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Old 01-02-2008, 11:55 PM   #1
BNVince
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Default El Cheapo Smoker Purchase

I was perusing home depot after work today since I had a mere $20 left on a gift card and I noticed that the Brinkman Smoke and Grill was on sale for $35! How can I pass up a bargain like that?

So I bought it and now I realize that I'm not that experienced with true BBQ cooking. I'm wondering if anybody has this smoker and how they have had success with it.

And what's the deal with the water tray? Should I be using that if I'm trying to smoke some ribs at a real low temp? Can I put beer in it for more flavor? Should I just return the thing and act like this never happened since I look like a complete noob right now?

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Old 01-03-2008, 12:04 AM   #2
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Ive never seen that smoker before, but BBQ and meat smoking is just like brewing, youve got the basic key factors- Meat, rub/spice, time, and temp. The best part is brew and BBQ go hand in hand!

Take some time and browse through this site. Its a pretty good resource, and its free!

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Old 01-03-2008, 12:25 AM   #3
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Ahh, how I wish it wasn't 12° outside so I could use my smoker without freezing my cajones off.

You always want to keep the water tray filled. It helps regulate the temperature and helps keep the meat moist (though the fat in the meat is the primary "moisturizer"). If you keep the temp around 225°-250° and the water filled you ribs will take between 4-6 hours depending on how tender you want them and how much you like to gnaw on the bones vs. the meat completely falling off when you look at it funny (I prefer the latter, but that's just me).

Is that smoker the electric one or charcoal? The electric is more convenient, but you won't get as much flavor as you would with charcoal. I'm a diehard charcoal man so I'm biased, but I see the merit in both. You can add wood chunks to either to get more of the hickory (or apple or pecan or mesquite) flavor.

Here's another site that has a ton of information and recipes:

http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/

A lot of the information is about the Weber Smoky Mountain cooker (I have two of them and can't recommend them enough), but the majority can be applied to all smokers.

Just tell yourself that you NEED a smoker to go with your beer habit. It's an easy justification.

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Old 01-03-2008, 12:31 AM   #4
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I have one of these... and I really liked it.
I have one of these now.
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=3342508

The water pan is for steam and to create humidity so that the meat does not dry out too much.

My issue with this unit was the access to the fire area down low. Difficult to maintain a good temp and add fuel. But great results in my opinion if you watch your fire.

My gas smoker is not "fancy" or expensive.. but I can use the wood and get a great smoke line in the first 3-4 hours.. and then walk away and 15 hours later.. I have a great brisket or pork butt or whatever...

You will love smoking .. meat... It rocks and creates greaet flavor!

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Old 01-03-2008, 12:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sluggo
If you keep the temp around 225°-250° and the water filled you ribs will take between 4-6 hours depending on how tender you want them and how much you like to gnaw on the bones vs. the meat completely falling off when you look at it funny (I prefer the latter, but that's just me).
So does cooking them longer make them fall of the bone?
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Old 01-03-2008, 12:42 AM   #6
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sure does.......low and slow

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Old 01-03-2008, 01:00 AM   #7
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My two cents is that if your are going to use charcoal. Use the natural wood variety in place of briquettes. It makes a huge difference in flavor.

For me if you are able to keep the smoker close to 225°-250°. For me 5-6 hours are the magic number for ribs.

Yes you can add most anything to the water, beer is a great addition for ribs. I will often baste with beer too.

You can tell if the meat will "fall off the bone" when the meat pulls back from the bone substantially. The catch 22 of all this is that you don't want to open up the smoker much. It takes forever to come back up to temp.

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Old 01-03-2008, 01:01 AM   #8
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I've got an ECB (El Cheapo Brinkman). I like it a lot.

It is a cheap model though. I wouldn't rely to heavily on the temp guage. Just get yourself a grill thermometer and set it right on the grate with your meat. You will get a much more accurate reading right where your food will be cooking.

Also, when you smoke you may want wrap foil around the rim of the lid to get a better "seal" and keep some of the smoke and heat in.

Once you get it properly tuned, you can set it and forget it. It will burn for a good 4 hours or so.

The water pan works great with beer.

I believe Evan! has the same smoker as I do and he has had good success with it.


Here are a couple threads from a smoking forum that I like to lurk at:

http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/vi...ht=project+ecb


http://thesmokering.com/forum/viewto...&highlight=ecb



My smoker in action


Drunk Chicken

Smoked Spare Ribs





P.S. Edwort is the Pitmaster around here when it comes to BBQ.

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Old 01-03-2008, 01:10 AM   #9
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This is weird. I was just looking at these online and considering buying one. I was just about to start a thread about this.

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Old 01-03-2008, 01:27 AM   #10
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Wow talleymonster. Those mods are awesome. And that drunk chicken looks awesome as well. Did you just stick a can of coors light up the chickens nether regions and smoke away with a little dry rub?

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