Smokers (BBQ - not grilling)

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Knifemaker

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I’ve used Tri-tip myself. I usually cut the tip into small cubes, then brown them in a skillet with chili seasoning and then add them to the pot of chili.
I’ve tried pulled pork 👎
Jerk chicken 👍
Seasoned ground turkey 👌
Sirloin .... mixed results
Chorizo 👍
But my favorite is still brisket. 😉
 

Fred W

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Getting back with a rib report. Those St Louis cut ribs were mega-delicious. I’m sure part of it was having BBQ in Vermont winter, we are all starved for those summertime flavors. As you may recall, I took the opportunity to break out my offset during a really warm day last week.

The more discriminating BBQ eaters picked up on the difference of applewood over pellet smoked ribs on their own. Many positive comments, and the McCormick’s rub was not at all bad. I would use it again. We had a good crowd to work on them as two of our kids families were here for the weekend.

One question that I had was whether the “silverskin” membrane would be a detractor if left on. I intentionally chose ribs for myself from the end of the rack that has the skin (on St. Lou’s it only covers a few of the larger end ribs) and while I could tell it was there, it did not bother me in the least. Highly unscientific, non-blind test, so take it for what it’s worth.

It really isn’t a huge amount of work to remove the membrane, so I probably will go back to my prior habit of peeling it off. But it’s interesting to note how little difference it makes.

Still haven’t tasted the smoked cheeses yet. Maybe later in the week or next weekend. Too busy enjoying company to take any fud Pr0n. Sorry…
 

Knifemaker

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“It really isn’t a huge amount of work to remove the membrane, so I probably will go back to my prior habit of peeling it off. But it’s interesting to note how little difference it makes.”

And... There it is.
Let’s talk about chicken skin next. 😉 Just did some baked chicken legs in my version of my moms “Cacciatore” sauce* which uses whole chicken legs, skin on.
Although I put the dish near the end on broil for a bit to crisp the skin, it still is one of the parts of chicken I’m not all that fond of. If usually prefer skinless chicken parts. I honestly hate fried chicken. I like breaded and baked skinless chicken breasts and thighs, and baked, grilled or smoked, sans breading (Panko) as long as they are skinless.
And as long as I’m being honest here. I think eating chicken wings is as disgusting as eating pig ears.

* recipe to be posted on fjriders.com
 

Fred W

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Hey!

We had a little snow yesterday. Cleaned it up this morning, so naturally I thought about cooking some pork ribs! I had scored some fresh baby back ribs from the local market (their butchering, not vacuum packed). They were short racks, just right for the three of us to eat tonight. Cooked on the pellet smoker so I didn’t have to tend a fire.

Finished goods:



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And here’s a view off of our front deck:

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Sometime this year we have a tree company coming in to fell a bunch of those trees down the hill from us, to open up the view of the mountain. We bought the 2 acres next door for that express purpose.

That is Mount Ascutney through the branches, once a family ski area, now gone bankrupt and land back to the town for unpaid taxes. Town now runs a short rope tow and Tee bar when there is enough natural snow. Fun stuff.

Just finished din-din. Quite good.

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Got a surprising amount of “smoke ring” from the Lumberjack hickory pellets. I attribute that to the freshness of the meat. I’m going to have to talk to the butchers about supplying me with full size fresh racks in the future.
 
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Fred W

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Oh yeah, I did. I sampled one of the cheddars (the Cabot Seriously Sharp). The amount of smoke seems just about right, but at 3 weeks it was still a bit much on the outer surface. I think with more age that will fade and absorb more into the blocks. Looking forward to trying some of the Jack in a little while.

Next time I’ll try using some straight fruit wood pellets as that tends to give off a milder smoke flavor.
 

Knifemaker

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Well, up this morning to smoke three “turkey breast roasts” . It’s supposed to get up to the mid 60’s this afternoon, but I have an appointment later, so started the smoke early.
Using hickory and applewood. Very simple rub of poultry seasoning, onion, garlic, kosher salt, pepper, and paprika. Cook temp 230-245 F.
Hopefully will be done within 6 hrs before o need to leave.
My stash of hickory
 

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Knifemaker

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4 hours 15 minutes, pulled @ 157 degrees. Will let them cool off, then they will be sliced up. One goes to someone else, the other two are ours 👍
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Fred W

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Hmmm…. Isn’t 157 degrees a bit low for poultry? Or do you expect it to carry over cook up to the recommended 165?
 

Knifemaker

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Well, pull temp was suggested by a few cooking sites. As you know, killing off bacteria is a result of temperature and time. 165 degrees suggested by the FDA is a blanket number for poultry. From Serious Eats:

“Well, here's the thing: Industry standards for food safety are primarily designed to be simple to understand, usually at the expense of accuracy. The rules are set up in a way that any cook can follow then, no matter their skill level, and so that they're easily enforceable by health agencies. But for single-celled organisms, bacteria are surprisingly complex, and despite what any ServSafe chart might have you believe, they refuse to be categorized into a step function. The upshot is that food safety is a function of both temperature and time.


What the USDA is really looking for is a 7.0 log10 relative reduction in bacteria. That is, a reduction that ensures that out of every 10,000,000 bacteria living on that turkey to start, only one will survive.


Take a look at this simplified chart I drew using data from a USDA guide.
SEE ABOVE ^


According to the USDA's own data, as long as your turkey spends at least 3.7 minutes at or above,150°F (66°C), it is safe to eat. In other words, by the time it's done resting (you do let your turkey rest before carving, right?), you should be good to go.”

I’ve seen folks pulling turkey breasts at 150, 155, and 157. The last ones I did I pulled them when the thickest part hit 155. At a 240 cooking temp, in my smoker, it takes about 30 minutes for a breast that’s already at 150 degrees to go up to 157. As you can see from the table, it only needs to be at 150 for about 4 minutes to have the same “kill rate” as a breast brought up to 165 immediately.
I did probe all three after they rested 10 minutes and the smallest rose to 168, the biggest was about 163. I’ve found pulling early like this yields a juicer and more tender breast.
I can’t control how anyone else cooks theirs at home, so I’m not going to suggest you follow this, but it works for me and no ones gotten sick.
 

BigOgre

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Hate to sound dumb but just what is a "turkey breast roast"? Is the string something you did? We were just talking last night how it seems foolish to enjoy a corned beef or turkey dinner just once a year and it got me in the mood to do a turkey breast again but your pics look more interesting.
 

Knifemaker

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I’m told they also make a Cajun Style one.


A “turkey breast roast” is a small football shaped roast, that is boneless turkey breast cuts and connective breast meat that’s been rolled together and put in a string net to hold it together. They usually weigh about 3 pounds (and some are sold with a “gravy packet”, which I throw away) in a nylon net wrapped plastic wrap similar to a frozen whole turkey.
The advantage of this over and actual turkey breast is the more uniform shape, which allows for more even cooking.
Once cooked, the string net is removed and it’s sliced up to eat.*

I refrigerate the roasts and slice them up for sandwich meat. 👍



*Like a turkey skin, if you’re going to cook one of these that has a net around it, carefully pull the net away from the meat and reposition it. Lubing the meat with EVOO or butter underneath will help with removal of the net after cooking. Some folks remove the net and just tie the meat back up with a few wraps of butchers twine.
.
 
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biknflyfisher

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Hey Knife:
I pulled out a frozen smoked tri-tip today and made your 6 bean chili again (you posted the recipe back in 2020).
It really is an outstanding meal and a great way to use leftover smoked meat.
Thanks again for sharing!
Brian the biknflyfisher
 

biknflyfisher

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Got a 3.75lb pork butt (shoulder) in the OK Joe today, so that’s a happy!
I also have 4 chicken breasts that are tied together 2-each that I’ll throw on this afternoon that will be diced up to make smoked chicken salad sammiches.
Will be 74 degrees this afternoon in Central Cal, so a great day to be outside.
 

Knifemaker

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I was going to smoke a butt tomorrow for pulled pork. Then I came across this:

So now, going to try that out. Have a 5+ pound picnic roast half, the other ingredients and some corn tortillas, Pico de gallo, sour scream, quesadilla cheese, and hot sauce to make tacos.
Photos later...
 

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