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Home Made Sausage, Cured, and Smoked Meats

venividivicibj

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I use a Traeger Lil Tex pellet grill for the most part.


Here is how it works:



Also I use a cheap $70 vertical bullet



Everybody's got their opinion on what they like. I prefer the Traeger for:

Ribs
Wings
Drums
Thighs
Whole Chicken
Steaks
Pork chops
Bacon
Brisket
Ham
Pork loin
Pork Tenderloin
Corned beef
Atomic Buffalo Turds
Smoked Squash
Smoke Pumpkin Seeds
Any small roasts of pork or beef
Ham Hocks
Cottage Roll

I use the other one only in the summer for:

Pork Butts for pulling
Brisket
Any large roasts of pork or beef
Cottage Rolls
Corned Beef

The type of smoke you get off the red bullet smoker can be very dominating with some of the charcoals and some of the briquettes can be very lame. I mix the two and add wood chunks to achieve the profile I want. If it is cold and snowing, this smoker will burn all of it's fuel quickly.

The Traeger lights itself, stokes itself and can operate will a full hopper for as long as 20 hrs in the summer and probably 13-15 hrs in the extreme cold. You put the flavour of wood in the hopper and turn it on. You can mix the woods to get different flavour profiles. The smoke setting will smoke foods in the 140 degree range. If you turn it up higher, the higher you go, the more flavour from the wood type you get and the less smoke you'll get. For ribs, start off on smoke for an hour, switch to 225 for two hours and 250-275 for another hour (to render the fat).

I have a home automation system and use it to turn the Traeger on in the winter. I leave meat in it and go to work. I turn it on a few hours before my work is done. That way when I get home, the meat is done
Was looking at the Weber Smokey Mountain, but your points about the ease of an electric smoker are making me second guess.
 

WatchMeSpend

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Was looking at the Weber Smokey Mountain, but your points about the ease of an electric smoker are making me second guess.
Just remember, Traegers only use electricity to start the pellets (around 300 watts) and after that electricity only is used for the PID, auger and fan. No heating elements. This is why they are allowed in competition, no heat from electricity.

As great fun as Kamado and Bullet style smokers are, they are definitely more messy to use, take longer to start, and require more attention.

Burning charcoal and woods makes a "dirtier" smoke. This is why I only use large cuts and strong meats in the bullet.

Cooking chicken on an ECB, Weber or a BGE usually makes an undesirable and usually inedible tough skin.



I call it dirty bird. Ash is a little more prevalent in the charcoal powered cookers. Sometimes this lands on the skin and dries it out.

I also smoke on low temps and do things like a reverse sear. Mesquite smoke a steak or a prime rib and then sear on a grill.
I can run the Traeger's temp up into the 400s but I find it burns all the fat/seasoning/crud off the inside of the unit and makes the next thing I cook taste weird.

People become obsessed with high temp sears. My BBQ would pin 900 degrees and turn the grids red hot. All it did was burn the meat instantly with black (bitter) carbon grill marks. Now I only sear at 500 on the BBQ.

The best steak I've ever had (Pinnacle Peak Patio) was cooked over hardwood mesquite. Using the reverse sear after I mesquite smoked the steak, I can replicate that flavour. As a matter of fact, that is why I bought the unit. Because it is technically a pellet grill that smokes.

By dialing in different temperatures, I can control the smoke/flavour ratio. High temperatures have less smoke flavour and showcases the characteristics of the wood type. Low temps produce more smoke and less wood flavour,
 

Krish the Fish

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Have the KBQ confirmed shipping on Monday, have the wood in hand (51 lbs of post oak, 54 lbs of applewood), a pair of BBQ gloves, bear claw type meat shredders, a Thermoworks Smoke to measure air and meat temp, a Thermapen too for spot checking, and have meat ordered from my butcher for Labor Day weekend, 2 lbs of wings and a pork shoulder. I think we're going to have people over so I might have to run to Costco and grab more wings for the smoke. I'm excited. Hopefully I don't fuck it up and not have any food for our friends/for dinner.

I think all I need now is to get the smoker delivered and set up and pick up a bag of charcoal to start the fire, and grab some beers to go with my cigars for the actual smoking process. It's going to be fun!

A friend of mine also told me he has to chop down a cherry tree on his property and I'm welcome to have as much wood as I want from it, so I'll have a good amount of cherry for next summer after letting it dry for a while. Need to get a rack and tarp to cover it all when that ends up coming to fruition

Does anyone have any recommendations on wood ratios? I'm not sure if I should go 100% apple wood with the chicken and pork, or if I should mix in 20% oak, or go more oak with some apple.
 

edmorel

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Have the KBQ confirmed shipping on Monday, have the wood in hand (51 lbs of post oak, 54 lbs of applewood), a pair of BBQ gloves, bear claw type meat shredders, a Thermoworks Smoke to measure air and meat temp, a Thermapen too for spot checking, and have meat ordered from my butcher for Labor Day weekend, 2 lbs of wings and a pork shoulder. I think we're going to have people over so I might have to run to Costco and grab more wings for the smoke. I'm excited. Hopefully I don't fuck it up and not have any food for our friends/for dinner.

I think all I need now is to get the smoker delivered and set up and pick up a bag of charcoal to start the fire, and grab some beers to go with my cigars for the actual smoking process. It's going to be fun!

A friend of mine also told me he has to chop down a cherry tree on his property and I'm welcome to have as much wood as I want from it, so I'll have a good amount of cherry for next summer after letting it dry for a while. Need to get a rack and tarp to cover it all when that ends up coming to fruition

Does anyone have any recommendations on wood ratios? I'm not sure if I should go 100% apple wood with the chicken and pork, or if I should mix in 20% oak, or go more oak with some apple.

I do a mix of hardwood and fruitwoods for everything, typically more fruitwood than hardwood, so like 60/40 or 70/30. Apple is good, so is pecan or maple. Cherry wood will really darken your meat :lookaround:. When in doubt about how much wood to use, use less hardwood then you think you need. Also make sure you have patience when setting up your fire, let it burn for a while, until everything is "charcoal" and don't put the meat on until you are at your desired temp and the smoke is almost clear. Thick white smoke is no good. And if you buy a good charcoal (quebracho or fogo) it'll keep the fire/temp going for a few hours, you won't need to do anything.
 
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Piobaire

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Pork belly burnt ends. Cubed a 10# belly, tossed in Aloha shoyu and Dijon mustard, coated in my homemade dry rub. On the Traeger at 250 for four hours of a mix of 70/30 hickory/mesquite. Highly recommend. Huge crowd pleaser.

 

Krish the Fish

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Finally got the KBQ up and running this past Sunday, though I ended up with some minor setbacks and started roughly 12 hours later than I anticipated. The wings took the expected 90-120 minutes, and were very tasty though needed a end fry maybe to crisp up the skin. The pork shoulder took about 12 hours, and finished around 5 AM, which was unfortunate. Ended up popping it in a 195 degree oven so I could get some sleep, and then shredded on Monday.

The pork was incredible. My fiancée was a bit skeptical of the whole approach, but she said it may have been the best pulled pork she's ever had. It truly was incredible, and I think worth the 12 hours of work and 50 lbs of applewood that went in. Now that all the kinks are worked out, she and I will probably just plan better, prep the meat the night before, and wake up early to get a cook started. She's excited about it which is great because most of my hobbies elicit an eye-roll out of her.
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WatchMeSpend

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Corned beef from local butcher. Mixture of charcoal and hickory chunks laced with briquettes to extend the cook time. A two day water soak to remove saltiness. Covered with Montreal Chicken seasoning (less salty than Montreal Steak spice) and brown sugar.







Ran it for 3 hours and then foiled it for another. Didn't check temps. Pure buttah. Difficult to slice and ooh so tender.

Bought some spice, will try to make my own to cut costs.
 

beargonefishing

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I experimented today with smoking hamburgers. Generic 80/20 ground beef turned into the best burger I have ever cook. I am genuinely blown away how good these taste. Got the internal temp on the searing plate over direct heat to about 140 (about 15 minutes). Moved over to indirect heat for an additional 10 minutes.

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WatchMeSpend

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A little confusing to which order you did things in. So I will just mention to those that do not know if you want more smoke, low and slow the meat first and then sear. The big caveat is the sear will happen so fast with hot meat, don't even blink once or you'll be sorry.

I must have been hungry here or something. Two prime ribs. Actually, I think I smoked one to almost pulling temps and the other I treated like a fat steak and seared it.





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[url=https://flic.kr/p/7NBhy2]

Tasted like sweet smoky ribbons of steak. I think I have NOT cooked burgers on the Traeger once since 2009.

Not sure what smoke you used but Oak and Mesquite are friends with beef.
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beargonefishing

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I actually cooked them for 10 minutes indirect over the wood, 15 direct on searing plates and finished for 10 minutes indirect over wood. The wood was dry, so it was a very nice smoke (not thick and white).

The first 10 minutes really didn't do much. The grill was rught around 275 with only 2 burners on. I usually get burgers on and off within 10 minutes, or sous vide them at 134 and then sear for 45 seconds a side. This quasi smoking method, for whatever reason, has been the best. That's the best thing about grilling and smoking meat, experimenting!
 

WatchMeSpend

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I actually cooked them for 10 minutes indirect over the wood, 15 direct on searing plates and finished for 10 minutes indirect over wood. The wood was dry, so it was a very nice smoke (not thick and white).

The first 10 minutes really didn't do much. The grill was right around 275 with only 2 burners on. I usually get burgers on and off within 10 minutes, or sous vide them at 134 and then sear for 45 seconds a side. This quasi smoking method, for whatever reason, has been the best. That's the best thing about grilling and smoking meat, experimenting!
That works because the smoke likes to stick to moist surfaces. Cooking on a gas BBQ, one of the by products of burning gas is water. The water vapour helps the smoke to stick to the meat. When burning dried wood it's good to add a container of water near the heat to get some moisture in there. If I want an insanely smoky tasting rib, I can cook the ribs mostly in the first four hours and let hour five be on smoke. Right now I am blending oak and mesquite for smoky flavour.
 

edinatlanta

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What's the deal with not liking thick and white smoke?
 

WatchMeSpend

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Last night was chicken. I can't remember exactly what was is in the rub but there was at least oregano, brown sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, tandoori masala, cinnamon, white sugar and old bay seasoning












Ribs are on right now and reaching the 5 hour mark...
 

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