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Old 01-25-2007, 10:11 AM   #31
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Jim, I would like to say thanks for the Minion method. I have done ribs this way several times and they have been perfect every time!

Thanks Again!

Chris
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Old 01-25-2007, 10:18 AM   #32
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Chris

Thanks I'm glad it worked out, when cooking on WSMs and ceramic cookers I use it all the time.

Jim
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Old 01-25-2007, 10:18 AM   #33
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Jeekinz..

I address this not only to you but to all who in good time may pass through these hallowed halls in search of the "Holy Grail" of good BBQ...

I began my search many, many years ago like many of us just wanting to produce a good product for my family and friends to enjoy...That is still my primary objective today. I, like countless millions of American backyard "chefs"(due to misinformaton) began with the premise that "Mo is Betta"(smoke) So with chain saw and ax in hand I found the biggest hickory tree on land behind my house that I could find. With my new treasure(and some charcoal) I quickly fired up the cooker...and started "smokin". That old cooker was belching smoke that was reminiscent of steam locomotives of bygone days! Life was good!

After several hours of "stokin" my cooker to create more smoke(and a couple of neighbors calling to inquire as to whether or not my house was on fire) I carried my creation to the table!...All of a sudden... Life was NOT so good!
The kids ran into the kitchen to cook pizza!! The wife had a strange look on her face...my mouth seemed to be tasting persimmons or maybe quinine?.....In simple terms..TOTAL DISASTER.

The above is fact! Now for some supposition on my part!

I believe that my initial mistake(and there have been many others due to misinformation and misunderstanding) was the term "smoking" being asscociated with the cooking of meats, fish, etc. A hold over term that came from the process of curing meats(bacon, ham, etc) in the smoke house behind grand-daddy's house in years past.(which took days) It is my belief that we amatuer cooks would be better served if we eliminated the word from our vocabulary while standing behind the "Throne" of our cookers.(I still let it slip out at times) Using instead terms like bbqing(slow and low,with very little or no visiable smoke cooking) and grilling(fast and hot cooking). I am persuaded that our familys, friends, and neighbors would be much more apprecitiave of our efforts.

More opinion: Where does one go to learn the proper skills to master the art!
That's a fair question. If I wanted to learn the game of golf..I would want Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, etc to teach me! Not the local "Pro" at the country club who hasn't ever possessed a PGA card. Same thing with bbqing and grilling....I want the true "Pit Masters" the real "Keeper of the Coals" to teach me, to learn from. In a world full of misinformation driven by fame and fortune a few do exsit. My advice to all of us amateurs is to seek them out.
Most are more than willing...eager even...to share their knowledge of the art.

Finally enlightenment:
I am quoting C. Clark "Smokey" Hale.. a real American and Missisippian.

"Fortunately, the lamps of enlightenment have been relit and coals of sanity have been rekindled. More and more people are relearning a verity: Meat cooked in the smoke stream of burning wood get marred with cresols and phenols and other noxious volatiles which make good wood preservatives and disinfectants but, (just) don't taste good, even to the unskilled palate"

Wishing you speedy enlightenment and great bbqing!

Uncle Bob (Knights Templar, Jedi Knight and Watchman of the Woods)
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Old 01-26-2007, 03:59 PM   #34
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232 years of fighting fires.....I think i should know a little bit about smoke. Also if you think smoke is not un-condensed creosote you are mistaken. Some stuff will volatize that's true but the rest just flavors the food. Don't believe me try putting just the smallest drop of liquid smoke on your tongue. Then scrape some of the black stuff outta your chimney and take a wee taste of it. Similar?

That's why when I was teaching fire science I couldn't emphasize enough the importance of self-contained breathing apparatus and not smoking.

I will stand by my green wood as you must your dry mesquite. ;-) Nothing personal.
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Old 01-26-2007, 11:38 PM   #35
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With all your years of fighting fires I will conceed your knowledge of smoke.

here is what I know, green wood used in a wood stoves will build up creosote in the chimney and cause fires. When cooking with green wood the moisture released condenses on the inside of the cooker and on the food and leaves a flavor similar to what you are discribing.

After years of cooking with wood I would suggest that the wood be aged 6 mos to two years to be in the best condition to flavor food.

Mesquite personely is one of my least favorite woods to use, I perfer fruitwoods and pecan but like spices we all have those we like and dislike.
Jim
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Old 01-27-2007, 09:40 AM   #36
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MJK

I served as fire chief(small volunteer dept)for a short time many years ago.
Let me thank you and your brother firefighters for putting your lives on the line to protect life, limbs, and property on a daily basis.
Certainly I would yield to your expertise of fire science as it pertains to firefighting!

I do however agree with Jminion's previous comments on creosote formation etc. Let me add also that through experience(not science) "green" wood (used to produce a light smoke) produces a flavor that is quite offensive to my palate on food. I have only tried green pecan and hickory..so any other woods I could not comment on other than to assume they would produce the same results. Maybe not. Like Jim I have found that good seasoned(a minimum of 6 months, longer is better) wood produces a nice sweet flavor to meats on the cooker provided that the smoke is from a good clean fire.

We all have different taste...that is why they make apples and oranges
So if green wood suits your taste buds...then bon appetit
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Old 01-29-2007, 03:43 PM   #37
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Folks this has been a great discussion. First let me apologize for my typing that's 23 years and I am not Methuselah. It was all volunteer and I got out because of a young daughter. Green wood does produce creosote and that is why I like to use it with a hot charcoal fire. Small pieces, 3 inches long and about an inch in diameter. Apple and pear are my favorites. I soak it in a bucket overnight and add one piece at a time. I think a lot of people confuse smoking with barbequeing. In the olden days, and I knew some people who did this, they actually hung hams in their chimneys to smoke as a method of preservation. When the things were done they were black on the outside and the black was inedible. Sort of like coating a railroad tie with creosote. Dry wood will still produce the same chemicals. I believe the heat of the fire is most responsible for what compounds it produces. The cold fire with lots of smoke equals lots of chemicals to rapidly congeal and condense rather than being driven off. So, IMHO if you want to preserve something cold and green is the way to go. If you want to flavor something dry and hot might be better, but for flavor in my smoker hot and green fruit wood are the best bet. Years ago an old assistant chief who had been around the block a few times would be in charge of the Company's chicken barbeque. "Nutwood boys." is how he would instruct us. Charcoal was forbidden and ol Preb guarded that fire like his life depended on it. It was hands down the best barbequed chicken I ever ate. His sauce was another matter too but I won't get into that here. So whatever floats your boat or smokes your ribs. Great talkin with ya. What's next beef versus pork in a smoker? ;-)
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Old 01-29-2007, 09:21 PM   #38
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I have Barbecuing and cold smoking for years and I have never heard of this technique. I have studied the techniques used for hundreds of years and have not seen this method.

I've cold smoked sausgae, hams and bacon and have never considered coating the meat in creosote as desirable. But as you said whatever floats your boat. I'm not sure how this method translates to cooking pork butt and shoulders?
Jim
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Old 01-29-2007, 10:31 PM   #39
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I did some poking around and found the methods you are advocating. These methods can be found in writen material dating back to the 1400s. There is another factor you left out and that is the cure that was used. The meat would be rubed in a mixture of salt, brown sugar and salt peter, then be packed in tubs or barrels of course salt for 6 weeks.

Considering the cure available today that method of curing is very outdate.
The fact that we have refrigeration and cures like Tender Quick and insta-cures 1 and 2 the cure can take 2 to 3 days.

The fact they wanted to produce creasote was to keep the insects and rats out of the meat supply that may hang for two years in the Smoke house. You also had to keep an eye on the molds that would form, gray molds were ok but molds with color were poinosous. When you factor in the health concerns with this type of food preservation this is very hard on the body.

If we go back to the beginning of this thread it was about BBQing pork butt.
You eat the bark and is not going to be stored for year in the open, it would be frozen.

Jim
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