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Whatafrekinchessiebr
somewhere down river
Member since Nov 2013
1009 posts
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re: Help me overcome my fear of wood smokers
Weber Kettle with a Thermoworks Smoke Thermometer and Billows Fan.


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Fratigerguy
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2014
4339 posts

re: Help me overcome my fear of wood smokers
quote:

He asked for easy. Why keep stoking with charcoal when you can have the heated cast iron do virtually the same thing? Having the Dutch oven cracked open with lid on top creates an environment that never catches fire completely because there is not enough air for it to catch. You end up with a nice piece of lump coal or if continue to burn it, it will reduce to ash in the pot. It smokes and maintains and even temp throughout the day.

Yeah it's unconventional but it works. I use this method all the time and kick out awesome food. Y'all go ahead and downvote away though lol


I’ve built several large standup smokers that utilize the exact same principal, and will put the meat that comes out of them up against anyone’s. Guys on here rave about pellet grills that heat pellets via electric elements, and then want to look down on a propane system that heats actual wood. ??


STBTigerr
LSU Fan
Mandeville/New Orleans
Member since Jan 2007
5175 posts

re: Help me overcome my fear of wood smokers
I’ve had this for a couple of months and have been very happy. Holds target temps well.

LINK


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GoAwayImBaitn
LSU Fan
On an island in the marsh
Member since Jul 2018
520 posts

re: Help me overcome my fear of wood smokers
Yep

I agree and it's a sound method that works.

I'll say this. I've smoked more brisket at the age of 16 in one day than most have on this board. I'd smoke 10 per day at a time when I worked as a smoker/cutter at Luther's Barbeque.

I learned alot in that year and a half and would gladly challenge these fools downvoting.

Yall don't know as much as y'all think. I won't even get into how much chicken, ribs, and shoulders I did.

We used only wood, no gas. It was wood burned on top of hot coals that had to be kept constantly stoked.
This post was edited on 5/22 at 11:54 pm


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12
Yak
Chicago Cubs Fan
DuPage County
Member since May 2014
3645 posts

re: Help me overcome my fear of wood smokers
I got a Smokey Mountain, and an electric Masterbuilt vertical. I also have 2 boys aged 7 and 3. If they are home, electric all day, but if they're not, I'll break out the smokey mountain and make a day out of it
This post was edited on 5/23 at 7:39 am


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Earthquake 88
LSU Fan
Mobile
Member since Jan 2010
1856 posts

re: Help me overcome my fear of wood smokers
OP this is long read but I would buy a pellet grill to fulfill your needs because they are so simple to operate. They are easy as a gas grill. If you want a quality pellet grill on a budget the ZGrill 7002E is awesome. They manufactured Traeger grills for decades before they went out on their own in 2017. Traeger has many grills for all budgets. I’ve known dozens of people that owned Traegers over the years from their budget grills to their more expensive higher end type offerings and I can tell you this you pay extra for that Traeger name. They all seem to like their Traegers. But the Z Grill 7002E is widely considered one of the best budget pellet grills available that does not sacrifice on quality. I helped a friend put his together and it was sturdy and well built. He purchased his direct from Z Grills and it came with a rain cover, thermal insulated blanket cover to keep the temperature variance down on cold windy days, and 75 pounds of pellets for $590. $434 with just the rain cover. It had a stainless steel lid which was nice nor did he have to pay shipping or taxes. Cooking dimensions are 19.2 x 26 inches. Smoking & warming rack dimensions are 6.9 x 27.5 inches. Total rack surface area is 700 square inches and it has a 20 pound hopper. My buddy smoked a 17 pound brisket in it with room to spare. Is it my dad’s Rec Tec 700 or my brother’s Camp Chef with the cool sear box? No. But for someone on a budget I don’t see how there is a finer pellet smoker grill. I’m telling you it was well built, heavy duty, without a few of the bells and whistles that honestly you can do without. I’m going to buy one for the camp. My research showed a few people in 2018 had complaints about temperature control variance with their 700 model. However, they addressed the heat variance issues in the 7002 models and fixed that occasional temperature variance. The way I see it Z Grill has 30 years of experience building pellet grills, are a new name to the public, thus they are buying some business to get their name out there. In my opinion that Z Grill should sell for more money. It also comes with a 3 year warranty. I bet I read 25 different websites on 2020 pellet grill reviews and 90% of the time Z Grill wins the Best Budget pellet grill category because you get a lot of bang for your buck.
This post was edited on 5/23 at 8:56 am


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01
OTIS2
LSU Fan
NoLA
Member since Jul 2008
44419 posts

re: Help me overcome my fear of wood smokers
Team Stick Burner here ( with a small bullet style water smoker for turkeys). You just can’t beat playing with a real machine.


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nosaints
New Orleans Saints Fan
Louisiana
Member since Dec 2009
209 posts

re: Help me overcome my fear of wood smokers
With your post and not providing a price range, I would recommend an electric smoker. It does good enough for what you're looking for and is easy. It's basically an oven with wood chips.
Would I buy one? Nope, I prefer hardwood smoking.


Earthquake 88
LSU Fan
Mobile
Member since Jan 2010
1856 posts

re: Help me overcome my fear of wood smokers
quote:

He asked for easy. Why keep stoking with charcoal when you can have the heated cast iron do virtually the same thing? Having the Dutch oven cracked open with lid on top creates an environment that never catches fire completely because there is not enough air for it to catch. You end up with a nice piece of lump coal or if continue to burn it, it will reduce to ash in the pot. It smokes and maintains and even temp throughout the day.


The more I think about this your idea is pretty ingenious. I like the pellet grill because it’s just so easy. But your suggestion is easy too. I’ve gotten to the point though I just can’t eat heavy smoked food. I carry that smoke taste around in my mouth now for days. I’m going to try your method though on a stick burner that has a side box.


The Third Leg
Iowa Fan
Idiot Out Wandering Around
Member since May 2014
5726 posts

re: Help me overcome my fear of wood smokers
quote:

The more I think about this your idea is pretty ingenious. I like the pellet grill because it’s just so easy. But your suggestion is easy too. I’ve gotten to the point though I just can’t eat heavy smoked food. I carry that smoke taste around in my mouth now for days. I’m going to try your method though on a stick burner that has a side box.


Try using less raw wood if the heavy smoke stuff is too much. You can ‘smoke’ meat with just hardwood lump coals and the smoke taste will be neutralized a bit. Some cuts of meat need heavy smoke for bark though. Beef ribs, brisket, pork butt—All examples of things that will suck without heavy smoke.

When I cook a large steak or rack of lamb, I warm it on an offset where I have a coal box inside the firebox to create a dense critical mass, use a single small chunk of wood on top. When it is to searing temp, I will move the coal box over to my kettle and sear it.


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Moemoe455
LSU Fan
Ponchatoula, Louisiana
Member since Sep 2007
1913 posts

re: Help me overcome my fear of wood smokers
I had a wood smoker a long time and once I bought my Pit Boss Pellet Grill it will be REALLY hard for me to go back to a regular wood smoker.


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11
GoAwayImBaitn
LSU Fan
On an island in the marsh
Member since Jul 2018
520 posts

re: Help me overcome my fear of wood smokers
quote:

I’ve gotten to the point though I just can’t eat heavy smoked food. I carry that smoke taste around in my mouth now for days. 


I know what you mean. You don't want the meat to be saturated with smoke and the method I described doesn't lead to that. I've had multiple people mention "it's got just enough smoke flavor, not too much" when eating off that smoker. You can control how much smoke easily by keeping the wood fresh in the pot removing it when it turns to lump charcoal and it will billow smoke as much you want.

Burning the chunk of wood down in the pot takes a while and even when at the lump coal stage where you don't "see" as much smoke, you're still getting good flavor from the burn

Too much visible blue and gray smoke while cooking for hours is what can lead to the over smokey taste.


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11
Jax-Tiger
LSU Fan
Indianapolis, IN
Member since Jan 2005
19676 posts

re: Help me overcome my fear of wood smokers
quote:

I've never owned a smoker, but have often thought about buying one and using it.


Do it. Those who cook on the smoker get joy from it and most of us enjoy the process of preparing the meat, preparing the fire, and watching it develop into the finished product. We are always tweaking something - the rub, the marinade, the brine, the charcoal/pellets, the cooking temperature, the wrap, the meat temperature, etc... It's fun.

quote:

What is not appealing is the thought of spending my entire day checking the fire every 30 minutes to see if I need to add wood, or take other steps to control the temp.


Sounds like a pellet grill is tailor made for you. Once the meat goes on, your free to move about the country. You can buy one for less than $500.


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10
LoneStarRanger
Houston Astros Fan
Texas/Europe
Member since Aug 2018
1002 posts

re: Help me overcome my fear of wood smokers
quote:

What is not appealing is the thought of spending my entire day checking the fire every 30 minutes to see if I need to add wood, or take other steps to control the temp.


Then your best bet is to throw wood onto a kamado. A kamado type grill will allow you to forget about it for quite awhile, and still add different types of wood.



This post was edited on 5/23 at 12:33 pm


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20
Earthquake 88
LSU Fan
Mobile
Member since Jan 2010
1856 posts

re: Help me overcome my fear of wood smokers
quote:

Some cuts of meat need heavy smoke for bark though. Beef ribs, brisket, pork butt—All examples of things that will suck without heavy smoke.


100% agree. And I agree with the other posters that commented on my issue with overly smoked tasting meat. What I’ve learned to do is try and get a good bark on those cuts of meat then dial back the smoke by wrapping in butchers paper. It’s tricky because you bust your butt to get that wonderful bark but to balance it out where it’s not overly smokey and just right. That’s the fun of smoking meat I suppose is experimenting with techniques and advice from others trying to produce a better finished product than your last cook.


The Third Leg
Iowa Fan
Idiot Out Wandering Around
Member since May 2014
5726 posts

re: Help me overcome my fear of wood smokers
I do that with pork butt. Smoke for 5 hours, wrap, then finish in the oven.


Jj283
LSU Fan
Houma
Member since May 2015
731 posts

re: Help me overcome my fear of wood smokers
I don’t know right off hand, and im not home to check it. It’s about 2 years old, so it may be slightly different now.

I believe it’s a 30” cabinet. Has a stainless door with window. It has digital controls on top and you can plug a temp probe into it.

The chip tray is at the bottom center and can be removed and refillled without opening the door.
This post was edited on 5/23 at 4:39 pm


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Junky
Louisiana Tech Fan
Louisiana
Member since Oct 2005
5799 posts

re: Help me overcome my fear of wood smokers
quote:

I do that with pork butt. Smoke for 5 hours, wrap, then finish in the oven.


Once it is wrapped, it doesn't get any more flavor. You are just using the smoker as an oven.


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01
SmokedBrisket2018
Member since Jun 2018
1026 posts

re: Help me overcome my fear of wood smokers
OP
Get a Weber Smokey Mountain and a temperature control unit/blower.


ruger35
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Feb 2009
768 posts

re: Help me overcome my fear of wood smokers
If you run a clean fire, none of your meat will come out over smoked. Things get that bitter over smoked flavor from a dirty fire most likely. I never wrap beef ribs, sometimes pork ribs, but no one ever complains of too much smoke. Each piece of meat has a smoke "saturation" point where they won't absorb any more smoke.


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