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Q&A -- Smoking Meat At home

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I cut it against the grain. Both the meat and the internal fat was chewy.

The brisket never ran out of fat, I just think the temperature was too low to creat a good basting and internal fat fiber breakdown.

I was measuring temp with a prob thermometer positioned in the side of the top cover at the same vertical level of the meat. The probe reaches 3" towards the direction of the meat so it should be pretty accurate.

I like you idea of using a top vent hole for probe. I'll try that next time.

Raising the temp might do the trick. I'll give it a shot.

Thanks Klink.

I'll report back in a few weeks.

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I cut it against the grain. Both the meat and the internal fat was chewy.

The brisket never ran out of fat, I just think the temperature was too low to creat a good basting and internal fat fiber breakdown.

I was measuring temp with a prob thermometer positioned in the side of the top cover at the same vertical level of the meat. The probe reaches 3" towards the direction of the meat so it should be pretty accurate.

I like you idea of using a top vent hole for probe. I'll try that next time.

Raising the temp might do the trick. I'll give it a shot.

Thanks Klink.

I'll report back in a few weeks.

Ok, sounds like it wasn't smoked for long enough then. If you have any leftovers, you can throw them in the oven at 250 to finish it.

Your temp was probably right on. What I like about the cork method is that there's absolutely no way for the probe or thermometer to touch the metal so you're definitely getting the temp of the smoke around the meat and not the temp of the smoker itself. However, I'm willing to bet that the temps you read were probably spot on. I've just been gun-shy about temps since my polder started behaving badly.

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col klink,

Thank you for your responses. Yes, It is a pork shoulder...approximately 8 lbs. Though I did trim it before brining. I made sure to leave the fat alone, but I just couldn't stand that gross looking football skin, so I removed it. I don't know if that was a mistake or not.

It is a WSM I have. Rest assured, I've only turned the meat once. Around the 4 1/2 hour mark. It's 5+ hours now and the digital thermometer says the meat is at 158 degrees. I'm aiming towards the 190 temp for the pulled pork. I (as well as my husband) hope it gets there!

My turkey wings looked good. Nice and shiney golden brown. I took them off at 180 because I was being overly cautious with the doneness factor.

If I can get my husband to cooperate, I'll post some pictures later. Thanx again!

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How are you taking the temperature? Recently I saw a great idea for taking the temp of a water smoker. Take a wine cork and put your old meat thermometer through the center. Trim the sides of the cork so it fits in one of your upper exhaust vents. The thermometer doesn't touch the smoker and is easily held in place for rather accurate temperature taking.

could you tell us who invented this wonderful device?

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FWIW, the thermometer in the cork through a top vent hole of the WSM will generally read 15 degrees F higher than the top grate temperature.

(Yeah, I tested & verified it.)

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could you tell us who invented this wonderful device?

Why, if memory serves me correctly, I do believe it is our own imminently intelligent MatthewB.

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could you tell us who invented this wonderful device?

Why, if memory serves me correctly, I do believe it is our own imminently intelligent MatthewB.

Nah, I didn't invent this. Not even close.

I got it from here.

But I did verify the ~15 degree F difference by using a probe stuck into a potato & then put said potato on the top grate.

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Here are the results of my 1st smoking experience. Sorry the pictures are so big, I'm computer challenged.

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WooHoo 190 !!!

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Digging in.

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Finally.

Next up is going to be ribs. We were pretty pleased with the results. My 5 year old son proclaimed the turkey wings "the best turkey you ever made mommy!" He also said I should make the Thanksgiving turkey this way. I won't...but will definitely smoke a whole turkey soon...after the ribs.

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Here are the results of my 1st smoking experience. Sorry the pictures are so big, I'm computer challenged.

nice job, that booty looks like it's done perfect, and it has a nice smoke ring.

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Next up is going to be ribs. We were pretty pleased with the results. My 5 year old son proclaimed the turkey wings "the best turkey you ever made mommy!" He also said I should make the Thanksgiving turkey this way. I won't...but will definitely smoke a whole turkey soon...after the ribs.

Nice work peanut! Both the turkey and the pork look absolutely divine.

How come you're not smoking for Thanksgiving? I am! You probably won't be able to fit a whole turkey large enough for a family on your bullet, but you can always quarter the bird and be able to fit everything on the bullet. Also, you don't have to seperate the breasts.

What's the biggest upside smoking your turkey besides tasting really great? It frees up your oven!

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Klink: What is the maximum size turkey you think can be smoked on a bullet whole? I'm sure you're right about quartering but I'd hate to lose out on the oohs and aahs of bringing in a finished whole turkey from the smoker.

Thanks!


"These pretzels are making me thirsty." --Kramer

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I can't imagine anything larger than 14 or 15 lbs could fit whole in the bullet, but don't quote me on it. Before you go out to buy your turkey, measure you bullet's diameter as well as the height and bring along your measuring tape to the turkey store.

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Thanx for the compliments.

If I could get away with it, I would smoke our Thanksgiving turkey. My family wouldn't stand for it though. Thankgiving & Christmas dinners are not the meals for my adventurous cooking endeavors. Out of respect, and an effort to keep my Mother's memory alive, I prepare everything as she would have. Any other time for a change in menu is fine though!

Quick question: is it possible (or advisable even), to use freshly cut wood for smoking?

My step-father posed this to me. He was wondering if just using branches from the apple & cherry trees in his yard would work in the smoker.

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I'll be attempting to smoke a pork butt on a gas grill this weekend, so I'll report back here with the details. I'm using chipped pecan left over from the pig pickin'.


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Do you have enough propane for an extended 8 to 12 hour smoking?

edit: I'm not really sure how much it would take, but I imagine it would be pretty easy to run out if you're not careful. Good luck and please report back on your experience.

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If I could get away with it, I would smoke our Thanksgiving turkey. My family wouldn't stand for it though. Thankgiving & Christmas dinners are not the meals for my adventurous cooking endeavors. Out of respect, and an effort to keep my Mother's memory alive, I prepare everything as she would have. Any other time for a change in menu is fine though!

I feel the same way and I generally pattern our TG dinners in the same style my Grandmother used to use. But this year, I'm going to make a standard bird and then smoke a 7 pound breast too. The traditionalists will be happy and there'll also be a little something new for those who feel like trying it. :smile:

Someone will likely still complain but hey, that's family :wink:

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

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Do you have enough propane for an extended 8 to 12 hour smoking?

edit: I'm not really sure how much it would take, but I imagine it would be pretty easy to run out if you're not careful. Good luck and please report back on your experience.

I have an extra tank. Otherwise, I'll just build a fire in the damn thing. It's not as if I do much with it anyhow!


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Any opinions on electric smokers vs. charcoal?

I've had pretty fair success over the years smoking meat with the standard Weber charcoal kettle grill. I've also had pretty poor results with a Weber gas grill (the lowest heat I get is 350). Decided it was time to get an actual home smoker and came accross an electric one that looked interesting - Cookshacks Models 008 or 009 Smokette. In following the posts here, I see the WSM mentioned quite a bit and it now looks interesting to me also (and at about 1/2 the price).

Any insights regarding a comparison of the 2 types of smokers and the specific models would be appreciated.

Thanks

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Since the weather was so gorgeous in NJ, we went for our second run with our new (1 week old today) WSM.

We rubbed pork ribs last night... and I brined a 7 1/2 lb oven stuffer roaster overnight. Pictures are self explanatory.

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Shhh!!! Don't notice the sample ripped off the left hand side!!!

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Another satisfying experience! My husband & I did decide a few things this time out, based on our personal preferences of course.

#1:The next time we do ribs (and we will!!!), we will use a mop during the smoking process.

#2:While I found the brining of the chicken tasty... I will definitely not waste extra ingredients in the brine. I decided to add freshly ground pepper, lemon rind, bay leaves and a few other aromatics. It seemed like a good idea (despite reading the brining course), I thought some of the flavors might permeate the meat, like a marinade. In the end result I didn't taste any of it...except a pleasant slight salty trace.

So, for lack of a proper thread... I would like to thank col klink and egullet for giving me the confidence to indulge in what is sure to become my new obsession! I've always :wub: loved to grill, but this smoking could quickly become an addiction :wub::wub: .

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Shhh!!! Don't notice the sample ripped off the left hand side!!!

Don't you hate it when a little piece "falls off"?

Nice work peanutgirl!

dls, I haven't used any of the electric smokers so I can't tell you much about them but I do know that the WSM is a good product that spits out excellent bbq with minimal supervision (I'm pretty sure the electric smokers require just as much attention though).

On the second and third pages of this thread discusses Weber kettles, bullets, barrel smokers and even an electric smoker.

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On the second and third pages of this thread discusses Weber kettles, bullets, barrel smokers and even an electric smoker.

Col Klink - Thanks. The picture of the smoker posted by Huevos Del Toro on 10/23/02 appears to be the actual electric unit that I was considering. I think that I am going to go with one of each. Electric smoker for a house in Chicago with a large wooden deck (safety concerns). WSM for a house in Florida with a stone lanai.

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I smoked a pork butt and a chicken with pecan in my gas grill. Turned out quite nice, although it would have been a bit better with some more smoke.

i1294.jpg

i1293.jpg


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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How long did the shoulder smoke? How much gas did you use and how hot/cold were you able to keep the temp? Did you have to keep the flames high or low? Were you not able to get enough smoke because you didn't add enough chips or is it that gas inherently can't smoke as well as more tightly closed systems?

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It smoked for about 7 hours. The gas was on low, but once the wood started smoldering, the gas wasn't all that relevant other than to maintain some temperature control. I'd say the grill's temperature was generally in the range between 200 and 250 degrees F.

The meat was definitely smoky, and I'll do it again. It just wasn't as smoky as what came out for the pig pickin', which was a much tighter system.


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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