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Old 10-06-2007, 03:27 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerco View Post
Perhaps you just don't know how to use your charcoal pit.
Now that is funny. Thanks for the laugh.

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(for anyone laughing along, I'm just joking and don't mean to slight electric or gas smokers, but they certainly produce different results. Is it possible to get identical results? I doubt it but the realm of possibility is rather broad. It might be possible for cookies to come out the same in a conventinal oven as a convection oven but I doubt that too...although I suppose Ketlin could pull it off )
I donít know what youíre looking in a smoker that you say is so radically different, but Iíve had BBQ on every kind of smoker you can imagine, and the only thing Iíve seen make a difference are the types of wood used for smoke, the rub, the baste or mop, time, and the overall temperature. Iíve never seen the TYPE of cooker have an affect if you know what youíre doing.

I can make fall apart ribs in the oven that are identical to any wood smoked ribs in color and texture. The only difference is the smoke flavor is missing. And that missing component is what can be added in an electric smoker, or gas smoker, or charcoal smoker, or pellet smoker, or log burner, or a fire rotisserie.

There is nothing magical about using charcoal. The magic comes in with your choice of meat and technique (rubs, marinades, frequent basting, turning, etc). If this wasnít true, there wouldnít be so many kinds of smokers out there.
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Old 10-06-2007, 03:34 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by beerco View Post
A master will usually do a better job than the novice regardless of tools
Exactly!

And why? Beacuse they have had years of experience and have avidly sought to learn as much as possible about how to use the tools properly!

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The tools can and do make a difference. That's why masters tend to use good tools (sometimes even the best tools).
Ever been in a professional kitchen. They use cheap and economical aluminum cookware that can be replaced frequently and inexpensively. They don't have the "best" and fanciest of cookware, but they turn out the best and fanciest of dishes!

Why? Because they know how to properly use the tools at hand!

Case in point, look at the original charcoal ECBs!!! One of the worst smokers ever built due to design flaws. However, if you knew how to modify the thing, it could be turned into a great little smoker. A friend gave me an ECB many years ago because they couldnít use it.

I modified the fire pan, base, and thermometer, and turned out not only fantastic ribs and pork butts, but also wonderful brisketsÖÖwith no need to ever foil those beasts! That thing is long gone now, but it did a great job when it was in service.

Conversely, Iíve got a friend whoís Dad bought a top of the line offset smoker, and all of his Q is crap. Poor guy just canít run that thing to save his life. Iíve run it for him once, and he said he couldnít believe the meat I turned out came from the same unit. He was convinced there was something wrong with the smoker. Oddly enough, he has terrible luck with his gas grill as well. I just donít think he has it in him to cook outdoors.
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Old 10-06-2007, 04:05 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keltin View Post
I donít know what youíre looking in a smoker that you say is so radically different, but Iíve had BBQ on every kind of smoker you can imagine, and the only thing Iíve seen make a difference are the types of wood used for smoke, the rub, the baste or mop, time, and the overall temperature. Iíve never seen the TYPE of cooker have an affect if you know what youíre doing.
Apparently there's a lot you don't know.

Anyone with taste buds can tell you that there is a difference in flavor and texture between charcoal fueled and electric pits. Maybe it's just you that can't detect the differences.

Anyone who's ever been in the kitchen of a high end or specialized restaurant can tell you that they do use specialized gear for special purposes - e.g. convection ovens, cast iron skillets, ultra high BTU burners, wood fired grills etc.

Anyone who's ever seen someone create "melon art' knows that the carver has a tool box full of fancy knives to allow them to work safely and swiftly.

Go buy yourself an ECB and do your own cookoff with yourself, see what you think and get back with us. I've done it and know the results.

I'll stick with my original opinion that a charcoal cooker will definitely give you better flavor compared to electric, flavor that you can't achieve with electric.

I'll also bet that head to head with a master on an electric ECB and me on my egg, I could at least match or possibly even surpass their results simply because although I'm not a master, I've got enough experience combined with an excellent cooker.
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Old 10-06-2007, 04:22 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerco View Post
Apparently there's a lot you don't know.

Anyone with taste buds can tell you that there is a difference in flavor and texture between charcoal fueled and electric pits. Maybe it's just you that can't detect the differences.

Anyone who's ever been in the kitchen of a high end or specialized restaurant can tell you that they do use specialized gear for special purposes - e.g. convection ovens, cast iron skillets, ultra high BTU burners, wood fired grills etc.

Anyone who's ever seen someone create "melon art' knows that the carver has a tool box full of fancy knives to allow them to work safely and swiftly.

Go buy yourself an ECB and do your own cookoff with yourself, see what you think and get back with us. I've done it and know the results.

I'll stick with my original opinion that a charcoal cooker will definitely give you better flavor compared to electric, flavor that you can't achieve with electric.

I'll also bet that head to head with a master on an electric ECB and me on my egg, I could at least match or possibly even surpass their results simply because although I'm not a master, I've got enough experience combined with an excellent cooker.
Now youíre getting nasty. Look sparky, Iíve ran just about every kind of smoker and grill there is. And while Iíve not owned an electric smoker myself, I have had Q from it from people that knew what they were doing. And it tastes just as good as any other. Iíve also had Q from charcoal and wood smokers that are crap because the idiots didnít know how to fuel the beasts.

I prefer charcoal. Itís all I own, and I own three smokers, two grills, and a cast iron DO. Iíve done more than my fair share grilling, Qíing, and outdoor cooking. I KNOW what good Q tastes like, and I KNOW you can get good Q off of an electric smoker.

Personally I prefer charcoal, but am not opposed to electric for the sheer simplicity of it. You need to come to terms with the fact that Q is about four things. Cut of meat, texture, appearance, and flavor. You can make beautiful fall off the bone ribs in the OVEN. A regular ELECTRIC oven that is only missing smokey flavorÖ.but if youíre going to drown the things in sauce, what does it matter anyway.

Just because YOU canít run an electric smoker properly doesnít mean that everyone else out there is as challenged. But since you mention the Green Egg, an over priced tool that instills misplaced bravado in most of itís owners, I now understand your predicament. Iíve run an Egg and had Q from it, and it tasted just like Q off of a modified ECB. The Egg is much easier to use than some smokers, but then again, some cooks need all the help they can get.

Itís people that incorrectly go on and on and on about there being only ONE way to make good BBQ (as if it's some eltist club of all things) that keep more people from getting in there and enjoying it. There are a few basics rules to good Q, and if you follow them, you can easily produce an award winning product no matter the cooker you use. Iím sorry you havenít figured that out yet, but maybe in time it will come to you. But you are absolutely incorrect in saying that you canít make comparable Q on an electric smoker. That is simply misinformation based on your subjective taste buds, personal choice in overpriced cooking rigs, and lack of know how.
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Old 10-06-2007, 04:36 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by keltin View Post
Now youíre getting nasty.
Only because you're taking every side and spreading missinformation all in a feeble atempt not to lose face. You're like a politician that argues every point rather than just specific points. If beerco says so, it must be wrong, even when he agrees with me.

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Originally Posted by keltin View Post
I prefer charcoal. Itís all I own, and I own three smokers, two grills, and a cast iron DO. Iíve done more than my fair share grilling, Qíing, and outdoor cooking. I KNOW what good Q tastes like, and I KNOW you can get good Q off of an electric smoker.
I too prefer charcoal. Do you prefer charcoal because it's exactly the same as electric? That wouldn't make sense would it? Several times I've stated that there's nothing wrong with gassers or electric and you can make excellent q with it. You just chose to ignore those statements.

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Originally Posted by keltin View Post
Just because YOU canít run an electric smoker properly doesnít mean that everyone else out there that is as challenged. But since you mention the Green Egg, an over priced tool that instills misplaced bravado in most of itís owners, I now understand your predicament. Iíve run an Egg and had from it, and it tasted just like Q off of a modified ECB. The Egg is much easier to use than some smokers, but then again, some cooks need all the help they can get.
Whoa, quite a change of heart from when you said: "For a top of the line smoker, the Big Green Egg is the way to go" in this thread: http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...art-38581.html

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Originally Posted by keltin View Post
Itís people that incorrectly go on and on and on about there being only ONE way to make good BBQ (as if it's some eltist cvlub of all things)
Listen yoda, go read through my posts again and you'll see that I never once said that there's only one way to make Q, I wrote essentially that the cooker has an effect on the outcome of the Q. You're the one stating that the cooker or the method makes no difference.

I've made plenty of good Q on my electric ECB, a webber kettle, my gasser even and now my egg, receiving many a complement regardless of the cooker. But they have all certainly tasted different with my favorite being the egg.

Admit it, if there wasn't a difference between charcoal and electric, you'd be using electric.
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Old 10-06-2007, 05:25 PM   #46
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Only because you're taking every side and spreading missinformation all in a feeble atempt not to lose face. You're like a politician that argues every point rather than just specific points. If beerco says so, it must be wrong, even when he agrees with me.
Point out ONE bit of objective information that Iíve posted that is wrong. Just one.

You on the other hand incorrectly said ďheat is not heatĒ and Iíve proven it is. You then erroneously confused heat with ďthermal energy transferĒ and its medium.

You said that charcoal MUST be present in order for the chemical reaction of a smoke ring to happen. Both statements are patently wrong.
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I too prefer charcoal. Do you prefer charcoal because it's exactly the same as electric? That wouldn't make sense would it? Several times I've stated that there's nothing wrong with gassers or electric and you can make excellent q with it. You just chose to ignore those statements.
I prefer charcoal because I like a more hands on approach. I like being involved and fiddling with the fire. BBQ to me is more of an activity than simply producing a smokey product. Thatís why I choose my tools so that they allow me to be more involved.
Quote:
Whoa, quite a change of heart from when you said: "For a top of the line smoker, the Big Green Egg is the way to go" in this thread: Ribs, where do I start?
Try this. Definition of comprehension - Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
Rolex is top of the line, and it is over priced for a watch. Green Egg may be one of the best out there, but it is overpriced in my book. No change of heart at all. You need to pay attention. I said it is overpriced AND it instills misplaced bravado in many of itís owners. Case in point. Even if price wasnít an issue, that arrogant air that seems to come with those things is nearly enough to keep me from getting one.

That and the fact that the Egg is a bit too ďeasyĒ to use. Itís famed for being a no muss cooker, and the few times Iíve used one, there really isn't a lot to do with the thing. Just set it and you can nearly forget itÖÖa lot like an electric smoker.

Quote:
Listen yoda, go read through my posts again and you'll see that I never once said that there's only one way to make Q, I wrote essentially that the cooker has an effect on the outcome of the Q. You're the one stating that the cooker or the method makes no difference.
You have consistently implied that good Q only comes from charcoal and not an electric smoker. Remember saying this:

The charcoal does produce reactions that aren't present if you don't use it. Many electric users can't make a smoke ring unless they throw a little charcoal in there. Strange but true and definitely "tell-a-ble"

Face it, you jumped in here without having all of the facts, and once I pointed you in the right direction, youíve googled yourself to a slightly better understanding of the situation. But it doesnít change the fact that you opened up this discourse with two incredibly wrong presumptions about charcoal and electric smokers.
Quote:
I've made plenty of good Q on my electric ECB, a webber kettle, my gasser even and now my egg, receiving many a complement regardless of the cooker. But they have all certainly tasted different with my favorite being the egg.
Admit it, if there wasn't a difference between charcoal and electric, you'd be using electric.
Your change of heart is admirable. At least now you can openly admit that you CAN make good Q on an electric smoker. Much better. The whole point of this was to correct the misinformation you were spreading. You started with implying you couldnít do good Q on an electric smoker and that only charcoal could produce chemical reactions needed for a smoke ring. Now that youíve done an about face, this thread is more informative and true to the facts.

And an electric smoker is on my list of things to get. I want one for the sheer simplicity so that, when those times arise that I donít have the time sit with my Q and enjoy the process, I can still make great Q while getting some chores done.
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Old 10-06-2007, 05:32 PM   #47
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you fellas need to hug ...
and find something more productive to argue on a saturday
night .. both of you made points .. neither will convince the
other of theirs ... smoking "Q" is about having fun ..
not about thermo coupler whatchamacalits ...
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Old 10-06-2007, 05:41 PM   #48
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This debate has gone far beyond serving its original purpose, providing information to the OP regarding pros and cons of electric vs. charcoal smokers.

We have reached the point where the original topic, as well as keltin's and beerco's discussions have deterioriated into something else entirely.

Let's move on.
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Old 10-06-2007, 05:46 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
This debate has gone far beyond serving its original purpose, providing information to the OP regarding pros and cons of electric vs. charcoal smokers.

We have reached the point where the original topic, as well as keltin's and beerco's discussions have deterioriated into something else entirely.

Let's move on.
Agreed.........moving on now!
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Old 10-09-2007, 09:57 AM   #50
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For the record, I deleted beerco's final post as it came after my request to move on. beerco's post was not deleted for inappropriate content, rather to bring the discussion to an end.
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Old 11-13-2007, 06:51 PM   #51
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yea we use the charcoal smoker.. use it mostly everytime for thanksgiving for turkey too.. its a famliy favorite always comes out nice and juice
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:28 AM   #52
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Very informative thread. I'll comment about the actual topic.

Bought the ECB last year. My puppy recently chewed it's cord. My only complaint is that the brinkman didn't have temp control. I could not figure out how to keep temps below 300 on the brinkman on a typical sunny ga day of 85 degrees and a 230498540985% humidity, lol. This CB unit has two awesome feature that suits me, temp control and the cord is removable, puppy-proof!

One interesting note, the waterpan on the brinkman sits in the middle in the unit, on the CB, the waterpan sits almost directly on the heat coil. On the brinkman, adding wood chips or larger chunks, is simple to do; Due to the waterpan not sitting directly over the heating coil and has 3 pieces, top middle and bottom. You want access to the meat? Lift off the top. You want access to the chips? Lift off the middle. CB, you have only a small trap door, and the very limited volume due to the low mounting of the waterpan. You simply need to cut the pieces of wood if you chose large chunks.

In conclusion, I think the CB simply works better for me due to the temp control and it's nice that I don't have to worry about the cord every being chewed. If you want to get creative and somehow find a way to lower the current to the brinkman such as buying a three-prong lamp dimmer, the brinkman would be the better unit.

Now any competition BBQ will always frown on these "lazy-Q". The two main problems are the air flow/baffles and the super thin sheet metal.
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:28 PM   #53
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Interesting read

I see these messages were posted a long time ago. I have used a regular charcoal smoker for years. I have seen a lot about these electric smokers. It seems that a lot of restaurants use em.

I am very intrigued. I love my charcoal smoker, but when doing something that requires a lot of time, its quite the chore to babysit it. I found what looks like a decent on on Amazon.

Masterbuilt 30-Inch Electric Smokehouse Smoker with Window and RF Controller

Just as soon as I get the money for it, I think I am going to get it. I love the idea that I can set it and forget it.
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:31 PM   #54
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If that is the insulated one, I've heard good things about it. Not so much the other ones.
I believe one of our members used one before.
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:39 PM   #55
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It is. Has pretty good reviews on it.

When I get it, I think I will cook a brisket on each and find out for myself if there is a difference in taste.
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:58 PM   #56
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Masterbuilt is very popular among the entry level Watt Burners......
A lot of 30" buyers later kick their pork butts for not buying the 40" model......
Check Sam's Clubs ...They (use to) sometimes offer a 2 or 3 year extended warranty for regular price..or for a very modest fee....HTH

Luck......
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:05 PM   #57
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I will look into that 40". If you find one, can you give me a link?

No Sams Clubs up here in Idaho. We had 1 for a little while, but it went under. They just could not compete with Costco.

Turkey on the smoker is the best. I will never go back to oven cooked turkey.
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:18 PM   #58
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I took a quick look at the link you gave and saw a comment that you have to cut rib racks in half so they'll fit.
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:18 PM   #59
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Check Here Shop around for a better price.......
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:58 PM   #60
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I was at Lowe's and saw the Brinkmann Gourmet Electric Smoker Grill. I am intrigued by this. On some level, it seems like cheating, but it also seems a heck of a lot easier than monitoring charcoal heat all day long. Has anyone ever used one? What are the tradeoffs with using one of these instead of a charcoal smoker?
I was pretty satisfied with mine until recently when the electric element started to get weak and wouldn't hold temps over 200F. That's when I decided to convert it to a charcoal burning smoker and make some mods on the unit and I couldn't be happier.
With the proper mods there's very little monitoring with charcoal. With occasional vent control it'll hold 250F for close to 10 hours with just one chimney worth of charcoal. I'm very happy with the mods I've made on this unit.
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