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Smoking Meat - and I'm Not Talking About in Pipes! (Long Post)

(30 posts)
  • Started 1 year ago by schmitzbitz
  • Latest reply from johnnyxpipe
  1. schmitzbitz

    schmitzbitz

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    The recent long-weekend in Canada (Victoria Day) afforded me the chance to play around with barbequeing on my (propane) grill. After some trial and error, I am producing a flavour profile and smoke-ring that is almost comparable to my Bradley (commercial grade) rig.
    In addition, I was playing around with BBQ sauces, and came up with a variant on a traditional St. Louis Style Rib sauce that is great!

    The Sauce
    2 cup Ketchup
    1/2 cup Water
    1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
    2.5 Tbsp Brown Sugar
    2.5 Tbsp Maple Sugar
    2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
    1 Tbsp Onion Powder
    1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
    1/2 tsp Cayenne

    Slathered ribs!
    I marinaded these ribs for an hour in a 40/60 mixture of Apple Cider Vinegar prior to applying rub. Mopped with marinade every 45 minutes while on the grill, flipping every hour. Smoke-box #1 was running hickory, #2 sugar-maple, and a packet of green cedar went on with the sauce. I wrapped the ribs in foil for hours two and three, and sauced for hour four. Total smoke time was 4.5 hours; rack temp (approx) 225f. This pic is just before they came off the grill (hence the lack of smoke).

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. photoman13

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    looks good

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. barkar

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    yummmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

    Keep your stick on the ice!....Barry....
    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. mluyckx

    Belgian Mick

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    Got a nice bark there ! Looking real good and I bet they were excellent. Next time, feel free to send me an invite

    I use Apple in my smoker with Pork. You should give that a try. I have a dry rub with a bunch of spices and some brown sugar. Tends to caramelize nicely and give them a nice little crust. About 4 hours @ 220 as well. Bone-in pork shoulder for pulled pork sandwiches.. 18 hours But oh so good !

    Nice job !

    "The fact is, squire, the moment a man takes to a pipe, he becomes a philosopher. It's the poor man's friend; it calms the mind, soothes the temper, and makes a man patient under difficulties. It has made more good men, good husbands, kind masters, indulgent fathers, than any other blessed thing on this universal earth."
    -"Sam Slick, the clockmaker" aka T.C.Haliburton
    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. bubblehead33

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    great! i just ate and now im hungry again haha. thats looks serious good. im making ribs for supper tomorrow night for supper but theyre just a frozen Super Store rack

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. jonahtke

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    That looks scrumptious! Also I'm thinking a new line of Aro's is in order. Bacon Burley, Cornbeef Cavendish...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. schmitzbitz

    schmitzbitz

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    I use Apple in my smoker with Pork. You should give that a try. I have a dry rub with a bunch of spices and some brown sugar. Tends to caramelize nicely and give them a nice little crust. About 4 hours @ 220 as well. Bone-in pork shoulder for pulled pork sandwiches.. 18 hours [;-)] But oh so good !

    Awesome, another smoker! I don't often use fruit woods unless I'm smoking fish, as I find the flavour is just too mild. When I can find it, I actually like to use nut-woods (namely pecan - the shells work well too, just toss a handful in with your chips/chunks/pellets), but for the most part I tend towards a mixture of hickory, sugar maple and cedar.
    Most of the rubs I make contain a portion of brown sugar - however lately I've been playing around more with maple sugar. I've found that it doesn't pick-up moisture like brown varieties, helping to avoid "lumpy" rubs. I suppose I should also note that I am a sucker for anything (but tobacco) with maple flavouring, too.

    I love smoking up a shoulder, but I'll actually go to the effort of priming a smoker for larger cuts (shoulder, brisket, whole birds, roasts and whole fish), rather than using the gas-grill. I have to say however, that I am a new convert of "long and slow" school of cooking on propane; I really didn't expect to get results that rival my big boy, nor did I expect the LPG to prove as efficient as it has (already 20+ hours on the tank). The ease of use and clean-up is great - I can forsee some weeknight barbequing in my future (as opposed to weeknight grilling)!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. mluyckx

    Belgian Mick

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    Smoking is a Texas hobby... It's the only true BBQ...

    I actually have a little propane smoker that I have used quite successfully. For under $150 in the local Wally Mart and it does a decent job. The problem with propane is that it does create a higher moisture content in the smoker, but who cares It works great if I don't want to crank up the bigger one or don't want to continuously spend time tending a fire. Then again, nothing like sitting out, drinking a beer, having a pipe, tending the smoker, reading a good book.

    This is my dream smoker (or close to it) from some guys here in Texas. PM me if you want to know who since I don't want to violate marketing rules.

    Oh and yeah.. the largest crowd I've cooked for thus far was a Church camp-out of a little over 120 people.. I can use a serious rig like this...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. ohin3

    ohin3

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    Good god man that picture just made my mouth water. I want to party with you Schmitzbitz.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. ohin3

    ohin3

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    @ Schmitzbitz: Can you explain to me, in detail, how you use your propane bbq to produce such a masterpiece? Please teach me and I will send you tobacco ha ha ha.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. martiniman

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    indirect heat, lots of time, like a pipe, low and slow 225.

    I vary only that I use charcoal on a smoker attached to my grill and soaked wood chips, but is it a Pain in the A** loading coals every 90 min......

    schmitzbitz - I can tell from your original post this isn't your first attempt, Steven Raichlen would be proud.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. baronsamedi

    baronsamedi

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    I use charcoal and hickory and mesquite chips along with a dry rub on the brisket. I later make a sauce with molasses, spices, homemade ketchup and the fat drippings from the meat. I leave the sauce on the side, though. My wife is from St. Louis, though, and she likes pork with sauce cooked on. She'd love those ribs !

    Proud Member of the Blackblood Society Photobucket
    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. jonahtke

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    I maintain that Bacon flavored Baccy will be a thing.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. marmal4de

    marmal4de

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    I maintain that Bacon flavored Baccy will be a thing.

    An atrocity if ever there was one. This whole 'flavour everything with bacon' thing is terrible.

    Schmitz, we gotta get together next time you're smoking.

    In a society that has destroyed all adventure, the only adventure left is to destroy that society.
    {o,o}
    |)__)
    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. waznyf

    waznyf

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    That looks delicious. Would you care to come to my place and cook for me?

    "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you."
    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. jonahtke

    jonahtke

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    Not everything should be flavored with bacon...I've had bacon soda pop before and it was akin to licking the floor of a butcher shop. However, I feel that tobacco being naturally smokey, and there already being maple based blends, and blends that are peppery, wouldn't actually be that difficult to do (and do well at that).

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. schmitzbitz

    schmitzbitz

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    Jonahtke; Toque Snuff does a Cheese and Bacon flavour that actually isn't awful. I suppose one could sprinkle a bit on top of a pipe (I do this regularly with the Toffee flavour to bolster aromatics that don't satisfy my nicotine needs).

    Ryan, I believe I did invite you and Erin over for an impromptu barbeque last weekend - this is what came of it. Remember, June 23 (National BBQ Day); but it's very likely that I'll be smoking pretty much every weekend (any plans Sunday?).

    I do prefer charcoal, but the ease of propane is winning me over. As both Martin and Mick noted, there are times when you just can't (or don't feel like) feeding the fire all day, but still want good barbeque flavour. I often serve my ribs dry, but I wanted to see how this sauce would perform as a glaze (and I was very happy with the results, obviously).

    Mick; do you find the smoke-ring in your propane unit emulates the effect of a charcoal grill? I think the higher humidity might play into things; after all, the ring effect is actually a chemical reaction taking place when nitric acid is formed when the nitrogen-dioxide in the smoke mixes with the moisture (read: water) in the meat. In my mind, you should see a deeper ring than I am acheiving currently with the propane smoker vs. propane grill and boxes, due to the high humidity (despite my mopping every half-hour, it's still awfully dry in my que). If this proves to be the case, perhaps I'll add a water pan to my next round.

    By the way, that trailer is awesome! I would love to own one - for now though, my next purchase will either be a Webber Bullet or an Egg; figure I should play with charcoal on a small-scale before I make the leap to smoking whole cow!

    Ohin; I could go on and on for days about slow cooking on a propane barbeque. In a nutshell, however, it is really quite simple, assuming your barbeque has more than one burner.
    The first thing you will need to do is buy (or better yet, make) a smoke box. If you choose to purchase one (can be found anywhere barbeque supplies are sold, for example Canadian Tire), I would suggest looking for a cast-iron box, however stainless work well with a bit of modding to reduce airflow inside the compartment (line it with foil and create your own vents). Conversely, you can simply make a tinfoil packet to hold your wood-chips (or chunks, pellets, or dust, as applicable).
    There is some disagreement as to whether it is better to soak your wood or leave it dry; I like to use both methods. I'll toss about a half-cup of chips in liquid (often beer or wine for extra flavour) for an hour, then mix them with a half-cup of dry chips to load into the box. I find that I get the best results when the box is less than 2/3 full.
    To place your box (or packet), remove one of the grill-plates and nest the box amongst the flame-tamers (referred to as "Flavourizer Bars" in some barbeques, namely Webber branded) or directly on the briquettes off to one side. Set your burners to high, and wait for smoke to appear. Once there is more than a thin wisp, turn off the burner which doesn't feature the smoker box entirely. Place an oven thermometer above the burner that is *turned off*, then adjust the burner with the smoker packet to bring the thermometer temp to around 220f.
    You can choose to replace your grill grate, however I like to access my smoker-box for refills; which will be required every hour or so. I will often drop a couple of pieces of charcoal into each box after the first, to assist with lighting and smoke production (as you don't want to bring your temps up high again), but this isn't necessary...if your using packets, simply push them to conform with the flame-tamer and they'll catch quickly; boxes will take awhile, but will catch.

    Poor Example #1
    Horizontal Grill
    m-m-m-m-m
    x-x-x-x-x
    s-s-s-s-s

    Vertical Grill
    m x s
    m x s
    m x s
    m x s
    m - meat
    x - unlit burner
    s - burner with smoke-box/packet

    Poor Example #2
    Normally, the smoker-box and foil-packet would go below the grill-grate; this is just to give you an idea of placement.

    Good Example #3
    This is my set-up as I actually run it. Note that I keep the oven thermometer close to the meat - you simply can't trust the one in the BBQ hood. A meat-probe is also a very handy tool to keep in your arsenal.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. schmitzbitz

    schmitzbitz

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    So, now that we've addressed using propane for low and slow cooking, we need to address the act of low and slow cooking itself.

    Trimming. We are seeking to keep a very stable tempurature within the barbeque, and as such flare-ups are our enemy. To keep these at a minimum, ensure you trim any excess fats and flaps of skin off your meat (especially important with chicken).

    The most painfully obvious issue you will run into is your food drying out. It makes sense, really, if you stop to think about it for a moment, however, anything that is exposed to tempuratures above 200f for several hours really should end up dehydrated.
    Fortunately, there are several ways to combat this.
    1) Marinades. Before you reach for the spices to create your rubs, reach for your sauces and create a simple marinade. I prefer to use something light on the palate, as I am just trying to add moisture to the cut rather than flavour, but that's just me. I often marinade the night before I plan to cook.
    2) Mops. Keep a couple of spray-bottles handy, and hit your meat every half-hour to hour (depending). I alternate between tap-water and 60/40 Apple Cider Vinegar/Canola Oil.
    3) Tinfoil tenting. With some cuts (like ribs), I'll actually wrap the meat in tinfoil for a couple of hours in the cooking process. I like to add a bit of beer to the foil-packet with ribs, as it steams, pulling the meat back from the bone and adding a ton of moisture. As an added bonus, this also causes any fats sealed in the cut to render into manna from heaven.

    Rubs.
    Ok, so you've marinaded your meat, you've got your mops ready, now it's time to rub. There are a million and one different recipies available through the net, or pre-made rubs available in just about every meat-department I've been in, so I'll not list my recipies here. All I will say on the matter is ensure that you fold back any skin or flaps to ensure a full coating. Some people do like to use a mustard sauce to help their rubs stick - personally, I don't, but it's all up to you.

    Sauces.
    If I am going to apply a barbeque sauce, I do so only during the last hour of cooking. I prefer to make my own, but once again, there are millions of recipes and commercial brands available, so I'm not going to get into it here.

    How I did my Ribs:
    Trimmed and removed membrane, marinaded overnight in the following:
    1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
    1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    2 tbsp Seasame Oil
    1 tbsp Sricha Hot Sauce
    1 tbsp Garlic Powder
    1/2 tbsp Onion Powder

    Removed from marinade, applied rub with the following ingredients (enough for two racks):
    2 tbsp Cumin
    2 tbsp Garlic Powder
    1.5 tbsp Maple Sugar
    1 tbsp Paprika
    1 tbsp Corriander
    2 tsp Thyme Leave (crushed)
    1 tsp Celery Seed
    1 tsp Caroway Seed (crushed)
    Salt and Pepper

    ***note: I make pansy rubs for my todder to enjoy - he doesn't get along with spicy stuff - add 2 tbsp Cayenne and 1tbsp Chili Pepper to give this a kick***

    I let this sit for four hours. Prior to adding to grill, I hit once with the mop (outlined above).

    My first hour saw the ribs hit with the mop after fourty-five minutes, while smoking on a mixture of Hickory and Sugar Maple.
    Hour two saw me wrap the ribs in foil, with approximately an eighth of a cup of beer added to the foil packet. I also topped with a sprinkle of maple-sugar and a touch of rub. Sealed packet, flipped at hour three.
    At approximately 3h 45m in, I removed the ribs from the foil packet and applied sauce before putting directly on grill rack. Smoke-box running Hickory, with a touch of Cedar for good measure.
    4h 10m in, glaze had set on "bottom" of ribs, flip, retouch sauce, and set glaze on top.
    4h 30m in - remove from grill.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. lordnoble

    lordnoble

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    Yep. Too much for me. I'll stick to ribs at others' houses and restaurants.

    -Jason

    The preceding statement is not to be construed as fact, but merely conjecture.

    Proud member of the BlackBlood Society
    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. mluyckx

    Belgian Mick

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    Wow.. you have done your research... and looks like you're cranking out some good stuff

    do you find the smoke-ring in your propane unit emulates the effect of a charcoal grill?

    Yes and no. Smoke ring size and color is one thing. You can easily cheat on the ring size by loading up your rub, seasoning or mop with some form of seasoning salt or tenderizer. They will impart more nitrogen and hence more "ring". So for me, a ring is nice but secondary. It's all about the flavor, moistness and tenderness. You should be able to cut a well prepared brisket with a fork. Flavor wise, there's something about charcoal/wood that is just different. There's a famous place here in Texas that even does barbecue on a fully open pit (Salt Lick) and they crank out great stuff.

    Some observations / tips
    * I always use a water pan when smoking meat. Smoking fish, I don't. You want to keep a relatively high moisture in the pit to avoid meat turning into leather.
    * If you do use a marinade or mop, never use a tomato based one. The high sugar contents in it will burn and taste bitter. Even at 220-230. If you do, use it at the end.
    * Any mop or marinade should be around 50% of an acidic liquid (some kind of vinegar, red wine, etc..) which tenderizes and be low on any sugar since it burns. Then add other flavors or liquids (beer works well, some cumin or mustard powder, etc..) to your taste and liking.

    Besides those basic tips, cook it low (220-230) and slow. You want a bark on the outside, but not so tough that you can't eat it. Cooking too high temperature will make the outside bark too tough to chew.

    I have found BBQ to be an art more than a science. There's so many different approaches, flavors and ideas out there that just have to play around and have fun until you find what you (and those you're serving) like. Once you do, perfect it and stick with it. But never be afraid to veer off the trodden path.

    Just like pipe smoking, it's all about having fun, good times and enjoy what you're doing.

    Oh.. here's a tip for a glaze on ribs (completely against my no-sugar advice). Pour some Dr.Pepper in a pot on your stove, let it reduce down. Add some seasoning to taste (Worchester, mustard, cumin, garlic, thyme works for me) Baste ribs every 10 minutes for the last 30 minutes with it. You want it really as a light coating or glaze, so be careful not to use too much and avoid it from burning. But it's yummie

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. guitarguy86

    guitarguy86

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    This looks tasty.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. tbradsim1

    tbradsim1

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    Cheapest smoker I ever saw was my barber had an old refrigerator in the back outside, had a firebox on the side, metal ducting with damper going into lower side of refig I believe he had 3 temp gauges into side , bottom, middle , and top, little stack on top, meat was placed on racks, every once in a while he would check the fire, he said they give these suckers away, cost me less than 50$, Exxon hands had donated the temp probes, cool The old cajun

    The Old Cajun
    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. bigmike

    bigmike

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    Those pictures make my mouth water......Good Job All.

    "If you're going to be dumb, you had better be tough"
    "Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday."
    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. ravkesef

    ravkesef

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    Our Big Green Egg is in use 12 months out of the year. Brisket is a favorite, so are beef ribs, duck, goose. Some photos follow:


    Eric
    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. thesmokindragon

    thesmokindragon

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    You guys are making me hungry now...If you every happen to
    be in Montreal http://www.schwartzsdeli.com/ just outstanding!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. ravkesef

    ravkesef

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    I prefer the Montreal Smoked Meat at Snowden Deli, or if you're in Toronto, the same family operates the Centre Street Deli.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. User has not uploaded an avatar

    judy1

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    oh you guys made my mouth water~ now that the Thanksgiving Day is coming,i must learn to cook a scrumptious turkey

    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. ravkesef

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    My cousin (of blessed memory,)was the world's worst cook, yet for twenty five years the clan gathered at her home for Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey was invariably overcooked and powder dry--even the dark meat. She thought it was delicious. As my then-young son said, "We go there for the love, not the cuisine." I would always make a "side dish"--usually a few smoked ducks, some ribs, or what have you--anything but a turkey, to avoid the appearance of competing with her. Invariably my stuff would disappear, with lots of turkey still remaining on the sideboard. And then over the weekend I would smoke a turkey to the delight of my family. It's become a long-standing tradition with us.
    And as always, my Big Green Egg does yeoman service in smoking every kind of meat, fish or cheese imaginable. You could even make smoked pancakes on it, were you so inclined.
    Schmitzbitz is a master chef, to be able to control a gas grill that well, and we're all a bit envious of his superlative skills. Nice thing, though, as a former Winnipegger, is that the Big Green Egg is impervious to the outside temperature--and believe me--we had outside temperatures in Winnipeg! The only limitation is the endurance of the operator. Standing outside, tending my BGE in minus 40 weather is a bit much, although one day, when we were throwing a party, my friend ran out of rock salt, so there he was sitting on the back steps in his parka, cranking the ice-cream maker.
    And--and Victoria Day--for you gringos, originally May 24th, now the last Monday in May before the 25th, based upon the rhyme:
    The 24th of May is the Queen's Birthday.
    If we don't get a holiday we'll all run away.
    May seems a long way off right now.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. fireman03

    fireman03

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    I use a Traeger pellet smoker. I have had a lot of success with it. Just smoked two big shoulders this weekend for pulled porked sammiches. Turned out great. I love smoke in all forms!!!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. johnnyxpipe

    johnnyxpipe

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    I love BBQ! I am in Texas currently San Antonio looking for some places to try out here.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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