a yard sale or craigslist and find some old towels. After you finish smoking your brisket or butt, double wrap in foil, place in the cooler with some old towels (on all sides, all the way to the top). It should hold above 160 for hours.

I'll smoke a bunch of butts at the house, throw them in the cooler and then head to tailgate. 9/10 five hours later the butts are too hot to touch.

Oh and one more thing - grab some 8-10mm nitrile gloves and some thin cotton ones. Put the cotton ones on, then the nitrile to handle meat. Allows great dexterity and mobility compared to other BBQ gloves and you can pull pork with your hands, and be more precise compared to the claws.

Also if you want the meat to cool some you could buy packing blankets and wrap the butts that are in foil in those. Temps will stay up and the meat temp will be tolerable on the pull!! The gloves that we bought to go over the cotton liners are the ones that mechanics use. Our comp team found that we could double layer the gloves and still dip our chicken in boiling sauce and not fry our hands!

I've done the towels in the cooler on a brisket before and it's held heat for 5 hours. Can full support this recommendation.

When I typically do brisket, I let it sit wrapped in butcher paper and a towel on the kitchen counter for at least 2 hours before slicing. It allows the beef to reabsorb some of the juices from the fat. What I have found is that the longer it takes to bring the heat back down to 'eating temp', the more tender the brisket.

Alright ladies and gents. Prepare for a word wall here. Anybody who has swung by the unofficial Key Play tailgate this season has been eating my smoked meats (turkey legs for Delaware, ODU, and UNC, ribs for Clemson, and chicken for Clemson and UNC).

My wife has said I have smoked everything but her, my daughter, and the dog. So I have done quite a bit of meat. As with several others here, I have a 18.5 in Weber Smokey Mountain. In my very biased opinion it is the best smoker out there for the money. Once you understand how to control the temps with the vents on the bottom, you can get a VERY long smoke out of it. My record on it is just under 18 hours with a single load of charcoal (granted it was on a very hot and humid night this summer). I also have a Weber 22.5 in Premium kettle grill and that is what I have been smoking on at the tailgates. How can you smoke on a grill you say? Well by using the snake method of arranging the charcoal. For this you put a ring of 2 briquettes and 2 more on top around the edge of grate. Put a disposable aluminum pan in the middle and you have a drip pan and indirect cooking. This is actually how I have been smoking at the tailgates except for Clemson. This is actually a very efficient way of smoking. I did 12 turkey legs and a whole chicken this weekend on < 2 lbs of charcoal.

Speaking of charcoal, I only use regular old Kingsford (blue label bag). I have heard a lot of people fuss that Kingsford leaves a taste on your food and they only use organic charcoal produced by a Tibet monk but whatever. I go through over 400 lbs of Kingsford charcoal a year and nobody has ever given me a complaint. People really get personal with their fuel source for smoking and BBQ but I say you use what works for you whether its charcoal, gas, electric or whatever. Each is going to have their own flavor and cooking profiles. Remember, only an amateur blames his tools.

As for what meat are my favorite, I don't know. I like them all but if I had to choose I guess brisket or chicken would be up there together. Pork butt and ribs are right there. Turkey legs are dear to my heart like all Hokies.

Now lets deal out some recipes. Like a few others, I HIGHLY recommend Meathead's Memphis Dust RECIPE!!!. This stuff was made for pork but it goes on anything. Meathead really wants you to use ground Rosemary to get the authentic recipe but I can never find it (and too lazy to grind it up myself) so I leave it off and add some cayenne pepper to kick it up a notch.

If someone is new to smoking and just starting out, I suggest you start with a pork butt. It is the most forgiving piece of meat. You really have to go out of your way to screw this up. The only way you could mess it up is by not cooking it all the way. The way you know it is done is if you can twist the bone and it meat pulls away clean. For me, this is usually around 199 to 203 degrees F. Probably the biggest thing about smoking, is you are cooking for temp, NOT TIME! Get wireless thermometer with long probes. You need to know the meat temp and the grate temp. The temp dials on the tops are often 20-30 degrees off from the grate. This is not quite as important for pork butts since they are so forgiving (I usually aim for 250 degrees but I have gone over 300 before) but some meats like brisket needs a more consistent, lower temp (225-250).

Alright now to chicken. This one is for you Tyler. Here is the recipe for the chicken I have been cooking at the tailgates. RECIPE!!! I have tweaked it by not splitting the chicken and trussing it instead. I have been leaving the BBQ sauce off because I find it just doesn't need it.

My brisket rub recipe is very complicated. Make sure you are ready folks... 1 cup kosher salt and 1 cup coarse ground pepper. That's it. It is called a dalmatian rub and this is the central Texas way of cooking brisket. It has been made famous by Aaron Franklin. Just trim the fat on the brisket to 1/4 in, put that rub on top and bottom, and smoke with oak for 12+ hours until 200 degrees. TUTORIAL

This is getting pretty long here so I will wrap it up but I am going to add some links that I have used to learn from.

AmazingRibs.com Meathead will give you damn good recipes and sciences the shit out of this.
HowToBBQRight.com Malcom is a genius.
Malcom's YouTube channel If you are more a visual learner and just want to be hungry tonight.

I have a traegar and I love it. Normally I will make a 7-10 lb brisket which will take around 12 hours or so. Been making one every Christmas for the last few years. I also make pork butts from time to time, along with ribs. Aside from brisket, my favorite might be lamb ribs. I also love pairing basically anything inside a cast iron skillet with the traegar - baked mac n cheese, deep dish pizza, etc.

Has anyone here tried smoking an uncured pork belly? That's something I've had at a smokehouse, but have been afraid to try.
I have also tried a smoked amberjack dip/salad based on something I ate on the gulf coast, but it had texture issues- a little chewy. i think the edges cooked differently than the center. Whole fish or fillets? Skin on or off? Thicker or thinner pieces? Any Ideas?
Tips on what vegetables work well and when to add them time wise would also be welcome.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

I've cured a pork belly for 7 days and smoked it with cherry wood to make bacon. Fantastic. You should definitely give it a try. I got the recipe for the cure from the book Charcuterie. Great book if you are interested in curing meats and smoking them.

Hello everyone my name is Bob, and I think I'm becoming a smoker...

You put those words together, those are my favorite words, Popeyes and bahama
- Mike Burnup

My tips.
-make your own homemade rub
-everything tastes better wrapped in bacon
-rub your meat at least 24 hours before smoking
-I always add a layer of brown sugar before throwing on the smoker
-low and slow
-after removing from smoker, wrap in foil and let it rest for a few hours before pulling

Nice bark

Tyrod did it Mikey, Tyrod did it!!

I did some beef short ribs this weekend. Its kind of a poor man's brisket (both time and cost wise). 5-7 hours based on how thick the ribs are.

I am lazy and typically just use store bought rubs, but I might try making my own (although I have several so it may be a while before I use them up.)

Egg snob here. Pricey but it is awesome once you figure out to work it...

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
“I served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

My second hand offset smoker finally bit the dust, so I'm in the market for a new one. Really leaning toward the Weber Smokey Mountain, probably the 18."

My favorite Youtube channels for inspiration are BBQ by Franklin (the king of Texas BBQ), BBQ Pitboys, and Louisiana Cajun Recipes.

"We were at the pinnacle, and we did it for years," Foster says. He pauses, nods, takes a deep breath. "And I did it with the best guy in the business."

Love my WSM. I got the middle size - don't remember if that's the 18" or the next one up.

Get the 22" - no reason not to.

You will pay 100 bucks more, it will take a little more charcoal to run it, but you will never think, what if I had the bigger one...

Plus, most good sized briskets will not fit on the 18 (and the bigger ones are usually easier to cook and better quality).

Haha I made the same argument to myself going from 14 to 18". But you're probably right. I don't mind spending the money if it's going to last a long time.

"We were at the pinnacle, and we did it for years," Foster says. He pauses, nods, takes a deep breath. "And I did it with the best guy in the business."

Check Craigslist for your area. I saw a 22 in for 300 and a 18 in for 250 in the DC area. The 18in supposedly never left the box.

FYI, smoking on a WSM is vastly different than a horizontal offset. If you enjoy stick burning and tending the fire on your offset, I'd steer clear of charcoal cookers like the WSM.

I like cooking with real fuel like charcoal and wood, as opposed to propane, but my old smoker was just too much damn work. I'm definitely interested in something that can cook for many hours with minimal work on my part

"We were at the pinnacle, and we did it for years," Foster says. He pauses, nods, takes a deep breath. "And I did it with the best guy in the business."

The WSM is actually pretty self sufficient for a charcoal burner. Once you figure out how to set your vents, it is a bit of a set it a forget it type of smoker. There are some controllers you can buy which will allow you to set up a closed loop control system to control your vents (I actually don't have this set up, but I have seen them on the web.)

Anybody try the Fuente family, "Spanish Jack's" sauces and rubs? Wondering if they're as awesome as I have a feeling they are!? http://www.spanishjacks.com/index.html

Everyone be smokin'

Year 3 is coming up!

THE TITLE OF THIS POST SAYS ADDICTED TO "SMOKING MEAT." That is all.

"Dick to Hyman? DICK TO HYMAN!" - Guy in Lane Stadium crowd when Richard Johnson hit Josh Hyman on reverse pass in 2004.

I am going to inject a pork butt with bourbon and smoke it. I intend to eat it while I watch Stanley Cup Playoff hockey tomorrow. I'll keep y'all posted.

Not the bagman VT deserves, but the bagman VT needs right now.

Teach me your ways good sir

"For those who have passed, for those to come, reach for excellence."

Well fam, this didn't turn out as well as I had hoped. I got impatient and tried to finish it in the oven after about 7 hours and I screwed something up. I liked the bourbon flavor pretty well, but it just wasn't very tender. It's edible meat, but I'm disappointed.

Not the bagman VT deserves, but the bagman VT needs right now.

How big was it? When I smoke my pork butts it can take 12-15 hours for a 10 lb butt. A general rule of thumb is 1.5 hours per pound but every piece of meat is different. My guess is you didn't take it to at least 200F. I usually take mine to 203F and let it rest in foil wrapped in old towels for at least a half hour.

It was only about a 7 lb butt. When I took it off the smoker it was about 165. I thought I got it ~200 in the oven, but I suspect you're right, I probably just didn't get it hot enough

Not the bagman VT deserves, but the bagman VT needs right now.

I shot a 225 lb wild boar at the end of February, and have been cooking some about every week. I smoked what was left of the shoulder I turned to shrapnel with the thirty-five, and the flavor was good, but way too tuff to pull. Now that it's warmer I am looking at pulling the other shoulder out of the freeezer and throwing it on the egg low and slow with some pepper rub and a hickory apple wood mix. Any tips for getting mature wild game a little more tender?

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

What temp did you cook it to? Did you wrap it in foil?

I have no clue about wild boar specifically, but I would wrap at 165 and cook until 205. Hold in a cooler wrapped in towels for at least 90 minutes.

If you did all of those things, and I figure you might have, you could try to brine it. That works well for me with wild game and the gaminess taste, but it might help break it down as well. Might also help keep it moist with a lesser fat content in wild game.

Take pics and let us know how it turns out!

I brined for about 8 hours in only salt and sugar water, light on each. Let rest out of the brine for an hour while prepping the egg, and the rubbed with 1 part ground spices, two part ground dried peppers, 3 parts lowery' s season salt, and three parts brown sugar. Put in egg over a pan of water at 200 degrees for about 10 hours until the water had evaporated. Wrapped in foil and cooked about 4 more hours until it hit 200. Let rest for about 30 minutes. Never heard of the towels. Was not gamie, but was a little dry on the outside, and was tough enough I ended up chopping it for the sandwhiches, and went with a really chewy bread on the leftovers to blend the texture.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Brine that thing with brown sugar and salt then smoke it slow and very low (225) for a long time like 6-8 hours. Then pull it out and if it's not tender enough, put it in a crock to braise with an unhoppy beer like a wee heavy Scottish, at low until it flakes with a fork. Alternately, instead of a crock you can use a nice pot in an oven set at 225.

The brining then braising in something sweet like a wee heavy will help pull the gaminess out.

Use garlic.

I've been braising a lot of it. Pretty much that or making sausage for everything except the head, shoulder and loin. None of it has been nearly as gamie as deer, rabbit, or pheasant. Was hoping for more of that smoked goodness. If you braise it after smoking does it keep the flavor of the smoke? Do you pull it out at lower temperature if you are going to braise to finish?

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

It will keep the flavor of the smoke.
One of the nice parts about braising is that it will then have a sauce with the same flavors.

When you take the meat out, just pour all that. Liquid int9 a pot and simmmer it to reduce. Taste it to adjust but remember that the sauce is supposed to be incredibly strong flavored.

Pull it out of the smoker before it is as tender as you like. Then braise it under it is as tender as you want it. If you are using a crock, resist the urge to test frequently, it'll let out too much heat.

I've only had wild boar a couple of times, and it wasn't gamey in the least, but was a bit chewy compared with commercial pig meat. I've never had a gamey rabbit or pheasant, and the only gamey venison I've had was because of poor handling or trimming of the meat or the one time I gut shot a trophy and had to track it for several hours and shoot it again. That was wasted meat, and I still feel bad about taking a chancey shot on a running deer because I wanted the antlers. I'd never done that before, and I'll never do it again. If I do hunt deer again, I'll go back to my tried and true - shoot the first small legal doe I can - approach.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

So looking a purchasing a pellet smoker here in the near future.

looking at Traeger, Woodwind and Rec Tec....thoughts??

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

My Traeger grill has changed my life... I'm part serious! I absolutely love it and the food that comes off of it is out of this world! My new life motto is : Low & slow is the way to go!

"Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth."

My buddy has a Bradley and likes it a lot.

After much debate, I put a Memphis woodfire grill in my outdoor kitchen. Thing is awesome. They are pricey, but everything comes out perfect. Really versatile, can make bbq or grill. Replaced both my old offset bbq and my Weber in one unit.

I recommend you taking a look at a Memphis in addition to the others you mentioned.

Ok. I will do that.

Thanks all for the input.

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

I have a friend with a Yoder 640. I like it because it can run hotter than most pellet grills. I saw 700 degrees at the grate with an IR gun.

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I never met a project that couldn't justify a new tool.

Best advice I have is take notes and practice. You will get a million opinions and they are a great place to start. Then just tweak and taste until you get what you love consistently. I have a Traeger pellet smoker and it works for me.

"They got us field position and then the offense stuck it in." - Frank Beamer

I've been looking at Traegers and am thinking about getting one. Do you use it exclusively as a smoker or have you also tried using it as a grill? I know they advertise that it can grill and sear but from many reviews it doesn't seem to be able to quite get there temperature-wise. I'm asking because I don't have a grill (just bought a house last year) and would love it if the Traeger could do both: low-and-slow smoking and also fairly quick grilling sessions (for something like just grilling burgers; I know it might take a little longer than a normal charcoal or gas grill, but I don't want to always have to set aside a few hours to cook something on it).

I'm also wondering if getting a cast iron griddle to place in the Traeger while it gets up to temp would be enough to do the trick. It seems obvious to me that opening the hood and leaving it open to grill is what causes the temperature to drop quickly, so the cast iron might retain the high heat long enough that's needed for grilling or searing.

It can certainly be done but the temp only goes up to 450 and you're exactly right, opening it up drops that significantly. You will probably be better off just getting a propane grill for the hot stuff. I have a Weber gas so I stick to that for the hot cooking. That being said, it makes smoking easy and get's incredible results.

"They got us field position and then the offense stuck it in." - Frank Beamer

If you're trying to find something that will work well at both temp extremes - low & slow as well as high heat sear. I recommend the Big Green Egg (BGE). I can consistently get my XL BGE dome thermometer (I know, I know don't trust it) up to 500+ for grilling steaks, chops, etc. And I can get pretty low - consistently holding 225-250. I haven't quite been able to dial in 200 but that's more me not having the patience. I almost wish I had gone XXL for a little more room.

Run to Win. Pass To Score

If I want under 200 I start with just a little charcoal, get it pretty hot, spread it out, and fill to the line with cold coal and soaked chips, put down the indirect plate, top it with a few thick washers to reduce condition, and add a pan of liquid with the rack over it. I slit the bottom to about an 8th an inch, close the top ring and spin to about an 8th an inch slits. I check it a few times for the first hour to make sure it stabilizes, and leave it alone. I check the liquid after about 5-6 hours, and the coals after 12 - you may need to add some if you are cooking for more than 14-15 hours, and you want to add it before there is nothing but ash. You've probably noticed the egg burns hotter the less ash is in the bottom, (more air circulation, so it drafts better even with it barely vented) so let it build up a little if you know you are going to go really low, and clean it afterward instead of before.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Thanks - I'll have to remember some of this the next time I try for a long low smoke. Like I said, I'm usually on the more impatient side.

Run to Win. Pass To Score

I grill with my Traeger plenty. At the highest setting of 450, I can grill a 1.5" thick steak in less than 20 minutes. I grill fresh vegetables, fish, scallops, pork chops, chicken etc regularly.

Whenever I can though, I prefer a reverse sear on my steaks. i'll cook/smoke/grill it at 200-215 until internal temp of about 125. Then let it "rest" in a foil tent for 15ish minutes. Then a 60-90 second per side high heat sear on the stove in a cast iron pan that my wife's grandmother had been using over 30 years before we got it.

For me, one of the biggest draws for the Traeger grill is the ability to just 'set it and forget it'. Mine holds the temperature I set it at fairly well and it's just easy. My igrill 2 meat thermometer Bluetooth's the temps of up to 4 separate probes right to my phone as I sit and drink beer in my sunroom. Also, it's remarkable to me how clean those pallets burn. I can grill/smoker for 20 hours or more with minimal mess to deal with. There are probably over 10 different 'flavors' of wood pellets to choose from and Costco sells a quality 'gourmet blend in a 33 pound bag for $20.

"Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth."

I gotta put an igrill (or similar) on my Birthday/Father's day list, my DigiQ screen has cracked and it would be a nice upgrade to be able to see things on my phone.

Run to Win. Pass To Score

If you cook a pork butt and plan for 8 hours it'll take 12, if you plan for 12 it'll take 16. It's science.

@hokie_rd

You forgot the one where you plan for 16 and its been done for who knows how long at 8.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

It's a guessing game...but when you get lucky and pull that meat as guests are looking for sandwiches, it's magical. Gotta love some good BBQ!!

JP

This thread is is horrible for those with immature minds

I'm not a fan of wrapping your shoulder in foil and finishing in the oven

If you haven't tried a fatty, do it now! It's breakfast sausage rubbed, stuffed, and smoked.

it is a bit easier to get a consistent smoke with a smaller piece of meat, like 6-9 pounds

You forgot the one where you plan for 16 and its been done for who knows how long at 8.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

This thread is is horrible for those with immature minds me

FTFY

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

precisely

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay