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Ornithology
Jan 28, 2011


Anyone tried making their own smoker a la good eats or seen on this website: http://makeprojects.com/Project/Clay-Pot-Smoker/877/1 ?

I'd like to try out smoking meats as a hobby. I'm not sold on the Brinkmann Smoke and Grill since I couldn't really make a good pork shoulder without a lot of extra work and moving the meat around during the smoking process. Seems to me it might be a better investment (of time and money) to build a ceramic smoker and use that. I'm a little concerned if it would work properly or if the pots would give an off taste to the meat, though. Anyone have tips or recommendations?

e: I guess I should say my priorities a little more clearly. I have a budget of about $100, maybe $150 if it's really worth the added cost. I'd like to be able to make pulled pork, ribs, chicken and roasts. I guess ease of use and reliability is a little more of a priority for me than having an absolutely perfect end result. It's more a hobby to get into over the summer than something I'd like to go crazy over perfecting.

What elements should I look for in purchasing a smoker?

Ornithology fucked around with this message at Apr 5, 2012 around 01:09

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Flying Fortress
Oct 23, 2008



MoosetheMooche posted:

Anyone tried making their own smoker a la good eats or seen on this website: http://makeprojects.com/Project/Clay-Pot-Smoker/877/1 ?

I'd like to try out smoking meats as a hobby. I'm not sold on the Brinkmann Smoke and Grill since I couldn't really make a good pork shoulder without a lot of extra work and moving the meat around during the smoking process. Seems to me it might be a better investment (of time and money) to build a ceramic smoker and use that. I'm a little concerned if it would work properly or if the pots would give an off taste to the meat, though. Anyone have tips or recommendations?

e: I guess I should say my priorities a little more clearly. I have a budget of about $100, maybe $150 if it's really worth the added cost. I'd like to be able to make pulled pork, ribs, chicken and roasts. I guess ease of use and reliability is a little more of a priority for me than having an absolutely perfect end result. It's more a hobby to get into over the summer than something I'd like to go crazy over perfecting.

What elements should I look for in purchasing a smoker?


When I first started looking at getting into this hobby I looked at that clay pot set-up, as well as smokers made from galvanized garbage cans, etc. My concern with those kinds of arrangements is lack of control. They also seem a little too flimsy and temporary. With your budget and apparent willingness to get handy and make something I would recommend an Ugly Drum Smoker, or UDS. There is lots of information online on how to make and use a UDS, so have a look. I made mine for under $100 with no welding, and it works better than the (admittedly cheap) store-bought smoker I had before. I've had great success with ribs, sausage, brisket, chicken, Atomic Buffalo Turds, whatever.
Look into it!

Alleric
Dec 10, 2002

Rambly Bastard...

MoosetheMooche posted:

Anyone tried making their own smoker a la good eats or seen on this website: http://makeprojects.com/Project/Clay-Pot-Smoker/877/1 ?

I'd like to try out smoking meats as a hobby. I'm not sold on the Brinkmann Smoke and Grill since I couldn't really make a good pork shoulder without a lot of extra work and moving the meat around during the smoking process. Seems to me it might be a better investment (of time and money) to build a ceramic smoker and use that. I'm a little concerned if it would work properly or if the pots would give an off taste to the meat, though. Anyone have tips or recommendations?

e: I guess I should say my priorities a little more clearly. I have a budget of about $100, maybe $150 if it's really worth the added cost. I'd like to be able to make pulled pork, ribs, chicken and roasts. I guess ease of use and reliability is a little more of a priority for me than having an absolutely perfect end result. It's more a hobby to get into over the summer than something I'd like to go crazy over perfecting.

What elements should I look for in purchasing a smoker?

I'm a big fan of starting on offsets or water smokers if you have the means. If you like DIY projects or on a more constrained budget, go for the low-tech option and build one. My learning process on my old offset was pretty simple. I dunno what else to say in that regard really.

If you want to go with the terracotta pot method, just make absolutely sure it's unglazed. Make absolutely sure.

Now that I'm thinking about it, though... if you build a home-brew smoker, the components will be hard to repurpose if you decide it's not your thing. Smoke is a hell of a thing to get out of... things... like pourous pots, nooks, crannies, heating elements, your nose hairs (I'm totally not kidding), etc... I fear if you build one of these and move on from using it, the components will just get pitched.

Back when I first got started, my offset was 150 bucks from Home Depot. That was over a decade ago. I've still seen options in that price range, or even less. Are they perfect? Nope. Will it get you rolling? Yep. I would also suggest craigslist, or even asking your friends. Purely anecdotal on my part but an amaaaazing amount of people who find out I smoke meats tell me "oh hey... you know... my dad/mom/brother/sister/uncle/aunt/pet snake/whatever has one of those sitting in his back yard they never use..."

At 100 bucks I would think you could totally find something to get you moving and making some amazing food. Unlike other forms of cooking the floor of "holy poo poo that's good" is very easy to get to in slow-smoking. Anything beyond that is just varying degrees of obsession.

Bone_Enterprise
Aug 9, 2005

Inception Cigars
www.inceptioncigars.com


Since Mackieman keeps talking about my electric smoker (I too have the 40" MES), I guess I should post some picutres.

I do not have many right now since most the images are on my computer at home, but here is some of the things I have done recently that I have on my phone, and or still on the internets.









I have a lot more poo poo I have done, but for now that is all.

Nosthula
Mar 23, 2009


Bone_Enterprise that food looks amazing.

Has anyone tried smoking meatloaf. I'm wanting to try something a little different tomorrow for dinner and I don't have time for a super long low and slow.

Bone_Enterprise
Aug 9, 2005

Inception Cigars
www.inceptioncigars.com


Nosthula posted:

Bone_Enterprise that food looks amazing.

Has anyone tried smoking meatloaf. I'm wanting to try something a little different tomorrow for dinner and I don't have time for a super long low and slow.

No though it should not take long, would say try ham as that does not take long either, but you mentioned you want something different.

Maybe try some rack of lamb ribs, or a leg of lamb (what my last three pictures were of), then serve it up with some rosemary garlic potatoes, and asparagus.


ObesePriest
Nov 4, 2008


Alleric posted:


More Heaps of Advice.


Excellent, thanks a lot for the write up. It's exactly what I've been looking for. Every time I brine a chunk of meat I will make a small sacrifice in your name.

MoosetheMooche posted:


I'd like to try out smoking meats as a hobby. I'm not sold on the Brinkmann Smoke and Grill since I couldn't really make a good pork shoulder without a lot of extra work and moving the meat around during the smoking process. Seems to me it might be a better investment (of time and money) to build a ceramic smoker and use that. I'm a little concerned if it would work properly or if the pots would give an off taste to the meat, though. Anyone have tips or recommendations?

e: I guess I should say my priorities a little more clearly. I have a budget of about $100, maybe $150 if it's really worth the added cost. I'd like to be able to make pulled pork, ribs, chicken and roasts. I guess ease of use and reliability is a little more of a priority for me than having an absolutely perfect end result. It's more a hobby to get into over the summer than something I'd like to go crazy over perfecting.

What elements should I look for in purchasing a smoker?


You could use a 22.5inch Kettle grill like I do which will cost you from $100-150(new). It's not optimal as an actual smoker but you'll get some good meat out of it. The main issue with them is that when smoking more than around 5 pounds of meat; you're going to have to move the meat around which is only a problem for whole briskets and shoulders. Clean up is easy though! Then you can just use it as a grill with your buddies when you get tired of smoking delicious meats.

Nephzinho
Jan 24, 2008



Started a 8-9 pound pork butt this morning around 8AM. Its coming along nicely and is just rounding the 130-140 stuck point. The whole place smells like a camp fire and I love it. Truly an Opening Day miracle.

Cyborganizer
Mar 10, 2004


As someone who has never done any smoking before, I'm interested in trying. I have a built-in grill in my backyard that has a "smoker tray" for wood chips and I was wondering if that would be adequate for proper smoking?

This is the grill in question: http://www.ajmadison.com/cgi-bin/aj...ZGG3631CSS.html with the smoker tray above the 2nd large nob on the right.

The tray is pretty narrow, so I'm not sure it would hold a huge number of wood chips, so I would have to replace them fairly regularly.

Alleric
Dec 10, 2002

Rambly Bastard...

Cyborganizer posted:

As someone who has never done any smoking before, I'm interested in trying. I have a built-in grill in my backyard that has a "smoker tray" for wood chips and I was wondering if that would be adequate for proper smoking?

This is the grill in question: http://www.ajmadison.com/cgi-bin/aj...ZGG3631CSS.html with the smoker tray above the 2nd large nob on the right.

The tray is pretty narrow, so I'm not sure it would hold a huge number of wood chips, so I would have to replace them fairly regularly.

I couldn't find a pic that would give me a good idea of the layout down under the grill proper on that model, so I can only give you the standard issue advice, and you'll have to see how you can adapt your situation.

Smoking is all about indirect heat. Just like smoking on, say a plain old Weber kettle grill, you'll want fire on one side and meat all the way over on the other. And then you'll want to try to set your vents up in such a way that you draw the heat and smoke over the meat.

That's the basic principle. The trick though, from those pics, is how to actually vent things to do that. The rotisserie is going to leave two nice holes in the side, but once you close the lid on that grill... that's about it. You'd be using fairly low heat so I guess you could take something like tin foil and plug up one side, then use that side's burner and draw across the grill and out the other side.

I dunno how helpful this is, and I apologize that I can't be more specific, but not being able to see down inside that grill leaves me a bit blind here.

On a totally unrelated note, a few weeks ago while running into K-mart to look for something I saw these sitting on the shelf in seasonal, and I KNOW they weren't marked for 170:

http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_...=5&blockType=G5

Is it tiny? Yep. Will it feed millions? Nope. Will it learn you in the ways? Yeppers.

There's a bigger one for like 20 bucks more:

http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_...=2&blockType=G2


Oh hey, they have a water smoker for like 60 bucks as well:

http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_...=3&blockType=G3

I've never ever ever used a water smoker though, so I cannot speak to how well this thing might work.


Well goddamn, check this out. Never seen one of these. Looks right up your alley, Cyborganizer:

http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_...0&blockType=G10

Cyborganizer
Mar 10, 2004


Alleric posted:

Good info
Thanks for taking the time to reply. That's all some really good information that I will try to put to use. It seems like my best bet would be to place the meat on the far right of the grill (closest to the smoker tray) and use the far left burner (of the three available) and plug the rotisserie hole on that same left. I'll be limited with how much I can actually smoke at one time, but it's worth a shot.

The fan you linked seems like a good idea, I'm just concerned that it's battery powered and the one review I found on it through Amazon is less than stellar. I might try to rig up a standard fan that feeds through the hole in the side of the grill to see if that helps with the convection of heat. If all else fails, I'll look into a dedicated smoker.

edit: I'm wondering if a PC fan would work for circulation? Would the heat from the grill be too much for some of the plastic parts on the fan?

Cyborganizer fucked around with this message at Apr 6, 2012 around 17:03

Ornithology
Jan 28, 2011


Thanks for the tips everyone. I already have a propane BBQ so I`m not looking for a combination grill/smoker. The more I think about it the more I'm not so sure about building my own, either. What's the advantage of a vertical smoker like the Brinkmann Smoke n Grill compared to an offset? Someone's selling one of these offset smoker's http://homehardware.ca/en/rec/index...920?Ntt=Smokers in my area for half price which seems like a good deal.

They also have this vertical one that's in my price range but there's not much info about it: http://homehardware.ca/en/rec/index...0925?Ntt=smoker

I'm having trouble deciding what to do because I don't know the important features in a smoker. Either way I don't have much of a budget but I don't want to spend money on something and find out it's impossible to make the foods that I want. I'm fine if it's not a perfect award winning end product, but I'd rather not have to move foods into my oven/coolers during the cooking process. The Brinkmann seems hard to find here (Toronto) and the Smokey Mountain is out of my price range.

What's the deal with electric smokers? Are they just for people who want no fuss at all but don't make as good of an end result, or what?

e: Very beginner question but in these offset grills do you end up with coals under the meat, coals/woods, or nothing under the meat and just coal/wood in the smoker box on the side?

Ornithology fucked around with this message at Apr 6, 2012 around 16:28

Alleric
Dec 10, 2002

Rambly Bastard...

MoosetheMooche posted:

Thanks for the tips everyone. I already have a propane BBQ so I`m not looking for a combination grill/smoker. The more I think about it the more I'm not so sure about building my own, either. What's the advantage of a vertical smoker like the Brinkmann Smoke n Grill compared to an offset? Someone's selling one of these offset smoker's http://homehardware.ca/en/rec/index...920?Ntt=Smokers in my area for half price which seems like a good deal.

They also have this vertical one that's in my price range but there's not much info about it: http://homehardware.ca/en/rec/index...0925?Ntt=smoker

I'm having trouble deciding what to do because I don't know the important features in a smoker. Either way I don't have much of a budget but I don't want to spend money on something and find out it's impossible to make the foods that I want. I'm fine if it's not a perfect award winning end product, but I'd rather not have to move foods into my oven/coolers during the cooking process. The Brinkmann seems hard to find here (Toronto) and the Smokey Mountain is out of my price range.

What's the deal with electric smokers? Are they just for people who want no fuss at all but don't make as good of an end result, or what?

e: Very beginner question but in these offset grills do you end up with coals under the meat, coals/woods, or nothing under the meat and just coal/wood in the smoker box on the side?


The last question you posed, that of coals. Fire goes in the tinder box, aka the offset box. No fire should be built in the cooking chamber. Doing so would switch you from smoking to grilling, frankly. Upside of an offset is that means you can indeed use it as a big rear end grill. I've done this with much success.

Next, electric smokers. Are they JUST for people that want no fuss at all? Dunno. I think it's safe to say that the people who indeed want as little of fuss as possible should totally be looking at an electric. You will indeed bypass a lot of fidgeting, but you'll also bypass a lot of learning of the old school way of things. Call that good or bad. It just is.

As for them not making as good of a product... I can't say that. I just can't. There are purists who can, but I can respect how anybody gets to what they like. I made food I was damned proud of on an offset for years, and can still walk up to one and make it sing. But... I made a serious, conscious lifestyle change a couple years back, and though it pained me to step away from the more manual way, I went electric. I lost my guilt about that pretty much the first time I plopped a shoulder in it, loaded the pucks up, set the heat, smoker time, heat time, and walked off. It's so brutally clinical... but even more brutally simple.

And I've made things in it that make eyes roll back in heads. It is a 100% different process, but it's still bbq when it's all said and done. And to be brutally honest, the level of control I have in it allows me to really do some delicate work with fish that I couldn't do anywhere as easily in my offset. And when it's cold outside, since I can turn on the smoke WITHOUT turning on the heat... I can do cheese and other things that need to stay chilly.

It's just two different styles. And water smokers are a third that I've never used. It's all just launch points towards the same goal: kick rear end food. You'll get there any way you go about it. Just different ways of playing the same game.

Anyway... I understand your trepidation. There's initial cash investment, time investment, and no basis for confidence that you'll make something you even like.

So my question I suppose is what is it you want to make? What is it you want out of smoking meats? Throw that out there and I'm sure we can get you headed down the path in as comfortable a way as we can muster. Smoking meats isn't meant to be a source of concern or stress. Quite the contrary.

Just for the record, I got into this because where I grew up in mid-Missouri... I couldn't source good andouille sausage to save my life (ordering from places on lord internet didn't exist back then). So I hunted down a recipe, bought a smoker... and made it myself. That, and my mother and sister's love of smoked salmon were the motivation. I pretty much never looked back. It is soooooo ridiculously simple to make good food in a smoker, even a leaky old offset.

Will you be rockin sox in Memphis by this May? Nope. Niether will I. But you get this smoking thing down? Your friends and family will loooooove you.

Gin and Juche
Apr 3, 2008

The Highest Judge of Paradise
Shiki Eiki
YAMAXANADU


zerox147o posted:

Started a 8-9 pound pork butt this morning around 8AM. Its coming along nicely and is just rounding the 130-140 stuck point. The whole place smells like a camp fire and I love it. Truly an Opening Day miracle.

Yeah its the best part of the weekend. Friend and I are smoking a turkey right now, started at 8am and its already at 140 degrees. Hopefully we can slow it down a tad.

Nephzinho
Jan 24, 2008



Gravel Gravy posted:

Yeah its the best part of the weekend. Friend and I are smoking a turkey right now, started at 8am and its already at 140 degrees. Hopefully we can slow it down a tad.

The last of that shoulder is actually making it into Easter dinner tonight. I didn't have any charcoal at the time so I spent the entire day with my laptop working on the deck tending the fire. Only took a break and handed the watch to my brother for the mets game. Have a feeling much of this summer will be spent out there with a radio, beer, and horseshoes. Might be time to get a kegerator out there...

WarrenH
Feb 19, 2010

derelict


I've had the little brinkmann el cheapo since last summer. A few disasters trying to maintain temp with charcoal led me to convert it to a propane smoker using an old turkey fryer burner. Basically, I just stacked some bricks around the burner and rested the smoker on top. I also put some lava rocks in the charcoal bowl to add some thermal mass to minimize temperature deflections (don't know if I need to do this, though, since there's a big bowl of water right above them). It doesn't take much flame at all to hold a nice 210-225 degrees. I just toss the wood chunks on the lava rocks. Overall, it's pretty easy to regulate temps and uses much less propane then I'd expected.





I'm probably missing out by using propane instead of charcoal, but I always get a good ring, flavor's great, and the convenience can't be beat. I probably drink too much while smoking to do much else.

I smoked a boston butt a couple of weeks ago. The ghetto smoker turned this:



Into some pretty good pulled pork:

Phummus
Aug 4, 2006

If I get ten spare bucks, it's going for a 30-pack of Schlitz.

I posted in the product recommendation thread as well, but anyone with a Weber kettle grill should consider the Smokenator 1000. Yes, the name is a bit silly, but this thing works as advertised. I did a 9 pound pork shoulder in 50 degree weather with 25MPH winds and kept a steady temp on it for 8 hours. (It started getting dark so I finished in the oven).

Cyborganizer
Mar 10, 2004


Phummus posted:

(It started getting dark so I finished in the oven).

Glad to hear I'm not alone in this. To report on my first "smoking" experience from yesterday, all I have to say is I picked the worst possible time to try. The combination of babysitting a smoker while also trying to babysit a newborn (not alone, but helping the wife) ended up being quite the task and my results were "meh."*

As a recap, I used my backyard's build-in grill that has a "smoker tray." Much less than ideal, I know, but I figured I have the grill so I might as well give it a go before going off and buying a dedicated smoker. So, I got a 5lb pork shoulder, brined it overnight and did a pretty generic rub. Venting the grill ended up being more of an issue than I had anticipated as there were a number of slits and slots that needed plugging with foil to get the air/smoke flow going in the right direction over the meat. Even with the foil, smoke was spewing out of what seemed like every corner of the grill. Temperature control was a whole other story. The small burner for the smoker tray was my main source of heat, but it couldn't always maintain the 220-225 range. Turning one of the main burners on to its lowest setting was way too much, so it ended up being a lot of trial and error (emphasis on the error) with the venting and burners and my temps ranged from 200-250 or so.

For the smoke portion, I ended up going through a lot more wood chips than I thought I would need. I actually ended up having to go buy another bag to make it through the day. The smoker tray actually helped produce nice smoke (thin, blue as you call it), but it went quickly and needed frequent refills. Throwing in the baby thing, I tried to maximize the time between renewing chips by using a lot of chips at once so I could go longer between checking on things. Otherwise, I'd have to re-chip every 15-20 minutes it seems.

By about 6 hours into the smoke, I hit 151F and after it sat there for an hour I decided to try the foil trick. 5 or so hours later I'm sitting at 170F and it's getting dark and I'm getting tired/frustrated. I knew coming in that it would take time, patience and attention, but I guess I underestimated things. I ended up taking the meat and throwing it in the oven at 225F. Being sleep-deprived from the newborn and just exhausted in general, I just couldn't do the smoker anymore. I figured the smoke flavor had penetrated enough (it sure penetrated my once shiny silver grill), so I just wanted to get it to 195 and be done. The transfer happened at about 8pm (baby goes to sleep at 8:30, so I go to sleep at 8:31) and it didn't hit 195 until 1am. My thermometer alarm woke me, so I wrapped it in foil, a towel and threw it in a cooler for an hour. I woke up an hour later and pulled it and went back to sleep. I didn't even taste it because I didn't want to have to brush my teeth again (I was THAT tired and I'm in the dental field) and I wanted to make sure I had some good homemade bbq sauce ready to go with it.

So now I sit at work thinking about yesterday's events contemplating my next smoking endeavor. I think I've realized that I don't have the time at this point of my life to babysit something else, so I'll probably end up getting an electric "set and forget" style smoker. It seems like the folks in here who use it seem to like the final results. I'm looking forward to trying it tonight with my homemade slaw, though.

The Golden Man
Aug 4, 2007



Does any one know any good "mexican" smoker recipes? I have to cook something for a May 5 bbq & usually would make cochinita pibil in a slow cooker but that's out. I don't think that would be the same on the smoker... is there anything Mexican that's traditionally smoked?

agentseven
Oct 21, 2004

TITS AND COOTERS YOU FAGGOT

Paul Coffey posted:

Does any one know any good "mexican" smoker recipes? I have to cook something for a May 5 bbq & usually would make cochinita pibil in a slow cooker but that's out. I don't think that would be the same on the smoker... is there anything Mexican that's traditionally smoked?
I don't know about authentic but chili verde with smoked pulled pork is loving fantastic.

Alleric
Dec 10, 2002

Rambly Bastard...

Paul Coffey posted:

Does any one know any good "mexican" smoker recipes? I have to cook something for a May 5 bbq & usually would make cochinita pibil in a slow cooker but that's out. I don't think that would be the same on the smoker... is there anything Mexican that's traditionally smoked?

When it comes to actual factual authentic mexican cooking, I really only know sonoran and baja styles reasonably well, and the only low and slow methods I'm aware of are stewing and braising techniques. All off the "apply some form of fire to meat" things I know of are high heat grill methodologies.

But yes, putting small bits of smoked pork in pretty much anything rules.

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

Cyborganizer posted:

Glad to hear I'm not alone in this. To report on my first "smoking" experience...

People say that the smoke and flavor is mostly all absorbed in the first 4 hours or so. Anything after that only makes the outside of the meat darker. There's also a bigger temp range than the standard 225. As long as it's approx 225 to 275 or so, the pork will turn out fine, and 275 will finish a LOT faster too, esp if you foil it.

Hearing how it took so long even with foiling makes me think that your grill and oven temps are possibly reading low. It may have been your particular chunk of meat, but test your grill and oven with a calibrated thermo, because a 5 pounder shouldn't normally take that long if you did the foiling. I also hoped that the foil packaging was sealed up relatively tight.

It always feels hectic the first time, but it can get almost to the point of set and forget once you know about the stuff to worry about and what not to. Don't chase the temps around trying to maintain the "perfect" 225. 225-275 is fine. You'll get used to the "flow" after a few smokes, and it will be almost set and forget with an hourly check on the smoker.

As far as wood chips go, if your tray can use chunks and still give off acceptable smoke, do that. Lasts longer, less monitoring.

Cyborganizer
Mar 10, 2004


There is a definite possibility my temperature readings were off either based off my probe placement or calibration. My grill just isn't very efficient at maintaining heat and the venting was a huge issue. I will definitely look into the wood chunk option to replace the chips. I'll have to look at the average chunk dimensions to see if they'll actually fit in the smoker tray.

Even though the process of smoking left a slightly sour taste in my mouth, it was quickly replaced by the sweet, smokey, porky taste of what seems to be a pretty successful end product. The meat had a very smokey flavor and a pretty decent smoke ring. My wife was even impressed despite her annoyance of me spending an entire day to make it. It was a bit dry, but once it's got a bit of BBQ sauce on it, it tastes great. It may not be perfect, but it's good enough that I want to continue smoking.

crazyfish
Sep 19, 2002



What do you guys use to protect your smokers from the wind? I've got a WSM that is terrible at maintaining temperature if the wind gets higher than about 12 mph. I was thinking about picking up a cheap welding blanket and wrapping it around the cooker, but other ideas are welcome.

AxeBreaker
Jan 1, 2005
Who fucking cares?



I've been reading a lot of sites that suggest the water heater cover or welding blanket ideas, although those are more for efficiency than temperature control. Personally, I went for the lazy/overkill idea of getting a DigiQ to deal with the constant Vegas wind.

The new PartyQ is a lot cheaper and would do the same thing.


There are a ton of suggestions for enclosures on https://www.virtualweberbullet.com as well.
http://amazingribs.com/ has suggestions too, including a link to harbor freight welding blankets like you mentioned.

I love my Weber Smokey Mountain/DigiQ combo, but I am looking for cheaper (and equally lazy) solutions to suggest to others.
My first target is one of those propane cabinet smokers, preferably a steal off Craigslist, but I see a lot more cheap offset smokers.


I know people diss them, or complain of a bacony flavor but they seem more fun to mod and like they'd be better than electrics.
If I go that route I'd try an alton brown flowerpot smoker first.

AxeBreaker fucked around with this message at Apr 12, 2012 around 01:03

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

AxeBreaker posted:

I've been reading a lot of sites that suggest the water heater cover or welding blanket ideas, although those are more for efficiency than temperature control. Personally, I went for the lazy/overkill idea of getting a DigiQ to deal with the constant Vegas wind.

The new PartyQ is a lot cheaper and would do the same thing.


There are a ton of suggestions for enclosures on https://www.virtualweberbullet.com as well.
http://amazingribs.com/ has suggestions too, including a link to harbor freight welding blankets like you mentioned.

Right. Blankets are more for efficiency. If you are having temperature swings, make a windbreak out of a few sheets of plywood or something that blocks the wind some.

AxeBreaker
Jan 1, 2005
Who fucking cares?



Plywood would be good if you can find it cheap- a cheap temperature controller like an iQue or PartyQ is a lot easier to use and store, and only about twice as expensive as 2 or three big sheets of plywood and a couple of sets of hinges.

They are running 139$ right now for either, I think. If I buy another ATC it will be one of those, or splurging on a CyberQ.

Astronaut Jones
Oct 18, 2007
Destination Moon

You guys and your off the shelf controllers... I built one based on CapnBry's design earlier in the year, but have only had my smoker out once this year so far. Need to remedy that.

bloody ghost titty
Oct 23, 2008

tHROW SOME D"s ON THAT BIZNATCH


While I know this is the smoking thread, I was wondering if anyone had experience pit smoking a piglet. I was wondering how much lump charcoal and how long to cook it by pound, specifically.

AxeBreaker
Jan 1, 2005
Who fucking cares?



Vegetable Melange posted:

While I know this is the smoking thread, I was wondering if anyone had experience pit smoking a piglet. I was wondering how much lump charcoal and how long to cook it by pound, specifically.

This is something I've wanted to do for a while. Raichlen's "How to Grill" has some basic instructions on it, based on a 50 pound pig. For that size, he says about 30-50 pounds of fuel, 4 logs or 3-4 pounds wood chunks, and about 5 hours. I'd go with the 50 or even more for lump, depending on how good the quality is. 6-10 pounds per hour is his estimate. I've certainly heard of pig cooks going on a lot longer than that, though. Hell, it's not abnormal for me to go longer than 12 for two butts (14-18 lbs), let alone the whole hog!

I don't want to start a charcoal argument, but lump is not the best choice here.In the pictures, he's using briquettes, and that says something cause he usually likes lump. I'd go the same way, a lower and long burning fire is what you want. See if you can find a deal on Royal Oak or Kingsford Competition- those are my go-to, easy to find, consistent fuels for my smoker.

Then again, if you've got a lot of cheap lump you can use that, it just burns quicker and hotter.

Fake Edit: Are we talking earthen pit or metal pit? The recipe I'm looking at is on a pig cooker.

EDIT: Fo reals this time. http://amazingribs.com/recipes/pork...og_cooking.html
He even has a cinder block pit design! This site seems pretty good, but if any goons have criticism I'd love to hear it.
This site is rapidly becoming my #2 fave besides virtual weber bullet.

AxeBreaker fucked around with this message at Apr 13, 2012 around 06:43

PuTTY riot
Nov 16, 2002


Amazingribs.com is an invaluable resource. I particularly like his advice that a good digital thermometer is the most important tool you can have.

Alleric
Dec 10, 2002

Rambly Bastard...

Vegetable Melange posted:

While I know this is the smoking thread, I was wondering if anyone had experience pit smoking a piglet. I was wondering how much lump charcoal and how long to cook it by pound, specifically.

I do have that experience, but not directly since my childhood or low-teen age. My fully redneck uncle used to hold a poker tournament once or twice a year on a Friday night that turned around into a massive pig feast the next day.

His methodology:

Use a backhoe and dig a 6 foot hole in the ground big enough for a full adult pig. Build a fire in said hole Friday morning and let it rage. Feed it slowly and let it die down as the day goes, switching from greener woods to drier and more flavorful woods (he had a lot of apple and hickory on his farm). Start poker game around 6pm. Drink heavily and play poker all night. Around midnight to 2am, drag poker party out in a drunken stupor to take the butchered pig, roll it up in burlap, soak the whole thing in whatever beer is left, and lower it into the now crazy-smoldering pit. Cover pit with huge metal plate.

Next day around 3pm we'd pull the metal plate off, pull the pig out and it'd be totally falling apart.


That poo poo was good.

bloody ghost titty
Oct 23, 2008

tHROW SOME D"s ON THAT BIZNATCH


I suupose I should specify that it'll be in a backyard in Brooklyn. The plan is either to build a cinderblock oven or suspend a shopping cart over the firepit on said blocks. Urban rednecks, baby.

AxeBreaker
Jan 1, 2005
Who fucking cares?



http://amazingribs.com/recipes/pork..._a_hog_pit.html

Link for the lazy, that's as sound a design as I've seen. Most are just cut open barrels, metal boxes or pits anyway, heat control is achieved by shoveling the coals into the right place.

Alleric
Dec 10, 2002

Rambly Bastard...

Vegetable Melange posted:

I suupose I should specify that it'll be in a backyard in Brooklyn. The plan is either to build a cinderblock oven or suspend a shopping cart over the firepit on said blocks. Urban rednecks, baby.

If you want crazy insulation, cinder block oven framing filled solid with sand. Talk about heat retention.

ObesePriest
Nov 4, 2008


Anyone smoking anything this weekend? I just put on a few trouts!

Alleric
Dec 10, 2002

Rambly Bastard...

ObesePriest posted:

Anyone smoking anything this weekend? I just put on a few trouts!

Work's been silly crazy for me for weeks now, and will continue to be so. The only thing I have scheduled to hit the smoker is a 12 lb bone-in pork rib roast on May 12th. I haven't done one of these in years, so looking forward to it.

Nosthula
Mar 23, 2009


Astronaut Jones posted:

You guys and your off the shelf controllers... I built one based on CapnBry's design earlier in the year, but have only had my smoker out once this year so far. Need to remedy that.



Do you have a link or instructions for building this? My dad is building his own smoker and I would love to complement it with a homemade controller.

Edit: Some quick googling and I found it.

https://github.com/CapnBry/HeaterMe...rmeter-hardware

PuTTY riot
Nov 16, 2002


ObesePriest posted:

Anyone smoking anything this weekend? I just put on a few trouts!

I was going to try ribs for the first time yesterday, but it was extremely windy so I held off. I might try tonight, not sure, don't get off work till 6 so it'll be a late dinner for sure if I do. If not I guess I should throw the rack in the chest freezer (best craigslist purchase I've ever made).

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Astronaut Jones
Oct 18, 2007
Destination Moon

Nosthula posted:

Do you have a link or instructions for building this? My dad is building his own smoker and I would love to complement it with a homemade controller.

Edit: Some quick googling and I found it.

https://github.com/CapnBry/HeaterMe...rmeter-hardware

This thread will be very helpful to you if you decide to take the plunge.

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