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Thread: My Smoker Adventures

  1. #1
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    My Smoker Adventures

    Last February, I was in a sporting goods store when I spied an electric smoker on sale for half price. Since I had been thinking of trying one anyway, I bought it. Since then, I have been having a great time experimenting with different meats and woods.

    The first meat was an eight pound Pork butt, or shoulder. I smoked it with a mix of apple for sweetness and Pecan for the main smoke. According to the on-board digital control, I was smoking at 220°. By the time the internal temperature was 196°, it had been cooking for 16 hours and it was wonderful!

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    Then, I did a brisket, again with excellent results, although it took 22 hours to reach my final temperature of 202°. Sorry, no pictures of the brisket.

    After that, I sliced a Beef Eye of Round into jerky strips, marinaded overnight and smoked. This is some good jerky and much cheaper than buying it at retail.

    Another Pork butt followed. This time a big boy of 11 pounds. After my last two experiences, I planned for more time in the smoker and and kicked it off at 7:00 pm the night before I planned to eat it. 26 hours later, it was done. Once again very tasty!

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    After experiences, I'm thinking the on-board digital thermometer is not too accurate, so I purchased a Inkbird Thermometer to make it easy to remotely check what is going on in the smoker. I'm really liking this! With only one quick trial, it appears the smoker is reading about 8° - 10° low. That should account for a lot of my long cook times.

    Yesterday afternoon, on the spur of the moment, I decided to try some Salmon steaks. Having never done this I took a look at the 'net to get an idea how to proceed. I didn't have much in the way of ingredients to do a glaze, and I certainly didn't have time to marinate the fish, so away I went, anyway. I set the smoker to 220° to pre-heat while I prepared the Salmon. All I did was to pat it dry, sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika and a little brown sugar. Into the smoker with Applewood for a little over 2 hours and eat! I served it over brown rice and topped it with sauteed peppers and onions. Damn good eating! Even my daughter, who claimed to hate Salmon, loved it.

    Somewhere along the line, I found the need to use the smoker inside my garage due to inclement weather. Using my backwoods engineering skills and parts from my extensive pile of stuff that never gets thrown out because I might need something someday, I cobbled together a proof of concept smoke extractor. I used a 6", 12 volt computer fan which fit perfectly inside a six foot long 6" PVC fence post to send the smoke outside through a window. It works so well that I am going to find a dedicated space in the garage for the smoker and hook up a permanent vent system.

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    I didn't want any scent of smoke in the garage, and I also didn't want to suck the heat out of the smoker, so I placed the fan and vent pipe a few inches away from the vent on the smoker as you can see in the video.



    Please note:
    There was no duct tape used in this project as it was only a proof of concept. For the finished, permanent project, copious use of duct tape can be expected.
    The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible - Arthur C. Clarke

  2. #2
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    Do you deliver?......Ben
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  3. #3
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    That looks like a really fine set up. Nothing is better than slow cooked meat. I use a Big Green Egg but it is a little bit of a pain to get it started and keeping it clean. But it smokes good. I have thought about a rig like Mike has might have to check one out.
    OPINION....a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

  4. #4
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    Tom, I've already learned a bit about what I should have done. First, I should have bought one a little wider because a full sized brisket won't fit. I had to cut off part of the flat and cook it separately. Second, I want one I can control remotely. No complaints, it has been a good experience. Oh! Don't bother looking for one with a glass door because you can't see through it at all after the first few minutes of the first smoking session.
    The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible - Arthur C. Clarke

  5. #5
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    I had already started looking because my son has wanted one for a while. I saw this one.
    https://www.amazon.com/Masterbuilt-2...s%2C218&sr=8-4
    OPINION....a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

  6. #6
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    A friend brought one of these to Quartzsite this winter. They have a larger one at their house. Traeger Grill

    When you run out of ideas this might help. Project Smoke He has some cool grills but the one I would like is over a $600.00 the last time I looked.

    This one.
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  7. #7
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    I see you have been holding out on us

    My target temp for most things is 225 F--but since I am doing it the old fashioned way that varies over time.

    As for wood, oak might be my first choice with hickory right along side but I have less hickory to play with. Another exalted species for me is apple wood and just below that cherry.

    For long smokes I will often begin with the big guns (oak/hickory) and then switch over to apple. Apple is fantastic for bacon
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty” ---Sir Winston Churchill

    "Political extremism involves two prime ingredients: an excessively simple diagnosis of the world's ills, and a conviction that there are identifiable villains back of it all." ---John W. Gardner

  8. #8
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    Right on. I wish i had the patience to be good at that.
    "Back after 5 years.

    I thought you had died.

    don"


    Splitting my time between the montane and the mesas

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

  9. #9
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    I bought one of the electric smokers at Sam’s and tried it in my smokehouse in the winter. Because there was no room heat and the air temp was cold, the thing would never get up to good cooking temperature. The electric coils were just too weak. I took it back. I bought the same kind of cooker at Costco except it was butane, and it worked well until the hinges rusted out. My son bought a Traeger pellet smoker and he swears by it, and when he moved to NYC he parked it with me. Operating the thing is more complicated than I want to learn at my advanced age although the self-feeding pellet system means it can maintain a constant temp burning the pelletized wood for many hours without having to hover over it watching the fire. Like Blue says, they are expensive.
    Last edited by wacojoe; 04-14-2019 at 06:37 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Captain..... You really need to clean your garage

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo View Post
    Captain..... You really need to clean your garage
    You ain't seen nutin'!
    The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible - Arthur C. Clarke

  12. #12
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    Here is a photo of my "old fashioned guy". The fire is to the left, main chamber in center (@ 225F) and low temp (about 150F ) were I do slab bacon, sausage and some aged cheese.
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    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty” ---Sir Winston Churchill

    "Political extremism involves two prime ingredients: an excessively simple diagnosis of the world's ills, and a conviction that there are identifiable villains back of it all." ---John W. Gardner

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