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Smoking Meat

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Posted (edited)

BTW, wet wood chips don't start smoking until the water steams off. The white smoke is steam.  It helps keep the meat moist but does not add any flavor until the wood itself starts smoking.  Wrapping wood in foil or putting them in a metal box made for pellet smokers in an excellent way to get optimal smoke flavor as because the wood only smokes, never ignites. Even dried wood gives off un-tasty smoke when it first starts burning. Franklin BBQ, for instance burns the logs outside the smoker until it  has burned  down to charcoal then shovels it in the fire pit.


Edited by Norm Matthews (log)
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7 hours ago, CantCookStillTry said:

So I came home to his first crack. Not too shabby (but as I mentioned - we don't BBQ so who knows if its any good 😂). Delish & Juicy he did pork belly and chicken legs - got bored of lollipops after 4! Cherry & Sheoak - apparently thats important. 

 

20200630_175703.thumb.jpg.f3a8e522504fd1cba846bddcd1aae34a.jpg

 

20200630_175637.thumb.jpg.f491e932d4f0fe7e97667a937ad1858d.jpg

 

20200630_175758.thumb.jpg.7bb1b26f1cbfe3f856bf4c0b7ceb7105.jpg

 

Looks wonderful!

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4 hours ago, Norm Matthews said:

BTW, wet wood chips don't start smoking until the water steams off. The white smoke is steam.  It helps keep the meat moist but does not add any flavor until the wood itself starts smoking.  Wrapping wood in foil or putting them in a metal box made for pellet smokers in an excellent way to get optimal smoke flavor as because the wood only smokes, never ignites. Even dried wood gives off un-tasty smoke when it first starts burning. Franklin BBQ, for instance burns the logs outside the smoker until it  has burned  down to charcoal then shovels it in the fire pit.

 

 Completely agree.

Wet wood makes acrid smoke/steam which tastes lousy.

That the advice to wet the chips persists is testimony to the lack of observation and thought of some of the experts.  But there's a lot of that in cooking, isn't there?

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@gfweb 

 

  "" to wet the chips persists is testimony to the lack of observation and thought of some of the experts ""

 

a bit like fond in a heavy , and possibly , expensive SS pan ?

 

sorry  , but not that much :

 

Chris Schlesinger

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=chris+schlesinger&crid=3DLEPYLTDDX88&sprefix=chris+sch%2Caps%2C142&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_9

 

made this post in one of his early """"  BBQ """ books

 

he had one then two restaurants in Somerville , just a block from Cambridge !

 

East Coast Grill  and Jake and Earls

 

this was some time ago , well before ''BBQ '' caught on

 

Jake&Earls was a take out for Ribs etc

 

in those books , 

 

and I highly recommend them all

 

as used 

 

he pointed out:

 

grey smoke had lots of particles in it

 

he ahd a pic

 

he suggested  that   Hard Wood charcoal

 

got you to the same tasty place 

 

w none of the (#^(_#^$_(#^$^#    of the raw wood

 

if you are interested in ' BBQ '

 

consider his books , used.

 

in good conditions 

 

P.S. :  I was able to go to the East Cost Grill 

 

a few times

 

outstanding   tables too close  etc

 

and to J&E  for a few slabs of Ribs

 

outstanding it all was

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Some of my husbands experiments. Some good, some terrible (Brisket - was good when invented as a Chili like stew). Made the sad discovery that I do not like leftover BBQ. The smokeyness of the meat just dosen't do it for me when cold 🤷‍♀️20200721_185416.thumb.jpg.a10ab8613c4899a122b8e9a99f849eb8.jpg20200710_225916.thumb.jpg.0522a2db2b4cb9fbba6b4ebee5544498.jpg20200711_185406.thumb.jpg.7d9ee6009636b07f2fbeff65f6c6bd5a.jpg20200710_181748.thumb.jpg.441fb4622e69db918b0fc6b624b317a2.jpg20200710_181806.thumb.jpg.67f71b6df52b13c6b22fb049e6065593.jpg

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On 6/30/2020 at 12:37 PM, gfweb said:

 Completely agree.

Wet wood makes acrid smoke/steam which tastes lousy.

That the advice to wet the chips persists is testimony to the lack of observation and thought of some of the experts.  But there's a lot of that in cooking, isn't there?

 

I never use chips. They seem to be a waste of effort as they don't last, especially for long cooks. As for chunks, there was a Kansas City Barbecue forum way back in the early days of the net. Some of the guys experimented and soaked chunks over night then cut them in half to check the water penetration. It couldn't be measured very well and they concluded that it was less than 1/16 of an inch. So that also seems a waste of time and an unnecessary addition to the mess. 

 

I just barbecued some beef short ribs yesterday. Came out very well. I had six so I did the traditional KC dry rub on three and a Korean type of marinade for the other three. I used hardwood lump charcoal with a couple lumps of cherry. Smoked at 250F for four hours, then wrapped in foil and returned to the smoker for an hour and a half. They were very tender and maybe a little too smokey, next time it's only 1 chunk of cherry. 

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That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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On 6/29/2020 at 3:30 AM, liuzhou said:

The trouble with smoking meat is that the cigarette papers get covered in blood and fall apart!

 

LOL


PastaMeshugana

"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."

"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father

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Don't agree with the wet chips causing acrid/off flavors.  I've used a a bare bones bullet for 15yrs, combining charcoal with soaked chips  - mesquite, hickory, cherry, apple, a cpl others,. I soak for a few mins then drain well.  Have had good results with no foul flavors.  I go heavier on the chips the first cpl hours while the meat is raw and really absorbing the smoke then taper off while keeping temps w adding coal. I'm not striving for competition que (though I've sampled plenty around the country).  My stuff has been respectable be it butts, brisket, pork/beef ribs, chicken and fish.  


That wasn't chicken

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The soaking of chips myth has been busted by many.  Notably here:  https://amazingribs.com/more-technique-and-science/more-cooking-science/myth-soak-your-wood-first  All soaking does is delay the smoke which you actually don't want.  Smoke sticks to wet, colder items.  So you will get the best smoke penetration and flavor at the very start of the cook, and the meat should be put on cold and moist right out of the fridge.

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Mark

My eG Food Blog

www.markiscooking.com

My T shirt site: Guy Bling

My NEW Ribs site: BlasphemyRibs.com

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13 hours ago, CantCookStillTry said:

The smokeyness of the meat

My wife and I are the same. So we use Banksia cones, Olive wood and cherry or any other fruit tree.

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I always let the meat come to room temp. Especially ribs. The salt/sugar in the ribs pulls out juices from the meat and helps to form a bark. Also, my short ribs yesterday were brought to room temp and ended up with too much smoke. 


That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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12 hours ago, Captain said:

My wife and I are the same. So we use Banksia cones, Olive wood and cherry or any other fruit tree.

Interested in Banksia cones? He's not mentioned them. Hes been trying a mix of cherry and hard wood which was real good fresh but a lil strong (for me) cold... but we are Noobs. 

He just got a Ute load of Pecan branches from his mates farm... yet to try, any good? 

 

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44 minutes ago, CantCookStillTry said:

Interested in Banksia cones? He's not mentioned them. Hes been trying a mix of cherry and hard wood which was real good fresh but a lil strong (for me) cold... but we are Noobs. 

He just got a Ute load of Pecan branches from his mates farm... yet to try, any good? 

 

Pecan is widely used. In North America other nut woods (hickory, oak*) are also common choices.

 

(*We tend not to think of oak in those terms, since acorns are little eaten in the modern era, but it's still a nut...)

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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I like pecan a lot. I use it mostly with chicken and turkey, but it can really be used with anything. 

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That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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9 hours ago, chileheadmike said:

I like pecan a lot.


Me too. That and/or cherry (sometimes I combine them) are what I use 90% of the time. But honestly, with most of the usual suspect smoking woods, the difference is so subtle that I'm fine with using any of them with any meat. 

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I have a couple of boxes of Pecan nuts, shells, sticks and it does make some nice flavour.  More subtle than wood chunks.

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On 7/21/2020 at 4:15 PM, mgaretz said:

The soaking of chips myth has been busted by many.  Notably here:  https://amazingribs.com/more-technique-and-science/more-cooking-science/myth-soak-your-wood-first  All soaking does is delay the smoke which you actually don't want.  Smoke sticks to wet, colder items.  So you will get the best smoke penetration and flavor at the very start of the cook, and the meat should be put on cold and moist right out of the fridge.

 

The science appears to make sense but my method has worked for whatever reason.  If it ain't broke and all that.  Also, I don't start cold or wet.  If I ever upgrade smokers I'm sure I'll experiment more.


That wasn't chicken

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We were recently gifted a BGE. I have a couple of turkey legs and a bone-in breast in a dry brine that I'd like to smoke tomorrow (the end goal is to pull the meat and use the smoked bones to make a stock the following day, all of which will eventually be turkey & wild rice soup). We're still pretty new to smoking and I'm curious about what temp and time we should be looking at for this project. Most smoked turkey breast recipes I see are for about 5 lb breasts. The breast we have is more like a split-chicken breast; maybe around 2 lbs. Any tips? Thanks!

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3 hours ago, Victual Vignettes said:

We were recently gifted a BGE. I have a couple of turkey legs and a bone-in breast in a dry brine that I'd like to smoke tomorrow (the end goal is to pull the meat and use the smoked bones to make a stock the following day, all of which will eventually be turkey & wild rice soup). We're still pretty new to smoking and I'm curious about what temp and time we should be looking at for this project. Most smoked turkey breast recipes I see are for about 5 lb breasts. The breast we have is more like a split-chicken breast; maybe around 2 lbs. Any tips? Thanks!

 

I wish I could remember the timing when I cooked a split breast and a couple of legs for Christmas. I want to say I smoked (in an electric smoker) at 300 degrees for about four hours. Do better than I did -- write down what you do, and take a note on whether it needed more or less! Mine was about a five-pound split breast. He was a sizeable bird. In any event, I know I dry-brined first, and it was about the best turkey I ever cooked.

 

What part of Tennessee? I was born and grew up in Camden, on Kentucky Lake.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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It all depends on whether or not you want crispy skin or rubber.  If you smoke at 375F or higher you'll get crispy skin, but not much smoke flavor.  Lower temps like 225F will give you more smoke flavor, but the skin will be rubber (and not just rubbery).  You can smoke for 30 minutes or so at low temps, then bring up the temp to crisp up the skin and you'll mostly get both.  I smoke mine at 400F for about 45 minutes and get nice crispy skin.  That's a mix of bone-in thighs, drums, wings and breasts.  But I always double check internal temps with an instant read thermometer.  Breasts can get pulled at 165F, thighs can stand more temp (I have pulled them as high as 190F and they are still juicy), so one timing usually works for all.

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Mark

My eG Food Blog

www.markiscooking.com

My T shirt site: Guy Bling

My NEW Ribs site: BlasphemyRibs.com

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Thanks for the replies.

@kayb I'm in East TN near the GSMNP. I will take notes on today's go-round so I remember next time!

@mgaretz Good to know about the skin. In this instance we do want that smoke flavor and won't be using the skin for the end result (stock & soup) so I'm going to play with a lower temperature I think. 

Fingers crossed! It's not raining so, so far so good. 

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3 hours ago, Victual Vignettes said:

Thanks for the replies.

@kayb I'm in East TN near the GSMNP. I will take notes on today's go-round so I remember next time!

@mgaretz Good to know about the skin. In this instance we do want that smoke flavor and won't be using the skin for the end result (stock & soup) so I'm going to play with a lower temperature I think. 

Fingers crossed! It's not raining so, so far so good. 

 

Pretty country up there. I've spent some time in the Bristol/Jonesborough area.

 

Let us hear how it turns out!

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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I struggled with keeping the temperature as low as I wanted. I ended up cooking a couple of legs and one breast for about 2 hours at 270ish. The meat was a little more cooked than I'd have wanted it if we were just plain eating it then (and as Mgaretz said - the skin was rubber, but that's fine). But it had such an excellent smoky flavor and color. I pulled the meat off for soup, and am currently making a stock with the bones, whole cloves, peppercorns, onion skin, parsley stems, celery tops, etc.  Meat will go back in with roasted mushrooms, cooked wild rice, cream, and fresh aromatics after the stock simmers away and gets skimmed later today. Overall, the turkey parts were a good experiment / opportunity to learn and play with maintaining temp, because it wasn't a travesty if they got a little high. Looking forward to the next project!

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I kinda of cheat on smoking.  I have a electric smoker.  I think it is just easier plus it saves me from going outside so much too, it's really hot in Florida.  Here is some baby backs I just did and wrote a article on. 

babybacks12.jpg

babybacks13.jpg

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