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chefworks91

Smoking Misc. Meats

27 posts in this topic

Hi guys an gals,

Can anyone give me a few helpful hints on smoking meat and fish at home.

Thanks

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Lots of internet info but for something truly unique try Smoked Popcorn. :wub:

Place 1 cup of popping corn kernels on a screen then smoke for 30 minutes.

Place kernels in air tight jar with 1 tsp apple juice and 1 tsp rum-leave for one week for liquid to be absorbed then pop as normal.

Liquid can be adapted to your own tastes some like it sweet some like it hot. :cool:

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Hey Chefworks,

Where to start with your question... might I ask for some clarity? Some topics:

- equipment considerations - hot or cold smoking; charcoal, wood or gas?

- different meats - chicken, pork, beef, sausage, fish, other things?

- techniques - brining, slathering, rubs, sauces, temperatures, foil or no foil?

- competition methods or simple backyard cooking

All common smoking topics however a world of replies and information.

Let us know whats on your mind.

Cheers,

Brian

BTW where are u in Canada?


Brian Misko

House of Q - Competition BBQ

www.houseofq.com

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Sorry for not being more clear...

I would like to smoke fish such as salmon, trout, ect as well as lamb, chicken , beef on my gas BBQ. W as looking for some insight as to equipement to use and what methods others have used and found to be useful, thanks for the help.

BTW, I am in Montreal.

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Big topics and well, you're amongst friends with information here at eGullet.

Here is a link to a recent thread with a similar question - what type of smoker:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...choosing+smoker

This might get things started. However, in my opinion for what you say you'd like to cook, there are two directions - lighter "maitenance" cookers such as pellet smokers or ones that use "pucks" (not the kind the Habs use!) and on the other hand, charcoal/wood smokers that require a bit more maitenance. What I mean by maitenance is the first category is generally "set it and forget it" (until done) and the other requires alot more regular attention to the fire (heat source) for your cook.

Some resources on the net regarding smokers (other than first searching here at eGullet) are:

http://www.thevirtualweberbullet.com

http://www.thesmokering.com

or

http://www.barbecuen.com/ask.htm

As for grill smoking, thats a bit more straight forward. Instead of turning on all your burners and directly cooking whatever you are cooking, turn one side off... thus creating an INDIRECT heat source. That is, you are going to warm up your grill (both burners) then turn one side off, place a foil tray on top of (but under the grill grate) the lava rocks or ceramic bricks or whatever is in your grill with water, apple juice or whatever for a liquid in it, then place your meat on the SIDE THAT IS OFF, place foil wrap wood chips on the HOT side... now you are smoking. The overall temperature in the grill should be below 300 F or so... allowing the slower process to smoke and slowly cook the meat. The foil packs of wood chips will need to be replaced every 45 minutes to an hour as you cook. As you try this and gain more experience with your grill, you will learn if there are hot spots or areas where the temperature cooks faster than others... thus leading to turning or rotating your meat as it cooks but still leaving it on the burner-OFF side.

As for equipment, I prefer Weber Smoky Mountain cookers for slow smoking even though I've used my grill a number of times for smoking chicken, turkey and pork.

I hope that gets you started but please ask away.

Brian


Brian Misko

House of Q - Competition BBQ

www.houseofq.com

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Just what Brian said..... and DONT FORGET THE WATER PAN under the meat or the next day when you turn on the grill this happens

gallery_23695_426_563775.jpg

:shock::shock::shock:

tracey


The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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Whatever method you use for slow or hot smoking, I have recently discovered a temperature probe tool that is very helpful.

It is called Accu-rite, and consists of a probe, a 5' braided wire, and a small micro-processor controlled temperature gague with an alarm signal.

It was $25 at Lee Valley.

For salmon, I can set it at 130F and wait for the alarm. Pork shoulder or leg would be a little higher, say 150F-160F, to produce a dense piece of meat.

I have been able to avoid over cooking during the smoke routine.

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Hello chefworks91

I originally started smokin' on a gas grill -- hopefully this will be of some help. I found that temperature control and indirect heat were the main things.

I had a vertical rotis burner in the back of my grill. I put brisket on a grill over a water pan, and then I built a shield of Al foil to make sure the meat wouldn't get any direct heat. With the burner on the lowest setting, I used wine corks to prop the cover open until I stabilized at 225F near the meat. I was very surprised how much heat was being put out with the single burner on low. I made a little pan of Al foil, filled it with smoking wood, and put it on top of the lit burner.

Many hours later, the brisket hit 190F and off it came. It turned out good enough to get me hooked on cooking with smoke.

I'm also originally from Montreal. With the big variance in temperatures through the seasons, this will really be an adventure each time to stabilize the temps. Good luck!

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Oh my goodness! Nice fire action Tracey! Yes, that is indeed what happens when you don't use a water pan.

What other than pork, ribs, or beef have people smoked on their grill?

Brian


Brian Misko

House of Q - Competition BBQ

www.houseofq.com

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For "smoking" fish, if you're doing it on the grill, don't forget the ease of simply planking the fish on a nice piece of cedar, maple or alderwood. You can do your own, or buy them at any cooking store or high-end fish store. soak them, marinated and plank the fish, and you get a lovely smoked flavour while still retaining lots of moisture.

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What other than pork, ribs, or beef have people smoked on their grill?

Poultry. Whole turkeys, whole chickens, chicken wings, chicken thighs, chicken legs.

I'll often add chicken pieces when I'm smoking something else. I figure if I'm going to all of that effort, I don't want to waste prime grill real estate.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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For "smoking" fish, if you're doing it on the grill, don't forget the ease of simply planking the fish on a nice piece of cedar, maple or alderwood. You can do your own, or buy them at any cooking store or high-end fish store. soak them, marinated and plank the fish, and you get a lovely smoked flavour while still retaining lots of moisture.

All of the fish counters near me sell cedar planks for $2.-$3. But I would never use cedar, or any evergreen for smoked fish or meat because of the turpentine content.

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I smoke tomatoes in season. Cut them in half, line your rack with cheesecloth. I take them off when the skin slips off easily, freeze them individually on a sheetpan, then vacuum seal them. They're great in tons of stuff - like ravioli filling. I've had vegetarians ask if there was bacon in there.

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Just what Brian said..... and DONT FORGET THE WATER PAN under the meat or the next day when you turn on the grill this happens

gallery_23695_426_563775.jpg

:shock:  :shock:  :shock:

tracey

wow indeed. What is the stuff in the tray? By water pan do you just mean a sort of aluminum foil drip tray underneath? I have just bought a gas grill and am hoping to use it to smoke various things this summer...


Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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Just what Brian said..... and DONT FORGET THE WATER PAN under the meat or the next day when you turn on the grill this happens

gallery_23695_426_563775.jpg

:shock:  :shock:  :shock:

tracey

wow indeed. What is the stuff in the tray? By water pan do you just mean a sort of aluminum foil drip tray underneath? I have just bought a gas grill and am hoping to use it to smoke various things this summer...

.... if you mean the little tray on the front of the grill its actually pine needles and leaves blown off the roof.... and yes just an aluminum tray fill with water or apple juice.

I havent used the poor grill since that day we have to replace the hoses. The fire traveled down the lines right to the tank, really good thing my husband was willing to stick his hand in there and disconnect it.

tracey


The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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Just what Brian said..... and DONT FORGET THE WATER PAN under the meat or the next day when you turn on the grill this happens

gallery_23695_426_563775.jpg

:shock:  :shock:  :shock:

tracey

Top 10 signs your an egulleteer:

...

7. When faced with a flaming grease fire, your first instinct is not to try an put it out but, instead, to grab a camera so that you can post about it on egullet.

...


PS: I am a guy.

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I would never use cedar, or any evergreen for smoked fish or meat because of the turpentine content.

Indigenous people here in BC have been using Red Cedar planks to grill fish beside an open fire for thousands and thousands of years and I have yet to hear of one of them having complications from ingesting turpentine.

Now if a person was to eat the wood your POV might have some scientific validity but as posted is nonsense. :raz:

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""Top 10 signs your an egulleteer:

...

7. When faced with a flaming grease fire, your first instinct is not to try an put it out but, instead, to grab a camera so that you can post about it on egullet.

... ""

Hey I resemble that comment :wink:

t


The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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I would never use cedar, or any evergreen for smoked fish or meat because of the turpentine content.

Indigenous people here in BC have been using Red Cedar planks to grill fish beside an open fire for thousands and thousands of years and I have yet to hear of one of them having complications from ingesting turpentine.

Now if a person was to eat the wood your POV might have some scientific validity but as posted is nonsense. :raz:

Sounds like B.C. B.S. to me.

I should look for Red Cedar? Not offered here.

What is offered as a salmon shingle, has a lot of resin in the smoke and would never be used by an easterner with access to cherry, maple, hickory, or a dozen other hardwoods.

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I've read a bunch (but not all) of the threads alluded to here. Would it be fair to say that if you want to do hot and cold smoking, it's probably best to have separate units?

What are some of the better units specifically for cold smoking?

And, if there are those that disagree that you need separate units, what are the the better units that do double duty? (Workarounds for the Weber unit have been discussed a little bit - how about for some of the others?)

And, just for fun, does anyone know of links for building your own (hot or cold) smokers?

Thanks,

Geoff Ruby

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I've read a bunch (but not all) of the threads alluded to here. Would it be fair to say that if you want to do hot and cold smoking, it's probably best to have separate units?

What are some of the better units specifically for cold smoking?

And, if there are those that disagree that you need separate units, what are the the better units that do double duty? (Workarounds for the Weber unit have been discussed a little bit - how about for some of the others?)

And, just for fun, does anyone know of links for building your own (hot or cold) smokers?

Thanks,

Geoff Ruby

There are workarounds for the horizontal barrel types, with a side loaded indirect fire chamber. I have one without the side chamber, and I wonder if the side chamber is too close. You need some distance for the smoke to cool off enough so that the process is very slow.

I have resigned myself to 'slow' hot smoking, with a remote probe to warn me when it is done.

In the west coast threads, hot smoking seems to be the norm, because slow is a lot more difficult.

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Anyone have advice on how long you can let something rest (during pellicle formation) in the fridge? I have some duck breasts that were pulled out of brine last night but realized too late that smoking just four breasts would be a waste of smoke and wood. Can these wait in the fridge until Friday or Saturday when I can get some racks of ribs in the smoker as well?

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Anyone have advice on how long you can let something rest (during pellicle formation) in the fridge? I have some duck breasts that were pulled out of brine last night but realized too late that smoking just four breasts would be a waste of smoke and wood. Can these wait in the fridge until Friday or Saturday when I can get some racks of ribs in the smoker as well?

The longest I have gone is two days, for bacon. I would be concerned with the duck drying out if you went any longer than that, but I think you would be OK if you let the pellicle form and then bagged it up. Or better, bag it up now, then form the pellicle right before you smoke it. Brined duck breast should keep in the fridge all week with no problem.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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