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Old 05-31-2007, 10:01 PM   #31
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
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Originally Posted by kitchenelf

Soaked wood chunks (never use chips) will heat up and produce smoke
i'm interested in your arguments for using chunks over chips. i've expirimented with both and haven't felt strongly against chips

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Old 06-02-2007, 01:13 PM   #32
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Location: N. Ft. Myers, Fl
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Welcome to Discuss Cooking!
My first suggestion is... smoke is really only needed for the first hour to 2 hours. After that you will get that "Too Smoky" flavor.
Second suggestion... Get yourself a remote meat thermometer. You can leave it in and know what is going on with the interior of you meat.
Third suggestion... Use something other than mesquite or hickory. Both have a tendency to be over powering and bitter. Try instead a pecan, apple, or oak. More mild but definetly flavorful, without the bitter.
I always soak my wood. But I will use a beer/water combo and that way any steam that comes off the wood also will add to the overall flavor.
Good Luck and Happy Q-ing

Life is short.So eat great food!
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Old 06-10-2007, 09:51 AM   #33
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Location: Kansas City
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You are getting a lot of good info from the folks here on DC. I use the Brinkman charcoal bullet smoker most of the time when I smoke food. Most of the time it is only my wife and I, so I don't need to cook a large quantity. Although last weekend was our annual driveway bbq party and we had 80 100 guests. For that I borrowed a large cooker.
I purchased a digital food thermoter and I lay it on the cooking grill near the meat. I want to know the cooking temp inside the cooker. The guage on the Brinkman smoker is not much help. I cook a lot of Baby Backs and the bullet smoker can do a great job. I always remove the membrane from the ribs and I recently started to brine the rib for several hours before I put on the rub. The idea of using apple juice in the water pan is great. I also add apple juice to my brine.
I have found that hickory has a stronger smoke flavor than some of the other woods. My favorites are apple for poultry and fish and pecan for beef and pork. The pecan is a member of the hickory family but the smoke flavor is not nearly as strong. Using these woods, I usually keep it smoking almost the entire cooking time.
You can get a lot of helpful tips from others, but the best teacher is experience. Just keep trying 'til you are happy with the results. Then keep expermenting.
Good judgement comes from experience, and experience, well that comes from poor judgement!
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Old 06-17-2007, 11:41 PM   #34
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Join Date: May 2007
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Thanks for all the information. I was starting to get discouraged with my spare ribs attempts as my last attempt ended very badly. I cooked these ribs for almost 6 hours but they still wasn't where I wanted them to be in tenderness, They were close, but not what I was wanting. That aside, I had a major problem with the rub. I had made a big batch and this was the last bit of the rub that I was using and it turns out that most of the salt in the rub ended up in the bottom of the bag and made my spare ribs WAY to salty. I mean I am a salt lover and these things raised my blood pressure just looking at them.

A friend of mine who has the exact same smoker I do, gave me a recipe to try for baby back ribs. This one called for me to brine the meat over night and that is exactly what I did. I used the rub that was with the recipe and I was a bit disappointed in the taste. I found out I am not much of a summer savory fan on baby back ribs lol. The good news, I had roughly 3 pounds of baby backs and smoked them for roughly 5 hours and 20 minutes at 225 degrees. They turned out EXACTLY the way I wanted them to be for tenderness. They were not fall off the bone but when you bit into one the meat just fell right into your mouth with no pressure at all.

Ok, so things I have learned.

Summer savory on ribs is a no no.
The wood I used this last time was hickory but it was from very young trees out of my parents back yard. It imparted almost no flavor at all into the meat and I had it smoking for the entire 5 hours (3 small chunks of wood per 1 1/2 hours)
I think the most important one is to brine my meat the night before to get that texture that I want in a rib.

So now I have the texture down, now to find that ultimate rub to go on the meat

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