"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Outdoor Cooking Forum > BBQ & Smokin' Meats
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-13-2005, 08:03 PM   #1
Head Chef
 
htc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: USA,Oregon
Posts: 1,302
Electric Smoker - Help Please

Hi, I just borrowed my Dad's Totem Food Smoker and it didn't have a manual in the box. Can anyone help me? It's a metal box that has 3 grates and 1 tray in it. On the bottom is the electric element. I don't see that it has an on/off button.

I'm assuming I just plug it in and use it.

Can I use this smoker to do ribs, chicken, brisket, etc? I will try to post a picture of the smoker later.

Thanks a lot!!

__________________

__________________
htc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2005, 11:42 PM   #2
Senior Cook
 
lutzzz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Seattle/Edmonds
Posts: 177
Preheat the smoker for 15 minuets. Load the meat onto the racks. Place the loaded racks into your smoker trying to keep the thicker chunks on the lowest shelf.

Fill the small round chip pan with any flavor wood chip and place the full pan inside the smoker, directly on the element. Generally one full pan of chips will produce smoke for about one hour. It should be refilled after several hours, or as often as you like.

Keep the smoker plugged in for the length of time you prefer, but a general guide is to keep thick chunks of food (1" or more), for 8 to 12 hours while chunks under 1" should be ready in 6 to 8 hours.

Bear in mind that your smoker is probably only going to reach an internal temp of about 160 degrees,, so it's a SMOKER, not a "BBQ"er... so don't expect it to tenderize anything by long/slow smoking... it's going to cook and add smokey flavor PERIOD.

Great for tender foods, fish (especially salmon *yumm*), chicken, sausages, etc. you get the drift. I'd stay away from ribs and pork butt and stuff like that 'cause I don't think you can get them tender no matter how long you smoke them.. not enough heat.... but I'd use a thermometer,, if the internal temp of your smoker gets up to 200 degrees F or so, you'd be okay doing ribs & butts and maybe brisket too (might take forever though) .. 'cause you will need to get your meat to an internal food temp of perhaps 185-195, and even perhaps 200 for some briskets... to tenderize them...

That totally exhausts my limited knowledge of those small electric smokers.. good luck
__________________

__________________
"Never order chicken-fried steak in a cafe that doesn't have a jukebox."
lutzzz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2005, 10:22 AM   #3
Head Chef
 
htc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: USA,Oregon
Posts: 1,302
Lutzz, thanks for all of your help!

I wonder if I can boil the ribs and then put them in the smoker for flavor (?) Also, w/ regards to the pan with the chips, I put it directly on the element? I see a slot for the pan (I think). It has 4 slots total.

When I refill the chips every hour or so, do I toss out the old stuff? Or just add to it? Is there a general guideline I should use of how full of chips to make the tray?
__________________
htc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2005, 04:51 PM   #4
Chef Extraordinaire
 
kitchenelf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 19,725
Send a message via MSN to kitchenelf
Don't forget to soak your Hickory chunks (not chips) or whatever you are using and put them AROUND the electric element on the bottom. About 7 or 8 nice chunks will be plenty. I fill my drip pan/bowl with apple cider instead of water. I always used the theory of "heat rises" and put my thicker cuts on the upper rack. Mine, you plug in and then there is a knob on the part that plugs into the smoker that you turn to the correct temperature.

????Am I fooling myself with that theory?
You can boil your ribs but there's no need to IMHO.
__________________
kitchenelf

"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy
kitchenelf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2005, 04:57 PM   #5
Chef Extraordinaire
 
kitchenelf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 19,725
Send a message via MSN to kitchenelf
I found a picture of the Totem electric food smoker - quite different from the one I use so I don't know if my suggestions are valid for yours. My smoker has a couple grates, one on top of the other one instead of the shelves. On the bottom is the coil, on top of that sits the water bowl, then the grates above. My instructions say put wood chunks around the coils. I prefer chunks over the chips - don't have to add anymore unless you are going to smoke something for 18 hours or so. Then I'm still not sure I would add anymore as the flavor from the wood chunks has still permeated the food. I did make a pork butt too smokey one time by replacing the chunks about halfway through cooking - it wasn't good.
__________________
kitchenelf

"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy
kitchenelf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2005, 10:28 PM   #6
Head Chef
 
htc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: USA,Oregon
Posts: 1,302
Thanks for the post Elf! I went and bought chips today. I will try with chunks next time. I didn't get to try it though, it's raining a lot where I am!Do your ribs actually turn out pretty good. I got nervous that it would be smoky flavored but tough.
__________________
htc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2005, 01:09 AM   #7
Chef Extraordinaire
 
kitchenelf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 19,725
Send a message via MSN to kitchenelf
Ribs - low and slow. Just don't add too many chips. I have a friend that indirectly cooks them (she calls it smoking but she uses no wood but her pork shoulder or pork butt has a WONDERFUL smoke ring every time). I guess what I was trying to say is it doesn't take a lot of chips/chunks. I think you will find the chunks give it a much better flavor and not near as much labor required as the chips.
__________________
kitchenelf

"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy
kitchenelf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2005, 08:44 AM   #8
Executive Chef
 
Raine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 3,549
Smoke rings can be created chemically.
__________________
Raine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2005, 06:08 PM   #9
Head Chef
 
htc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: USA,Oregon
Posts: 1,302
RAinee, how are they created chemically? I don't get it...
__________________
htc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2005, 08:55 PM   #10
Executive Chef
 
AllenOK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA, Oklahoma
Posts: 3,463
A "smoke ring" is created by a chemical reaction between the protein in meat and nitrates in the smoke. You can chemically create a false smoke ring by adding some kind of nitrate to your dry rub. Sodium Nitrate (saltpeter) is probably the most commonly used. I have no idea how much would be required.
__________________

__________________
Peace, Love, and Vegetable Rights!
Eat Meat and Save the Plants!
AllenOK is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:53 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.