Who's smoking meat this weekend?

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Brewin’&Qin’

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I have a Rec Teq pellet grill I have used for 5 years now. I love this cooker. Some say not enough smoke flavor, but the perfect amount for our family. Cooked a turkey Split breast and a meatloaf this past weekend. If you have not had meatloaf on a smoker, you gotta try it.
I know I did not include pictures on this post so “officially” those cooks did not happen, but ohh they sure did. Glad I found this thread, will share more in the future for those who want.
 

Brewin’&Qin’

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Oh, I also have a Weber Kettle, a Happy Cooker Kettle (my antique joy) and now a very seldom used Weber Gasser in the arsenal as well.
 

betarhoalphadelta

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I have a Rec Teq pellet grill I have used for 5 years now. I love this cooker. Some say not enough smoke flavor, but the perfect amount for our family. Cooked a turkey Split breast and a meatloaf this past weekend. If you have not had meatloaf on a smoker, you gotta try it.
I know I did not include pictures on this post so “officially” those cooks did not happen, but ohh they sure did. Glad I found this thread, will share more in the future for those who want.
Good stuff. I almost went with Rec Tec back when I bought my Kamado in 2014. It seemed like the cream of the crop for pellets until you start getting up into the whole "next tier". At the time the big Rec Tec was $1K, which would have been perfect, but shipping to CA was an extra $200 on top of that... Also almost went with the bigger Green Mountain Grills version (Jim Bowie I think?) which I could have gotten cheaper locally so no shipping... But eventually just couldn't stay away from the Big Joe.

I still think Rec Tec is the cream of the crop for the pellets in the realistic pricing tier. Great grill.
 

betarhoalphadelta

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thanks @Mr. Vern

i got a 1.3 kg piece of "brisket" and a 2 kg piece of pork shoulder(bone in) for testing this weekend!
That brisket might not be large enough to smoke. That's only 2.8#... Depending on the shape, it might be too thin to really effectively smoke without drying it out... Brisket is a difficult beast on its best day. Trying to hit perfection on a baby brisket might not be very easy...

Agree with doing the pork shoulder first... Pork shoulder is the most forgiving cut of meat there is IMHO.
 

AzOr

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+ pork butts for a foolproof, delicious ‘que.
There’s a million finishing sauces that are super simple.
Two of my favorites are- mojo and Colombian aji salsa.
 
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That brisket might not be large enough to smoke. That's only 2.8#... Depending on the shape, it might be too thin to really effectively smoke without drying it out... Brisket is a difficult beast on its best day. Trying to hit perfection on a baby brisket might not be very easy...

Agree with doing the pork shoulder first... Pork shoulder is the most forgiving cut of meat there is IMHO.
You can do a small brisket. As long as you know the temperature of the interior, drying it out shouldn't be a problem. Smoke until it gets past 140F, then wrap with foil or butcher's paper and cook til 205. It's only after 140 that you start drying it out - that's where the fat starts dripping out of it. Just wrap at that point and bob's yer uncle.
 

Jayjay1976

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I have a Rec Teq pellet grill I have used for 5 years now. I love this cooker. Some say not enough smoke flavor, but the perfect amount for our family. Cooked a turkey Split breast and a meatloaf this past weekend. If you have not had meatloaf on a smoker, you gotta try it.
I know I did not include pictures on this post so “officially” those cooks did not happen, but ohh they sure did. Glad I found this thread, will share more in the future for those who want.
We like to make Fleischkäse once in a while and bake it in the oven till it gets a nice crusty top. I think I might try smoking a loaf, just to see how it turns out. I would definitely use alder or beech though vs. the usual suspects to get the authentic German smokey flavor.
 
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I’ve been smoking meats with my RecTec680 grill for 5yrs now. My wife and I agree that in our 21 yrs of marriage this was one of our best purchases. The last few years I’ve been smoking lots of St Louis pork ribs since they’re done in 4-5 hrs instead of 16-20hrs for pork shoulder. As the picture shows I smoked some pork shoulders yesterday but I tried something new. I brined overnight with some apple cider vinegar and salt with a general use dry rub in vacuum sealed bags. I then cooked the smaller butt 1 hr in my instant pot and then finished on the smoker for 7 hrs. The other butt was bigger so I did that one 1:40 in the instant pot. I added some more dry rub before going into the smoker. The smoke ring wasn’t as pervasive as when I smoke for 16+ hrs but the flavor, bark, texture, tenderness were all spot on in just 8hrs total cooking time. I spoke with a local caterer who makes great bbq and he typically smokes for a few hrs and finishes in the oven wrapped in foil. I will bump up the instant pot time a bit to see if I can end up with 3-4 hrs smoke time to get the bark the way I want it.
The best part was I was sipping my piña colada IPA while slaving over the grill.
Cheers!
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+1 amazingribs.com
Game changer
Before my RecTec grill I had a decent Weber gas grill but I had minimal temp control and basically went off times to achieve some level of consistency after years of grilling. Enter RecTec. Dialed in temp control. Amazing smoke flavor. I added grill grates to get a solid sear on my steaks. And finally, I employed an Inkbird 4 probe Bluetooth temp monitor to alarm at my set temps so there’s no more guesswork
 

Dgallo

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I quickly Sautéed shallots, garlic, and fresh parsley in butter and a touch of olive oil. Then right before I poured it over the top added a squeeze of lemon and some grated Parmesan cheese.
 

Kharnynb

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results are in, not perfect, but a decent start.
The wings were great and will definately get a repeat performance.
The pork was not quite pullable, so likely would have benefitted from more time.

Since all I had was birchwood, the smokiness was a bit too strong, have to go to the cottage to get a few bags of alder for smoking
 

Toxxyc

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When I smoke, I rarely smoke with actual flavoured wood for more than around 25 minutes. After that the fire is purely for heat. I've smoked meats for the whole day before and it turned out way too smokey for my tastes. Not sure if someone else has had the same experience before.
 

1bottlerocket

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When I smoke, I rarely smoke with actual flavoured wood for more than around 25 minutes. After that the fire is purely for heat. I've smoked meats for the whole day before and it turned out way too smokey for my tastes. Not sure if someone else has had the same experience before.
The only wood that I have ever had a problem with getting too much of a smoke flavor is mesquite. It left a bitter flavor behind and mostly rendered the food uneatable. I have never used flavoured wood, as I have not found it very interesting.

There are also different ways to set up your fire for a cook and this will dictate what kind of smoke you're getting. If you're getting big billows of white smoke, that will cause off-flavours, but if you have a nice thin, blue stream of smoke coming out I can have that going the entire cook and it will come out great.

I usually stick with pecan, hickory or post oak and that's about it. Using those I have never had a bad experience.
 

Toxxyc

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What I mean with 'flavoured' wood is more woods that are suited to a specific flavour, like mesquite, yes. It's actually the one I've had the most issues with as well. I tend to get the smoke just right, but I haven't used mesquite in a while due to that bitter flavour. Could also be due to bad fire practice during my time learning how to do it all, though.
 

1bottlerocket

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What I mean with 'flavoured' wood is more woods that are suited to a specific flavour, like mesquite, yes. It's actually the one I've had the most issues with as well. I tend to get the smoke just right, but I haven't used mesquite in a while due to that bitter flavour. Could also be due to bad fire practice during my time learning how to do it all, though.
Ah, okay. I see the flavoured wood section at my local store and I steer clear. I understand now what you're getting at. What's your set up
 

Toxxyc

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A 57cm Weber kettle. I typically use the snake method for low and slow long cooks and if I'm making something hot and fast, or if I'm lazy, I'll just grill on the fire and when I'm done I'll add a handful of chips to the hot coals, slap whatever meat I want to smoke on the other side of the grill and put on the lid, with the top vent relatively wide open and the bottom ones almost completely closed. That's how I do my bacon (only take it out the next morning) and it always works WONDERS.

This is the last bacon I made, using a piece of pork picanha. It was super cheap, and pretty lean (wife doesn't like fat on her bacon). I brined it for 10 days in salt, sugar, black pepper and cloves before washing it all off and using the above method overnight, using hickory chips soaked for a while in boiling water. Win!

 

1bottlerocket

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I also have a 57cm Weber. I installed a Fireboard unit and a Slow-n-Sear. The Fireboard gives some very steady temperature control, sort of set-it-and-forget-it and the Slow-n-Sear holds enough fuel for about 6-8 hours of smoking. With the Slow-n-Sear I have also went to using wood chunks and they burn a lot longer.

Here is a shot searing some Filets and a bratwurst:
IMG_4034.JPG


And with a bone-in pork butt:
This was about an 8-9 hour smoke using pecan.

IMG_4036.JPG
 

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betarhoalphadelta

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Here is a shot searing some Filets and a bratwurst:
View attachment 726297
Looks like a "happy" grill ;-)

What I mean with 'flavoured' wood is more woods that are suited to a specific flavour, like mesquite, yes. It's actually the one I've had the most issues with as well. I tend to get the smoke just right, but I haven't used mesquite in a while due to that bitter flavour. Could also be due to bad fire practice during my time learning how to do it all, though.
Yeah, mesquite is stronger, and people have wildly different tolerances to smoke flavor. Some people are much more sensitive to it.

As for fire practice, you can tell based purely on the smoke. If it's thin, almost translucent bluish smoke, you're good. If you've got white smoke, it's bad. Basically all smoking wood has volatile organic compounds [VOCs] that taste nasty. There are two ways to manage it:
  1. If you have a smoker that requires a hot fire, such as an offset stick-burner, you have to have a fire hot enough to burn off those VOCs before you put the meat on. In an enclosed (especially vertical) smoker like a weber kettle, WSM, kamado, etc, you can't keep the temp at the grate low enough for smoking temps with a fire that big.
  2. Otherwise you keep a very low temp with charcoal and add just enough smoking wood that you keep it smoldering instead of actively combusting. Usually when you light the fire, it takes a while for it to stabilize and get to a temp where this works. If you continue to see thick white smoke, you're doing it wrong.
It's much like a campfire--when you light a campfire it's nasty because you don't have enough heat to burn off the VOCs. But once there is a nice bed of coals you can throw a brand new log on top and the VOCs combust.
 

Toxxyc

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Yeah I learned that the hard way. First smoke was done with the bottom vents wide open, only throttling at the top vent. Every time I opened the lid, this thick plume of white smoke erupted from the Weber and covered half the yard, and I thought "wow this is going to be awesome".

It was not, in fact, awesome. Only later did I realize "smoking" is perhaps a misnomer. You're not looking for smoke, you're looking for a clean burn. A tiny trickle of smoke from the top vent now is all I know I need. Top vents generally about pencil-width open, and then I control the temperature by the bottom vent.

I read something that made sense to me: You want to control your fire by the amount of oxygen you feed it, by controlling the bottom vent. You don't want to smother your fire in it's own smoke by closing the top vent with all that hot smoke in the kettle. That's what causes bad flavours.
 
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