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 Smoker thread? Smoker thread. 
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Brains?

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Sun Aug 16, 2020 9:41 am
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NWGunner wrote:
JohnMBrowning wrote:
All I have to say Pablo..... :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :thumbsup2:

I did a short ~2.5 hour dry brine followed by a solid 5 hours drying on a rack in the fridge before smoking some thighs last night... I was a bit skeptical.... but I knew within 30 minutes of the chicken being on the grill that something completely different was going on! The meat and skin turned golden brown instantly, and I noticed that the skin was cracking and crazing so much earlier -- at the 30 min mark! -- and the most noticeable thing was that the thighs were PLUMPING up --- that pellicle really sealed the juices in! Even tho I wanted to, I never did spritz the chicken during the whole 3 hour cook -- just basted bbq on for the last half hour. Chicken turned out tasty and juicy, although the skin just didn't have the 'bite' I always strive for -- need to work more on that - more flipping? less flipping? hotter cook?. Pretty sure it picked up more smoke than previous cooks - will have to verify on the reheats (five beers while cooking :thumbsup2: ) - but I did sneak a sniff from the leftovers and it smells fantastic!

I am amazed that with all the smoking videos, recipes and blogs/forums I've watched and read over the last six months that no one has pointed out the importance of letting the chicken dry in the fridge for smoking.... they always rub it - start the smoker - throw it on..... Makes me believe there are a lot of people out there eating chicken with only a 'surface smoke' flavor and not knowing what they are missing. I will definitely be re-tuning my rub/dry brine/resting protocol for chicken now.

Thanks for pointing out the importance of the pellicle Pablo :thumbsup2: Without it, I would have been part of the blissfully ignorant masses!


Folks don’t always use the term, but drying chicken/chicken skin, has been a thing for a long time.

Recipes calling for a dry brine, and then leaving in the fridge, isn’t new...and the spices/salt also draw moisture out of the skin.

Foid writers, and social media has even championed a trend of using a blow dryer to dry out the skin before cooking, for a crisper skin...

You’re getting into the whole deal now... temp control, moisture control, brining...

:thumbsup2: :thumbsup2: :thumbsup2:


I have to say that I never really had any issues when direct heat grilling chicken - meat always turned out juicy and it was always easy to crisp up the skin -- the biggest issue I had was flare ups from the fat hitting the burners/flavor bars and charring - had to stay close 'just in case'..... I developed my rub/dry brine method to suit that and because I'm basically lazy --- chicken comes out of the freezer in a bag - thaw - dump in rub - shake - put in fridge for ~6 hours (started out at ~10 hours, but realized not needed) --- easy, no mess, no clean up -- no handling of raw chicken. I felt the amount of rub I used this way was more controlled (yeah, right - when you think you have enough - add a little more) over just sprinkling on the pieces, and as the meat sweat it would fully coat the chicken. When I started smoking, I just naturally carried over the rub process without any thought. Struggling for crispy skin and smoke penetration has led me down this path.... I've always seen chicken rubbed and left to dry, but never really heard why or for how long and never really understood the reason behind it. Like I mentioned --- not once in any of the vids/recipes/blogs/forums did I ever see it said how important drying is when it comes to smoking... Is it just common knowledge that I somehow missed all these years?

I will say that I reheated some thighs from the other night and was pleased that the smoke DID penetrate the meat much better than before! Wondering if the smoke flavor diffused more into the meat while in the fridge now..... doesn't really matter --- tasty chicken is all I'm after!

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Sun Aug 16, 2020 9:56 am
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Pork butt, 16 hours at 225, came out amazing. Pic is about 8 hrs in. Also threw in some chicken breasts for about an hour or so and made smoked chicken bacon ranch wraps. Both were amazing.


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Mon Aug 24, 2020 6:05 pm
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Tell us more about the Chicken, Bacon Ranch wraps.

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Mon Aug 24, 2020 7:35 pm
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Did you rub your butt :bigsmile:


Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:03 pm
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Mentally preparing for a long weekend. Have a 23lb Brisket I will be smoking for Sunday. All sauces and rub are made at least. Going to be a hell of a long day/night. Am excited to feed a big group with some kick ass Brisket abd Burnt Ends though.


Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:12 pm
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usrifle wrote:
Tell us more about the Chicken, Bacon Ranch wraps.



So I used some of the left over pork rub on the chicken. Popped it in the smoker till it was 160* internal. I think it took about an hour, maybe a bit more. Slice chicken thin after a rest. Take warmed flour tortilla, add some ranch, add rice (we go white rice cooked in chicken stock), cooked bacon, sliced smoked chicken, and arugula. You can add anything you want really. Super tasty btw.


Mon Aug 24, 2020 9:20 pm
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Wetpaperbag wrote:
Pork butt, 16 hours at 225, came out amazing. Pic is about 8 hrs in. Also threw in some chicken breasts for about an hour or so and made smoked chicken bacon ranch wraps. Both were amazing.

Is that in an electric smoker? I just picked up a pork butt and have been trying to figure out how to cook it well with a good bark and NOT turn it a coal black color.... although that seems to be par for the course for most stick/charcoal smokers. Mine are usually turning pretty black by the 5-6 hour mark on the WSM.... I keep wondering if it has something to do with the amount of sugar in the rub or the brand of coal.... I've always assumed that if the temp is kept below 250, the sugar won't blacken - some say it will --- and the last butt I smoked I used weber coal instead of the KBB and it seemed to blacken quite a bit quicker.

Anyways... nice brown butt! Any pics of it finished? Just curious how dark it got....

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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?


Tue Aug 25, 2020 9:46 am
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So.... my neighbor FINALLY picked up a bag of maple last weekend - so now I finally have maple in my wheelhouse!!! I now have all the (individual) wood flavors :thumbsup2: I had been dying to try it out, but had to finish off some leftovers in the fridge.... I finally smoked up some legs with just straight up maple last night.... HOLY HELL they were good!!! I was expecting them to be good, but had no idea they would be that good! Pretty awesome since I was beginning to get a bit bored with what I had and was craving some new flavors... I was just blown away at just how 'maply' they tasted -- maple can truly stand on its own. Can't wait to try a mix of maple/apple, followed quickly by oak/pecan/maple!!! I am hoping to be even more impressed.

On a side note... I was talking with my buddy... he said 'you want maple? I've got plenty of maple..' I told him that I didn't want big leaf maple -- he asked whats the diff? I assume that the maple for smoking is sugar maple -- kinda tasted like it from last night --- is that the correct assumption? Has anyone used big leaf, red or green japanese or any other run of the mill maple for smoking? Are all the maple woods similar in flavor?

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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?


Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:56 am
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For stick burn, I use "maple". Which is usually big lesf maple as far as I know. It is not real sweet. Partially why I choose to use maple is because its not a real strong flavor. Just a good, semi sweet/mild flavor that works with pretty much every meat.


Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:25 pm
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So big leaf maple is okay to smoke with? Thats good to know! I'll have to round up a couple of pieces for the WSM.

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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?


Wed Aug 26, 2020 1:39 pm
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JohnMBrowning wrote:
So big leaf maple is okay to smoke with? Thats good to know! I'll have to round up a couple of pieces for the WSM.


I sure hope so. Have 9 huge trees on my property. 8 have to go bye bye for me to build my shop. Would be nice to have a lifetime supply of smoker wood.
I'm almost positive I smoke quite a bit with Big Leaf.


Wed Aug 26, 2020 1:42 pm
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JohnMBrowning wrote:
So big leaf maple is okay to smoke with? Thats good to know! I'll have to round up a couple of pieces for the WSM.


Maybe if it was younger, but you get the bigger ones and they can be soft and rotten. Not what you wanna smoke with. Burn some and see if you like the smell. Because that is the flavor you're gonna get on the meat.

I personally like to do a blend of apple, cherry, and pecan for chicken and pork. But for salmon I gotta go Alaska traditional and use alder.


Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:36 pm
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The cool thing is my neighbor reminded me that he cut down a 'smallish' big leaf maple ~4" diameter on the side of the fence last year --- that thing has to be well seasoned by now and by no means rotten.... I'm gonna go grab some and do a test burn for smell and if it passes.... I may try it. Planning another cook with maple on friday so I hopefully will be able to compare smoke by smell.... not saying I'm that good, but if it doesn't pass the smell test...... I'd really like to throw some maple in with the hickory that I'll use to smoke the upcoming pork butt.

Will report back....

_________________
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?


Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:30 pm
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Got a 23lb Brisket thawed out for Sunday. Normally I cook it all together and then separate the point, and do burnt ends afterwards. After watching some videos and tips in this thread, as its so large I think I'm going to try my hand at separating the point from the flat and smoking them side by side to be able to serve at the same time. Should cut down on cook time considerably too. Which is my main motivating factor.


Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:17 pm
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