Got a new smoker

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by calogan, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. calogan

    calogan New Member

    Messages:
    241
    State:
    Iowa
    I got a new smoker for my birthday, and wondering what where some of peoples favorite recipes, and any good tips. I'm brand new to smoking meat so any tips or tricks of the trade are appreciated. I have been eating and enjoying it all my life though:wink:
     
  2. puddle jumper

    puddle jumper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,507
    State:
    NW.Georgia
    Hey Curt,
    Conrats man,, I love the Q,
    Im building a war wagon "smoker, fryer & boiler eye on a trailer" right now, post pics when its done,
    Go over to the BOC Diner "section, lots of good stuff there,,,:wink:
    Puddle

    http://www.catfish1.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=261
    :big_smile:
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009

  3. bownero

    bownero New Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    State:
    Hastings, Ne.
    There's alot of great books out there on BBQ and smoking meat. Maybe check out Amazon.com for a list. It's just alot of experimenting with the smoker to get the temp and cooking time. After a few tries. it will come together for ya. I own a Chargriller BBQ/Smoker with the side fire box. I love using different wood chunks and chips for added flavor. I'll smoke a brisket for 8-10 hrs, using hickory and apple wood. Spaying the meat with apple juice sometimes. The rub I use, I found in a BBQ book I own.
     
  4. calogan

    calogan New Member

    Messages:
    241
    State:
    Iowa
    Thanks! I was wondering if there was a cooking section, never found it myself....:confused2:
     
  5. calogan

    calogan New Member

    Messages:
    241
    State:
    Iowa
    Thanks! Thats the grill that I got too! How do you like it?
     
  6. bownero

    bownero New Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    State:
    Hastings, Ne.
    Hey Curt!! I love that grill. Well built for the price. I've owned it for almost 2 years now and use it religiously. I have the Pro model, with the side fire box and main rack with a top warmer rack. Nice grill!! Can't remember the model number or the cubic inches of cooking space. Paid around $170 for it from Menards.

    thinking its the 2121 model with around 850 cu. in. of cooking space.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  7. MiseryMike

    MiseryMike New Member

    Messages:
    544
    State:
    Blue Springs
    If you Have get togethers, tailgate parties or something along that, might want to try a snack we make. buy a bunch of chicken legs wings, rub them down with some bbq rub then get a bottle of franks red hot sauce drown em shake em up in something, let em sit for a bit in the fridge if u want then smoke em for about 40 mins to hour half depending wut temp you are smoking at and wut type of smoker u got. if you had say a Egg it would only take 40 mins if that. Thier great munchies just when u eat em dont let anything drip on ur clothes it wont come out :wink:
     
  8. plainsman

    plainsman New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,187
    State:
    minnesota
    I have done duck, and some roasts, but mainly turkey. I use only real mesquite charcoal, and mesquite chunks soaked in water as smoke. I have a weber smokey mountain smoker, wife threw the racks away because she didn't know what they were for. Not unexpected. I figure about an hour a lb for smoking a turkey, it can be done faster but I like it slow. I used to use a plain weber grill but I was up all night turning the turkey over every 45 min to an hour. By the time the guests got there I had been drinking beer all night and pretty tired, almost a zombie. Sure makes good turkey tho. I would fill the water pan with water or beer, and put some tin foil over the bird to keep the soot off, just a little tent over it.
     
  9. Catpaw

    Catpaw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,332
    State:
    Central Cail
    Name:
    James
    Once you get the low down on how your smoker work's you'll be using it every chance you get.
     
  10. afishpatrol

    afishpatrol New Member

    Messages:
    910
    State:
    indiana
    :

    I smoked the First Browns I caught This Year Back in March and they came out Good with the Dry- brine Reciepe.1 cup of Meat Curing Salt.2 cups of Light Brown Sugar,I did not have Dark Brown Sugar,that gives the Fish that Wet Paint Look and Eye Catcher I must Say.2 Cloves of Garlic Pressed,1/8 cup of crushed black pepper.Mix all the Stuff in a Bowl real good "Dry"!Fillet Your Fish Full or in Steaks.Then about every inch,crosscut down to the Skin without cutting the Skin to help get the Dry-Brine in.For these size Fish only 5 to 6 hours and You can knock the salt down to 3/4 to 7/8 cup.I am still on Trial and Error there.Put in a Glass Dish or Bowl after coating the Fish with the Brine."Dont be affraid to Rub it in."Stack the First row Meat Down and then the Second Row Skin to Skin,kinda like that.Put in the Fridge for 6 Hours,I ended up 8 Hours a little Salty but still good.After that take them to the Sink and Rinse the Gooey Mess You had Made off the Fish Real Good.The will look bright beautiful colored.Let the Fish dry on a rack,I used a cookie sheet with wax paper,it worked for 2 to4 hours average temp,probally basement temp,50 to 60 degrees.Then Go Smoke with Your Smoker Pre-Heated All Ready ,with Apple or Cherry Wood,from 3 to 5 hours on this size Fish and More Hours with Bigger Fish.Put them skin down for the First couple of Hours and then Turn them over.Dont worry the Meat is Firm and Will hold together."DON'T FORGET YOUR SPRAY ON PAM ON THE GRILLS"makes things alot easier.!Try it Guys You will Love It. Enjoy!


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    MY BROWNS CAME OUT SWEET AND NICE!

    I found this Nice Detailed way to Smoke Salmon with Dry Brine and thats how I did Mine.
    Can You just see Your Spring Coho Looking Like this at Your Table?I have always used a Salt with Water Brine,but this Dry Brine Looks "HOT!"

    [​IMG]
    How to smoke salmon - recipe #1

    The following recipe is a very simple dry-brine recipe for smoking salmon and other fish. This is the recipe I almost always use when I smoke my own fish.
    What you will need – Ingredients
    You will need the following to make this recipe:

    Salmon fillets - however many you have, or however many will fit in your smoker at one time
    Dark brown sugar - the amount depends upon how much fish you have... see the next page for details
    Non-iodized salt (canning salt works well)
    Garlic, preferably fresh pressed garlic
    A large bowl to mix the dry brine in
    A non-metallic container (glass, enamel, plastic) to brine the fish in
    A smoker to smoke the fish in
    Preferred, but not required a vacuum packer and bags to package your finished product.



    Step 1 - Preparing the fish
    It's important to start with a good product. Too many times I've seen someone on the river catch a dark fish and say "there's one for the smoker"... don't be that person... don't waste your time and money... start with good fresh fish, or fresh frozen fish... all the brine and sugar in the world won't help a dark fish that has a soft, mushy flesh.

    For this recipe, I start by filleting the fish and removing the pinbones. (to find out how, see our "How to fillet salmon" section here.) Once I've got nice clean fillets, I take each fillet and cut the flesh vertically, down to the skin, but not through the skin. What you want to create are what I call "candy bar" strips... strips of flesh about 3/4" to 1" square, but still attached to the skin... see below.

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    I then take each fillet and decide how big I want the final product to be...sometimes I like to leave the fillets whole for a "presentation fillet" for a special occassion... Thanksgiving, someone's wedding, etc... but most times I cut the fillets into a couple of smaller, more managable pieces.

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    Step 02 - Preparing the dry brine
    This brine recipe is one of the simplest you will find. People tend to get crazy with all sorts of ingredients in their brines... white wine, tabasco sauce, paprika, apple juice... try them if you'd like, but I prefer a simple brine that I can memorize.

    Here are the basics:
    4 cups dark brown sugar
    1 cup non-iodized salt (canning & pickling or kosher salt)
    10-15 cloves of garlic

    I prefer dark brown sugar over light brown sugar because I like the color that the dark brown sugar imparts on the fish (a nice dark red), and I think it might taste a little different, too.
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    For the salt, I use non-iodized canning salt. In the past I had used rock salt, and I would use 2 cups of rock salt to every 4 cups of sugar... but every once in a while, I would get a batch of smoked salmon that had a metallic taste. One day I mentioned this to a friend, and he asked me if I was using rock salt... he reminded me that rock salt has impurities in it, and that's probably what was giving me the metallic taste. As a result, I have now switched to canning salt, and the metallic tastes are gone. But, the canning salt is ground much finer than rock salt, so I've cut back to 1 cup of salt for every 4 cups of sugar.

    For the garlic, try to use fresh garlic, and run it through a garlic press... if you're like me, you hate to peel garlic... especially 10 or 15 cloves of it... that's OK, let your wife do it, just promise her you'll do something else. If you can't negotiate that, I have substituted dry garlic flakes (like the Frontier Herbs ones sold in bulk at QFC). In this case, I use about 1 teaspoon for every clove, or about 10 teaspoons total. You could also try using the chopped garlic sold in a jar, or dry garlic powder, but I haven't had much luck with these... they have a different, more bitter taste, and aren't as potent.
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    Step 3 - Brining the fish

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    Now it's time to brine the fish. Cover the fillets liberally with the dry brine mixture.
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    Once the fillets are coated, stack them in the bottom of a non-metallic pan... in this case, I'm using an enameled pot. You can cover the bottom of the pot with brine, but it really doesn't matter... once the brine starts to work and some of the water from the fish is extracted, the whole thing turns into a gooey mess.

    [​IMG]

    I usually place the first fillets in the pot skin side down, and then alternate them as I continue... so all the fish lays flesh to flesh and skin to skin.

    Once all my fish is in the brine, I cover the container and put it in the fridge for about six hours. The amount of time you keep the fish in the brine and the amount of salt you use in your brine mixture will determine how firm the flesh of the fish becomes, and how salty the taste of the end product will be.

    Step 4 - Rinsing the brine!
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    After the fish has sat in the brine in the fridge for six hours, take the pieces out one by one and rinse them gently in cold water.
    [​IMG]
    You don't want to scrub them or disturb the flesh, you just want to get the heavy deposits of brine off.

    Once the fish is rinsed off, drain it the best you can and set it out on a rack to dry at room temperature. I use the rack from my smoker because it's convenient, but you can use cookie cooling racks as well... just realize you'll have some explaining to do when the next batch of chocolate chip cookies tastes & smells like coho.

    You need to let the fish dry at least a couple of hours. I usually dry them for four to six hours, depending upon the thickness of the fillets. You don't want the room temperature to be too hot or too cold, what you're trying to do here is dry the fish out and form the pellicle on the surface of the flesh. Good airflow around the fish is helpful, you can even use a small fan to help the process if you'd like. If you're using the racks from your smoker, set it up so the thicker fillets are on the lower shelves, and the thinner fillets are on the upper shelves... this will even out how they dry once they're in the smoker.
    [​IMG]

    Step 5 - Smoking the fish


    The next step is to smoke the fish. There are lots of different smokers out there, and lots of them do a good job of smoking fish. I prefer the electric smokers because they are much more hassle-free than the charcoal or wood-fired smokers. With an electric smoker, some people even get as fancy as to run the smoker on a timer... so in case you didn't plan ahead, you don't have to wake up at 3am to shut the smoker off.

    A couple of words about small, uninsulated smokers... first of all, they are weather-dependant. In other words, if you're smoking fish on a warm August day with no wind, it will take less time to finish than it will if you're smoking on a cold, windy October night. On a warm day it might take six hours to achieve your desired result, and on a cold night it might take ten or twelve hours.
    You should also be aware that some electric smokers have bigger elements (higher wattages) than their smaller counterparts... and therefore the bigger ones have more consistent results.
    When using an electric smoker, you should always try to avoid using an extension cord if at all possible. But, if you must use an extension cord, make sure it's a heavy duty grounded cord (14 gauge or bigger) and use the shortest one possible, to avoid any voltage drop.
    As always, USE COMMON SENSE. Don't set up your smoker indoors. Don't set it up on your deck. Set it up on a firm, level, non-flammable surface, out of the wind, and clear of any houses, garages, wood piles or other flammable objects
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    Preheat your smoker for 15 minutes to get it up to temperature. Put your rack of fish into it, and add your wood chips to get it smoking. The amount of wood chips and what type you use are completely up to your tastes. For this recipe in a Big Chief Smoker, I use one pan of alder chips at the start, and one pan of apple chips after one hour... then I let the fish sit in there and dry out for another four hours or so, for a complete smoking/drying time of about six hours. Again, this is done to taste, and due to wind and temperature fluctuations, I check on the appearance of the fish after about five hours, and make a judgement from there.

    [​IMG]
    Here is what the fish looked like after six hours in the smoker... notice that the thin tail pieces are up top and the thicker shoulder fillets are at the bottom.


    Step 6 - Packaging the fish!

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    I like to package most of my fish in smaller pieces, which are good for appetizers for a few people. Make sure you mark your packages well so you know which batch of fish is in each and how old it is. This will help you fine-tune your recipes because you can go back and compare notes.
    Well Salmonoids Try it and Post Your Results!Took some Time to Get this Post Up!
    Good smoking! [​IMG] John K "TEAM WARRIOR"
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  11. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    I have the 5050 Char Griller and I love it! The first thing that you need to do is extend the chimney vent down about eight to ten inches so it is just above the main rack, you will have to take the warming rack off, but you really won't need it unless your are grilling. This allows the smoke to circulate around your meat before shooting out. I get a good fire going with briquettes, put on my smoking wood, or build my whole fire out of wood, what ever, then shut her down. With all vents closed I can maintain a 225 - 250 degree temp fore four or five hours then add wood as needed. Don't cook to hot! You have to be very vigilant till you get to know your smoker. Low and slow is the key to smoking. Another important factor in home smoking is resist the urge to open the lid to look at the meat, don't! lol it will only slow you down. The most important thing I picked up about smoking is," its not cheating to finish meat off in the kitchen oven" after you smoke, say a pork shoulder, for seven or eight hours Its going to be about as smoky as it can get, put it in a cooking bag, or wrap it in foil real well, put it in the oven at 200 degrees for another six hours or so. This will save you on wood and beer and sleep waiting up all night.:wink:
     
  12. festus

    festus New Member

    Messages:
    7,660
    Hey, we bought a smoker ourselves just a bit over a week ago. It's electric Smoke Hollow Model 30168E. We have done one pork shoulder plus two chickens. Used Jack Daniels BBQ sauce, but the next time we're using homemade sauce.

    In my manual, it says I don't need to soak my chips. On the bag of chips, it contradicts itself and says to soak them? Which is best?
     
  13. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    For electric I wouldn't think you would need to, so follow the instructions. The bagged stuff is more for open flame box's and I'm sure the size of the chip has something to do with it, the smaller the faster it would burn up, Any way I don't soak mine at all, I just put big chunks in, like split a log four ways! lol :smile2:
     
  14. calogan

    calogan New Member

    Messages:
    241
    State:
    Iowa
    Good to hear! I can't remember the model of mine right now either, but it sounds just like that one, even came from Menards.
     
  15. calogan

    calogan New Member

    Messages:
    241
    State:
    Iowa
    I've heard that soaking them can cause soot to get on the meat, I've also heard to wrap the wood in aluminum foil...anyone heard of doing this:confused2:
     
  16. festus

    festus New Member

    Messages:
    7,660
    Yes, my wood chips say to wrap them in aluminum foil, but then again it contradicts the smoker instructions . My smoker has a lttle container with a vented lid to hold the chips....Thanks for the replies netmanjack and calogan.

     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  17. calogan

    calogan New Member

    Messages:
    241
    State:
    Iowa
    I would just do a little trial and error. I would suggest doing it by the smokers instuctions first, and see how that works. After that, if your not completely satisfied, try it the other ways until you find your favorite. I'm going to try wrapping them in foil first since mines open flame.
     
  18. ammo warrior

    ammo warrior Member

    Messages:
    868
    State:
    Columbia, MO
    Happy birthday Curt. Hey, you really got a nice BD present. I hope that you get some good cooking advice. Maybe I'll get something like that. Looking forward to some good cooking post... tight lines bro :cool2:
     
  19. ammo warrior

    ammo warrior Member

    Messages:
    868
    State:
    Columbia, MO
    Oh man, I hope that you DO POST some pics...I would really like to see how it turns out...:cool2:
     
  20. calogan

    calogan New Member

    Messages:
    241
    State:
    Iowa
    Thanks! I've got a good wife :wink: