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Just got a smoker..need advice


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#61 Mashed Potatoes

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Posted 04 September 2016 - 07:41 AM

Congrats, dude.  I've done ribs a few times and still haven't been entirely pleased with the end result.  Just not getting as tender as I want them.  I've let them smoke for longer than my expected cook time, they seem done to me by the flex test, geting a lot of bend and the skin starts to break, but they just haven't tasted as tender as I want them to.  Haven't tried them in a while, need to give 'em another go sometime soon and make a strong effort to really let them go longer than what feels right.

 

Why did you think you needed more rub?  Not as much flavor as you wanted or didn't get much of a crust?  Did you finish them with sauce or only a dry rub Memphis style?

 

Could crock pot the ribs first to break down the connective tissue, then put it on the smoker.

I'm trying to invite myself over next time you smoke meat.


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#62 Mackus

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 10:06 AM

I finally...FINALLY!...after a handful of good-tasting-but-over-or-under-cooked attempts nailed some baby back ribs this weekend. 

 

Smoked four racks on my Weber grill that maintained a pretty consistent 235ish temp for 6 hours.  I think they would have taken less time if I was only doing a rack or two, but I had four jammed into one of those rib holder racks, so the airflow around them was blocked a bit.  I rotated the holder every hour or so in order to vary which side was towards the heat and which was away from it, opening up the grill to rotate probably added to my cooktime as well.  Used charcoal with a couple chunks of cherry wood for smoke (from a tree that was knocked over in my father-in-law's back yard during the tornado last Spring).  When they were done, I pulled them, lit more coals to get some high-heat going, painted the ribs with lots of BBQ sauce, and then put them over the heat for a minute or so a side to get a real nice caramelized, saucy layer over the bark.

 

I was really happy with how they turned out.  Cooked exactly how I wanted them, meat stayed on the bone until you bit into it, then it pulled off cleanly.  I've been happy with my rub and sauce and smoke level before, but this is the first time I managed to get them to the right doneness.  Now I want to do it again!


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#63 SportsGuy

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 10:10 AM

I finally...FINALLY!...after a handful of good-tasting-but-over-or-under-cooked attempts nailed some baby back ribs this weekend. 

 

Smoked four racks on my Weber grill that maintained a pretty consistent 235ish temp for 6 hours.  I think they would have taken less time if I was only doing a rack or two, but I had four jammed into one of those rib holder racks, so the airflow around them was blocked a bit.  I rotated the holder every hour or so in order to vary which side was towards the heat and which was away from it, opening up the grill to rotate probably added to my cooktime as well.  Used charcoal with a couple chunks of cherry wood for smoke (from a tree that was knocked over in my father-in-law's back yard during the tornado last Spring).  When they were done, I pulled them, lit more coals to get some high-heat going, painted the ribs with lots of BBQ sauce, and then put them over the heat for a minute or so a side to get a real nice caramelized, saucy layer over the bark.

 

I was really happy with how they turned out.  Cooked exactly how I wanted them, meat stayed on the bone until you bit into it, then it pulled off cleanly.  I've been happy with my rub and sauce and smoke level before, but this is the first time I managed to get them to the right doneness.  Now I want to do it again!

I have been nailing mine too.

 

I have a dilemma this weekend...People in our neighborhood are getting together for  rib cook off but I am golfing in the AM, so I have to make them the day before and then heat them up the next day.  

 

I did a trial run this weekend...they turned out well but I think I slightly overcooked them as I heated them up on the grill.  I may just have to heat them up in the oven or something to keep them just a little more tender.



#64 Mackus

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 10:21 AM

Here's some advice on that exact topic.  Mostly in regards to brisket or pork shoulder, which they say are easier to warm up on Day 2, but he gives some advice on ribs.

 

http://amazingribs.c...e_tomorrow.html

 

I don't recommend and I haven't tried this technique on ribs. The ratio of surface to meat is so high I fear they would become too dry. But if you have no choice, cook them about three hours at 225°F, wrap, chill rapidly, and the next day warm for about two to three hours in foil, remove the foil, firm the crust, add the sauce, and you're ready to rock.

 

 

Get 'em done Friday night, wrap them tightly in foil and cool them as quick as you can.  On Saturday, call your wife at the turn and have her toss them in the oven on low, still wrapped in foil.  Should be just about ready for when you get home to take them out of the foil, sauce, and put on the grill to crisp them up.



#65 SportsGuy

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 11:11 AM

Here's some advice on that exact topic. Mostly in regards to brisket or pork shoulder, which they say are easier to warm up on Day 2, but he gives some advice on ribs.

http://amazingribs.c...e_tomorrow.html



Get 'em done Friday night, wrap them tightly in foil and cool them as quick as you can. On Saturday, call your wife at the turn and have her toss them in the oven on low, still wrapped in foil. Should be just about ready for when you get home to take them out of the foil, sauce, and put on the grill to crisp them up.

This is kind of what I did...although I cooked them the day before for 5-6 hours on the smoker and them wrapped in foil and put them in the fridge.

So, I am thinking if I cook them for 3-4 hours on the smoker and then wrapped them and cooked them in the oven for 2 hours, that may be better.

#66 Mackus

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 11:23 AM

I think I would lean more towards getting them really close to being finished the way you want them, and then cooling and simply reheating the next day.  Rather than getting them say 80% cooked one day and then still needing more time to get them cooked until they're the doneness you want.

 

Though if you've already been through one trial, and think you know what to adjust to get them exactly right the next time, that's probably the best way to go.



#67 Mackus

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 06:42 PM

Started cooking for my annual July 3rd party this weekend.  Smoked 9 lb of boneless chicken thighs and 4.5 lb of boneless chicken breasts, I actually used bricks and a second smaller grate to create a second level on my grill so I could get everything cooked at the same time rather than have to work in hours-long batches.  Took about 2 hours to finish, which is long for chicken (especially boneless/skinless) but the grill was really crowded and I had to open it a couple times.  Added all the sauce - a South Carolina mustard-based sauce - and a bunch of sauteed onion and jalapenos,  it ended up being 15 lb of finished pulled chicken that's now in vacuum sealed bags in my freezer.  If anyone remembers the restaurant Rub in Federal Hill, I model my pulled chicken after their pulled bird and I gotta say it's usually pretty damn close.

 

I'm giving strong thought to trying a whole packer brisket this year, assuming I can find one (gonna call Trueth's tomorrow for availability and pricing).  I've smoked a flat once, but sort of cheated on it, I sous vide it for like 2 days and then finished for like 3 hours on the smoker.  Turned out pretty good though.  I think if I try it again, I'm gonna do it all on the smoker (maybe some small cheating and do the crutch in my oven), let it cool and freeze it whole, then reheat in the vacuum sealed bag in water until its up to temp and then slice it to serve.



#68 Pedro Cerrano

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 07:33 PM

Started cooking for my annual July 3rd party this weekend. Smoked 9 lb of boneless chicken thighs and 4.5 lb of boneless chicken breasts, I actually used bricks and a second smaller grate to create a second level on my grill so I could get everything cooked at the same time rather than have to work in hours-long batches. Took about 2 hours to finish, which is long for chicken (especially boneless/skinless) but the grill was really crowded and I had to open it a couple times. Added all the sauce - a South Carolina mustard-based sauce - and a bunch of sauteed onion and jalapenos, it ended up being 15 lb of finished pulled chicken that's now in vacuum sealed bags in my freezer. If anyone remembers the restaurant Rub in Federal Hill, I model my pulled chicken after their pulled bird and I gotta say it's usually pretty damn close.

I'm giving strong thought to trying a whole packer brisket this year, assuming I can find one (gonna call Trueth's tomorrow for availability and pricing). I've smoked a flat once, but sort of cheated on it, I sous vide it for like 2 days and then finished for like 3 hours on the smoker. Turned out pretty good though. I think if I try it again, I'm gonna do it all on the smoker (maybe some small cheating and do the crutch in my oven), let it cool and freeze it whole, then reheat in the vacuum sealed bag in water until its up to temp and then slice it to serve.


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#69 Mackus

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 08:09 PM

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#70 SportsGuy

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 05:42 PM

I had someone tell me that if you vacuum pack the food and throw it in boil water, it tastes the same as if you served it hot.

That true Mack?

#71 McNulty

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 05:56 PM

I had someone tell me that if you vacuum pack the food and throw it in boil water, it tastes the same as if you served it hot. That true Mack?

Sous vide I would guess he's referencing.

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#72 Mackus

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 06:24 PM

I had someone tell me that if you vacuum pack the food and throw it in boil water, it tastes the same as if you served it hot.

That true Mack?

 

Yeah it's pretty close for reheated food.  The taste is exactly the same, the texture sometimes can suffer.  If I put sauce in with the pulled pork or pulled chicken when I freeze it, it's indistinguishable from freshly made when reheated.  I usually don't put sauce in with the pulled pork, it tastes just as good but it does get a little bit mushier than fresh off the smoker.



#73 Mackus

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 09:03 AM

Smoked a whole brisket for the first time over the weekend and it turned out great.

 

Smoked it for 14 hours at about 225.  Then I wrapped it in foil and put it in the oven at the same 225 for another 7 or so until the inside temp was just over 200 degrees.  Let it cool and then vacuum sealed it and put it in the freezer.  In the morning of the day we were gonna eat it, I put it straight from the freezer into a huge pot of water (my crab steamer pot) heated up to 165 and let it thaw and reheat over the course of a couple hours.  Took it out when we were about to eat, sliced it up, and it was ready to go. 

 

Both the flat and point were tender and juicy, nice smoke ring, and good flavor.  The point was ridiculous.  The bark wasn't firm, but it was very tasty.  I've been to Franklin's in Austin, and it wasn't as good as I remember that being, but it was far better than the brisket around here from places like Mission.  Can't wait to do it again.



#74 Mackus

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 08:18 AM

Smoking a turkey tomorrow (as well as roasting one in the oven), hosting a lot of friends for a pre-Thanksgiving.

This will be the 3rd or so year in a row I've smoked one. It's really great, I like it way better than the simple roasted turkey. And then I can make smokey stock for turkey gumbo with the leftovers! I'm gonna try something new and inject some melted butter or oil into the breasts to see if that will make it even better and juicier.

Only downside is that I butterfly the turkey to cut down on the cooking time, so you can't put the stuffing in it. I love crock-pot or oven-made stuffing, too, but it doesn't compare to in-the-bird stuffing.

#75 McNulty

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 10:55 AM

Mack, I'm also smoking my turkey for the first time.  I bought a bird with just the breast though (options are limited here).  Any suggestions?  I'm doing a dry rub from today until Thursday.


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#76 Mackus

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 12:18 PM

Mack, I'm also smoking my turkey for the first time.  I bought a bird with just the breast though (options are limited here).  Any suggestions?  I'm doing a dry rub from today until Thursday.

 

Careful on the salt if it is already injected with a brine.  Also go light on the smoke, turkey can't handle nearly as much as ribs, brisket, or pork shoulder.  I usually just add two or three chunks at the beginning on top of the charcoal and that's plenty of smoke flavor.  I try to go hotter than I would for most smoking efforts, 300-325.  My grill doesn't tend to stay that hot for long though when smoking, so usually it lengthens the cook.

 

Just a breast will probably take about as long as a butterflied whole turkey takes, of course will depend on size and your smoking temperature.  2-3 hours or so.


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#77 McNulty

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 12:41 PM

I was considering doing it slow/low because my smoker is electric (easier to control the temp).  The crockpot turkey I did last year was so good that I'm nervous about messing this one up but the best turkey I've ever had was in a smoker.  


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#78 Mackus

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 01:29 PM

Low and slow is perfectly fine if that's what your smoker does better. No downside besides the extra time.

#79 Nigel Tufnel

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 02:41 PM

So, I just discovered that the Texas supermarket chain H-E-B will ship nationwide, with reasonable shipping costs.  They don't ship meat, but you can get barbecue sauce and rub from places like Franklin Barbecue and the Salt Lick.  I just ordered 4 bottles of sauce and 2 containers of rub, and the shipping came to $6.

 

https://www.heb.com/...ore?exp=sthview



#80 SportsGuy

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 05:26 PM

Good sauce?




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