Smokers (BBQ - not grilling)

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Fred W

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The pipe on that smoker is huge - like the exhaust pipes that knucklehead kids put on diesel pickups now.
Yeah, it is big. The stock pipe is fat at about 5” dia., but too short to develop good draft. I sent a message to the people at Old Country suggesting they come up with a kit to add a foot or more to the stock exhaust pipe. The recognize that it was a shortcoming, but have thus far not come up with a solution. In the meantime, I am running my rice-boy fart can pipe effectively.
 

Fred W

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Made a change to my smokestack today. The stock chimney pipe is, I believe, 5” schedule 10 steel pipe. I would love to get my hands on about 18” of that and weld a permanent chimney extension on. But that pipe is pretty expensive and hard to get in small quantities.

Instead what I did was buy a 2’ length of 5” diameter galvanized duct. I slipped the 2’ length onto the stock chimney about 6”. The ID of the chimney pipe
is about 5.25”, so the duct pipe fit easily. I put a hose clamp around the duct pipe so it wouldn’t slip down any further, then I cut off the 6” stove pipe that I had been using as an extension and slid that over the duct pipe. I filled the space between the 5” and 6” pipes with fiberglass insulation and fitted a 6” duct transition piece as a spacer to keep them concentric.

I think with the insulated pipe I’ll get plenty of draft with the 16” extension and 5” diameter. Seems to be working ok.

Tested the new configuration while I smoked a beer can chicken for dinner.
 

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Fred W

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Nah, the A-maze-n pellet smokers give off very little heat, but a ton of smoke. The cheeses I smoked this time last year came out great. I especially liked the Cabot pepper jack. It does take quite a while before the sharp edge of the smoke flavor wears off. Patience is a requirement.
 

Fred W

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As an aside, I had a nice (cheap) chuck roast to cook tonight. It’s hovering around freezing outside here in Vermont, so I opted to toss it onto the Pit Boss Pellet burner. Set it on “smoke” for an hour and a half starting at noon, then switched up to 225F for a few hours.

A little after 4 PM I wrapped it in foil with a good splash of beef stock to braise until done. I’ll pull it off at 205 or so. Have done small chuck roasts like this before and they come out great. Way cheaper than any brisket today.

Just to keep things hoppin’ I’ve got a nice boule of sourdough bread (from a new starter) in the dutch oven to go with the beef.
 

Knifemaker

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Nowheelies…. Seemed to work out fine. Smoked a chunk of sharp cheddar, havarti, and Gruyère. For two hours using the applewood pellets.
All wrapped in two layers of Saran Wrap and put in the fridge. Won’t know how they taste for two weeks (Dec 12) ….So will let you know then.

The Webber clone grill I did them did feel warm (black lid with the sun on it) the cheddar looked a bit “sweaty” but all were firm. Missed out doing this on a mid 30’s day, which was my original plan. Will likely do this again when it’s at least that cold here. May try to cure and smoke some salmon too.
As Fred said, the A-maze-n put out A LOT of smoke. More than I see flowing out of my other smokers.

That roast looks great BTW….
 

Bounce

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Finished the last of the cheeseburgers yesterday from the marathon grilling session while breaking in the Blackstone griddle.

2:1 ground beef:bison, S&P, garlic powder, sliced cheese. That's it. Grilled onions, bacon, etc. Sort of a "dregs sandwich" but pretty tasty still.
 

Nowheelies

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Daughter's boyfriend shot 3 deer this year. Last night we smoked the backstraps. Apple wood, 200 to 230 depending on how much I was paying attention. Pulled out of smoker (gas, vertical) at low 140 degrees. Let sit in 170 degree oven until all the rest of supper was finished.

WOW! That was some good eating. Even my very fussy granddaughter who refuses to eat pretty much everything liked it. Had just enough venison taste to know what you were eating, but not "gamy" as is the case with a lot of venison depending on its diet and preparation before and during cooking.

Hopefully he and my grandson get at least one more this weekend. Then we can do it again!

Sorry no pics. Too busy visiting and fussing with the smoker.
 

Fred W

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My wife thinks I’ve gone over the meat smoking edge.

Saw a Pit Boss 5 series vertical smoker on clearance at a nearby Tractor Supply. I had been keeping my eye out for one as it seems like a better way to smoke with pellets compared to the horizontal format pellet grills, like the Pit Boss 700 Rancher I got a couple years ago.

This one was unused, but had been damaged when they were loading it onto a trailer for a customer. The only damage was some bent sheet metal. Everything else was fine. MSRP on these pits is $650. Tractor Supply normally sells them for $500, plus assembly if you want them to do it (I wouldn’t have). I scored it for $350 and get the full 5 year manufacturer’s warranty.

Got it home, fixed some of the assembly mistakes they made putting it together, and went through the priming and seasoning process yesterday. It runs pretty good. I’ll take it through a maiden cook with a small pork roast later today.

Here’s a stock photo of one:

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Knifemaker

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Question:
How many smokers do you need?

Answer:
All of them.

Go for it Fred!!!

My only question is how long will that glass front be transparent? Had a grill with a glass window that became useless after 3 cooks. Spray oven cleaner was the only thing that worked to keep it reasonably clear.
 
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08FJR4ME

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You could probably use the same stuff to clean wood stove glass. I am sure that would work.
Available in your big box lumber stores.

Dave
 

Nowheelies

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My wife thinks I’ve gone over the meat smoking edge.

Saw a Pit Boss 5 series vertical smoker on clearance at a nearby Tractor Supply. I had been keeping my eye out for one as it seems like a better way to smoke with pellets compared to the horizontal format pellet grills, like the Pit Boss 700 Rancher I got a couple years ago.

This one was unused, but had been damaged when they were loading it onto a trailer for a customer. The only damage was some bent sheet metal. Everything else was fine. MSRP on these pits is $650. Tractor Supply normally sells them for $500, plus assembly if you want them to do it (I wouldn’t have). I scored it for $350 and get the full 5 year manufacturer’s warranty.

Got it home, fixed some of the assembly mistakes they made putting it together, and went through the priming and seasoning process yesterday. It runs pretty good. I’ll take it through a maiden cook with a small pork roast later today.

Here’s a stock photo of one:

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Nice! I looked at these a couple of years ago. Wanted one, but kind of spendy for my limited use so went a different direction. My son in law's boss uses one of these. They smoke a lot of things from sausages to various cuts and species of meats and always works well. I am sure you will like it.
 

Fred W

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First cook went well. It was just a small pork loin. I took out all of the racks except one at about 1/3 from the top. Put water in the water pan, as instructed in the user manual (they say that you HAVE to use water or risk a fire!) We shall see about that in the future.

Cooked the roast at 225F. The pit swings in temperature by about +/- 10 degrees, verified by my Smoke digital thermometer's pit temp probe. By the way, I found out that this is how all pellet stoves make smoke. They cut the pellet feeding at a particular temperature above set point until the temp drops X amount below set point, then it shoots the pellets in too fast, which generates some smoke and a temp overshoot.

The smoke absorption was pretty directional, developing a smoke ring to the bottom of the meat, though it seemed to cook the meat through just fine. Guess I'll need to flip meat occasionally on this pit for the full smoke ring.

Pork loin is a pretty neat cook, so wasn't much mess made, but the glass did get lightly smoke hazed. This morning I found the Stoner's Invisible Glass cuts right through the haze quite easily. We will see how it works when some fat splashes on the glass.

Just started marinating a couple pounds of sliced Eye Round for Jerky, which this pit should be very good at, what with 5 food grates and a low temp setting of 150F. That will be going on tomorrow, when it stops raining around here. My grandson is coming up this weekend and the boy loves Beef Jerky.

Also, I've found that the Lumberjack brand of wood pellets, which I can get at a local Runnings store, give the best smoke flavor of those I've tried by far. Especially the Hickory blend. Worth looking for if you have a pellet burner. No more expensive that the others.
 

Knifemaker

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The glass getting dirty wasn’t really a problem on the grill I had. Really didn’t need to see the meat cooking. Was a bit more concerned about there being a spot shower during a cook and the glass cracking from the temperature difference.
On a smoker I’d think the smoke would obstruct your view of what’s inside anyway?😳
Would guess you could cook a few dozen pork loins on that thing. 👍
 

Fred W

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Hah, yeah. One thing I’d like to do is cook my pork butts for pulled pork overnight. I could easily fit six, but four is likely all I’d ever need to cook.

People are saying they “don’t trust to leave it” for some reason. I’ll give it a number of cooks to see how she runs, but my other Pit Boss has not been problematic, but peoples reviews would leave you to believe otherwise. I’m chalking that up to overall inexperience. Put a temp alarm on it and go to bed!
 

Knifemaker

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Yeah, did a search around here, can’t find a store that sells Lumberjack pellets locally.
Can only find them online. One store sells Bear Mountain pellets, which I understand is owned by the same company that now owns Lumberjack. But reviews on Bear Mountain aren’t as good…
BBQ Delight pellets have good reviews, especially on pellet smoker forums…but I understand all their pellets are all 2/3 oak.
Looks like I’ll try getting a sample pack online and see what combination I like.
I usually choose apple/cherry for ribs. Most Texas brisket is cooked with oak. Hickory seems good for almost anything, so in a quandary as to what species to go with.
Lumberjack makes a maple/hickory/cherry blend that sounds like a great “universal”wood to use.
There’s a few specialty BBQ stores I will have to check out, I’d rather not spend for shipping costs buying online.
 
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Fred W

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That maple, cherry, hickory blend is what Lumberjack calls their “competition blend”. It’s not bad, but not as flavorful as their straight hickory, or if you can find them their “charred hickory”. Do you have “Runnings” stores out that way? That’s where I get mine.

Bear Mountain is one I’ve tried and wasn’t impressed with. Also Traeger and Pit Boss brands. But I have a feeling these companies change formulations and sources pretty regularly, as well as ownership. It’s really like a crapshoot until you find one you like, then stock up!

Oh yeah, here’s an actual shot on my pit during the ramp up to 350 degrees for the “burn in”.

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It normally isn’t nearly this smokey inside. Usually I can actually see inside pretty easily.
 

Knifemaker

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Nearest Runnings store is 9 hours away near Soux Falls Iowa. However, St Louis is a big town, has many BBQ supply stores, Farm and home, Sporting Good, etc that might carry the pellets. Just need to take the time to make some calls. 📞

Edit. Bingo… The Saint Louis BBQ Store, about 30 miles away, carries the full line of Lumberjack pellets.

Nice photo BTW…👍
 
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