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Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 9th, 2020, 8:45 am
by Mike Davila
Lee Short wrote:
May 6th, 2020, 9:45 pm
jordan whitehead wrote:
May 6th, 2020, 4:30 pm
Mike Davila wrote:
April 30th, 2020, 4:18 pm
Doing a pork shoulder on the stumps tonight, resting right now, will pull in about 15 minutes.
I so much want to smoke a high quality brisket, but have to wait for a crowd as it is only the two of us.
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leftover BBQ rules
Agreed. Even better than leftover pizza. Works so many ways. Add a fried egg and some onions and some salsa, and you've got the best breakfast tacos.
OK I’ll tackle a brisket soon! We eat leftovers of the butt and also froze some so I can do the same with the brisket.
The butt turned out really well, I didn’t have the ingredients to make my own rub and resorted to a store bought one my wife had bought. What surprised me a bit was it didn’t contain any sugar and maybe a bit more salt/pepper than what I mix up. Added 1/3 cup of melted salted butter to my injection and was very pleased with the results.
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Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 9th, 2020, 12:58 pm
by K_F_o_l_e_y
MitchTallan wrote:
April 27th, 2020, 6:10 am
I am sorry to sound like a broken record but pellet burners are like fake fireplaces
Given how many people have won the Jack Daniel's BBQ championship with pellet smokers, that's not a very strong argument.

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 9th, 2020, 4:37 pm
by Bill Tex Landreth
E0AB862E-050D-4394-849B-A59FCE72EC10.jpeg
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Weber Ranch Kettle for four hours, wrap and then into a 225 degree oven until done. I say it works for me.

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 10th, 2020, 12:06 am
by jordan whitehead
K_F_o_l_e_y wrote:
May 9th, 2020, 12:58 pm
MitchTallan wrote:
April 27th, 2020, 6:10 am
I am sorry to sound like a broken record but pellet burners are like fake fireplaces
Given how many people have won the Jack Daniel's BBQ championship with pellet smokers, that's not a very strong argument.
competition bbq is too manipulated that smoker is less of a concern

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 10th, 2020, 12:56 am
by GregP
jordan whitehead wrote:
May 10th, 2020, 12:06 am
K_F_o_l_e_y wrote:
May 9th, 2020, 12:58 pm
MitchTallan wrote:
April 27th, 2020, 6:10 am
I am sorry to sound like a broken record but pellet burners are like fake fireplaces
Given how many people have won the Jack Daniel's BBQ championship with pellet smokers, that's not a very strong argument.
competition bbq is too manipulated that smoker is less of a concern
The only thing smoker should really provide is a steady state temperature as dialed in. No magic. Way too much elitism on display when the only thing that matters is the end product.

But, hey, I use electric and cook way more foods/dishes than anyone here variety wise, so what the hell do I know... Carry on.

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 10th, 2020, 6:51 am
by Bill Tex Landreth
GregP wrote:
May 10th, 2020, 12:56 am
jordan whitehead wrote:
May 10th, 2020, 12:06 am
K_F_o_l_e_y wrote:
May 9th, 2020, 12:58 pm


Given how many people have won the Jack Daniel's BBQ championship with pellet smokers, that's not a very strong argument.
competition bbq is too manipulated that smoker is less of a concern
The only thing smoker should really provide is a steady state temperature as dialed in. No magic. Way too much elitism on display when the only thing that matters is the end product.

But, hey, I use electric and cook way more foods/dishes than anyone here variety wise, so what the hell do I know... Carry on.
What do you know? How about arrogance?

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 10th, 2020, 7:00 am
by MitchTallan
The only thing smoker should really provide is a steady state temperature as dialed in. No magic. Way too much elitism on display when the only thing that matters is the end product.
So utterly false. You are describing an oven. Whether the smoke comes from real wood matters. The type of wood and it's quality matters. Whether the smoke comes from that wood burning rather than smoldering matters. How the smoke flows under, over, or around the meat matters. Whether the smoker is designed to add humidity (water pan) matters. Where the meat sits relative to the heat source matters. How much air space is available around the piece of meat matters.
Given the design principles of any true wood burning smoker, it is the skill of the user using that particular smoker design that matters. I again use the camera-photographer example. The camera needs to be good and the photographer needs to know how to use it.
Everything said above comes from Aaron Franklin's book. If you wish to say Aaron Franklin is wrong, go ahead.
I don't doubt for a second you can get great results from a pellet smoker. It's like being able to get a great photo from an iPhone. Aaron Franklin's brisket would not taste as good though from a pellet smoker. So again, there is convenience and there is ultimate quality potential and the two overlap with the latter extending above and beyond the former at the expense of needing to hone one's craft with a great deal of experience and effort.
Did Brad Trent become a great photographer using an easy-to-use simplistic camera?

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 10th, 2020, 7:20 am
by dcornutt
People who use the tool they are given can make some amazing things happen. This includes photographers with an iPhone camera. I personally think the ability to get smoke happening and temperature control are the most important to me. I can't really tend a fire. I live next to the Chattahoochie National Forest. It is a US government forest with pretty firm rules on fires. That makes using an offset wood smoker impossible. I have made some amazing brisket using Aaron Franklin's rub (salt/pepper 50/50) and 235F smoke. He uses 275F and a less controlled wood fire. Not sure I could duplicate that. The most important thing in brisket smoking in my minor experience at this is the quality of beef. Painted Hills is better than CAB which is better than Costco prime which is better than generic angus.
The quality of the brisket has never been the smoker. Always the quality of the beef. Just my experience.

BTW, gorgeous brisket Bill.

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 21st, 2020, 5:10 pm
by Jay Selman
I have used a stick burner for roughly 25 years years and it took me 15 of those years to develop proficiency. They are definitely more time intensive and require a much higher skill set than a pellet smoker. The crux of the arguments against pellet smokers tend to fall into 2 categories. One of those categories tends to be some version of it’s too easy, I am a purist, it’s a cheat, it doesn’t require much skill etc. All of these are true but obviously have nothing to do with the quality of the end result. it’s basically “I don’t like the concept”.

The other category of arguments against the pellet smoker tends to be that they don’t produce enough smoke. Pellet smokers definitely need to run at a lower temperature to produce satisfactory amount of smoke. So there is a bit of substance to this argument.

One small advantage that a pellet smoker has over a stick burner is that a pellet is less vulnerable to user error.

Again, I use a stick burner and I’m happy with it but to be dismissive of pellet smokers and the accolades they have received in barbecue championships seems a bit strange.

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 21st, 2020, 6:03 pm
by MitchTallan
Jay Selman wrote:
May 21st, 2020, 5:10 pm
I have used a stick burner for roughly 25 years years and it took me 15 of those years to develop proficiency. They are definitely more time intensive and require a much higher skill set than a pellet smoker. The crux of the arguments against pellet smokers tend to fall into 2 categories. One of those categories tends to be some version of it’s too easy, I am a purist, it’s a cheat, it doesn’t require much skill etc. All of these are true but obviously have nothing to do with the quality of the end result. it’s basically “I don’t like the concept”.

The other category of arguments against the pellet smoker tends to be that they don’t produce enough smoke. Pellet smokers definitely need to run at a lower temperature to produce satisfactory amount of smoke. So there is a bit of substance to this argument.

One small advantage that a pellet smoker has over a stick burner is that a pellet is less vulnerable to user error.

Again, I use a stick burner and I’m happy with it but to be dismissive of pellet smokers and the accolades they have received in barbecue championships seems a bit strange.
So call me strange Jay. Your premise is flawed however. No, it does not consist of only the two "arguments" you categorize. You left out the argument that pellets produce a decent result but never a great result.
Let's step wayyyyy back. BBQ is so incredibly basic. Three variations of pork ribs (spares, St. Louis, and bb), one cut of beef (brisket) and pork shoulder. Everything after that is an outlier, and not fundamental BBQ. Over a hundred years of deeply loved tradition, one can not separate the product and the method. You say otherwise. Fine. I don't care a bit. BBQ is like religion. I wouldn't dare say you are wrong. Just don't call my religion "strange".

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 21st, 2020, 6:18 pm
by Adam Noble
Salmon. Trout. Pastrami. Montreal smoked meat. Oysters. Sablefish. Turkey. Gouda.

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 21st, 2020, 6:20 pm
by Jay Selman
MitchTallan wrote:
May 21st, 2020, 6:03 pm
Jay Selman wrote:
May 21st, 2020, 5:10 pm
I have used a stick burner for roughly 25 years years and it took me 15 of those years to develop proficiency. They are definitely more time intensive and require a much higher skill set than a pellet smoker. The crux of the arguments against pellet smokers tend to fall into 2 categories. One of those categories tends to be some version of it’s too easy, I am a purist, it’s a cheat, it doesn’t require much skill etc. All of these are true but obviously have nothing to do with the quality of the end result. it’s basically “I don’t like the concept”.

The other category of arguments against the pellet smoker tends to be that they don’t produce enough smoke. Pellet smokers definitely need to run at a lower temperature to produce satisfactory amount of smoke. So there is a bit of substance to this argument.

One small advantage that a pellet smoker has over a stick burner is that a pellet is less vulnerable to user error.

Again, I use a stick burner and I’m happy with it but to be dismissive of pellet smokers and the accolades they have received in barbecue championships seems a bit strange.
So call me strange Jay. Your premise is flawed however. No, it does not consist of only the two "arguments" you categorize. You left out the argument that pellets produce a decent result but never a great result.
Let's step wayyyyy back. BBQ is so incredibly basic. Three variations of pork ribs (spares, St. Louis, and bb), one cut of beef (brisket) and pork shoulder. Everything after that is an outlier, and not fundamental BBQ. Over a hundred years of deeply loved tradition, one can not separate the product and the method. You say otherwise. Fine. I don't care a bit. BBQ is like religion. I wouldn't dare say you are wrong. Just don't call my religion "strange".
I feel the attitude is strange not you personally. I don’t know you. What made this about you? I apologize for my my poor communication skills, it was not my intent.

By strange I meant I can not understand the underlying reasoning of why a pellet smoker would produce inferior results. Unlike religion, I don’t really feel strongly about differences.

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 22nd, 2020, 8:35 am
by Mike Evans
MitchTallan wrote:
May 21st, 2020, 6:03 pm
Jay Selman wrote:
May 21st, 2020, 5:10 pm
I have used a stick burner for roughly 25 years years and it took me 15 of those years to develop proficiency. They are definitely more time intensive and require a much higher skill set than a pellet smoker. The crux of the arguments against pellet smokers tend to fall into 2 categories. One of those categories tends to be some version of it’s too easy, I am a purist, it’s a cheat, it doesn’t require much skill etc. All of these are true but obviously have nothing to do with the quality of the end result. it’s basically “I don’t like the concept”.

The other category of arguments against the pellet smoker tends to be that they don’t produce enough smoke. Pellet smokers definitely need to run at a lower temperature to produce satisfactory amount of smoke. So there is a bit of substance to this argument.

One small advantage that a pellet smoker has over a stick burner is that a pellet is less vulnerable to user error.

Again, I use a stick burner and I’m happy with it but to be dismissive of pellet smokers and the accolades they have received in barbecue championships seems a bit strange.
So call me strange Jay. Your premise is flawed however. No, it does not consist of only the two "arguments" you categorize. You left out the argument that pellets produce a decent result but never a great result.
Let's step wayyyyy back. BBQ is so incredibly basic. Three variations of pork ribs (spares, St. Louis, and bb), one cut of beef (brisket) and pork shoulder. Everything after that is an outlier, and not fundamental BBQ. Over a hundred years of deeply loved tradition, one can not separate the product and the method. You say otherwise. Fine. I don't care a bit. BBQ is like religion. I wouldn't dare say you are wrong. Just don't call my religion "strange".
If you really want to step back to fundamentals, BBQ is a whole hog on a pit. Anything beyond that, but particularly brisket or any other cut of beef, is a recent innovation.

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 22nd, 2020, 10:35 am
by Bill Tex Landreth
Like this?

Image

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 22nd, 2020, 10:36 am
by Jay Selman
[snort.gif]
Bill Tex Landreth wrote:
May 22nd, 2020, 10:35 am
Like this?

Image
Yes

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 22nd, 2020, 10:36 am
by Bill Tex Landreth
It was tasty.

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 22nd, 2020, 11:36 am
by Scott Watkins
Robert M yers wrote:
April 29th, 2020, 7:02 pm
Robert M yers wrote:
April 25th, 2020, 1:33 am
Does anybody have thoughts about the Pit Barrel Cooker? Almost seems too good to be true?

https://amazingribs.com/smoker/pit-barrel-cooker-review
I’m about to pull the trigger on one of these. Cheap, good review, and actually available locally. I’m off of work for a week so I need something to do. Has anybody seen one in action?
Yes picked one up a few weeks ago, so far I have cooked ribs, pork chops, a bird and a pork shoulder with amazing results imho. Really happy so far!

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 22nd, 2020, 5:44 pm
by J. Rock
I made a smoked chicken pot pie a couple of nights ago on my new Grilla Chimp (smoked the chicken at around 200 degrees for a little over 2 hours, then finished cooking the chicken on the stovetop in some left over homemade chicken stock I had [the smoke flavor infused into the stock]). It was reallllllly great.

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 23rd, 2020, 8:53 am
by Mike Davila
Jay Selman wrote:
May 21st, 2020, 5:10 pm
I have used a stick burner for roughly 25 years years and it took me 15 of those years to develop proficiency. They are definitely more time intensive and require a much higher skill set than a pellet smoker. The crux of the arguments against pellet smokers tend to fall into 2 categories. One of those categories tends to be some version of it’s too easy, I am a purist, it’s a cheat, it doesn’t require much skill etc. All of these are true but obviously have nothing to do with the quality of the end result. it’s basically “I don’t like the concept”.

The other category of arguments against the pellet smoker tends to be that they don’t produce enough smoke. Pellet smokers definitely need to run at a lower temperature to produce satisfactory amount of smoke. So there is a bit of substance to this argument.

One small advantage that a pellet smoker has over a stick burner is that a pellet is less vulnerable to user error.

Again, I use a stick burner and I’m happy with it but to be dismissive of pellet smokers and the accolades they have received in barbecue championships seems a bit strange.
You hit upon the reason I didn’t go with a pellet smoker, and that is they make more smoke at low heat. I like to cook a prime rib roast on low heat (around 200 degrees) on my smoker. I want some smoke but not too much. For beef I’ll use mesquite which IMO has a pretty strong smoke flavor so I take it easy on how much I use, just a couple of chunks.

However, Pellet smokers make impressive conventional BBQ, just Google “Ban pellet smokers from competition BBQ” and there are a number of stories of old time stick guys moving to pellets. If you can’t beat them, join them type of thing.

My first smoker around 40 years ago was a charcoal bullet type with a water pan and I replaced it with a second one. Cooked some amazing whole turkeys, but at the time I did ribs on my charcoal Webber kettle.

I then went electric with a Bradley that used compressed wooden pucks. I liked the way I could cold smoke on it by just running the puck heater. It was convenient, automatic and easy to control the amount of smoke and simple clean-up, but I didn’t like the flavor of the smoke. The pucks also seemed to loose their “flavor” pretty quickly after opening a new pack.

I now have a Stumps baby with a BBQ guru which automates the operation. I’m able to do the slow smoke on a beef roast that I wanted to do and I like cooking with charcoal. What I don’t like about it is the clean-up when I’m done.

I’ve never cooked on a stick smoker so I don’t have an opinion one way or the other about them. But every type of smoker has its pros and cons, you just have to decide what’s important to you and understand that may not be what’s important to someone else.

I don’t believe there is one holy grail that checks all of the boxes.

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 23rd, 2020, 8:58 am
by JDavisRoby
I will be doing an 8lb bone in pork butt in my Traeger, various veggies and pheasant (from a shoot right before COVID) in my Bradley and two racks of ribs on my Weber Kettle starting late tonight for a mid-afternoon feast tomorrow.

Not sure where that puts me in the above discussion.

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 23rd, 2020, 9:33 am
by Jay Selman
JDavisRoby wrote:
May 23rd, 2020, 8:58 am
I will be doing an 8lb bone in pork butt in my Traeger, various veggies and pheasant (from a shoot right before COVID) in my Bradley and two racks of ribs on my Weber Kettle starting late tonight for a mid-afternoon feast tomorrow.

Not sure where that puts me in the above discussion.
Sounds exciting. I’m in the market for a pellet smoker to complement my stick burner. Considering many brands.

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 23rd, 2020, 9:43 am
by Todd F r e n c h
Jay Selman wrote:
May 23rd, 2020, 9:33 am
JDavisRoby wrote:
May 23rd, 2020, 8:58 am
I will be doing an 8lb bone in pork butt in my Traeger, various veggies and pheasant (from a shoot right before COVID) in my Bradley and two racks of ribs on my Weber Kettle starting late tonight for a mid-afternoon feast tomorrow.

Not sure where that puts me in the above discussion.
Sounds exciting. I’m in the market for a pellet smoker to complement my stick burner. Considering many brands.
very pleased with my Camp Chef - viewtopic.php?p=2962749#p2962749

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 23rd, 2020, 8:01 pm
by Robert M yers
Scott Watkins wrote:
May 22nd, 2020, 11:36 am
Robert M yers wrote:
April 29th, 2020, 7:02 pm
Robert M yers wrote:
April 25th, 2020, 1:33 am
Does anybody have thoughts about the Pit Barrel Cooker? Almost seems too good to be true?

https://amazingribs.com/smoker/pit-barrel-cooker-review
I’m about to pull the trigger on one of these. Cheap, good review, and actually available locally. I’m off of work for a week so I need something to do. Has anybody seen one in action?
Yes picked one up a few weeks ago, so far I have cooked ribs, pork chops, a bird and a pork shoulder with amazing results imho. Really happy so far!
Cool! I haven’t pulled the trigger yet but I’m still planning on it.

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 26th, 2020, 10:11 am
by Nola Palomar
Still very happy with my small Smokin Tex!!

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 27th, 2020, 6:11 am
by MitchTallan
Well, I find myself needing to buy a pellet pooper.
A good friend who happens to work for my major client is moving to TN.
He called me yesterday asking for advice on a pellet burner. He was at a weekend getaway and the host had a pellet burner with WiFi alerts.
He said he was amazed by the pork butts that they cooked and he intended to buy one.
I need to get him a going away gift. Which one?
Todd, I looked at your Camp Chef and I don't see anything about WiFi. Does yours have that?

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 27th, 2020, 6:19 am
by JDavisRoby
I have the smaller Traeger and love it. But, no WiFi. I use a Weber thermometer with Bluetooth to monitor.

BTW, local grill store recommended I switch to BBQ Delight pellets. They’ve stopped selling Traeger pellets due to allegations of Traeger using oils from the labeled wood rather than the actual wood. Used a mix of their hickory and cherry pellets for a pork butt this weekend and it was maybe one of my best yet.

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 28th, 2020, 8:26 am
by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow
You've just pointed out one of the serious downsides to anything using/requiring pellets. Too many potential variables, including cost and integrity.

The smokin tex I have (and its ilk) takes out that element. You buy solid wood of your choosing; cut it to size; and that becomes a non-issue.

Why add complications to the process!

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 28th, 2020, 9:12 am
by K_F_o_l_e_y
JDavisRoby wrote:
May 27th, 2020, 6:19 am
I have the smaller Traeger and love it. But, no WiFi. I use a Weber thermometer with Bluetooth to monitor.

BTW, local grill store recommended I switch to BBQ Delight pellets. They’ve stopped selling Traeger pellets due to allegations of Traeger using oils from the labeled wood rather than the actual wood. Used a mix of their hickory and cherry pellets for a pork butt this weekend and it was maybe one of my best yet.
I wouldn't necessarily believe anything that comes from a lawsuit involving a competitor company.

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 28th, 2020, 9:29 am
by James Sanders
MitchTallan wrote:
May 27th, 2020, 6:11 am
Well, I find myself needing to buy a pellet pooper.
A good friend who happens to work for my major client is moving to TN.
He called me yesterday asking for advice on a pellet burner. He was at a weekend getaway and the host had a pellet burner with WiFi alerts.
He said he was amazed by the pork butts that they cooked and he intended to buy one.
I need to get him a going away gift. Which one?
Todd, I looked at your Camp Chef and I don't see anything about WiFi. Does yours have that?
I received one of the Traeger pro models as a gift a few weeks ago. It has WiFi.

I have always cooked charcoal on various Webers. So far, I've done a Snake River Farms Wagyu brisket and Nieman baby back ribs on the Traeger, both loosely following Franklin's approach. I'm starting to believe.

Re: Smoker - what to purchase?

Posted: May 28th, 2020, 11:59 am
by MitchTallan
I am thinking the Traeger Pro 575.
Again, this is NOT for me.
Btw, pellet fans, while this is doing it's thing, does it smell like meat is smoking?
You do know what I am referring to, right?
I love the smell that my smokers put out during the whole process-the smell of just wood smoke and then combined wood and meat aromas.
Again, the process is more rewarding than the result for me.
It is the same when I am cooking in the kitchen. You can joke that maybe is because I am not that good of a cook. You might even be correct.