Since we are here, some of us may not know what a pellet grill is. (Like me, for example).
I’m not sure if I can use something with a meat probe on a daily basis.
It does sound like it’s more suited to actual cooking as opposed to waving beef briefly in front of a hot fire.
Is this what some people do all day? Peddle grills on random internet forums?
Wait a second… Does it pay well? I spend too much times on internet forums already.
Its cross-platforming. Bringing the up the search engine numbers by adding topics not normally found on karting forums. Genius!! Pure Gold!!!
Back to the topic at hand. Now living in Texas, probably the Meat Smoking Capital of the Country, dare I say the world and having a previously acquired hunger the for smoky deliciousness of low and slow cooked proteins, let me see if I can unwind this question.
My Dad, recognizing my natural culinary talents having put delicious food in his belly for years, bought me a barrel style offset smoker for Christmas one year.
It was low end, leaked smoke all over and thin gauge metal made it difficult to hold heat. I hit the old interwebs and began my research on some of the characteristics of a good smoker. To break it down, there are a few things to consider when looking at any smoker:
1, Build Quality. Thin gauge metal does not retain heat well and will require more fuel and tending to keep your meat at the right temp for any extended period of time. Also don’t want anything that has cheap Tack-Welded hinges as it will likely fall apart after a season of use. Thick Ceramic coatings on the exterior surfaces will improve heat retention and stable cooking temps. Some feature a ceramic liner, lie at The Big Green Egg.
2, What style smoker you want can determine the results of your cooks. There are several types of smokers. The earliest type were vertical drums (think 55 gallon oil barrel) that had a fire near the bottom and meat on a grill at the top. They work fine, but for the effort it took to keep running at the right temp on long cooks, there wasn’t much cooking space. Then they figured why not turn the barrel on its side and cut a door out. You could quadruple your cooking space, but now the meat was right over the coals. Not so good for low and slow. Then came the offset smoker where they attached a separate fire box to one side and use exhaust gases from the fire to heat the barrel as it passed through (pictured above). This is now the most traditional method of smoking meat. Many iterations have come and gone, but probably the best improvement was the Reverse Flow setup that provided a more uniform temp across the entire grill grate compared to the previous design where smoke enter one side and exited the other.
Now in the age of Modern Technology, you have lots of options available to you. The Pellet Grill removes the need for tending the Smoking Source and are available in Gas or Electric heating sources with Electric being the least fidgety with their digital control boxes that maintain cooking temperature and steadily feed the smoking fuel (pellets). They even come with built in meat temp probes to monitor your cook from a smart phone or computer via Bluetooth or WiFi. The question here becomes how much involvement do you want with cooking your meat? Is it sort of Set It and Forget It?
3, How much do you plan to smoke at one time? Pellet Smokers come in the tradition offset style as well as Cabinet.
With a Cabinet, you can smoke a large amount of meat simultaneously as it is sits on multi-level shelves. Are you cooking for a small family or it this a commercial venture? My old neighbor back in Atlanta, GA was a professional chef and the one that got me started on smoking. He had a Cabinet that he would break out when he threw larger parties. Nobody declined his invitations! Best choice is to decide what and how much you plan to smoke on average per cook, then pick a size that will fulfill those needs near the top end, but not burning extra fuel at the lower end. For example, I have a 864 cubic inch grill surface and can cook 2 18 Lbs Briskets, 2 full Racks of Pork Ribs and a Dozen Sausage links at the same time (for different lengths of time). We are a family of 3 to 5 (Immediate or extended), depending on who is coming over, so yes, I enjoy leftovers. For me to break out the Big Boy, I would go All Out and put as much on as I can and reheat the rest for another day.
The root of the question is how much meat are you planning on smoking at one time? How little tending do you want to do during the smoke? Don’t get me started on the Rub!
I’m sorry what? So basically someone is putting in different content to this forum so it shows up for more search results? But who? And why? And do I sound like an old man?
Yes, essentially. That’s how internet search engines work. They look for keywords and return results.
Clearly its @jugbitt
Who knows. Maybe he just wanted some advise and this was his only friendly American source.
Maybe? Do you find yourself questioning the random unintelligible actions of complete strangers more frequently than you did in the past? If so, then yes. Welcome to the club!
Edit: …and now the title has changed to reflect the conversation!
Need for brisket is severe right now.
That’s all what I assumed at first, but the “why” threw me off.
I bet there’s better grill advice on here then purposeful grill forums… maybe kartpulse is about to make a sharp turn. This is where @Bimodal_Rocket comes in with some clever names.
Oh no… that’s 2 symptoms now… I’m too young!!!
Still waiting on a few more Zingers for the AMP Enduro,
I am feeling like an Old Man for catering to this topic on a karting site. F-it, good info is good info. …and smoked meats are Good Eats! (Yes, that was a shout out to Alton Brown of Atlanta, GA!)
Agreed, the hunger is stirring. Going to have to fire up the smoker soon!
I can jump in with a badassssss brisket rub if anyone needs it
I swear in a former life I wore a 10 Gal
The oldest teen in New Hampshire. This is a good thing.
@GregF I appreciate the breakdown on smokers. Who doesn’t like grilling and playing with fire, generally?
I did wonder given the similarity of the names of the 2 fellas wether it was some sort of bot thing but it seemed harmless enough. And, it’s somewhat relevant in a roundabout way!
Educate this northern boy… I always thought BBQ was a specialty of the American south, ie SC, etc.
Sure. There are different Meat and Flavor profiles in the BBQ world.
Starting on the East Coast you have Carolina (no differentiation between NC and SC) BBQ. It is generally has Vinegar Based Sauces and use mainly Pork as their protein, whole hog or sausage. There are a lot of Hog Farms in the Carolinas. The sauce is added at the end of the cooking process.
Then you have the Memphis style, which features a Dry Rub approach (Meat is seasoned without a sauce and sometimes a sauce is served on the side) . The favored protein is Brisket, but Pork Ribs and Chicken are incorporated too. Sauces are usually Tomato based (i.e. ketchup with BBQ spices).
Next you have Kansas City style, similar to Memphis only with a wet dressing during the cooking process of a tomato based sauce. This creates a glazing effect on the meat during the cooking process. Often the manner in which Big Chain Restaurants use that offer BBQ dishes. They usually have the same Proteins as Memphis (Brisket, Ribs and Chicken).
Then there is Texas BBQ. Almost all of the protein comes from a cow. Brisket and Ribs, but they do like the Pork Sausage here too. You don’t often see pork ribs served. They follow the Memphis Dry Rub approach and do serve Sauce on the Side (usually tomato based), but typically only used if the cook is dry or under seasoned. “If the Meat isn’t juicy, throw some sauce on it” mentality. Its almost an insult to sauce your brisket. Sausage is fair game. The Sauce in TX tends to be a bit more peppery than elsewhere and stands to reason for the local tastes/produce.
Now what we use in our dry rubs is sort of confidential, as competition in the BBQ world is tough. I can tell you that it is common to coat the meat in some sort of paste or liquid that allows the dry seasonings to adhere during the cooking process. My personal secret is yellow mustard, but have heard of others using plain old honey or Dijon Mustard depending on the flavor profile they were looking for. The Black Bark is a desired effect of good seasoning and the low and slow cooking process. They are commonly referred to as Burnt Ends (high char to meat ratio).
Fascinating read, thank you. Which type is associated with heat (being fiery)?
I’m familiar with the Carolinas as I spent a fair amount of time around Charleston and have sampled a variety of their fare, which is lovely, but not what I would associate with “hot”.
I really like Cuban ribs. It’s dry rub. Place near me in NYC made really good Cuban ribs.
I would have to say that in the US, you don’t really see a lot Hot/Spicy rubs or sauces like you would find in the Caribbean or Central America. The Southwest, which is known for its Chili Peppers may have a twist that provides a little more heat than the others. I use peppers in many of my dishes, but never really associated it with BBQ.
We just had a new guy join our track. I think he owns an Indian restaurant (Dot not Feather), but he cooks (BBQ) his tail off and is always offering food to the 4 stroke comunity. Our track is segregated, 2 stokers park on one side of the track, 4 stroke on the other. Now when he starts cooking, the 2 stoke folks catch a whiff of the food and have been becoming more sociable with us all of a sudden, lol.
Food brings the World Together!
- How many Cook Food at the Track?
- How many Buy Food at the Track?
- How many Bring Prepared Food to the Track? (i.e Sandwiches/Snacks)