PDA

View Full Version : Lookin' for a little help...



PierreRodrigue
04-06-2011, 06:24 PM
Beleive it or not, spring is almost here, and the BBQ is wiped down and ready to transform meat again!

So here is what I hope to figure out. I am looking for a method or recipe to grill/smoke brisket, or beef ribs, or pork ribs. I know there are a lot of different ways to do this, and I know there are some pro/semi pro grill masters lurking around these parts. I am not looking for your prized recipe, just one that will be a knock out for some (hopefully) summer grilling.

Thanks guys,

Pierre

monty
04-06-2011, 07:02 PM
Brisket and pork butt are easy, so long as you follow one simple rule. Cook it to at least 200* internal. The biggest mistake new brisket/pork butt cooks make is to undercook brisket and butt. 200* seems too high so folks tend to stop the cooking process too soon. The same is true for ribs. I don't have any idea what the internal temp of cooked ribs is because I use other methods to determine whether or not they are done. But they must be cooked long enough. Unlike most other meats it is better to over cook these meats than to undercook them. If you overcook them they will simply fall apart. Most folks tend to like their BBQ that way. If you undercook them you may as well eat your shoe!

If you tell us what kind of cooker you'll be using I think we can get you making awesome Q in no time! I cook BBQ on indirect heat exclusively, but the smae principle applies no matter what cooker you use.

monty
04-06-2011, 07:09 PM
Ribs and pork butt:

I cook my ribs at 300* on indirect heat. I cook spares for 1.5 hours, then I foil and cook for another 1.5 to 2 hours. You know they are done when the meat slips up the bone exposing about .5 to 1 inch of the bone. When you foil you can add brown sugar and honey top the foil and this will create a glaze. In competition I use about 2 cups of brown sugar per rib, along with honey and some other stuff!)

I cook brisket and butt at 300* as well. I usually coat with rub. Cook them to an internal temp of 170, then I foil them until they are 200* (I also go by feel. A thermometer probe should sink into the meat like it's butter. SOmetimes you need to go beyong 200* for this to happen). At that point I put them in a cooler and hold them for around 4 hours.

As for rubs, a good pork rub is 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup seasoned salt, then 1 Tablespoon of whatever spice you like. I typically use garlic power, onion powder and cumin. You can also add curry powder or whatever else trips your trigger. However, I'd suggest keeping it simple. That extra secret spice often tastes horrible on BBQ :)

For brisket, you can't go wrong with Lowrey's salt and pepper.

If you want to do whole hog, let me know. That's my favorite - but it might be better to discuss that over the phone.

Kyle
04-06-2011, 07:20 PM
What kinda grill/smoker setup do you have? How much of a background do you have in BBQ? I had a big long post typed out but then I started feeling like I may have been telling you stuff you already knew. To me BBQ is all about simplicity and not getting crazy with your recipes, more about technique and just knowing when things are done. I would much rather have a perfectly cooked brisket with nothing more than salt and pepper than one that is undercooked with all sorts of fancy ingredients.

For brisket I like to trim the excess fat (but still leaving a 1/8"-1/4" fat cap). Season with salt and pepper (sometimes I add cayenne for heat and granulated garlic), cook indirect, around 225-275 until your probe slides through both the point and the flat with no resistance. At this point it's ready to pull, rest and slice.

Same thing with ribs, if I don't do salt and pepper I use a homemade rub or use something like Plowboys Yardbird with a little bit of olive oil. Cook indirect, 225-275 and pull once the ribs start to crack a bit when you bend them.

Pulled pork- I use a bone in butt, indirect, seasoned liberally with a homemade rub or Plowboys Yardbird, and once the internal temp gets to around 190 I start checking the bone. Once it pulls out without resistance it's ready to take off the pit, rest and shred/pull.

This is a good tutorial for doing brisket. I do like to trim a little fat on the outside as not all of it will break down and render so you end up with a layer of fat that gets trimmed off. Not only does the presentation suffer when you do this (because the smoke ring won't penetrate that layer of fat) but you're removing the seasoning/bark that developed on the outside of the fat.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=57882

EDIT: I kept getting distracted at work and this post took longer than it should have and Monty ended up giving you some great info.

PierreRodrigue
04-06-2011, 08:55 PM
I have an electric smoker about the size of a bar fridge, digital temp control from 125* to 400*, and right now a broil king natural gas grill. I also use a charcoal grill/smoker combo. I make my own rubs, mostly trial and error, had a little help from Jim last summer on a pork rub. I also started doing my own sauce, molasas based, and use natural smoke a fair bit. A lot of the grilling getss done direct, for the quick supper things, but when I got time, I like to drag it out. With this side of BBQ, I am a rookie. Getting mixed results. Tasty yes, always fall apart tender, not always.

monty
04-06-2011, 09:18 PM
If you are looking for fall off the bone BBQ, that's simple. Keep cooking past when you think it's done. Fall apart = overcooked. I don't mean overcooked in a negative sense. Most people prefer ribs and pork super tender, almost mushy. That comes from cooking it "too long." In comp BBQ we have to be careful to make sure that ribs, for example, do not fall off the bone. Instead we look for the meat to come off only where you take a bite. But that's comp BBQ. If you want your family and friends to be super impressed just leave the meat on the heat. At 300* indirect you won't char the meat so by overcooked I don't mean burnt. Here's a way to test for doneness. Use a pair of tongs and take a hold of the slab. When it bends down and starts to break apart, it's ready. If you want, keep cooking. Eventually the meat will simply fall off the bone. I'd try this first on your electric smoker. If you foil that will make the meat juicer. It will also cook faster if you wrap (no matter what kind of smoker you use). Loin back (baby back) ribs will cook faster than spares. Give it a try!!

monty
04-06-2011, 09:23 PM
One other thing to keep in mind. Electric smokers tend to produce dryer meat because they lack the moisture that comes from cooking with wood. If you would like juicier meat in an electric smoker, consider cooking in foil longer. Just an idea. O.K., I'll stop now. Sorry if I'm rambling

rahimlee54
04-06-2011, 09:33 PM
Monty keep on going I am picking up a ton of good info here for my food. Nothing like good beef and pork.

PierreRodrigue
04-06-2011, 09:40 PM
Ramble away sir. I like my meat moist, mushy, maybe not so much. When I bite into ribs, I like to have to bite and have to pull slightly. I want to have the meat pull cleanly off the bone, and not chew it off!! I am planning a BBQ pit in the yard off the deck this summer, with a wood fired oven and prep station. Hopefully it comes together.

mhlee
04-07-2011, 01:16 PM
Since nobody's tackled beef ribs here, I'll add my two cents on this topic.

Beef ribs do not cook like pork ribs or loin back ribs. There's a lot more connective tissue in the meat, especially toward the bone. Also, the meat is not as supple and soft as pork. Therefore, beef ribs can take numerous hours to cook and require some additional help to get tender.

First, I highly recommend taking off the membrane from the bone side of beef ribs. This membrane is much thicker than the membrane on pork ribs and, if it isn't taken off, it is extremely tough after it has cooked and makes it very difficult to bite through the meat.

After taking the membrane off, you can add your choice of rub. I generally do not like rubs that include much sugar on beef, but that's just my preference. For flavoring, I like a very simple rub of salt, pepper, white pepper, a touch of cayenne, (maybe a touch of garlic and onion powders), and thyme. I generally like to apply the rub well in advance to penetrate the meat.

For actual cooking, and this is one of the most important things I have learned over barbecuing ribs (pork ribs, back loin ribs, danish ribs, beef ribs), is knowing whether they are frozen or not, as this will have a huge difference in your final product and how you need to cook. Frozen products have less moisture. (There's a lot of literature as to how water in proteins,when frozen, creates ice crystals which are sharp and puncture cell walls leading to loss of moisture.) Beef ribs, at least in the U.S. are almost always frozen.

Accordingly, I feel that wrapping after smoking is essential. I generally smoke beef with charcoal and oak. I think Texans really have this one down (most of the most well known barbecue places in Texas use Post Oak). I have had a lot of success going around 250 to 275 using indirect heat. Any higher, INMHO, and you'll risk burning the meat because you'll need to cook beef ribs for at least 5 hours. I start with the ribs straight from the refrigerator (to create as deep a smoke ring as possible), with the thickest side facing the fire. Also, heavy smoke, IMHO, can tend to make beef taste acrid; beef seems to be much more affected, versus pork, by a heavy smoke. I try to keep the smoke gentle and slow. This is also the reason why I don't exclusively use a strong wood, like hickory, to smoke beef. (Although a single hickory chunk does really help give a complex smoky flavor along with the oak.)

I also do not check the temperature of beef ribs. They'll hit 200 but still not be tender. The key here is to melt away all that fat in the bones, which takes hours.

When the rib bones feel like they're starting to pull away from each other, I then wrap the ribs in foil and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 hours. When they feel sufficiently tender (bones are now feeling a little loose), you can put the ribs back on the smoker to dry out the outside.

If you want them more tender, keep cooking them. If you don't want to keep smoking them, you can transfer them to the oven for this portion and finish them inside, and also do the finishing cook in the oven as well.

However, DON'T dump all that juice from the foil. Use a gravy separator to separate the fat from the juice, and add the juice to any barbecue sauce you're going to use, or use it as a finishing liquid on the ribs when you serve them. There's lots beefy, smoky goodness there. Taste the juice, adjust seasoning as needed, if using as a stand alone sauce.

To serve, I usually cut the ribs, sprinkle some good salt (kosher or Maldon), and leave the sauce or juice on the side.

If I get to cooking beef ribs anytime soon, I'll put up pictures.

Man, I love talking about barbecue. It makes me want to cook today!

Jim
04-07-2011, 01:37 PM
Lots of great info in this thread!

I would add that at the end of the day you just have to do it, a while back when I was working on my brisket, I would cook one once a week to nail down the variables. I started to get consistent results at about #20 and another 20 I had my rub down pat.
Every cooker is different and while I would say that there is no bad advice in this thread there is also lots of room for finding your own way. I do not foil any of my BBQ at any point in the cooking process as an example. As my friend and mentor Tom has said many times- "Relax its just BBQ!"

mhlee
04-07-2011, 01:54 PM
I, again, second Jim's comment as to every cooker being different.

I use a Weber 22.5 Performer (original model). It certainly cooks drier than other cookers that I've had food from. I do use foil (or wrap) only for meats that really tend to dry out - brisket, frozen ribs. For other things, I don't.

And definitely find your way - I recommend finding a combination of wood and charcoal that you like and working from there. And try some commercial rubs before working on your own - I found it to be a lot easier to figure out what flavor profile I like after trying almost a dozen commercial rubs.

Good luck! I expect to see barbecue food porn and knife porn together in your future pictures!

Doug Seward
04-07-2011, 08:19 PM
I cook on a ceramic Kamado cooker and it favors lower temps for brisket. Since it has such substantial mass (750 lbs), if the temp gets too high, it can be tough to bring it back down. I usually cook between 230 and 250F, with a push up to 265 towards the end of the cook. I always cook briskets on the bottom grate with pork butts above. The pork fat raining down upon the brisket is a good thing.

I always cook whole briskets (13 - 20 lbs each - point still attached). I select the thickest briskets I can find. A brisket flat (like the ones sold in the supermarket) cooked alone would likely dry out over the 16 - 22 hours of cooking internal temp 195F. I inject and marinate the brisket at least 12 hours using a commercial marinade called FAB with lots of fresh garlic and black pepper. My rub is basically Montreal Steak Seasoning cut with Turbinado sugar, Chili powder, Granulated Garlic, Granulated Onion, and Roasted and freshly ground Cumin. Fresh spices make a difference -- I am a big fan of Penzey's and Pendery's for spices and ground chile respectively. I use yellow mustard to glue the rub to the meat. I usually use a mixture of Pecan and Cherry wood for smoke. Hickory can be substituted for the Pecan, but using only Hickory can be overpowering.

I am happy to share what I know about BBQ because others helped me out. This brisket took third place in a PA state competition a few years ago and won me $250. As others have said, experimentation with good record keeping will help you learn what works best. In my opinion, Brisket is the most challenging meat to barbecue--I have ruined more than a few. Best of luck with your Q. -Doug

PierreRodrigue
04-07-2011, 08:35 PM
Thanks so much guys, the advice here will save me a pile of trial and error. In the various cookers, has any one used seasoned fluids in a tray below the meat? If no, I am guessing a drip tray is needed?

mhlee
04-07-2011, 08:38 PM
Congratulations Doug!

I recognize your name from somewhere. Maybe either the NBQQA or KCBS newsletters? (It could also be from one of the Kamado cooker forums since I've been a lurker there for years.)

Nonetheless, I wanted to ask you if you have a Komodo Kamado (it's the only Kamado cooker that I know of that's as heavy as you described). I've been eyeing one for years now, but couldn't justify spending that much when I could also get a Cookshack FEC100 for about the same price.

But, if that's what you have, how have you liked it? I've only read rave reviews about its construction, performance and design. Geez, even Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson's has one!

Thanks.

mhlee
04-07-2011, 08:48 PM
Thanks so much guys, the advice here will save me a pile of trial and error. In the various cookers, has any one used seasoned fluids in a tray below the meat? If no, I am guessing a drip tray is needed?

Pierre:

In my experience, I've only noticed a nominal difference using fluids in a drip tray. While it seems to keep the cooking environment moist, I'm not sure it does much for flavor. I really haven't noticed much of a difference. I also only use a drip tray filled with fluid when I want a moist cooking environment. I never use any kind of fluid in a drip tray when I barbecue chicken. I go for a crisp skin and having the drip tray filled with water did not give me as crisp a product as when I cooked without water in the drip tray.

However, you may want to use a drip tray depending on the type of cooker you have. If you have a cooker that has something to collect the grease from the food and a means to remove it from the cooker, then you probably don't need a drip tray.

If you're like me and using something like a Weber where the grease leaves the cooker is through the holes in the bottom of the cooker, then a drip tray is convenient. It certainly helps to keep the bottom of your cooker clean. I go through two cans of Easy Off twice a year to clean my Weber. There's some nasty stuff in there after six months of cooking.

Jim
04-07-2011, 09:03 PM
My cooker is well known as a moist one, but I add a pan with hot water just in front of the heat inlet. If I am using the weber kettle I will use a drip tray(foil pan) with water in it to catch the mess,add moisture and also hold the coals off to one side of the grill. It again comes down to experimenting and getting the most from your gear.

Doug Seward
04-07-2011, 09:13 PM
Michael,
It could have been KCBS. We competed KCBS in PA between 2004 and 2008 under team name "Smoke Happens". I used to hang around the Kamado forum, but it has been a while since I have posted there. It is not a Komodo, but rather the "original" Kamado K9 and a K7 made by Richard Johnson's company - both in blue tile. Pics can be seen at http://www.smokehappens.com. The K9 can handle 80 - 95 pounds of meat on the 3 grates stacked. I love it, but the company can be difficult to deal with. I will relate more details privately if you like. If you can find one in a private sale in good shape, it would be worth pursuing. -Doug

monty
04-08-2011, 08:48 AM
Pierre, if you foil, there's no need for a drip tray. The foil will be full of juices - even if you only foil for a couple of hours.

Kyle
04-08-2011, 12:25 PM
Congratulations Doug!

I recognize your name from somewhere. Maybe either the NBQQA or KCBS newsletters? (It could also be from one of the Kamado cooker forums since I've been a lurker there for years.)

Nonetheless, I wanted to ask you if you have a Komodo Kamado (it's the only Kamado cooker that I know of that's as heavy as you described). I've been eyeing one for years now, but couldn't justify spending that much when I could also get a Cookshack FEC100 for about the same price.

But, if that's what you have, how have you liked it? I've only read rave reviews about its construction, performance and design. Geez, even Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson's has one!

Thanks.

I don't have a Komodo Kamado but I have been using my dad's FEC-100 for the last 4 years and it's a great cooker. I used it this past Sunday to do 3 racks of spares, 3 8lb butts and a 15 lb brisket. In my opinion it gives you a more subtle smoke profile compared to an offset or even something like a UDS. You also don't get a very pronounced smoke ring without utilizing specific techniques/tricks, but being able to go to sleep or even just have a little too much to drink at the party without worrying about temp control is pretty great.

I do have a Comet Kamado (BGE knockoff) and I'm totally sold on ceramic cooking and I do know that when I start my fire correctly I can get very stable temps for long periods without issue, but there's no way I could have fit 60 lbs of meat on that thing. :bbq:

mhlee
04-08-2011, 01:39 PM
I don't have a Komodo Kamado but I have been using my dad's FEC-100 for the last 4 years and it's a great cooker. I used it this past Sunday to do 3 racks of spares, 3 8lb butts and a 15 lb brisket. In my opinion it gives you a more subtle smoke profile compared to an offset or even something like a UDS. You also don't get a very pronounced smoke ring without utilizing specific techniques/tricks, but being able to go to sleep or even just have a little too much to drink at the party without worrying about temp control is pretty great.

I do have a Comet Kamado (BGE knockoff) and I'm totally sold on ceramic cooking and I do know that when I start my fire correctly I can get very stable temps for long periods without issue, but there's no way I could have fit 60 lbs of meat on that thing. :bbq:

Thanks for the info. You're one of the few people I've come across that has an FEC 100 here in California.

I hope I'm not prying by asking this, but I've also read about issues getting a smoke ring on products cooked in an FEC100 as well as issues with the level of smoke in the product. Do you happen to know how to get a better smoke ring and more smoke into the product?

I assume it's because of the pellets and how the pellets are not only for smoke, but heat as well. From what I've seen when I judged some competitions, at a higher temp, there was very little smoke coming out of the smoker, mostly flame. So I'm assuming that you would have to start off at a slower temperature to get enough smoke to create the ring and get a good amount of smoke into the product. Or maybe cycle the cooker so you burn some fuel - start it up, then slow it down, and back and forth so that you get a good amount of smoke, but lower circulation?

Also, did you guys buy your cooker directly from Cookshack? I'm a little bummed I didn't buy this a few years ago. The prices has increased at least $700 since I started considering buying it about 5 years ago.

mhlee
04-08-2011, 01:44 PM
Doug -

That may very well have been where I saw your name. I've been a KCBS member since 2005 and have been regularly reading the KCBS newsletter since then.

I'm aware of the issues with that Kamado company. I've basically narrowed my choices to the BGE and the Komodo, although the prices are drastically different. I may try and get a once used BGE X-Large at an Eggfest this year. $3000+ is just so much to spend on a single cooker with little capacity.

Nonetheless, if I had that kind of money to spend, I would buy a Komodo Kamado. It seems like such a well thought out and designed product, and the only product certified not to have any asbestos or otherwise harmful materials in it. (I'm definitely not implying that the other makers do, but at least the supplier of the refractory materials to Komodo certifies that it does not have any asbestos.)

Kyle
04-08-2011, 02:18 PM
Thanks for the info. You're one of the few people I've come across that has an FEC 100 here in California.

I hope I'm not prying by asking this, but I've also read about issues getting a smoke ring on products cooked in an FEC100 as well as issues with the level of smoke in the product. Do you happen to know how to get a better smoke ring and more smoke into the product?

I assume it's because of the pellets and how the pellets are not only for smoke, but heat as well. From what I've seen when I judged some competitions, at a higher temp, there was very little smoke coming out of the smoker, mostly flame. So I'm assuming that you would have to start off at a slower temperature to get enough smoke to create the ring and get a good amount of smoke into the product. Or maybe cycle the cooker so you burn some fuel - start it up, then slow it down, and back and forth so that you get a good amount of smoke, but lower circulation?

Also, did you guys buy your cooker directly from Cookshack? I'm a little bummed I didn't buy this a few years ago. The prices has increased at least $700 since I started considering buying it about 5 years ago.

My understanding is the pellets burn too clean clean and are too efficient that they don't produce the pronounced smoke ring. The easy/cheater technique for a smoke ring is to use Tender Quick. With TQ you can get a smoke ring in the oven. As for producing a real smoke ring on an FEC, I've read that people start with low heat for the first couple hours and then bumping it up. I've also read that whether or not the meat is cold or room temp plays some part in creating the smoke ring, but I don't know more than that. I don't compete so the smoke ring is pretty irrelevent to me, although it is really cool to see it.

monty
04-08-2011, 02:30 PM
I have an FEC 100. If you want a smoke ring you can do what Kyle mentioned. You can also build a little contraption that holds wood chunks near the fire pot, but doesn't allow the chunks to fall into the fire pot. Kinda looks like a live trap for a small rodent. The flames from the fire will slowly burn the chunks and that will produce more smoke. For comps I used to start my meat on my off-set, cook for 2 hours, then transfer the meat to the FEC so that I could get some sleep. Huge smoke ring!

mhlee
04-08-2011, 03:34 PM
My understanding is the pellets burn too clean clean and are too efficient that they don't produce the pronounced smoke ring. The easy/cheater technique for a smoke ring is to use Tender Quick. With TQ you can get a smoke ring in the oven. As for producing a real smoke ring on an FEC, I've read that people start with low heat for the first couple hours and then bumping it up. I've also read that whether or not the meat is cold or room temp plays some part in creating the smoke ring, but I don't know more than that. I don't compete so the smoke ring is pretty irrelevent to me, although it is really cool to see it.

I also thought that something like Tender Quick would come into play. But, I'm not cool with using products like that. I use as little preservatives as possible, and avoid using ingredients with nitrates or MSG when I cook.

I put my meat in super cold when I start cooking and get a nice smoke ring on my Weber. From what I recall, it has to do with the hemoglobin in the meat.

Thanks Kyle for the info. Sorry to bring this up again, but do you know where you guys bought it? Is there a California dealer that has them? I'd like to personally take a look at a new one.

Thanks again.

mhlee
04-08-2011, 03:35 PM
I have an FEC 100. If you want a smoke ring you can do what Kyle mentioned. You can also build a little contraption that holds wood chunks near the fire pot, but doesn't allow the chunks to fall into the fire pot. Kinda looks like a live trap for a small rodent. The flames from the fire will slowly burn the chunks and that will produce more smoke. For comps I used to start my meat on my off-set, cook for 2 hours, then transfer the meat to the FEC so that I could get some sleep. Huge smoke ring!

That's another way to do it. I hate messing with electronic equipment (unlike manual equipment, which you can tinker with constantly), but you gotta do what you gotta do to WIN, right?

PierreRodrigue
04-09-2011, 06:18 PM
In the smokeing stage of the process, is there any benifit or advantage in useing wet woodchips over dry, or even in conjunction with? Is there a wood that accentuates the meat better, whether beef or pork? What duration of smoke do you guys like to use?

SpikeC
04-09-2011, 06:55 PM
I recently read a report that stated that dry wood was better than wet for this purpose, I think it came from Meathead over at "Amazing Ribs.com".
I will leave the rest for the pros to respond.

Doug Seward
04-09-2011, 06:59 PM
I have always used dry wood cut into approx fist size chunks. -Doug

Jim
04-10-2011, 07:57 AM
The concept of wet woodchips makes no sense to me. To get good clean thin blue smoke your fire has to be burning cleanly. Wet wood? I use two baseball sized chunks of wood with a charcoal fire to BBQ indirect.
Cherry for Ribs, Oak with some fruitwood with brisket, Hickory with some fruitwood for Butts.
Chicken gets Pear wood or Cherry. Turkey, Pear with some Plum wood.

SpikeC
04-10-2011, 01:21 PM
I suppose wet wood would work if you wanted to put out the fire......................

PierreRodrigue
04-10-2011, 05:50 PM
I thought the same thing, what I have seen on the Food Network, was to mix wet with dry wood. Mostly in a gas grill. In a charcoal grill, how long is the smoke cycle?

Jim
04-10-2011, 06:01 PM
I thought the same thing, what I have seen on the Food Network, was to mix wet with dry wood. Mostly in a gas grill. In a charcoal grill, how long is the smoke cycle?

I hate to say it-But,.... it depends on your cooker.
On a stick burner, you are burning wood the entire time you are cooking so it never really stops. Generally the meat will no longer absorb nitrates (the pink smoke ring)after it reaches 165 degrees at the surface, so starting with cold meat and lower temps can be one strategy to accomplish a good smoke ring. It also depends on the meat, on pork ribs, in a stick burner your smoke ring can go straight through the meat and meet in the middle. Sorry if its not that clear cut.

mhlee
04-11-2011, 09:54 AM
I hate to say it-But,.... it depends on your cooker.
On a stick burner, you are burning wood the entire time you are cooking so it never really stops. Generally the meat will no longer absorb nitrates (the pink smoke ring)after it reaches 165 degrees at the surface, so starting with cold meat and lower temps can be one strategy to accomplish a good smoke ring. It also depends on the meat, on pork ribs, in a stick burner your smoke ring can go straight through the meat and meet in the middle. Sorry if its not that clear cut.

Agreed. It really depends on a number of factors, including the size of the piece of wood you are using, the temperature, location of the wood with respect to the fire, age, etc. In my experience, a 2 cubic inch piece of wood at 250 to 275, off to the side of your heat source, will give you about a good 1 to 1 1/2 hour of smoke. A small handful of wood chips will give you maybe 15 minutes of smoke when put directly on the heat source. Again, this is all based on my experience with a 22.5 Weber Performer.

Here are my wood/meat combinations: Mostly peach, some hickory for pork (apple/cherry with hickory also works well); peach for chicken; mostly oak and some hickory for beef; apple for salmon.

mhlee
04-11-2011, 10:13 AM
In the smokeing stage of the process, is there any benifit or advantage in useing wet woodchips over dry, or even in conjunction with? Is there a wood that accentuates the meat better, whether beef or pork? What duration of smoke do you guys like to use?

The duration of smoke depends on how much smoke flavor you like in your food. That being said, for thicker pieces of meat, e.g. pork butts or shoulder, I think you can burn wood the entire cooking process - the smoke may not continue to create a deeper smoke ring, but the smoke will continue to penetrate the meat. I use 2 inch thick pieces of wood sliced (4 inch diameter) every few hours to keep a steady stream of wood going. For ribs and chicken, I've found that less is more; continuous smoke can overwhelm the flavor of the meat. I start off with a standard size chunk of wood, then gradually reduce the amount of wood I use. Chicken can taste acrid if you use too much smoke.

But try varying the amount of wood you use the first few times. I think you'll quickly get an idea as to how much smoke you like in your food. Also, as I've cooked over the years, I've definitely reduced the amount of wood I use.

Lefty
04-12-2011, 02:03 AM
My cooker is well known as a moist one, but I add a pan with hot water just in front of the heat inlet. If I am using the weber kettle I will use a drip tray(foil pan) with water in it to catch the mess,add moisture and also hold the coals off to one side of the grill. It again comes down to experimenting and getting the most from your gear.

These are my sentiments, exactly! I use a Weber Kettle Grill and get outstanding results. I've stuck with my Weber for grilling, q'ing and smoking. It's all about learning your grill/Q!
I stick with oak for smoking, because it is such a neutral smoke flavor and aroma...it works with most anything.
Maybe I'm a weirdo, but I also have an oven thermometer in my grill to get the right temp. Once it's there, you only have to peek at it every now and then, assuming you have your coals nicely piled.
For ribs, I go indirect for about an hour and a half, wrapped with aromatics and a spice paste for another hour or hour and a half, indrect to build more bark, direct (membrane down) to finish while painting on my sauce.
Chicken depends on whether or not I'm using the hand cranked rotisserie euro grill, or my weber. Either way, I cook with the smoke. And use huge amounts of homemade piri piri sauce.
Still trying to get brisket figured out, since it's not very common around here. It's getting close!
Good luck Pierre! Have fun :)
Still working on my brisket technique.

Kyle
04-12-2011, 12:53 PM
Thanks Kyle for the info. Sorry to bring this up again, but do you know where you guys bought it? Is there a California dealer that has them? I'd like to personally take a look at a new one.

Thanks again.

Michael,

Sorry I missed this question twice! We ordered it straight from Cookshack. I'm sure if you get in touch with them they can connect you to a dealer than has one in stock. It's a great cooker. I used it last night for a stuffed pork loin. I did all the prep work Sunday night and last night I was able to just throw it on the smoker for a couple hours. I didn't have to stress about temperature control after a long day at work and I still got my smoked meat fix! Highly recommended.

mhlee
04-12-2011, 01:58 PM
Michael,

Sorry I missed this question twice! We ordered it straight from Cookshack. I'm sure if you get in touch with them they can connect you to a dealer than has one in stock. It's a great cooker. I used it last night for a stuffed pork loin. I did all the prep work Sunday night and last night I was able to just throw it on the smoker for a couple hours. I didn't have to stress about temperature control after a long day at work and I still got my smoked meat fix! Highly recommended.

Thanks Kyle. I saw that Cookshack has reduced shipping (another reason to buy it versus other cookers).

I also recalled that they had cooking classes that you could apply the cost to buy a new cooker. I didn't see it the last time I went on the website but would consider taking the class before buying to learn more tricks to tailor the cooker to get the results I want.

Nonetheless, thanks for all of the responses. I really appreciate it. It helped me get a much better idea of what it can and cannot do.

I really have to decide what I want to buy now. Barbecue season is here!

Kyle
04-12-2011, 02:56 PM
Thanks Kyle. I saw that Cookshack has reduced shipping (another reason to buy it versus other cookers).

I also recalled that they had cooking classes that you could apply the cost to buy a new cooker. I didn't see it the last time I went on the website but would consider taking the class before buying to learn more tricks to tailor the cooker to get the results I want.

Nonetheless, thanks for all of the responses. I really appreciate it. It helped me get a much better idea of what it can and cannot do.

I really have to decide what I want to buy now. Barbecue season is here!

Are you still choosing between the Komodo and the Cookshack? If those are your choices go Cookshack. It has enough room to feed a party or cater but it's efficient enough to fire it up for a rack of ribs for the family. I'm sure the Komodo Kamado is a beautiful work of art, but I don't see how it's worth the $2000+ difference over a BGE. If you have other choices in mind then that changes things.

Good luck!

mano
04-14-2011, 10:25 AM
Smoking Meat Forum has directions for smoking brisket that's worked for years. As you see above there are many variations to doing a brisket as there are doing butts and ribs.

Trim brisket and apply rub and let sit for an hour or longer.

Use wood chips of choice. Soaking chips makes no difference, IMO nor does using a water pan (which I use in my cheap electric Brinkman).

Smoke brisket to 170 deg.

Wrap in foil with a good splash of your spray/mop-back into the smoker until it reaches 190 deg.

Wrap in several old towels and place into a blanket lined cooler for a couple of hours to rest and redistribute the juices then slice or pull and serve.

Keep in mind that a piece of meat this size will hit a plateau and you'll think your thermo has gone south on you. DO NOT adjust your heat, Just leave it alone-It's is during this time that the heat that has built up in the muscle mass begins to break down the connective tissue which in turn will make the brisket tender. Be patient with it and it will reward you a great meal.

Also, brisket is much more finicky than pork butt, which is pretty hard to ruin.

Jim
04-14-2011, 11:18 AM
Smoking Meat Forum has directions for smoking brisket that's worked for years. As you see above there are many variations to doing a brisket as there are doing butts and ribs.

Trim brisket and apply rub and let sit for an hour or longer.

Use wood chips of choice. Soaking chips makes no difference, IMO nor does using a water pan (which I use in my cheap electric Brinkman).

Smoke brisket to 170 deg.

Wrap in foil with a good splash of your spray/mop-back into the smoker until it reaches 190 deg.

Wrap in several old towels and place into a blanket lined cooler for a couple of hours to rest and redistribute the juices then slice or pull and serve.

Keep in mind that a piece of meat this size will hit a plateau and you'll think your thermo has gone south on you. DO NOT adjust your heat, Just leave it alone-It's is during this time that the heat that has built up in the muscle mass begins to break down the connective tissue which in turn will make the brisket tender. Be patient with it and it will reward you a great meal.

Also, brisket is much more finicky than pork butt, which is pretty hard to ruin.

The 170 degrees you mentioned is much too low in my experiance, I know you are letting the internal rise while resting, but I do not see it rising that much. I use a probe to tell me when the brisket is done. It should slide in with NO resistance.

Sometimes it's 195 and sometimes its 205. I let the meat tell me when its ready.

mano
04-14-2011, 11:30 AM
Jim, the 170 is the temp to wrap in foil and return to heat (I put it in the oven) until it hits 190, which is close to your target temp.

Jim
04-14-2011, 11:38 AM
Jim, the 170 is the temp to wrap in foil and return to heat (I put it in the oven) until it hits 190, which is close to your target temp.

Ahh... Indeed!

mhlee
04-14-2011, 11:51 AM
Are you still choosing between the Komodo and the Cookshack? If those are your choices go Cookshack. It has enough room to feed a party or cater but it's efficient enough to fire it up for a rack of ribs for the family. I'm sure the Komodo Kamado is a beautiful work of art, but I don't see how it's worth the $2000+ difference over a BGE. If you have other choices in mind then that changes things.

Good luck!

Thanks Kyle. I think I'm just going to go with a BGE for the time being. They're more available, there's more support and they're $2000 less than a Cookshack or BGE.

I do eventually want to get a Cookshack because I'm hoping to open a barbecue place in the future; a pellet burner seems to offer more consistency than any other cooker simply because it uses pellets, and getting a consistent source of high quality wood can be difficult at times. I called Cookshack yesterday, got a price quote for the FEC100, found out about their classes, etc., and prices. It's like $3500 plus $100 for shipping. It's a little steep for my wallet right now, but hopefully not in the future. :)

Thanks again for your comments. I appreciate it.

Kyle
04-14-2011, 11:59 AM
You're going to love the BGE. My cheap Chinese BGE knockoff kicks so much butt even though it's ugly and looks like it was assembled by toddlers. I want to sell it and upgrade to a BGE but I might just buy another knife or two instead. :biggrin:

mhlee
04-14-2011, 02:20 PM
Barbecue stuff vs. Knife stuff. That is currently the dilemma of my life. :helpsos:

PierreRodrigue
06-12-2011, 04:27 PM
Well today is the day. Got a nice 8 pound, 21 day aged hunk of black angus. Mixed up a rub, as per a valued forum member, let it sit 24 hours, put it on this morning at 8:00, it now 2:30, thing are looking good. Meat is soft to the touch, haven't checked internal temp yet, dont want to let out the heat. A quick question, would a BBQ sauce over do it, or would it be best to leave it to the dry spices?? Got about 4 hours till supper. Hope someone is on with some good advice! :D

SpikeC
06-12-2011, 04:50 PM
I would hold off on the sauce until after tasting. I like to let the meat and rub do the talking. If it needs sauce so be it, butt taste first, is my motto!