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Thread: Barrel Char?

  1. #11
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    Re: Barrel Char?

    I just tried shooting a pic of it with my camera phone but it came out way too crappy to see the texture or anything. And the bag is so wet I dont want to open it until I am ready to use it. I've been keeping it in 2 ziploc bags for now haha. Anyways, it basically looks like very small pieces of burnt/blackened wood. Small chips, say 1/4" by 1/4", blackened.

    I'm sure when I go to use it it wont work well anyways, this city boy only has a natural gas grill... I figure maybe if I wrap some in foil, heavy on the bottom, and poke some holes in the top then place it on top of the lava rocks it'll somke a bit to infuse the food? Hell, I have no idea haha.
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  2. #12
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    Re: Barrel Char?

    I'm sure when I go to use it it wont work well anyways, this city boy only has a natural gas grill... I figure maybe if I wrap it in foil, heay on the bottom, and poke some holes in the top then place it on top of the lava rocks it'll somke a bit to infuse the food? Hell, I have no idea haha.
    Here's your idea. Go to Barbeques Galore and get the BBChef Cast Iron Smoker Box, $11. It's what I use with my smoker and it works wonderfully. Just presoak the wood before you put it in the box (small barrel char should need soaking only for a minute). I move the lava rocks around and put the box straight on the lava rocks grate so that it gets nice and hot - more heat - more smoke. When I smoke pork shoulder, the box will hold enough wood chips to last for over two hours.

    If you think you would ever need to refill or handle the box while cooking, I'd also recommend getting a pair of grill gloves with long gauntlets. My local Barbeques Galore carries a black leather pair for $12, but I don't see them online. These aren't insulated so you can only hold onto something grill-hot for about 10 seconds. But, I like the usability of the leather gloves that have 5 fingers + long gauntlet) rather than the insulated mitts that have no fingers and little or no gauntlet.

  3. #13
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    Re: Barrel Char?

    Ah, thanks for the tip Chuck. I have seen Emeril use those smoker boxes on his show, but they were thin tinny ones, the one you mentioned sounds great since it is cast iron. I guess it will be a few days before I can have this thing shipped to me, but I will be sure to try and get it as after reading these posts I am craving some smoked pork ribs!

  4. #14
    Bourbonian of the Year 2006
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    Dec 2001
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    Re: Barrel Char?

    Dave,
    Check out this link
    Kentucky Smoked Fish
    Lewis, the proprietor, is quite a character and if you should ever wander into his shop, he'll be glad to show you the whole operation. I love all his products.

  5. #15
    Enthusiast
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    Re: Barrel Char?

    Mark, in the meantime (before you get to purchase something pre-made) a simple method I use (that works great on a gas grill) is to purchase some HEAVY DUTY aluminum foil. Tear off a huge section, say 4 feet long. Fold over twice to make a 4-layer sheet, then roll up the four sides and pinch the corners to make your own box. The advantage of the tinfoil method is that the woodchips start smoking sooner. Cleanup is a snap, simply cool your home-made tray, roll it up with the leftovers, and toss it in the trash. I use this method with other woodchips on my grill, but have yet to try the Barrel Char.

  6. #16
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    Re: Barrel Char?

    Thanks Dave. I was thinking of still trying it in the meantime, I was just afraid that the intense heat would still simply burn the char... But hell, for the price of what the char cost, I'll still try it. I agree with you that using the heavy duty foil and making sure it's fairly thick on the bottom is the best route to go. Thanks

  7. #17
    Connoisseur
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    Aug 2000
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    Louisville, Kentucky
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    654

    Re: Barrel Char?

    Chuck,

    If the char had burned completely through, I might have had more smoke and more flavor.

    I don't ever soak char. The char I have is dripping with Bourbon (don't wanna wash that off... ) The char really works best with charcoal, on a closer/hotter fire than you would smoke with (coals really). Personally,I always use it as a starter. Then, when I'm doing quick/grill kind of stuff (Steaks, shrimp, oysters, etc.) I'll add it occassionally to the fire, depending on how long I'm cooking. Keeps the fire rockin' (especially adding them )

    What you really want in your smoker is the actual barrelwood. I will soak barrel chips/chunks in Bourbon, water and maybe hot sauce (speaking of hot sauce, have you ever used the chopped up hot sauce barrels?).
    I normally smoke pork shoulder over hickory (and that is an all day job). I am not sure whether adding bourbon char to the hickory would be noticeable.
    IMHO, that hickory will overpower anything...

    I believe the absolute best way to use a Bourbon barrel to smoke stuff, is burning it as fuel. Years ago, we used to have access to fresh barrelheads. They just gave them away... They were wonderful. I burned them in my woodstove... They were easy to separate into pierces, no metal, etc. And, the coals impart an individual taste to BBQ. Unfortunately, they aren't available anymore. They now go overseas with the barrel. So, we do the next best thing. Chop up barrels and use them with the charcoal. You can soak some of them, depending on how much smoke you want.

    Gosh, if I had known, I would have given you several staves to take back with you. A friend from the Barton warehouse gave them to me after a barrel somehow collasped.
    Bj

  8. #18
    Connoisseur
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    Bloomington, IN
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    Re: Barrel Char?

    $5 -- do they always do that? If I could carry one home I'd like to have one -- Greg

  9. #19
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
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    Feb 2002
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    Kentucky
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    Re: Barrel Char?

    Yes Greg, So far. BettyeJo told me a year or more ago when they first put out the sign advertising selling these. It was on New Haven Road and the 4 warehouses out there were ( Maybe still are) Leased to Maker's . We were talking of Maker's and 4 Roses trucks at Barton and wondering why.I was told that Maker's is in the process of removing only and are not putting anything new in Barton's. They were 12 for a whole and 8 for a half. When I spoke to Greg Davis at the sampler in May he said they had them down to 5 and 3 . How big is your trunk?

  10. #20
    Bourbonian of the Year 2004 and Guru
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    Re: Barrel Char?

    Bobby,

    I had a 5 gallon bucket of barrel char that I brought with me during the festival to give to my SB.com friends.

    I put it behind the bourbon-barrel fountain, and forgot all about it. I found it, after the festival during break down...I left it in my car. I apoligize to all my friends that I promised the char to. I did have it...

    Bobby,I will keep it in my car until I go to Louisville, and then I will drop it off at your house . So's iffin there's a 5 gallon white bucket with a red top sittin on ya front pourch...Ya, know where it came from

    Bettye Jo

 

 

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