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Old 05-25-2007, 08:49 AM   #21
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One thing to remember, is that the Health Department, and some manufacturers, have a "Mother knows best" attitude towards the general public. The minimum safe temperature for chicken is 165 degrees F. However, the Health Department recommends that home cooks keep cooking chicken until it's around 175 - 180 degrees F. This is complete crap, as it results in dry, tough chicken that tastes like sawdust. The meat thermometer is also wrong.

This is another reason why I prefer to purchase equipment that just lists the temperature, not the spot where "they" feel it's done.

Doomsday, with no exhaust on your smoker, I feel you might have a problem with creosote depositing onto your meat. I made that mistake, once. I shut the exhaust on my smoker, and after 3 hours, a rack of ribs was as black as charcoal, and the temp never went above 250 degrees F.

You might want to consider taking a power drill and drilling a few 1/4" holes in the lid. This will do two things:

1) Provide an "exhaust" for the excess smoke.
2) Provide a quick access point for a probe thermometer, so you can accurately guage the temperature of your smoker.
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Old 05-25-2007, 09:40 AM   #22
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Doomsday...

Do NOT drill holes in your cooker! It was designed by the manufacturer to operate efficiently as is.

Excesss smoke is caused by poor fire control, or in your case using to much flavoring wood in your electric cooker. Solve the problem by mastering proper cooking techniques not by drilling holes.

Also temperatures are best measured at the cooking level not in the top of the lid where you will get high, misleading readings. In your particular electric cooker, if left to operate as it was designed to do, your temperature will remain a steady 225*
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Old 05-27-2007, 02:19 AM   #23
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I Did my test run friday and smoked some chicken thighs. It appears it took them about 3 1/2 hours to be done in the smoker. However, 1 hour of smoke did not seem to be enough for me. It ended up with a very very light smoke flavor (and I was using hickory). I think tomorrow I am going to try and smoke for about 2 hours and see how that goes. BTW, I used the chicken rub recipe that was suggested. It turned out pretty nice.

Thanks
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Old 05-27-2007, 08:40 AM   #24
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Good job Doomsday!

Get in there and "get your hands dirty"! Get aquainted with your cooker!
Keep a 'log book' of what you do and the results you get. Pretty soon you'll be truning out product that you and you family enjoy! Thats BBQing!!

Have Fun!!
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Old 05-27-2007, 11:22 AM   #25
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uncle bob nailed it on the head with a log book ..
its a science experiment .. write everything you can down ..
when i first got my smoker , i went out bought some cheap
leg quarters .. experimented with those until i found a heat/smoke
combo that worked for me ..
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Old 05-27-2007, 08:36 PM   #26
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I concur, and I do the same thing. When I try something new, I record the type of meat, weight, how long it cooked (in the smoker and in the oven, for the longer-cooked meats), and average temp.

I also do the same thing when I brine. I find that this helps immensely when planning to cook something big, and I already know how much brine to use, and what container to put it into, or when I'm brining a different cut of meat, but about the same size as something else.

This is also how caterers work. They'll keep records of how much food was prepped for a given party, how much was actually consumed, the number of people, type of event, and any other notes (like mostly older folks, lots of men, lots of kids, etc.)
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Old 05-27-2007, 10:20 PM   #27
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I feel sure the temp on my chicken was not accurate (was probably higher) as towards the end I kept opening the front door - I didn't check the back of the bird - I gauged by "wiggle" I know it's not accurate but I knew it was done after 7 hours.
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Old 05-30-2007, 09:38 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoomsDay
I Did my test run friday and smoked some chicken thighs. It appears it took them about 3 1/2 hours to be done in the smoker. However, 1 hour of smoke did not seem to be enough for me. It ended up with a very very light smoke flavor (and I was using hickory). I think tomorrow I am going to try and smoke for about 2 hours and see how that goes. BTW, I used the chicken rub recipe that was suggested. It turned out pretty nice.

Thanks
DoomsDay - I am a little late to respond, and being a BBQ novice myself, I thought I would point you to some experts on the topic. If you are willing, or experienced at USENET, visit the group alt.food.barbecue. They have an *EXCELLANT* faq on doing real BBQ, and even if they are a bit stuffy, they will help you when you have questions.

BTW, wasn't knocking the folks here as they are not only helpful, they are smart. ;-)

C
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Old 05-31-2007, 12:39 PM   #29
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DoomsDay
To keep the wood from bursting into flames use chips and place them in a foil packet, wrap tight and poke a couple of wholes in the top of the packet. That will keep the wood from burning but will supply smoke. Should make the temp control easier.

Jim
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Old 05-31-2007, 05:49 PM   #30
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Sundays attempt was very good. I had no heat problems at all, the soaking of the wood for 2 hours is keeping it from bursting into flames and is making it smolder very nicely. I did however try a different rub and sauce and everyone liked it a lot. My wife said she still preferred the first rub I did which was the one kitchenelf suggested. I was very happy that when I went to serve them they looked just like you would see on tv, nice and shiney and sticky with the bbq sauce I had on them.

I will be attempting some ribs this coming weekend so wish me luck. By golly I am going to make these things tender if I have to cook them for 30 hours hehe.

And thanks for the suggestion Casper, I am familiar with usenet and will check it out to...
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