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Anyone own a smoker?
Old 04-20-2013, 07:11 PM   #1
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Anyone own a smoker?

Purchased a smoker today. Something my wife wanted to replace the grille, but neither of us knows anything about the tricks of using it. It is an electric smoker that only used one cup of wood chips per "smoking". Going tomorrow to get some wood chips and "season" the smoker as per instructions. Looked at Sams Club today and thought about getting some country ribs, a pork loin and salmon. Also saw some great looking New York strip steaks but don't know how you would smoke steaks and if they would be any good. I know you can do chickens and turkeys but not sure what else would be great to smoke and don't know where to start. SIL says he has some fish he wants to try. Instructions indicate there are a variety of wood chips but don't know the best place to find them or which chips flavor the best. HELP! I'm open for any and all suggestions and tips on using this thing.
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:58 PM   #2
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Sorry Johnnie, I own several smokers, but none are electric. That said, the trick with smoking is "low & slow". Low heat, slow cooking. Do not cook steaks in a smoker!!! Not unless they are chuck steaks. A ribeye or New York would be wasted in a smoker. Steaks require high heat. Ribs or brisket cooked low n slow will be fork tender, but will be well done, all the way thru, but not tough. I suggest trying a brisket at 225-250F, for probably 6+ hours. Get a largish piece of meat. Small will cook too fast but remain tough. I do smoke rib roasts from time to time, big ones, and usually have them going about 8 hours. Don't use wood chips the entire time as it can turn your meat too smoky a maybe a little bitter. Also, never smoke with pine or similar wood...it will ruin your meat and your smoker.

Happy smoking!

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Old 04-20-2013, 08:28 PM   #3
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If you like pulled pork pick up a Boston Butt and some rub and follow the directions on this web site. It one of the easiest items to smoke and always turns out great.


Perfect Pulled Pork From Pork Butt Recipe
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:34 PM   #4
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We have a big Oklahoma Joe's smoker we are getting ready to sell because we just bought an electric smoker. So far, we love it.

First off, for a newbie, this is what I'd suggest.

1. Go buy a smoking cookbook, or at the very least join a smoking forum, like this one: The Smoke Ring
2. Start low and slow. People are so excited initially, so they want to smoke 14 kinds of meat and fish at the same time. To avoid wasting $$ on meat, and to also avoid disappointment and frustration, just buy a small pork butt and start there. A pork butt is hard to screw up, and tastes so good.
3. Take a smoking class! DH has taken several and it really gave him lots of ideas and perspective. He took his classes at a local shop that sells grills and rubs and such. I've seen them at gourmet cooking stores and community college adult classes too. Well worth the time.
4. Give yourself lots of time and focus on the task at hand. Someday you'll be able to paint the house while you're smoking 3 kinds of meat, but initially, just park yourself in a nice chair by your shiney new smoker and don't try to tackle lots of other chores at the same time. DH has a cigar while he is smoking meat. That's about all the multitasking he can handle.
5. One of the best tricks DH learned was to smoke the meat in the smoker for 2 hours, then wrap it in foil and finish it in the oven at a low temp. After a certain period of time, the meat won't take more smoke, and you run the risk of drying it out. There are lots of variations to this method, so eventually you'll find the one you like. A friend of ours wraps ribs in foil and puts them in a cooler (with no ice) for several hours and lets them sort of steam. Sounds unsafe to me, but I must admit they are great, tender ribs.

Good luck, and let us know how your first items turn out!
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:34 PM   #5
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I have a monster weber charcoal smoke. Have done two turkeys at once and still had room. The best resource I have fornd on sve enough to moking is here: Smoker Cooking...It's How To Smoke Meat! Proven Meat Smoker Recipes

I must admit that I have not been brave enough to smoke a brined squirrel. Too afraid it wouldturn into shoe leather.
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:50 PM   #6
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I have a Traeger wood hardwood pellet grill that I use for smoking (it has a smoke setting that keeps the temperature low). My favorite is Salmon with nothing but salt, pepper and a little rosemary sprinkled on, then I use Alder smoke for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours and it comes out superb.
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:55 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by warren View Post
I have a Traeger wood hardwood pellet grill that I use for smoking (it has a smoke setting that keeps the temperature low). My favorite is Salmon with nothing but salt, pepper and a little rosemary sprinkled on, then I use Alder smoke for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours and it comes out superb.
Salmon is something I am really interested in trying. Is the 1 1/2 to 2 hours the total smoking time. How about a little more detail on that smoking recipe. I have Alder wood chips on my list to buy tomorrow.
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNNIE36 View Post
Salmon is something I am really interested in trying. Is the 1 1/2 to 2 hours the total smoking time. How about a little more detail on that smoking recipe. I have Alder wood chips on my list to buy tomorrow.
Since I live in the Northwest, it's a staple on our diet. There really is no further detail, I rinse the fish and pat it dry, then sprinkle on salt, pepper and a little fresh rosemary from our garden ground in my fingers. Get the grill warmed up on the smoke setting and lay a couple of filets on the grill skin side down, shut the lid and come back in an hour to check it with a probe. The time depends on the thickness of the filets, but I like it a little crusty on the outside and still moist and tender in the center. When it gets to 140F it's ready to slide onto a platter and let it set for 10 minutes or so, then dig in.

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Old 04-20-2013, 11:12 PM   #9
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We have an electric smoker. It works really well. I think you'll be happy with it. One thing we had to get after purchase was one of those pads for putting under a smoker or grill. We have masterbuilt, and liquid can leak out during cooking and get on the deck.
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:30 AM   #10
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We own an earlier version of this Little Chief electric smoker (top load instead of the modern front load). Looks like Walmart has it at a lower price than others Google

The instructions are here: http://www.smokehouseproducts.com/downloads/LCRB.pdf

Mostly done salmon w/ the basic recipe on p. 8 along w/ a brown sugar rub before smoking. Be sure to read the instructions closely. There a few basic things to know........use non-iodized salt, brine in plastic containers or at least containers that won't react w/ the brine, be sure fish is completely covered by the brine, rinse well and dry completely, etc. to avoid bitter metallic tastes, spoilage, etc. IMO.......smoking works best w/ oily fish like salmon; not as well w/ lean white fish. Typ times are
5 hrs brine/1+ hr rinse& air dry/ 6-8 hrs smoke.

I have come to like alternating pans of alder and apple chips. I found hickory to leave a stronger and more bitter taste that I didn't like. Your taste may be differ.

you can get the chips from the maker of the smoker (search for wood chips)
Search Results

Have fun learning!
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:22 AM   #11
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I am partial to mesquite for pork and hickory for brisket. Never tried Salmon yet, but I have brined a turkey breast then smoked it and it was awesome! A cigar and some scotch are surefire ingredients not to miss out on
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:32 AM   #12
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I have a offset wood smoker that I use for smoking at my house, but not for grilling. I am thinking of getting the Traeger PTG to take with our motorhome for trips. This is supposed to be able to grill as well as smoke meats.

Traeger Grills - PTG (BBQ020 )
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:52 AM   #13
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I have a Traeger pellet smoker. I usually smoke brisket, ribs or pulled pork using hickory pellets. I just follow the recipes on Traeger's website

Midnight Brisket - Traeger Grill Recipes

http://www.traegergrills.com/recipes/detail/88

http://www.traegergrills.com/recipes/detail/84
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:03 AM   #14
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I also have several smokers including an electric. The electric is nice because it keeps the temp constant, something harder to control with charcoal. I would suggest starting out with some inexpensive meat that will cook in an hour or so. One of my favorites is to smoke raw sausages - italian, brats, etc. Also boneless chicken breasts are quick and cheap. I do a bunch of chicken breasts and then freeze them to use in soups, stews, pastas, enchiladas, etc. Good smoking is all about technique and experience. My bible for smoking is "Smoke & Spice" by Cheryl & Bill Jamison. It is readily available. I don't like mesquite or hickory as I think they add a bitterness. I use apple, cherry, alder, maple, and oak. Try different woods with the chicken as that is neutral and picks up the smoke well. You will find what wood you prefer with which meat. For large pieces like brisket or pork butt I also smoke for 4 hours, wrap in foil, and then finish in a slow oven. Nothing like smoking a big hunk of meat for 12 hours for company and then have it be tough. I have also used the smoke & oven method to pre-cook and then just throw it on the grill (in the foil) the next day and it turns out great. My electric us wood chips, not hunks, and they are added dry. I also add more every hour or so as they burn down. Have a great smokin summer.
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:16 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by timo2 View Post
We have an electric smoker. It works really well. I think you'll be happy with it. One thing we had to get after purchase was one of those pads for putting under a smoker or grill. We have masterbuilt, and liquid can leak out during cooking and get on the deck.
We bought the Masterbuilt smoker also. One thing I noticed in the instructions was to adjust the latch on the door to insure a tight fit to keep juices from dripping out from around the seal. I also figured to adjust the feet so the smoker is tilted backward a little so juices would run out the drain hole in the back rather that flow to the front.

Thank for the hint about the pad. I'll see if Home Depot has them. I thought about putting it out in a landscaped area under our giant oak tree where we have electrical outlets. It would sit on patio stones on top of landscape rock where drippings would not matter; however, even with a water proof cover, it probably wouldn't be good to have it stored out in the elements. Could put it on our screened lanai where it would be a little more proteced but don't want the smoke to mess up the furniture. Move it outside everytime and then back in?
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:21 AM   #16
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I have an old electric smoker that I used a number of times for the Thanksgiving turkey. Turned out extremely well, but took way too many hours (I had to get up at dawn to start the process in order to have dinner at a reasonable time).

Later, I discovered the wonders of deep-frying the turkey, and never went back to the smoker.

However, for the last couple of years I've done nearly everything on the Big Green Egg, which is sort of a combination grill and smoker (technically called a kamado cooker), and this seems to be the ideal, at least for me.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:38 AM   #17
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I'm in possession of an ex-smoker

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Old 04-21-2013, 10:58 AM   #18
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I have a Big Green Egg (BGE) and love it. Last summer we had a summer bbq and I smoked (4) pork butts on it, for Super Bowl this year I smoked a brisket. I like the control I can get with the BGE both for slow cooking and for searing a steak. It has a nice range in my opinion.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:34 AM   #19
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I have a Little Chief electric smoker that is great for fish, and pretty good at getting the smoke flavor in other meats that are then finished in the oven. I make a lot of alder-smoked salmon .

Here is my go to recipe (it's actually from the Fire and Smok cookbook) : Honey Cured Smoked Salmon | Dadgum That's Good!
A 9x13 inch glass casserole dish works well for the brining.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:54 AM   #20
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We have a Traeger, made in Oregon. When it works, it is wonderful for pork ribs (are there any other kind?). Soon after we bought it, a weld broke on the screw feeder and it was down for the syear. (ONE WELD! There is only ONE WELD in the whole dam thing and they screwed it up. I might as well have bought one from [somewhere in the Far East]).
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