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Messages - SconnieQ

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Rubs / Re: Maple Syrup Added To Baby Back Rib Rub
« on: November 18, 2017, 08:20:31 PM »
I don't think real maple syrup would overpower anything. It is not a strong flavor, especially when compared to mustard. I think there are people who use maple syrup as you have described.

Introductions / Re: Can't Wait To Get Home
« on: November 16, 2017, 09:59:21 PM »
Welcome Derek! Only need to foil the bottom of the wood box if you have very dry wood chunks, such as those from big box stores. I use wood from, with proper moisture content, so I never foil the bottom. And only use the chip screen for chips. When I did use big box wood back in the old days, I used the "foil boat" method instead, which is to wrap the bottom half of the chunk tightly in foil. For your turkey breast, you will definitely want to brine. White meat turkey does not have tons of flavor on it's own without getting some seasoning into the meat. Several turkey brine recipes on here, but basically you want 1 cup kosher salt, 1/2 to 1 cup brown sugar, to 1 gallon water. All of the brine flavorings beyond that are up to you. I would brine the turkey breast for 8-10 hours. The other critical thing is not to overcook the breast. I would remove it when the internal temperature is 160. Tent loosely with foil and rest for 30-45 minutes. Carryover cooking will probably bring the temp up to 165. Don't expect the skin to be particularly palatable. But you probably already know that from your previous MB experience.

Beef / Re: 2nd Brisket Flat in my 3D- 260 Degrees!
« on: November 15, 2017, 06:49:15 PM »
One additional thought!
Doing a Brisket at the same temperature Aaron Franklin does did not hurt my confidence level one bit! Of course, if I had read the other article that said he smoked at 250 first, that would change things wouldn't it. I wonder if there is another article where it says 225?

I've seen Franklin use 250 on a small offset cooker for home use. Maybe he does 275 at his restaurant, because those are huge cookers, with a huge meat load. I think if you are loading up your 4D with several briskets, it makes sense to cook at 250 or 275 due to the load. I'm sticking with 225 in my little #1.

Brines, Marinades & Injections / Re: The Briner
« on: November 15, 2017, 02:21:46 PM »
I don't have them but the Briner and Briner Jr with the locking plate do seem nice for a little extra money. If you have a Cabela's nearby, you can ship free to store if they are not in stock at the store.

Brines, Marinades & Injections / Re: How Much Brine?
« on: November 15, 2017, 11:01:02 AM »
If your turkey is touching the edges of your brining container, that is not a problem. You don't want it jammed in there super tight though. I mix up 2 gallons of brine for turkey. Homemade brine is cheap. I never buy the pre-mixed brines. Some of them are more money than I paid for the turkey! How much brine you need is going to be determined by the size and shape of your vessel, and how much space there is around your meat. If you find you need a little more brine, just mix up a bit extra of just the salt/sugar/water mixture. No need to worry about any additional flavorings you added to your original brine. The salt/sugar/water mixture will dissolve at room temperature with a little mixing, no need to heat.

A 14 pound turkey is going to take a lot more brine than a 14 pound brisket, because turkey has that big open cavity in the middle. So more brine is needed to cover a turkey, than you would need for a solid piece of meat of the same weight.

Brines, Marinades & Injections / Re: The Briner
« on: November 15, 2017, 10:41:38 AM »
If you want to be overwhelmed by all of the shapes and sizes of food storage containers, here's a good place to look, and good prices. Not sure what shipping is though. I've ordered from this place before.

Brines, Marinades & Injections / Re: The Briner
« on: November 15, 2017, 10:36:14 AM »
What are the dimensions of this particular container

I posted and then removed this, but I've decided the dimensions look correct and the picture has to be wrong.  The model number matches perfectly.  Seems like an odd mistake for rubbermaid to make on their site.

Larry, you are correct. The picture shows an 18 quart square. The Specifications are for a 12 quart square. The chart at the bottom of the page give dimensions for their whole line of square containers, and would be a better reference. The 22 quart will work for a 14 pound Turkey. 22 quarts equals 5.5 gallons, and a 5 gallon bucket will hold just about any size turkey, even 20+ pounds. You might be able to get away with the 18 quart (4.5 gallons) for a 14 pound turkey.

For Turkey, I use a food-safe 5-gallon bucket such as these (make sure you get a lid).

I use this for all sizes of turkeys, I've done up to 22 pounds no problem (for roasting, not smoking). Since it is food safe, you can brine right in the bucket. Make your brine double strength, and add ice. No need to refrigerate then for overnight. Just put it in a cool place like a basement, garage or porch. Or, you can put your turkey into a brining bag with your regular strength brine, close it up, and add ice in the bucket around the brining bag. Or what I do, because those brining bags are expensive, I buy the Reynolds Turkey Roasting bags at the grocery store that come 2 to a bag, and I use both bags, to put my turkey and brine in. Much cheaper, and I've never had one fail. I like having the handle on the bucket, because between the turkey, the brine, and ice, it gets really heavy.

I don't find it necessary to weight turkey down at all. Put the turkey in the bucket or brining container neck side down. All that might stick out of the water will be the end bones of the legs, and maybe a tiny tip of the breast plate or a little bit of the tail/back. No need for those to be submerged. For things I do weight down, you can fill food safe containers with water or ice, and place them on top. Things like ziplock storage containers, or ziplock bags. I try to avoid anything metal.

Note: for several years I brined my turkeys directly in a plain old 5 gallon bucket (non-food-safe). This works fine... as long as you use a brining bag or the oven bags... and they do not break. Mine never broke. If they break, that plasticy taste might get into your turkey. And probably some bad chemicals too. I'm ashamed to admit for a couple years, I brined in regular buckets directly (without the bags), and I'm alive to tell about it. I didn't notice any plasticy taste, but I would definitely not recommend it. That was back in the days when people weren't so smart.

What's Cooking? / Re: First smoke on #3
« on: November 14, 2017, 09:44:42 PM »
Do you have an ambient probe to measure your box temp? It might be running high. Temps in an analog #3 can can swing from 30 degrees over or under your set temp, but average out to your set temp. That is normal. Having things done sooner rather than later is actually a big plus. Brisket, butts, ribs, can rest for 4-6 hours easily in a cooler, and just get better. Undercooked and rushed brisket, butts, ribs without a rest on the other hand are awful. Also, remember that meat comes from animals, an agricultural product, and all animals are genetically different, raised differently, eat differently, have different amounts of exercise, and are butchered by different companies at different times in their life cycles, and have different meat qualities. The best anyone can do is allow PLENTY of time for the worst case scenario of cooking time, and give any extra time, if it is done ahead of time, to a nice long nap/rest in the cooler!

Introductions / Re: Cheers!
« on: November 14, 2017, 09:34:12 PM »
Welcome Dana!

Model 1 - The Little Guy!! / Re: Looking to get a #1
« on: November 14, 2017, 09:33:01 PM »
It can take a little time to dial in the right smoke profile that suits you and your family.  In the meantime, homework never tasted so good.

Ain't that the truth.

Pork / Re: Spiral Sliced Ham?
« on: November 14, 2017, 09:28:00 PM »
I have the cold-smoke plate, but have never used it...  seems like a good time to put it to use.  I have tons of those gel ice packs...  any reason to not use those on top of the cold smoke plate to keep everything nice and cool?

Never tried gel packs. I'd be afraid to. Just use your bottom drip pan filled with ice (to the point where it won't overflow when it melts!), and sit it on top of the cold smoke plate. Add chips to the smoke box using the chip screen, or add a sheet of foil to the bottom of the smoke box. With the analog, I turn the dial to full blast 250 until I see good smoke production (15-20 minutes usually). Then turn it off for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Then repeat this process for however many hours you want. 4-5 cycles should be plenty. I think the spiral is going to dry out a lot faster than a regular ham, so you might want to make sure you keep the smoke phase as low temp as possible.

Auber PID Tips and Tricks / Re: For anyone having trouble in cold temps
« on: November 14, 2017, 09:17:07 PM »
I just started a Prime Rib Roast in my new 3D this afternoon.  I noticed that the smoke was out within 2 hrs which was very abnormal.  I smoked some ribs last week and I got smoke the entire 5 hrs with the same wood.  I am using cherry and hickory which I got with my smoker a few weeks ago.  The only change I can think of was the outside temperature was much lower today than it was last week. My process was the same which was put the wood in the smoke box, place the meat inside, setup my thermometers, then turn on the smoker

I am guessing since the temperature range was so drastic the contoler used more watts to achieve the set point as quickly as it did in the warmer weather.   Since this is a Rib Roast I didn't open the smoker and put more wood in, but I am going to do a brisket next week and I don't want to open the box every few hrs. 

My plan is to warm the smoker up to about ~70 deg then put the wood box back in.  Hopefully this will eliminate the ignition of the wood.

Any other suggestions?

Don't overthink it PigPen. Why turn somersaults over the "appearance" of smoke...and for how long it smoked, or when it started smoking? How did your food taste? Smoke might come later in cooler outdoor temperatures, but your box might heat up more slowly in cooler temperatures, so it all evens out. I've smoked in below zero temps here in Wisconsin. It's not a problem. Give your process an extra 1/2 hour or so. Don't try to create all sorts of fussiness for yourself based on eyeball observations of smoke production. Your taste buds will tell you if adjustments need to be made. These smokers are ungodly simple. Preheating and sliding the smoke box in and out is not how they were designed. It really is not necessary. Don't create extra work for yourself, or you will never want to smoke anything ever again. These are as simple as using your kitchen oven. If you are experiencing combustion in cool temps, then it is better to foil boat your wood, or... if you have already not done so, get some high quality smoking wood with the correct moisture level, like from, so combustion is less of an issue.

Meat absorbs more smoke at lower temperatures. If your wood expired more quickly than usual, your meat still probably absorbed plenty of that smoke. That wood produced the same amount of smoke, just faster. Don't be tempted to add more wood. Just let it ride.

Pork / Re: Spiral Sliced Ham?
« on: November 14, 2017, 08:55:16 PM »
First off, you do not want to bring the ham to 240. I assume you meant 140. Also, the ham is already fully-cooked, so I'm assuming you just want to add more smoke. Additional cooking is not necessary, and will only dry out the ham. If your goal is to add more natural smoke, then use a cold, or low temp smoke scenario. You do not need, or want to bring it to 140 during smoking. Depending on which smoker you have, that would entail using chips, maybe a pan of ice, maybe a cold smoke plate, an on/off analog dial thing, a programmed auber with ice in the chamber, or a dedicated AMPS or Big Kahuna. I have a cold smoke plate with my #1, so that's what I would use, but others here might have a suggestion for a low temp or cold smoke workaround for a non-D model. Just get some additional smoke on there as you desire (2-3 hours without bringing the temp to 140), then wrap tightly in foil and chill back down quickly. Reheat the foil bundle in the oven to 140 on your big day.

Beef / Re: 2nd Brisket Flat in my 3D- 260 Degrees!
« on: November 14, 2017, 08:39:38 PM »
I don't see any reason to smoke a brisket above 225, unless you are in a hurry. And you need to smoke it in less time. I see no evidence that it is better in flavor and texture than one smoked at 225 or less. Much of this info comes from traditional smoking methods, where maintaining a temp below 250 is difficult. My own past smoking experience included. If there were any evidence to prove that 250 or higher was better, I would consider it. But there is plenty of evidence to support smoking a brisket between 200 and 225 by BBQ places across the US. If on the other hand your work schedule, or weekend schedule does not allow you to smoke it at 225, then by all means do the "quick" method. It will probably be darn near as good. Maybe close to the same. But not better.

Model 2 & 2D - The Middle Kid / Re: That time of year
« on: November 14, 2017, 08:27:14 PM »
+1 on everything Larry said! Thanks Larry! Except for the skin. Don't even try to rescue it by putting into a hot oven. It is too far gone, and an oven will just dry out your wonderful meat. Make peace with the crappy skin. The meat is so moist, no one will care about the skin. If you and your guests find it palatable, then by all means eat it. But don't expect much. (I've also done larger than 14 pounds, and they get to 140 WAY before 4 hours, so AT YOUR OWN RISK, but I think 14 pounds is conservative as far as food safety is concerned in my experience.)

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