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Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

Get off my lawn.

Pillbug

I decided to try my hand at chicken today. I cranked up the smoker:



And I prepared the birds:



It turned out fairly well, though I now know what I need to do in the rub department to bring it up a notch or two.

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qutius
Apr 2, 2003
NO PARTIES


I'm in the middle of my first smoke using the WSM and am doing a pretty decent sized brisket that just came off and am sitting in the stall on an 8 pound pork shoulder. Everything is starting to smell wonderful, both inside the house and out.

I decided to wrap the brisket in foil after it hit it's ~150 degree stall point and it finished up to 202 degrees several hours later, about 7 hour total which is a tad on the short side? Hopefully its fit for eating, at least.

Overall, my temps were running a bit high at ~270 for most of the day. I've heard higher temps are normal during the first couple of uses, so I haven't been too worried about it. Been a fine way to spend the day! Planning on another pork shoulder and some chickens next, all these birds look way too awesome.

qutius fucked around with this message at Mar 25, 2012 around 21:25

Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

Get off my lawn.

Pillbug

qutius posted:

I decided to wrap the brisket in foil after it hit it's ~150 degree stall point and it finished up to 202 degrees several hours later, about 7 hour total which is a tad on the short side? Hopefully its fit for eating, at least.

This is what I've taken to doing as well. A while back I read that article that was posted earlier in this thread about what causes the temperature stall and how to work around it, so I gave it a shot and it was great. I don't actually take an internal temperature reading on brisket (or ribs) while cooking because after an hour per pound on the smoker I know the meat is safe to eat, but the outcome has been simply a better brisket (more moist without eating so much of the fat).

Seven hours doesn't seem to short if you've got a seven pound brisket. If you had a fifteen pound brisket, might I recommend a chain saw?

qutius
Apr 2, 2003
NO PARTIES


After an hour and a half rest wrapped in foil and covered in a towel inside a cooler, I sliced it up and man, it's delicious! It's not perfect by any means, but I'm really pleased with the final results for my first run. It's passing muster for sure.

It was actually closer to 14 pounds than 7, but everything turned out. The pork shoulder is still smoking away and is slowly starting to creep up and probably has another couple of hours before it'll be ready to pull.

MEAT COMA

The Midniter
Jul 9, 2001



This may be a dumb question but what's the difference between an electric smoker and the manual kind as pictured in Mackieman's post above? How does an electric smoker even work?

Mach420
Jun 22, 2002
Bandit at 6 'o clock - Pull my finger

The Midniter posted:

This may be a dumb question but what's the difference between an electric smoker and the manual kind as pictured in Mackieman's post above? How does an electric smoker even work?

An electric smoker uses heating elements while the normal ones use wood, charcoal or (ugh) propane. In an electric, the wood chunks are placed near the heating element in a way that they start giving off smoke. The majority of the heat is from the heating element. I still don't know why electrics don't give good smoke rings, but there you go.

Thanks for posting that cheese smoking resource. I'll give it a go this next winter.

Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

Get off my lawn.

Pillbug

Mach420 posted:

An electric smoker uses heating elements while the normal ones use wood, charcoal or (ugh) propane. In an electric, the wood chunks are placed near the heating element in a way that they start giving off smoke. The majority of the heat is from the heating element. I still don't know why electrics don't give good smoke rings, but there you go.

Based on my observations from my buddy's electric smoker, my supposition is that the smoke is simply not thick enough in most cases to impart the ring. It adds flavor to be sure, but the standard wood burning smoker like mine completely fills the main cavity with smoke, the pressure built by the heat causing it to move through and up out of the smoke stack. The meat gets a much more, "even" smoke via this method while the temperature is variable, whereas the electric smoker provides a much more precise cooking environment where temperature is concerned.

Mach420
Jun 22, 2002
Bandit at 6 'o clock - Pull my finger

Mackieman posted:

Based on my observations from my buddy's electric smoker, my supposition is that the smoke is simply not thick enough in most cases to impart the ring. It adds flavor to be sure, but the standard wood burning smoker like mine completely fills the main cavity with smoke, the pressure built by the heat causing it to move through and up out of the smoke stack. The meat gets a much more, "even" smoke via this method while the temperature is variable, whereas the electric smoker provides a much more precise cooking environment where temperature is concerned.

Yea, the combination of wood/charcoal combustion products as well as the smoke wood itself is probably why. It's been warm as heck this past week, so it's time to bring out the Smokey Joe mini-WSM conversion and get some nice pulled pork. I need to pick up an injection needle from the farm store and I'll be good to go. After cooking a few injected shoulders last year, I will not go back to shoulders that have only been dry rubbed.

By the way, this is a great read on how to get a good smoke ring. There's also another nice article on that site explaining the stall.

Mach420 fucked around with this message at Mar 26, 2012 around 06:18

Alleric
Dec 10, 2002

Rambly Bastard...

Fired up the Bradley yesterday to attempt a repeat of last Thanksgiving's epic: smoked duck.

Brined overnight in salt, sugar, apple juice, thyme, rosemary, sage, black pepper. Then went into the smoker for ~3 hours at 300, then to the oven at 400 to bring it up the last 20 degrees or so and tighten the skin.

Saute of kale and some puree of roasted parsnips and celery root... and man, that's dinner.

Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

Get off my lawn.

Pillbug

Alleric posted:

Fired up the Bradley yesterday to attempt a repeat of last Thanksgiving's epic: smoked duck.

Brined overnight in salt, sugar, apple juice, thyme, rosemary, sage, black pepper. Then went into the smoker for ~3 hours at 300, then to the oven at 400 to bring it up the last 20 degrees or so and tighten the skin.

Saute of kale and some puree of roasted parsnips and celery root... and man, that's dinner.

Does your duck come out greasy? Duck has a lot of fat in it in general, but a friend of mine smoked two ducks during the big cookoff we had in my back yard last year and while the meat was delicious, it was incredibly greasy. I'm not familiar enough with duck to know if that's just how it is or if there is some other way to handle it.

PainBreak
Jun 9, 2001


The Midniter posted:

This may be a dumb question but what's the difference between an electric smoker and the manual kind as pictured in Mackieman's post above? How does an electric smoker even work?

Although it's been answered, I'm going to go ahead and chime in with my $.02.

Electric smokers are pretty terrible, if you use them straight out of the box, per the instructions. Let's take the one I just purchased...It's a top of the line electric smoker. It's insulated, there's a heating element, a thermostat that keeps it at a steady temperature, a chip tray, and a chip loader, so you don't have to open the door and let the heat out, in order to replenish the smoking wood. It's great for someone who doesn't know what they're doing, or why the end product doesn't taste right.

The problem with almost all electric smokers, is that they're designed to smolder the chips. You want combustion, thin blue smoke, not smoldering, which produces bitter, acrid white/gray smoke. That's why I bought the pellet tray. You load that guy up with 100% hardwood pellets (they're formed via pressure, not binders) and it'll let off the perfect amount of thin blue smoke for 12 hours or so, without creating much heat.

As far as getting a smoke ring goes...a smoke ring adds no flavor. Sure, they're pretty, but you're not getting one with an electric smoker. You need carbon monoxide to create a smoke ring, and the amount of wood I'm burning to create smoke doesn't stack up to the amount of wood/charcoal you'd burn if it's your heat source.

Here's what's great about my electric smoker setup. I set the temperature, I start my AMNPS full of hickory, I insert a couple of probes, and I walk away. My charcoal smoker (knock off of a Weber Smokey Mountain) was extremely stable, and I'd consistently get 6 hours at 225-250F out of it. Then, the water pan would be empty, and it'd shoot up to 350F, unless I babysat it. It was good enough to get a little shut-eye...and with my remote thermometer, it would sound an alarm if the temperature rose more than 25 degrees. But now, I can put something in at midnight, go to bed, and know that at noon, I'm going to have amazing bbq for lunch.

That's worth every penny to me.

Alleric
Dec 10, 2002

Rambly Bastard...

Mackieman posted:

Does your duck come out greasy? Duck has a lot of fat in it in general, but a friend of mine smoked two ducks during the big cookoff we had in my back yard last year and while the meat was delicious, it was incredibly greasy. I'm not familiar enough with duck to know if that's just how it is or if there is some other way to handle it.

Greasy... no. I mean, it's duck, so there's more inherent fat going on in the meat in general, but it's not greasy. Here's the complete breakdown of Duck L'smoke as it happens at my house:

1. Brine duck overnight.
2. Put duck in smoker at 275-300 (tune temps as necessary so you hit 140 about 40 minutes before you want to eat. For the love of all that's holy use a dedicated drip pan.
2.a. Hang the duck if you can. This will let some of the fat and excess brine out. If you can't, it's no biggie, because...
3. When you hit 140 at the breast, evacuate the duck from the smoker to either a. a grill (BRING THE DRIP PAN HOLY CRAP FIRE FIRE FIRE) or b. your oven at like 400 degrees (did I mentiont he drip pan?).

Depending on how long step 2 takes... a lot of fat will actually render out, but in step 3 it will come out in volumes. The two times we've done this the duck comes out of the smoker a beautiful mohogany color. Just stunning. 20-30 minutes on the grill or in the oven and the skin tightens and shines up. Let it rest a couple of minutes while you get the rest of dinner situated, and carve up as you like.

With this method I think the final fat presence on the breast was 1/8th of an inch? Thin, just enough to leave on with the attached skin when doing cross slices. Makes a killer presentation. Thighs and legs were just normal dark meat, only a little richer.

Last night I took what was left of the meat, chunked it up, tossed it in olive oil with chopped carrots, bell pepper, onion and stuck it in the oven for 15 minutes at 425. Browned some butter as that finished up and tossed all of it with penne and parmasan. It was like Thanksgiving pasta and it was awesome.

edit:

I have read of individuals scoring the breasts prior to cooking them just in general. Break the water/fat barrier, let more of the fat render out during cooking. I would presume one could also do this prior to the duck going in the smoker, but if you can keep from doing it... one whole, unmolested, dark, brown, shiny-skinned smoked duck is really a sight to behold.

Oh and if you can keep from burning the rendered fat up? Smoked duck fat roast potatoes... smoked duck fat grilled asparagus... smoked duck fat cut into ground beef for hamburgers...

Alleric fucked around with this message at Mar 28, 2012 around 15:08

Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

Get off my lawn.

Pillbug

Alleric posted:

Greasy... no. I mean, it's duck, so there's more inherent fat going on in the meat in general, but it's not greasy. Here's the complete breakdown of Duck L'smoke as it happens at my house:

1. Brine duck overnight.
2. Put duck in smoker at 275-300 (tune temps as necessary so you hit 140 about 40 minutes before you want to eat. For the love of all that's holy use a dedicated drip pan.
2.a. Hang the duck if you can. This will let some of the fat and excess brine out. If you can't, it's no biggie, because...
3. When you hit 140 at the breast, evacuate the duck from the smoker to either a. a grill (BRING THE DRIP PAN HOLY CRAP FIRE FIRE FIRE) or b. your oven at like 400 degrees (did I mentiont he drip pan?).

Depending on how long step 2 takes... a lot of fat will actually render out, but in step 3 it will come out in volumes. The two times we've done this the duck comes out of the smoker a beautiful mohogany color. Just stunning. 20-30 minutes on the grill or in the oven and the skin tightens and shines up. Let it rest a couple of minutes while you get the rest of dinner situated, and carve up as you like.

With this method I think the final fat presence on the breast was 1/8th of an inch? Thin, just enough to leave on with the attached skin when doing cross slices. Makes a killer presentation. Thighs and legs were just normal dark meat, only a little richer.

Last night I took what was left of the meat, chunked it up, tossed it in olive oil with chopped carrots, bell pepper, onion and stuck it in the oven for 15 minutes at 425. Browned some butter as that finished up and tossed all of it with penne and parmasan. It was like Thanksgiving pasta and it was awesome.

edit:

I have read of individuals scoring the breasts prior to cooking them just in general. Break the water/fat barrier, let more of the fat render out during cooking. I would presume one could also do this prior to the duck going in the smoker, but if you can keep from doing it... one whole, unmolested, dark, brown, shiny-skinned smoked duck is really a sight to behold.

Oh and if you can keep from burning the rendered fat up? Smoked duck fat roast potatoes... smoked duck fat grilled asparagus... smoked duck fat cut into ground beef for hamburgers...

Thanks for the details and thoughts. That dark smoked color on the skin was certainly achieved, but there was little done other than seasoning before it went on the smoker, so I think a lot of the fat was not able to be rendered out. Enhancing flavor I'm sure, but good lord it made a mess while cutting into it.

Aside from my buddy with the electric smoker, everything I do (and everything else we did at that big cookoff last year) was done via wood in an offset smoker like mine. The brine method is interesting, but the wood smoker does a more complete job of cooking (in my horribly biased opinion) so I don't know if it is necessary in that scenario. I do, however, think that finishing the cooking next to the fire (a la a grill) with some limited scoring for excess fat release might do better next time.

I have a plan.

unknown
Nov 16, 2002
Ain't got no stinking title yet!

PainBreak posted:

The problem with almost all electric smokers, is that they're designed to smolder the chips. You want combustion, thin blue smoke, not smoldering, which produces bitter, acrid white/gray smoke. That's why I bought the pellet tray. You load that guy up with 100% hardwood pellets (they're formed via pressure, not binders) and it'll let off the perfect amount of thin blue smoke for 12 hours or so, without creating much heat.

I've got the same Masterbuilt box that you've got - so the pellet tray is a worthy/must-have "upgrade" for it? (And means I can do proper cold smoking too?)

PainBreak
Jun 9, 2001


unknown posted:

I've got the same Masterbuilt box that you've got - so the pellet tray is a worthy/must-have "upgrade" for it? (And means I can do proper cold smoking too?)

Oh hell yes. I live in South Texas, and with the water pan full of ice on tray 1, and two small "freeze packs" on tray 3, cheese on tray 2, and the AMNPS at the bottom, after 4 hours the box temperature was 55F.

I believe if you're a member of "smoking meat forums" you can get a $10 discount on it, since it's made by Todd, one of their members. I hate to sound like a walking ad for the thing, but for something as simple as it is, I couldn't imagine smoking without it now.

PuTTY riot
Nov 16, 2002


PainBreak posted:

I use this:
http://www.amazon.com/Maverick-Indu.../dp/B0000DIU49/

It takes care of both, and is relatively cheap.

This is the thermometer I want I just really wish there was a way I could log to a CSV or similar. I'm not electronically inclined enough to build something with a breadboard, but there has to be something I could use. From what I can tell thermoworks is the gold-standard, but I can't seem to find anything reasonably priced that'll do what I want. $50 for their IR thermometer isn't that bad though.

Alleric
Dec 10, 2002

Rambly Bastard...

Mackieman posted:

Thanks for the details and thoughts. That dark smoked color on the skin was certainly achieved, but there was little done other than seasoning before it went on the smoker, so I think a lot of the fat was not able to be rendered out. Enhancing flavor I'm sure, but good lord it made a mess while cutting into it.

Aside from my buddy with the electric smoker, everything I do (and everything else we did at that big cookoff last year) was done via wood in an offset smoker like mine. The brine method is interesting, but the wood smoker does a more complete job of cooking (in my horribly biased opinion) so I don't know if it is necessary in that scenario. I do, however, think that finishing the cooking next to the fire (a la a grill) with some limited scoring for excess fat release might do better next time.

I have a plan.

No problemo. As for brining vs cooking... I don't get the contrast of those things. They're not competing.

If it's pork, fish or a bird... I brine it before it ever sees the smoker. Period. Larger cuts like full shoulders see 24 hours in brine, same with turkey. Smaller birds see 4-8 hours, fish see maybe an hour. And what goes into said brines can vary wildly. The brine is seasoning, not cooking.

I learned to love brining in my 10+ years of using an offset. I only have an electric now because when we moved cross country, there was no way in hell I was going to put a veteran-level, heavily seasoned cast iron smoker on the truck with the rest of our stuff. The smell... it moves.

Nephzinho
Jan 24, 2008



I want to start smoking more this spring/summer and do it in something besides a kettle grill. I've wanted to get a BGE for a while but have been unable to justify the cost to myself (yet). Anyone have a good entry level dedicated smoker recommendation? Size wise I'll be doing 5-10 pound pulled pork, racks of ribs, dozen+ pieces of chicken, beer can chicken or two, etc.

PainBreak
Jun 9, 2001


zerox147o posted:

I want to start smoking more this spring/summer and do it in something besides a kettle grill. I've wanted to get a BGE for a while but have been unable to justify the cost to myself (yet). Anyone have a good entry level dedicated smoker recommendation? Size wise I'll be doing 5-10 pound pulled pork, racks of ribs, dozen+ pieces of chicken, beer can chicken or two, etc.

It depends upon what you want your initial cash outlay to be. Here's how I'd break it down:

Entry Level: Brinkmann Smoke n Grill

Pros: Cheap and readily available($39.97 at your local Home Depot); holds a relatively steady temperature via the Minion Method; you can move the fire pan upward, and use it as a charcoal grill (for chicken) or leave it at the bottom and use it as a smoker; makes really, really great smoked food.

Cons: No airflow adjustment means less efficient use of charcoal; make sure the water pan never runs out or you'll burn poo poo; for longer smokes (pork / brisket) every 5-6 hours plan to remove and foil the meat and put it in the cooler or put in a preheated oven while you reload the fire pan.

Mid-Level: Weber Smokey Mountain

Pros: Everything the Brinkmann does, but better; more efficient design and larger fire pan means 11-12 hours between firepan reloads; adjustable air vents means that with practice, you can hold a range steady temps without a water pan in place (allows for smoking poultry at a higher temperature)

Cons: $300

Mid-Upper-Level: 40" MasterBuilt Electric Smoker + $50 AMNPS

Pros: Electricity is cheap; set it and forget it (12 hours of thin blue hardwood smoke from the AMNPS is perfect); tons of space (16 full racks of ribs, or 80lbs of pork shoulder); Remote. loving. Control.; built-in light; the Cadillac of (as opposed to the Egg McMuffin of) lazy-man smokers.

Cons: $350; doesn't burn wood or charcoal; you'll pretty much never have a smoke ring on your meat; people with charcoal smokers will point and laugh at you (but don't feel bad, people with stick-burners are pointing and laughing at them, so it all evens out).

BAMF Smoker: Traeger Texas Grill

Pros: 36000 BTUs of maximum performance, piercing the night; burns only hardwood pellets, so your meat will be meatier, your smoke smokier, and your friends and neighbors jealousier; nearly infinite adjustment of temperature, you can grill, you can smoke, and everything will taste absolutely awesome; feed it 20lbs of pellets, set the temperature, and walk away.

Cons: $1000

Professional Smoker: Ole Hickory Pits Model SSO-SSI end-loading pit oven smoker.

Pros: Cooking Capacity:

Ribs (3 & Down) - 144
Baby Back Ribs - 216
Boston Butt - 108
Turkey - 72
Chicken (Whole) - 108; (Half) - 432
Brisket (12 lb.) - 72

Cons: gently caress you, I'm eating.

I think you should get a Brinkmann. Eventually, you'll want to spend more money and either get a Weber Smokey Mountain or an electric smoker, but the Brinkmann will keep you happy at a cheap price for 1-2 years. It's not that it'll fall apart...but you'll crave something more. In the meantime, you can save your money, and make awesome food.

PainBreak fucked around with this message at Mar 30, 2012 around 04:17

Nephzinho
Jan 24, 2008



PainBreak posted:



Awesome post, thank you. Believe I'll pick up the Brinkman for the short term. Kind of jumping between residences at the moment, may commit to a proper set up once I know I'll be in the same place for more than a year or 2.

/wistfullly looks at designs for a full pizza oven I do not have a yard to build in

Alleric
Dec 10, 2002

Rambly Bastard...

PainBreak posted:

Mid-Upper-Level: 40" MasterBuilt Electric Smoker + $50 AMNPS

Pros: Electricity is cheap; set it and forget it (12 hours of thin blue hardwood smoke from the AMNPS is perfect); tons of space (16 full racks of ribs, or 80lbs of pork shoulder); Remote. loving. Control.; built-in light; the Cadillac of (as opposed to the Egg McMuffin of) lazy-man smokers.

Cons: $300; doesn't burn wood or charcoal; you'll pretty much never have a smoke ring on your meat; people with charcoal smokers will point and laugh at you (but don't feel bad, people with stick-burners are pointing and laughing at them, so it all evens out).

So years back when I moved and left my New Braunfels offset behind, I handed it off to my brother in law so he could learn the sweet science. This last Christmas he moved on as well, handing the offset off to a mutual friend to pass on the learning. His replacement was one of these. He loves it.

When I bought my Bradley 3 years ago this didn't exist. The options have improved greatly and that model there is already earmarked as the replacement model if the Bradley ever takes a serious dive.

nummy
Feb 15, 2007
Eat a bowl of fuck.

PainBreak posted:

words

Mid-Level: Weber Smokey Mountain

Pros: Everything the Brinkmann does, but better; more efficient design and larger fire pan means 11-12 hours between firepan reloads; adjustable air vents means that with practice, you can hold a range steady temps without a water pan in place (allows for smoking poultry at a higher temperature)

Cons: $300

words


At the end of summer, watch your local stores for the Smokey Mountains. I got my WSM 18" for $150 at Home Depot. It was a steal.

nummy fucked around with this message at Apr 1, 2012 around 05:59

ObesePriest
Nov 4, 2008


Smoking my first whole chicken and duck today! Anyone got any last minute tips? I brined my chicken and just rubbed my duck with salt and pepper.

I shall post pictures later!

Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

Get off my lawn.

Pillbug

ObesePriest posted:

Smoking my first whole chicken and duck today! Anyone got any last minute tips? I brined my chicken and just rubbed my duck with salt and pepper.

I shall post pictures later!

I've got a brisket on myself. I added a little extra salt to my rub this time in the hopes of sparking a tad more flavor out. We'll see.

PainBreak
Jun 9, 2001


Chicken leg & thigh quarters were on sale for $.47/lb.

20lbs are on the smoker right now.

Gin and Juche
Apr 3, 2008

The Highest Judge of Paradise
Shiki Eiki
YAMAXANADU


So since my friends and I bought a smoker we have done 3 or 4 butts. They always turn out really tasty, but drat if it isn't a pain cutting and shredding the meat afterwards. I hear that if done right the meat just falls apart. What are we doing wrong?

Also damned if we aren't smoking a turkey next week. Shitshya.

mds2
Apr 8, 2004

Merry Christmas, from Cyklone

Gravel Gravy posted:

So since my friends and I bought a smoker we have done 3 or 4 butts. They always turn out really tasty, but drat if it isn't a pain cutting and shredding the meat afterwards. I hear that if done right the meat just falls apart. What are we doing wrong?

Also damned if we aren't smoking a turkey next week. Shitshya.

You aren't cooking it long enough. Cook to an internal temp of 190-195.
If you can pull the bone out cleanly it is done.

Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

Get off my lawn.

Pillbug

Well, gently caress. I overcooked it, and I know exactly why. It was a 9lb brisket, but it was not a terribly thick cut (it was rather long), so it cooked more evenly and faster than a more traditional cut. Ah well, it still tastes great and while it is far from perfect, it'll eat.

After resting:


The lean half in a cross section:

Pigsfeet on Rye
Oct 22, 2008

I'm meat on the hoof


Nap Ghost

Mackieman posted:

Well, gently caress. I overcooked it, and I know exactly why. It was a 9lb brisket, but it was not a terribly thick cut (it was rather long), so it cooked more evenly and faster than a more traditional cut. Ah well, it still tastes great and while it is far from perfect, it'll eat.

After resting:


The lean half in a cross section:


A barbeque place near me makes chimichangas out of smoked brisket, they're great to chow down on. You might give this a try with your brisket.

Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

Get off my lawn.

Pillbug

Pigsfeet on Rye posted:

A barbeque place near me makes chimichangas out of smoked brisket, they're great to chow down on. You might give this a try with your brisket.

Omelets are also an excellent use of hosed up smoked meats.

Doom Rooster
Sep 3, 2008


Pillbug

Pigsfeet on Rye posted:

A barbeque place near me makes chimichangas out of smoked brisket, they're great to chow down on. You might give this a try with your brisket.

Chili is the correct answer.

ObesePriest
Nov 4, 2008


Whats up overcooking buddy! I had a bit of a slow start due to my lack of planning blah blah. I put the birds on at 2 PM and then ended up going to church from 5:30-7 so a bit overcooked.

Chicken! It turned out pretty tasty. The breast was a bit on the flavorless side but still somewhat moist which is good.



Duck! Overcooked! Way more fat than rendered out than I had anticipated. The skin was still mighty tasty especially the excess skin I left on. It had similar texture like a pork rind but crispier and incredibly tasty. The breast turned out a bit dry. The sides were pretty tasty though.



Delicious duck grease that I hear is a gift from the gods. I plan on cooking some eggs tomorrow on a bit of this. After separating out the debris and juices, I ended up with around 6-8 ounces of it.



edit: I could go for some brisket...

ObesePriest fucked around with this message at Apr 2, 2012 around 18:30

Fenris13
Jun 6, 2003


The BBQ place near me uses their extra brisket to make brunswick stew, it is very very good and I expect it would be a good use of overcooked brisket.

PainBreak
Jun 9, 2001


I was a bit concerned that my new smoker, which only goes to 275, would make rubbery chicken. I smoked it until it hit an internal temp of 160 and it was relatively crispy. It was much less dark on the outside than when I have used charcoal, but the flavor was nothing short of amazing. Less sooty and still just as smokey? That has to be a plus...

I'm loving this rig more and more each time I use it.

Alleric
Dec 10, 2002

Rambly Bastard...

ObesePriest posted:

Whats up overcooking buddy! I had a bit of a slow start due to my lack of planning blah blah. I put the birds on at 2 PM and then ended up going to church from 5:30-7 so a bit overcooked.

Chicken! It turned out pretty tasty. The breast was a bit on the flavorless side but still somewhat moist which is good.



Duck! Overcooked! Way more fat than rendered out than I had anticipated. The skin was still mighty tasty especially the excess skin I left on. It had similar texture like a pork rind but crispier and incredibly tasty. The breast turned out a bit dry. The sides were pretty tasty though.



Delicious duck grease that I hear is a gift from the gods. I plan on cooking some eggs tomorrow on a bit of this. After separating out the debris and juices, I ended up with around 6-8 ounces of it.



Do you brine your birds at all?

And yes, duck fat is liquid gold. Smoked duck is... well, words escape me. It's so good you feel like you're doing something wrong.

ObesePriest
Nov 4, 2008


Alleric posted:

Do you brine your birds at all?

And yes, duck fat is liquid gold. Smoked duck is... well, words escape me. It's so good you feel like you're doing something wrong.

I brined my chicken but I didn't brine my duck. The brine definitely helped a lot with the chicken in terms of flavor and moisture. I wanted the try duck without brining it at all to see how it went. I kind of figured that the high fat content in the duck would have kept it from getting quite as dry but seeing as I'm fairly sure I cooked it for too long most of that fat decided to drip away. Mind if I ask for your brine recipe? or at least your salt to water ratio?

I brined my chicken in a quart of water to a 1/4th a cup of kosher salt per quart of water and 1/8th cup of sugar per quart. Per pound. And then I only added a teaspoon of random spices and herbs which in hindsight I should have done per teaspoon per quart I think.. I'm really not sure what I'm doing.

Alleric
Dec 10, 2002

Rambly Bastard...

ObesePriest posted:

I brined my chicken but I didn't brine my duck. The brine definitely helped a lot with the chicken in terms of flavor and moisture. I wanted the try duck without brining it at all to see how it went. I kind of figured that the high fat content in the duck would have kept it from getting quite as dry but seeing as I'm fairly sure I cooked it for too long most of that fat decided to drip away. Mind if I ask for your brine recipe? or at least your salt to water ratio?

I brined my chicken in a quart of water to a 1/4th a cup of kosher salt per quart of water and 1/8th cup of sugar per quart. Per pound. And then I only added a teaspoon of random spices and herbs which in hindsight I should have done per teaspoon per quart I think.. I'm really not sure what I'm doing.

Here's where I ramble a bit.

My baseline for brining is this:

1 gallon of water
1 cup of kosher salt
1 cup of sugar

That's the salt and sweet level I go for, but I rarely, if ever, just do what I listed there. What's more important is to focus on that salinity and sweetness level, and augment as you like with adjuncts.

For example, my standard issue brine for pork shoulder would consist of:

1 gallon water
1 cup of kosher salt
1 cup of brown sugar
1 double batch of my rub mix MINUS the salt and brown sugar that go into it.

I've already got my salt and sugar where I want them, so I just augment with what would be left of my rub ingredients. On smoke day the shoulder comes out of the brine first thing and goes onto a rack with a half sheet pan under it to drain a bit and dry off. Then another double batch of rub goes on it for the crust, and away it goes into the smoker.

The same basic thing applies for other rubs, but you can totally mess with things. You're just concerned with salt levels and sweet levels, and other flavors as needed.

I consider these things all as valid sweet substitutions:

white sugar
brown sugar (all variants)
muscavado sugar
any other kind of freakin sugar
maple syrup
molasses
fruit juice (but remember... it's already diluted in water, so use way more or reduce it down
compound simple syrup augmented with spices (and perhaps citrus?) of your choice.

That last one is a great way to reeeeeeeeally pull the oils out of your spices.


I consider these things valid salt substitutions:

soy sauce

This list is a lot shorter because let's face it... you can't get more salty than salt. If you like the taste, use iodized. If you like sea salt, go for it. But frankly most boutique salts that might draw flavors from the trace minerals that are in them need their granular presentation on the surface of food to really shine. Putting them in a brine is kinda pointless to me.


I riff on this all of the time. Last time I smoked trout, the filets saw light brown sugar and kosher salt brine for 1 hours. The salmon saw soy and dark brown sugar with a couple thin slices of ginger. The roasted turkey I did for Thanksgiving this past year saw light brown sugar and kosher salt double batch of brine with a quarter cup each of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme as well as four quarted onions, 1 lb of chunked carrots and a whole bunch of celery chunked up (including and espeically the leaves). Sometimes when I do chickens I use the same brine as I do on pork shoulder, but this same Thanksgiving last fall I ran into a brine suggested specifically for duck, and it's so drat tasty I've used it ever since on duck or chicken.

http://www.wvtrophyhunters.com/smoked_duck.htm

That brine... so simple, so very, very good. I've done two ducks on it and am pretty drat well sold that it's now my go-to duck brine. On chicken it flat out rocks as well and will be one of my two brines depending on if I want a dark, savory smoked chicken, or flat out sweet and heat bbq smoked chicken.

PainBreak
Jun 9, 2001


I thought this was an interesting excerpt from Modernist Cuisine:

ObesePriest
Nov 4, 2008


Alleric posted:


Awesome advice that I will use forever


Awesome write up. It answers a lot of questions that I wasn't sure on like mixing in rub and so forth. I have 2 questions though that if you would be so kind to answer I would be forever in your debt.

I hear some people that they wash their meat after the brine to get rid of some of the salt on the surface and then air dry. Do you do this as well?

Also do you boil your brine first to release the herbs and/or vegetables like for your turkey brine? Or have you found that it makes no difference?

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Alleric
Dec 10, 2002

Rambly Bastard...

ObesePriest posted:

Awesome write up. It answers a lot of questions that I wasn't sure on like mixing in rub and so forth. I have 2 questions though that if you would be so kind to answer I would be forever in your debt.

I hear some people that they wash their meat after the brine to get rid of some of the salt on the surface and then air dry. Do you do this as well?

Also do you boil your brine first to release the herbs and/or vegetables like for your turkey brine? Or have you found that it makes no difference?

For anything I brine, I don't actively rinse it post-brine. I do let it air dry for a bit, ergo the baking sheet with a rack to catch run-off. I will also pat dry as needed during this time to further dry the surface out. It's never going to be bone dry, but that's fine... the rub (if used) will stick all that much better. I've never had a problem generating a nice bark on shoulders using this methodology.

The only time I've seen active rinsing is when a dry cure has been used.

As for boiling brines. Normally I'm in a hurry, so water goes in pot, heat goes on high, sugar goes in, salt goes in, adjuncts go in. Stir until salt/sugar particulate dissolve. The key to this for speed is to only use like 1/8th of the water for the entire brine mass. Sure it's harder from a concentrate perspective to force that much salt/sugar into solution, but you've got heat on your side to force it in there, and then you've got 7/8ths of the brine mass chilled to cool it back off.

If your sugar and salt are already liquid? This will go way fast.

Feeling super lazy and/or have no need to heat your brine base, but using aromatics like herbs, onions, etc? Microwave. Give herbs 20-30 seconds, give onions, root veggies, etc about a minute. You just want to get things a little volatile so they give up the goods.

Specifically for the turkey brine all the veggies and fresh herbs saw the microwave. Dried herbs saw me pinching them vigorously to open them up before going into the brine base. Heated brine base until salt/sugar dissolved, and by the time that was done the turkey was in a 5-gallon food safe bucket with a boatload of cold water and ice cubes waiting. Veggies went in, brine base went in, quick stir, lid on. Bucket then spent the night in my modified deep freeze I use for keeping things like this cold (or batches of beer at their happy temps).

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