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Messages - SconnieQ

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Model 2 & 2D - The Middle Kid / Re: Smoker Box Closure
« on: August 26, 2018, 01:58:04 AM »
If my chunk is just a little too big, I split a piece off using a hammer and a dull chisel. I usually use 2 or 3 pieces of varying sizes per smoke anyway. Smaller piece gives off more smoke in the beginning, larger piece for sustained smoke. I don't like it if my lid doesn't close, but I also doubt if that is the cause of your different smoke tastes. I'm not sure of the source of your oak, but even if it comes from the same tree, different parts of the tree can be more or less dense than others, and will dry and burn differently.

Anything Goes!! / Re: Brisket, Costco or Sam's
« on: August 07, 2018, 01:08:23 AM »
Go to whichever one has Prime. It varies by what part of the country you are in. My Costco always has Prime, unless there is a national shortage. Sam's used to only have Choice around here, but I don't know now, they might also have Prime.

Bacon! / Re: First bacon!
« on: August 06, 2018, 02:59:11 AM »
I figured this last batch at about $3.50/lb,

Granted I live in a tourist town, but here handcrafted bacon sells for $15 or higher depending on the vendor. And then the is Nueske's they are priced at a whole other level. Personally I like my bacon better than Nueske's.

I am fortunate to have Nueske's right here in Wisconsin. Most all of the local stores carry their bacon and other products. Nueske's is the standard I try to achieve when making bacon. It's pretty smoky, which I like. I've come pretty close.

Introductions / Re: Hello from Everett, WA
« on: August 06, 2018, 02:47:05 AM »
Thanks, everyone!  I bought my #1 second hand, and from the looks of things it is an early model. No side handles or rack in the back to wrap the cord. It was very clean and well cared for, though. Only two racks, but it did come with the Sasha flavor savor.
I'm finally going to try it out tomorrow on a 4.5 lb chuckie. I have a chunk of pecan that is 3.8 oz all ready to go.

Same version I have.

Gadgets and Gizmos / Re: Fireboard Food Probes
« on: July 26, 2018, 10:33:11 AM »
I'm very happy with it. It's pricey, but high quality probes, Wifi, graphing, and works just like it's supposed to. It's nice not to have to deal with bluetooth drops anymore.

Beef / Re: Help! Stuck in a 24 hour brisket stall!
« on: July 25, 2018, 07:25:25 PM »
I had only opened the smoker a few times which added to my consternation.

Only opened it a few times? Why? I can see once to wrap (which is not necessary, but okay) but a few times? Are you using an instant read thermometer and opening to check the temp? Instant Read thermometers are pretty useless for smoking in the SI in my opinion. Get a wired thermometer. And leave it be if you are panicking during the stall.

Have you tried measuring the ambient temp in the smoker?

Nothing wrong with wrapping in foil and throwing in the oven if you question the smoker temp. After 24 hours you've probably lost quite a bit of moisture, so add some water to your foil wrapped brisket before putting in the oven.

Fish / Re: First Salmon smoke
« on: July 25, 2018, 07:16:55 PM »
I have a #1, analog. I check ambient temp with my Maverick ambient probe, or Fireboard ambient probe. Most of the time, I don't even use an ambient probe. Temp swings are not an issue, and as long as something doesn't seem totally out of the ordinary, I don't see a reason to obsess about ambient temp. My analog #1 is going to have temp swings + or - 20 degrees or more above and below my dial setting. And that works just fine in the world of low and slow. And for salmon smoking, I do a 15 minute on, 45 minute off rotation to control the box temp. If you have a D model, you can use your controller for your ambient temp reading, but if you doubt it, add another probe such as Maverick, Fireboard, or numerous other options. It's always good to have something as backup to your built-in probes anyway in my opinion.

Smokinlicious only sells 8 species of hardwoods that are harvested from nearby forests to control quality. Buy from Smokinlicious first if they carry it (as you did for the hickory, maple, cherry), then probably Fruitawood for the ones Smokinlicious doesn't have.

Guide to Smoking Times, Temps, Woods / Re: Pork Belly
« on: July 25, 2018, 03:10:30 AM »
I did and got nothing, but then after posting this realized the search was specific to the subsection you are in when using the search bar. I tried again in the "Pork" section and got hits.

It took me a while to figure that out too. ;) I search from the "Home" section, then if that's too broad, I'll try going to a certain section and doing the search from there.

Fish / Re: First Salmon smoke
« on: July 15, 2018, 03:49:25 AM »
It usually only takes about an hour to get to 130-135, with a set temp of 170 or 180. I usually smoke portions that are 4-5 inches wide. Not sure why yours took 3 hours, but if it tasted good, then you are fine. It looks moist. And 131 is a good temp to pull it at.

I have a #1, so it's analog, and the temp is going to overshoot 170 right off the bat by probably 20-30 degrees. Plus any igniting of the chips is also going to raise the box temp, or at least keep the box temp high. It's such a short smoke, that by the time the fish is done, I wonder if the box temp is still well above 170. I'll have to graph my next salmon smoke with the Fireboard. For that reason, I'm guessing that the analog models might cook salmon faster than the digital models. Just a theory.

Sous Vide! / Re: Sous vide weights
« on: July 06, 2018, 12:06:11 AM »
I assume with the glass gems that you would not put them directly in with the food? Like you would vacuum seal them in a second outer bag? I wouldn't want those to come in contact with my food. Who knows if they would crack or flake, and if they are made in China, there could be lead in them. I doubt if they are food safe.

I like the sous vide weights you bought on Amazon better. The stainless coated in silicone seems safer. And you are not dealing with all of the pieces.

Beef / Re: Beef Chuck ribs fail
« on: July 05, 2018, 11:45:02 PM »
They needed a lot more time. Beef ribs are loaded with connective tissue, which is delicious when rendered down to gelatin, but horrible and tough if not. Think brisket. They are going to need to cook more like brisket than pork ribs. They need long low and slow cooking, to break down all that connective tissue and become tender. Depending on the size of the ribs, I could see them taking 6-10 hours. You might consider wrapping in foil halfway through. Also, do a search on this forum for "beef plate ribs". Although plate ribs are probably a slightly different part of the rib than chuck ribs (or short ribs), pretty similar long cook technique. I would not be afraid to wrap the ribs you've already cooked in foil with some liquid, and throw them in a 300 degree oven for a couple hours. They just need more cooking to tenderize.

A longer smoking time should solve all of your problems, with tenderness, bark, and smoke penetration. How much wood did you use? You might have had enough wood for chicken, but beef usually wants more wood/smoke. Many of us like different amounts of smoke. Keep experimenting with the amount of wood until you find what you like. I tend to use a little more wood than what's in the wood chart because I like a little more smoke most of the time. Chicken and beef ribs will never smoke in the same amount of time. 4lb chickens usually only take a couple hours at 250 for me, so you'd want to start your beef ribs at least 4 hours or more before your chickens. And beef ribs can be resting while the chickens are still smoking.

Here's a good post by gregbooras on plate ribs, but there are probably many more.

Sous Vide! / Re: VonShef Premium 8 Liter Sous Vide/Water Oven $40
« on: July 05, 2018, 11:18:18 PM »
I'm not a fan of the dedicated machines. They take a lot of space for a single purpose. I prefer the stick style sous vide devices. They are easy to store, and you have several choices for containers and sizes. Plus, the containers can be multipurpose use, like pots for cooking, or cambro containers you can also use for brining, food prep and storage.

You don't really need a cooler. An insulated container is not needed for the sous vide stick to maintain temperature. It won't struggle, and it's not like you are saving much $$ in electricity by using a cooler. Plus, now you have to store this giant cooler that now only serves a single purpose because you've cut a hole in it. Nothing wrong with repurposing a cooler you are going to throw away though. Not sure how styrofoam would do with higher temps. You can wrap a towel around your cambro container if you feel you need to, but it's not necessary. Here's a link to a neoprene sleeve that might be a more elegant solution than a towel. I just use a cambro container for all sous vide, long and short. Just replenish the water loss every so often if you are doing a long cook for more than 12 hours... or buy a nifty lid to help minimize heat and water loss. I highly recommend buying the lid. Below is the cambro container and lid I use with my Anova.

Cambro 12 qt Container
Same Cambro Container, different price
This is the lid I have
Another nice lid option

You can also find a number of food-safe container/lid combos by Rubbermaid, Everie, Lipavi and probably others. Just make sure the lid is compatible with the container you choose (they are not interchangeable), and the lid is made for the brand of sous vide stick you choose.

Model 1 - The Little Guy!! / Re: Two 10# butts in a Model 1 ?
« on: July 04, 2018, 05:48:01 PM »
Two 10# butts would be pretty crowded in the #1, but it's possible if you can somehow arrange them with some space in between. Depends on the shape. You can always smoke the first butt for 6 or so hours, then wrap it in foil or into a pan tightly covered with foil, with some apple juice or water, then finish in a 225-250 oven to 195-205 internal temp, while you smoke the second butt. Once butts get to about 150-160 internal temp, it has plenty of smoke, and you can finish it in the oven. Your first butt will be done before the second, but you can hold it or reheat it if you need both at the same time.

Model 2 & 2D - The Middle Kid / Re: How much meat can it hold?
« on: July 04, 2018, 05:39:06 PM »
I have not used my WSM (still have it) since I bought my #1. But I have a soft place in my heart for the WSM. It's what introduced me to smoking, so I keep it for sentimental reasons. I enjoy getting some sleep now, and the better quality Q I get from the SI.

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