What are you Smoking (BBQ)?

Over the last month I've done the following in the smoker:

Ribeye Roast- Tied with butchers twine. Coated with olive oil and minced garlic and then a simple rub was applied. Smoked with manzanita wood. Cooked to rare/medium rare. About 135 degrees internal.

Meatloaf- Wrapped a meatloaf in a bacon weave and smoked it using grapevine wood for about 2.5 hours. Applied a pineapple/habenero bbq glaze and smoked for another hour to about 165 internal.

VM
Original Post
This weekend I made BBQ pork ribs (made a traditional BBQ sauce) and Flannery beef ribs (smoked on day 1, then slow braised on day 2). My friend who is a great chef contributed some BBQ ribs and a bacon wrapped porchetta.

I need to buy a smoker. I setup my weber grills (basic round grill) with dual zones, one with a thing I built to hold wood/chips the second zone with a water bath (I put broth in it with water). It works well, but I have to open/close too often to maintain heat. I use a variety of wood, generally have on hand some hickory, apple, cherry and my favorite for grilling (and BBQ) pecan.

What type of smoker do you use? I think it's time for me to buy a proper smoker.
quote:
Originally posted by sarbuze:


I need to buy a smoker. I setup my weber grills (basic round grill) with dual zones, one with a thing I built to hold wood/chips the second zone with a water bath (I put broth in it with water). It works well, but I have to open/close too often to maintain heat. I use a variety of wood, generally have on hand some hickory, apple, cherry and my favorite for grilling (and BBQ) pecan.

What type of smoker do you use? I think it's time for me to buy a proper smoker.

Sarbuze,
There's nothing wrong with a basic Weber. I own two electric smokers (one I built from a commercial fridge), a heavily modified charcoal horizontal (again, another home project), a 5-burner propane grill that I hardly ever use anymore, and a Weber One-Touch Gold kettle grill. Of them all, the one I use most is the Weber; it's just so versatile.

To maintain an even temperature over a long period, try a modified Minion method. It's basically stacking charcoal briquettes about 4-high almost all the way around the edge of the lower ring. (Also called the Snake method.) You can stud with wood along the way. Then drop in a few lit coals on one end. This will eventually wind its way around, keeping a temp of 200° to 250° or more, depending on how many briquettes you use. I've had this last for as much as 12 hours before. You can put a water bath in the middle, and you never have to turn the meat, because the heat is turning for you. This is a great method for long smokes, like brisket or pork butt.
mneely - does that actually work? I love the idea but I don't see how the fire would work its way around. Each piece of charcoal has to be touching a lit one to start up and seems like that would fail somewhere.

But if it works, it's the solution to keeping a constant temp in the Weber. I have to keep checking every half hour or so.
The snake method most certainly does work. It's great for going low and slow on the standard 22 inch kettle while still cooking indirect. You don't need to use the snake method on the Weber Smokey Mountain because the water pan deflects the heat and creates indirect cooking that way.

For a dedicated smoker, you really can't beat the Weber Smokey Mountain. For occasional smoking, I would just stick with a Weber 22 inch kettle - as mneeley says, it doubles as a great smoker.
I did a 15 pound whole brisket this past weekend for the 4th. I dry rubbed, using Oklahoma Joe's rub recipe, 24 hours in advance. Then, onto the Traeger at 5:30 a.m. and pulled it at about 6:00 p.m. We let it rest for an hour in a cooler wrapped in newspaper and towels, then sliced with a sauce on the side. Forget the sauce - the meat was outstanding.
quote:
Originally posted by BRR:
I did a 15 pound whole brisket this past weekend for the 4th. I dry rubbed, using Oklahoma Joe's rub recipe, 24 hours in advance. Then, onto the Traeger at 5:30 a.m. and pulled it at about 6:00 p.m. We let it rest for an hour in a cooler wrapped in newspaper and towels, then sliced with a sauce on the side. Forget the sauce - the meat was outstanding.

g-man, take notes!
quote:
Originally posted by DoubleD:
quote:
Originally posted by BRR:
I did a 15 pound whole brisket this past weekend for the 4th. I dry rubbed, using Oklahoma Joe's rub recipe, 24 hours in advance. Then, onto the Traeger at 5:30 a.m. and pulled it at about 6:00 p.m. We let it rest for an hour in a cooler wrapped in newspaper and towels, then sliced with a sauce on the side. Forget the sauce - the meat was outstanding.

g-man, take notes!


that's beef fool.

you shoudl take it up with the caja china guys.

http://www.lacajachina.com/who...-worksheet_a/330.htm

9. Once lit spread the charcoal evenly over the Charcoal Grid, the cooking time starts right now, add more charcoal after the hour, you will add 3 more batches of charcoal in the following manner. 1 Hour, 1 Hour, 30 Minutes.

do the math, how many hours is that?
quote:
Originally posted by Vino Me:
Over the last month I've done the following in the smoker:

Ribeye Roast- Tied with butchers twine. Coated with olive oil and minced garlic and then a simple rub was applied. Smoked with manzanita wood. Cooked to rare/medium rare. About 135 degrees internal.

What temp did you smoke the meats?

Meatloaf- Wrapped a meatloaf in a bacon weave and smoked it using grapevine wood for about 2.5 hours. Applied a pineapple/habenero bbq glaze and smoked for another hour to about 165 internal.

VM
quote:
Originally posted by Purple Teeth:
quote:
Originally posted by BRR:
Then, onto the Traeger at 5:30 a.m. and pulled it at about 6:00 p.m.


On the smoke setting the entire time?

I did smoke for 7 hours, then cranked the temp to 200 for the remaining 5, as it was slow-going.
The bummer of the above-mentioned brisket was that, when it came time to serve the 28+ guests, I was inside putting my kids to bed and my brother-in-law, the owner of said Traeger, sliced the whole thing with the grain! Mad Hey, we all make mistakes. The flavor, juiciness, and perfect smoke ring were all there, but it was poorly served and the texture suffered. Oh well.
quote:
Originally posted by BRR:
The bummer of the above-mentioned brisket was that, when it came time to serve the 28+ guests, I was inside putting my kids to bed and my brother-in-law, the owner of said Traeger, sliced the whole thing with the grain! Mad Hey, we all make mistakes. The flavor, juiciness, and perfect smoke ring were all there, but it was poorly served and the texture suffered. Oh well.

Sometimes the grain is hard to find on a cooked brisket. One trick is, while the meat is still raw and you can see the grain, partially insert a toothpick on the top along the direction of the grain. After it is cooked, find the toothpick, and cut crosswise from there.
quote:
Originally posted by mneeley490:
Threw on a couple of pork butts at 6am, for pulled pork later tonight or tomorrow.
These were both injected with a mixture of apple juice, apple cider vinegar, and Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey, then coated with Tatonka Dust. Smoking with a 50/50 mixture of hickory and apple.


Do you find that injecting pork butts is worth the extra effort? I read somewhere (? Amazingribs.com) that it wasn't worth it but I'm open to trying new things. Did two butts for the 4th (one South Carolina and the other Lexington style) that turned out great. I liked them both but the South Carolina style was the most popular.
quote:
Originally posted by Red guy in a blue state:
quote:
Originally posted by mneeley490:
Threw on a couple of pork butts at 6am, for pulled pork later tonight or tomorrow.
These were both injected with a mixture of apple juice, apple cider vinegar, and Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey, then coated with Tatonka Dust. Smoking with a 50/50 mixture of hickory and apple.


Do you find that injecting pork butts is worth the extra effort? I read somewhere (? Amazingribs.com) that it wasn't worth it but I'm open to trying new things. Did two butts for the 4th (one South Carolina and the other Lexington style) that turned out great. I liked them both but the South Carolina style was the most popular.

I do. Pork butt is a very thick cut, and seasoning and smoke will not penetrate more than a fraction of an inch. If you want the inside to have additional flavor (and moisture), injection is the way to go, unless you plan to use a finishing sauce. These went 16 hours, btw, so I figure more moisture can't hurt.
I've never done one S. Carolina style. Could you share a good recipe?

That last injection was a new one for me. It came out very good. My go-to is usually a mixture of applesauce, bbq sauce, and rub. (Applesauce tends to not leak out, unlike cider.) Another good injection is melted grape jelly. Sounds strange, I know, but it gives the meat a sweeter flavor, and you cannot taste the grape in the end. Done this way, any sauce is just an option.

As to the guy that writes amazingribs.com, I tend to disagree with a lot of what he says. There are hundreds of different ways and styles to do good bbq, but he seems to think only his way is right.
I use the Cook's Country (Cook's Illustrated) recipe for rub and Sauce for South Carolina style pulled pork (mustard based). Although there are fancier and more complex mustard based sauces, I like the consistency of the Cooks Country version for dressing the pork once pulled. If you don't have access, I can e-mail it to you or type it out here.
I need to learn more about this.

I made baby back ribs and chicken tonight. I used apple wood. This wasn't premeditated. I went to the garage to grab wood and I was out of hickory. The apple gave hardly any smoke flavor to the meat. I don't know whether I didn't use enough wood (about the same amount as when I use hickory) or apple doesn't really help pork and chicken. Thoughts on that?
Wood chunks. I experimented with using chips last year and didn't get much out of them.

Not sure what you mean by what type of bbq? I was smoking them in a WSM, they had a rub from penzey's spice - the one on the ribs wasn't great, the one on the chicken was pretty nice.

I added the wood by spreading a layer of charcoal on the bottom, putting the wood on top of that, and then pouring the lit charcoal on top of them both.
How long did you smoke for?

I use a Wsm too for the past five yrs and had good success

Few things come to mind

How long was the smoking period
What was the temperature you're smoking at
Ratio of charcoal to wood chips

Also I put my wood on top of the lit charcoal
odd - sounds like it should have worked. i'm assuming you were around 250F or so? and you didn't soak the wood first or anything like that?

It might be, as g-man notes, due to putting the wood under the lit charcoal, but i only suggest that as i always put my wood on top and don't have any practical experience doing it the other way. although i cant think of a reason why it shouldn't work?
quote:
Originally posted by vinoevelo:
odd - sounds like it should have worked. i'm assuming you were around 250F or so? and you didn't soak the wood first or anything like that?

It might be, as g-man notes, due to putting the wood under the lit charcoal, but i only suggest that as i always put my wood on top and don't have any practical experience doing it the other way. although i cant think of a reason why it shouldn't work?


charcoal is a natural adsorbant of chemicals

you're filtering out your smoke basically with the charcoal on top =)

(anyhow that's a random ass guess)

but if you're only smoking for like 15 minutes

you're probably not going to impart something like apple smoke into your meats.

if you used Mesquite then 15 minutes could acutally do it.
quote:
Originally posted by vinoevelo:
odd - sounds like it should have worked. i'm assuming you were around 250F or so? and you didn't soak the wood first or anything like that?

It might be, as g-man notes, due to putting the wood under the lit charcoal, but i only suggest that as i always put my wood on top and don't have any practical experience doing it the other way. although i cant think of a reason why it shouldn't work?


Right. I was a little hotter than 250 but not much.

Never soaked the wood.

That's the way I've always put the wood in and there's never been an issue before. Dunno.
I've never soaked my wood chunks.

also the big water pot int he middle keeps it around the 250 mark.

I take it you use that "minion" method too.

hickory is stronger than apple

I usually do two chunks of hickory when i smoke but I'd do 4 chunks of apple.

you *might* want to close off some of the bottom vents though to get a lower heat. the thing about burying your wood chunks into the charcoal like that is that lighter woods like apple wont get enough time to acutally smoke before it gets too hot and just stops smoking.

The way i do apple/maple/fig/cherry is I set up charcoal on the bottom, leave an indentation for the lit charcoal. Throw in the lit charcoal then I'll put the 4 wood chunks in a line from center outward. This allows for a great smelling steady wood smoke.

i keep my WSM around 200-230
Great thread. My smoker set up is a 40" Masterbuilt propane smoker with an electric smoke generator attached. I used a 3" hole saw on the smoker and have a jerry-rigged aluminum vent that I use to attach the generator to the smoker. This way I can hot smoke without having to open the smoker to add more chips and I can also cold smoke (even in the summer, just put a large pan of ice in there). Last two things to run through there were bacon (cold-smoked) and pastrami (hot smoked). Have not done a brisket, ribs, or pork but since I made the conversion to the smoker but with summer here, that is a likely project. When the propane smoker rusts out (inevitable in this location) I will probably replace with electric simply for the better heat control. It will likely be Masterbuilt as the Masterbuilt electric smokers already have the vent for attaching the smoke generator. I smoke mostly with pecan, cherry, apple, and hickory but will add peach due to the discovery of how well it flavors pork ribs. Maple sounds intriguing too.
Santa Maria Tri Tip
I've had good luck in the past smoking a tri tip Santa Maria style. Rub with chili powder, cumin, black pepper, onion powder, oregano and garlic powder. Smoke at 225 degrees using oak (or similar hardwood) until internal temp is about 125. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.

VM
Smoked Bologna
The oddest thing I ever smoked was bologna. Apparently this is a very popular thing to smoke in Oklahoma (they call it Oklahoma Prime Rib) so I thought I would try it. It is served as an appetizer in cubes or can be sliced for sandwiches.

I started with a 1 pound veal bologna (you can use a larger piece). Cross score all sides. Rub with a mustard and soy sauce mix. Smoke at 225 degrees for about 2-3 hours until the outside is crusty. The bologna is already cooked so don't worry about the internal temperature.

VM
quote:
Originally posted by Vino Me:
Santa Maria Tri Tip
I've had good luck in the past smoking a tri tip Santa Maria style. Rub with chili powder, cumin, black pepper, onion powder, oregano and garlic powder. Smoke at 225 degrees using oak (or similar hardwood) until internal temp is about 125. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.

VM


Hmm, I will have to try smoking a tri tip, sounds interesting. About how long did it take?
Smoked Pork Belly
I incorporated a smoked pork belly into a version of a Loco Moco breakfast that I made. Loco Moco is a Hawaiian breakfast dish which normally includes brown gravy over rice, fried spam, a couple fried eggs on top and garnished with chopped green onions. I used the pork belly instead of the spam.

Brine your slab of pork belly over night. You can use either apple juice or water with the kosher salt. Smoke the pork belly using fruit wood at 225 degrees until the internal temp is about 160. Should take 4-5 hours. Baste the belly with bbq sauce during the 2nd half of the smoking process. I then let the belly cool down and placed it in the fridge overnight to use the next morning. I cut the pork belly into half inch thick strip and fried them in a pan to get the outside nice and crisp before plating them with the Loco Moco.

VM

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