"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 02-02-2011, 03:52 PM   #11
Admiral of the Texas Navy
 
forty_caliber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Republic of Texas
Posts: 3,412
Quote:
Originally Posted by chopper View Post
I googled the Traeger, and there are many different models. Do you think the smaller ones are worth my buying, or would it be better to get something better. You know...would the smaller ones work as well, just smaller? I would just love to get a smoker this summer, but I know nothing about buying one. Sometimes I just cook for two, but other times it is common for me to be cooking for up to 8. What dso you think?
Actually, I have the smallest Traeger model available. With the digital upgrade it was around $450. I specifically chose the smaller one because it uses less fuel to maintain temperature. I usually only cook for 4 but sometimes cook for 8-10 when we have guests.

I can easily fit 2 7-10 pound boston butt for pulled pork, 2 brisket, or 4 tri-tips. Using the rack method I could also put 12 (double row) of chicken fillets or pork chops...about 6 pounds. Also, with the racks it will fit 3 whole baby-back ribs. It won't fit a whole turkey but can do 2 whole turkey breasts.

Hardwood pellets run about $18 for 20 pounds. I can get about 25 hours of low temp smoke time. Although it can achieve higher temps it burns your fuel too fast so it doesn't really make a good grill. Cooking for two it would be more cost effective (fuel wise) to cook larger batches and plan meals ahead.

Never use previously frozen meats in a smoker, always use FRESH. It can result in dry rubbery meat.

.40
__________________

__________________
"I must say as to what I have seen of Texas it is the garden spot of the world. The best land and the best prospects for health I ever saw, and I do believe it is a fortune to any man to come here."
Davy Crockett, 1836
forty_caliber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2011, 06:18 PM   #12
Executive Chef
 
chopper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 4,345
Great to know the thing about the frozen meat. I never would have figured that one out! Also, is the small one the Junior? The one you have sounds plenty big enough. Thanks for the info.
__________________

__________________
No matter where I serve my guests, it seems they like my kitchen best!
chopper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2011, 08:23 AM   #13
Senior Cook
 
BigAL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: W.KS
Posts: 417
I've smoked alot of meat that has been frozen, never had a problem. But, I never cook/smoke below 220 and that could be the difference. Different strokes....

.40, does yours have the round or square side box/pellet hopper?

Also, you can get cheaper pellets......ya just gotta get a pallet. I bought a about 1/2 pallet last yr and it was $12/20#bag delivered. I was think'n last yr they were about $18-$20/bag, local.
__________________
BigAL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2011, 11:00 AM   #14
Admiral of the Texas Navy
 
forty_caliber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Republic of Texas
Posts: 3,412
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAL View Post
I've smoked alot of meat that has been frozen, never had a problem. But, I never cook/smoke below 220 and that could be the difference. Different strokes....

.40, does yours have the round or square side box/pellet hopper?

Also, you can get cheaper pellets......ya just gotta get a pallet. I bought a about 1/2 pallet last yr and it was $12/20#bag delivered. I was think'n last yr they were about $18-$20/bag, local.
It is the "junior" (poorly named for such a capable tool) model and it has the square side box. I looked at having some bulk pellets delivered and even though its a better price I really don't have a place to put that many.

Glad you are not having a problem with the frozen. It's a fact that ice crystals break down cellular walls during the freezing process and this results in loss of fluids. That's why there is so much juice in a package of thawed meat. So to retain the most possible moisture content it's best to use fresh meat for smoking, grilling, or other dry heat method of cooking.

Braising on the other hand is a great way to prepare frozen meats. A method of preparing foods on a smoker using braising is sometimes called the Texas Crutch. By adding a liquid (apple juice) and tightly wrapping the meat in foil and one can keep high moisture content at the expense of a crispy bark. Most often this would be used during the last half of the cooking time. The purists among us think of this as cheating.

.40
__________________
"I must say as to what I have seen of Texas it is the garden spot of the world. The best land and the best prospects for health I ever saw, and I do believe it is a fortune to any man to come here."
Davy Crockett, 1836
forty_caliber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 07:52 AM   #15
Senior Cook
 
BigAL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: W.KS
Posts: 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by forty_caliber View Post
It is the "junior" (poorly named for such a capable tool) model and it has the square side box. I looked at having some bulk pellets delivered and even though its a better price I really don't have a place to put that many.

Glad you are not having a problem with the frozen. It's a fact that ice crystals break down cellular walls during the freezing process and this results in loss of fluids. That's why there is so much juice in a package of thawed meat. So to retain the most possible moisture content it's best to use fresh meat for smoking, grilling, or other dry heat method of cooking.

Braising on the other hand is a great way to prepare frozen meats. A method of preparing foods on a smoker using braising is sometimes called the Texas Crutch. By adding a liquid (apple juice) and tightly wrapping the meat in foil and one can keep high moisture content at the expense of a crispy bark. Most often this would be used during the last half of the cooking time. The purists among us think of this as cheating.

.40
I use foil when I do my briskets, now. Used to do it the regular way when I did packers all the time. Now I like to do flats and use a foil pan and alum foil after the meat hits anywhere from 150-170, about the "stubborn" stage. We like to separate the fat out and make au jus outta the juice. No bark, but when we want a bark I do a packer and make burt ends outta the point.

I think I could try a side by side w/the chicken I get. The brisket and spare ribs are hard to tell if they have ever been frozen. I'm almost 100% sure that the ribs I get have been frozen. Plus I buy these when they are on sale and stock up the freezer. Same w/boston butts.

What are you smoke'n this weekend? Don't forget the pix!
__________________
BigAL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 10:54 AM   #16
Senior Cook
 
FincaPerlitas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica, Central America
Posts: 285
For those new to smoking meats, or interested in learning about smokers and techniques for smoking, here are some great links:

The best all around informational website I know of is www.amazingribs.com. Loaded with great information on every aspect of smoking and grilling, including equipment, techniques and recipes, I highly recommend this website.

Another excellent resource is the Weber Virtual Bullet: Cooking Topics - The Virtual Weber Bullet. Although aimed specifically at users of Weber kettle grills, the information on cuts of meats for somking is very good.

Consumer Search has excellent review of different types and models of smokers: Smokers Reviews.

Although many will disagree with me, for someone just starting out or who only expects to use their smoker occasionally, I recommend an electric smoker such as this Bradley: Amazon.com: Bradley BTIS1 Original Fully Automatic 4-Rack Outdoor Food Smoker: Patio, Lawn & Garden . They are much easier to use and do a fine job, with much less effort than a pure wood or charcoal smoker.

I almost always use the so-called "Texas Crutch" method when I smoke meats. It's well described here: http://www.amazingribs.com/tips_and_...as_crutch.html , so I won't bother to repeat. It dramatically reduces cooking time and also tenderizes and moisturizes the meat.
__________________

__________________
"Iím going to break one of the rules of the trade here. Iím going to tell you some of the secrets of improvisation. Just remember ó itís always a good idea to follow the directions exactly the first time you try a recipe. But from then on, youíre on your own." - James Beard
FincaPerlitas is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
chicken

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 01:31 AM.


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