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View Full Version : BBQ.... what is your weapon of choice?



cigarnv
05-23-2012, 04:57
I really enjoy making true low and slow BBQ throughout the year but great spring weather really calls for it. I was curious as to who here on SB cooks BBQ (not grilling) and what they cook on. Over the years I have owned just about every cooker known to man.... as my wife will attest to.

Currently I am using a pair of Big Green Eggs as well as a Cookshack Amerique. Both are great devices.... and have their place in my BBQ world. The BGE's do a great job especially when used with a BBQ Guru for long smokes.... downside is limited capacity. The Amerique many BBQ folks would dis as it is not wood fired... yet it turns out better BBQ than 50% of the entries I judge in competition.

So what are you using for cooking your low and slow BBQ?

ratcheer
05-23-2012, 05:14
I am apparently not in your league. But I can make some damned good barbecue.

I use an old, large CharBroil charcoal grill, made when they still had the heavy cast iron grates (ca 1989). I usually just build a large fire on one extreme end of the grill and cook my food on the other end with the lid closed. If I have something I want to cook slower, I have the little smoker fire box accessory.

I almost always smoke with hickory from my own trees, sometimes cherry or apple, also from my own trees.

I watch the videos of men burning whole trees and cooking split hogs over the embers, but I don't need that much food. My family is only three people, four when my oldest son is home from college. About the biggest thing I ever cook is a Boston butt. And, none of us like turkey, so I never do that.

I would like to have a large Big Green Egg.

Tim

Khari
05-23-2012, 05:20
I use the large BGE and BBQ Guru. Love them both.

cigarnv
05-23-2012, 05:37
I am apparently not in your league. But I can make some damned good barbecue.

I use an old, large CharBroil charcoal grill, made when they still had the heavy cast iron grates (ca 1989). I usually just build a large fire on one extreme end of the grill and cook my food on the other end with the lid closed. If I have something I want to cook slower, I have the little smoker fire box accessory.

I almost always smoke with hickory from my own trees, sometimes cherry or apple, also from my own trees.

I watch the videos of men burning whole trees and cooking split hogs over the embers, but I don't need that much food. My family is only three people, four when my oldest son is home from college. About the biggest thing I ever cook is a Boston butt. And, none of us like turkey, so I never do that.

I would like to have a large Big Green Egg.

Tim

Tim, LOL!!! not sure what you mean by my league but let me assure you I am in the minors compared to most avid BBQ addicts:grin: . I find it interesting when I judge for KCBS competitions that many of the best cooks are using drum cookers, Weber kettles, Weber Smokey Mountain, old Brinkmans, etc .... the magic is in the cook.... not the equipment in many cases.

smokinjoe
05-23-2012, 05:47
Tim, LOL!!! not sure what you mean by my league but let me assure you I am in the minors compared to most avid BBQ addicts:grin: . I find it interesting when I judge for KCBS competitions that many of the best cooks are using drum cookers, Weber kettles, Weber Smokey Mountain, old Brinkmans, etc .... the magic is in the cook.... not the equipment in many cases.

I think you have that right, Reid. The butts that Scott (Callmeox), Thad (Tcomp), and Randy (doubleblank) did at Sampler were not cooked on any special looking contraption. But, those boys made one of the tastiest meals many of us had ever had. Melt in your mouth delicious. I've spent the last several weeks since, pining for September KBF so they can do it again! Yes boys, you've been volunteered!! :D

It's like a car. You can have the most tricked up ride on the road, but if you don't know how to drive it, it's worthless.

Wall Eye
05-23-2012, 06:00
I'm a novice - and a bit on the cheap side as well - but I just got a CharBroil vertical smoker this spring from Wally world. It appealed to me because it wasn't much money, is gas fired, and has a drawer system to make adding more wood easy. I already had the gas cylinders for the regular grill - and I like that gas lets me have a consistent heat for a long smoke.

The ribs I've done have been incredible - nice smoke ring - very moist - and I can hang quite a few full racks in there at one time. I'll be smoking ribs and chickens this weekend and can hardly wait..

It's not built to hand down to my kids or anything, but I have no doubt that it'll produce a lot of great, smokey meat and let me figure out what I like or don't like before spending a lot more on a better unit.

DrinkyBanjo
05-23-2012, 06:16
I have a CookShack Smokette II that got me started. It's electric and very handy in the sense where as far as smokers go its a set it and forget it. If I'm doing something that will take a long time I'll use that so I can get up early, turn it on, and go back to bed!

Otherwise more often than not I use my Weber Kettle with the Smokenator 1000 insert. I like the results I get from it and I can also use it as a grill so I get to double dip!

http://www.smokenator.com/

callmeox
05-23-2012, 06:18
I BBQ on an older style 18" Weber Smokey Mountain (like the one Thad brought to Bardstown) and I've had great success with ribs and shoulder. I need to attend Randy's Brisket Boot Camp one of these days as my efforts there have been substandard.

I recenly cured and smoked a beautiful skin on pork belly for bacon and it turned out very tasty.

I've used just apple and cherry for smoking until I was recently hooked up with some pecan chunks by Wadewood. The bacon was done in a combo of apple and pecan and wasn't overpowering.

For quick smokes like fatties or stuffed jalapeņos, I use an 18" Weber charcoal grill with good results.

DaveOfAtl
05-23-2012, 06:47
I have a large BGE, which I love. With that said, if I had it to do over again, I might get a Primo, which is essentially the same thing with more surface area. It is oval.

Josh
05-23-2012, 07:03
I have a big flower pot and a hot plate. No joke. Does pretty well. It's big enough to do just about all I need it to do. Brisket, a rack of baby back or spare ribs (cut into two pieces), sausage, even done chicken, turkey legs, and cornish hen. A whole pork shoulder is pushing it, but a half is usually no problem.

It's just me, the wife and the baby, so we always have plenty of leftovers. My favorite is pulled pork tacos. Just wrap some pork in corn tortillas with some salsa verde and Mexican cheese. Simple but very good.

I will occasionally smoke a corned beef brisket. When I first did it I was trying to replicate Pastrami. It doesn't really taste like pastrami, but it does taste good.

For wood I like to mix it up. I am currently using a mix of apple and oak. Good combo so far.

scratchline
05-23-2012, 07:42
18 in. Weber bullet. Hasty-Bake Gourmet. The Hasty-Bake is more of a griller but in a pinch you can smoke on it. Really burns through fuel though. The best thing about these cookers is they're being used in a fourth-floor walk-up studio apartment in Manhattan.

Also at other sites I have a couple of Cook n Kettles. I would love to get more time with these cookers but they're simply too heavy to drag upstairs and onto the terrace. And of course, there's no room.

Cooking with fire is one of life's ancient pleasures. To borrow a phrase from knife-maker Bob Loveless, it really takes you "back to the cave".

Happyhour24x7
05-23-2012, 07:45
just a novice on the smoking side, and don't have a purpose built smoker; but have been using a standard Weber Professional since last summer. Mostly ribs so far with pretty good results. attempting a brisket this weekend. Something different that has turned out great every time is smoked bluefish; I'll be doing that this weekend as well.

Josh
05-23-2012, 07:56
just a novice on the smoking side, and don't have a purpose built smoker; but have been using a standard Weber Professional since last summer. Mostly ribs so far with pretty good results. attempting a brisket this weekend. Something different that has turned out great every time is smoked bluefish; I'll be doing that this weekend as well.

Smoked whitefish is an Up North favorite here in Michigan. Been hoping to give that a try soon, but the bluefish sounds great too!

pepcycle
05-23-2012, 08:06
I'm a fan of my Brinkman gas fired unit.

My secret is (was) to use really low flame and supplement with chunk wood in the lava rock tray.

I'm working on a design for a larger unit to smoke eels and fish. (Maybe a slab of bacon or a pastrami)

Cinder block base and doghouse style smoking shack.

Hurricane Irene has blessed my area with tons of hardwood and I've been splitting and stacking since last August.

tsangster
05-23-2012, 08:14
Bought a Char-griller Akorn (BGE wannabe) a couple of months ago. Butts, chickens, steaks and burgers have been delicious. Will probably fire up some ribs this weekend.

thezenone
05-23-2012, 10:42
I use a Brinkmann electric smoker. Cooked up a brisket for the derby that was delicious. While the equipment is certainly important, I agree that preparation and care while cooking are more important.

weller_tex
05-23-2012, 11:54
I have a Chargriller Professional model Charcoal of course! ..4 years old. I love it. I don't have the smoke side box attachment I just do indirect heat with lots of Pecan and Hickory. I cook a lot, of burgers, steaks, and chops as well as fajitas and carnitas. I smoke pork butts and whole chickens. I don't really do briskets too often.

hectic1
05-23-2012, 12:36
I BBQ on an older style 18" Weber Smokey Mountain (like the one Thad brought to Bardstown) and I've had great success with ribs and shoulder. I need to attend Randy's Brisket Boot Camp one of these days as my efforts there have been substandard.

I've used just apple and cherry for smoking until I was recently hooked up with some pecan chunks by Wadewood. The bacon was done in a combo of apple and pecan and wasn't overpowering.

For quick smokes like fatties or stuffed jalapeņos, I use an 18" Weber charcoal grill with good results.
See Scott...another way we're alike. I too use a 18" WSM for ribs and shoulder but I'm lacking in the brisket quality.

I typically use a combination of apple and cherry for pork but I've been thinking about switching it up and using some Grape that Doug gave me next time.

For other things I use a Weber Genesis if I'm using gas or a Weber 22" kettle if I'm cooking over an open wood fire!

White Dog
05-23-2012, 12:44
Brinkman horizontal smoker with off-set firebox. I mostly do shoulder(8hrs) and pork spare ribs(4hrs). I use hardwood charcoal and hickory. My shoulder is N.C. Vinegar only, and my ribs are either dry Memphis, or Asian.

Great thread, BTW!

Tony
05-23-2012, 13:12
Would love to try some of this when I find myself another career and have some money. Any tips from the BGE and Primo fans on where to go to learn more about how to use them and the BBQ Guru?

I have always cooked outside with just a gas grill but love me some BBQ.

Best regards, Tony

Ejmharris
05-23-2012, 13:59
I use a weber kettle (21.5") for most if my bbq'ing. Very much a beginner but like others have had great success with ribs and pork shoulder. Probably going to throw a brisket note grill this weekend for memorial day party. For those interested check out this website that I have found to be very educational:

Http://www.amazingribs.com.

Young Blacksmith
05-23-2012, 14:03
I was gifted a Brinkman upright, I think it's a Smoke & Grill Deluxe, about 5 years ago. That thing is just amazing what you can turn out. Charcoal fired, and I'm a White Oak addict, the others just don't give me enough smoke flavor. It helps that my neighbor loves hunting wild hogs, and I have no problem tossing stuff on the smoker to cook, hams and 3' loins are the norm.

This weekend will be a brisket for dinner, ribs and bratwurst for lunch! I love smoking sausages, they're quick and very tasty.

I use a Webber kettle 21" for grilling, and I love that too.

callmeox
05-23-2012, 15:48
See Scott...another way we're alike. I too use a 18" WSM for ribs and shoulder but I'm lacking in the brisket quality.



That's so synchronous, we're damn near twins Bob. I also have a Weber Genesis gasser for quick cooks.

Does the TP roll in the Hectic household roll over the top or come under from the back?

hectic1
05-23-2012, 16:01
That's so synchronous, we're damn near twins Bob. I also have a Weber Genesis gasser for quick cooks.

Does the TP roll in the Hectic household roll over the top or come under from the back? It comes over the top so the extra TP doesn't roll to the floor...doesn't everyone mount TP rolls this way?

callmeox
05-23-2012, 16:06
It comes over the top so the extra TP doesn't roll to the floor...doesn't everyone mount TP rolls this way?

:shocked: :shocked: :shocked: :shocked: :shocked: :shocked: :shocked:

We need to stop. I'm getting freaked out.

Bourbon Boiler
05-23-2012, 17:57
Anyone have any good recipes involving used bourbon barrel char?

callmeox
05-23-2012, 18:12
Anyone have any good recipes involving used bourbon barrel char?

We tossed some (very) fresh char on the charcoal under the steaks at the SB cookout in Bardstown. Maybe that's why the steaks were so good...it was the bourbon vapors!

bgageus
05-23-2012, 20:26
El Cheapo Brinkman, WSM(18) x2 and WSM 22. I love my briskett and chicken with heavy mesquite, pork with applewood but never have used that for a competition. Cherry with Beef and chicken, peach and pecan for pork in competition.
Briskett starts on the 22 and butts on the 18 for 6-8 hours. At the turn Brisket gets moved to the 18 and ribs go on the 22, ECB for chicken. We use a rub... Anita's Hot and twek it a little.

Scott, the other half of our team is in Cleveland, do you compete in the area?

ratcheer
05-24-2012, 05:27
There was a guy set up in my Costco store a while back, trying to sell me a pretty nice looking system that was like a drum smoker with a wood pellet hopper on the side, a screw that fed the pellets in to the burner at a variable rate (thermostatically controlled), and an electric burner in the main drum chamber. They also, of course, sold different kinds of wood pellets (hickory, mesquite, etc.). Has anyone else seen anything like that? Theoretically, it looked like a great system, but I have no idea how it works out in real practice. Also, there is a lot of stuff that could tear up. It was pretty expensive, too.

I think I'd still rather have a BGE.

Tim

doubleblank
05-24-2012, 06:13
That was probably a Traeger Pellet Style smoker. I don't know a whole lot about them. IIRC, they changed their supplier to a chinese manufacturor and the quality dropped......I think the pellet feeder system breaks down prematurely. But they can produce good BBQ.

I use the 22 inch WSM with good results. Used the 18 incher for many years before hand. Simple and practically fool proof once you get familiar with your cooker. Biggest advantages to me over many other good cookers are that:

1) It is extremely portable. One person can break it down and load it into the back of a truck in less than 5 minutes. Re-assembly is just as easy.

2) Doesn't need electricity. Power out....no problem. Haul it out to a remote gathering.....great food will be produced.

Randy

callmeox
05-24-2012, 06:19
El Cheapo Brinkman, WSM(18) x2 and WSM 22. I love my briskett and chicken with heavy mesquite, pork with applewood but never have used that for a competition. Cherry with Beef and chicken, peach and pecan for pork in competition.
Briskett starts on the 22 and butts on the 18 for 6-8 hours. At the turn Brisket gets moved to the 18 and ribs go on the 22, ECB for chicken. We use a rub... Anita's Hot and twek it a little.

Scott, the other half of our team is in Cleveland, do you compete in the area?

I don't compete...it sounds like a great gig but I don't think I have the chops yet. I cant think of any competitions in my area, but I would have to look for them.

gblick
05-24-2012, 06:37
I have an old original Redi-Smok electric smoker made right here in Houston, bought it about 20 years ago. I'm no pro, but it works well for me.

T Comp
05-24-2012, 09:07
18.5 inch beat up WSM I keep that way as it chugs along between 250 to 275 degrees regardless of the Chicago weather temps. I use it year round and probably more in the winter. Did a good job at the Nelson if I say so myself. I hear a rumor a 22 inch may be coming my way in a few days for my B-day :grin: .

How about lump versus Kingsford? Among the urban cognoscenti here belief in lump is a fundamentalist talking in tongues religion :lol:.

cigarnv
05-24-2012, 09:29
Wicked Good lump is my fuel of choice

Young Blacksmith
05-24-2012, 11:33
I prefer Royal Oak Lump, but have no problem doing Kingsford. I find the Kingsford Competition Briquettes are pretty decent.

One more bonus for the Kingsford, when I do a rotisserie chicken I don't have to do two burns of charcoal and leave half of it burning. Then Kingsfords burn for the whole 1.5 hours and are just about out by the time the chicken is done. If anyone has a Webber 22.5", get the rotisserie and you will not regret it one bit.

weller_tex
05-24-2012, 12:40
I prefer Royal Oak Lump, but have no problem doing Kingsford. I find the Kingsford Competition Briquettes are pretty decent.

One more bonus for the Kingsford, when I do a rotisserie chicken I don't have to do two burns of charcoal and leave half of it burning. Then Kingsfords burn for the whole 1.5 hours and are just about out by the time the chicken is done. If anyone has a Webber 22.5", get the rotisserie and you will not regret it one bit.
I like B&B Lump Charcoal (available at HEB stores) and used to get Hasty Bake Lump but Spec's stopped carrying it. I like plain old Kingsford for smoking, I find I can control the temp easier, along with a generous amount of wood chunks for smoke.

Young Blacksmith
05-24-2012, 19:37
Yup, I think the lump is great for direct grilling, steaks, veggie kabobs, etc, but the briquets keep the temp up and going longer for smoking and other long term heat requirements.

A new question, has anyone done a whole hog in the ground? I did, Hawaiian style, and it was easy!

doubleblank
05-25-2012, 08:12
Kingsford regular for my slow smokes in the WSM. Lump mixed with hardwoods for direct grilling.

FYI Home Depot has twin packs of the 13.5 lb bags for $5.98 for Memorial Day. Lowes has twin 20 lb bags for $9.99.

Josh
05-25-2012, 08:25
I use Fire King lump for grilling. I will usually soak some chips (currently oak, before that persimmon) in beer, wine, cheap bourbon or some other liquid and throw them onto the coals right before I put the meat on.

weller_tex
05-25-2012, 08:38
Kingsford regular for my slow smokes in the WSM. Lump mixed with hardwoods for direct grilling.

FYI Home Depot has twin packs of the 13.5 lb bags for $5.98 for Memorial Day. Lowes has twin 20 lb bags for $9.99.
Yeah my wife got that two for $5-something at Krogers last weekend. Heck of a deal!

weller_tex
05-25-2012, 08:39
I use Fire King lump for grilling. I will usually soak some chips (currently oak, before that persimmon) in beer, wine, cheap bourbon or some other liquid and throw them onto the coals right before I put the meat on.
I have tried the chips soaked in something other than water and have never been able to discern a difference. Maybe I am not using the right stuff.

Josh
05-25-2012, 10:48
I have tried the chips soaked in something other than water and have never been able to discern a difference. Maybe I am not using the right stuff.

Yeah, I'm not sure it makes much of one but it does smell nice when I first throw them onto the coals!:grin:

bgageus
05-25-2012, 12:01
I don't compete...it sounds like a great gig but I don't think I have the chops yet. I cant think of any competitions in my area, but I would have to look for them.

They will be in Canton this year for the Sams Club (June 28th I think), if your interested in seeing what a competition is like I can hook you up with them and you could help cook, just PM me.

And to keep this on topic. I mix half Royal Oak lump with Kingsford. The Briquettes will burn for at least 10 hours in the WSM. I also prefer to soak myself in beer and bourbon before putting the chips on the fire.

Luna56
05-25-2012, 22:28
I've used the Weber 18.5 for years now and it's hard to beat the simplicity of it. I only grill/smoke over wood now and find it vastly superior to any of the commercial briquettes. Normally I'll use hickory and oak, sometimes a little apple if I have some handy. Trout or salmon over alder is fantastic.

I think the secret to great wood grilling is to wait until you've got a good bed of embers before you toss the meat on. The flavor of the wood really comes through and penetrates better than merely generating a mushroom cloud of sooty smoke. Try it and see if you agree.

A couple of tips (I'm enjoying reading all the tips here too):

1. Don't use one of those brass brushes to clean the grill. They leave behind little brass fibers. When you see a gazillion of these glinting on the surface of your perfectly grilled medium rare ribeye it's heartbreaking. You don't want to ingest these.

2. Let your steaks age in your fridge, uncovered, for two or three days before you grill. I put mine on a cookie cooling rack over a cookie pan so air can circulate. Sounds a bit weird, but it makes an enormous difference. You'll notice that the steaks get a little brown on the surface and that the meat has "tightened up" (it's more solid and doesn't sag when you pick it up). This extra aging really concentrates the flavors and it was a huge revelation when I tried this earlier this year.

Damn, I could go on for days about this, I'll shut up now. Glad grilling season is here (it never really ends for me, I grill in two feet of snow sometimes).

Happy Grilling! Cheers!

callmeox
05-27-2012, 09:28
They will be in Canton this year for the Sams Club (June 28th I think), if your interested in seeing what a competition is like I can hook you up with them and you could help cook, just PM me.

And to keep this on topic. I mix half Royal Oak lump with Kingsford. The Briquettes will burn for at least 10 hours in the WSM. I also prefer to soak myself in beer and bourbon before putting the chips on the fire.


Man, that's my anniversary. Poor timing...I think I'll have to take a pass. :grin:

stiffchainey
06-03-2012, 12:27
What's the exact difference between grilling and BBQ? :cool:

callmeox
06-03-2012, 12:49
Grilling = hot and fast
BBQ = low and slow

White Dog
06-04-2012, 12:15
As Scott points out, grilling is cooking directly over hot heat. Think burgers, steaks or vegetables. When you cook something with indirect, low heat over a long period of time, then you have true BBQ. Ribs, pork shoulder, and brisket are the holy trifecta.

stiffchainey
06-04-2012, 14:58
Okay, cool. So do you need any special equipment for that? In Germany there is just grilling. BBQ is taken probably as the US version of grilling. Didn't knew that there is a difference. Thanks for the info!

camduncan
06-04-2012, 15:52
I cook with the attached outdoor kitchen. We've had it for two years and mostly grill steaks, sausages and chicken (Aussies typically refer to this as BBQ'ing). I've done a few roasts, and am hoping to utilise the rotisserie for the first time in the next few weeks. I'm also keen to attempt some slow smoking at some stage, but am not sure how to start :skep:

unclebunk
06-04-2012, 15:57
The English call "grilling" BBQ'ing too and seem to have no concept of smoking meat for extended periods of time. To live life without slow-smoked ribs and pulled pork is hard for me to even fathom.

callmeox
06-04-2012, 17:27
Okay, cool. So do you need any special equipment for that? In Germany there is just grilling. BBQ is taken probably as the US version of grilling. Didn't knew that there is a difference. Thanks for the info!

To expand on the short post from my phone:

Grilling is for lean and/or tender cuts of meat and done with direct heat.

BBQ is for cheaper/tougher cuts that become more tender with long/slow cooking and is done with indirect heat.

Most of us here who BBQ/smoke have a dedicated smoker (a popular model among SB'ers is the Weber Smokey Mountain (http://www.weber.com/explore/grills/smokers-series/smokey-mountain-cooker-18-1)) and Josh uses an Alton Brown inspired (http://www.naffziger.net/blog/2008/07/05/the-alton-brown-flower-pot-smoker/) home made "flower pot" smoker that probably looks like the one in that link.

A great site for learning about smoking/BBQ is the Virtual Weber Bullet (http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/). Lots of recipes and techniques there.

Josh
06-04-2012, 17:29
Okay, cool. So do you need any special equipment for that? In Germany there is just grilling. BBQ is taken probably as the US version of grilling. Didn't knew that there is a difference. Thanks for the info!

A lot of the people in this thread have posted the brands of smokers they use for bbq. Do a Google search for those brands and you should see some good options.

If you want to make your own, my homemade smoker is made from the following:

3 bricks
1 large (14 in diameter) terra cotta flower pot with the saucer that goes underneath
1 standard size round "hot plate" like this (http://www.amazon.com/Maxi-Matic-ESB-300X-750-Watt-Single-Burner-Electric/dp/B0006A2ZTS/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1338853955&sr=8-10).
1 old cooking pot or metal pie plate to go on top of the hot plate.
1 small round grill grate (13.5 in)
Oven thermometer

1) Arrange the bricks in a triangle. Place the flower pot on top of the bricks.
2) Place the hot plate in the bottom of the flower pot, threading the cord out through the hole in the bottom. Place the old cooking pot on top.
3) Place the grill grate into the top of the flower pot. Place the oven thermometer onto the grill grate.
4) Invert the saucer for the flower pot onto the top of the flower pot as a lid.

To smoke meat (how I do it anyway):
1) Remove the lid and the grill grate. Plug in the hot plate and turn the dial to medium or medium high.
2) Replace the lid and wait 20-30 minutes.
3) Check the thermometer. If the temperature is between 200-250 degrees F/93-121 C, then the smoker is ready. If it is not hot enough, turn the hot plate up. If it is too hot, turn it down.
4) Remove the lid and place the hardwood of your choice* into the pot on top of the hot plate.
5) When the wood just starts to smoke, replace the grill grate and place the meat on the grill grate.
6) Replace the lid. Cook according to recipe instructions. Be sure to drink plenty of bourbon while smoking the meat!

There's your bbq smoker! I'm not a professional and the flower pot won't do a lot of fancy stuff but it is perfectly adequate for cooking for family or friends. It was inspired by one built on the Good Eats TV program by US food god, and one of my personal heros, Alton Brown (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alton_Brown).

Cooking tip: I like to put pork ribs and shoulder in a brine before smoking them. 12 hours in the brine for pork shoulder and 6-8 hours for ribs. My brine: 1 quart of water, 1/4 cup of pickling salt, 1/4 cup of molassas, honey or brown sugar. In metric, 1 liter of water, 59 ml pickling salt, 59 ml molassas, honey or brown sugar. Make sure the salt and sweetner are completely dissolved. To completely cover a pork shoulder may require doubling or tripling the brine recipe.

*My favorite types of wood for BBQ are apple, oak, and hickory. Mesquite (a shrub that grows in Texas), cherry, pecan and maple are also popular.

EDIT: Dang, just posted all that before reading Scott's post. Oh well, leaving it up anyway.

Josh
06-04-2012, 17:43
Josh uses an Alton Brown inspired (http://www.naffziger.net/blog/2008/07/05/the-alton-brown-flower-pot-smoker/) home made "flower pot" smoker that probably looks like the one in that link.

That guy is waaaaay too fussy. Yes, having the heat controls on the outside is nicer but not necessary. He also should have just used the saucer intended for the bottom of the pot as a lid instead of getting a bowl for the top like he (and Alton) did. You lose some space, but it's much easier to find.

callmeox
06-04-2012, 17:46
I cook with the attached outdoor kitchen. We've had it for two years and mostly grill steaks, sausages and chicken (Aussies typically refer to this as BBQ'ing). I've done a few roasts, and am hoping to utilise the rotisserie for the first time in the next few weeks. I'm also keen to attempt some slow smoking at some stage, but am not sure how to start :skep:


That's one heck of a setup, Cam. Wow.

I cooked a sirloin tip roast on the rotisserie yesterday and it came out great. Just a simple rub of garlic powder and seasoned salt and a couple hours spinning over the heat and it made for a tasty dinner (and leftovers).

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-sFZpBKOrPG4/T81VpP7MHjI/AAAAAAAAB80/0FeSxBCBIZc/s640/IMG_20120603_143352.jpg

cigarnv
06-05-2012, 12:44
You can BBQ meats you can grill but you can't grill meat that you BBQ.....

doubleblank
06-06-2012, 10:31
I have a buddy, Gregg (many of you have met him at prior gazebos), who moved to Perth about 5 years ago. He made up one of those "Alton Brown" flower pot smokers and got to bbqing stuff. His neighbors came over to see what he was up to since they smelled smoke coming from his backyard. They were amazed at the flavors from smoked meats/ribs/chicken/etc since, as we all know, their "bbq" is our "grill". He's one of the most popular guys in his neighborhood when it comes time for a large cook. He and his neighbors have since built a couple of UDSs for the neighborhood's collective use. Gregg has a local butcher he introduced to slow smoking and he now saves the briskets and beef ribs for smoking rather than making it into hamburger meat.

JB64
06-06-2012, 22:47
I use a home build reverse flow smoker. Mainly use hickory logs I split and cut into 18" lengths but charcoal and wood chunks work well too. I smoked some spare ribs last weekend using the 3-2-1 method. Three hours in the smoke at about 230, two hours wrapped in foil, and one hour back in the smoke. I apply a little BBQ sauce during the last hour. The attached picture shows a slab after the two hour period.

cigarnv
06-07-2012, 05:57
I use a home build reverse flow smoker. Mainly use hickory logs I split and cut into 18" lengths but charcoal and wood chunks work well too. I smoked some spare ribs last weekend using the 3-2-1 method. Three hours in the smoke at about 230, two hours wrapped in foil, and one hour back in the smoke. I apply a little BBQ sauce during the last hour. The attached picture shows a slab after the two hour period.

Nice home build!!! That is a pretty fat rack of St. Louis..... must have come out tasty!!!

JB64
06-07-2012, 15:56
Nice home build!!! That is a pretty fat rack of St. Louis..... must have come out tasty!!!

Being a KCBS judge I am not surprised you noted the St. Louis trim on the ribs. I usually smoke the slabs without trimming but since I was cooking for my wife's friends I trimmed the ribs then cut into two rib portions to serve.

I happened to take pictures of my smoke last week so I could upload them to the smoking forum to which I subscribe.

Bourbon Boiler
06-07-2012, 17:43
Josh (or anyone else),

Do you soak the wood chips/chunks? I used to do this with wood chunks on top of regular coals in a grill. It would work great for a while, but if I was cooking something for more than an hour they would dry, then burn, and I'd lose temp control. I actually was using two grills for a while, always having one in temperature due to adding new, wet wood chunks. It worked, but wasn't worth the effort.

WsmataU
06-07-2012, 18:31
I just graduated to the Yoder YS640 pellet grill this Spring. It is sooooooo nice. I BBQ'd with a WSM for years and liked it well enough but it always required attention and I never got the ribs "just right." The Yoder is expensive, but in this case you definitely get what you pay for. It has a commercial quality construction for the backyard BBQ'er. I'm still learning all the nuances (as with any new smoker) but my first two forays have exceeded my previous best 'Q. I'm not a big believer that the equipment is the whole reason for the success, but the temperature control was outstanding and consistent. You are basically using a wood fired oven. I'm looking forward to trying the charcoal pellets and working out the grilling kinks.

WsmataU
06-07-2012, 18:36
Josh (or anyone else),

Do you soak the wood chips/chunks? I used to do this with wood chunks on top of regular coals in a grill. It would work great for a while, but if I was cooking something for more than an hour they would dry, then burn, and I'd lose temp control. I actually was using two grills for a while, always having one in temperature due to adding new, wet wood chunks. It worked, but wasn't worth the effort.


Don't bother soaking the wood. Use chunks because they burn longer. If you are really doing low and slow the smoke only penetrates for the first few hours. If you need to add more chunks, you can, but (like you stated) you have to deal with temp control. That is why the electric and propane smokers are so popular for non-competition enthusiasts. A cigar box sized amount of chunks should burn for 3-4 hours with no problem (unless you are using higher temps). Good luck...go Boilers!

Josh
06-08-2012, 04:28
I only soak wood chips when I'm grilling. It keeps the chips from burning up right away. Like WsmataU said chunks work best for low and slow. I am too lazy to try and smoke things on the grill, too much work!

Bourbon Boiler
06-08-2012, 17:38
Thanks to both of you for your responses. I'm getting hungry again.

LongBeachScott
06-08-2012, 21:34
I got a 30" Masterbuilt Electric Smoker for Christmas last year. It's not terribly expensive and hols temperature very well.

http://www.masterbuilt.com/prod-smokers-analogue.html

Very simple to use. I live in Southern California so I can smoke year round. I can also get wood chips from citrus and nut growers for nothing. Recently I picked up bourbon barrel chips at a local hardware store.

So far, I have smoked whole chickens, ribs, tri-tip (a So Cal cut of beef, also called triangle steak), and pork tenderloin. Brisket is next. I am working my way up to Tea Smoked Duck! If I can find a meat slicer for cheap I will smoke my own bacon sometime.

Scott

Josh
06-09-2012, 05:42
Very simple to use. I live in Southern California so I can smoke year round. I can also get wood chips from citrus and nut growers for nothing. Recently I picked up bourbon barrel chips at a local hardware store.

So far, I have smoked whole chickens, ribs, tri-tip (a So Cal cut of beef, also called triangle steak), and pork tenderloin. Brisket is next. I am working my way up to Tea Smoked Duck! If I can find a meat slicer for cheap I will smoke my own bacon sometime.

Scott

Great find on the bourbon barrel chips!

I've been wanting to smoke some duck, or at least duck breast, myself for a while, but grocery store prices for duck are outrageous. With all the hunters in this state, you'd think some would have a spare duck or two to throw my way for a reasonable price!

scubadoo97
06-10-2012, 19:33
I got a 30" Masterbuilt Electric Smoker for Christmas last year. It's not terribly expensive and hols temperature very well.

http://www.masterbuilt.com/prod-smokers-analogue.html

Very simple to use. I live in Southern California so I can smoke year round. I can also get wood chips from citrus and nut growers for nothing. Recently I picked up bourbon barrel chips at a local hardware store.

So far, I have smoked whole chickens, ribs, tri-tip (a So Cal cut of beef, also called triangle steak), and pork tenderloin. Brisket is next. I am working my way up to Tea Smoked Duck! If I can find a meat slicer for cheap I will smoke my own bacon sometime.

Scott

I've been using a 30" MES as well for the last 4 yrs or so. For a large brisket you can tent it or lay it over an inverted bowl to start and as it shrinks it will fit the rack.

This smoker has done a fine job for me over a few years. I keep meaning to upgrade but it's still going strong. Built a cold smoke generator that fits into the chip tray chute. Works like a charm.

steeltownbbq
06-11-2012, 18:59
I'll be firing up my home built pit this weekend for 60# of butts, and a case of ribs. I'll be smoking some deer jerky in the upright cabinet too.

This thing will keep 225 for 12-16 hours with 10# GFS charcoal and wheelbarrow full of wood.

You would be safe in assuming that some bourbon and cigars will be consumed during the cooking.

Anyone hungry?

Special Reserve
06-12-2012, 01:30
I'll be firing up my home built pit this weekend for 60# of butts, and a case of ribs. I'll be smoking some deer jerky in the upright cabinet too.

This thing will keep 225 for 12-16 hours with 10# GFS charcoal and wheelbarrow full of wood.

You would be safe in assuming that some bourbon and cigars will be consumed during the cooking.

Anyone hungry?

Damn did I just get hungry! That's great.

unclebunk
06-12-2012, 12:33
I'll be firing up my home built pit this weekend for 60# of butts, and a case of ribs. I'll be smoking some deer jerky in the upright cabinet too.

This thing will keep 225 for 12-16 hours with 10# GFS charcoal and wheelbarrow full of wood.

You would be safe in assuming that some bourbon and cigars will be consumed during the cooking.

Anyone hungry?

Wow. That really does look great. I'd kill for a pulled pork sandwich right about now!

DPPSmoker
07-23-2012, 17:42
My smoker is a Diamond Plate Products Fat 50. I think the guy that built these smokers isn't in business any more but I could be wrong. I couldn't be happier with my smoker. To give you an idea how big it is, I can lay 60 racks of St. Louis cut ribs flat on my beast.

13944

13941

13942

13943

steeltownbbq
08-21-2012, 20:47
Question for you BBQ'rs... no one talks about it, but it has to be done sometime - cleaning and rust repair

Any tips? I use Krud Kutter for the grease and a pressure washer or the quarter car wash. I haven't found a high temp paint that I feel works real well on the rust

DPPSmoker
08-21-2012, 23:00
Question for you BBQ'rs... no one talks about it, but it has to be done sometime - cleaning and rust repair

Any tips? I use Krud Kutter for the grease and a pressure washer or the quarter car wash. I haven't found a high temp paint that I feel works real well on the rust

You ain't kidding when you say no one ever wants to talk about cleaning and rust repair. Good luck trying to google an answer. The most consistent answer you will find are people who literally clean out their smokers after every use. That's just crazy.

I attended a bbq class for pulled pork and brisket about two years ago. I asked the instructor about cleaning smokers after every use. He stated that you don't need to clean your smoker after every cook. He stated that you should empty the grease from the bottom after every cook and use a wire brush to knock off any larger pieces of meat from the cooking surface that were left behind. When you use your smoker for the next cook, any bacteria/germs that may be left behind will be killed when you bring your smoker over 140 degrees. I have always been skittish about that fact - so I always begin each cook by taking my smoker up to 300+ degrees before I place any meat on it. I have prepped my smoker like this every time since the instructor shared this knowledge. No one has ever fallen ill by food from my smoker.

For a little validation regarding this info, think about those old school bbq joints. I'll bet some of those places haven't cleaned their cooking surfaces in years.

Rust repair is no longer an issue now that I do not clean my grates after every cook. It use to be a big pain in the rear to get a wire brush and clean the rust off, then use soap and water to clean the grates. Shoot, no wonder the grates would get rusty all the time. Once clean, any slightest bit of moisture get on the cooking surface and voila, there's your rust.

I now clean my grates once at the beginning of each spring. My cooking grates are huge so I take them down to the local car wash and power spray them off with soap and water. That will get a lot, but not all, of the crap off. I then take the cooking grates home and place them back in my smoker. Finally, I get some Pam and spray it all over the inside of the smoker, including the cooking grates. I then take the heat up in my smoker to 400+ degrees for a few hours to season the smoker. I try to have my first cook of the year be shortly after I season the smoker so that the drippings from the meat will adhere to my grates and prevent rust buildup.

At any rate, that is what I do and it works for me. If you try any off these techniques, let me know what you think.