What are you smoking this summer?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by oldschool1982, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. oldschool1982

    oldschool1982

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    Well....last time I smoked meats for a party.....it was August 2011 and Irene was knocking on our door. If I remember correctly, we ended up canceling the party and lost power (for a week) the very minute we had asked guests to start arriving. Fast forward to 2014 and we're trying to plan a 4th get-together and....well lets hope we don't have a repeat of 2011 for this one.

    To change it up, I chose to smoke some chicken!

    Chicken was dropped in the brine; brown sugar, salt and water on Sunday. It's all subjective but I don't like to use rub on my chicken. I have one that would probably work really well but it's saved for ribs and brisket. For pork butts, I use a NC BBQ marinade so no rub either. I might end up doing a brisket for a friend before the weekend so I'll post that if it happens.


    After a 2 day brine, the chicken is drained and placed on the racks of the smoker. I like to coat the racks with food release because it sure makes cleanup much easier! Below are the 2 whole chickens I split and some wings.



    In to the smoker everything goes. I used Applewood pellets from Traeger for the chicken this time. Combined with the brown sugar this makes for a very tasty smoke. When I purchased the smoker in 2005, I tried to use wood chips and found the traeger pellets worked much better.



    Close the smoker for 3 hours and no peeking! Unfortunately, I did have to open to add water to the drip-tray and also rotate the racks every 45 minutes. It really doesn't hurt things on a smoker like this but it can mess with temps when you have some of the better ones available.


    The smoker is old and doesn't regulate heat as well as it did when new. This makes it only for smoking and the finish cooking is done in the oven. All of the seals are shot and the burner is on it's last legs. Anyhow, it's not a bad deal since I have full control of a low temp for a better smoke but the downside is the whole house smells of smoked meats for a week. Well...really not that bad if ya think about it.

    Here is the finished product! Had to sample 2 of the wings for lunch. The nice thing about the brine is there's no need for sauce but then again, brine is not for everyone. Nothing but a slightly sweet apple smoked flavor and that's all I need. Maybe a touch of tobassco for some kick!


     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
  2. lagom

    lagom

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    Roasting a pig on friday, 18kilos and I got a huge pile of birch and cherry wood to do him over, low and slow. Not really a true smoke but he should get some flavor.

    On Sunday ill have a nice 2 sides of strawberry/lemmon grav lax ready. Ill serve it with dark bread, lavender honey mustard sause and smoked hard cooked eggs drizzled with cold pressed raps oil. I love the smoked eggs. simple, quick and delish with the lax.
     
  3. mike9

    mike9

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    18 kilos is a little guy - that ought to be pretty tasty . . . I'm jealous . . . good thing I have baby backs on the grill. 
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014
  4. maryb

    maryb

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    Chickem, pork in several forms, beef in multiple forms, fish once...
     
  5. everydaygourmet

    everydaygourmet

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    Hot Italian sausage on the L Fresh Brats on the R
     
  6. oldschool1982

    oldschool1982

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    Went to Sam's this Monday with the intent  on buying something other than chicken to smoke this week. Unfortunately, I was shocked to see the prices have shot up somewhat since my last visit.....just 2 weeks earlier! Spare ribs were $3.99, pork butts were $3.49 and any choice for brisket was nonexistent.....save one piece that was a small flat and they scored it for some reason but was a joke at $5.49.

    So....chicken it was....again! At a buck a pound, I settled and bought 2 of their two-packs. This gave me 8 halves to use.

    Halved and brined the chickens just as at the beginning of this thread, but set one asode for grilling that night.

    Just pulled the Chicken this morning and fired up the smoker. This time I chose Pecan as the wood pellet of choice. Have to admit, this is the first time I've used Pecan since I was in the Commercial Kitchen but the difference there is I would use Pecan shells and it was in a make shift stove top smoker (2" deep perf hotel inside a 6" deep hotel with a lid) and I would smoke trout and scallops for menu items or specials.




    By the way, those were great looking sausages @EverydayGourmet

    Prompted me go out and get some Gunoes Hot and Mild from the store the next day. Didn't smoke'em but it helped satisfy the craving created.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014
  7. mikelm

    mikelm

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    Got a MasterBuilt electric smoker recently - our condo prohibited open-flame cookers a while back - and we have been very pleased with its performance.  Its' controls allow precise time and temperature setting, and have a remote-reading feature. We're making our own bacon now and it's great, with a shot of garlic in the spice mix for the brine.  We've stuck to hickory and apple for the bacon smoke, so far.

    Our son discovered pecan when he moved to Houston.  He was carried away, and smoked his Thanksgiving turkey lavishly over pecan wood.  They took one bite and threw it out - he said it tasted like a tree.  A little pecan goes a long way, but we wouldn't  be without some pecan chips now.  The best BBQ I've ever had, from a streetside stand in Houston, is smoked over a mix of white oak and pecan woods. This BBQ doesn't need a fancy sauce- the smoke does the trick.

    Mike

    When I saw this thread  "What Are You Smoking This Summer"  my first thought was that you might not want to respond, unless you lived in Colorado. Glad it's turned out  OK.
     
  8. everydaygourmet

    everydaygourmet

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    Thanks @oldschool1982!, I ran 2 hrs for the first batch @ about 225+/-, casings were a little tough so I threw them on the grill to crisp the skins.

    Probably go 200 tops, for about an hr then finish on the grill. My wife thought they were to smokey, what does she know, /img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif

    Going to smoke some chicken thighs this w/e, kimchee, jerk and curry
     
  9. oldschool1982

    oldschool1982

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    @MikeLM I can definitely agree that a little goes a long way so I don't know if I would have chosen it for a turkey. The dang things are so big, even just the breast, they need to sit in the smoker that much longer. I split the chickens so I wasn't worried and with the brine I use, the brown sugar brings out the flavor of the pecan. I though of spritzing the chicken with Bourbon to recreate a Bourbon Pecan Chicken but I'm almost out of Jack and I wanted to save what I had for sipping this weekend.

    Try the shells sometime if you can with trout and scallops. You're not using a high heat to keep things delicate and it does make for some tasty treats. The scallops were served with a Tomato beurre blanc and the trout was served with just a small touch of honey, parsley compound butter.

    My favorite method and mix for Turkey is to brine in the same as the chicken and then a 60/40 of hickory to oak. Those are both plentifull woods here in the SE so when I used the true wood smoker, it was the easiest and cheapest to find.

    By the way and personally speaking......we're a long way from CO in more ways than distance alone. 

    Maybe next week I will take the leap and pick up a Butt or two. I still don't know since $47 bucks for just 2 butts is obscene!

    @EverydayGourmet   Being my roots are Southside Chicago Italian, never would have thought of smoking IT sausage but I guess cooking it over coals on the Weber isn't to far a throw from that. I've got some casings, maybe I need to make some and give it a try.
     
  10. teamfat

    teamfat

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    Mesquite is another wood that can quickly ruin your food. Makes good charcoal for direct grilling, though.

    mjb.
     
  11. oldschool1982

    oldschool1982

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    I haven't really figured out mesquite yet other than, like you say, for grilling or throwing in with the Kingsford on the Weber for the same. I've messed around with using it as a starter, finishing with oak and also the reverse. It's been a while so I can't remember which profile worked best or if at all mostly because I ended up getting two woods mixed and no meal we had was ever inedible.
     
  12. genemachine

    genemachine

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    I had good results for bacon with mesquite. Rather heavily seasoned cure with lots of juniper in it, then smoked with beech and mesquite, smoked very cool and long.
     
  13. everydaygourmet

    everydaygourmet

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    This w/e's experiment, Jamaican Curry, Jerk and Kimchee smoked chicken thighs.

    Marinaded overnight, on the smoker for about 1 1/2 hrs using mesquite and hickory

    @ 250+ finished @ 350 for about 20 minutes to temp. Pleased with the results.


    Jamaican Curry on top and Kimchee chicken ready for the smoker


    Jamaican Jerk ready for the smoker


    Kimchee on top Curry on the bottom, skin side down after about an 1 1/2hrs


    Skin side up Kimchee on the L Jamaican curry on the R


    Jerk off the smoker Mon!


    Jerk ready for the plate


    Kimchee on the L Jamaican Curry on the R ready for the plate

    Would definitely do the flavor combos again, had a nice balance and contrast in flavors.

    Curry can sometimes be CURRY!!  which isn't bad IF that's what your going for.

    In this case was looking for the smoke to temper all the flavors, happily resulted in pretty subtle nuances believe it or not.

    Surprisingly the Kimchee was as big a standout hit as the Jamaican curry.

    Cheers!

    EDG
     
  14. oldschool1982

    oldschool1982

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    Looks and sounds great on all fronts.
     
  15. genemachine

    genemachine

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    Nice stuff. I just put some bacon into a Sichuanese cure - salt, pink salt, sugar, sichuan pepper, cloves, star anise and cinnamon. Moistened the bacon with rice wine, rubbed in the cure, then bagged it with some excess cure. Smoke's going up next week!

     
  16. genemachine

    genemachine

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    Time to push this one up a bit -. My last batch of Swabian-Hall, juniper cure, cold smoking over cherry:

     
  17. oldschool1982

    oldschool1982

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    Sure is some fine eat'n going on at your place @GeneMachine! Shame is that big pond that separates our areas. Funny thing is I don't think I'd have any trouble talking the DD to a trip there. Said it was her favorite place to be stationed. Maybe in a couple years or three when the DD is off to school.

    Anyhow, between weather and the DD's escapades in swimming competition right after my last post, I forgot all about smoking meats. That is a sweet looking slab'o'meat on cold smoke.

    Autumn just around the corner, weathers getting somewhat cooler and I think it's time to get things smokey again! Just got a couple new rolls of food saver bag material too.
     
  18. butzy

    butzy

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    Made some rookworst last month and smoked at 40 oC, then finished off by slowly cooking in water.


    Thai sausage (made in June for the east asian challenge)


    And szechuan bacon last month again. It is hanging to dry here. Didn't take any pics of the finished product, but it is tasty and luckily I still got some left

     
  19. mtullius

    mtullius

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    I did a beef chuck and pork butt with panang curry paste. Smoked with small amount of mesquite because I found that was all I had left. It was pretty good though I had planned to do it with peachwood, 

    Love the kimchi thighs. Did you just make the porridge and use that or was it the juice from after the kimchi was made?
     
  20. teamfat

    teamfat

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    I've been wondering about doing a wet Jamaican jerk rub on a skinless pork belly, at least overnight, and hot smoking it. Could be real tasty, could be tough and inedible. I'll add it to the list of RealSoonNow projects.

    mjb.