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Who's smoking meat this weekend?

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jrgtr42

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I have good luck with about 50/50 apple/oak
I havn't tried oak, but I like hickory as a fairly neutral smoke, supplemented by others.
Really happy with the batch I had - I used 2 different rubs, one with Northwoods fire seasoning from Penzey's Spices, the other with coffee/garlic rub from Trader Joes. That one I also sprayed down with cherry juice periodically through the smoke - the other stayed mostly dry.

ETA: yeah, that's some eggplant and hungarian wax peppers on with the ribs on the second pic. Planning on some eggplant dip with those.
 

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TheDudeLebowski

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I havn't tried oak, but I like hickory as a fairly neutral smoke, supplemented by others.
Really happy with the batch I had - I used 2 different rubs, one with Northwoods fire seasoning from Penzey's Spices, the other with coffee/garlic rub from Trader Joes. That one I also sprayed down with cherry juice periodically through the smoke - the other stayed mostly dry.

ETA: yeah, that's some eggplant and hungarian wax peppers on with the ribs on the second pic. Planning on some eggplant dip with those.
Have you ever visited Penzeys spices in Arlington? Actually do your bank account a favor and don't visit Penzeys in Arlington. I spent a ton of money last year before Xmas when for some reason there was a shortage of vanilla. That, cinnamon and a ton of Indian spices

EDIT: was gonna say the solo spices are great. Their rubs and mixes r so so. My fav rub is slat and pepper but then u mentioned TJ's. I like their coffee rub.
 
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jrgtr42

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Have you ever visited Penzeys spices in Arlington? Actually do your bank account a favor and don't visit Penzeys in Arlington. I spent a ton of money last year before Xmas when for some reason there was a shortage of vanilla. That, cinnamon and a ton of Indian spices

EDIT: was gonna say the solo spices are great. Their rubs and mixes r so so. I was gonna say my fav rub is slat and pepper but then u mentioned TJ's. I like their coffee rub.
Yes. We have spice cabinet by Penzeys. Some of the blends are really good - the Northwoods Fire, the Justice, Sandwich Sprinkle, and a few others. Some of them aren't to my taste.
I use salt & pepper rub on brisket, but I like I bit more on ribs. Pork shoulder just gets a brine, then on the smoker as it is.
I use that coffee rub from TJs all the time - it's great on salmon on the grill, chicken and I like it a lot on smoked ribs. The cherry juice spray goes really well with it.
 

TheDudeLebowski

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Yes. We have spice cabinet by Penzeys. Some of the blends are really good - the Northwoods Fire, the Justice, Sandwich Sprinkle, and a few others. Some of them aren't to my taste.
I use that coffee rub from TJs all the time - it's great on salmon on the grill, chicken and I like it a lot on smoked ribs. The cherry juice spray goes really well with it.
I've been thinking of sous vid'ing my own vanilla extract. The beans at the store were juicy and not dried out. I'm guessing it could make a good extract
 

DBhomebrew

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I've been thinking of sous vid'ing my own vanilla extract. The beans at the store were juicy and not dried out. I'm guessing it could make a good extract
Vanilla beans come in grades, 'A, or gourmet' being 'juicier' than 'B, extraction'. Grade B, while drier, have more concentrated flavor and are less expensive.

I crosscut the grade B beans into 1/2" pieces and let 'em soak in decent bourbon or vodka for a month. Give them a shake whenever I remember to do so. One pint will usually last us the autumn/holiday season. Another pint will last the rest of the year.

After corning for 7 days, desalinating for a day, resting with rub on for a day and a half, finally smoked my pastrami Saturday!
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That looks absolutely delicious.
 

applescrap

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I roll Kamado Joe, so I'm familiar with the grill. You're right that temp settings are basically nonexistent.

I do wonder if it was the size of the ribs. I get mine from Costco and usually search for the heaviest 3-pack I can find. Each slab is therefore >3 lbs.

That may be meatier than a typical grocery store slab.
I agree, man some slabs have the whole loin on them! I love those thick slabs. My friend once told me he cooked ribs for everyone and he said he cooked them at 225 for almost 3 hours. I was like jeesh, were they done? He said they were great. I cook mine at 275 for 5 hours or so. Found this link from last batch iirc.

 

applescrap

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Was given more jalapeños than I could use. Made Poppers from the biggest and threw the rest in the smoker as an experiment. Smoking made them super sweet and gave them a jelly texture. Very yum!
Passed pawn once smoked peppers until dry. Then he crumbled them into a habanero smoked pepper flake or something. Sounded amazing. Those look good and ready for about anything. I make a green hot sauce with jalapenos if you ever get a bunch more. Its emerill leg. Recipe. Just jalapenos with onion and a little garlic. It goes on everything. Bet it would be killer with smoked jalopenos.
 

bleme

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I crosscut the grade B beans into 1/2" pieces and let 'em soak in decent bourbon or vodka for a month. Give them a shake whenever I remember to do so. One pint will usually last us the autumn/holiday season. Another pint will last the rest of the year.
How many beans per pint?
 

DBhomebrew

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The results are consistently amazing! I follow the science and mostly follow the techniques for Pastrami Almost as Good as Katz on AmazingRibs.com.

Amazingribs.com completely overhauled my outdoor cooking about ten years ago. Pretty much everything off my grill or smoker is done to their recipes and techniques. Consistently amazing, indeed.

Their equipment reviews are really excellent too. They really help you figure out which features are worth paying extra for, and those that aren't.

My bacon is theirs, too. A fresh batch going on the smoke now.

Edited to add pic of 10lbs of fresh bacon and a homebrewed Rye Brown Ale.

20200901_143730.jpg
 
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bwarbiany

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Amazingribs.com completely overhauled my outdoor cooking about ten years ago. Pretty much everything off my grill or smoker is done to their recipes and techniques. Consistently amazing, indeed.

Their equipment reviews are really excellent too. They really help you figure out which features are worth paying extra for, and those that aren't.
Lots of great information on that site. I worry that too many people [based partly on Meathead's somewhat authoritative writing style] take it as gospel, though.

For example, in the equipment reviews they knock down basically every kamado grill except the Primo as being "incapable of two-zone cooking". Which, with a heat deflector [which is standard on the Kamado Joe and available for nearly every grill] is just flat out untrue. You can absolutely set up two-zone cooking. I do it all the freaking time.

Here is his page on the kamado in general, and you'll see what I mean: Buying Guide To Kamado, Ceramic, Egg Smokers And Grills

He highlights the Primo as being much more capable. But you know what is true about the Primo XL? It's 24" wide. You know what's true about my Big Joe (or the BGE XL)? They're 24" wide. Yet he's going to make the claim that because it *looks* more oval, that somehow it's more capable of doing 2-zone cooking than an equally wide grill of a different shape? Somehow because my grill has MORE space than a Primo, at the very front and back of the grill, it can't do 2-zone?

I took him to task for this years ago, and he just doubles down and says it's not "true" 2-zone cooking while saying the Primo can do it.

So... While I applaud him and his site, and while it also gave me a great education into cooking, it's important to remember that he's not the sole authority.
 

HoppyDaze

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Lots of great information on that site. I worry that too many people [based partly on Meathead's somewhat authoritative writing style] take it as gospel, though.

For example, in the equipment reviews they knock down basically every kamado grill except the Primo as being "incapable of two-zone cooking". Which, with a heat deflector [which is standard on the Kamado Joe and available for nearly every grill] is just flat out untrue. You can absolutely set up two-zone cooking. I do it all the freaking time.

Here is his page on the kamado in general, and you'll see what I mean: Buying Guide To Kamado, Ceramic, Egg Smokers And Grills

He highlights the Primo as being much more capable. But you know what is true about the Primo XL? It's 24" wide. You know what's true about my Big Joe (or the BGE XL)? They're 24" wide. Yet he's going to make the claim that because it *looks* more oval, that somehow it's more capable of doing 2-zone cooking than an equally wide grill of a different shape? Somehow because my grill has MORE space than a Primo, at the very front and back of the grill, it can't do 2-zone?

I took him to task for this years ago, and he just doubles down and says it's not "true" 2-zone cooking while saying the Primo can do it.

So... While I applaud him and his site, and while it also gave me a great education into cooking, it's important to remember that he's not the sole authority.
Maybe you're being a little too defensive about your baby.:p
 

bwarbiany

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Maybe you're being a little too defensive about your baby.:p
That's possible. :D

But it's not the only example.

Another one is his "science of curing meats" example. The Science Of Curing Meats Safely

First, he's talking about the difference between dry curing and wet curing. He advocates wet curing. Which is fine if you're trying to delineate between dry curing being hung on a rack in a temp/humidity-controlled environment. But what most of us do with bacon, i.e. cure with curing salt in either a vacuum sealed foodsaver bag or in a ziplock with the air removed, is actually wet curing. I think he does this deliberately, to basically make people think that every recipe on the internet (which doesn't call for "submerging" in the curing solution) are wrong, and to make him the authority telling you how to do it the "right" way. Yet his recipes only call for 3/4 cup of distilled water for a "wet" cure. In a 3# piece of meat that is 70% water, there's way more than 3/4 cup in that meat, but somehow that makes his a "wet" cure as opposed to what the rest of us do.

Second, he's aggressively talking about how his curing calculator was defined by Dr Greg* and that "other" one on the internet with all the broken links was just terrible. Yet you know what? If you put the same weight of meat, the same final concentration of nitrites, and "0" in for the added water, you get the exact same amount of curing salt needed. Now, that doesn't mean he shouldn't hype his calculator. But he shouldn't denigrate another one if it gives the exact same results his does.

Third, he is VERY adamant about not leaving the meat in a cure more than 25% over the amount of time his calculator calls for... But he's also using a calculator that gives you the amounts needed for equilibrium curing. You know what is true about EQ? Once equilibrium is reached, it won't change. So leaving the meat in the cure longer actually has ZERO ill effects. It won't pick up "more" cure than you put in, and you're measuring what you put in to the tenth of a gram.

Again, I like the site. His recipes and his methods work. But if you really dig into it, you realize that some of the stuff he's speaking so authoritatively about isn't really true. I look at some of his writing style and it turns me off, even if a LOT of what he writes is very useful. As mentioned, it taught me a LOT about cooking when I first started, but I've expanded to the point where I realize where he's letting his bluster get ahead of the science.

* The Dr or Prof Greg stuff is just a standard "appeal to authority" argument tactic. Like he's the only one using science on his site.
 

corkybstewart

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So I had about 1.5 pounds of porkloin, probably the driest cut of meat on earth. While my wife searched for French recipes for it I decided to throw some dry rub on it and toss it on the smoker. 2 hours at 225F it hit an internal temp of 150 and I took it off. It as incredibly tender and juicy, much to my shock. Last night I made a brown gravy with mushrooms and put the leftover slices in the gravy to warm up, it was still tender and juicy, shocking my wife. We both work at a rural food distribution once every month-any food with a torn package, or that hits the floor has to be thrown out so we usually take it home if nobody else wants it. This frozen porkloin had no label so it was deemed trash.
 

bleme

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Here in California, you don't even need a smoker. Just set your meat outside!
 

DBhomebrew

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How many beans per pint?
I shoot for an ounce of beans per ounce of fluid. Somewhere around 16-20 beans.
My apologies, that should have been 1oz beans to 8oz liquor.

The leaves are just barely starting to yellow, my cue to make a new batch. Twenty-five grade B beans (1.6oz) in 12.5oz of bourbon.

20200914_143904.jpg
 

bwarbiany

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Curious how you liked the Traeger compared to the Kamado?
I definitely like it for smoking.

When I got the Kamado, I was ditching my propane cabinet smoker and my wretched old gasser that was way past its prime. So I need "one grill to rule them all", and I was deciding between Kamado and Pellet for that grill. I determined that the Kamado was going to be more versatile, with its ability to get high direct heat for searing, which IMHO is the sort spot for pellet grills.

Smoking on a Kamado is great, in that if you have it dialed in well, it'll hold a temperature rock solid like nothing else. However, I don't think it gives all that much smoke flavor because you're basically building a TINY charcoal fire and barely smouldering your smoking wood, in order to keep that Kamado in the 225-275 range. If you're having issues with leaky gaskets, or if you get a flare-up from dripping fat, or basically anything else that affects your fire, though, the temp can creep. My gaskets get somewhat abused from high-heat cooking, so it's something I always have to watch. And set up is a lot more difficult--I usually light the grill 1-2 hours before I plan to put the meat on, in order to make sure my temps are perfectly dialed in and stable. Granted, that's overkill, but I am a perfectionist.

The Traeger is true set & forget, which is nice. The flavor on both the ribs and the short ribs I did yesterday was great, so I don't think there was anything lost in translation. It's not quite as rock-solid temp-wise as the kamado, I did see it fluctuating in the 240-270 range when I had it at the 225 set point... Part of that could be that it's an older model that I got secondhand. I also learned on the ribs that it does have hot spots, so when loading it with 3 racks of ribs I'm going to have to rotate them occasionally for even cooking. The rack in the back definitely got more heat than the others. But it's easier to set up and just get to smoking than the kamado, and it takes care of the temp control for you. Just plug it in, turn it on, and in 15 minutes you're set up and cooking.

I think that the Traeger, going forward, might be my primary smoker, whereas the Kamados will be my primary grills. The Kamado does high direct heat MUCH better than the Traeger, so anything that needs a sear is best on the Kamado. For smoking, the Traeger is at the very least equal to the Kamado in flavor, possibly slightly better smoke flavor since the fire needs to be stronger and is based on the wood pellets instead of the primary heat source being charcoal. But the Traeger wins on simplicity for smoking by far.

So... Both great at what they do. I definitely feel that for grilling, my decision back in 2014 to get the Kamado is validated. It's a better grill, and it's capable of doing everything. But for smoking, the Traeger is just easier with no loss [and potentially a very slight gain] in quality or taste.
 

bkboiler

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I have a lot of friends who love their Traegers and rave about them. I think the new term should be Traeger-happy ;)
 

Dgallo

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I think a lot of people get into that in-group and don't like to admit that the Traeger has a serious difficulty doing any high direct heat grilling, though.
Which Traeger do you have? I will say it’s not the same a direct heat grilling but I have the 650 pro and once I found the hot spots, I can get a solid sear. For me it’s the first 1/3 of the grill close to the hopper and then entire bottom 6 inches of the grate horizontally
 
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