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 Smoker thread? Smoker thread. 
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If you look at the Lonestar site, their tuning plates are ~4" wide plates that can be spaced where you want.... the tuning plates that you linked are pretty much set as to how they work.... not alot of flexibility --- one tune. Basically work-a-round until you understand where the hot spots are in your unit - just like my gas grills.

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Plan B is actually repeating Plan A.... it just involves much more alcohol.

Of the ten voices I hear in my head, only three keep telling me NOT to shoot....
Do I go with the majority or common sense?


Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:27 pm
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Anywhere you have a space between them is a hotspot...and an opening that doesn't allow the heat under the plates to travel farther.
The plates I have, have holes. They start small at the firebox end and get larger as they move away.
I can tell you they are very effective for even heating, I have two thermos in the lid and the temp only varies under 10 degrees end to end.
Before the plates it was 40+. They are not a "work around" and I cooked with them for 4 years,.
Gas grills have hotspots, offset stick burners have hot ends. There is no comparison between the two.
..

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Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:12 pm
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So I made 3 new bbq sauces the other day. About 1 gal each. This will be my life the next 2 days. Today is meat prep, starting about 3 am tomorrow is cooking day. Small wedding luckily.

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Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:02 am
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I was going to start a thread about different smoke woods and blends, but never got around to it.... but I thought I'd drop this here and see where the discussion goes....

After picking up my smoke tube, I got a bag of pecan pellets since I keep hearing good things about it. After two cooks I realized that it needed 'something more', so I picked up a bag of oak. Thanks to Pablo's generosity :thumbsup2: , I have cherry, alder, mesquite and hickory too. And my neighbor gave me some apple pellets too -- I've been trying to get him fired up to get a bag of maple and cherry to trade, but he's been dragging his feet for the last months on it, but I think I've finally pushed him over the edge.... I started down the path of gathering individual flavors and mixing my own blends and I've been happy with it so far, but wonder if I would've been just as happy with a bag of blended pellets --- even tho I KNOW I wouldn't have been happy until I tried all the different flavors by themselves.

That said, I made a list of the different blends that are available and hope to be able to duplicate most of them soon.... its interesting to see the different combs that are blended....

Bear Mountain
Sweet - oak/maple/cherry
Savory - oak/maple/hickory
Gourmet - oak/maple/hickory/cherry
Bold - oak/mesquite/hickory

Traeger Signature - hickory/maple/cherry

Lumberjack
Competition - hickory/maple/cherry (same as Traeger)
Supreme - oak/hickory/cherry

GrillinPellets Perfect - hickory/maple/cherry/apple

I've been finding that one or two hardwoods with one or two fruitwoods really never disappoints.... its just a matter of what you are looking for that night. I'm kinda surprised that none of the blends have any pecan in them.... I think they are really missing something there - I find that the pecan goes really good with just about anything myself.

What are your favorite blends/combos? I've been so tempted to snag a bag of the Gourmet blend at safeway for $10 instead of another flavor or two, but I just can't bring myself to do it yet.

BTW - I just finished off my 4th meal of b/s thighs smoked with oak/pecan/cherry last night.... I almost have to say that was some of the BEST smoked chicken I have ever had! Anywhere! I'm looking forward to getting my hands on some maple soon and hoping that it can take the flavors even further.

_________________
Plan B is actually repeating Plan A.... it just involves much more alcohol.

Of the ten voices I hear in my head, only three keep telling me NOT to shoot....
Do I go with the majority or common sense?


Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:46 am
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Boy, you really are getting into the Wood mix flavors! :thumbsup2:

Just a word about Traeger pellets though....read the back, they use Alder for the filler Wood with some of the Wood listed (oak, Cherry, Apple etc) they aren't 100% the Wood flavor listed.
I am biased towards the LumberJack Pellets, but any 100% content of the Wood flavor is better than Traeger.
I mainly use the Lumberjack Competition Pellets myself, but i do have other mixes. I really need to try the Pecan blend after you raved about it, i have a bag just sitting here. :bigsmile:

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Mr. Q wrote: so basically, if you have to smoke some asshole, make sure they become fertilizer and then Bounce? got it.

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Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:35 pm
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JohnMBrowning wrote:
I was going to start a thread about different smoke woods and blends, but never got around to it.... but I thought I'd drop this here and see where the discussion goes....

After picking up my smoke tube, I got a bag of pecan pellets since I keep hearing good things about it. After two cooks I realized that it needed 'something more', so I picked up a bag of oak. Thanks to Pablo's generosity :thumbsup2: , I have cherry, alder, mesquite and hickory too. And my neighbor gave me some apple pellets too -- I've been trying to get him fired up to get a bag of maple and cherry to trade, but he's been dragging his feet for the last months on it, but I think I've finally pushed him over the edge.... I started down the path of gathering individual flavors and mixing my own blends and I've been happy with it so far, but wonder if I would've been just as happy with a bag of blended pellets --- even tho I KNOW I wouldn't have been happy until I tried all the different flavors by themselves.

That said, I made a list of the different blends that are available and hope to be able to duplicate most of them soon.... its interesting to see the different combs that are blended....

Bear Mountain
Sweet - oak/maple/cherry
Savory - oak/maple/hickory
Gourmet - oak/maple/hickory/cherry
Bold - oak/mesquite/hickory

Traeger Signature - hickory/maple/cherry

Lumberjack
Competition - hickory/maple/cherry (same as Traeger)
Supreme - oak/hickory/cherry

GrillinPellets Perfect - hickory/maple/cherry/apple

I've been finding that one or two hardwoods with one or two fruitwoods really never disappoints.... its just a matter of what you are looking for that night. I'm kinda surprised that none of the blends have any pecan in them.... I think they are really missing something there - I find that the pecan goes really good with just about anything myself.

What are your favorite blends/combos? I've been so tempted to snag a bag of the Gourmet blend at safeway for $10 instead of another flavor or two, but I just can't bring myself to do it yet.

BTW - I just finished off my 4th meal of b/s thighs smoked with oak/pecan/cherry last night.... I almost have to say that was some of the BEST smoked chicken I have ever had! Anywhere! I'm looking forward to getting my hands on some maple soon and hoping that it can take the flavors even further.

As mentioned, Traeger are not quite what they claim. All their pellets are 60% alder on this side of the country. The same goes for Bear Mtn and pretty much every single brand available in the US other than the 3 below.

Lumberjack, Cookin Pellets and BBQ Delight are the only brands I know of that do 100% flavor woods.

The key to look for is when it says "100% Hardwood" on a bag. That tells you that it is not a flavor wood only pellet, they are using a primary filler wood. Some like Bear Mtn claim it is for consistency of btu, but most woods used in smoking are so close in btu that it is a non-issue and just a way to justify what they produce and why.


Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:51 pm
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I can taste the differences in the woods, but it seems like the only fair way would be to do a side by side comparison. Of woods and pellet manufacturers where the ONLY difference is the pellet. That will be very tough for me to pull off..........different meats, brines, times.........tons of variables.

Maybe do it with cheese, not the best but buy 6 chunks of the exact swiss cheese and do a cold smoke. Maybe hot smoke, chicken from the same brine/time......

Just thinking out loud.....

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Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:01 pm
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I didn't want this to be a 'brand' thread, more of a 'flavor' discussion.... to be honest, I doubt I'd be able to pick out a 'filler' flavor either -- nor would I care as long as the wood has a good flavor - I like alder too :bigsmile: --- I've just found flavors tend to go sideways when you mix with it....

usrifle wrote:
I really need to try the Pecan blend after you raved about it, i have a bag just sitting here. :bigsmile:

I think you will be surprised.... I've been quite pleased. I keep getting utube feeds of offset smokes form guys down south (damn, watch one Lonestrar vid - makes me want an offset) --- seems like they all run pecan sticks (with a little oak and/or maple maybe) for the most part - lots of orchards down there - lucky bastards. Seems like there is a real opportunity for a nice pecan blend out there.....

_________________
Plan B is actually repeating Plan A.... it just involves much more alcohol.

Of the ten voices I hear in my head, only three keep telling me NOT to shoot....
Do I go with the majority or common sense?


Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:29 pm
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JohnMBrowning wrote:
I didn't want this to be a 'brand' thread, more of a 'flavor' discussion.... to be honest, I doubt I'd be able to pick out a 'filler' flavor either -- nor would I care as long as the wood has a good flavor - I like alder too :bigsmile: --- I've just found flavors tend to go sideways when you mix with it....

usrifle wrote:
I really need to try the Pecan blend after you raved about it, i have a bag just sitting here. :bigsmile:

I think you will be surprised.... I've been quite pleased. I keep getting utube feeds of offset smokes form guys down south (damn, watch one Lonestrar vid - makes me want an offset) --- seems like they all run pecan sticks (with a little oak and/or maple maybe) for the most part - lots of orchards down there - lucky bastards. Seems like there is a real opportunity for a nice pecan blend out there.....


I did not intend it to be a brand thread or take it that way, but brand does matter in this discussion. Not saying one is beter or worse than the other, but composition matters. I know great many people that love the bear Mtn, traeger and other pellets with filler, nothing at all wrong with them. In fact alder is the #1 wood for native Americans here in the west to use to smoke fish with. It is a GREAT wood to smoke with. Honestly for many people they cannot distinguish flavors much, not everyone's palate can do that.

But when talking wood flavors and mixing if you are using Traeger brand you cannot really say you are mixing Hickory and Cherry. You are actually going to end up with 60% alder, 20% hickory and 20% cherry by volume. If you used a pure hickory and pure cherry it would taste different, that is all I was trying to clarify. Like you I cannot taste food and say that it hickory, or mesquite. However side by side you can tell they are different woods, I do not think you would notice as much difference if you were mixing with Taeger brand as the 60% alder is still overpowering the other flavors which are actually now even lower % each.

I applaud the creativity and experimenting you are doing with flavors and such, wish I had the time to do it myself!

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Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:20 pm
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I see your point now ---- I had no idea that Traeger pellets had that much mix to them -- I stay away from them just based on price, but alder filler is another good reason too.

I actually picked oak for my second flavor due to your website --- seeing that the apple and pecan blends were 60% oak --- that and my brother's recommendation that 'you can never go wrong with some oak' --- I think it brings the quintessential 'bbq flavor' so reminiscent of charcoal grilling --- I actually prefer oak much more than hickory for some reason -- the hickory seems to be stronger and a bit harsh on the flavor side by itself and can easily be over done, but does work well when mixed. I tend to use it like mesquite when I want an extra boost or kick of flavor.

Its been a fun learning experience and really pretty easy with this smoke tube. I had no idea just how different the smoke flavors would be. I did a lot of small cooks with 4-6 legs trying out all the flavors and combos -- worked really well since I have a pretty standard rub/dry brine process that works really well. I should have been taking notes, but all I have is my drunken mental notes -- all cooks (and reheats - the real test) have been really good, but some stick out more than others. My other neighbor picked up a bag of the traeger signature -- I knew what hickory and cherry and the combo tasted like, I was amazed that I could taste the difference with the maple. My gut keeps telling me that there is going to be something magical about an oak/maple/pecan/cherry mix....

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Plan B is actually repeating Plan A.... it just involves much more alcohol.

Of the ten voices I hear in my head, only three keep telling me NOT to shoot....
Do I go with the majority or common sense?


Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:28 pm
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lamrith wrote:
Honestly for many people they cannot distinguish flavors much, not everyone's palate can do that.


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Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:30 pm
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Where I am located, the Traeger pellets are reported to contain oak.

...and I like the flavor of oak. :bigsmile:

I often just grab the "Gourmet" blend 33lb. bags at Costco (Maple/Hickory/Cherry). I've used just about every type, except Alder since I like a stronger flavor and the wife is allergic to seafood.

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Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:40 pm
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Gman wrote:
Where I am located, the Traeger pellets are reported to contain oak.

...and I like the flavor of oak. :bigsmile:

I often just grab the "Gourmet" blend 33lb. bags at Costco (Maple/Hickory/Cherry). I've used just about every type, except Alder since I like a stronger flavor and the wife is allergic to seafood.


There is a point on the map where they are oak yes. I was told it was much farther east, like Mississippi, but I do not know the actual line. Basically it will come down to what the common tree for the region. Up here it is totally Alder, back east it is oak, which is why lumberjack uses Oak, they are located in Wisconsin.


Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:46 pm
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So.... after smoking a chicken to what I figured was close to perfection (see What Did You Cook thread), I was pleased with the flavor of the wings, legs and thigh I had that night.... I sliced the breasts off the following night expecting another wonderful meal.... only I was SO disappointed that there really wasn't that much flavor in the breast --- lacking any flavor from the lemon pepper, which I wasn't that surprised at, but also very minimal smoke flavor in the meat :frust: Did I do something wrong? Or is it just that a fully skinned chicken just doesn't pick up much smoke? Legs have been turning out great for smoke flavor, bone in thighs I've struggled a little bit with depending upon how much skin was there, but this whole chicken breast meat really bummed me out. Does the skin need to be slit to allow enough smoke in? I've got another 3# chicken to cook and want to get more smoke into it and I'm wondering if a turkey breast is going to have the same problem too... Any tips or tricks?

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Plan B is actually repeating Plan A.... it just involves much more alcohol.

Of the ten voices I hear in my head, only three keep telling me NOT to shoot....
Do I go with the majority or common sense?


Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:59 pm
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JohnMBrowning wrote:
So.... after smoking a chicken to what I figured was close to perfection (see What Did You Cook thread), I was pleased with the flavor of the wings, legs and thigh I had that night.... I sliced the breasts off the following night expecting another wonderful meal.... only I was SO disappointed that there really wasn't that much flavor in the breast --- lacking any flavor from the lemon pepper, which I wasn't that surprised at, but also very minimal smoke flavor in the meat :frust: Did I do something wrong? Or is it just that a fully skinned chicken just doesn't pick up much smoke? Legs have been turning out great for smoke flavor, bone in thighs I've struggled a little bit with depending upon how much skin was there, but this whole chicken breast meat really bummed me out. Does the skin need to be slit to allow enough smoke in? I've got another 3# chicken to cook and want to get more smoke into it and I'm wondering if a turkey breast is going to have the same problem too... Any tips or tricks?


Did you brine it?

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Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:03 pm
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