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Old 01-03-2004, 02:13 PM   #1
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Smok'n questions

Just got my first smoker. A vertical electric Char-Broil. Since I'm a rookie I'd like to get off on the right track by talking to the pro's on how best to use it to smoke chicken and pork?

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Old 01-03-2004, 08:49 PM   #2
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hi bird,
for chicken & pork i like to smoke with apple, hickory, oak, or pecan chunks or chips. you'll want to use milder woods--mesquite tends to overpower anything except beef, IMHO, but experiment & see what you like.
can't help you too much on actually using the smoker--i use strictly charcoal in all my smokers & grills & haven't used an electric one before.

for chicken (assuming your cooking a whole chicken here), i like to do it several ways. one easy & great tasting way is to do a beer can chicken with a barbecue rub.
there are lots of good commercial bbq rubs out there but they're easy and fun to invent yourself--here is one i made up the other day. you can also make a very simple and tasty bbq rub with equal parts kosher salt, paprika, and sugar.
to do a bbq beer can chicken, you wash the chicken the dry it with paper towels, sprinkle the chicken with the rub and pat it in with your hands/fingers. Then crack open a beer & drink half of it (this is the most fun step). you can saw the top off the beer can or poke holes in it, but this isn't absolutely necessary. now put a good tsp or 2 of the rub into the half-filled beer can. insert the beer can into the business end of the chicken, & set the chicken on the cooking grate--the can along with the legs kind of forms a tripod. smoke according to the manufacturers directions (that's the manufacturer of the smoker, not the chicken ).
i've got some more good ways to cook chicken if you want them. just say the word.
for pork--what kind of pork are you wanting to do? ribs, shoulder, ham, loin or tenderloin, etc? i've got some good recipes for all of them, so just let me know.
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Old 01-04-2004, 01:51 AM   #3
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Thanks for the tips, and the bbq recipe...before picking up your post about the beer can chicken - right or wrong I had to try something. I picked up a 7lb roaster chicken that had a ready popper, split it in half, rubbed with olive oil, sprinkled it heavely with spices and placed it on alumimun foil on the top shelf. Placed soaked mesquite chips near the burner element and filled the water bowl. I started smoken it 6-hours ago. It's now 1:27am, the bird smells great, the popper still hasn't popped yet and I'm not going to bed until its done and part of it is in my rumbling belly.

How long should a 7lb chicken take? I was thinking 3-4 hours. I'm assuming the popper would still be reliable in a smoker!?!?!?!

As for pork, I like it all, but right now I'd like to keep it simple. Would appreciate any 'simple' recipes you may have.
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Old 01-04-2004, 02:49 AM   #4
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DARN DEFECTIVE POPPER!

At 2:15am I couldn't take it any more. Picked up a half off the smoker rack with a fork and the meat fell off the bone. The meat was still moist, and ah so tastey. I think I'll be smok'n again real soon...but using a meat thermometer.

Should I had been replacing the mesquite chips after a period of time?
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Old 01-04-2004, 11:40 AM   #5
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darn technology! one possibility is that when the wood smoke collects on certain surfaces it kind of becomes a sticky, gummy film which may have caused the popper not to work...or you just got a defective one. Glad your food turned out good!
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Should I had been replacing the mesquite chips after a period of time?
yes, if there is no more smoke coming out of the smoker, then it's time to replace the wood chips--unless you want a less-heavily smoked taste.
Here's a simple recipe for ribs: trim the ribs & marinate them overnight in lemon juice & apple cider. when you're ready to smoke them dry them off, put a bbq rub on, and smoke them to within about 30 minutes of being done. at this point you can decide if you want more "Memphis-Style" or "Kansas City" style ribs--if you simply continue cooking them, leaving them 'dry' then you've got Memphis-style. If you slather them with bbq sauce while the finish cooking, you've got KC style.
This recipe will also work with chicken & other cuts of pork.
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Old 01-04-2004, 01:28 PM   #6
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More great tips - lemon juice & apple cider - WOW! Thanks again!

Is there a guide on-line that depicts cooking times when using an electric smoker?
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Old 01-04-2004, 08:56 PM   #7
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Bird;
Although everyone else on this board is probably tired of me doing this...but I recommend a probe type thermometer. You insert the probe, set the alarm to go off when the desired temp is reached and voila! Perfectly done every time!
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Old 01-04-2004, 09:09 PM   #8
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i'm not tired of it yet, BubbaGourmet--it's good advice!
i've been using standard digital thermometers for years and finally bought a probe one just a few months ago. I love it--besides the convenience, it will actually shorten your cooking time because you don't have to keep opening the smoker (letting out heat) to check the temp.
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Old 01-04-2004, 11:37 PM   #9
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Thank to all of you for your Great advice on this post as well as others. You've got me started on the right foot, and me (and my family) :D are looking forward to more smoked meals.
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