Author Topic: Maiden voyage for my DIY Smoker! any suggestions?  (Read 1530 times)

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laud_shy_girl

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Maiden voyage for my DIY Smoker! any suggestions?
« on: July 03, 2013, 07:10:40 PM »
So this weekend I made my very own hot smoker. Any Home smokers here. suggestions for a first smoke?

I was thinking of doing chicken, will a full bird work? or am I better off with portions?

Any suggestions for a marinade or rub. I keep hearing about BBQ/smoker rubs but can't find a recipe.  I am in the UK and as far as I know home smoking is not a common thing.

eeeeeee I can't wait to get started.
“For too long, we've assumed that there is a single template for human nature, which is why we diagnose most deviations as disorders. But the reality is that there are many different kinds of minds. And that's a very good thing.” - Jonah Lehrer

sparksals

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Re: Maiden voyage for my DIY Smoker! any suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2013, 07:58:39 PM »
We recently bought an electric smoker and love it.   It has a significant learning curve.  Do you have a place to get the wood chips?  Can you post a pic of your DIY smoker?


I highly recco you check out smokingmeatforums.com.  They are VERY helpful, there are many DIY smokers and they have many great recipes and tips.   The key is PATIENCE b/c everything takes much longer depending on what it is.   My first pork butt took 5 hours.  Chicken wings took 2-3 hours.  A full chicken, depending on the weight can take quite awhile to ensure it is done.  You definitely need a temp gauge to ensure it is at proper temp fast enough. 


Just on Sunday, I did my first pulled pork, which took about 12 hours.  It might be a good maiden voyage to do a pork butt. 


My first attempt at Chicken wings, I was told they were the best people ever had!  I used this recipe:  http://www.dadgumthatsgood.com/super-smoke-sweet-and-spicy-chicken-wings/  I follwed the recipe as is... and drizzled the sauce on the hot smoked wings ... it stuck as if it was a sticky glaze.  They were AWESOME!

« Last Edit: July 03, 2013, 08:33:20 PM by sparksals »

PastryGoddess

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Re: Maiden voyage for my DIY Smoker! any suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2013, 09:03:15 PM »
I like a good brisket or chuck roast, but a pork butt would be yummy too.

I pod the suggestion of smokingmeatforums.com and smokingmeat.com. They are a great resources.

Lynnv

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Re: Maiden voyage for my DIY Smoker! any suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2013, 12:44:29 AM »
A UDS by any chance (Ugly Drum Smoker)?    If so, I would love to hear how it works for you!   DH says I don't need one, but I have been obsessing about one for quite some time.    ;D

Meanwhile, my vote, regardless of smoker type, is either ribs or a pork butt.   Mmmmm.    Smoked meat.    8)
Lynn

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laud_shy_girl

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Re: Maiden voyage for my DIY Smoker! any suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2013, 06:44:45 AM »
Its actuality quite attractive, here is the design I based it on http://www.afoodjourneytogo.com/2010/08/29/let%E2%80%99s-make-a-smoker-%E2%80%A6-out-of-a-flower-pot/

If I can figure out how to post a Photo I will. Baby Girl has gone down for her nap so I might get my camera out.  ;D

Mine looks a bit classier  8) I got lucky and B&Q had a brassier stand on sale for £1 as the actual brassier had broken so I am not using bricks. Its still a terracotta pot and lid though.

I am also using a gas camping burner instead of electric. I am not comfortable pulling apart an electric hob to make it fit.

Here is what I am using http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/coleman-f1-lite-stove-p118554 the way it comes apart means the air feed hole is below the actual pot as it all fits nicely through the drainage hole because the burner section unscrews. It was meant to get here yesterday. The burner is the last bit of the puzzle before I can start smoking. It arrived as I was typing this eeeee!!!!  ;D

I've got wood from B&Q they have Jack Denials wood  ??? (yes the whiskey) so I will use that the first time. I haven't found a 'brick and mortar' that stocks wood chips for BBQ/Smocking specifically beyond the JD wood at B&Q.

I have seen the odd sack of split wood for fire places but without knowing the species I don't want to try it. I haven't seen any warnings but I don't want to inadvertently poison anyone.

As long as it all works well, I will order wood on line and get it delivered once th JD wood is used.

I told DH people are suggesting pork butt and with how is eyes light up I think that it is diffidently going to be out first Smoke.


ohh and Lynnv with the way I did it there was no tools required it was just get parts and put them together. You could be sneaky and buy the parts and not tell him it's a smoker untill you present him with yummy smokyness and who could complain about that?

"what this pot? I want some flowers."
"This burner is for camping I like camping."
"This rack? its' just a cooling rack. I need it for colling stuff."
"ohh look what I made and with stuff we already had! aren't I clever  >:D"
“For too long, we've assumed that there is a single template for human nature, which is why we diagnose most deviations as disorders. But the reality is that there are many different kinds of minds. And that's a very good thing.” - Jonah Lehrer

sparksals

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Re: Maiden voyage for my DIY Smoker! any suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2013, 10:37:50 AM »
Pork butt is great to try for the first smoke.  The key is patience.  Follow the food safety criteria from one of the forums that were suggested.  Low and slow is the mantra, but it can't be so slow that the meat goes bad before it properly heats.


I don't know about in the UK, but I got my wood chips from the grocery store in the BBQ charcoal section.  They also sell them at sports / outdoorsy stores that are one stop for fishing/hunting/skiing etc. 

Lynnv

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Re: Maiden voyage for my DIY Smoker! any suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2013, 08:10:26 PM »
Its actuality quite attractive, here is the design I based it on http://www.afoodjourneytogo.com/2010/08/29/let%E2%80%99s-make-a-smoker-%E2%80%A6-out-of-a-flower-pot/

Very cool!   The UDS builds that I have seen aren't really too ugly either.   That is just what they are called.  :)

That should work well for holding a nice steady low-n-slow smoking temp.   Yummy. 

ohh and Lynnv with the way I did it there was no tools required it was just get parts and put them together. You could be sneaky and buy the parts and not tell him it's a smoker untill you present him with yummy smokyness and who could complain about that?

"what this pot? I want some flowers."
"This burner is for camping I like camping."
"This rack? its' just a cooling rack. I need it for colling stuff."
"ohh look what I made and with stuff we already had! aren't I clever  >:D"

I like it!  But if I claimed to be growing anything, he would be dead certain the pod people had come.   

Add that to the fact that I do already have two grills (a little gas grill and my big charcoal one), a Smkenator for my charcoal grill and a cheap (and not very good) charcoal smoker for just the two of us, and you can probably see why he wouldn't be too happy about it even with a nice pork butt bonus.      ;D
Lynn

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laud_shy_girl

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Re: Maiden voyage for my DIY Smoker! any suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2013, 02:53:15 PM »
I did a pork Hock and a belly joint.

It was fantastic! cooked in 4 hours and was really tasty and tender. I kept the meat natural no rubs or anything. I wanted to taste the smoke. Wanted the meat uncorrupted to get a feel for what I want to add to the meat next time.

The smoker needs a few tweaks. I need to get a better thermometer to monitor cooking temp as I think it cooked too hot.
I also need to get a better smoking rack for the meat. The tinfoil oven tray i used for the wood chips melted  :-\ but I realised quickly and replaced it with a small cake tin. (the tin did not die in vain as it survived and while it remains to be seen if it will work as cake tin again it will work beautifully as the wood chip pan for future smokes.

I also need to look at my gas supply but thats something that I want to do rather then need to do as the Colman's canister did the trick.

Now on to stage 2 repeat and improve  ;D I am really glad this went well. I needed something nice to happen today.

only sad part... it all got eaten and I forgot to take pictures  :( oh well more excuses for me to smoke stuff.  ;D
“For too long, we've assumed that there is a single template for human nature, which is why we diagnose most deviations as disorders. But the reality is that there are many different kinds of minds. And that's a very good thing.” - Jonah Lehrer

sparksals

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Re: Maiden voyage for my DIY Smoker! any suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2013, 03:26:38 PM »
I learned that a good thermometer is essential when my butt cooked and I was using the wrong probe for the thermometer I was using.  Over at SMoking Meat forums, they recco'd this dual thermometer:  http://www.amazon.com/Maverick-Wireless-BBQ-Thermometer-Set/dp/B004IMA718   It has a probe for the meat and one for the smoker so you know how hot it gets.

Dawse

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Re: Maiden voyage for my DIY Smoker! any suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2013, 05:39:11 AM »

I don't know about in the UK, but I got my wood chips from the grocery store in the BBQ charcoal section.  They also sell them at sports / outdoorsy stores that are one stop for fishing/hunting/skiing etc.

Try your nearest garden centre! One of my friend's mums has a really nice smoker that she bought also from a garden centre, and apparently they just have a section for smokers and wood chips and stuff.

Just wanted to throw in as well, if you like fish, try smoking mackerel or sardines or other small oily fish. Sue (the owner of the garden centre smoker) tried mackerel once and they were AMAZING.
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Lynnv

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Re: Maiden voyage for my DIY Smoker! any suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2013, 10:38:29 AM »
I learned that a good thermometer is essential when my butt cooked and I was using the wrong probe for the thermometer I was using.  Over at SMoking Meat forums, they recco'd this dual thermometer:  http://www.amazon.com/Maverick-Wireless-BBQ-Thermometer-Set/dp/B004IMA718   It has a probe for the meat and one for the smoker so you know how hot it gets.

I have this and can't recommend it enough.  It makes such a huge difference to know the temp right at the grate (at least it has for me).  Having the same tool do the meat temp as well is a boon. 

I have been trying to convince myself (and DH) that I need one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/IQ110-Kit-Standard-Pit-Adapter/dp/B00A7F1B60/ref=sr_1_1?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1373294131&sr=1-1&keywords=bbq+guru

DH loves the fact that I smoke stuff-but says that I can't possibly need another smoking gadget. 

I figure that the next time he finds the "perfect" camera bag (a never-ending quest on his part), I will have the leverage to buy a new BBQ/smoking tool.   ;D
Lynn

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wheeitsme

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Re: Maiden voyage for my DIY Smoker! any suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2013, 11:57:53 AM »
I don't know about maiden voyage, but I am always happy when my DH smokes a duck.  Not for the duck, exactly (not as much meat as I would like), but for the fat.  I take the bowl of liquid that's been under the duck and render/collect the duck fat.  Smoked duck fat is awesome.  Chard sauteed in smoked duck fat - sigh.  It's nomilicious!

PastryGoddess

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Re: Maiden voyage for my DIY Smoker! any suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2013, 02:08:45 PM »
I don't know about maiden voyage, but I am always happy when my DH smokes a duck.  Not for the duck, exactly (not as much meat as I would like), but for the fat.  I take the bowl of liquid that's been under the duck and render/collect the duck fat.  Smoked duck fat is awesome.  Chard sauteed in smoked duck fat - sigh.  It's nomilicious!

French Fries made with duck fat are worth slapping your mama for

wheeitsme

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Re: Maiden voyage for my DIY Smoker! any suggestions?
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2013, 02:28:36 PM »
I don't know about maiden voyage, but I am always happy when my DH smokes a duck.  Not for the duck, exactly (not as much meat as I would like), but for the fat.  I take the bowl of liquid that's been under the duck and render/collect the duck fat.  Smoked duck fat is awesome.  Chard sauteed in smoked duck fat - sigh.  It's nomilicious!

French Fries made with duck fat are worth slapping your mama for

...now imagine them with smoked duck fat.

(oh, and for some of us, NOTHING was worth slapping our mamma for, LOL.  That would have been like kicking a grizzly, LOL  ;) )

sparksals

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Re: Maiden voyage for my DIY Smoker! any suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2013, 02:51:09 PM »
I learned that a good thermometer is essential when my butt cooked and I was using the wrong probe for the thermometer I was using.  Over at SMoking Meat forums, they recco'd this dual thermometer:  http://www.amazon.com/Maverick-Wireless-BBQ-Thermometer-Set/dp/B004IMA718   It has a probe for the meat and one for the smoker so you know how hot it gets.

I have this and can't recommend it enough.  It makes such a huge difference to know the temp right at the grate (at least it has for me).  Having the same tool do the meat temp as well is a boon. 

I have been trying to convince myself (and DH) that I need one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/IQ110-Kit-Standard-Pit-Adapter/dp/B00A7F1B60/ref=sr_1_1?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1373294131&sr=1-1&keywords=bbq+guru

DH loves the fact that I smoke stuff-but says that I can't possibly need another smoking gadget. 

I figure that the next time he finds the "perfect" camera bag (a never-ending quest on his part), I will have the leverage to buy a new BBQ/smoking tool.   ;D


Glad you also exude the benefits of the thermostat.   Will have to purchase it.

OP I bet you can also get wood chips wherever BBQ's and smokers are sold.   Do you have brick and mortars like Home Depot or sporting superstores?