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41

The primary benefit of crutching a large piece of meat on the smoker is to reduce evaporative cooling. What is Evaporative Cooling? When water is heated, it evaporates into vapor that we call steam. The state change from liquid water to gaseous steam is an endothermic process. That means that energy is consumed—as opposed to exothermic processes whereby ...


22

What you're describing isn't all that different from how they make various products like Liquid Smoke (make smoke along with steam, then condense that steam). You will need to make sure that some actual condensation occurs (for example, by having a lid for the smokey vapor to condense onto). However, it may be simpler to add a liquid smoke-type product ...


16

You can't just pick up any old wood chips but you can get ones for cooking at the hardware store. Even Home Depot or Lowes should have wood-for-smoking available. You have to be careful since if you get chips made out of treated lumber for example the resulting smoke could be poisonous. Probably not something you want to eat. You also want to avoid ...


15

Take cheesecloth and soak it in melted butter and drape it over the bird before you put it in the smoker. This will protect the skin during the long slow smoking process. You may want to pull the cheesecloth off about 30 minutes before you are done. This will give you a nice golden brown skin that is not leathery. I first read of doing this with a smoked ...


13

First thing I would recommend is not spraying down the skin with the oil/apple juice mixture. There is plenty of fat in chicken skin. No need to add more. And spraying the skin will just keep it from rendering out the unwanted fat and other tissue, thus preventing it from crisping. The other thing I would suggest is to turn the heat up on the chicken. Low ...


12

Chewy means undercooked. Most of your standard "barbecue cuts" of meat contain a lot of connective tissue. This must be rendered to achieve tenderness. This goes for brisket, pork butt, and ribs, to name a few. If you are using the words "chewy" or "tough" to describe the texture of your meat, in nearly all cases it has not been cooked enough. Your time/...


12

Soaking wood chips accomplishes almost nothing, as proven here. Summary from amazing ribs link: Soaking wood does not work, as it takes more than days to saturate wood. And temperature measurements from wood soaked for a day show little change Their recommendation: have two containers of wood, one dry, and one covered with water (steam is required as well)....


12

The Maillard reaction occurs about 280 to 330 °F depending on the food. For meats this denaturing of the proteins also results in the release of water, so the meat gets hard and dry. By cooking at a "low" temperature, you cook at temperatures below which the Maillard reaction occurs. Well done beef has a resting temperature of 155 to 160 °F. So cooking at ...


10

No, it isn't possible to over soak wood chips, chunks, planks, or any other size that you want to throw on the grill (within reason, I wouldn't soak them for weeks because the water would get scummy). In fact, the directions given often grossly underestimate optimal soaking time. I assume this is because the manufacturer doesn't want to scare people off by ...


10

While cooking low and slow has its advantages, 6 hours is a bit too long. You should be able to complete a 6 pound chicken in 1 1/2 - 2 hours @ 275°F [135°C]. Some things to remember that might help you out: You are going for an internal temp of 160°F [70°C] in the breast meat and 170°F [75°C] at the thigh. Every time you open the smoker you are allowing ...


9

I don't like the recipe much. First of all, paella is a one pan dish, normally. That is, all ingredients are cooked in the same pan (paella) and in sequence. This means that all the flavors are stacked one on top of the other. Second, if you are going to use saffron, the most expensive spice in the world, hold down on any other spices. In particular, most ...


9

From what I can tell you're generally on the right track here. From what you've said, there are probably just a few issues. tough/dry/rough. Believe it or not not cooking long enough could be the problem here. You want your brisket to get in that 190-200 range, this will cause the connective tissue to break down and make it very nice. The other possibility ...


9

It's the smoker. I had one of these, and it is extremely flawed in design. The pan that holds the charcoal does not allow for proper air flow to the fuel. Contrast this with a Weber grill, where you put your fuel on an elevated grate with plenty of air beneath it. This Char Broil instead just has a pan that you put on a shelf. Before long your coals are ...


9

This is the method I use to smoke meat in my Weber! The basics are exactly what you see in the photo, with one more step. Start about a dozen (or in a 22.5" grill like that one, maybe 18-24) briquettes in your charcoal starter (you have one of those right? if not, go get one, they're awesome). When the coals in your starter are glowing, carefully place them ...


9

Another option is Smoked Paprika. As Jolene wisely cautions, those liquid smoke products are very strong. And even though it might be "natural" smoke flavor, it can lend a "synthetic" taste to delicate foods. Smoked Paprika has a much more subtle smokiness. Of course, it will also add color and additional flavor of its own. It sounds to me like this would ...


9

That cut of beef is OK for 'low and slow' however, you did not provide 'low and slow.' At 300, even wrapped, the internal temperature gets high enough that it will expel moisture. This is happening at the tissue/cellular level, so the wrapping won't stop that. The thing that could have helped is to keep it wrapped and let it cool to almost room temperature....


8

OK - for my bona fides, I'm a microbiologist and have made a career of quality control in food processing including meat processing so I know what I am talking about. There are two kinds of smoked pork chops, cold smoked and hot smoked. Cold smoked pork chops aren't heat processed, so they aren't cooked. They have the redder color and the more resilient, ...


8

You may want to check out the following pages: What Influences Cooking Time Thermodynamics of Cooking Using their methods, I have not had a shoulder take 15 hours to come to temperature at a smoker temperature of 225 (computer-controlled). I have never done whole hog, but as Jefromi stated the actual method of cooking makes a significant difference. The ...


8

To add smoky flavor, you can add a drop of liquid smoke. Do it drop by drop - be careful, it's easy to use too much and not be able to taste anything else. Liquid smoke is actually made by distilling smoke and it really does add a flavor much like putting the food in a smoker (or a big fire).


8

What it looks like you have there is a Pastrami. Though not a particularly 'good' one, perhaps made from Eye of Round rather than brisket. It has been brined (soaked in a salt solution) in order to preserve the meat and then smoked (most likely to an internal temperature of 175°F (80°C)). This should make the meat 'completely safe' from food borne illnesses ...


7

All we can tell you that is provably true is that heating any oil or fat past its smoke point causes rapid oxidation and more-or-less mimics the effect of rancidity. You should do your own research on sites like Google Scholar or just ask your family doctor or dietitian if you want opinions on whether or not this leads to longer-term health complications. ...


6

225-250 is too low a temperature for chicken. Chicken doesn't benefit from "low and slow" cooking, because it doesn't contain connective tissue that needs to be broken down, and the skin needs a higher temperature to crisp. Here is a page from Virtual Weber Bullet which talks about how to get a crisp skin while smoking. They recommend cooking at 300 degrees ...


6

The health concern is a moot point, really. Why are you using olive oil if you're heating it past the smoke point? At best, that means it's lost its flavor, and if there's enough of it to actually taste, it'll taste burned. So you might as well just use a different kind of oil with a higher smoke point - whatever suits you healthwise, presumably something ...


6

The first thing I would suggest is finding a copy of "Food and Beverage Mycology, 2nd. Edition" by Larry R. Beuchat. There are two chapters that are directly pertinent to your question: "field and storage fungi" (p211-232) and "mycotoxins" (p517-570). However, in order to specifically answer the question, one would need to be familiar with three additional ...


6

I've never thought of turkey as gamey at all, but that's just my own taste I guess. It sounds to me you want a milder bird, in which case you want to buy a cheap battery bird. Gameyness comes from exercise and diet, the blander diet and less exercise the milder (read blander) bird you get. Don't go free-range, get store-brand.


6

I've definitely done this with ketchup before, with a couple key tweaks: Spreading the sauce onto a rimmed baking sheet. This is to maximize surface area for smoking. I used a Traeger pellet-smoker, so I'm not sure how a Weber might work. I'm not sure how effective this'll be in your case, but the general principle is sound (and delicious). Example recipe ...


6

Smoke first, then sous vide. There are a few reasons as to why you could smoke first: (i) It has been shown that cold food/meat will take on smoke flavor better than warm meat (Source: AmazingRibs) (ii) If you do sous vide and then smoke, you might risk overcooking the meat since the temperature in your smoker can run higher than your sous vide. Doing ...


5

A smoke-master offered this advice years ago and I've followed it many times...with much success. Chicken is low in fat so it can dry out in a smoker at prolonged and low temps. He suggested "smoke-roasting" - get your smoker ripping at 350 to 400F (I have an off-set wood-fired pit). Split a whole chicken (5#s +/-) through the breast only and splay it open - ...


5

Here is a good basic technique for smoking brisket. The important points are to smoke it until it reaches an internal temperature of about 160 F, then wrap in foil. The meat won't absorb any more smoke flavor at that point anyway, and the foil will protect it from drying out during the rest of the cooking process. You can add a little bit of liquid inside ...


5

I apologize in advance if I miss any of your key points, but I will do my best to address them. First, on the color of the meat -- brisket will be brown, but may have a red and/or pink smoke ring around the edges. It can be difficult, sometimes impossible, to achieve with a gas or electric smoker. Regardless, the smoke ring is strictly a cosmetic quality, ...


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