The smoker is lit

Discussion in 'Life After Brown' started by barnyard, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. barnyard

    barnyard KTM rider Staff Member

    I currently have a Kamado Joe with an Auber temp controller. I have been cooking BBQ for 20ish years, most of those with a Weber Smoky Mountain, 3 years with the KJ.

    Last night I fired up the smoker, set the controller to 210 and woke up to 2 pork butts that are ready to pull. Added some more charcoal and another hunk of wood, set the controller to 200 and 3 racks of ribs are now. I lower the temp on ribs so that the sugar in the rub does not burn (burned sugar = bitter). After the ribs have been on for 2 hours or so, I will start glazing them with raspberry/jalapeno jelly once an hour until they are done (should be 5-6 hours.)

    Going to give my helper a half rack, the barrista at the coffee shop where I have coffee and cookie will get another half and the rest will go to family for holiday gifts.

    I love home smoked BBQ.
  2. Brownslave688

    Brownslave688 You want a toe? I can get you a toe.

    I'm currently in the process of turning a 500 gallon propane tank into a custom smoker. Your food sounds great wish I was your helper.
  3. barnyard

    barnyard KTM rider Staff Member

    Whole hog cooker????

    I have done 1 hog (helped with 1 other.) I used cinder blocks and expanded metal grating, covered it all with corrugated tin and a tarp. Put shovel fulls of burning coals under the hams and shoulders every hour. It was tasty and all that, but a ton of work for what it was. Knowing what I know now, I would do up the same weight in individual shoulders in smoker like you are building.
  4. barnyard

    barnyard KTM rider Staff Member

    From earlier this year



    Beef ribs in the front, pork in back.
  5. barnyard

    barnyard KTM rider Staff Member

    The 1st photo shows my controller. It is a little box that has a thermocouple lead and a fan that attaches to the air intake. Keeps the temp at where I set it +/- 5 degrees for as long as there is charcoal to burn. I used to make fun of people that used them, but now that I have one, I can see the advantages. The biggest is that I can set the temp so that sugar in my rub never burns. Also, my BBQ comes off the smoker and is a beautiful rosy red, not the really, really dark red from que cooked at higher temps.

    Plus I can chillax even more, if that is possible, while cooking.
  6. scratch

    scratch Least Best Moderator Staff Member


    I love to smoke meat, the above is where I help do 40-45 Boston Butts once a year. We use a homemade rub, inject with peach nector, and throw white oak into the fire box once an hour. A good overnight process, takes 12-14 hours at 225 degrees before we pull them off to pull apart the meat. Finish off with a homemade hot pepper vinegar sauce. At home I like to smoke with hickory.
  7. barnyard

    barnyard KTM rider Staff Member

    I also do a homemade hot pepper vinegar sauce. It is so yum, yum.

    I use pecan most for wood. Sometimes, cherry and apple, but only because I have it. Pecan is my fave.
  8. scratch

    scratch Least Best Moderator Staff Member

    Any fruit wood is great, I like cherry and apple myself. its just hard to find around here.

    I have been trying to do beef briskets, still working on that.
  9. barnyard

    barnyard KTM rider Staff Member

    I tried briskets on the WSM and gave up. Taste was good, but they were either tough or dry or both.

    The Kamado Joe makes briskets easy. The Auber controller makes it almost too easy.

    I went to Texas last spring and had the best brisket I had ever had at a place called Two Fat Boys BBQ in Camp Wood, Tx. The pitmaster said that the key was to never let the cooker get above 210, 200 was better. That was like a revelation. Since then, every brisket I have cooked has been better than the last.

    The last one I did for an annual fall party. Cooked till it was done, wrapped it in foil, wrapped that in newspaper and put it in a cooler for the ride to the party. Got to the party, unwrapped it and it was too tender to slice. Had to use a filet knife with a super thin blade to get the job done. The outside bark was chewy and flavorful, the inside was moist, tender and hella good.

    The Tx guy's recipe was to season the briskets, put them on the smoker for 4ish hours, then put them in a pan of Dr Pepper for 2 hours (still on the smoker) take them out and smoke till they are done. I save the pan juice and pour some over the meat over the next few hours. Adds just a little sweetness to the bark.

    The hardest part about living up north is that I pay the same for plain old briskets that guys in Tx pay for Waygu brisket.

  10. scratch

    scratch Least Best Moderator Staff Member

    I was probably leaving the briskets on too long and not wrapping soon enough. I get a beautiful smoke ring and taste, but not as tender as I wish. We cheated by by throwing them in a crock pot for a few hours, they get so tender they would fall apart. Next time I will try to keep it at 200 degrees. I am using only hickory chunks in my firebox, so its difficult to keep at a constant temp. Briskets are hard to find in the stores around here, most don't carry them.

    Another way we found to cheat with a Boston Butt, was to smoke with wood for four hours, thats the time that it takes to get the smoke flavor gets. After that you are only trying to go slow and low with the temperature to finish cooking the meat. So we will wrap in foil and put them in the oven at 225 overnight. Ready to pull in the morning. Butts are a very thick piece of meat and they take the longest.
  11. barnyard

    barnyard KTM rider Staff Member

    I have done that, but do not like what it does to the bark. Also, keepin it on the smoker makes the fat on the bottom of the butt nice and crispy. :drool.

    I am generally not a fan of the Texas crutch with anything other than brisket. Many wrap theirs and leave it on the heat, I wrap mine when it is done and let it rest for an hour or so. Any longer and it seems like the crust on the outside looses it's texture.

    Since buying the KJ, brisket is my favorite BBQ meat. Although, I have just started glazing ribs with raspberry/jalapeno pepper jelly and the ribs are oh so good that they are darn hard to resist too. I used to only do a dry rub and that is tasty and all that, but glazing with jelly is a whole nother level of yum.

    And no sauce. Those that ask for sauce get hot dogs and eat at the kid's table.
  12. Brownslave688

    Brownslave688 You want a toe? I can get you a toe.

    When u use your wsm how do u light the coals? I dump two full unlit chimneys in the ring then light 12-15 briquettes. Dump the lit ones on top cover everything up and open all vents fully. 15-20 minutes u should be around 225. Close all bottom vents 3/4 of the way. This set up should last u 12-15 hours without having to add coals. The perfect set up for brisket.
  13. barnyard

    barnyard KTM rider Staff Member

    I used lump in my wsm (which I gave away after I got my Kamado Joe.) I did do something similar though with lump. Pour in a bunch of lump, put a fist sized lump of pecan in the middle and dump a lit chimney of lump on top of that. I usually had 2 of the vents closed and 1 vent open 1/4 or so. That worked for me at 225ish.

    The problem that I had with the weber was the aluminum side door. Towards the end of it's life with me, it was bent up pretty bad and I had to prop things against it to keep it closed. I had a very hard time getting the temp under 225. I could easily hold it at 225-230, but any lower and the fire would go out.

    Much, much easier to control temps with any of the ceramic eggs. Exhaust and inlets are well sealed. Adding the Auber controller made it even better. I can walk away for hours and know that temps are going to be where I set it. Before the Auber, I would check the WSM every hour or so, same with the KJ actually. Might have messed with the vents or poked at the coals. The difference in how much I check on and pay attention to the KJ vs the WSM is huge.

    I resisted the controller deal for a long time also. That made repeatable results a piece of cake. I set it at 200 and that is where it is for the whole cook.

    I know there are people that cook fantastic brisket out of a WSM, I was not one of them.
  14. gostillerz

    gostillerz Member

    I was using a cheapy offset barrel smoker, but got an electric a few weeks ago and really like it. The thing has a remote that shows cooker and meat temp, very nice. Tough to get a smoke ring, but adding a lump of coal in the chip box helps.

    I do stuff pretty simple. For pork butts, I coat it in mustard, then a basic rub of kosher salt, pepper, paprika and regular white sugar. Spray with 50/50 mix of apple juice and cider vinegar when adding hickory chips. Cook at 225 until done, no crutch. I've been making my own kielbasa as well, and that turns out great. The hardest part is dealing with the casings. Grind the meat, season, stuff and smoke. Much better than the store bought brands.
  15. Anonymous 10

    Anonymous 10 Guest

    Another name for a bj is a "smoker".
  16. barnyard

    barnyard KTM rider Staff Member

    This weekend I am doing another overnight cook. Going to fire up the Kamodo Joe when I get home Friday, put on a brisket, let that cook till morning. Then I have 2 batches of ribs to do. 1 batch for the local butcher and his family, the other for our family bash the weekend before New Years. Going to glaze the batch for the butcher with habenero pepper jelly. Looking forward to tasting that.
  17. barnyard

    barnyard KTM rider Staff Member

    Finished up the last of my holiday smoking a couple of hours ago. Had the smoker going for 26 hours. It used less than 3 chimney loads of charcoal. Started on Saturday with 4 racks of ribs for my butcher. His family is from Cuba and they have a pretty big holiday, family gathering and eat finger foods and exchange gifts.

    After they were done, I put on a brisket and let that go till 9 this morning. It was at 180, which is not quite done, but it has to be reheated for a party, so off it came and I wrapped it in plastic wrap and then foil. The test slices that I sampled were hella yummy.

    I added some more charcoal and an hour later, I added 3 more racks of ribs. Pulled them after 5 hours and the samples were most excellent. It seems like a shame to serve such fantastic BBQ to drunken party guests.
  18. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member

    Invite serenity since he does not drink.
    On second thought don't - he'll try and jump your wife or daughter ... or both.
  19. barnyard

    barnyard KTM rider Staff Member

    Actually, I am sober, as is my wife, 1 sister, her husband and 1 brother. Another sister's partner drinks very, very little. The one's that drink, more than make up for the one's that do not.