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Old 07-15-2008, 02:54 PM   #1
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What is a "smoker" ?

Since the Eggplant on the grill thread, and DH's decision to replace the keeper thatn the skewers rest on, on the gas grill, I looked at the different online sites that were mentioned here, for grilling supplies.

One such item that keeps coming up is a smoker. We have a gas grill, would we be using somethng like that ?

Thanks !!!

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Old 07-15-2008, 03:03 PM   #2
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If you have two separate burners you can turn it into a smoker. A smoker has heat on one side and uses wood or wood chips to create smoke and heat that flows past the meat on the other side (an indirect heat). So you would turn off one burner and put your meat above that, and use the other burner to create the smoke and heat.
I am sure there are better explanations than that one, but it should give you a good idea.
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Old 07-15-2008, 03:17 PM   #3
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Smoker. Isn't that what the bad guys are called in Kevin Costner's epic failure, Waterworld?
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Old 07-15-2008, 03:48 PM   #4
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Maverick, our grill does have 2 sections. I'm just not understanding why anyone would turn 1 section off - then how do you cook the food on that side ?
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Old 07-15-2008, 03:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MostlyWater View Post
Maverick, our grill does have 2 sections. I'm just not understanding why anyone would turn 1 section off - then how do you cook the food on that side ?
It will still cook, just slower because the temperature isn't as hot as it is directly over the burner. You need to smoke foods slower anyway, as it does take some time for the flavor of the wood smoke to work its way into the food.
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Old 07-15-2008, 03:58 PM   #6
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"Indirect heat". Long and slow cooking process, great for ribs and many many many other cuts of meat.
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Old 07-15-2008, 04:25 PM   #7
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okay...how about some more concrete examples of what meats and other foods benefit from "smoking" ? thanks
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Old 07-15-2008, 04:41 PM   #8
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The idea of a smoker is to use indirect heat that generates smoke. The heat, such as charcoal, hardwood, gas, or a combination, is offset and away from the food. In some rigs it is in a separate firebox off to the side. In a water smoker, it is located at the bottom of a tall unit with a water pan in between the heat and the food.

When smoking, you use a temperature of around 225 degrees for a long period of time. This low and slow cook time allows tougher cuts of meat to break down and become tender. Good examples are a Boston Butt roast, Picnic Shoulder, Pork Spare Ribs, Beef Brisket, Beef Spare Ribs, or any other cheap and tough cut of meat that you want to make flavorful and tender.

There are other meats that are not tough that benefit from smoking due to the additional flavor such as Beer Can Chicken, Pork Chops, Cornish Hens, Meatloaf, Salmon, and many others.

You can accomplish the same tenderizing aspect of low and slow cooking in your oven. Simply set the oven to 225 degrees and put your meat in a covered roasting pan, aluminum foil, or directly on the rack over a drip pan. The only difference in using the oven is you don’t get the smoke flavor from burning wood.

You can also use a regular gas grill or a large kettle style grill for smoking. You just keep the heat on one side of the grill by banking the coals to the side or only turning on one burner, and then put your meat on the other side. You can put a drip pan under the meat and add wood either directly or in a firebox or aluminum foil to the heat source.
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Old 07-15-2008, 05:41 PM   #9
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Exellent explanation redgriller.
MostlyWater, when you are using charcoal to "smoke" meat just get whatever wood you want to use for the smokey flavor and soak it in water for a few hours. Let the excess water drain from the wood as you work with the coals. When the coals are the way you want them simply place the wood on the coals. The coals will furnish the heat and the moist wood will furnish the smoke.
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Old 07-15-2008, 06:54 PM   #10
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Since you have a gas grill you fill an aluminum packet with 3 or 4 chunks of Hickory (can be bought at Lowe's or sometimes at grocery stores too) that have been soaked in water for about 30 minutes. Place the wood in an aluminum "packet" and poke holes in the top. Place this packet on the side of the grill that is lit. Eventually the wood will heat up and start smoking. I place it directly on the flame.

Place your meat on the other side - a Boston Butt, for example. You want to maintain a temp of 225 - 250 at all times. You want the temp of the Boston Butt to reach 190 at least, no less. If you get it to 200 it is better still. The pork will then be extremely tender and pullable - where the term "pulled pork" comes from. Just olive oil, salt, and pepper are enough seasoning. You can also spritz the meat occasionally with a mixture of apple juice and cider vinegar. Every hour or so is just fine. Just remember that every time you open the cover smoke releases and you loose heat.

Once the chunks stop smoking you don't need to add more - too much smoke gives a very bitter flavor.

Now, from start to finish it could take 8 - 12 hours depending on the size of the Boston Butt. I have never timed it - I only go by final temperature. I always allow 12 hours (for eating purposes). If it gets done sooner that is just fine. ALWAYS allow the meat to rest for about 30 minutes. DO NOT cut into it befrore then. You want the juices to redistribute back into the meat.

You can now look for BBQ Sauce recipes - there are plenty here.
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