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OT:Smoking Meat Low and Slow (inspired my McRib)


Stu McHopton

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Any pitmasters in the house? Did not want to derail the McRib thread, and have not seen this discussed. Anyone into smoking meat: Ribs? Pulled Pork? Brisket? I purchased a Weber Smokey Mtn. Smoker this Spring and it is a joy to use. I have done several batches of ribs and a couple of beer can chickens. Friends and family have been pleased with the results! Next step is either an overnight brisket or Boston Butt cook. I like using a a rub with variations of paprika, chile powder, cayenne, cumin, chile powder, salt pepper, sugar. I do like to add a sauce for the last 30-60 minutes with variations of KC Master piece, honey, molasses and brown sugar. The key is to not overpower with spicy or sweet, but to get a nice complex taste of both. Would love to hear if others enjoy this hobby and any tricks for a noob. Also, in between checking temps and basting you can get some good practice time in. Cheers.
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Wife bought me a Big Green Egg earlier this summer and I am slowly learning to enjoy the many things you can do with it.

 

I smoke pork butts for anywhere from 6 to 12 hours depending on size, and the results have been pretty spectacular. I like using fruit woods like apple for the smoke when I am doing pork.

 

I am currently enamored of Blues Hog for rubs and sauces.

Moe

---

 

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I smoke chicken thighs over maple at least half a dozen times each summer. Lately, pork ribs have been ridiculously expensive, as have pork butts (quality going down the crapper, price rising), so I've passed on that.

 

I'm still learning the KC brisket technique, so I don't do much of that, as I want to really nail it the first time I try it for a party or something to that effect.

 

The chicken thighs, I marinate in lemon juice (and lemon slices), soy sauce, garlic, and seltzer water, which seems to enhance the penetration of the marinade into the meat. Then I smoke them for around 4 hours or until they reach 160 degrees internally (I know, that's not the "safe zone" - you can keep your dried up nasty chicken. I'll take my chances).

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I smoke chicken thighs over maple at least half a dozen times each summer. Lately, pork ribs have been ridiculously expensive, as have pork butts (quality going down the crapper, price rising), so I've passed on that.

 

I'm still learning the KC brisket technique, so I don't do much of that, as I want to really nail it the first time I try it for a party or something to that effect.

 

The chicken thighs, I marinate in lemon juice (and lemon slices), soy sauce, garlic, and seltzer water, which seems to enhance the penetration of the marinade into the meat. Then I smoke them for around 4 hours or until they reach 160 degrees internally (I know, that's not the "safe zone" - you can keep your dried up nasty chicken. I'll take my chances).

I've always heard 165 deg.F internal temp. for chicken, so 160 doesn't sound all that scary.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

-Mark Twain

 

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Been smoking for years. We do ribs 4 or 5 times a year. Theres no boiling or cheating (although we will bake for a short period if time dictates), it takes 5-7 hours, you invite friends over, fill a cooler with good beer, turn on the music, enjoy each others company, keep the smoker going slow and steady, and youll never go back to Famous Daves again.

 

Apple juice, quality beer, cinnamon and cayenne pepper soak, hickory chips to burn.

 

I love barbecue and whenever I find a new place when on the road, I will indulge in their indigenous sauces. When I smoke, I make a blend of sauce using whatever I have in the house (various non-corporate brands), but try to add a bit of raspberry and chipotle.

 

Never clean the inside of the smoker.

 

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Moe,

 

Next time you make it Columbia let me know. I'll stock you up with apple wood. I have a bunch.

 

Not to hijack the thread, but I've recently been using my smoker to cook paella. However you need stronger wood. The apple doesn't come through.

 

Ken

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Grapevine is great for smoking. When I was a kid we had about 1/2 acre of grapes. We would use the vines we trimmed for smoking wild boar and elk. My father is an avid hunter. When I was teenager I kept a shotgun and shells under the bed. My wife freaked when I told her that.

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Nice! I looked at the Green Egg with lust. May have to graduate to it at some point. Griff's chicken thighs sound great, perhaps some ginger and scallion with that? I have mostly used apple and cherry woods, haven't ventured into mesquite or hickory yet. Do you guys let the wood burn to gray before putting the meat on? I generally put the meat on once I hit my target 225-250, but have been reading that you need to let the wood burn a bit so the smoke does not over power.
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This is what "barbecue" actually means: sloooooow cooking, despite the way we use the word (usually meaning "grill with barbecue sauce").

 

Dammit, now I'm hungry, and I just ate.

 

Here in NC, if there's an outdoor party and you don't see a big cooking kettle on a trailer, the natural response is "but ... where's the party?" It's called a pig pickin'.

 

And since I'm in the middle of the state, the contentious issue is always "Eastern or Western style?" One uses the reddish sauce, the other a clearish vinegar-based one. I'm not sure which is which; I just eat while the others are arguing. I like 'em all!

 

Griff, I want an invite to your next barbecue. That 160' chicken sounds yummy. I'm sure after hours of cooking, the germs have given up, and I agree with you about it being nasty when overcooked. Chicken is best when you can't see the pink but you can still taste it.

 

Myself, I don't barbecue; I grill. But my son's a chef and he knows his way around any kind of cooking apparatus. After 8 years of pro work, he's still not quite up to his mother's abilities in a home kitchen. It's a wonder I'm not a yard wide.

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225-250 is a bit too hot for my purposes, especially when working with pork or beef (I pull at 150 in both cases). I usually run between 180-200. Goal is to just reach target temperature, not exceed it.

 

To me, as far as the wood is concerned, if you wait until it's gray, you've lost most of the smoke flavor. The smoke is supposed to be a prominent component of your final product - otherwise, you may as well oven roast it.

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225-250 is a bit too hot for my purposes, especially when working with pork or beef (I pull at 150 in both cases). I usually run between 180-200. Goal is to just reach target temperature, not exceed it.

 

I was unclear, 225-250 is smoker temp not meat temp. I go for 160 for Chick and Pork as well and it generally continues to cook a few minutes after you take it off anyhow.

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Low and slow are the only way to go!

 

I smoke country style ribs on a pretty regular basis (among other things) and it takes about 8 hours at no more than 200 in a 55 gal drum style smoker, with a proper coal/wood box!

 

I always say, the best BBQ meals are ones that you can take a nap during the cooking process!!

 

In September, I co-hosted an annual backyard BBQ jam session with a guitarist friend of mine, and we smoked almost 70 lbs of country style ribs for a 7 hour jam session with about 120 friends (and 40 hot musicians in the house). Musicians never miss a good meal!!

 

The food was almost as big a hit as the music!

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This is what "barbecue" actually means: sloooooow cooking, despite the way we use the word (usually meaning "grill with barbecue sauce").

 

Yeah. I make my own mop sauce for smoked ribs. If it's called "barbecue" sauce, it ain't going on my barbecue. ;)

 

Oddly, my mop sauce recipe is not only extremely simple (6 ingredients), but it's EXTREMELY thick. Tomato paste, brown sugar, molasses, cider vinegar, garlic powder, and ground cumin. It slays, I tell you.

 

Griff, I want an invite to your next barbecue. That 160' chicken sounds yummy. I'm sure after hours of cooking, the germs have given up, and I agree with you about it being nasty when overcooked. Chicken is best when you can't see the pink but you can still taste it.

 

Worst case scenario with my thighs, it might be a touch pink at the bone, but you'll be much more interested in how much MORE pink it is right underneath the skin. ;):thu:

 

One of these days, I'm going to get my fridge smoker done, hopefully before next year, and I will absolutely insist that the KC Mid-Atlantic M&G be held at my place. :idea:

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I was unclear, 225-250 is smoker temp not meat temp.

 

I figured that's what you meant. That's still too hot, in my book.

 

180-200 is as high as I want my smoker running. When I break out the big guns and do a sirloin roast or a whole pork butt, I keep the smoker down around 150-160, so I can leave the meat on it overnight and, if it goes an hour longer than I wanted, no big deal, it's just more smoky, not dried up.

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My brother is into it big time, I'll try to find a pic of his rig - it's on a trailer that my other brother built in NC. I have a giant band party every year with nearly 200 people where he does all kinds of meats focusing on pork - shoulders or butts or both. I forget which but it is the Real Deal.

 

On another smoking note, have you guys heard of The Stall ? It's a temperature phenomenon that throws some smokers for a loop.

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I have a cheap electric smoker that I load up with applewood. The steam in it helps turky. My most popular is a turkey breast. I put it on the bottom rack for two hours, then put some boneless pork ribs on the top rack for two hours. (Called country ribs in some areas.) They drip down on the turkey and provide a lot of flavor.

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Shoulder = butt. Same cut, different name. ;)

 

Interesting that the competition guys run the meat to 190. Maybe that's why my butts are tender, but not barbecue-shreddable tender - I'm only interested in getting that collagen to melt, not burning the outside...

 

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Trouble posting individual photos, here is a link to my brother's website. He calls the rig "Charlean". :thu:

 

It has a grill that is half gas, half charcoal, and a smoker. I told him he's found his vocation. :laugh:

 

Charlean

 

Nice Rig!!

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I am so glad I just ate.

 

Please give me advanced notice about the next MAKCH&BBQ. ;)

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I am so glad I just ate.

 

Please give me advanced notice about the next MAKCH&BBQ. ;)

 

Key prerequisite is that I have to get my fridge smoker done. There is no way in HAYUHL I'm going to go through what I did for the Metal Chef BBQ a couple years ago, pulling an all-nighter to smoke 5 racks of ribs and 20 pounds of chicken on a trashcan smoker (read: one of those little Brinkman charcoal numbers)

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That McRibs thread made me hungry!...Even though I don't eat there. I live in Kansas City - so I just go out and let the Pros do it for me!! I can't do the things these places around here do.
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You should try Jack Stack. I've actually never been to Bryants, but I do not care for Gates. Many much better places!
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Love our smoker...we do mostly ribs and beef jerky..

I use hickory, apple and pecan woods.

 

Ribs take 6 hours. We love the baby backs the best. :)

Sounds like a great idea for this weekend. :)

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You should try Jack Stack. I've actually never been to Bryants, but I do not care for Gates. Many much better places!

 

Just don't get confused and go to the Jack Shack. That's a WHOLE different kind of place, padre.

 

Had to Google that one, and, um, yeah...

Stuff and things.
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