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kannon 06-16-2020 09:24 AM

Recommendation for Electric Smoker
 
Good Morning All. With this lockdown I have been enjoying grilling on a Craigslist procured 3 burner Weber (great deal, elbow grease and a few parts). Been enjoying the grill but lacks for doing a long slow smoke.

Looking for an electric smoker, something that can fit on my patio, work all year road, reliable, able to do long slow cook.

Appreciate anyone's experience on a smoker they use and any recommendations for my first trial at smoking.

Thanks

braumeister 06-16-2020 09:30 AM

Nothing electric here; like others I've been delighted with my Big Green Egg for many years. Kamado Joe is another great choice there.

For a pure smoker, the most popular brand is Traeger and I have several friends who love theirs.

audreyh1 06-16-2020 09:58 AM

I very much love my Traeger pellet smoker. The wood smoke flavors are fantastic. I use it for lower temp long smokes. But don’t get the cheapest, smallest model. The pro temp controller, larger hopper, etc. are important.

Once ignited the burning wood pellets provide the heat, but an electric fan controls the temp, plus there are knobs, digital display, temp sensors, etc.

Dalmore 06-16-2020 10:21 AM

Traeger here also. Very satisfied with it.

Red Badger 06-16-2020 11:01 AM

Here's a guide for a wide range of choices

https://amazingribs.com/ratings-revi...-buying-guides

timo2 06-16-2020 11:05 AM

We are on our second Masterbuilt electric smoker. We like the brand. The newer ones have improved on drip trays, digital readouts, and wood tray.

DektolMan 06-16-2020 11:11 AM

not electric but we just bought a RecTec pellet smoker and couldn't be happier. Their customer service is fantastic.

CardsFan 06-16-2020 12:14 PM

Masterbuilt Electric here. Very happy with it, but if I had to replace it I would upgrade to the automatic temperature control. The manual is OK, but it does take some time to dial in the temp to start, and then it can creep up as the day warms and the the meat starts rising in temp.

A load of wood chips lasts about 2-3 hours, so you do need to reload once or twice, unlike the Traeger with pellet feeder.

A couple of hints on the wood chip:
- they are half the price at my grocery compared to the grill store or even Lowes.
- No need to soak the chips

nvestysly 06-16-2020 01:03 PM

6 Attachment(s)
Okay, I'm going to hijack the thread a bit. Not really, but maybe another point of view about smoking on a gas grill. Give that Weber grill a chance...

We have a 35+ year old, two-burner Kenmore grill. Nearly 15 years ago I decided to try some low and slow smoking after watching a segment of Steven Raichlen's BBQ University. I was impressed with the results. I've been successful smoking pork butt, pork ribs, pork loin, pork chops, whole chicken, chicken legs/wings/thighs/breast, and many other things. I've not been happy with my results on brisket.

I realize chicken is not low and slow (250 F for hours), but high and fast (375 F for about an hour) but it's easy. My favorite is pork butt at 1-1/2 hours per pound or so to a delectable 205 F internal temperature.

Here are a few pictures from a recent chicken leg smoke-off! I usually make my own dry rub but used Bad Byron's this time.

pacergal 06-16-2020 02:33 PM

Looks good!

Z3Dreamer 06-16-2020 03:32 PM

I use an electric smoker to convert cheaper meats into tasty meals. I buy pork-boston butt, whole chickens and whole turkeys. Some times, I brine the birds. Some times not. To smoke these I purchased a cheap electric smoker at my local big box chain hardware store. This was 20 years ago and the thing still works. It is bullet shaped, but has no controls. Just plug it in. 2 racks. I use a thermometer with a remote readout to track the temperature. It works just fine. If what I do is your vision then you could go to Home Depot, Lowes or Sam's Club and buy their $150 electric smoker by Masterbuilt or whomever. In most of the cheap ones, you can also add some flavor wood. I find that it is a waste of time. I can smoke a lot of stuff on two racks. I keep my smoker in the garage so I do not have nor do I need an insulated smoker, although I have some r-4 aluminum wrapped around it.

There are those who are very serious about the smoker. They want more controls and more options on the box. They will smoke more expensive cuts of meat. They want to smoke more than 40 pounds of meat at a time. They want to smoke outside in the dead of winter so they need a heavily insulated smoker (I keep mine in the garage.)

You have choices based on your vision.

Red Badger 06-16-2020 03:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nvestysly (Post 2443540)

We have a 35+ year old, two-burner Kenmore grill. Nearly 15 years ago I decided to try some low and slow smoking after watching a segment of Steven Raichlen's BBQ University. I was impressed with the results. I've been successful smoking pork butt, pork ribs, pork loin, pork chops, whole chicken, chicken legs/wings/thighs/breast, and many other things. I've not been happy with my results on brisket.

I realize chicken is not low and slow (250 F for hours), but high and fast (375 F for about an hour) but it's easy. My favorite is pork butt at 1-1/2 hours per pound or so to a delectable 205 F internal temperature


+1.
I smoke with my gas grill when I'm too lazy to fuss with my smoker. I put apple wood chips in a fire box and place it over the burner. Give that Weber a try before buying another appliance.

We live in Georgia. There are deputized patrols looking for folks smoking with gas grills. I could end up in a reeducation camp any day now.;D

Sunset 06-16-2020 04:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nvestysly (Post 2443540)
Okay, I'm going to hijack the thread a bit. Not really, but maybe another point of view about smoking on a gas grill. Give that Weber grill a chance...

We have a 35+ year old, two-burner Kenmore grill. Nearly 15 years ago I decided to try some low and slow smoking after watching a segment of Steven Raichlen's BBQ University. I was impressed with the results. I've been successful smoking pork butt, pork ribs, pork loin, pork chops, whole chicken, chicken legs/wings/thighs/breast, and many other things. I've not been happy with my results on brisket.

.....

I'm really impressed... a 35+ year old BBQ.

You must have replaced the burners and grills on it a few times ?

I feel lucky if I can get 10 years in the City, then my grills start rusting off along with everything else.

CardsFan 06-16-2020 04:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Z3Dreamer (Post 2443610)
I use an electric smoker to convert cheaper meats into tasty meals. I buy pork-boston butt, whole chickens and whole turkeys. Some times, I brine the birds. Some times not. To smoke these I purchased a cheap electric smoker at my local big box chain hardware store. This was 20 years ago and the thing still works. It is bullet shaped, but has no controls. Just plug it in. 2 racks. I use a thermometer with a remote readout to track the temperature. It works just fine. If what I do is your vision then you could go to Home Depot, Lowes or Sam's Club and buy their $150 electric smoker by Masterbuilt or whomever. In most of the cheap ones, you can also add some flavor wood. I find that it is a waste of time. I can smoke a lot of stuff on two racks. I keep my smoker in the garage so I do not have nor do I need an insulated smoker, although I have some r-4 aluminum wrapped around it.

There are those who are very serious about the smoker. They want more controls and more options on the box. They will smoke more expensive cuts of meat. They want to smoke more than 40 pounds of meat at a time. They want to smoke outside in the dead of winter so they need a heavily insulated smoker (I keep mine in the garage.)

You have choices based on your vision.

This got me thinking.

To OP:

The easiest thing in the world to smoke is a pork butt (Boston butt, pork shoulder, all the same, some just have bones). All you need is low heat (about 225F), smoke and time. BUT, make sure you get the final temp to above 200F. This is a cheap way to start, and really hard to screw up (IF you get to temperature). I normally use the "Texas Crutch" and wrap them in foil at about 165F. Add some apple juice, and wait. FYI, this can take over 12 hours.

If you want something faster, chicken and turkey can be cooked a little hotter, and come out great.

I always spray everything with apple juice, every time I open the smoker (which should not be often)

By all means DO NOT start out thinking you will make a brisket. Unless you are extremely luck, your first couple of briskets will be a disappointment and turn you off from smoking.

What I have found works with brisket:

- get a whole brisket ($$$)
- inject with beef broth and/or apple juice
- Make sure you get it to the right temp (I forget off hand, but not as high as pork, maybe 190F?)
- It is OK to wrap any meat in foil after 6-7 hours. It is not going to get any more smoke flavor, and might actually get a little harsh if smoked longer.

Lastly, have some fun with it. We tried a meatloaf. Came out good. Some folks smoke chicken wings for a while before deep frying.

In the beginning, not everything will turn out GREAT, but most will be better than just grilling.

FWIW, I have only used apple wood for smoke. It has turned out so good, I am afraid to try anything else.

ENJOY.

Edit to add: also try a chuck roast, to make pulled beef. Just as easy as pork butt, and just as tasty.

braumeister 06-16-2020 04:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CardsFan (Post 2443634)
The easiest thing in the world to smoke is a pork butt.

That is certainly true, but the one part many forget about is the finish. Once your butt gets to temperature (I always go to at least 205įF), you want to use the FTC technique.

Wrap it in foil, then wrap it in a couple of towels, then put it in a cooler (any kind, cheap styrofoam is fine) and let it sit there for a couple of hours. That's FTC (Foil, Towel, Cooler) and it makes a world of difference.

If you try to shred it when it comes off the smoker (pulled pork), much of the moisture will be driven off as steam and you will have drier, less flavorful meat.

Letting it sit, insulated, in the cooler will allow the butt to reabsorb those juices and you will get a moist, juicy load of meat when you pull it.

A very simple, but very useful tip.

Incidentally, the one thing I don't like about Costco is that their butts are boneless. I've found that the bone-in butts I get at my Kroger come out better.

One more tip: When you look at pork shoulders, you'll see both butts and "picnics". Skip the picnic IMHO.

CardsFan 06-16-2020 04:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by braumeister (Post 2443643)
That is certainly true, but the one part many forget about is the finish. Once your butt gets to temperature (I always go to at least 205įF), you want to use the FTC technique.

Wrap it in foil, then wrap it in a couple of towels, then put it in a cooler (any kind, cheap styrofoam is fine) and let it sit there for a couple of hours. That's FTC (Foil, Towel, Cooler) and it makes a world of difference.

If you try to shred it when it comes off the smoker (pulled pork), much of the moisture will be driven off as steam and you will have drier, less flavorful meat.

Letting it sit, insulated, in the cooler will allow the butt to reabsorb those juices and you will get a moist, juicy load of meat when you pull it.

A very simple, but very useful tip.

Incidentally, the one thing I don't like about Costco is that their butts are boneless. I've found that the bone-in butts I get at my Kroger come out better.

One more tip: When you look at pork shoulders, you'll see both butts and "picnics". Skip the picnic IMHO.

I forgot about the cooler. I do it all the time. You are right. It makes a difference. I don't use a towel, but have a small cooler, just the right size for a butt.

I have done both bone in and boneless. Usually bone in is a lot cheaper, even taking in to account the weight of the bone. And, as with most meat I cook, there is something about bone in that makes it more flavorful

Ronstar 06-16-2020 04:41 PM

I recommend a Traeger pellet smoker. Iíve had mine 8 years. Do mostly brisket or ribs. My home smoked meals taste as good or better than any bbq I get from a restaurant or bbq place.

CardsFan 06-16-2020 04:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ronstar (Post 2443649)
I recommend a Traeger pellet smoker. Iíve had mine 8 years. Do mostly brisket or ribs. My home smoked meals taste as good or better than any bbq I get from a restaurant or bbq place.

Any advice for brisket? I find them the most touchy one to smoke. Last one was fantastic. Previous 2 were, meh. Last time was a whole brisket, in the cryovac bag, and injected with beef broth. I think that makes a difference, but open to ideas.

audreyh1 06-16-2020 04:52 PM

I finally got brave enough to do a brisket on the Traeger, and I couldn’t believe how good it was and with a gorgeous bark! DH, who grew up in West Texas with lots of BBQ, gave me the thumbs up and said it was delicious.

One I wrapped it in butcher paper I finished it in the oven because I didn’t want to burn all those pellets once I didn’t need smoke anymore. The bark continued to develop and turned almost black.

We use whole packers, not the flat. Look for flexible meat that bends nicely. Plenty of fat. I somehow found smaller ones but still 11-13 hours.

I watched a bunch of Franklin videos to figure out how to go about it, trimming, rubs, timing, temps, wraps etc.

Simple salt and pepper rub. I had a water dish in the smoker, and occasionally sprayed it with apple cider vinegar, I think.

OldShooter 06-16-2020 05:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kannon (Post 2443419)
... Appreciate anyone's experience on a smoker they use and any recommendations for my first trial at smoking. ...

One of life's lessons for me is "Don't buy cheap tools." But sometimes I forget it, so for smoking I started with a two-chamber New Braunfels smoker that leaked so much air into the fire chamber that it was impossible to control. I ditched that an bought a cheap "tin box" Camp Chef propane smoker. It was a step up, but low and slow was difficult because the low propane flame didn't keep the wood smoking. I now have a good Traeger L'il Tex at the lake place and a Camp Chef DLX at home. Both excellent pellet smokers.

There are electric smokers of the "cheap tin box" variety. Buy one and get the experience that will teach you what you really want. There are also high quality commercial electric smokers aka expensive smokers that might work for you. I have never tried one.

I think you'll end up with a pellet smoker. Might as well start there. Our local CraigsList always has a few. In new, I would suggest the Camp Chef DLX (https://www.amazon.com/Camp-Chef-Smo.../dp/B06WVCR6FP) with a sear station: https://www.amazon.com/Camp-Chef-Smo.../dp/B01DTLYUZW

Quote:

Originally Posted by CardsFan (Post 2443652)
Any advice for brisket? ...

Go here: The BBQ BRETHREN FORUMS. - Powered by vBulletin and read threads until your eyes glaze over. The most important thing to know is that a brisket is done when it probes tender like butter, regardless of temperature. Mine typically go for 10-14 hours at 225deg. The brisket will tell you when it's done. The clock won't and the thermometer won't.

braumeister 06-16-2020 05:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by audreyh1 (Post 2443655)
I watched a bunch of Franklin videos to figure out how to go about it, trimming, rubs, timing, temps, wraps etc.

Probably the best advice anywhere. Nobody does it like Aaron.

Ronstar 06-16-2020 07:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CardsFan (Post 2443652)
Any advice for brisket? I find them the most touchy one to smoke. Last one was fantastic. Previous 2 were, meh. Last time was a whole brisket, in the cryovac bag, and injected with beef broth. I think that makes a difference, but open to ideas.



I use the midnight brisket traeger recipe https://www.traegergrills.com/recipes/midnight-brisket and tips from https://www.smokedbbqsource.com/smok...first-brisket/
I get my brisket from a butcher and tell him that Iím going to smoke it. So maybe he trims it knowing how Iím smoking it it. I donít know - I just through it on the smoker with no additional trim on my part.
I spritz the brisket with Apple juice and I keep a pan of water in the smoker for moisture. I pull the brisket at no less than 204 degrees, and I let it rest for at least 30 minutes.

JackJester 06-16-2020 08:24 PM

I also recommend the MasterBuilt. I have an older version of this one: https://www.masterbuilt.com/collecti...lectric-smoker
Mine has a glass window, but it quickly got clouded with smoke and drippings and can never be cleaned, so no benefit. I have smoked everything from Ham to Salmon. I do a lot of ribs and turkeys and brisket. It is very versatile and easy to use. The wood chips are easy to load and the digital thermometer is accurate. Just enter the temp and time and then every 30 minutes to an hour just load more wood chips. I have gotten good recipes from this site: https://amazingribs.com/

kannon 06-19-2020 04:23 AM

Well I did a 3.5 hr 225F slow cook on a weber gas grill of chicken thighs. They came out good, but truthfully not much difference than my faster higher temp grilling efforts. Used apple chips in aluminum foil. But really not much of a smoke flavor. 0 for 1. Long term think will have to go to a dedicated smoker route.

braumeister 06-19-2020 04:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kannon (Post 2444711)
Well I did a 3.5 hr 225F slow cook on a weber gas grill of chicken thighs. They came out good, but truthfully not much difference than my faster higher temp grilling efforts.

Not surprising. Chicken is probably the least receptive kind of meat to the low and slow method, so it's generally cooked at a much higher temperature. I think the best possible way to cook chicken is on a rotisserie. Another difference is that with chicken a little smoke goes a very long way. Too much can ruin it.

kannon 06-19-2020 04:41 AM

So maybe try with beef or pork and see how it goes. I have had great success on a rotisserie. We discovered a bbq carryout nearby, small place - like a shed with three grills running all day, a fabulous smoked turkey. My goal is to cook like they do. Key word being "like" - they use charcoal and hardwood.

capjak 06-19-2020 07:02 AM

I had a Masterbuilt electric, it was good but had to add wood chips every hour so and it broke after 1 year.

I purchased a Traeger from Costco and love it so far, my grill just sits collecting dust now as I do everything on the Pellet Grill much easier, other than clean up of ashes.

I am a member of Pellet grill on facebook and they have many recommendations depending on budget.

RecTec is popular as well.

rrppve 06-23-2020 08:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CardsFan (Post 2443652)
Any advice for brisket? I find them the most touchy one to smoke. Last one was fantastic. Previous 2 were, meh. Last time was a whole brisket, in the cryovac bag, and injected with beef broth. I think that makes a difference, but open to ideas.

My simple brisket advice is to change your injection from broth to Butcherís BBQ. That made a big difference for me. The rest of your process sounds good.
Iím not a spritzer.
For ribs, the two biggest improvements I made were both learned on Amazingribs.com I salt the night before and then use a saltless rub the day of. Also using Blues Hog BBQ sauce as a glaze made a big difference.

rrppve 06-23-2020 08:29 PM

Have several BBQ cookers in my collection. Not a single one is gas.
The Rectec is a good pellet grill. A MAK or Yoder is even better but pricier. Stay away from Traeger, am in the process of returning my broken Traeger to Costco for a refund.
The cheapest and most practical way to start is with a Weber kettle. For chicken get a vortex insert.
I use a Kamado Joe a lot. It’s very similar to a Big Green Egg.
I also have a PK360 which I use for grilling steaks primarily. I can do this in the Kamado, but it’s quicker and easier on the PK.
I took up BBQ as my hobby in earnest when I FIREd. Just did a brisket this past weekend. Am waiting on my new toy to arrive, a Hunsaker drum, which has gained a lot of popularity recently.
Learned a lot from Amazingribs.com and bbq-brethren.com

Rambler 06-23-2020 09:50 PM

I’ve got a CampChef pellet grill. They work just like the Traeger. I’ve had it for about a year and a half, and use it all the time. I don’t grill on it, only smoke. For super hot searing, I use my TruInfrared propane grill. The Traegers and CampChefs have their limits in terms of high temp work, but you can’t beat the pellet grill for smoking.

vafoodie 06-23-2020 11:32 PM

We just bought a Green Mountain Smoker. Cheaper than a Traeger but supposedly mDe as well if not better. So far, so good.

audreyh1 06-24-2020 03:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by braumeister (Post 2444712)
Quote:

Originally Posted by kannon (Post 2444711)
Well I did a 3.5 hr 225F slow cook on a weber gas grill of chicken thighs. They came out good, but truthfully not much difference than my faster higher temp grilling efforts. Used apple chips in aluminum foil. But really not much of a smoke flavor. 0 for 1. Long term think will have to go to a dedicated smoker route.

Not surprising. Chicken is probably the least receptive kind of meat to the low and slow method, so it's generally cooked at a much higher temperature. I think the best possible way to cook chicken is on a rotisserie. Another difference is that with chicken a little smoke goes a very long way. Too much can ruin it.

I have terrific luck with low and slow whole smoked chickens on my Traeger. It’s a go to regular favorite.
- the chickens are brined
- the Traeger generates way more smoke than a foil packet of chips.
- 2 to 2.5 hrs at 225-250 to get a good smoke exposure, then up to 325-375 thereabouts to finish them off.

They are really out of this world and the best smoked chicken ever. Super juicy and no basting because of the brining.

The initial low and slow means that the skin is well rendered and thin, so it’s not going to be crispy, but the juicy smokey meat is so delicious it doesn’t matter.

On the simple Weber I recommend using a couple of chunks in the coals instead of chips in foil. I tried cherry chunks on a recent much faster cook of unbrined chicken pieces and got a lot of smoke and a nice flavor. Not nearly as intense as the Traeger, but definitely enhanced over charcoal alone.

folivier 06-24-2020 06:26 AM

I use a Charbroil electric smoker with great success, but don't use the included smoker box. I use a Carpathen tube smoker instead. Much more smoke. And I make my own rub from a recipe given to me years ago by a Texas champion brisket smoker. I marinate the meat usually in unsweetened cherry juice infused with garlic the day before. Won't spritz during the smoke, just put it in and forget about it.
I also use the Texas crutch and wrap in butcher paper at around 170ļ. I usually have several vacuum sealed packs of brisket and pulled pork in the freezer for quick meals.

6miths 06-24-2020 10:09 AM

I thought that this was going to be about vaping! lol

Rustic23 06-24-2020 02:49 PM

I have used one of these, or one like it, for over 30 years! I have won several local brisket cook-off using the following:
https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/s...iQgDg&usqp=CAc

I was at a Texas BBQ contest in 1987. Some of the best brisket I have ever tasted. My brother was a judge and good friends with a lot of the cooks. I got the following advice:

Make a rub of one part season salt, one part paprika, and one chili powder. Use one pecan, one mesquite, two oak logs for smoke. Smoke the brisket for four hours at 200 to 250 deg. Remove, wrap in foil covered with one bottle of Italian dressing and one bottle of water. (small cheap dressing) Wrap and return to heat at 200-250 for 4 hours. It can be outside or inside in the oven. At this point the meat has all the smoke flavor it's going to get because you wrapped it in foil. During the smoking portion I add wood about every hour. This has never failed me. Tender, moist, and easy.

braumeister 06-24-2020 02:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rustic23 (Post 2447037)
I have used one of these, or one like it, for over 30 years! I have won several local brisket cook-off

Impressive!
I'm a barbeque judge and I judge at anywhere up to a dozen contests every year. Most judges will tell you that brisket is the hardest thing to get perfect, and when I happen on one that is just totally awesome it pretty much makes my day.

Certainly Texas is the place for great brisket. Nobody is quite sure why.

MuirWannabe 06-24-2020 04:59 PM

I have both a BGE and an offset firebox smoker. For serious bbq, I still like to use the offset firebox smoker (usually with pecan wood), although the BGE can do it all as well. Probably even easier on the BGE, but I guess I feel like itís cheating.

Love pork butt, spareribs, and brisket. But my absolute favorite, decadent, delicious cut of meat to smoke are beef short ribs. They are so rich and sumptuous, you canít actually handle eating them too often. But my oh my.

MuirWannabe 06-24-2020 05:05 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hereís a pic of some just off the smoker beef ribs.
Attachment 35438

Winemaker 06-25-2020 06:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rustic23 (Post 2447037)
I have used one of these, or one like it, for over 30 years! I have won several local brisket cook-off using the following:
https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/s...iQgDg&usqp=CAc

This is very similar to mine. After watching a Video on how to make a home made smoker using a terra cotta planter, an electric grill charcoal starter and about $150 worth of parts, I walked past the smoker dept. in Home Depot. It was late September and they were all on clearance. I picked one up for about $40, and have used it once a month for about 8 years now. We cook on our grill 2-3 times a week year round, and it's not uncommon to see me BBQing in a snow storm in February.

meekie 06-26-2020 02:45 PM

I just got a Masterbuilt 40" Bluetooth Electric Smoker a few months ago and am loving it, but I probably recommend a different model. The Bluetooth is nice for checking on the temp, but every time I switch off the app, it disconnects, so trying to set an alarm for a certain temp doesn't work. I also have to add wood chips every 30 minutes to get good smoke going. Still haven't seen anything that looks like a smoke ring yet.
Then again, it looks like the price now (250) is way lower than what we paid (over 400). The clear door is pretty useless, it gets smoked up pretty easily.

Rustic23 06-26-2020 03:13 PM

Meekie, I ask what the paprika was far, and the answer, "you get a better smoke ring!" Nothing like a little red dye!

24601NoMore 06-26-2020 03:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MuirWannabe (Post 2447089)
Hereís a pic of some just off the smoker beef ribs.
Attachment 35438

Those look amazing. Wife and I went to a work Christmas party at a restaurant several years ago, and they served those. HOLY COW. MEAT HEAVEN!

I've tried making them a few times, and have never gotten the hang of it, even though I can cook just about anything pretty well.

If you're comfortable sharing your technique and recipe, you'd be doing a fellow Q enthusiast a massive favor..

TIA..

24601NoMore 06-26-2020 03:30 PM

A great electric smoker is anything by Cookshack. I have their "Smokette Elite" (SM025) and it's a beast. Built like a tank, and would probably survive a nuclear holocaust. But more importantly, is a "set and forget" electric smoker. Put 2-4 oz of a good, hefty wood chunk or two in to the smoke box..set your temp. Load up the food, and insert the (included) probe so that you constantly monitor food temp.

Could not be easier. I also own a Big Green Egg (albeit, a Mini, which wouldn't suffice for smoking) and a Kamado Joe (large) which many people would use for smoking. But the ease of use of the SM025 over the KJ is LIGHT YEARS better. (For example, I don't need to load a ton of lump into the KJ, setup separate temp controllers and fans, and most likely reload the lump at some point during a long cook). Plus, I don't have to worry about potentially setting my deck on fire when I kick on the Cookshack, as the smoke box is totally contained and there's NO WAY even the smallest spark is ever getting out of the cook box. KJ with all that natural lump, flame and sparks? No way I'd leave that thing unattended on my wood deck, especially overnight.

IMHO, you can't go wrong with anything by Cookshack. They make commercial, competition-level and "enthusiast" gear. It's not cheap, but it will last you a lifetime. Hell, my SM025 will almost certainly outlive me. Nuclear war or not..(you'll know what I'm talking about if you ever see one..they just don't build things like Cookshacks any longer..)

PS: I just re-read the SM025 page and it mentions using "year round". Oh, yeah. I live in MI and have smoked Pork Butt, Ribs and Brisket on days with 16'' of snow on my deck, and the thermometer reading sub zero. The SM025 has more insulation than my house. And it's built out of (many layers) of solid metal. The thing is a BEAST and totally indestructible. You could probably run it just fine in the middle of the worst winter day in central Siberia, and it'd do JUST. FINE. and turn out some great Q.

As far as ELECTRIC smokers, you can't beat a Cookshack IMHO. That said, there's a whole passionate, religious discussion around Electric vs. Lump vs Stick Burners vs. Pellet Burners, etc..good luck!

ETA - the SM025 has a separately sold cart that it stacks on top of. Highly recommended, as the base unit would be low to the ground without this..they are also made entirely in the USA. I think they're welded (yeah, welded) together in Oklahoma, or somewhere similar where big, burly men rip large trees from the ground with their bare hands before wrestling down a buffalo or two for dinner.

MuirWannabe 06-26-2020 03:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 24601NoMore (Post 2447792)
Those look amazing. Wife and I went to a work Christmas party at a restaurant several years ago, and they served those. HOLY COW. MEAT HEAVEN!

I've tried making them a few times, and have never gotten the hang of it, even though I can cook just about anything pretty well.

If you're comfortable sharing your technique and recipe, you'd be doing a fellow Q enthusiast a massive favor..

TIA..


Honestly, theyíre a fairly straightforward cook. I do get the beef ribs from a butcher shop to ensure high quality meat. Rub them with lots of black pepper and coarse salt. Also, throw some garlic powder in the rub. Cause I always like a little garlic. Then, throw them on and let the smoke do itís thing. Iíll spritz with either water or apple juice every 45 minutes or so. Keep my smoker between 230-270. Takes several hours. Cook till the internal temperature reaches 203. I use pecan wood. Its got a nice mild flavor. But hickory or oak would do.

Let rest and then serve with your favorite bbq sauce on the side. They taste like the most savory roast meat ever. Your eyes will roll into the back of your head. Good luck next time. Itís been a while. Iíll try them soon no doubt. Enough talking..time to eat!

24601NoMore 06-26-2020 04:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MuirWannabe (Post 2447810)
Honestly, they’re a fairly straightforward cook. I do get the beef ribs from a butcher shop to ensure high quality meat. Rub them with lots of black pepper and coarse salt. Also, throw some garlic powder in the rub. Cause I always like a little garlic. Then, throw them on and let the smoke do it’s thing. I’ll spritz with either water or apple juice every 45 minutes or so. Keep my smoker between 230-270. Takes several hours. Cook till the internal temperature reaches 203. I use pecan wood. Its got a nice mild flavor. But hickory or oak would do.

Let rest and then serve with your favorite bbq sauce on the side. They taste like the most savory roast meat ever. Your eyes will roll into the back of your head. Good luck next time. It’s been a while. I’ll try them soon no doubt. Enough talking..time to eat!

Thanks..I totally agree with the "your eyes will roll into the back of your head" description, as this is EXACTLY what I experienced when I had these prepared "properly". It was (hate to put it this way, but no equal way to describe) like the 'best sex you ever had' meat. BEYOND amazing. I will never forget that dinner. WHOAH!

Will give your technique a try next time I can get out of my COVID self-induced prison long enough to buy some..

ETA - I know there are multiple cuts of these things to request..what do you ask your butcher for?

audreyh1 06-26-2020 04:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MuirWannabe (Post 2447810)
Honestly, theyíre a fairly straightforward cook. I do get the beef ribs from a butcher shop to ensure high quality meat. Rub them with lots of black pepper and coarse salt. Also, throw some garlic powder in the rub. Cause I always like a little garlic. Then, throw them on and let the smoke do itís thing. Iíll spritz with either water or apple juice every 45 minutes or so. Keep my smoker between 230-270. Takes several hours. Cook till the internal temperature reaches 203. I use pecan wood. Its got a nice mild flavor. But hickory or oak would do.

Let rest and then serve with your favorite bbq sauce on the side. They taste like the most savory roast meat ever. Your eyes will roll into the back of your head. Good luck next time. Itís been a while. Iíll try them soon no doubt. Enough talking..time to eat!

Yeah, pretty much same here on my Traeger. I do the Costco chuck short ribs that come 4 ribs together as a chunk. Salt and pepper rub. 250-275 thereabouts. Spritz hourly with cider vinegar after the first couple of hours. I also favor pecan. It usually takes at least 6 hours. Same target temp but probe to make sure that the meat gives easily between the ribs. Develops a gorgeous very dark bark - almost black. Absolutely delicious!

MuirWannabe 06-26-2020 04:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 24601NoMore (Post 2447830)
Thanks..I totally agree with the "your eyes will roll into the back of your head" description, as this is EXACTLY what I experienced when I had these prepared "properly". It was (hate to put it this way, but no equal way to describe) like the 'best sex you ever had' meat. BEYOND amazing. I will never forget that dinner. WHOAH!

Will give your technique a try next time I can get out of my COVID self-induced prison long enough to buy some..

ETA - I know there are multiple cuts of these things to request..what do you ask your butcher for?


I ask for beef short ribs Ďfrom the plateí. Not the chuck roast.

Bamaman 06-26-2020 07:55 PM

I have a Mastercraft but seldom use it because I'll have to then clean it. It's one heavy piece to move outside my screen porch to clean up.

After it croaks, I may install a Bradley Bisquette smoker in the Mastercraft that cooks using small pucks. They're very good.

My favorite smoker is the UDS--with plans off the internet available. They are made out of a 55 gallon metal food grade drum. Doesn't get any better than cooking over coals.

51notout 06-26-2020 07:56 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by 24601NoMore (Post 2447796)
A great electric smoker is anything by Cookshack. I have their "Smokette Elite" (SM025) and it's a beast. Built like a tank, and would probably survive a nuclear holocaust. But more importantly, is a "set and forget" electric smoker. Put 2-4 oz of a good, hefty wood chunk or two in to the smoke box..set your temp. Load up the food, and insert the (included) probe so that you constantly monitor food temp.


Could not agree more about Cookshack smokers. I bought my SM009-2 in 2012 and I cleaned it up this week up (to sell) after much usage.
Iím selling it since both kids moved out and DW doesnít like smoked meats [emoji30]

Attachment 35453

GoBears 06-26-2020 08:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 24601NoMore (Post 2447796)
A great electric smoker is anything by Cookshack. I have their "Smokette Elite" (SM025) and it's a beast. Built like a tank, and would probably survive a nuclear holocaust. But more importantly, is a "set and forget" electric smoker. Put 2-4 oz of a good, hefty wood chunk or two in to the smoke box..set your temp. Load up the food, and insert the (included) probe so that you constantly monitor food temp.

Could not be easier. I also own a Big Green Egg (albeit, a Mini, which wouldn't suffice for smoking) and a Kamado Joe (large) which many people would use for smoking. But the ease of use of the SM025 over the KJ is LIGHT YEARS better. (For example, I don't need to load a ton of lump into the KJ, setup separate temp controllers and fans, and most likely reload the lump at some point during a long cook). Plus, I don't have to worry about potentially setting my deck on fire when I kick on the Cookshack, as the smoke box is totally contained and there's NO WAY even the smallest spark is ever getting out of the cook box. KJ with all that natural lump, flame and sparks? No way I'd leave that thing unattended on my wood deck, especially overnight.

IMHO, you can't go wrong with anything by Cookshack. They make commercial, competition-level and "enthusiast" gear. It's not cheap, but it will last you a lifetime. Hell, my SM025 will almost certainly outlive me. Nuclear war or not..(you'll know what I'm talking about if you ever see one..they just don't build things like Cookshacks any longer..)

PS: I just re-read the SM025 page and it mentions using "year round". Oh, yeah. I live in MI and have smoked Pork Butt, Ribs and Brisket on days with 16'' of snow on my deck, and the thermometer reading sub zero. The SM025 has more insulation than my house. And it's built out of (many layers) of solid metal. The thing is a BEAST and totally indestructible. You could probably run it just fine in the middle of the worst winter day in central Siberia, and it'd do JUST. FINE. and turn out some great Q.

As far as ELECTRIC smokers, you can't beat a Cookshack IMHO. That said, there's a whole passionate, religious discussion around Electric vs. Lump vs Stick Burners vs. Pellet Burners, etc..good luck!

ETA - the SM025 has a separately sold cart that it stacks on top of. Highly recommended, as the base unit would be low to the ground without this..they are also made entirely in the USA. I think they're welded (yeah, welded) together in Oklahoma, or somewhere similar where big, burly men rip large trees from the ground with their bare hands before wrestling down a buffalo or two for dinner.

I also swear by Cookshack. We have had our smoker for 15+ years. It is still going strong. Stay up late, put the brisket in and just let it smoke. Chicken and ribs are done in 3.5 hours. Nothing easier. And some great recipes on their website.

24601NoMore 06-27-2020 06:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 51notout (Post 2447943)
Could not agree more about Cookshack smokers. I bought my SM009-2 in 2012 and I cleaned it up this week up (to sell) after much usage.
Iím selling it since both kids moved out and DW doesnít like smoked meats [emoji30]

Attachment 35453

Nice! That's a classic. If I remember right, the SM009 was the first "home use" smoker Cookshack made.

Love the weld marks in the upper right corner. Far as I know, these things are all built by hand. That's part of what makes them so insanely rugged.

A lot of my buddies are amazed I can run it mid winter, cuz a lot of them have the thin, non-insulated Chinese made stuff from Home Depot..I did see a SM025 torn apart once and the insulation in this thing is unbelievable. They literally jam multiple layers of thick, industrial insulation all around the inside of the smoker box..then close it up with thick, hefty metal. When I set my SM025 to 225..it STAYS at 225 - even in the middle of a snowstorm. Great stuff.

Red Badger 06-27-2020 12:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MuirWannabe (Post 2447810)
Honestly, theyíre a fairly straightforward cook. I do get the beef ribs from a butcher shop to ensure high quality meat. Rub them with lots of black pepper and coarse salt. Also, throw some garlic powder in the rub. Cause I always like a little garlic. Then, throw them on and let the smoke do itís thing. Iíll spritz with either water or apple juice every 45 minutes or so. Keep my smoker between 230-270. Takes several hours. Cook till the internal temperature reaches 203. I use pecan wood. Its got a nice mild flavor. But hickory or oak would do.

Let rest and then serve with your favorite bbq sauce on the side. They taste like the most savory roast meat ever. Your eyes will roll into the back of your head. Good luck next time. Itís been a while. Iíll try them soon no doubt. Enough talking..time to eat!

+1. These (~8 pounds) took about 13 hours at 220 degrees. Wrapped 'em at 170 and they still stalled for about 2.5 hours. They were a tad spendy at $72 or $26 per bone, but worth every penny. :smitten:


https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/9e...-no?authuser=0

Winemaker 06-27-2020 01:42 PM

On Thursday, my beloved plum tree fell over onto my rental house. I spent all day yesterday cutting, sawing, chipping and stacking. No harm to the house, but I have TONS of fresh plum wood available for BBQ's and smokers. It is as good, if not better than apple.

51notout 06-27-2020 02:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 24601NoMore (Post 2448016)
Nice! That's a classic. If I remember right, the SM009 was the first "home use" smoker Cookshack made.

Love the weld marks in the upper right corner. Far as I know, these things are all built by hand. That's part of what makes them so insanely rugged.

A lot of my buddies are amazed I can run it mid winter, cuz a lot of them have the thin, non-insulated Chinese made stuff from Home Depot..I did see a SM025 torn apart once and the insulation in this thing is unbelievable. They literally jam multiple layers of thick, industrial insulation all around the inside of the smoker box..then close it up with thick, hefty metal. When I set my SM025 to 225..it STAYS at 225 - even in the middle of a snowstorm. Great stuff.



And they still make them. I checked the Cookshack website...$700 for the exact model...SM009-2. Itís a quality product and produces quality smoked food [emoji3]. *sigh*

MuirWannabe 06-27-2020 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Red Badger (Post 2448169)
+1. These (~8 pounds) took about 13 hours at 220 degrees. Wrapped 'em at 170 and they still stalled for about 2.5 hours. They were a tad spendy at $72 or $26 per bone, but worth every penny. :smitten:





https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/9e...-no?authuser=0


Thatís it. I canít take it. Iím buying some and planning a beef rib cook for July 4th weekend. Family is coming over. Should be fun.

braumeister 06-27-2020 03:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MuirWannabe (Post 2448247)
Thatís it. I canít take it. Iím buying some and planning a beef rib cook for July 4th weekend. Family is coming over. Should be fun.

Thanks for the thought. I hadn't decided what to make in the Egg for Independence Day, and I think I'll join you in that endeavour. There's not much better than beef ribs.

Stormy Kromer 06-28-2020 11:24 AM

I've got a Bighorn pellet grill/smoker (a poorman's Traeger) I use Traeger pellets and use it as a grill & smoker.


I love it. I've been catching a lot of big lake trout and it does an excellent job on them.


Tonight it's grilled chicken with Traeger Big Game rub. Very versatile rig.

audreyh1 06-28-2020 11:27 AM

Oh please give us your smoked (or grilled) trout recipe!!!

skipro33 06-28-2020 12:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 24601NoMore (Post 2447796)
A great electric smoker is anything by Cookshack. I have their "Smokette Elite" (SM025) and it's a beast.


Ditto. It takes very little wood to get the smoke flavor because it's sealed. Also, meat stays moist, again because it's sealed with just a little hole to let air in and another to vent out. Maybe the size of my thumb.

This thing makes me look like a hero when, in fact, there's literally nothing to do; season meat, toss into smoker, turn on and let it set for the allotted time. No peeking! Pork butts come out so tender, they shake like a jello mold. No more dried out brisket. Ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender. Turkey is the best!

Find their forum website and read up on how to use, meet others with this same SM025 smoker and their uses.

I also use mine to smoke almonds, cold smoke cheese, flavor veggies by setting in the smoker, off, for a couple hours just to absorb it's aroma. I cure my own hams and bacon as well, then hand out as gifts at Christmas time. Prime rib has to be the best though.

Stormy Kromer 06-29-2020 05:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by audreyh1 (Post 2448525)
Oh please give us your smoked (or grilled) trout recipe!!!

Take a piece of brown paper like the kind grocery bags are made of and cut it to fit the trout fillet. Wet it until it is soaked and place the trout fillet on it skin side down. I don't brine the fish at all, just take out a freshly cleaned fillet.

Put a light coating of olive oil on the meat side of the fillet then apply a light sprinkle of lemon pepper and an even lighter sprinkle of garlic powder. I'm sure your favorite sea food seasoning would be good, I like to keep it simple.

Have your smoker preheated to 250 and put it on there (with the paper under the skin) and close the lid. Grab a beverage and pretend your busy while attending it. Keep the lid closed.

How long it takes really depends on the size of your trout fillet. An average fillet from a 5 lb trout takes about an hour, maybe longer. I don't use a thermometer, just take it off the grill when the meat starts to flake and its warm to the touch. Keep it on the wet newspaper and the meat comes off nicely.

Eat it while its hot. Leftovers are good appetizers cold.

I got this method from an old charter boat captain in Duluth. Works on any kind of trout. I'm going to try it on a bass & pike sometime. (walleyes get fried in a cast iron skillet...that's another thread)

audreyh1 06-29-2020 05:52 AM

Thanks much!

Good tip about the wet paper. I have a big roll of uncoated butcher paper.

Red Badger 06-29-2020 06:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stormy Kromer (Post 2448761)
Take a piece of brown paper like the kind grocery bags are made of and cut it to fit the trout fillet. Wet it until it is soaked and place the trout fillet on it skin side down. I don't brine the fish at all, just take out a freshly cleaned fillet.

Put a light coating of olive oil on the meat side of the fillet then apply a light sprinkle of lemon pepper and an even lighter sprinkle of garlic powder. I'm sure your favorite sea food seasoning would be good, I like to keep it simple.

Have your smoker preheated to 250 and put it on there (with the paper under the skin) and close the lid. Grab a beverage and pretend your busy while attending it. Keep the lid closed.

How long it takes really depends on the size of your trout fillet. An average fillet from a 5 lb trout takes about an hour, maybe longer. I don't use a thermometer, just take it off the grill when the meat starts to flake and its warm to the touch. Keep it on the wet newspaper and the meat comes off nicely.

Eat it while its hot. Leftovers are good appetizers cold.

I got this method from an old charter boat captain in Duluth. Works on any kind of trout. I'm going to try it on a bass & pike sometime. (walleyes get fried in a cast iron skillet...that's another thread)

+1.

I use similar process for trout, but also for bluefish, salmon (I find no need to develop a pellicle), perch, etc. The fresh smoked salmon makes a great rillette.

The underlined points are critical. ;D

mijoy 06-30-2020 04:29 PM

Another vote for Traeger. Only had a few months but love it.

MuirWannabe 06-30-2020 04:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stormy Kromer (Post 2448761)
Take a piece of brown paper like the kind grocery bags are made of and cut it to fit the trout fillet. Wet it until it is soaked and place the trout fillet on it skin side down. I don't brine the fish at all, just take out a freshly cleaned fillet.

Put a light coating of olive oil on the meat side of the fillet then apply a light sprinkle of lemon pepper and an even lighter sprinkle of garlic powder. I'm sure your favorite sea food seasoning would be good, I like to keep it simple.

Have your smoker preheated to 250 and put it on there (with the paper under the skin) and close the lid. Grab a beverage and pretend your busy while attending it. Keep the lid closed.

How long it takes really depends on the size of your trout fillet. An average fillet from a 5 lb trout takes about an hour, maybe longer. I don't use a thermometer, just take it off the grill when the meat starts to flake and its warm to the touch. Keep it on the wet newspaper and the meat comes off nicely.

Eat it while its hot. Leftovers are good appetizers cold.

I got this method from an old charter boat captain in Duluth. Works on any kind of trout. I'm going to try it on a bass & pike sometime. (walleyes get fried in a cast iron skillet...that's another thread)


Iím curious. The wet brown paper doesnít catch fire and flame out during the grilling process? I guess it doesnít, but it seems like it still would, even though itís wet. Are you cooking with direct or indirect flame?
Thanks.

Rambler 06-30-2020 05:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by braumeister (Post 2448262)
Thanks for the thought. I hadn't decided what to make in the Egg for Independence Day, and I think I'll join you in that endeavour. There's not much better than beef ribs.

Iíve already picked up my beef ribs for Independence Day. Itís just me and DW this year, due to COVID (I think my daughter has it, so sheís persona non grata for the celebration this year).

Iím going to try something different this time around. Iím planning to toss them on the smoker for about 1-1.5 hrs Thursday afternoon, then give them a quick sear, and toss them in the Sous Vide tank for 48 hours. Iíll make a quick sauce from the jus right before serving. Iím thinking theyíll go very well with some mashed potatoes and rocquette salad.

CardsFan 06-30-2020 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MuirWannabe (Post 2449476)
Iím curious. The wet brown paper doesnít catch fire and flame out during the grilling process? I guess it doesnít, but it seems like it still would, even though itís wet. Are you cooking with direct or indirect flame?
Thanks.

When smoking it is indirect, and at low temps (225-250). Paper would be fine.

A lot of folks wrap their meat in butcher paper after it gets enough smoke, and then finish that way (this would be beef or pork, not the fish)

MuirWannabe 07-04-2020 06:05 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Attachment 35539
Here are some of my beef ribs. Smoked today and eaten tonight. They were so yummy. Happy 4th everyone.

CardsFan 08-27-2020 04:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MuirWannabe (Post 2451598)
Attachment 35539
Here are some of my beef ribs. Smoked today and eaten tonight. They were so yummy. Happy 4th everyone.

Just catching up on the beef ribs. Bought a 15# pack at Sam's. Cooked 1/2 about 3 weeks ago. We are finishing the last one tonight (one rib feeds both of us).

Used apple wood. That is my go to, and works with just about everything. First time doing the beef ribs, but not the last. Taste and texture about the same as really tender brisket, but a LOT easier to get right.

I will do more, for sure.

Next up is a brisket and pork butt for labor day.

audreyh1 08-27-2020 04:40 PM

2 Attachment(s)
I recently smoked some duck breasts and some sausage. I occasionally order duck from Maple Leaf Farms. I had some duck breasts with and without skin on hand, plus some duck bratwurst that I decided was too boring and thought I’d throw it on the smoker too.

I brined the duck breasts overnight in my usual poultry brine and smoked at 225 with my usual applewood and gourmet pellet blend. It was quite quick, maybe just a bit over an hour. They came out fantastic - tasted like French Magret fumť which is a family fave and almost impossible to find in the US.

The sausage was much improved. The smoking enhanced the herbs in the sausage as well as adding the smoke flavor, and miraculously they didn’t dry out.

This is the easiest way I’ve ever done duck breasts, and the duck breasts with skin rendered little fat, so you got the nice smoked fat as well. The skinless breasts, which were much larger for some reason, came out wonderful too.

WestUniversity 09-02-2020 07:25 PM

I have a Pit Boss pellet smoker. Love it!

street 09-02-2020 08:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by audreyh1 (Post 2477206)
I recently smoked some duck breasts and some sausage. I occasionally order duck from Maple Leaf Farms. I had some duck breasts with and without skin on hand, plus some duck bratwurst that I decided was too boring and thought Iíd throw it on the smoker too.

I brined the duck breasts overnight in my usual poultry brine and smoked at 225 with my usual applewood and gourmet pellet blend. It was quite quick, maybe just a bit over an hour. They came out fantastic - tasted like French Magret fumť which is a family fave and almost impossible to find in the US.

The sausage was much improved. The smoking enhanced the herbs in the sausage as well as adding the smoke flavor, and miraculously they didnít dry out.

This is the easiest way Iíve ever done duck breasts, and the duck breasts with skin rendered little fat, so you got the nice smoked fat as well. The skinless breasts, which were much larger for some reason, came out wonderful too.

Does that look good! I been considering getting a smoker for wild game smoking. I bet pheasant would be absolutely wonderful.

986racer 09-08-2020 05:09 PM

The Cookshack is fabulous for electric smokers and you canít go wrong with it. I had one for about ten years and just gave it to my BIL

I moved to a Weber Grill with a slow n sear, a bbq fan, and a FireBoard for temperature control. I get even more temp control than the Cookshack can provide and get real smoke flavor.

Donít get me wrong, if you want true set and forget, the Cookshack canít be beat. For a little more effort (mainly adding water to a reservoir and adding coals) the Weber setup is very close in terms of convenience. I prefer the true wood burning flavor tho

skipro33 09-08-2020 05:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 986racer (Post 2482804)
The Cookshack is fabulous for electric smokers and you canít go wrong with it. I had one for about ten years and just gave it to my BIL

I moved to a Weber Grill with a slow n sear, a bbq fan, and a FireBoard for temperature control. I get even more temp control than the Cookshack can provide and get real smoke flavor.

Donít get me wrong, if you want true set and forget, the Cookshack canít be beat. For a little more effort (mainly adding water to a reservoir and adding coals) the Weber setup is very close in terms of convenience. I prefer the true wood burning flavor tho


I have a Cookshack and it's been great! It's the SM025.
https://cookshack.com/collections/re...ic-smoker-oven

WestUniversity 09-08-2020 07:44 PM

Pit Boss pellet smoker here. Absolutely love it!

audreyh1 09-08-2020 08:04 PM

Smoked a couple of chickens in my pellet smoker today. Sooo good!

Bamaman 09-09-2020 12:01 AM

I finally took my Mastercraft smoker outside today and cleaned it well.

Next up: Really meaty, small boned baby back ribs. I'll smoke'em a couple of hours and finish them off on a charcoal grill.

In the Deep South, we live on slow cooked barbeque. That's different from smoked meats. The smoke is preferable when meat renders it's fat directly on hardwood coals.

We prefer to cook pork for the most part because it's so tender, flavorful and it's affordable. I'm not about to smoke beef that costs $9.99-$12.99 a pound when I can get pork shoulder for $1.50 a pound and it's so easy to deal with.

ospreyjp 09-20-2020 10:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rambler (Post 2446809)
Iíve got a CampChef pellet grill. They work just like the Traeger. Iíve had it for about a year and a half, and use it all the time. I donít grill on it, only smoke. For super hot searing, I use my TruInfrared propane grill. The Traegers and CampChefs have their limits in terms of high temp work, but you canít beat the pellet grill for smoking.

+1 on Camp Chef. I have mine for a few months now and really enjoy the results for smoking briskets pork butts, and ribs. With kids, we are also enjoying store-bought pizzas and smoking them at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or so. By doing this and adding a few "gourmet" toppings you get a wood-fired pizza experience.

OldShooter 09-20-2020 10:47 AM

+2 on Camp Chef vs Traeger, primarily because I can empty the ashes from the burn pot without waiting for the thing to cool and then half-dissasembling it.

For people who are not familiar, pellet grills are basically smoke-filled ovens. Not really grills. For searing, CC has a couple of options that fasten to the side of the smoker. I have the "sear station" and it is great. We use it for cooking hamburgers as well as for searing steaks.

Some brands have sort of makeshift attempts to provide grilling, but I am skeptical. Not hampered by any experience however.

ospreyjp 09-20-2020 12:09 PM

The ash clean out is definitely a big plus on the CC. I have had pretty good success with the internal slide that allows some grilling for burgers, although I am sure the propane grill attachment gets a better sear. The one thing that has been a challenge is chicken. Even if I try to hit with a high temp near the end of the smoke, it still never achieves a crispy skin.

Any tips on how to smoke and get some crispiness on chicken in a pellet smoker?

OldShooter 09-20-2020 12:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ospreyjp (Post 2488093)
... Any tips on how to smoke and get some crispiness on chicken in a pellet smoker?

Propane torch? (https://www.bernzomatic.com/) or overpriced torch? (https://foodal.com/kitchen/general-k...tchen-torches/)

I am not much of a chicken fan though I eat a fair amount as a KCBS BBQ judge. The comp cooks are usually working with some variety of smoky oven, so little if any of the comp chicken is crispy. Usually it is gooped up with sauce, which costs one point on my judging slip.

I have slightly modified a Weber Performer with a raised charcoal grate and a Vortex-wannabe made from a stainless bowl used to contain the charcoal. A half hour screwing around to get a good hot coal bed and a few minutes of skin-down chicken will crispen the skin. If there is any sugary sauce on the skin, though, it is game over. Charred black.

audreyh1 09-20-2020 12:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ospreyjp (Post 2488093)
The ash clean out is definitely a big plus on the CC. I have had pretty good success with the internal slide that allows some grilling for burgers, although I am sure the propane grill attachment gets a better sear. The one thing that has not been a challenge is chicken. Even if I try to hit with a high temp near the end of the smoke, it still never achieves a crispy skin.

Any tips on how to smoke and get some crispiness on chicken in a pellet smoker?

I use a gas grill for searing and high temp stuff, Traeger for smoking and lower temp indirect smoking. You could try a reverse sear, but if Iím smoking chicken, most of the fat under the skin has rendered into the meat, and Iím not going to get crispy skin. I donít usually try to mix smoking and grilling, although I have done reverse sear on steaks and tritip after a ashorter exposure to smoke and it turned out well.

ospreyjp 09-20-2020 01:17 PM

It really is true, I suppose, that a smoker is best for just that and not both grilling and smoking. I do enjoy chicken that has absorbed a good amount of smoke yet doesn't have rubbery skin. As suggested, I guess it requires moving the chicken over to a charcoal or gas grill for crisping up.

Got a brisket on now that is getting up to temp wrapped in peach paper following an overnight smoke. Hoping for good results!

braumeister 09-20-2020 01:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ospreyjp (Post 2488114)
It really is true, I suppose, that a smoker is best for just that and not both grilling and smoking.

That's why I've always loved my Big Green Egg. It does everything, and does it well enough.

flpanhandle 09-21-2020 05:42 AM

I've used a round electric Brinkman for over 15 years.

audreyh1 09-21-2020 05:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ospreyjp (Post 2488114)
It really is true, I suppose, that a smoker is best for just that and not both grilling and smoking. I do enjoy chicken that has absorbed a good amount of smoke yet doesn't have rubbery skin. As suggested, I guess it requires moving the chicken over to a charcoal or gas grill for crisping up.

Got a brisket on now that is getting up to temp wrapped in peach paper following an overnight smoke. Hoping for good results!

Hope it does! Brisket is so yummy when done right.

I use that peach unwaxed butcher paper to wrap brisket after several hours. At that point I out it in a slow oven, because I don’t see the point in burning several more hours worth of pellets. The bark continues to darken beautifully.

On crispy chicken skin: it might also be possible to initially sear the chicken skin, then turn down low or move to smoker to smoke. I know when I grill chicken pieces on the little charcoal Weber I initially put it on the hot side skin down then turn over and move to the cool side. Throwing a couple of cherry chunks on the coals very much improved the flavor.

One thing I really love about the electric smokers is woodsmoke flavor without charcoal flavor. I’m not a big fan of charcoal flavor. It’s ok, but I like it much better without.

old medic 09-21-2020 07:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kannon (Post 2443419)
Looking for an electric smoker, something that can fit on my patio, work all year road, reliable, able to do long slow cook.
Appreciate anyone's experience on a smoker they use and any recommendations for my first trial at smoking.
Thanks

OOH OOH OOH!!!!! Mr Kotter Mr Kotter.... I know this one.....
https://greenmountaingrills.com/prod...et-grill-wifi/

This is what we bought 3 years ago, after watching a friend bring his to campouts over several years....
We use this at home on a wooden deck, but great on the road to.
This will set on a tailgate, plug into your cigarette lighter, set your cook profile and your phone will tell you when its done....
Will burn hot enough to grill, or low enough to (as Im doing today) smoke fresh peppers and pineapple.... (making pepper jelly)
Small and compact, but large enough to smoke a turkey, 2 chickens.. and have done 2 Butts at once... last trip we took a 9 Lb ribeye cut into 1 1/2 steaks and all fit... YES... smoked steaks are AWESOME.

audreyh1 12-18-2020 10:27 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I got brave. I’m doing my first overnight smoke. We picked up a brisket at Costco. They didn’t have many, and they were all large. The most flexible one was a little over 18 lbs!

After trimming it was probably 15 pounds. It couldn’t have been any bigger - just fit! There is just enough room around it plus my small water pan.

BTW - this article is a nice complication of the Franklin brisket tutorial videos. As I do brisket so infrequently, I always have to review - especially trimming.

folivier 12-19-2020 07:26 AM

When I do brisket I always cut it in half so I have a thick piece and thinner piece. It avoids overcooking the thinner piece. I put my remote thermometer in the thinner piece and pull it off when that one's done then move the thermometer to the thicker piece. There can be a few hours difference in cooking time.

The Cosmic Avenger 12-19-2020 07:39 AM

We got this Masterbuilt smoker and my spouse seemed very pleased with it, although since it's an all-day project it's not something we do very often. For those that are new to smoking, I also recommend a remote temperature sensor so you can check the core meat temp without opening the smoker. The most surprising thing when I first tried it was how much of a difference the outside temperature made in cooking time. With grilling it really doesn't matter, but I should have known that at lower cooking temps there would be a much bigger effect. But then, our first smoker was just thin sheet metal, not insulated like the Masterbuilt.

Bugeater 12-19-2020 07:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by folivier (Post 2529754)
When I do brisket I always cut it in half so I have a thick piece and thinner piece. It avoids overcooking the thinner piece. I put my remote thermometer in the thinner piece and pull it off when that one's done then move the thermometer to the thicker piece. There can be a few hours difference in cooking time.

This is what I generally do. I separate the point and flat down the fat seam, smoke at the same time and then I turn the point into burnt ends. It worked pretty good and saves a little time to boot. However there are some really good remote thermometers out there with four probes so you can monitor individual temperatures the entire smoke.

I currently have two smokers one is a horizontal offset which I use when I want the best smoke, however it requires much more attention during the smoke. I also have a master built electric that I modified with what's called the mailbox mod, so if I'm doing a really long smoke I can use pellets for the smoke flavor.

I'm really intrigued by the new Masterbuilt gravity smoker which uses charcoal and wood chunks but uses a fan to control temperature and you can grill or smoke with it. I'm not sure DW will allow me to have three smokers though LOL.

To my opinion in summary is electric smokers are great for the convenience and I'll probably always have one for that however, for the best smoke you'll want either a charcoal or stick burner unit.

skipro33 12-19-2020 12:38 PM

I've smoked dozens of briskets. It was so counter intuitive to cook longer to get them tender and moist, but finally, one day, I did. I left the brisket in until internal temperature reached 206 degrees. I normally pulled at 190. They were always dry and crumbly, how could leaving it in longer make it moist and tender was my thought. But I can't argue with success. I highly recommend leaving the brisket in to 206 degrees, smoking at 225 to 250 smoker temp. A brisket in the 15 pound range will take at least 18 hours this way, but so worth it.
I trim the heck out of my briskets too. I leave maybe 1/2" of the fat cap, but dig in and trim as much as I can otherwise, including removing the 'silver skin'. I season with either Montreal Steak Seasoning or just course rock salt and ground pepper.
When the brisket comes out, it is so tender and moist, it jiggles like a jello mold. I use oak but lately been experimenting and found pecan to be a little milder and not so much tannin flavor as oak. Mesquite is good, but strong, so use less.

Cheers!
Oh, my smoker is a Cookshack SM025, retails for around $900. Good size for the homeowner.

capjak 12-19-2020 12:56 PM

I have a Traeger and a Rec Tec both work great for pellet smokers. I had a master built electric it was good but broke after a year and was pain to add wood all the time. With the smokers that have wifi control you set it and forget it, controlled from your phone which is nice in the winter. Expect to pay $1,000 however.

OldShooter 12-19-2020 01:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skipro33 (Post 2530008)
I've smoked dozens of briskets. It was so counter intuitive to cook longer to get them tender and moist, but finally, one day, I did. I left the brisket in until internal temperature reached 206 degrees. I normally pulled at 190. They were always dry and crumbly, how could leaving it in longer make it moist and tender was my thought.

Yes. I went through the same stages. Answer on the moisture is that there is a collagen that breaks down in that heat region and effectively bastes the meat. Before it breaks down it is what makes the meat tough. Wisdom on the https://www.bbq-brethren.com forum (and I agree) is to get above 190 internal then forget about time and temperature, just start probing. The point will probe tender first, but the critical area is in the thickest part of the flat, near the center of the slab. I just use my good instant read thermometer, which has a sharp point. I don't wrap but if you do, just poke the probe through the paper or the foil.

Quote:

Originally Posted by skipro33 (Post 2530008)
But I can't argue with success. I highly recommend leaving the brisket in to 206 degrees, smoking at 225 to 250 smoker temp. A brisket in the 15 pound range will take at least 18 hours this way, but so worth it. ...

Cookers will be different; at 225 both my Camp Chef and my Traeger will finish a big brisket in 12 hours or less. The meat and the probe will tell you when the brisket is done, not the clock or the thermometer.

audreyh1 12-19-2020 01:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skipro33 (Post 2530008)
I've smoked dozens of briskets. It was so counter intuitive to cook longer to get them tender and moist, but finally, one day, I did. I left the brisket in until internal temperature reached 206 degrees. I normally pulled at 190. They were always dry and crumbly, how could leaving it in longer make it moist and tender was my thought. But I can't argue with success. I highly recommend leaving the brisket in to 206 degrees, smoking at 225 to 250 smoker temp. A brisket in the 15 pound range will take at least 18 hours this way, but so worth it.
I trim the heck out of my briskets too. I leave maybe 1/2" of the fat cap, but dig in and trim as much as I can otherwise, including removing the 'silver skin'. I season with either Montreal Steak Seasoning or just course rock salt and ground pepper.
When the brisket comes out, it is so tender and moist, it jiggles like a jello mold. I use oak but lately been experimenting and found pecan to be a little milder and not so much tannin flavor as oak. Mesquite is good, but strong, so use less.

Cheers!
Oh, my smoker is a Cookshack SM025, retails for around $900. Good size for the homeowner.

I used pecan after my brother suggested it, and we really like it. The Traeger pellets are mostly oak anyway but the pecan touch definitely adds. I’m originally from central TX where post oak is king for BBQ.

This crazy large brisket only took 12 hours set at 250 (mostly 240) to get to 203-206, soft and jiggly. Almost overdid it! Costco USDA prime whole packer - I read somewhere they cook faster than expected. The flat even was quite marbled. So we had brisket for lunch instead of dinner.

Traeger ran like a champ overnight, very even temp. My stupid Bluetooth temp monitor app crashes every 2 hours though so I can’t count on alarms if something goes wrong while I’m sleeping. But at least the smoker was very reliable.

I think I’ll try Montreal Steak Seasoning next time. I love it on our steaks!

big-papa 12-19-2020 10:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by audreyh1 (Post 2530041)
I used pecan after my brother suggested it, and we really like it. The Traeger pellets are mostly oak anyway but the pecan touch definitely adds. Iím originally from central TX where post oak is king for BBQ.

This crazy large brisket only took 12 hours set at 250 (mostly 240) to get to 203-206, soft and jiggly. Almost overdid it! Costco USDA prime whole packer - I read somewhere they cook faster than expected. The flat even was quite marbled. So we had brisket for lunch instead of dinner.

Traeger ran like a champ overnight, very even temp. My stupid Bluetooth temp monitor app crashes every 2 hours though so I canít count on alarms if something goes wrong while Iím sleeping. But at least the smoker was very reliable.

I think Iíll try Montreal Steak Seasoning next time. I love it on our steaks!

I did a brisket over Thanksgiving and also followed Franklin's methods. Also bought the brisket at Costco. Post Oak and just salt and pepper for me. Worked like a champ and beats standing in line at Franklin's for 6 hours. [emoji2]

audreyh1 12-20-2020 05:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by big-papa (Post 2530252)
I did a brisket over Thanksgiving and also followed Franklin's methods. Also bought the brisket at Costco. Post Oak and just salt and pepper for me. Worked like a champ and beats standing in line at Franklin's for 6 hours. [emoji2]

The whole Franklin BBQ phenomenon is something that happened after we left Austin.

I forgot to attach the link in my other post. This article conveniently collects the main Franklin brisket tutorial videos and has some notes from the videos. Plus a few other comments. https://www.smokedbbqsource.com/smok...first-brisket/

big-papa 12-20-2020 05:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by audreyh1 (Post 2530291)
The whole Franklin BBQ phenomenon is something that happened after we left Austin.

I forgot to attach the link in my other post. This article conveniently collects the main Franklin brisket tutorial videos and has some notes from the videos. Plus a few other comments. https://www.smokedbbqsource.com/smok...first-brisket/

Yep. There's now a whole phenomenon of different barbecue places around Austin where people stand in line for hours. Franklin was just the first. Sorry, nothing's that good, especially in the heat of August, although you can actually pay people to stand in line for you (or at least you could at one time). Or, put another way, I can drive out to Llano, eat at Coopers, and drive back home in less time than I'd spend in line. :-)

That link is helpful - I used the same videos, but found them one at a time on youtube. Nice to see somebody's placed links to all of the videos all one page. Aaron Franklin also has an online course at masterclass.com (for $), along with other chefs...

audreyh1 12-20-2020 06:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by big-papa (Post 2530296)
Or, put another way, I can drive out to Llano, eat at Coopers, and drive back home in less time than I'd spend in line. :-)

There ya go!

Quote:

Originally Posted by big-papa (Post 2530296)
That link is helpful - I used the same videos, but found them one at a time on youtube. Nice to see somebody's placed links to all of the videos all one page. Aaron Franklin also has an online course at masterclass.com (for $), along with other chefs...

Aaron Franklin has another series done for PBS that is about Central Texas BBQ in general. He interviews several famous area BBQ masters, visits their establishments, talks about the history of Central Texas BBQ, BBQ culture in general. I think one episode has him building an offset smoker out of an abandoned tank. It’s super well done.

BBQ with Franklin PBS: https://www.pbs.org/food/features/bb...klin-episodes/

Looks like there are more episodes! I’ll have to catch up.

big-papa 12-20-2020 06:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by audreyh1 (Post 2530301)
There ya go!

Aaron Franklin has another series done for PBS that is about Central Texas BBQ in general. He interviews several famous area BBQ masters, visits their establishments, talks about the history of Central Texas BBQ, BBQ culture in general. I think one episode has him building an offset smoker out of an abandoned tank. Itís super well done.

BBQ with Franklin PBS: https://www.pbs.org/food/features/bb...klin-episodes/

Looks like there are more episodes! Iíll have to catch up.

Yep, I've streamed the whole thing online on PBS's streaming service. Great show!

Surewhitey 12-20-2020 07:16 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Tried the Masterbuilt for a while and it was mediocre at best. Convenience is the only positive thing about them.

I've returned to the horizontal offset and will likely stay here. Just no beating the bark formation. Makes for a long day, but so worth it. Using Montreal seasoning and added paprika & coffee dusting. Just started this 17lb prime from Sam's @ 4:30 today. The last one I did was smoked for 7-8 hrs, then wrapped for another 5. Took off at 203 degrees.

Using pecan chunk (small branch from our tree), maple, cherry, oak and walnut from the lumber scraps.


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