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Beerlust

What's in your BBQ 2019?

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Hi guys.

Given the number of posts across quite a few threads I thought this might make for a good off-beer brewing topic.

I got a smoker for Xmas & have been dying to put it to use. Today was the first day since Xmas that was safe enough to do so using charcoal.

Smoker-Meat-5-1-19.jpg

2 x 1.7kg rolled slabs of beef. I rubbed one with a pretty standard rub I would use if regularly roasting & the other with "McCormick's Grill Mates "Smokin Texas Slow and Low BBQ Rub".

First ever time using a natural fuel source at home for cooking that tore my hair out trying to get to a good temp & then regulate, but I eventually got there. I used a mix of hickory & mesquite wood chips for imparting a smoke flavour into the meat along with the spiced rubs.

I'm sorry I don't have a post-cook pic as I & those here with me were so anxious to taste the meat once it was cooked I had carved a good whack of it up & we had eaten about half of it before I remembered to take a pic! LOL

Both pieces turned out well & with the desired smoke ring & flavour. The American based McCormick's rub was the more flavourful of the two. I've used a couple of their range before on pieces of meat & they are really terrific.

Cheers & good BBQ'ing!

Lusty.

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Noice looks a treat! A smoker is the next bit of kit I'm getting after my next trip. I Need to read up on how the yanks do it thou, gotta give it to them.. they can BBQ. Looking forward to a mixed BBQ / seafood feast when I get it.

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The type of charcoal makes a difference with temperature, as does the smoker itself to a degree as well. The smoker I use now is much better than my old one, and I've used charcoal of varying quality. Some of it was very light which led me to believe it wasn't hardwood and that cheap stuff didn't burn long or hold temp well. I have a bag of gidgee wood charcoal at the moment by Pit Brothers BBQ, the pieces are nice and weighty, they burn for ages and keep a stable temp for hours on end. I'll be getting it again, price is more than the usual stuff at Bunnings but it's worth it for the hassle free cooking.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah spot on Kelsey. I bought some regular heat beads & some more expensive Redhead charcoal. Big difference between the two. I had a heck of a time trying to get the Redhead stuff lit to start with so after about 7-8 firelighters later I ended up throwing a little over a dozen heat beads in a BBQ charcoal chimney I bought with a couple of firelighters. Left them alone for a good 30-45mins until glowing red then added them into my smoker. Then added some Redhead charcoals pieces on top. Everything went smoothly from there.

The harder Redhead charcoal will burn much longer than the heat beads will & with a more stable heat.

Even though I had a few challenges throughout the cook I still enjoyed the process & the end result. It is definitely a learning curve & I'll be much better prepared next time.

Cheers,

Lusty.

Edited by Beerlust
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Will be throwing a Beef Roast marinated in Onion, red wine and Garlic and a small rack of ribs marinated in Honey barbecue sauce in the Gas Mate  smoker this arvo for Dinner tonight.

Smoking with Hickory pellets.

Cheers

Spud

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4 minutes ago, Spudley said:

Will be throwing a Beef Roast marinated in Onion, red wine and Garlic and a small rack of ribs marinated in Honey barbecue sauce in the Gas Mate  smoker this arvo for Dinner tonight.

Sounds yum!

Post a pic when it's done Spudley. 😉

Cheers & good BBQ'ing,

Lusty.

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3 hours ago, Beerlust said:

Yeah spot on Kelsey. I bought some regular heat beads & some more expensive Redhead charcoal. Big difference between the two. I had a heck of a time trying to get the Redhead stuff lit to start with so after about 7-8 firelighters later I ended up throwing a little over a dozen heat beads in a BBQ charcoal chimney I bought with a couple of firelighters. Left them alone for a good 30-45mins until glowing red then added them into my smoker. Then added some Redhead charcoals pieces on top. Everything went smoothly from there.

The harder Redhead charcoal will burn much longer than the heat beads will & with a more stable heat.

Even though I had a few challenges throughout the cook I still enjoyed the process & the end result. It is definitely a learning curve & I'll be much better prepared next time.

Cheers,

Lusty.

Yeah I find the proper hardwood charcoal does take a bit to get going but I also find that even if only a portion of the piece is lit, it will stay lit and eventually burn through, getting the whole piece red, so you don't have to have them all red all the way through before they go into the smoker. I usually put two loads through the chimney starter before I throw the meat on, just to ensure it keeps going for 2-3 hours or more before I feel like more needs to be added to maintain temp. That amount gets the temp up to around the 90-95C that I usually smoke bacon or ham at. I find I use a lot less charcoal through the whole cook with the good stuff, so although it costs more per bag, it probably doesn't cost any more per cook.

I did a batch of bacon in the smoker the day before NYE in prep for that, in the morning I went to Bunnings for a few things including some smoking chips but they were out so I bought a 5kg bag of pellets instead and I think I'll continue with these from now on, at least for hickory smoking. All you do is wrap a handful or two in foil like a pouch, poke a few holes in it and place the pouch on the charcoal, and it produces smoke for a lot longer than I found the chips did. And there's no mucking around soaking in water beforehand (though I know that's not a necessary step). I'd recommend them for sure. I suppose you can put the chips in foil too though. If I find any left over ones I'll try that next time I smoke some bacon or whatever.

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40 minutes ago, Otto Von Blotto said:

...All you do is wrap a handful or two in foil like a pouch, poke a few holes in it and place the pouch on the charcoal, and it produces smoke for a lot longer than I found the chips did. And there's no mucking around soaking in water beforehand (though I know that's not a necessary step). 

I agree about a handful or so is plenty. I watched a lot of YouTube videos of Yanks (primarily) & their techniques for using a smoker. The reason for soaking the chips is to slow the rate at which they burn. They smoke more slowly for longer than they do dry. I threw some dry wood chips on at one point, & they created a lot of smoke (the neighbours were scampering to get their clothes off the line at this point! 🤣) but didn't last long though. Wrapped in foil they probably last a little longer.

Another thing that was mentioned about imparting smoke character is it all happens during the early part of the cook while the outer part of the meat is still moist & tender. Once the outer part of the meat hardens up it won't take on any more smoke flavour. So guys that keep adding scented wood chips throughout the entire cook are just wasting wood & money for nothing.

I saw some of the experienced guys wrap their meat in foil about half way through the cook to retain moisture, some use water bowls, while others spray a mix of vinegar & water directly on the meat periodically to achieve much the same thing. I will experiment with all of these methods eventually. 😉

Cheers,

Lusty.

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Congrats on the Xmas smoker, awesome present. Smoked sausages are a family favourite this end.

We use ours a lot, smoked foods go great with homemade beer 🙂 

I use a Bluetooth to phone temp reader,  one probe showing smoker ambient and one probe in the meat, makes it a lot easier to get perfect cooked and helps get used to the smoker.

i made and smoked this today. 

68997E59-986A-4E8E-97D3-1E13F59C5A5B.jpeg

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@Beerlust Yeah, I soaked them to prolong them but compared to pellets in a foil pouch they didn't last as long.

I usually use the water bowl in my smoker to keep it moist inside while it's cooking, but at the same time it probably depends a bit on the meat being cooked. It works well for things like home cured bacon and ham, but I did a roast chicken in it this way and while the meat was lovely, the skin was yuck. If I do a chicken again I will either forego the water bowl or remove it at some point from halfway onwards to allow the skin to crisp up. Had a similar issue when doing a pork roast, didn't get the crackling like you would in a conventional oven so perhaps for those types of cooks, the water bowl should be left out of the equation. For the beef ones perhaps removing it halfway or a little later through is the go.

The butcher I go to has some nice looking pork ribs so I'm planning on grabbing a rack and using the rub I have sitting in the cupboard for it. It's the same as the one you used I think, same brand at least. I plan on spreading it all over the ribs then letting them sit in the fridge overnight before smoking the following day.

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13 hours ago, Otto Von Blotto said:

...I usually use the water bowl in my smoker to keep it moist inside while it's cooking,...

The bowl that came with my smoker is soo huge it pretty much blocked the heat from the coals. I'd filled it with boiling water & could definitely see the steam coming off of it, but my temp gauge was not picking up any heat at the top of the smoker. So after about 5-10mins I placed it on a higher shelf thinking that might allow more hot air flow up to the top. Wrong. So after about another 5-10mins I removed it completely. A PITA that was too as you need to tilt the bowl to get it in & out. I had to drain most of the liquid via a turkey baster through the open door before I could remove it else risk extinguishing the coals. 🤬

It was a comedy routine there for a while. 🤡 The end result was worth it though. I had some more of it for tea last night. 😁

Cheers,

Lusty.

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14 hours ago, Otto Von Blotto said:

I usually use the water bowl in my smoker to keep it moist inside while it's cooking,

definitely need it for a 12 hour brisket or butt

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I think I'm going to have to look at investing in a Smoker this year.

I've tried to do ribs low n slow in the Weber Q but just ended up with dry ribs because I couldn't regulate the heat and get it low enough. So ribs are back in the oven.

I'd love to do my own bacon. Cant think of anything better than cutting off a slab of bacon and cooking that up on a weekend.

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1 hour ago, Fergy1987 said:

I'd love to do my own bacon. Cant think of anything better than cutting off a slab of bacon and cooking that up on a weekend.

Careful what you wish for. I grow my pigs (rare breeds) to porkers (about 60kgs), a baconer are bloody big pigs around 100kg plus and can be rather intimidating charging up to you while you are holding a bucket of pig food.

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On ‎1‎/‎5‎/‎2019 at 7:45 PM, Beerlust said:

The American based McCormick's rub was the more flavourful of the two. I've used a couple of their range before on pieces of meat & they are really terrific.

 

Lusty,

Have you come across other dry rubs?

Notice Coles stock McCormicks exclusively and be looking to try something a little more unique or even build my own dry rubs from scratch to my taste. Not having much luck to date. Anyone know of Oz Websites/ Stockists?

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26 minutes ago, YeastyBoy said:

Careful what you wish for. I grow my pigs (rare breeds) to porkers (about 60kgs), a baconer are bloody big pigs around 100kg plus and can be rather intimidating charging up to you while you are holding a bucket of pig food.

I may have to buy the already dead kind haha

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i just make my own. heaps better i think.

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4 hours ago, Beerlust said:

The bowl that came with my smoker is soo huge it pretty much blocked the heat from the coals. I'd filled it with boiling water & could definitely see the steam coming off of it, but my temp gauge was not picking up any heat at the top of the smoker. So after about 5-10mins I placed it on a higher shelf thinking that might allow more hot air flow up to the top. Wrong. So after about another 5-10mins I removed it completely. A PITA that was too as you need to tilt the bowl to get it in & out. I had to drain most of the liquid via a turkey baster through the open door before I could remove it else risk extinguishing the coals. 🤬

It was a comedy routine there for a while. 🤡 The end result was worth it though. I had some more of it for tea last night. 😁

Cheers,

Lusty.

That's weird. The water bowl in mine is pretty big as well and there isn't much clearance between the outside edge of it and the smoker wall but the heat has no trouble getting up into the top of it. Make sure you have all bottom and top vents fully open as that allows oxygen in at the bottom (assuming you have bottom vents) to keep the charcoal going as well as providing an escape at the top to draw the heat up better. I've mucked around briefly closing the top vent in mine just to see what would happen and the temp does drop.

I hear you about the water bowl, my old smoker was like that, I used to pick it up with a couple of pairs of tongs but it was pretty bloody difficult. Luckily I didn't have to remove it often. My current smoker is a much better design consisting of two segments between the charcoal bowl and the lid. The lower one holds the water bowl, and each of them can be fully removed so if I need to remove the bowl I just remove the whole segment with the bowl still in it, much easier.

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4 hours ago, YeastyBoy said:

Lusty,

Have you come across other dry rubs?

Notice Coles stock McCormicks exclusively and be looking to try something a little more unique or even build my own dry rubs from scratch to my taste. Not having much luck to date. Anyone know of Oz Websites/ Stockists?

BBQs galore has quite a range of rubs and sauces , pick up an Traeger Rub before xmas , the dude behind the counter recommended it (might b sales pitch) have yet to try it.

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3 hours ago, Otto Von Blotto said:

That's weird. The water bowl in mine is pretty big as well and there isn't much clearance between the outside edge of it and the smoker wall but the heat has no trouble getting up into the top of it. Make sure you have all bottom and top vents fully open as that allows oxygen in at the bottom (assuming you have bottom vents) to keep the charcoal going as well as providing an escape at the top to draw the heat up better. I've mucked around briefly closing the top vent in mine just to see what would happen and the temp does drop.

I hear you about the water bowl, my old smoker was like that, I used to pick it up with a couple of pairs of tongs but it was pretty bloody difficult. Luckily I didn't have to remove it often. My current smoker is a much better design consisting of two segments between the charcoal bowl and the lid. The lower one holds the water bowl, and each of them can be fully removed so if I need to remove the bowl I just remove the whole segment with the bowl still in it, much easier.

I have a smoker that sounds exactly like yours. A grill plate over the coals, a mid grill plate, & another grill plate towards the top of the unit. I'll find some balance eventually as I'll persist longer than an empty gutted mosquito until I have it working right! 🤣

I'll probably try a smaller circumference foil tray that allows the coal heat to pass by it next time.

Thanks for your thoughts mate. 🙂

Lusty.

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Hiya YeastyBoy.

+1 to what Spudley said. BBQ's Galore have a massive range of rubs & marinades. (Linky)

+1 to what Ben10 said. Making your own concoctions is fun. A quick Google & a few Yank based YouTube videos will give you a good idea of ingredients to mix for marinades & rubs.

Country Brewer homebrew shops also stock rubs, Jerky spices & sausage making gear. I bought one of their rubs the other week. I opened it & the chilli intensity within nearly burnt out my nose hairs! To be frank, I'm a bit scared to use it! 🤣 I think I'll try it on a small piece of meat first. 😉

Cheers,

Lusty.

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@Beerlust and anyone else interested in ham, bacon and more

charcuterie.jpg.c08bfacebe496f93a38995daaca8444d.jpg

that book has a wealth of information and recipes. They explain about processes and safety and the like and cover so much it is hard to take in. I make salami recipes from that book and cure the salamis in the fridge, it is very easy. Smoked and cured sell a synthetic casing that allows curing of salami in the fridge. 

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7 hours ago, Fergy1987 said:

I may have to buy the already dead kind haha

Lol, saves chasing escaped piglets around the farm in the middle of the night with rain running down your back.

Try buying directly from a local paddock to plate producer, may be the way to go? 

If you were in Tassie, we could probably sort out some arrangement.

Cheers436192672_IMG_0518(2).thumb.JPG.d85ed18ef947ef02b629fc4b77bccef8.JPG

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7 hours ago, Ben 10 said:

i just make my own. heaps better i think.

Do you mind sharing your recipe?

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