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Smoking Techniques

July 7, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Smoking Techniques

Introduction
First, know your equipment, each and every smoker is different; there are hot and cold spots inside the smoker. The larger the smoker, the more hot and cold spots there will be. Weather is a big factor during smoking, the pit will smoke differently in high and low humidity. Wind and temperature will also affect smoking. On a cold day, you will end up using more fuel than a hot day. On a windy day you will need to limit your airflow or your pit will most likely run hot (remember: more air = more heat, less air = less heat).

Fresh ingredients, and proper food handling guidelines are a must. Smoked meats are exposed to bacteria more so than any other cooking process. If you have questions regarding proper food handling, check the article here. It is imperative that proper food handling practices be followed.

Building The Fire
There are many out there that have great fire building techniques, and you should use what you are comfortable with. I will share mine as well:
I only use real Hardwood Lump Charcoal. This can be a little hard to find depending on where you are. If lump charcoal is difficult to find then regular briquette can be used, just make sure it is made out of hardwood, without lighter fluid.

A very popular method is to use a chimney starter. If you will be primarily using charcoal for your heat source, then I recommend using one of these to start and burn down new charcoal before adding it to your pit. There is a great tutorial on using a chimney starter on The Virtual Weber Bullet web site located here http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/chimney.html

In my large offset pit, I use lump charcoal to heat it up, and wood for cooking. In most pits you will need to use mostly charcoal, and then use some wood chunks or chips for flavor. A good rule of thumb is 95% charcoal to 5% dry wood chunks. If you are using wood chunks or chips that have been soaked in water do not add them until you are ready to cook. Also, you will only need a couple of wood chunks if you are soaking them first, or a small handful of wood chips. To light the fire I use a fire starter stick. I have also used a gel fire starter, I never use lighter fluid, and it has a tendency to flavor the meat. When using the gel I put my charcoal in and leave about a 3 to 5 inch gully in the middle where I put the gel fire starter. If you use the stick fire starter, then place pieces of the stick into the sides of the charcoal pile. Make sure you can see the edge of the stick so you can light it! At this point you need full airflow through your smoker. Both chimney vent, and the firebox air vents should be wide open. Then light the gel or stick and close the lid/door, within 15 minutes (small cookers) and up to 60 minutes (large cookers) you should be ready to cook. On most smokers the ideal cooking temperature will be between 220 – 250 degrees.

If it’s a windy day keep your air vents near closed. Remember more air, increased temperature. On some of the water smokers, you may even close the air vent completely. Typically there is more than enough air coming from the bottom and sides of the smoker. In an offset air leakage into the cooking chamber through the doors can give a convection type effect. Increasing the air draw from the firebox. In controlling your fire, there is no substitute to knowing how to control airflow in your smoker.

Another method is becoming increasingly popular to increase burn times and to bring Cialis the Buy Cialis cooker up to temp slower and more accurately. This method is now popularly known as “The Minion Method”, so named after Jim Minion a competition cook who perfected this method on his WSM (Weber Smokey Mountain). This method starts with stacking a large quantity of un-lit charcoal in your cooker, then using chimney starter burn a relatively small amount of charcoal, then adding it on top of the pile of un-lit charcoal. The remaining charcoal will start and burn slowly throughout the cook. It will take many hours to burn through your charcoal this way. This method is extremely useful if using forced draft temp control, such as the BBQ Guru. The BBQ Guru will bring the cooker up to temp, and only burn what it needs throughout the cook.

Seasoning a New Pit
A new BBQ pit should be seasoned like a new iron skillet. It is suggested by most manufacturers to rub the inside of the pit with a vegetable cooking oil, but actually some even use lard. Then light the pit and bring the cooking chamber up to about 220 degrees. Cut the airflow in the pit to about 1/2 and let it smoke. A few hours is good, the longer the better. Another good idea is to spray or rub the oil at the joints of where the firebox meets the cooking chamber. This will help you keep the paint in those spots.

Cooking Times
Here are a few quick guidelines on cooking times. Cooking times will be relative to the temperature you are cooking at, the physical size of the piece of meat, air flow (convection effect) through the cooker, etc. This is only a guide, start with these and adjust based on your cooker.
Pork ribs – a good starting point is 60 minutes per pound.
Pork shoulder – a good starting point is 75 to 80 minutes per pound, with the second half of the cooking time wrapped in foil.
Chicken – 45 to 60 minutes per pound.
Beef Brisket – a good starting point is 65 to 75 minutes per pound with the second half of the cook wrapped in foil. (Cook brisket until the flat portion is fork tender)

Using Foil
Using aluminum foil during the cooking process is a very controversial topic amongst bbq experts. Using foil on fibrous pieces of meat will have the following benefits:

Decreased Cooking Time – Using foil on fibrous cuts such as pork shoulder, or beef brisket will aid in collagen breakdown resulting in less cooking time.

Limit Smoke Absorption – Smoke should be viewed as a spice. You want to achieve the right amount of smoke flavor. Wrapping your meat half way or 3/4 of the way through cooking will limit the amount of time the meat is exposed to smoke.

Some view this as a crutch, and others (including myself) view it as a very necessary part of the cooking process.

The Water Pan Myth
The use of a water pan in upright water smokers, and in some offsets has been thought to add moisture to the air surrounding the meat. In the old smoke house days when meats were smoked for days at low temperatures, this was definitely a possibility. The reality is that at temperatures of 220+ degrees, the air will not hold the moisture. The water will actually end up on your meat, and can result in ash and soot sticking to the surface of the meat. Water used in smokers is to aid in temperature control of the cooking chamber.

Many have started using sand in place of water, which will actually help in the fuel efficiency of your smoker. Keep in mind that it is very easy to burn up a piece of meat using sand in place of water, and you should know your smoker before you try this.

 

Woods for Smoking

July 7, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Decisions on smoking woods used are usually based on regional availability and preference. In fact, there are more woods used then what I have listed. As I come across more I will add them.

Well Known Smoking Woods

Hickory – Said to be the King of Smoking woods. I would have to agree. Hickory produces a strong sweet hearty taste. Hickory, in my opinion was made for pork. However, it works well with chicken and beef also.

Pecan– Being in the same family as hickory, pecan has a similar flavor but not quite as strong as hickory. It is great on all meats.

Apple – While Apple is an excellent Wood for smoking red meat; it does an exceptional job on poultry. I like to use Apple on chicken and turkey with a little bit of cherry.

Cherry – Can be a difficult wood to come by, Cherry produces a delicately sweet flavor. Great for poultry, beef, fish and pork.

Mesquite – Great tasting but strong. This uniquely flavored wood is as potent as it is tasty. Mesquite is actually used more for direct cooking than smoking. Be careful, too much or too long can produce a bitter flavor.

Oak – Most versatile of the hardwoods blending well with most meat. Oak is a milder smoke than hickory, works well with pork, chicken, or beef.

Maple – Produces a light sweet taste recommended for poultry and ham.

Alder – Native to the Pacific Northwest, alder is a mild sweet wood. Great for almost all meats, used mostly for smoking fish (salmon in particular).

Not So Well Known Smoking Woods (and other things)

Peach – Another sweet wood, good to use with other woods such as – Another sweet wood, good to use with other woods such as Buy Cialis oak Buy Cialis or hickory. Works well mixed with Alder when cooking salmon.

Plum – Similar to Peach, but make sure to use only the fruit bearing varieties.

Pear – Slightly sweet, woodsy flavor. Good with pork and chicken.

Walnut – A very heavy smoke, best when used with milder woods. Good with beef.

Almond – A nutty and sweet flavor, and fairly mild. Good with most meat.

Acacia – From the same family as mesquite, but a bit milder. Good with most meat.

Ash – Fast burner, light but distinctive flavor. Good with fish and red meats.

Grapevines – Becoming increasingly popular in California, does well on fish and poultry.

Citrus – Becoming increasingly popular especially in Florida, is the use of the wood from Orange trees, Grapefruit trees, and Lemon trees. Citrus wood imparts a mild fruity smoke, which works pretty well on almost all meats.

Australian Pine – The folks in South Florida are starting to use a wood called the Australian Pine. This tree is not from the Pine family but gets its name more so from its needle like leaves. I believe this tree is taking over South Florida and they are finding whatever use they can for it. However, its been reported to me to be a decent smoking wood. Could this be the next mesquite? I don’t know, but I will wait to hear more before trying myself.

Onion Skins and Garlic Skins – I have never tried this myself, but I was told to wrap in foil and let smolder rather than direct contact with the flame.

Herbs – Makes sense to use aromatics such as Rosemary, Thyme, and Basil. Make sure to soak them first.

Modifying the Typical Backyard Off-set Style Smoker

July 7, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Hondo SmokerBought my Hondo over ten years ago and really struggled to get good ‘cue. I researched and researched and bought book after book but still struggled. I was ready to spend big bucks to purchase a fancy rig – or even get one custom made – I Was that frustrated.

But before I did, I used my research to make the following modifications, and my problems disappeared. Then I tried a fire-building technique in addition to the modifications and was finally able to maintain an absolutely steady 220 degrees for 6 to 10 hours with ease. I was thrilled!

Nearly all the “backyard” offset smokers (typically those that sell for under $750) need these modifications. The only exception that I am aware of is the new model Bar-B-Chef

sold by Barbeques Galore.

These modifications are inexpensive and easy yet they work wonders. Try them and see if they don’t work for you, too.

 First the Modifications

 Stuff to Get        

Go to your local home improvement or building supply store and get the following:

1. One roll of aluminum flashing for the chimney.

2. One piece of unpainted, non-galvanized 22 to 16 gauge light steel for the baffle.

3. Pipe plug or metal cap to fill the thermometer hole.

4. If you don’t have one, you will need either a 3/4″ drill bit or a 3/4″ hole cutter.

 

Lower the Position of the Temperature Gauge!

This is critical. You want to measure the cooking temperature at the grill level, not at the top of the cooking chamber. Heat rises, and the temperature reading with the temperature gauge in its original position will give you a reading up to 80 degrees higher than the temp at which you are actually cooking. 1. Remove the existing temperature gauge. The hole is 3/4″ in diameter. Fill the hole with a pipe plug or a metal cap.

2. With an electric drill and 3/4″ drill bit or 3/4″ hole cutter, drill or cut a new hole a little to the side of the handle (if your firebox is mounted on the left side – if your firebox is mounted on the right side, you want to put the new hole to the left of the handle) and remount the temperature gauge in the new hole.

Note: Another option is to purchase a digital, remote temperature gauge. This eliminates the need for drilling a new hole. Get a small block of hardwood and drill a hole all the way through. Insert the probe of the remote temperature gauge through the hole so that 1″ to 1½ “ of the end of the probe is exposed. You can then place the probe anywhere in the cooking chamber and obtain a very accurate reading.

Improve the Chimney, by lowering it Toward the Cooking Grate

This modification will improve heat retention, helps to even out heat distribution and promotes proper heat conduction over the meat.

1. Unroll the aluminum flashing and cut a piece off about a foot to a foot and half in length.

2. Roll the cut piece of flashing into a cylinder about ½” less in diameter than the chimney.

3. Stick the cylinder up inside the chimney from the bottom leaving enough of the flashing exposed so the chimney is about an inch or so above the cooking grate.

4. Let the flashing unroll and it will unroll to the diameter of the chimney.

Insert a Steel Baffle between the Firebox and the Cooking Chamber

This modification serves two purposes. First, it directs heat downward below the grill for much improved heat circulation, which together with the chimney modification dramatically evens out the temperature in the cooking chamber. Second, it acts as a heat shield between the firebox and the meat to eliminate radiant heat so that you are cooking by heat convection only. This prevents the meat from burning before it is done.

1. Cut a piece of the steel wide enough to cover the opening between the fire box and the cooking chamber at its widest point (side-to-side). Make this piece of steel 12″ to 16″ in length (better to be slightly long than slightly short).

2. Line the piece of steel up with the upper bolts that hold the firebox to the cooking chamber and mark the spots. Drill holes to line up with the existing bolts.

3. At a height just below the cooking grate, bend the piece of steel into an “L” shape, but the angle should be less than 90 degrees. You want the end which extends into the les meilleurs casino en ligne cooking top casino en ligne chamber to angle slightly downward toward the bottom of the cooking chamber.You want at least 6″ of the steel baffle extending into the cooking chamber (more is better than less).

4. Mount the piece of steel using the existing bolts and nuts, making sure the bottom half

of the “L” extends into the cooking chamber below the cooking grate.

Building a Fire in a Offset Style Smoker

For the longest, steadiest burn times I recommend you get the best quality hardwood lump charcoal you can find. Briquettes will work, however they produce so much ash that the fire chokes itself out within about 4 hours. High quality hardwood lump charcoal produces very little ash. If you don’t use a charcoal basket, you need to find a way to keep the charcoal away from the air intake. Here is a good way

Fill the firebox with charcoal all the way to the lip of the opening between the firebox and the cooking chamber then hollow out every so slightly — about an inch or so — just enough to make the pile slightly concave — a small area in the middle by pushing the charcoal up around the sides a little.

Fill a Weber chimney with charcoal and light it. When it is going real good (all coals glowing)

then pour it all on top of the charcoal in the firebox, keeping it centered as much as possible. Close the lids but leave all the vents (air intake and chimney) wide open. When the temp reaches 275 – 300 degrees, begin closing the air intake. Close the air intake half way then check the temp in 15 minutes. If it is too high, close the vent half way again and check in 15 minutes. If still too high, close the air intake all the way. Check again in 15 minutes.If the temp is still too high and ALL VISIBLE SMOKE DISAPPEARS, begin closing the chimney – you guessed it — half way. Check again in 15 minutes, etc. At some point the temp will stabilize — check the vents and remember where they were as that will be your starting point next time. The fire will slowly burn down through the pile of charcoal providing a nice, long, steady burn. For a review of the lump charcoals available in your area go to:
http://www.nakedwhiz.com/lumpindexpage.htm?bag

This site reviews most all available hardwood lump charcoals. The higher the quality charcoal, the longer your burn time. 

It takes some time to learn the individual quirks of your smoker, but if you work with the technique and use the highest quality lump charcoal you will easily get 6-8-10 hours of steady 210-220 degrees. This really does work — I have heard back from hundreds of people who have followed these instructions and all report results just like mine.

I don’t recommend that you use wood as your primary fuel. The backyard sized off-sets have a cooking chamber that is just too small and it is very easy to over-smoke the meat making it taste very bitter and, well, gross. I have been trying for years to figure out why this is and I believe (and others tend to agree) that it is because in order to get the wood to the proper temp to burn off the foul-tasting impurities you will not be able to maintain the low temp required for proper barbequing (remember, low and slow) — the cooking chamber just gets way to hot.

A good brand of lump charcoal will give you a mildly pleasant smoke flavor but if you want it a little stronger, put a few wood chunks around the perimeter of the firebox and let them smolder or wrap them in heavy duty foil and poke a bunch of holes in the top and lay them on top of the charcoal). If you do this, it is a good idea to gently lay a piece of heavy duty foil over the meat (don’t “tent” it and don’t wrap the meat – just gently lay the foil on top of the meat) to prevent creosote from depositing on the meat surface. You only need to do this once or twice during the cooking process — remember, it is very easy to over-smoke in these smaller cookers. I seldom use the wood chunks and I have been told by many people that my ‘que is the best they’ve ever had.Like I said, a good quality lump charcoal should be all you need to turn out “the best ‘que they’ve ever had.”

 

smokermodifications.pdf – Download the document

CHOCOHOLIC’S HERSHEY BAR CAKE

July 6, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

 
CHOCOHOLIC’S HERSHEY BAR CAKE, a sinful desert from Joe Phelps

CHOCOHOLIC’S HERSHEY BAR CAKE

My sister, Carol Bryan, has a great chocolate recipe to share. Here ’tis. Chocoholic’s Hershey Bar Cake

1 box Swiss Chocolate cake mix
1 c. walnuts, chopped
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
10 Hershey bars with almonds, chopped
12 oz. frozen Cool Whip, thawed

Prepare cake batter according to package directions. Add walnuts to batter. Pour into genf20 plus 8 discount genf20” cake pans after spraying pans with baking spray. Bake at 325ºF for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely. Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and granulated sugar, with mixer until creamy. Combine 8 chopped candy bars, Cool Whip, cream cheese, and blend well. Spread this mixture on the top and sides. Take remaining candy bars and sprinkle them over the cake and at the bottom edge for edible decoration.

Beware as the above is a “sinful” love potion.

DEVILED EGGS MARZETTI STYLE

July 6, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Deviled Eggs Marzetti Style from BBQGuide.com
Deviled Eggs Marzetti Style 12 eggs, hard-boiled and shelled1/2 cup Marzetti Original Slaw Dressing

3 tbsp. Classic Yellow Mustard

Salt and Pepper to taste

Paprika, parsley or ground pepper

Cool eggs and slice in half. Remove yolks and put in a bowl; set whites aside. Add the remaining ingredients to the yolks. Mix until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste who sells kollagen intensiv in hendersonville nc. Fill Kollagen Intensiv the eg white halves with the yolk mixture. Sprinkle with paprika, parsley or ground pepper.

Prep Time: 20 min Cook Time 15 min.
Makes 6 servings.

BBQGuide.com notes: Don’t make the mixture runny by following this recipe EXACTLY. Start with a lesser amount of Slaw and Mustard. Of course you can do it all to taste but there is nothing like Marzetti’s Slaw Dressing.

GARLIC LOVERS HOME FRIES

July 6, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

GARLIC LOVERS HOME FRIES
 
Description: This recipe uses HomeBBQ.com Butcher Block Garlic Lovers Steak Seasoning.Ingredients Needed:
4 whole potatoes cubed (approx. 1 potato per person)
1 Med. Sized Sweet Onion (Vidalia works great)
2 tblsp Salted Butter, margerine, or olive oil
1 jar HomeBBQ.com Butcher Block Garlic Lovers Steak Seasoning.

When the potatoes are almost fully cooked add chopped or diced does proextender really work onions proextender system review
Season to taste
Remove from heat when potatoes and onions are fully cooked (browned and soft).Enjoy as a side dish with BBQ or your favorite steak!

 

Directions:

Cut potatoes into cubes
Chop or dice onion
Heat butter, margerine, or oil in skillet or frying pan.

When fully heated, add potatoes
Sprinkle on (liberally) HomeBBQ.com Butcher Block Garlic Lovers Steak Seasoning

 

BBQ BEANS

July 6, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

BBQ Beans4 cans canned pinto beans,including the liquid

Spice Mixture
3 tbls paprika
1 tbls chili power
1 tbls onion powder
1 tbls garlic powder
1 tbls black pepper
1 tbls sea salt, or regular table salt
1 tbls sugar
1 tsp cayenne pepper, or more

Add 2 heaping tablespoons of the spice mixture, place in a cast iron pot. You can use a casserole dish but it will get black from the smoke. Place it uncovered way in the back of your pit and let smoke for a couple of hours. Take it off the pit and stir well tasting them to make sure they have enough smokey flavor, you can stick them back on if you want more smoke. Place a top on the pot and keep warm in a oven or sit the pot on the cover of your pit.

BBQ LAMB RIBS

July 6, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

BBQ Lamb Ribs from HomeBBQ.com

BBQ Lamb Ribs
2 Tbs lemon pepper
1 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs salt
1 Tsp chopped parsely
2 8 bone slabs of lamb ribs, trimmed

Mint Sauce
1/2 cup cider vinegar 1/2 ounce bourbon 1 Tbs sugar 1 Tbs chopped mint leaves

Coat ribs liberally with spices
Place bone side down on grill, and grill with indirect heat for 40 to 50 minutes. Turn ribs and cook an additional 25 minutes.

Combine mint sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes stirring frequently.

Pan Fried Catfish Filets

July 5, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

 
Pan fried catfish filets, soaked in Buttermilk, and seasoned with HomeBBQ.com Deep South Tangerine Pepper.
This recipe uses the following ingredients;
 
1-2 lbs. – Catfish Filets
2 cups –  Buttermilk
4 tsp – HomeBBQ.com Deep South Tangerine Pepper
1 cup – flour
2 – tsp salt
2 – tsp pepper
canola oil
 
 
Place catfish filets in buttermilk and let soak 6 to 8 hours, remove the catfish from the buttermilk, and squeeze off excess buttermilk. Pat filets dry with paper towels. Season each side of filet with approx. 1 tsp of HomeBBQ.comTangerine Pepper. Let marinate with spice for 15 to 30 minutes.
 
Combine flour and salt and pepper.
Coat both sides of filets with the flour mixture.
Place catfish in heated canola oil.
Cook approximately 3 minutes per side (look for flaking and seperating of texture, do not overcook)
Let catfish drain on paper towels… Serve and enjoy
 

Basic Brisket Rub

July 5, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Here is a basic rub for beef brisket. Use liberaly.

 Basic Brisket Rub

This is best used over a coat of yellow mustard, however Worcestershire sauce is good also. 

1/2 cup Paprika
2 Tbs. Brown Sugar
2 Tbs. Chili Powder
2 Tbs. Onion Powder
2 Tbs. Garlic Salt

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