I had that same smoker in the 2D model. The only difficult (impossible) thing to control was humidity with the tiny hole at the top. Meat, fish, chicken turned out awesome, smoking to dehydrate certain foods, jerky, chipotle chilis, etc didn't work like something like the NuVu but the price is hard to beat for what you get.

winoca posted:

I had that same smoker in the 2D model. The only difficult (impossible) thing to control was humidity with the tiny hole at the top. Meat, fish, chicken turned out awesome, smoking to dehydrate certain foods, jerky, chipotle chilis, etc didn't work like something like the NuVu but the price is hard to beat for what you get.

I found it on OfferUp for $80. Couldn't pass that up.

Pulled beef came out great, just enough smoke with only about 3 oz. of wood used.

I have a Cookshack electric smoker.  It controls the temperature for smoking and has a readout and probe for meat temperature.  Very easy to use, all stainless steel, but not cheap.  Made ribs last week for a group and got a lot of positive comments.  Very happy with it.

Treated myself to a late BDay prezzie last weekend and picked up a Primo Oval 300.  

On Saturday I fired up the grill to screaming hot and did a couple of t-bones on the direct and indirect sides.

On Sunday, I smoked a 6 pound capon which turned out beautifully.  Tender, juicy and very tasty.

I love the oval shape of the Primo and with the firebox divider, building direct/indirect sides is a breeze.  Temperature control was easy and the grill held its heat really well.

The only hard part was telling the Mrs. that I need to spend the day at home this Sunday to put the Primo through its paces smoking a brisket.  She'll forgive me in the end I'm sure.

 

thelostverse posted:
ljch1210 posted:

hey guys, which wood do you choose for your grill?

I assume you're asking about smoke wood, not a grill made out of wood.  For me, it depends on what I'm smoking.  Anything specific?

Alder for salmon. Lighter fruit woods or maple for poultry & some cuts of pork. Other pork cuts like bacon and ham call for hickory, pecan, or cherry.  For beef you can get into the heavier stuff like hickory or sometimes mesquite; many people like oak also. Once you get an idea of what you like, you can start to mix it up.

mneeley490 posted:
thelostverse posted:
ljch1210 posted:

hey guys, which wood do you choose for your grill?

I assume you're asking about smoke wood, not a grill made out of wood.  For me, it depends on what I'm smoking.  Anything specific?

Alder for salmon. Lighter fruit woods or maple for poultry & some cuts of pork. Other pork cuts like bacon and ham call for hickory, pecan, or cherry.  For beef you can get into the heavier stuff like hickory or sometimes mesquite; many people like oak also. Once you get an idea of what you like, you can start to mix it up.

thanks so much.

Brining a couple of boneless, 4.75 lb. turkey roasts in orange juice tonight, with some kosher salt, brown sugar, and thyme and rosemary sprigs from the garden. I will smoke tomorrow with orange wood until they're done, probably about 3 hours. This went over well with the in-laws last year, so I'm sure they're expecting it again. Easy slicing sure beats trying to carve around a turkey carcass.

thistlintom posted:

Was the turkey like  in Christmas Vacation?  I like fried turkey a lot but like the smoked turkey the best.  It is juicy and very flavorful.

He said it was okay, but like many of us, he is a perfectionist and was plenty sore at himself. Knowing his cellar, I'm sure the wines helped make up for it.

mneeley490 posted:

Getting up early tomorrow to load up 20 lbs. of bacon into the smoker.  Going to use a dab of mesquite along with the usual corn cob and cherry mixture this time. This will be mainly for the in-laws again for Xmas; man, I never should have started it.

 

I've never tried mesquite with bacon.  I may have to give that a try with a batch coming soon.

thelostverse posted:
mneeley490 posted:

Getting up early tomorrow to load up 20 lbs. of bacon into the smoker.  Going to use a dab of mesquite along with the usual corn cob and cherry mixture this time. This will be mainly for the in-laws again for Xmas; man, I never should have started it.

 

I've never tried mesquite with bacon.  I may have to give that a try with a batch coming soon.

I hear it's common in Texas; I don't really know. There used to be a Tex-Mex place somewhat near me that served it at breakfast. It was different, but really good.

mneeley490 posted:
thelostverse posted:
mneeley490 posted:

Getting up early tomorrow to load up 20 lbs. of bacon into the smoker.  Going to use a dab of mesquite along with the usual corn cob and cherry mixture this time. This will be mainly for the in-laws again for Xmas; man, I never should have started it.

 

I've never tried mesquite with bacon.  I may have to give that a try with a batch coming soon.

I hear it's common in Texas; I don't really know. There used to be a Tex-Mex place somewhat near me that served it at breakfast. It was different, but really good.

I wouldn't say Mesquite Smoked Bacon is wide spread here in Texas but it does exist.  H-E-B Stores are the ones where I see it most often and when I do it is typically in what we call the Hill Country.

If I smoke bacon I use Hickory.  Tried and true.

wineismylife posted:
mneeley490 posted:
thelostverse posted:
mneeley490 posted:

Getting up early tomorrow to load up 20 lbs. of bacon into the smoker.  Going to use a dab of mesquite along with the usual corn cob and cherry mixture this time. This will be mainly for the in-laws again for Xmas; man, I never should have started it.

 

I've never tried mesquite with bacon.  I may have to give that a try with a batch coming soon.

I hear it's common in Texas; I don't really know. There used to be a Tex-Mex place somewhat near me that served it at breakfast. It was different, but really good.

I wouldn't say Mesquite Smoked Bacon is wide spread here in Texas but it does exist.  H-E-B Stores are the ones where I see it most often and when I do it is typically in what we call the Hill Country.

If I smoke bacon I use Hickory.  Tried and true.

Hickory is classic, but I also enjoy apple and cherry. I am intrigued by mesquite though. I imagine a little goes a long way. 

I ended up slicing the bacon on 12/23. Threw in another 10 lbs that I had in the freezer for a total of 30, so between slicing and vacuum packaging, it took 6-1/2 hours. I had tried drying it in the fridge for a few days instead of freezing it before slicing. I heard you could get a firmer texture when it comes time to slice, but that was a bust. They went back into the freezer for a short time.

It was worth it though, when the first thing my (grown) niece and nephew asked when I walked in the door on Christmas Day, was, "Uncle Mike, did you bring any bacon!?" 

 

I have a good wino friend whose last name happens to be Bacon. Every year, he invites me and his regular wine group to a Bacon-bacon party, where everyone brings something made with bacon.  Last year I made some gluten-free, bacon-maple cupcakes with maple syrup/bacon fat-cream frosting. Sounds weird, I know, but they were the hit of the evening.

This year, the bacon-iest thing I could think of is a bacon-ized pork belly plait. I've made the belly plait before, but this time (making it up as I go) I did a week-long savory cure on the belly, after I braided it. It will go on the Weber to cook and get a little char, then cubed for appetizers. I'm basting it with a little bourbon-barrel maple syrup and soy sauce. 

Here is a link to the original belly plait:  Pork belly plait

mneeley490 posted:

I have a good wino friend whose last name happens to be Bacon. Every year, he invites me and his regular wine group to a Bacon-bacon party, where everyone brings something made with bacon.  Last year I made some gluten-free, bacon-maple cupcakes with maple syrup/bacon fat-cream frosting. Sounds weird, I know, but they were the hit of the evening.

This year, the bacon-iest thing I could think of is a bacon-ized pork belly plait. I've made the belly plait before, but this time (making it up as I go) I did a week-long savory cure on the belly, after I braided it. It will go on the Weber to cook and get a little char, then cubed for appetizers. I'm basting it with a little bourbon-barrel maple syrup and soy sauce. 

Here is a link to the original belly plait:  Pork belly plait

ok, how did it turn out?

thistlintom posted:
mneeley490 posted:

I have a good wino friend whose last name happens to be Bacon. Every year, he invites me and his regular wine group to a Bacon-bacon party, where everyone brings something made with bacon.  Last year I made some gluten-free, bacon-maple cupcakes with maple syrup/bacon fat-cream frosting. Sounds weird, I know, but they were the hit of the evening.

This year, the bacon-iest thing I could think of is a bacon-ized pork belly plait. I've made the belly plait before, but this time (making it up as I go) I did a week-long savory cure on the belly, after I braided it. It will go on the Weber to cook and get a little char, then cubed for appetizers. I'm basting it with a little bourbon-barrel maple syrup and soy sauce. 

Here is a link to the original belly plait:  Pork belly plait

ok, how did it turn out?

Not as good as I had hoped. However, due to circumstances beyond my control, I was unable to make it to the party this year, so no one was the wiser.

My Alexa said that today would be only "cloudy", so I decided to throw a 4 lb. chucky in the smoker that's been sitting overnight in a bourbon marinade. Got up at 5:30 am to fire up the smoker, only to find it snowing once again.  

So, I'm cheating by adding a little liquid smoke to the marinade, and using the oven at 225°. Still not optimal, but better than fighting the elements to keep the smoker up to temp. It's resting on a small rack above the marinade pan now. When it hits 150°, I'm going to add a bunch of chopped bell peppers, onion, & garlic to the pan and lay the meat on top. Then will foil and bring to 205° IT. Looking at pulling & making a beef & pepper mixture to top some bolillo rolls.

Chuck roast came out pretty good with the onions and peppers.

Today I'm doing a 4-1/2 lb rib roast at 250°, and using "Italian Spice" pellets for smoke. These are a specialty pellet that incorporates rosemary, thyme, and basil into the wood; great for beef. The roast is lying on a bed of vegetables and broth that will later be reduced with some red wine to make a smokey au jus. 

To those who smoke, I tried a "technique" last weekend that is supposed to yield a 5-hour pork butt. Basically, you up the cooking temp to 300°, and wrap in foil at an IT of 165°, which I do anyway. My 7 lb. pork butt took 7 hours, but that is better than the usual 10-14. After resting in towels inside a cooler for an hour, there was not much difference in flavor or texture.

I normally never vary from 225-250 cook temp except for chickens.  Chickens I'll smoke spatchcocked closer to 300-325 for an hour to 90 minutes so you get crisp instead of rubber skin.  I do wrap my brisket (Texas Crutch) when it his 160 IT to keep the moisture in.  It does accelerate the cooking for sure.

Smoked a brisket Friday night/Saturday morning.  I was only planning on smoking the point as I wanted burnt ends, but ended up smoking the whole packer.  I did, however, split the point and the flat prior to the cook and smoked them separately as an experiment.  The point and the burnt ends were excellent, but the flat ended up going over due to some timing issues unrelated to the cook.  I think next time I'll just smoke the point if I'm only looking for burnt ends, or smoke the whole packer together rather than splitting them if I want some flat.

wineismylife posted:

Inside the living room?  Man, no place around the side of the house or a garage or anything not in your living room?

Sounds strange, I know. But it is a multi-level deck, and they are very heavy and situated on an upper level, so it would've been quite a hassle to lug them down anywhere else, and then lug them back up again.  So it was better just to move them inside temporarily on a plastic tarp.  We don't use the living room all that much anyway, unless guests are over. Contractor is almost done, so I'm hoping to be back grilling by next weekend. 

I was in Costco yesterday, and they had a trimmed, prime brisket flat for the same price per pound as the untrimmed packers. Well, that was a no-brainer. Put it in the pellet smoker late last night and it's about to finish up. IT is at 192° right now, and soon it will be wrapped in foil and rest in a cooler covered in towels for a few hours. I've pulled out a couple of old Auzzie shiraz to try with it tonight.

mneeley490 posted:

I was in Costco yesterday, and they had a trimmed, prime brisket flat for the same price per pound as the untrimmed packers. Well, that was a no-brainer. Put it in the pellet smoker late last night and it's about to finish up. IT is at 192° right now, and soon it will be wrapped in foil and rest in a cooler covered in towels for a few hours. I've pulled out a couple of old Auzzie shiraz to try with it tonight.

How was it? 

thelostverse posted:
mneeley490 posted:

I was in Costco yesterday, and they had a trimmed, prime brisket flat for the same price per pound as the untrimmed packers. Well, that was a no-brainer. Put it in the pellet smoker late last night and it's about to finish up. IT is at 192° right now, and soon it will be wrapped in foil and rest in a cooler covered in towels for a few hours. I've pulled out a couple of old Auzzie shiraz to try with it tonight.

How was it? 

Brisket turned out great, the shiraz, not so much. Definitely past their prime. 

Has everybody else found smoking meats to be at higher than usual prices all season?  I've smoked one brisket this entire smoking season.  Haven't smoked a single pork shoulder or other big cut.  Prices are stupid high everywhere.  Haven't seen a single sale all summer.

Floods and the late snow in the MIdwest killed over a million head of cattle from what I heard second hand (talking with my nephew over 4th of July).  Particularly hard hit were the calf's in the cow/calf combos and cattle in Backgrounding Operations from what he said.  That would hit the supply side starting about June and running through next summer.

China's pig population has been decimated from swine flu.  That's doesn't effect us directly since little of our pork gets exported to China due to a particular growth hormone we use that's banded in China and the EU.   IT has put overall upward pressure on prices though.

I suspect though that demand has more to do with it than any supply side pressures.  'Junk' meat continues to grow in popularity.  It's great if you like chops and loins, because those are in lower demand, but what used to be junk is now in high demand.   I regularly see flank steak and flap meat at prices higher than New York and RIb Eye in the market.

thelostverse posted:
wineismylife posted:

Damn.  That's some serious beef.  Bet that took a long while.

Nice cook mneeley - I'll bet you had leftovers. 

Oh, yeah. Between 11 people, we only went thru about half of it. I cut the remaining portion in half and gave 1 part to my daughter and her family.

wineismylife posted:

Damn.  That's some serious beef.  Bet that took a long while.

Surprisingly, it only took about 4-5 hours at 220°.

 

thelostverse posted:
mneeley490 posted:

Nothing better than homemade bacon! Once you've tried it, you'll never go back to store-bought.

Absolutely.  Been making it for years now and there is no comparison.

The trick is, you have to be careful who you share it with. I wasn't, and now I'm making about 60 lbs. each Fall to supply all my friends and in-laws.  

" I regularly see flank steak and flap meat at prices higher than New York and RIb Eye in the market."

Like double this week.

So I had to buy the rib eye we're going to grill tonight. Way cheaper than the flank stake and flap meat. Weird.

Smoking some ribs tomorrow.

You guys who are doing bacon - where are you buying your meat? Are you only using pork bellies? And are you using a dedicated smoker? All I have is a Weber, which is fine for tri-tip, ribs, chickens, etc., but I have no clue when it comes to something like bacon.

I've never done it and it seems like a good project. Any other tips?

 

gregt posted:
You guys who are doing bacon - where are you buying your meat? Are you only using pork bellies? And are you using a dedicated smoker? All I have is a Weber, which is fine for tri-tip, ribs, chickens, etc., but I have no clue when it comes to something like bacon.

I've never done it and it seems like a good project. Any other tips?

 

Lots of great tips on this website: https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/

I usually smoke bellies, and they are plentiful at most Costcos, or at other wholesalers like Restaurant Depot or Smart Foodservice. You might find some with your local butcher. Every once in a while I'll make Buckboard Bacon, or BBB. You use a pork butt (shoulder) and cure and smoke in the same way as a belly. (Curing will take longer of course, due to the thickness.) 

Many people cold smoke, some hot smoke, but I prefer to warm smoke for about 12 hours at no more than 130°, so for that I use an electric.  It's trickier on a Weber, but I've known people who do it.

mneeley490 posted:
gregt posted:
You guys who are doing bacon - where are you buying your meat? Are you only using pork bellies? And are you using a dedicated smoker? All I have is a Weber, which is fine for tri-tip, ribs, chickens, etc., but I have no clue when it comes to something like bacon.

I've never done it and it seems like a good project. Any other tips?

 

Lots of great tips on this website: https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/

I usually smoke bellies, and they are plentiful at most Costcos, or at other wholesalers like Restaurant Depot or Smart Foodservice. You might find some with your local butcher. Every once in a while I'll make Buckboard Bacon, or BBB. You use a pork butt (shoulder) and cure and smoke in the same way as a belly. (Curing will take longer of course, due to the thickness.) 

Many people cold smoke, some hot smoke, but I prefer to warm smoke for about 12 hours at no more than 130°, so for that I use an electric.  It's trickier on a Weber, but I've known people who do it.

+1 to everything mneeley said.  As for smoking the belly on a Weber, that's what I routinely use.  I used to use my Weber Smokey Mountain, but I've replaced it with a charcoal Summit, and now I use that.  I used to try and keep the old one touch charcoal grill in the low 100's, but I just didn't notice any difference when I smoked at 100 or 200, or really anything less than 225. 

Take the plunge gregt, it truly makes a world of difference. 

Great site guys! For some reason I hadn't found it, even though I regularly peruse Meathead and a few others. I guess because I wasn't so focused on smoking so much as just BBQ.

Now I have the itch. I got to where I could get the Weber to maintain a temp in the low 200s for hours, so we've been eating lots of meat for the past two weeks. I'm giving it a rest for a while and then I'm going to try smoking something.

Never heard of doing pork butt as bacon, but my local guy will provide a boneless picnic roast, which I was thinking might be good because of the fat. Sounds like I have a good fall project in the works.

gregt posted:

Looks good. And I guess they're not curing it so they only leave the rub on for a few hours. But in that case, why use the pink salt?

My guess is it's a technique that pre-dates refrigeration.  IN general in Louisiana if you're Mama did it that way you keep doing.  Any variations are carpetbagging plots to destroy the culture.   Unless of course the variation taste good, then you eat it and complain it's still not how Mama did it.

csm posted:
thelostverse posted:
thistlintom posted

As a reminder for an upcoming holiday, smoked turkey is awesome

Is there any other way?

Deep Fried

I like smoked even better than deep fried.  All my in-laws seem to agree.  My m-i-l told me she's not even going to make one this year, and put it all on me. Those boneless, rolled turkey roasts from Costco are quick and easy. I brine in orange juice, and smoke with orange wood.

mneeley490 posted:
csm posted:
thelostverse posted:
thistlintom posted

As a reminder for an upcoming holiday, smoked turkey is awesome

Is there any other way?

Deep Fried

Those boneless, rolled turkey roasts from Costco are quick and easy. I brine in orange juice, and smoke with orange wood.

Can't say I've ever seen this.  I usually spatchcock a breast every year, but a boneless rolled roast sounds even better.  I'll have to look for this.

My wife usually does a small turkey in the oven because she likes the way it smells in the house, but the smoked breast always is the preferred choice by family.

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