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Ye Olde Smoker Thread

Corprin

Drag Racing Champion
With all the staying at home because of COVID-19 I’ve taken to using my smoker much more.

So far this week.

Pastrami.

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Salmon with brown sugar and Cajun seasoning

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Jerked pork shoulder.

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And tonight’s tritip. Went a little long, so a touch chewy, but still moist and delicious.

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csumt76

Autocross Champion
Nice! What's the setup? I've not done a ton of stuff on mine. Looking to get a brisket here soon. I've done a handful of turkeys, whole chicken, chicken breast, wings, pork shoulder, ribs a few times. The best thing I ever did was a prime grade rib roast... killer. Have been doing salmon lately but parmesan/panko crusted in the oven.

I'm using the Weber smokey mountain 18". I got this as a starter kit, but I've been using it for a few years now. I usually do the snake method where I stack coals around the outside, and typically use hickory chunks. I haven't done any mods to it other than taping the door shut to keep smoke in.

I usually just mix my own rub/seasoning in a shaker that I stole from Franklin BBQ's youtube vids. No fancy thermometer setup either, just a basic one. I also use a brine on the birds that I got off youtube.

Thought I had a pic of a turkey I did but can't find it. Wings tonight were bomb, too busy eating them to take a pic.
 

jimlloyd40

Autocross Champion
With all the staying at home because of COVID-19 I’ve taken to using my smoker much more.

So far this week.

Pastrami.

View attachment 168563
View attachment 168564

Salmon with brown sugar and Cajun seasoning

View attachment 168565View attachment 168567

Jerked pork shoulder.

View attachment 168566

View attachment 168568

And tonight’s tritip. Went a little long, so a touch chewy, but still moist and delicious.

View attachment 168569
So unfair when I haven't eaten yet.
 

Corprin

Drag Racing Champion
Nice! What's the setup? I've not done a ton of stuff on mine. Looking to get a brisket here soon. I've done a handful of turkeys, whole chicken, chicken breast, wings, pork shoulder, ribs a few times. The best thing I ever did was a prime grade rib roast... killer. Have been doing salmon lately but parmesan/panko crusted in the oven.

I'm using the Weber smokey mountain 18". I got this as a starter kit, but I've been using it for a few years now. I usually do the snake method where I stack coals around the outside, and typically use hickory chunks. I haven't done any mods to it other than taping the door shut to keep smoke in.

I usually just mix my own rub/seasoning in a shaker that I stole from Franklin BBQ's youtube vids. No fancy thermometer setup either, just a basic one. I also use a brine on the birds that I got off youtube.

Thought I had a pic of a turkey I did but can't find it. Wings tonight were bomb, too busy eating them to take a pic.

First smoker was a homebuilt offset I got off Craigslist. It was way too big and had its issues. Had no clue and was using split oak to fuel. Did two sessions and let it sit a while.

While at my buddy’s dad’s place, who just got a high end Memphis, I asked what he was doing with his smaller old/well loved New Brunsfield offset. Said he was going to put it on the curb and post it free on Craigslist. I asked, and took it home that day. Sold the home brew on CL for $75 more than I paid 10mo before.

I used it about 15-20 times per year, and had things down to a mostly a science. I smoked all year, even MN winters. Some screwups here and there, like two thanksgivings ago I ended up making two half-done turkeys. Ended up doing a few mods to the firebox, reroute of chimney, and was close to making some heat plates and a thermal blanket. I started to slow down with my smoking when my younger kid turned 3 last year. The offset was consuming lots of time I’d rather spend with kids and wife. Couple that with a pile of unfinished projects, I just didn’t have the time to pretend to be the old timey steam train fireman... adjusting airflow here, adding fuel there, more smoke, less smoke, oops, need more fuel and smoke wood... all day/night. It was relaxing, but I’d be focused on smoking all day.

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Then one day this fall my wife and I were discussing new mods/heat plates, new legs, new shelfs, seals, and she broached the subject of a, gasp, pellet grill. Her arguments were solid and well informed. I guess she’d been researching a while and a coworker was pushing a bit.

I researched, and figured a Traeger was the one for me, but that price tag. Two weeks later I get a random call to bring the Tacoma to her office, she wants to show it to her coworker thinking about broverlanding. When I arrive I’m pulled into the warehouse where she says “is this the right one?”

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Yup!

We assemble it that night after kids go to bed and I park it next to the old offset. I planned on keeping the offset because it’s “real smoking” right? After my fourth smoking session with pellet’s modern design, WiFi, and automation, I gifted the offset to a buddy who wanted to move up from his Weber kettle.

While I feel like I am cheating the system, I like the fire-and-forget nature of it. I can toss on a brisket, set the cook sequence with my phone, and go to bed. Wake up the next day, paper wrap, and by diner I have 16hr smoked perfect brisket, every time. This means more smoking, AND more time for family and rest of life.

Having learned/perfected on the offset, I’m able to apply that knowledge to the pellets, and have better and way more consistent outcomes. Since getting the Traeger last November, the tritip above was the first flub-up so far, and it was still good.

TL/DR: Traeger Ironwood 650.
 
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csumt76

Autocross Champion
I've done ribs but I was still pretty amateur at the time. May need to revisit... I think I had them on way too long.
 

3carmonte

Gelbrain
You know you're getting old when you see automatic transmissions with paddle shifters replacing manual gearboxes in sports cars (DSG owner here) and automatic pellet feeding offset smokers replacing the traditional offset firebox Texas smokers. I saw my first pellet smoker on a TV special covering Memphis in May where Al Roker had entered with one of the first commercially available units. This was 10 or 12 years ago now? I just replaced my el-cheapo bullet smoker with a Texas offset that is made in China and has a shorter cooking chamber than say the Oklahoma Joe Highland. It got some good reviews and when I saw it on Amazon on a closeout, I went for it.
Assembly required and some modifications are recommended (Heat baffle's, High temp silicone to seal the joints, Fire-door felt to seal the cooking chamber hatch and a coal/wood basket for the fire box) but after seasoning, it is as almost as good as any pro-pit I could imagine, except it's not made out of 1/4" plate steel. So far, I have smoked a Boston Butt (Pork shoulder), spare ribs and a Turkey. Even heat and predictable temperature control. Dyna-Glo. They make verticals too.
I'm retired. It gives me something to do. (And I get to cut and split wood for it like I did when I had a wood stove back in Minnisota).


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csumt76

Autocross Champion
Drum sticks... Built the fire differently than I normally do. Was having a hard time getting the temp up with the old method. Seems ok, how long does it usually take to get the wood burning clean? This had been going for about 30 minutes. Probably going to drop the rack down and "grill" them when finished.
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3carmonte

Gelbrain
Drum sticks... Built the fire differently than I normally do. Was having a hard time getting the temp up with the old method. Seems ok, how long does it usually take to get the wood burning clean? This had been going for about 30 minutes. Probably going to drop the rack down and "grill" them when finished.
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After cooking chicken on my Weber for over 20 years and getting frustrated over burned and underdone chicken I discovered...wait for it...The indirect heating method.
Get a pair of those fences/arbors made for the Weber coal grate that hook over the outer ring openings and place your heated briquets behind them. This still leaves plenty of room in the center of your cooking grate to place all of your chicken (seasoned lightly with Lowry's Seasoned salt or Spice Islands "Beau Monde") . Keep turning every 15 to 20 minutes and add more coals every 30 minutes. This process takes the better part of 2 to 2 1/2 hours but when their golden brown and sizzling with an internal temp of 165 to 170 degrees their done. Wings cooked this way are the best you've ever had. Legs and thighs as well! Try skinless and boneless thighs marinated and rolled-up, held together with a toothpick. Moist, juicy and yummy. I like soy sauce based marinades or Korean barbecue sauce's for this myself.
 

csumt76

Autocross Champion
After cooking chicken on my Weber for over 20 years and getting frustrated over burned and underdone chicken I discovered...wait for it...The indirect heating method.
Get a pair of those fences/arbors made for the Weber coal grate that hook over the outer ring openings and place your heated briquets behind them. This still leaves plenty of room in the center of your cooking grate to place all of your chicken (seasoned lightly with Lowry's Seasoned salt or Spice Islands "Beau Monde") . Keep turning every 15 to 20 minutes and add more coals every 30 minutes. This process takes the better part of 2 to 2 1/2 hours but when their golden brown and sizzling with an internal temp of 165 to 170 degrees their done. Wings cooked this way are the best you've ever had. Legs and thighs as well! Try skinless and boneless thighs marinated and rolled-up, held together with a toothpick. Moist, juicy and yummy. I like soy sauce based marinades or Korean barbecue sauce's for this myself.
This is a Smokey mountain. The smoke cleaned up and I ran about 250 the entire cook. Took maybe an hour and fifteen minutes to reach 167. Then I pulled the grille apart and put the rack over the coals(crisping the skin.) Didn’t last long as they were already trying to fall apart.

Thanks for the tips! Def will do some thighs, been doing chicken since it’s inexpensive. My bro just sent me a pic he picked up some pork belly to do burnt ends.
 
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