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Old 06-25-2008, 01:09 PM   #21
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Cured Almond wood produces a sweet smoke...Green wood I would becareful with..might be a bit bitter...
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:27 PM   #22
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This is definitely very very dry almond wood.

What do you mean when you say sweet, i.e., the meat actually has a sweet taste after being smoked?

In your opinion what would this wood be best used with?
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:22 PM   #23
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Sweet as opposed to some of the more distinct flavored woods like Hickory, Mesquite, Pecan..."Delicate' might be a better word...Sweet as opposed to bitter.

Almond wood would be good for all meats...Beef, Pork, Chicken, etc.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:33 PM   #24
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Kitchenelf posted a link for what woods go with what foods some time ago.

As for using cedar - cedar is usually used for "planking" for salmon, but it works with other fish like trout. Instead of the cedar being used for the fire source, it is usually used as a plank, like a shingle, on which the food is cooked. But, it can also be used as the fire source - but most people object to the bitter resinous flavor. I did find a rather interesting use for red cedar - out of necessity one weekend ... marinate a steak in peach or apricot brandy for about an hour and grill over red cedar coals ... interesting combination of sweet and bitter flavors.

I really wish I could find the site I found 3-4 years ago on the temperatures produced by different woods - and how to mix them for different flavors and temps. If I remember correctly - mesquite burns the hottest .... but I can't remember what the temps for the other woods were. I know that the pitmaster at a place here in town told me a few of his secrets ... one of them was to use "some" mesquite to up the temp when he was using oak or hickory ... and he used pecan and other fruit woods for flavor.
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:52 AM   #25
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Thumbs up Mesquite Charcoal

Randal, that mesquite charcoal burns HOT AND FAST. I use it to grill steaks with. Look for the Cowboy charcoal at Home Depot. It seems to be a summer thing with them. I could not find it there until May. Also for smoke wood, they had bags of Hickory chunks. Almond is a good wood for smoking, don't try walnut as that is very overpowering in my experience. Also since you are new at this, as i was last year, may i recommend watching the temperature closely the first couple of times you use this.

A good way is to sit outside, enjoy the GREAT California Sun, read a good book,and drink some really good beer. Makes the time go by faster and the food taste better.
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Old 06-27-2008, 08:09 PM   #26
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Well I finally got around to doing the baby back ribs. Here is where I am in the process.

I lit the lump charcoal (using one of the large weber paper starter stands) and after it was white I put in in the firebox. The vent was full open on the firebox and in the cooker section as instructed.

The temperature never got above 200, but I started the ribs anyway.

They seem to be cooking nicely, but I've had to add three more handfuls of charcoal to keep the temperature at 200 degrees.

OK, I'm still trying for 225 degrees, but guess the next step is to add maybe two handfuls of charcoal??

I did put in a little mesquite wood chunks, but they seemed to burn up quickly.

I am enjoying doing this, so I don't care if it takes all night.

Sure would like to get this temperature right without overdoing it like I did the first time with wood.
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Old 06-27-2008, 08:14 PM   #27
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Another point: I have both the firebox and smoker air vents open all the way.

I was thinking about closing the fire box box vents, but that seems counter intuitive to raise the temperature.

So what should I be doing next to get the temperature up to 225?
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Old 06-27-2008, 09:12 PM   #28
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OK, I lit another weber container of normal charcoal and after it was hot I added it to the lump charcoal.

Bango, right up to 250 degrees.

So doing this smoking thing is a learning process with the equipment you have.

Cheers.
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Old 06-27-2008, 09:52 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randal View Post
OK, I lit another weber container of normal charcoal and after it was hot I added it to the lump charcoal.

Bango, right up to 250 degrees.

So doing this smoking thing is a learning process with the equipment you have.

Cheers.
BRAVO !! Way to go Randal...I came here to tell you to do just that...More fire is needed....Now that you are running 250* you can let her go, or if you want too... close down the intake vents on the fire box a little to get the temperature down to 225* You and your cooker are getting aquainted!!

Have Fun!!
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Old 06-28-2008, 12:34 AM   #30
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Man, did I learn a lot today.

And the ribs, well they were the best that I have ever cooked.

Smoking is so much better than indirect.

And like everyone says, you just have to get acquainted with your rig.
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Old 06-28-2008, 12:29 PM   #31
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I can now, thanks to all the help I secured on this forum, now regulate the heat in my new bbq for smoking between 225 and 250.

Using these temperatures what is the approximate time for cooking other meats?

This is starting to get more addictive than working on my race car.

Those ribs last night were a hit.
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:01 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randal
Using these temperatures what is the approximate time for cooking other meats?

Randal...Cooking times can vary...Each piece of meat can be a little different, Outside weather conditons can effect times,...is it hot or cold, cloudy or rainy, windy or still, as well as how good of a job you do maintaining fire control, the type of cooker, etc. etc.

Some ballpark times...

Boston Butts....10-12 hours + or - an hour or so
Beef briskets....12-14 hours + or - an hour or so
Whole Chicken..2 to 4 hours + or - a 1/2 hour here or there
Pork Spare Ribs..........4 to 6 hours + or - an hour or so

Since cooking by the clock is such a crap shoot to determine when meat is ready, the best solution is a instant read thermometer. Thermapen makes a nice one. A little pricey, but worth every penny. A thermometer takes all the guess work out of it...Here are some temperature ranges to look for when cooking various meats

Boston Butts....185* - 200*
Beef briskets....185* - 190*
Whole Birds......180* in the thigh
Chicken Parts...160* in the breast....180* in the thigh
Pork Spare Ribs.........180* to 200*

With a lot of experience...look and feel will help you as well.

Bottom line...Use a thermometer...not your watch, and Have Fun!!
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:20 PM   #33
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Thanks Uncle Bob, that is exactly the information I wanted.

Now to find where I can get that thermometer; probably on the web.
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:27 PM   #34
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ThermoWorks – Super-Fast Thermapen $89 each all colors. Instant Read Thermometer

Shop around...you may can beat this price...Also there are less expensive ones on the market that will work well...IMO the Thermapen can't be beat!!
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Old 07-07-2008, 01:00 PM   #35
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Cool Thanks !

Thanks Uncle Bob. I didn't ask or think of it. But you answered a question I should have asked already. I've cut & pasted your 'chart' into a word doc. Saved it at home & office for next time's use.
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Old 07-07-2008, 02:26 PM   #36
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Ribs again

After the huge success cooking baby back ribs (a little over 2 hours at 225 degrees) I thought I'd take on normal ribs, the ones with more fat. My thinking is that the more fat the more flavor.

Anyway I just doubled the cooking time (4 hours) and gave it a go.

Unfortunately the ribs were totally overdone.

Looks like it is now a trip to the store to get one of Uncle Bob's recommended thermometers and check the internal temperature, to be sure when the internal temperature gets there that I stop cooking.

I don't know why, but I thought additional cooking would make the meat more tender, but this was not the case.
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Old 09-15-2008, 01:32 PM   #37
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Lightbulb Grill Mods....

Got one just like yours Jeekinz, I've done a couple of mods on it & it works real fine... I see you even store you warming rack in the same place I got mine......
If anyone would like the mod list PM me & I'll email it to ya...... Or maybe I can figure out how to upload a PDF file on here.... Well, seams the PDF is to large to uplaod to here..... So drop me a PM or just email me if ya want......


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What grill is it?

I use a Chargriller with SFB. I only use wood logs in it. I found one or two pieces of cut down fireplace wood lasts nearly two hours ant 225-240ish. You really need to play around with whatever fuel your using and the air vents.

I can only get very high temps putting fuel in the main smoke chamber.

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