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Author Topic: Smoked Meats Matta  (Read 3177 times)

real chili 83

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Smoked Meats Matta
« on: August 23, 2020, 12:43:49 PM »
Settle down.

Pellets smokers are becoming “mainstream” with Weber coming on line with their version.  Seems like odd timing, as Weber appeared to really promote them this summer versus a spring push.

Anyways, any pellet snobs out there....meaning, is a pellet a pellet, or what are some of the more premium products, and what makes them premium?

I’ve heard for example Traeger pellets are not very dense, and burn much quicker than “premium” pellets.

Skatastrophy

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Re: Smoked Meats Matta
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2020, 07:57:11 PM »
Subscribed.

I get these and really like them - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00819OICI/

Use them in my AMNPS - https://www.amazon.com/MAZE-N-Pellet-Smoker-Smoking-Works/dp/B007ROPJ1M

Nice, even LBS without too much hassle. It was a good reason to get a butane torch to make sure I get a good cherry going. The built in smoke box on my smoker (meant for chips) sucks... but I'm HOA-limited to electric-only since I live in a Chicago high rise.

This is the best resource for smoking questions, IMO. Been lurking there for years - https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/who-makes-the-best-pellet.241265/

real chili 83

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Re: Smoked Meats Matta
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2020, 12:41:03 PM »
Subscribed.

I get these and really like them - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00819OICI/

Use them in my AMNPS - https://www.amazon.com/MAZE-N-Pellet-Smoker-Smoking-Works/dp/B007ROPJ1M

Nice, even LBS without too much hassle. It was a good reason to get a butane torch to make sure I get a good cherry going. The built in smoke box on my smoker (meant for chips) sucks... but I'm HOA-limited to electric-only since I live in a Chicago high rise.

This is the best resource for smoking questions, IMO. Been lurking there for years - https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/who-makes-the-best-pellet.241265/

Thank you.

skianth16

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Re: Smoked Meats Matta
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2020, 01:46:31 PM »
Happy to see this thread since points of view tend to be a little all over the place online. I just made the leap into the pellet grill world last week, picking up a Pit Boss Navigator 850. I grabbed a 40 lb bag of Pit Boss competition blend from Lowe's for about $15 and didn't think much about the impact of the pellet brand. Now that I've done some cooking and more research, I'm curious to test out some different options.

Over the weekend I made some skirt steak and some burgers on high heat and noticed the temps tended to run a little higher than expected. I noticed that on both the internal thermometer probe and my own thermometer. The difference wasn't too bad, something I can live with for shorter cook times. I also cooked a pork butt for about 12 hours, and that was when I noticed bigger temp swings, about +- 20 degrees from my selected temp of 250.

I've seen plenty of comments online saying that's pretty standard and others saying temps should be more consistent. The meat turned out great, so maybe this isn't even a problem, but something tells me more consistency will always be better. Has anyone found pellets making a big difference in temp control?

On a related note, I found Bear Mountain BBQ last night via Instagram, and they're offering a buy one get one free deal with free shipping right now with promo code BOGO - https://bearmountainbbq.com/

real chili 83

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Re: Smoked Meats Matta
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2020, 02:09:49 PM »
Happy to see this thread since points of view tend to be a little all over the place online. I just made the leap into the pellet grill world last week, picking up a Pit Boss Navigator 850. I grabbed a 40 lb bag of Pit Boss competition blend from Lowe's for about $15 and didn't think much about the impact of the pellet brand. Now that I've done some cooking and more research, I'm curious to test out some different options.

Over the weekend I made some skirt steak and some burgers on high heat and noticed the temps tended to run a little higher than expected. I noticed that on both the internal thermometer probe and my own thermometer. The difference wasn't too bad, something I can live with for shorter cook times. I also cooked a pork butt for about 12 hours, and that was when I noticed bigger temp swings, about +- 20 degrees from my selected temp of 250.

I've seen plenty of comments online saying that's pretty standard and others saying temps should be more consistent. The meat turned out great, so maybe this isn't even a problem, but something tells me more consistency will always be better. Has anyone found pellets making a big difference in temp control?

On a related note, I found Bear Mountain BBQ last night via Instagram, and they're offering a buy one get one free deal with free shipping right now with promo code BOGO - https://bearmountainbbq.com/

I've only used Bear Mountain so far in my new GMG.  I'm about done with them, and am buying Cooking Pellets mixed blend.  In the little big of "research" I've done, they seem to be in the top three. It's also got a good price point compared to some of the highly rated. 

Nothing wrong with Bear Mountain.....just wanting to try a different brand.

https://outdoormancave.com/best-smoker-pellets/




rocky_warrior

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Re: Smoked Meats Matta
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2020, 02:16:12 PM »
Without running an experiment, I'd argue that scientifically it seems that is would be important to vary temperature a bit while smoking meat.  As temps rise, the meat will expand a bit . As temps cool, the meat will contract a bit, drawing in the smoky flavors from the exterior of the meat. . 

At least that's my hypothesis.
“Normal is an illusion. What's normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.”  -Morticia Addams

Hards_Alumni

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Re: Smoked Meats Matta
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2020, 02:27:32 PM »
Without running an experiment, I'd argue that scientifically it seems that is would be important to vary temperature a bit while smoking meat.  As temps rise, the meat will expand a bit . As temps cool, the meat will contract a bit, drawing in the smoky flavors from the exterior of the meat. . 

At least that's my hypothesis.

Bless your heart.

GooooMarquette

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Re: Smoked Meats Matta
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2020, 04:11:14 PM »
What if I’m a non-smoker?

real chili 83

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Re: Smoked Meats Matta
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2020, 06:42:18 PM »
What if I’m a non-smoker?

😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱

real chili 83

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Re: Smoked Meats Matta
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2020, 07:03:13 PM »
Happy to see this thread since points of view tend to be a little all over the place online. I just made the leap into the pellet grill world last week, picking up a Pit Boss Navigator 850. I grabbed a 40 lb bag of Pit Boss competition blend from Lowe's for about $15 and didn't think much about the impact of the pellet brand. Now that I've done some cooking and more research, I'm curious to test out some different options.

Over the weekend I made some skirt steak and some burgers on high heat and noticed the temps tended to run a little higher than expected. I noticed that on both the internal thermometer probe and my own thermometer. The difference wasn't too bad, something I can live with for shorter cook times. I also cooked a pork butt for about 12 hours, and that was when I noticed bigger temp swings, about +- 20 degrees from my selected temp of 250.

I've seen plenty of comments online saying that's pretty standard and others saying temps should be more consistent. The meat turned out great, so maybe this isn't even a problem, but something tells me more consistency will always be better. Has anyone found pellets making a big difference in temp control?

On a related note, I found Bear Mountain BBQ last night via Instagram, and they're offering a buy one get one free deal with free shipping right now with promo code BOGO - https://bearmountainbbq.com/

If your pit boss is WiFi enabled, try running a firmware update.. those are big temp swings. 

My GMG runs real consistent with temps, if I am to believe the manufacturer, it takes 10 temp readings per second, and adjusts.

skianth16

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Re: Smoked Meats Matta
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2020, 01:54:33 PM »
If your pit boss is WiFi enabled, try running a firmware update.. those are big temp swings. 

My GMG runs real consistent with temps, if I am to believe the manufacturer, it takes 10 temp readings per second, and adjusts.

I don't have a wifi connected grill, so a firmware update is out of the question, unfortunately.

I'm going to try some full chickens and maybe some ribs this weekend. I'm thinking that if the chicken doesn't dry out from the temp swings and still cooks in the usual 3-4 hours like it does on my charcoal smoker, then I won't be too concerned about the temperature swings.


skianth16

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Re: Smoked Meats Matta
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2020, 02:40:40 PM »
I'm actually thinking about getting a smoker. Why are the pellet burning ones so much more expensive than the charcoal ones?

What if I tried to burn pellets in this? What would happen: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Weber-18-in-Smokey-Mountain-Cooker-Smoker-in-Black-with-Cover-and-Built-In-Thermometer-721001/100657680?mtc=Shopping-B-F_D28I-G-D28I-28_22_BBQ_GRILL-MULTI-NA-Feed-LIA-NA-NA-BASE_SHP&cm_mmc=Shopping-B-F_D28I-G-D28I-28_22_BBQ_GRILL-MULTI-NA-Feed-LIA-NA-NA-BASE_SHP-71700000041074672-58700005017609607-92700048724469239&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0Pek_pLL6wIVEfDACh2BCw8NEAQYASABEgLc9PD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

I'm sure someone else can answer this in a more technical way, but the main reason pellet smokers are more expensive is because they're more complex. A standard charcoal smoker (aka water smoker) like the one you linked is basically a metal tube with some holes that allow you to control airflow; airflow controls the temperature. Pellet smokers control temperature by feeding pellets into a fire pot at varying rates using an electric auger system. Most of them have thermometers that read the internal temperature and adjust the rate at which the pellets are released to maintain the temperature you've selected. In short - the temperature controls are manual in a charcoal smoker and are more automated in a pellet smoker.

If you used pellets in a charcoal smoker, you would burn through them too quickly and wouldn't get a long, sustained smoke like you do with charcoal.

Skatastrophy

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Re: Smoked Meats Matta
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2020, 03:47:34 PM »
Coleman: There are pellet conversion kits for WSM's. There is an unlimited number of upgrades you can do to your WSM, actually. They have a following like honda civics. Put a wing on it for extra downforce.

Skianth: Regarding temp variation while smoking-  The biggest temp contributor in my experience has been wind and sun. A black box sitting in the sun/shad can easily vary 20 degrees in temp. Same with the wicked winds I get across my highrise balcony in Chicago. I wanted to bring that up so that you don't go to far down the pellet investigation path before just moving your cabinet into the shade.

real chili 83

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Re: Smoked Meats Matta
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2020, 06:17:00 PM »
I'm sure someone else can answer this in a more technical way, but the main reason pellet smokers are more expensive is because they're more complex. A standard charcoal smoker (aka water smoker) like the one you linked is basically a metal tube with some holes that allow you to control airflow; airflow controls the temperature. Pellet smokers control temperature by feeding pellets into a fire pot at varying rates using an electric auger system. Most of them have thermometers that read the internal temperature and adjust the rate at which the pellets are released to maintain the temperature you've selected. In short - the temperature controls are manual in a charcoal smoker and are more automated in a pellet smoker.

If you used pellets in a charcoal smoker, you would burn through them too quickly and wouldn't get a long, sustained smoke like you do with charcoal.

Agreed. It’s about control of combustion. Prices go up wth WiFi and phone aps.   And, the cook process is super easy to control...almost “fire and forget”

I had an electric smoker previously, which was nice. Nothing wrong with it. Good pellet smokers  can easily act as a grill too.  Electric is not designed for that.

real chili 83

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Re: Smoked Meats Matta
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2020, 06:19:14 PM »
Also, for cold temps, good manufacturers have an insulated coveR for cold temp operations.

rocket ALM surgeon

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Re: Smoked Meats Matta
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2020, 05:59:25 AM »
smoke em if ya gottem-yo chili! do you soak your chips before throwing them into the fire?  sometimes i do, but...
"you ever been to a caucus...no you haven't, you're a lying dog-faced pony soldier"

Hards_Alumni

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Re: Smoked Meats Matta
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2020, 07:31:43 AM »
smoke em if ya gottem-yo chili! do you soak your chips before throwing them into the fire?  sometimes i do, but...

Gotta soak em, you lazy bum!

skianth16

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Re: Smoked Meats Matta
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2020, 10:09:50 AM »
Skianth: Regarding temp variation while smoking-  The biggest temp contributor in my experience has been wind and sun. A black box sitting in the sun/shad can easily vary 20 degrees in temp. Same with the wicked winds I get across my highrise balcony in Chicago. I wanted to bring that up so that you don't go to far down the pellet investigation path before just moving your cabinet into the shade.

That's a pretty easy solve, so I'll give that a shot. Can't hurt. Thanks for the tip.

real chili 83

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Re: Smoked Meats Matta
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2020, 10:11:51 AM »
smoke em if ya gottem-yo chili! do you soak your chips before throwing them into the fire?  sometimes i do, but...

Soaking pellets would not produce a good outcome.

real chili 83

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Re: Smoked Meats Matta
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2020, 02:27:46 PM »
Bought a smoke tube yesterday. Goes on the grill tonight with pork chops.

Curious for tricks to light one when a propane torch isn’t available. 

skianth16

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Re: Smoked Meats Matta
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2020, 04:46:43 PM »

I'm going to try some full chickens and maybe some ribs this weekend. I'm thinking that if the chicken doesn't dry out from the temp swings and still cooks in the usual 3-4 hours like it does on my charcoal smoker, then I won't be too concerned about the temperature swings.

I tried my new Bear Mountain pellets this weekend and also used the smoke setting instead of setting the dial at 250, and my temps are way more stable this time. I'm guessing it has more to do with the smoke setting than the pellets, but wow, what a difference!

I played with the p settings a little, and settled on 3, which is giving me about a 240 temperature. The temps are pretty consistently with a 5 degree range now.

Coleman

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Re: Smoked Meats Matta
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2020, 02:52:48 PM »
Thank you all for the explanations. Very helpful

Galway Eagle

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Re: Smoked Meats Matta
« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2021, 11:54:12 AM »
Going to do my first brisket this Saturday and couldn't find the larger smoked meats thread.

Seasoning with Lawry's seasoned salt and pepper, injecting with homemade beef stock, smoking at 225.

Do I need to wrap it? Do I need to trim the fat? Should I brine it at all? Do I need a binder like mustard with ribs?
« Last Edit: September 02, 2021, 01:23:52 PM by Galway Eagle »
Maigh Eo for Sam

Skatastrophy

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Re: Smoked Meats Matta
« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2021, 12:23:10 PM »
For every new cut I'm smoking, I start with Jeff Phillips' website and go from there

https://www.smoking-meat.com/october-3-2019-the-wooster-brisket

He's selling his own rub, which you don't need, but he's never steered me wrong.

Get it? Steer? Ha