This topic contains 14 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Rattlesnake Charlie 2 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #46302
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    And I not good at it but I’m working at it ……..
    My stuff seems to be more slow cooked too fast …. I’m betting the wrong equipment for what I think I’m trying to do . I never seem to get the saturation so I’ve retreated to marinade sorts of things , it’s palatable and I haven’t killed anybody yet .

    A while back Mary got us a deal through the hospital on some brisket and corned beef . The corned beef was pretty good inspite of getting oak smoke on it rather than in it . The brisket was a disaster …….. One end burned along with the fat and , well , meat char just isn’t my favorite .

    Altering the method .
    Prep
    I got the brisket out and thawed sagged a glass cake pan and applied some Jonnie’s , black pepper , garlic to the meat side and some oak heart Bacardi 90 proof . The Bottle of Bulliett rye isn’t open so the charred oak barrel (is bbl ok for this ?) aged rum had to stand in , besides last time it left me with a horrible headache . I think next time I will put the meat side down and a towel over the fat side and let it stay wick wet overnight in the fridge instead of fat down in the booze .

    I have a gas smoker but the heat is too high and I just can’t get that place where it is just so because of it ….. This time I went to the switch hitter grill . It runs nicely on both gas and charcoal so I got the temps up in side and made it an indirect heat with foil and the brisket on the top shelf .

    I think I’m on to something !

    I left the fat side up on the foil and poured the booze and wash off spices back over the fat , no chance of poisoning the liquid was 90 proof rum . I’d rolled the edges on the foil so it trapped all of the juices . The grill like the smoker just has too much burner so it’s fussy about staying cool enough . 2 burners at dead low until the hickory was making smoke then just an outer edge burner to hold the air fuel in check .
    I need a higher smoke baffle on the foil I think .

    4 hr is all it would take but I did get the wood smoke inside instead of all on the outside . I have no idea what the booze brought to the mix but I like the way it worked out .
    A little cooler and another hr to 90 min and I think I might have true simple meat bliss .

    A couple more goes with something cheap like rolled roasts or bottom rounds and I’ll be ready to poison…….er…….feed my friends .  Boiled cob corn and biscuits made it lunch and the 2 flavors of sweet baby Ray’s was not needed , it took away from it in fact .

    I believe I will be having some fine sandwiches for lunch this week with a little Miracle whip and mustard on a white Hogie roll …….

  • #46303
     blackthorn 
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    If you search the NET for “wood for smoking” you may find a LOT of information that might be useful to you.

  • #46304
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    Until my eyes bleed ……….

    I’m pretty much at a point where I’ve read all the instructions and just need to do it .

    I’m one of those that can read about 14 times and the information is 80% jiberish but with hands on it drops immediately to 20% jiberish and 40% oh yeah that makes sense now .

    I’m a terrible cook but I do a few things really well ,like making food stretch and it’s just time and place to be able to indulge and explore the things I missed out on when I started raising kids at 19 . The smoking/BBQ thing was just a luxury I didn’t have for about 30 yr and something I wasn’t around growing up . With my kids smoke and BBQ meant the cast iron needed to be descaled and it was free fishing Saturday .

  • #46305
     Rattlesnake Charlie 
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    Low and slow. That’s the key to smoking meat. Choosing the right wood helps too. Don’t give up easily. Smoking meat is an art, not a process.

  • #46306
     GhostHawk 
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    Low and slow is exactly right. For meat you want to fall apart when you stick a fork in it, make it low, slow and wet.

     

    I don’t much care for oak for wood. Has a bitter edge to it to me.

     

    Fruitwoods, including things like wild plum, chokecherry.

     

    A little bit of hickory gives a classic smoked flavor. But a little goes a long long ways with me.

     

     

  • #46307
     LenH 
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    What Rattlesnake & GhostHawk said, low and slow. I smoke meat with charcoal and try and keep the heat at about 225° & 250°. The cooker I built has a 24″ X 36″ and is 4 feet tall. I wish I had made it 5 feet tall but that is another story. I have settled on using apple wood & pecan in combination. I have also used persimmon with great success. But the combo of the 2 woods is where I have found the flavor that suits me. I also have a water pan above the charcoal to keep grease fires at bay. I can smoke meats on this cooker for 8 hours and use less than 20 pounds of charcoal and that is adding charcoal about every 45 minutes, it don’t take much unless there is wind blowing and it takes a bit more.

    The cooker is affectionately as The BeastThe Beast

  • #46308
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    When I get settled where I’m going a smoker is on the list of things to get done . My available fruit woods in a 100 mile circle are pinion pine and Utah juniper …… The store bought stuff is what I have to work with . Very soon I will be in the land of oak is firewood and hey come cut the walnut tree out I’m tired of the mess vs $12-60 a board foot . Real fruit trees here are like 40 something Packards , when you see them there’s a dozen but seeing them happens once a year and never driving down the road .

    It’s the gear I have to work with . Too much heat not enough natural fire ………or something like that . I got pretty close to what I wanted this time and that is a huge leap for me .

  • #46311
     Rattlesnake Charlie 
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    I brought back a bunch of apple and mulberry from the farm in KS. I like fruitwood for light things like chicken. I use a lot of mesquite for heavier stuff like pork shoulders and even salmon. I will probably get some more fruitwood from acquaintances here in NM in the next few months. I missed out on a pickup load of apple tree trimmings this spring. Timing is everything. Don’t be afraid to try new wood. I have used lilac on chicken with good results. There are several websites that have suggested wood to go with different food to be smoked. Just don’t ever use the conifers.

  • #46317
     GhostHawk 
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    I had an uncle on my mothers side who swore by mesquite cooked steaks.

    I really did not see what all the fuss was about at the time. But then I was spoiled.

    Dad knew how to pick a beef, and how to age it.  I never knew what a “choice” steak tasted or chewed like till I left home. I’d grown up on prime 1 1/8th to 1 1/4 inch thick cooked to hot pink center perfection.

     

    My Uncles Mesquite cooked steaks were tough, had sand in them, and had a bitter edge to the flavor.  Damm fool in more than one way. Had to cook them WELL for one.  Dried out tough as horse hide.

     

    I’ll take mine cooked in a gas broiler, with a dash of Adolph’s Meat tenderizer, and garlic. Cooked to hot pink center and be happy.  But I have learned that an extra 3 days of aging in the fridge can help a lot of steaks. It is not the 13 days that Dad used to swear by. Most of the butchers did not like that, it screwed up their schedule and took exta time scraping the halves the last week of aging. Still you could cut that steak with a fork and that is no lie.

  • #46318
     Rattlesnake Charlie 
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    GhostHawk, you got the part about “aging”right. It is more hassle, increases cost, and not all that easy to master. But, it does make for some wonderful eating. As for the “broiler”? Really? You need to learn to grill over real wood or charcoal. It is a whole new world of flavor.

  • #46324
     GhostHawk 
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    Viva la difference’

     

    To each his own sir.  To me adding flavor to a steak is sacrilege.

    I don’t want to taste smoke, burnt wood. I want to taste steak.

    But, YMMV.

     

    I have had them every which way. From mesquite to you name it. Some are ok, but none are as good IMO as the ones from my natural gas broiler.

     

    But when it comes to personal preference it is ok to agree to disagree.

     

    You have yours, I have mine.  No harm no foul there.

  • #46325
     GhostHawk 
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    On meat cooked over an open flame.

     

    Some decades back I was living in Warroad Minnesota. (Yeah worked at Marvins Windows)

     

    One weekend 3 of us had loaded up .22’s, and a couple of cases of beer. And we went looking for wild country. Truck was a little ford ranger, red.

     

    We got out some 45 or 50 miles south of Warroad. Out in the middle of the big empty. That country is mostly muskeg swamp, thickets of poplar tree’s, cattail swamp, and boggy gray willow brush.

     

    We got high centered in a bad mudhole, and there the truck sat.

     

    Driver said he knew his uncle would come get us out. But it was 30 miles there. So he started hoofing it. The third guy holed up in the cab of the truck with some 30 ticked off mosquito’s and tried to kill them with repellent. It was so thick in there the mosquito’s were cutting off slices of air and eating them, with relish!

     

    I got out, grabbed my Ruger 10/22, filled an empty beer bottle with ice water from the beer cooler. Walked a 100 yards to the edge of some tree’s and set myself up a little camp. A little fire, some green branches and grass. Mosquito’s decided they’d rather pick on the guy in the truck. So they left.

     

    I had been slipping around the edges of a clearing looking for rabbits when I noticed woodcock landing at the edges of a mud puddle. So I slipped over there and got 3 before it got too dark.

     

    Now remember all I had was a knife, my Ruger, my fire, and my head. No salt, no spices.

     

    Fire had burned down to coals so I spitted and roasted those 3 woodcocks.

    You know by the time you get the feathers off and the guts out there is not a lot left of those birds?  But I will admit that they were some of the finest eating I had ever had.

     

    Personally I put it down to

     

    A Dried Poplar for the wood for the fire.

    B Appetite.  I had one, and I was feeling on top of the world.

    C By the time I got to the last one I suspect I was eating them a smidge on the rare side. Was dang dark by that time.

    So I had put myself a good pile of wood up.

    Had my back to a big poplar tree, wove some brush on each side to keep the wind off. And it would have made lots of noise if anything tried to sneak on me. In front of me I had the fire. In my lap I had the ruger.  I slept. I slept well.

     

    In the morning about 10 am here comes the tractor, got us out, and homeward bound we went.

     

    Kid that stayed in the truck went to the hospital. Not good to breath that crap.

    Driver wandered over and looked at my setup. Saw the bones from my supper. Woodcock I said, 3 of em.

     

    He looked at me, looked at the kid in the truck. No accounting for some people.

     

    I do know it took 10 minutes of hard work to get the inside of the windshield clean enough to drive. And that I made most of the drive home with the window wide open. Still reeked in there.

     

    Life is going to throw you some problems.  The secret is it is all in how you look at them. You can be the kid in the truck, freaked out, emotional, insecure, panicking.

     

    Or you can go do what you know how to do, build a fire, make a camp, shoot some supper, clean cook and enjoy it.

     

    I know which one I prefer.

  • #46326
     Rattlesnake Charlie 
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    Good move, and excellent writing of the event. Thanks for sharing.

  • #46327
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    Donno where my post went .
    Dad swore by 21 days at 38° for aging . Kind of needed for the sage , cedar and pine range beef that spends it’s life running from or stomping coyotes .

    Several flavors of wood available to me pinion pine , Utah juniper , mnt mohogany (a rose cousin) , quaken aspen , popular , cottonwood , elm , black locust , Russian olive ….. Not a lot choices for quality food . The aspen was ok other than breakfast .

    Funny how a cool dark night and an empty belly will raise lump on stick to a 5***** dinning event . I remember a trip long ago when when we ate half a dozen little bitty yellow belly catfish and a couple of Ruddy ducks . It was too early in the duck season and to late in the fishing season for the stay all weekend eat ducks by the limit thing …..
    Wouldn’t have traded minute of it for anything .

    Charcoal kiln , smoker , 1200 sqft house , 6000 sqft shop in no particular order .

  • #46328
     Rattlesnake Charlie 
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    You’ve got the house to shop ratio correct.

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