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Old 05-04-2012, 12:06 PM
OldestHorn OldestHorn is offline
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Thanks, Oldest. Your suggestions jibe with what I've been reading elsewhere. For wood, I was thinking of using apple or cherry this time around. I was also gonna brine the bird, so if anyone has suggestions or recipes re: brining, bring 'em on.
Here's one I've used for years.

1 gallon cold water
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
Added flavorings
Spices, herbs and other flavors (chopped onion, garlic, celery, etc.) are all fair game. Use your favorites, use your judgement, and don't overdo it. Find a good recipe for more guidance.
Bring 1/2 gallon of the water, the salt and sugar to boil, stirring until both are completely dissolved. Remove from heat, add flavorings, cover and allow to cool completely. Add the remaining 1/2 gallon of water. Refrigerate to below 40 degrees Fahrenheit before adding chicken.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:02 PM
CalHorn CalHorn is offline
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Thanks!
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  #83  
Old 05-05-2012, 08:06 AM
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Brining poultry is NOT an option, it's a necessity, IMO. It makes the meat a little more forgiving and really helps keep it moist. Be warned though, sometimes it will maintain a tint of pink in some spots, even though properly cooked. Don't try to serve those pieces to anyone who still believes you can't eat midrare pork tenderloin.
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:21 AM
OldestHorn OldestHorn is offline
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It's an option.
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:37 AM
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It's an option.
So is breathing, I suppose...
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:40 AM
OldestHorn OldestHorn is offline
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You might try buying your poultry from a grocery or butcher rather than waiting to find one dead on the side of the road.
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  #87  
Old 05-08-2012, 04:04 AM
scout3dave scout3dave is online now
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Originally Posted by CalHorn View Post
Thanks, Oldest. Your suggestions jibe with what I've been reading elsewhere. For wood, I was thinking of using apple or cherry this time around. I was also gonna brine the bird, so if anyone has suggestions or recipes re: brining, bring 'em on.
I use Alton Brown's recipe for brining turkey to roast. It really is good, haven't ever brined a bird to smoke though. I use pecan on light meats like pork or poultry. It is good and readily available.
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  #88  
Old 05-31-2012, 06:09 PM
CalHorn CalHorn is offline
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Well, I used my new smoker on two occasions over the past couple weeks. First time was a brisket. Turned out mediocre, IMO, though the people who ate it were nice and gave out compliments. Because of time constraints, I tried the "high heat" method after doing a wet rub (to get some bark) followed by a dry rub. The brisket looked and felt good to the touch when I pulled it off the smoker. Unfortunately, I had to let it sit (foil tented and wrapped in towels in a cooler) for 2-3 hours after pulling it off before being able to serve it, and it continued to cook and got a tad overdone. Fortunately, it was still moist (in part because I left a fair amount of fat on before smoking it) and edible, but it was starting to fall apart. In retrospect, I wish I'd pulled it off the smoker sooner because I knew it was going to continue to cook to a certain extent while sitting in the cooler.

Next time if the schedule allows, I'm going low and slow on the brisket.

Second time was a chicken that I cut in half, brined, and then smoked over apple and hickory for Memorial Day. Turned out pretty good IMO -- meat was moist and had a definite smoky flavor with some kick (in part because I spiced up the brine a bit and then probably overdid it a bit with the dry rub).
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:32 PM
OldestHorn OldestHorn is offline
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Cal, brisket is one of the trickier cooks, considerably more difficult than pork butts or ribs. Low and slow is the best route for consistency. Keep the grill temp as close to 225 as possible and allow 1.5 hours/lb for cook time.
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Old 06-01-2012, 01:28 AM
CalHorn CalHorn is offline
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Cal, brisket is one of the trickier cooks, considerably more difficult than pork butts or ribs. Low and slow is the best route for consistency. Keep the grill temp as close to 225 as possible and allow 1.5 hours/lb for cook time.
Thanks, Oldest. I would have gone the "low and slow" route but for some time constraints. Next time that's how I'll do it.
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Old 04-12-2014, 02:58 PM
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Thanks, Oldest. I would have gone the "low and slow" route but for some time constraints. Next time that's how I'll do it.
Time to bump this up.
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  #92  
Old 04-14-2014, 08:46 AM
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Is Oldest really banned? when and why did that happen?

Anyway, is this the thread where we tell others how we smoke meat? Cool.

First, smoker - I have a large BGE, I've mentioned how awesome it is on other threads, but it is awesome. Also, I feel like it's good for someone who doesn't have any previous experience with smokers. I wanted something that would maintain temp for long cooks and require less than normal fire management skills and time. The BGE does all of that.

Brisket - first, I truly believe that how good your brisket (or any meat) turns out is highly dependent on the quality of the meat to begin with. I've only been buying choice angus briskets from Central Market. They seem to turn out quite well - better than anything else I've used. Primes are hard to get (I've never found one in Austin) and my understanding is that they are much more expensive.

Anyway - pretty simple, I use oak chunks (no soaking), try to cook between 200-225, liberally covered in 1/2 kosher salt and 1/2 pepper (I don't use the 16 ground, 1 use the 32, which is finer but I think it really "melts" into the rendered fat better); after it gets through the stall, I wrap with plain butcher paper (not the kind with a waxy side) for the rest of cook, which usually ends between 195-200. I use a temp sensor to let me know when the stall is complete but after than, I'm usually just letting it cook for however much time I think it takes to get near 200 and then check tenderness in point - at that point it's usually rising at 10 degrees/hr. In all it's usually 12-15 hours.

Poultry - must be brined 24 hours before. Brine is simply equal parts kosher salt and sugar (usually 1/2 to 1 cup each depending on number of birds I'm brining). No doubt this is a must. I usually spatchcock chicken, use some type of fruit wood or mesquite, cook between 275-300 until it hits 160 in breast (usually find the thighs are done at that point too). The only rule I've heard about poultry (besides hitting 160 or so) is that it needs to hit 140 no more than 4 hours from starting at 40 or there could be safety issues. Usually takes me 2 hours or so at those temps.

Ribs - I don't cook a lot of them. But when I do I usually just try to stick around 250-275, 2.5 hours uncovered in smoke (oak or cherry), 1.5 hours wrapped in foil (with a variety of stuff added, brown or turbinado sugar, honey or agave nectar, etc), then about 30-45 minutes to finish up unwrapped. Basically a form of the 3-2-1 method but shorter. And I like St Louis, not full spare.

Pork loin - I totally stole this idea from Blue Ox BBQ in Austin (and don't do it as well), but they have this espresso rubbed pork loin that is awesome. I found a simple espresso rub online which is basically 3 parts finely ground espresso, 3 parts brown sugar, 2 parts black pepper, and 1 part salt. I usually cook that like the chicken (same temps) and it takes about 1-1.5 hrs (for a pound pork loin). I get it up to 160 internal for my wife's sake - if it was me I'd take it off at 155 or so and let it rest to increase temp a bit.
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  #93  
Old 04-14-2014, 02:19 PM
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I'm new to the smoker world but I've been doing it quite a bit since I got it in January as a wedding present. I've done brisket, beer can chicken, pork butt and ribs several times.

I do my ribs 3-2-1. I tear off the bottom membrane first, then i rub mustard on them to make the rub stick. After that. I put a generous amount of rub on and throw them on the smoker for 3 hours at 225. After that, I put them in a foil pan filled with about a 1-4 inch of apple juice and covered with foil. Last hour I just take the foil off and let them get a little more smoke.

The last time I smoked I did smoked mac and cheese, too. All I did for that was cook the elbows a little al dente, and in a sauce pan I did butter and flour and made a rue and then I added milk and let it come to a boil. From there, I broke up an 8 oz block of cream cheese and threw it in there and stirred until it was smooth. Lastly, I added salt and pepper to taste. From there, I put the sauce in a bowl the the elbows and then added 4 oz of Parmesan, 4 of smoked gouda shredded and 4 of sharp cheddar. I mixed this all together into a good consistency and put it in a foil pan. Lastly, I sprinkled another 4 oz of gouda and sharp cheddar on the top. I put it in the smoker for 1 hour and just let it get a little smoke. It turned out pretty awesome I was very happy with it.
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:26 PM
TENHORN TENHORN is offline
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You know smoked brisket from experienced cooks tastes pretty much the same. What makes a real difference is the sauce that one puts on it after it has cooked. Here is a great idea for a simple yet delicious sauce.

Buy a sauce at the grocery store. I use Stubbs. His mesquite flavor is good and if you want more heat, buy his Sweet Heat flavor. Empty the bottle into a sauce pan and add the following:
3/4 stick of butter cut into small pieces
6 oz. of coke either diet or regular-give other 6 oz to wife
6oz of beer-drink other 6 oz yourself
Add several dashes of Woestershire
Heat the sauce stirring constantly until the butter melts

Mmm, mmm good.

This sauce will keep for a long time in the fridge. I use this sauce on ribs, brisket, pork tenderloin, sausage, and pork chops.
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  #95  
Old 04-29-2014, 10:37 PM
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Primes are hard to get (I've never found one in Austin) and my understanding is that they are much more expensive.
quoting your own post is always fun...

anyway, lo and behold I'm walking through HEB (on Hwy 71) last Saturday night around 11pm when what do I find, but a case of prime briskets. At first I thought they were just flats, but upon inspection, it was the whole packer. They were on the smallish side (7-8 lbs) but seemed fairly well pre-trimmed. I was tempted to pick one up but didn't. Never seen that in HEB before.

I'd be curious to know if anyone has cooked a prime brisket and how it turned out.
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  #96  
Old 05-08-2014, 03:15 AM
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Mda8484 Mda8484 is offline
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Woah Woah Woah...maybe you shouldnt start your post with, "I have a decent size...."
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  #97  
Old 05-10-2014, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by TENHORN View Post
Smoke is moisture coming out of the wood. One doesn't need to soak the wood. Use it dry.
This is good info. I have actually soaked pecan in a couple gallons of Apple cider and water for a few days then let dry out and smoked brisket, slow slow, slow for about 18 hours. I also smoke it fat side up with a layer of bacon on top the fat. I will put the meat in foil after a few hours leaving the top opened a little.
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  #98  
Old 05-11-2014, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by NORTHTEXHORN View Post
This is good info. I have actually soaked pecan in a couple gallons of Apple cider and water for a few days then let dry out and smoked brisket, slow slow, slow for about 18 hours. I also smoke it fat side up with a layer of bacon on top the fat. I will put the meat in foil after a few hours leaving the top opened a little.
You had better bring one of those to a tailgate this fall.
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  #99  
Old 05-11-2014, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NORTHTEXHORN View Post
This is good info. I have actually soaked pecan in a couple gallons of Apple cider and water for a few days then let dry out and smoked brisket, slow slow, slow for about 18 hours. I also smoke it fat side up with a layer of bacon on top the fat. I will put the meat in foil after a few hours leaving the top opened a little.
Does the foil not ruin the bark?
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:37 AM
utee94 utee94 is offline
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Does the foil not ruin the bark?
If you're going to crutch a brisket, then you can always uncover for the last 30-45 minutes to firm up the bark, just as you suggested for ribs.

Personally, I rarely crutch a brisket, that's something competition BBQ cooks do all the time but they're generally working with a mush shorter timetable than I am.
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