Smoked Meats...

Joined
Apr 22, 2007
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Houston, Tx, USA
Some months ago, I had a birthday. I wanted a smoker. The one I wanted, a 22.5" Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker, was not available during the winter season. However, they recently became available again and my wife ordered me one. I expect it to arrive at my door sometime in the coming week. My question is, what kind of smoked food do BITOGers like? What's the best smoked meat you ever had? If you have recipes or general pointers they would be welcomed.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2006
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Tampa, Florida
Smoked salmon; great tasting and reasonably healthy, though not for the salmon that's involved. In old fashioned delis, there can sometimes be found a gold colored, smoked white meat fish called Chub. They are normally offered intact, heads, tails, fins, less only the entrails. They are a delicious meal even though the very fine bones are a challenge to remove. For me, those two are a treat but my experience is limited to the eating and not the preparation.
 
Joined
May 24, 2006
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east TN
Hum...I like smoked pork, beef, chicken, fish, lamb, etc etc Some BBQ places in the south have smoked bologna. They put the whole log of bologna in the smoker and it is a true miracle sandwich on toast with mayo and pickles.
 
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
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Billings, MT
I have a Masterbuilt Electric Smokehouse and a Brinkmann vertical charcoal smoker. I love that Masterbuilt, just set the temp and add wood chips through the loading tray on the side every few hours. I do beef brisket, babyback pork ribs, beef short ribs, pork loins and tenderloins.
 
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Afghanistan
i put a whole chicken on a pan that i make out of aluminum foil. once the charcoal is ignited, i put it in the Weber Kettle cooker. Use some sticks of wood from your crab apple tree that you saved after you pruned it. Very!!! Nice!!! apple wood smoke flavoured barbq chicken. i do not put any spice on it, none is needed. No not add any more fuel after putting in the chicken. There is enough heat to cook that thing perfectly, by the time the coals have died (about 1 hour).
 
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greenaccord02

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Apr 22, 2007
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Thanks for the great response guys! I've got quite a list here. Pork/Beef ribs, brisket, apple chicken, pork loin/tenderloin, salmon, lamb and bologna. I've not heard of bologna before. That's a trip. Keep 'em coming, I'm really enjoying gathering together all the recipes it'll take to get these done.
 
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
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Indiana
I have an 18.5" WSM that I use quite often. A friend of mine also has an 18.5" and recently got one of the 22.5" models. He seems to be having issues keeping the temperatures low in the bigger model.We both use the Minion Method for starting the charcoal but his climbs really fast even with the bottom vents closed. A good thermometer is a must, it takes all of the guesswork out. I use the Mavrick ET7, which is a dual probe remote.I use one probe for monitoring the meat temp and one for the cooking chamber temp. I actually have two of them. They're available at Amazon.com. Seasoning is a must. Over the years I've experimented with no seasong or just salt and pepper and found most smoked foods are just too bland without a good rub. I serve sauce on the side. That's the problem with a lot of the big chain type bbq restaurants, they don't use a lot of seasoning. The only commercial rub I use I purchase at http://www.texasbbqrub.com. There are lots of good ones out there, but after trying several I've really come to prefer theirs.I occassionally use Montreal Steak Seasoning on brisket for a change of pace. Go easy on the amount of wood you use. Most people tend to oversmoke the food or use green, unseasoned wood which can leave a bitter taste. Some woods go better with certain foods but everyone has different tastes, and a lot depends on what you can find locally. My preference is apple for ribs, oak or hickory for brisket, and cherry or apple for poultry.I received a huge amount of pecan from a neighbor who lost a tree during a windstorm last September. I have just recently started using it after allowing it to season. It has quickly become my favorite for all meats.I did four pork shoulders for a graduation party yesterday with pecan and got rave reviews. I got an order for brisket for a birthday party this weekend, will probably use the pecan as well. As far as the best, I love em all. My favorite to cook is ribs, favorite to eat is brisket and the easisest and most popular to cook for parties is pulled pork.
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2002
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Everson WA - Pacific NW USA
Low and slow. Of course fish is best. The meat must have a pelicle before it goes in the smoker. If not, oh it will taste smokey, but will not be correct smoked fish. Brine it and let it sit a spell. Many recipes for brine - salt, water, sugar, a huge variety of flavorings - wine, spices, soy sauce, you name it. I like alderwood the best, but cherry, hickory as well. I found coal fired direct smokers to be useless. Too warm. I have an old predecessor to that Weber model. I rigged it to work with an electric hot plate and small cast iron skillet for the chips. Best little smoker I had. Low and slow.
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
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Dallas,Tx USA
When I smoke a beef brisket I cook it overnight in a 200F oven,covered with foil,basted in garlic powder and liquid smoke for about 12 hours. Then around 9am the next day,I`ll put it in an outdoor smoker using hickory wood logs to smoke it. I`ll let it smoke for about 10 hours or so (while continually adding hickory to keep the smoke going). I`ll also regularly baste the brisket with the drippings from the overnight process in the oven. Finished product is so smokey you`ll think you`re biting into solid hickory smoke and is so tender and juicy it falls to pieces. Like Pabs said,low and slow is the best method to smoking any meats.
 
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 Originally Posted By: aquariuscsm
When I smoke a beef brisket I cook it overnight in a 200F oven,covered with foil,basted in garlic powder and liquid smoke for about 12 hours. Then around 9am the next day,I`ll put it in an outdoor smoker using hickory wood logs to smoke it. I`ll let it smoke for about 10 hours or so (while continually adding hickory to keep the smoke going). I`ll also regularly baste the brisket with the drippings from the overnight process in the oven. Finished product is so smokey you`ll think you`re biting into solid hickory smoke and is so tender and juicy it falls to pieces. Like Pabs said,low and slow is the best method to smoking any meats.
I can cook a full packer briset in 12 hours or so on any of the three smokers I normally use, 22 hours seems like overkill. Low and slow isn't necessary for chicken or turkey since they don't have any collagen to break down, and it makes the skin rubbery.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2008
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Las Vegas
God bless Texas and smoked brisket! Texas BBQ is some of the best on the planet. Now, I haven't tried smoking brisket yet, bit I'll do just about anything else in my BGE (Big Green Egg) smoker/grill. I like doing turkey, whole chickens, and especially tri-tip roast. My wife makes her own rub, plus I make an excellent wet sauce. I've tried lots of woods, but like mesquite the best. The previously mentioned spouse might leave me if I switched to hickory, but I like that also. I make a chili using mesquite smoked tri-tip roast and ground round or sirloin that would knock your socks off. The BGE is great for controlling heat, and provides a good combination of indirect and direct heating for the application. I especially like the efficiency in the use of real chunk charcoal (not the lousy coal/wood mix briquets mass marketed in the U.S.) and wood.
 

greenaccord02

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Apr 22, 2007
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Houston, Tx, USA
farrarfan - I also have read some things concerning temp control on the larger unit. My decision was based on a desire to do large briskets without having to cut them. Hopefully with practice I can learn to keep it in range. I'll look into another thermometer and a remote gauge as well. Thanks for all the tips on woods too. It seems like there's so many woods and meats, it's hard to tell where to start combining the two. pablo - Smoking fish is something the wife and I are really excited about, but I've never done it nor seen it done. Right now, cooking fish over fire is what I would consider my weakest point in the realm of BBQ, but it's just too good not to learn how to do. Of course, I know salmon is excellent smoked, but what other fishes have you liked smoked. Down here in Texas we don't see as much of that as ya'll in the pacific NW. aquariuscm - I've seen many briskets done that way and it certainly is good. I think that amount of smoke might be a Texas/Louisiana thing, because some people can't handle it. Personally, I think it's delicious. That's the way the in-laws (cajuns) do theirs. Arrestmeredz - that BGE is a mean machine from what I read. The idea of using a mesquite smoked tri-tip in chili sounds amazing. I never thought of that. Usually, I use ground sirloin 90/10 and it works well, but smoked tri-tip's a horse of a different color.
 
Joined
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Hey practise is what makes bbq'ing so much fun. Good luck with the new smoker. I've cooked some fairly large briskets on my WSM by "draping" them over an empty can to raise the middle up. My favorite way to smoke fish is to place the fish on a cedar plank,season with a little lemon pepper and use a very small amount of apple or cherry wood.
 
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
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Billings, MT
My brisket rubs are usually really simple. I usually use equal amounts of paprika, cumin, chili powder and sea salt. I'll add fresh cracked black pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic powder at usually 1/10 the amount of the other ingredients just to add some kick. I like to let the brisket sit in the fridge for at least 12 hours after rubbing it, then start the smoker early in the morning so I can have brisket for supper. I use the hickory chips from Walmart, which are cheap and work very well. I'm smoking a brisket or two for fathers day.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
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Midwest
Brisket, pork butt and ribs are all great. But there are few things that are as good as a smoked turkey breast or whole smoked turkey. And whoever said low and slow isn't for turkey is wrong. If you want moist flavorful turkey do a turkey breast for 6 or 7 hours at 190 degrees. Melts in your mouth.
 
Joined
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Indiana
 Originally Posted By: Pop_Rivit
Brisket, pork butt and ribs are all great. But there are few things that are as good as a smoked turkey breast or whole smoked turkey. And whoever said low and slow isn't for turkey is wrong. If you want moist flavorful turkey do a turkey breast for 6 or 7 hours at 190 degrees. Melts in your mouth.
I didn't say it was wrong, I said it wasn't necessary. Low and slow is best for breaking down the collagen in cuts like brisket, chuck rolls and pork shoulder. Poultry does not have collagen so it doesn't benefit from it, and like I said poultry skin cooked at low temperature is rubbery. Most of my family doesn't eat the skin anyway so I usually just pull all the meat off and throw away the skin and bones, but if you are after "bite through" skin low and slow doesn't work. Prolonged exposure to low temps also causes the marrow to leach out which can turn the meat around the thigh/leg joint red even if it's thoroughly cooked. Most people find that very unappetizing.
 
Joined
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 Originally Posted By: farrarfan1
 Originally Posted By: Pop_Rivit
Brisket, pork butt and ribs are all great. But there are few things that are as good as a smoked turkey breast or whole smoked turkey. And whoever said low and slow isn't for turkey is wrong. If you want moist flavorful turkey do a turkey breast for 6 or 7 hours at 190 degrees. Melts in your mouth.
I didn't say it was wrong, I said it wasn't necessary. Low and slow is best for breaking down the collagen in cuts like brisket, chuck rolls and pork shoulder. Poultry does not have collagen so it doesn't benefit from it, and like I said poultry skin cooked at low temperature is rubbery. Most of my family doesn't eat the skin anyway so I usually just pull all the meat off and throw away the skin and bones, but if you are after "bite through" skin low and slow doesn't work. Prolonged exposure to low temps also causes the marrow to leach out which can turn the meat around the thigh/leg joint red even if it's thoroughly cooked. Most people find that very unappetizing.
I can point you to some great forums and advice if you'd like to improve your smoking skills and make poultry turn out like it should. Just let me know.
 
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