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Using a smoker… plus grilling and cooking

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Offline  Re: Using a smoker… plus grilling and cooking
#61

Posted: October 14, 2016, 9:00 AM Post
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I don't know what it is, but my beef has always come out overcooked, despite pulling it at the right time.


Do you use Texas Crutch for the beef? I don't use this for any other meat, but I do use it for beef.

Nottso - you mentioned the blue smoke. How do you get to that point? Is it by letting the wood chunks burn down some?


I know you asked Nottso, but I'll give my two cents. Yea, you probably need to let the wood chunks burn off the moisture a little longer. Every cook is different, sometimes that seems to happen almost immediately, and sometimes it takes a while.

I would also add that white smoke isn't always bad. Go by smell. If it smells off or bitter, that's how it will taste. I've had cooks before where there was white smoke that smelled good, so I put the meat on. Eventually turned that thin blue, but still tasted great. Let your nose be your guide!


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Offline  Re: Using a smoker… plus grilling and cooking
#62

Posted: October 19, 2016, 2:01 PM Post
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Overcooked beef:
- Overcooked on the outside or all around?
- If outside, you are probably too high of temp or too close to the coals. Texas crutch (tin foil) can help too after a couple hours in the smoke. Also, going past 2 hours in the smoke can also lead to bitter taste.
- If overcooked all around, you might need a new thermometer.


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Offline  Re: Using a smoker… plus grilling and cooking
#63

Posted: October 20, 2016, 3:52 AM Post
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I put the pastrami on a rolling boil for a couple hours and it was still extremely salty, so I chucked it and will try again another time.

The beef I'd done previously was just overdone but good on the outside, so I think I just need to be more mindful of pulling it out on time and assume about 10 degrees more during the rest than 5.


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Online  Re: Using a smoker… plus grilling and cooking
#64

Posted: October 21, 2016, 8:45 AM Post
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I have only done pastrami once, but I used this method:

http://virtualweberbullet.com/pastrami.html

Other than not using a Weber as my smoker, I followed this method pretty closely since I'd never made pastrami before. The only real change I made was I only smoked the meat for about 2 1/2 hours (that's how long my wood chunks lasted)- after that, I just applied heat.

It turned out very well in my opinion, excellent flavor, nice color, and good texture. I'm the only one in my house who likes pastrami, so I didn't get any other opinions but I liked it. I didn't have a good slicer at the time, so my pastrami was a bit too thick for my liking.

Since most of the time is put into the cure and it only smokes for between 4 and 5 hours, it's a nice alternative to smoking a whole packer cut brisket. I think it is something I'll try again this fall before it gets too cold outside.


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Offline  Re: Using a smoker… plus grilling and cooking
#65

Posted: October 24, 2016, 9:59 AM Post
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...before it gets too cold outside.

Its NEVER too cold to grill or smoke. [wink]


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Offline  Re: Using a smoker… plus grilling and cooking
#66

Posted: November 18, 2016, 7:45 AM Post
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Anyone doing a turkey on the smoker this year? I think I'm going to give it a try. Anyone have any tips or suggestions? Hoping it turns out good!


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Offline  Re: Using a smoker… plus grilling and cooking
#67

Posted: November 18, 2016, 11:49 AM Post
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RobDeer 45 said:
Anyone doing a turkey on the smoker this year? I think I'm going to give it a try. Anyone have any tips or suggestions? Hoping it turns out good!


1) Spatchcock the bird. (Google if you're curious) I think this makes a difference with turkey (or whole chicken for that matter)

2) Brine- Again you look this up, lots of "recipes"

3) Inject, depending on your tastes. Sometimes I inject, sometimes I don't. I like Cajun, but most others don't in my family.

4) Don't overcook!

There's more, but those are the main things off the top of my head.


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Offline  Re: Using a smoker… plus grilling and cooking
#68

Posted: November 18, 2016, 4:03 PM Post
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I've never smoked one, but I've grilled a turkey for the past few years. Always turns out pretty amazing.

I agree with the brining, really helps to keep the turkey moist. I have a recipe or two if you're interested. PM me.


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Offline  Re: Using a smoker… plus grilling and cooking
#69

Posted: November 20, 2016, 6:27 PM Post
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I smoked on my Weber kettle a few years ago. I have the America's Test Kitchen cookbook (which is a must-have, IMO) and used the recipe from there and it was easily the best turkey I have ever had.


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Offline  Re: Using a smoker… plus grilling and cooking
#70

Posted: November 21, 2016, 8:41 AM Post
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Thanks everyone! I looked at the spatchcock method but I think I will try to keep it simple the first time??? But I do want to try that next time. Anyone ever have a heritage turkey? Looks like a lot of people are saying that you don't need to brine that one because it has a higher fat content, and the breast isn't as big, so less chance of drying out. I'm still on the fence on doing a brine.

Do you refrigerate while brining or just put it in a bucket with ice?


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Offline  Re: Using a smoker… plus grilling and cooking
#71

Posted: November 30, 2016, 2:18 PM Post
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CheezWizHed said:
...before it gets too cold outside.

Its NEVER too cold to grill or smoke. [wink]


Ditto. I smoke more in the winter than summer. I tend to like colder smokes and it's easier to maintain a lower temperature when it isn't 80 out. I also do some cold smoking when it's real cold out.

There needs to be a King Thames version of the bible.


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Online  Re: Using a smoker… plus grilling and cooking
#72

Posted: November 30, 2016, 3:43 PM Post
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Thurston Fluff said:
CheezWizHed said:
...before it gets too cold outside.

Its NEVER too cold to grill or smoke.

Ditto. I smoke more in the winter than summer. I tend to like colder smokes and it's easier to maintain a lower temperature when it isn't 80 out. I also do some cold smoking when it's real cold out.


Of course, you are both correct. It may be cold for me but the meat does just fine. I did a brisket earlier this month and it turned out just fine.

As an aside, has anyone ever made bacon? I watch an episode of Good Eats where Alton Brown cold smokes the pork belly because he doesn't want it cook, just cured and smoked. I don't have a cold smoker setup, but I wonder if I could use my normal smoker during the winter and get the same result.


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Offline  Re: Using a smoker… plus grilling and cooking
#73

Posted: December 05, 2016, 10:44 AM Post
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It's kind of hard to use most hot smokers for cold smoke. I've had mine down to about 100 degrees but can't maintain that low a temp. Not to mention it's to high a temp anyway. I rigged up an old fridge for cold smoking.

There needs to be a King Thames version of the bible.


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Offline  Re: Using a smoker… plus grilling and cooking
#74

Posted: December 08, 2016, 11:56 AM Post
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Last weekend, I decided to make some chicken. This is normally a good indication that I'm burnt out of pork, beef, steak, burgers, and brats and doing chicken for something different.

So I followed the instructions here for Simon and Garfunkel Chicken. I was interested because of some new techniques that I hadn't tried before (or not on chicken). Plus, I wanted to see if the S&G rub was as good as he mentioned.

The chicken turned out excellent. My daughter took one bite and said, "this is REALLY good dad!" It was really juicy on the inside and nice and brown on the outside. It ended up tasting a lot like rotisserie chicken that I had in beer gardens in Germany (i.e. best chicken ever).

The techniques that I was working on were:
- dry brining chicken
- reverse searing the meat (I've done this with steaks and burgers, but not chicken).
- Finding a non-BBQ based chicken coating that interests me on the grill.

He recommends that you cook it with the skin ON to get a nice crispy outside. I did half and half (legs with skin ON, thighs with skin OFF). I never did taste one of the legs (kids gobbled those up quickly), but the chicken thighs were excellent even without the skin if you want to save on some calories.

I also washed the chicken after dry brining (as suggested), but then dried it off and sprayed it with olive oil prior to the S&G seasoning to help crisp the meat and skin a bit more.

Yes, I will be making this again... (said by a guy for whom chicken on the grill is a low priority)


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Offline  Re: Using a smoker… plus grilling and cooking
#75

Posted: December 18, 2016, 5:49 PM Post
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So I tried my hand at jerky last week and it came out fairly well. Marinated some strips of beef overnight and smoked at about 145 for maybe seven hours. Wanted to get it to 160, but it was sprinkling rain and I just didn't want to dump in so much charcoal to get up to temp. Either way it turned out great.

Did a loaf of turkey breast the other day. Made some pot pies with it. The smoky flavor with it made it pretty awesome.

I was all ready to stow the smoker away for the winter, but today it was 60 degrees and maybe it'll be warm again this week to keep piddling around with it.


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Offline  Re: Using a smoker… plus grilling and cooking
#76

Posted: December 19, 2016, 8:19 AM Post
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GAME05 said:
I was all ready to stow the smoker away for the winter, but today it was 60 degrees and maybe it'll be warm again this week to keep piddling around with it.


*FACEPALM* I'm feeling wimpy because I didn't grill this weekend. I still need to shovel off my grill and deck and my patio door froze shut on Sunday. Ok, I do cut if off in negative temps, but no need to stop otherwise. [wink]


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Offline  Re: Using a smoker… plus grilling and cooking
#77

Posted: December 19, 2016, 9:17 PM Post
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I girilled stuffed pork chops, steak, and chicken breast over the weekend. I still have no idea what those stupid Johnsonville commercials were referring to when thy said times when you can go outside to grill.

Fan is short for fanatic.
I blame Wang.


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Offline  Re: Using a smoker… plus grilling and cooking
#78

Posted: December 21, 2016, 11:18 AM Post
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Spatchcocked (Butterflyed) a chicken for the first time over the weekend.

Came out great. Super easy to grill that way.

"I wasted so much time in my life hating Juventus or A.C. Milan that I should have spent hating the Cardinals." ~kalle8

Twitter: @MKEHiker
Website: http://www.mkehiker.com


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Offline  Re: Using a smoker… plus grilling and cooking
#79

Posted: January 04, 2017, 4:30 PM Post
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Baldkin said:
Spatchcocked (Butterflyed) a chicken for the first time over the weekend.

Came out great. Super easy to grill that way.


Is there any real benefit to doing this over cutting it up completely and grilling the pieces? I've thought about this with a turkey but it seems like it would take up much more room.

Also, my wife buzzed me last weekend with a "are you back to grilling this weekend?" With temps below 0 and a foot of snow on the grill, I hadn't used it in a couple weeks. So steak/burgers Friday night and pulled pork on Saturday night.


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Offline  Re: Using a smoker… plus grilling and cooking
#80

Posted: January 04, 2017, 7:06 PM Post
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Whole butterflied chicken is a good thing to grill in winter. You can put it on for half an hour per side and not worry too much. Very little time spent outside.

Butterflying is less work than cutting up the whole thing. If you cook it long enough without burning it, it will fall off the bone.

Fan is short for fanatic.
I blame Wang.


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