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should i buy a smoker?

Mr Herbert

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There is no culture of smoking meat where i live. In fact if it wasnt for Piobaires pictures of brisket deliciousbly fall apart all tender and juicy on a plate i would probably never have thought about getting one. But now its too late, i want one.

However, as i live the only ones available to me are expensive. What else can i do with them other than brisket? Will i get a decent amount of use out of it?
 

MarquisMagic

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Originally Posted by Mr Herbert
There is no culture of smoking meat where i live. In fact if it wasnt for Piobaires pictures of brisket deliciousbly fall apart all tender and juicy on a plate i would probably never have thought about getting one. But now its too late, i want one.

However, as i live the only ones available to me are expensive. What else can i do with them other than brisket? Will i get a decent amount of use out of it?


Ribs; pork shoulder, chops, loin; ham; sausages; turkey; chicken; quail and game birds; venison; beef; salmon; trout; even cheese...just to name a few. The amount of use depends on your own preferences. You can get a great deal of use out of one...but that doesn't mean you will.
 

Piobaire

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Tough call. It's something you need to plan to use but I certainly get use and value out of my two smokers.
 

oldseed

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i have a smoker with a hotbox on the side and a bbq-like main area w/ chimney. when i'm not in the mood to smoke, i use the bbq-area to have a straight bbq. so really teh smoker doubles as a bbq, and is therefore well worth it.

sd
 

Master-Classter

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isn't it easy to find substitutes for these? like an old BBQ, or bamboo steamers, or a cheap DIY from the harware store version?
 

oldseed

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I suppose you could make one. But a smoker requires indirect heat. An old BBQ can't do that, unless you plan to burn charcoal on one side and have meat on the other. Then you'd have to regulate heat. The smoker has a charcoal chamber connected to the BBQ chamber. In the charcoal chamber you put your charcoal and continue to stoke it. The BBQ has a chimney so you have it covered. The charcoal chamber and chimney help you regulate heat without ever opening up the BBQ chamber.

hard to describe. once you see a smoker you'll know the difference.
 

MrG

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If you don't want to invest in a full-on smoker you can make a passable smoker out of a charcoal grill. They make smoker boxes that you can put into the coals, or you can make one from some aluminum foil. It's not going to be a true smoker, and it wouldn't pass muster with a hard-core smoked meat aficionado. However, like I said, it's passable, especially for someone who would like to have a smoker for occasional use without the cost of a true smoker.
 

Piobaire

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Originally Posted by oldseed
I suppose you could make one. But a smoker requires indirect heat. An old BBQ can't do that, unless you plan to burn charcoal on one side and have meat on the other. Then you'd have to regulate heat. The smoker has a charcoal chamber connected to the BBQ chamber. In the charcoal chamber you put your charcoal and continue to stoke it. The BBQ has a chimney so you have it covered. The charcoal chamber and chimney help you regulate heat without ever opening up the BBQ chamber.

hard to describe. once you see a smoker you'll know the difference.


I think I saw a smoker or two in my backyard. Do they look something like this?

Originally Posted by Piobaire
Okay, finally getting around to trying out that new smoker of mine. This is the one I bought from www.sausagemaker.com and is better suited for sausage smoking, as it can function at lower temps than my Cook Shack Smokette. Also, the Sausage Maker one has a chimney type flue, so you can get airflow, thus drying out items. This is important for many types of meats. Just normal sausage needs the casing dried, to develop a pellicle, so the smoke will stick. If you remember, the Cook Shack is specifically designed to retain moisture, perfect for the 14 hour brisket type smoking.

So, here's the set up now:



You can see all the space inside the Sausage Maker, perfect for hanging sausage links or 24" chubs, like salami:



You can see the wood chips/sawdust sit directly on an electric oven type burner. Here it is, the slab of bacon I cured all week, ready to take its first smoke:



Nicely set up, dual thermometer, one for the item being smoked, the other ambient inside:



Big con vs. the Smokette: rheostat control vs. a digital setting. It's so nice to set say, 225 degrees on the Smokette and it takes care of things. I'm having to play with the rheostat on this one.

Will update with bacon pic when done.

ADDED:

Getting close. Thermometer read 150. Rule #1: check in multiple places. Have to keep going. But boy is it looking tasty:



ADDED:

Okay, it's all done. What a fantastic smoke it got. Kept the temp nice and low, took a "heavy smudge" as the pros say.

Skin side (skin's off, it's where the fat sits):



Interior side:



A slice off for tasting. Really shows the smoke ring. It was so eff'ing good:



And all sliced up for lardon goodness.

 

Hackett

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..
 

Hackett

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Hey hey hey
Smoke meat every day
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KJT

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Brinkmann makes some inexpensive bullet style smokers. $50-$70. They have ones that are built for charcoal and others that run with an electric coil. I actually have the type with an electric coil. It's a bit cheating, but it makes it easy to maintain the temperature. You just throw the wood chunks on from time to time to control the smoke.

They sell them at Home Depot and Lowes, but I'm sure you can order it online somewhere.
 

oldseed

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Originally Posted by Piobaire
I think I saw a smoker or two in my backyard. Do they look something like this?

lol, awesome. Piobaire for the win.

i love how you chopped up the pork into bite size pieces. they do that in chinese food shops for pork too.
 

jgold47

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I vote no. But let me tell you why. I have one, a nice brinkman. I can and have done sausage, pork, ribs, brisket and even chicken. While its cool and all, its a fricking process. and it takes all day. Then your either schnokered from drinking the whole time or you stink like shit. While the food has all been excellent, I pretty much had to swear off meat and that damn smell for like 2 months.
 

Piobaire

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Originally Posted by oldseed
lol, awesome. Piobaire for the win.

i love how you chopped up the pork into bite size pieces. they do that in chinese food shops for pork too.




Originally Posted by jgold47
I vote no. But let me tell you why. I have one, a nice brinkman. I can and have done sausage, pork, ribs, brisket and even chicken. While its cool and all, its a fricking process. and it takes all day. Then your either schnokered from drinking the whole time or you stink like shit. While the food has all been excellent, I pretty much had to swear off meat and that damn smell for like 2 months.

Get the Cook Shack, like the one I have pictured above. Load it and forget it. I leave briskets for 10-14 hours, depending on size, without touching it once. Will come up to temp at 0F external temp.
 

KJT

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Originally Posted by Piobaire


Get the Cook Shack, like the one I have pictured above. Load it and forget it. I leave briskets for 10-14 hours, depending on size, without touching it once. Will come up to temp at 0F external temp.


How much do those normally run?
 

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