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Old 11-13-2006, 09:52 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Eau Claire, WI
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Yesterday's Dinner

Yesterday I gave my Char-Griller Offset Smoker quite a work out. Not only was it our first test in cold temperature, but I smoked quite a bit of food.

I must admit, it was tricky keeping the temperature up passed 120 at times, but all-in-all it wasn't too bad. It wasn't as simple as my propane smoker, but the flavor was definitely better..

So, here's what I smoked..
1 - 5 Pound Turkey Breast - Brined for 12 hours.
2 - Pork Shoulders to be Pulled - Dry Rubbed and Mopped during the process
14 - Chicken Wings - Brined for about 6 hours..

Here's the verdict..

Turkey - The Turkey was absolutely fantastic. Not necessarily my first smoked Turkey, but it just seems like it got the perfect amount of brining and smoking. The biggest difference was the recommendation from my local butcher to inject the brine into the breast meat before I smoke it. I think it made a difference, but I always worry about poking holes in my poultry and letting out what nice juices might be in store.

Pork Shoulders - Since it was so cold out side, I had to finish the pork shoulders in the Crock Pot. I smoked them for about 8 hours and then let them simmer on low with the remaining mop.. At about 11:00 last night, I checked it and it was so easy to pull it wasn't funny.. Very tasty.. I mean VERY tasty... This is by far my favorite meal to prepare on the smoker. Eat on some buns with some real Coleslaw and I am SET..

Chicken Wings - This was my first time smoking wings. I'm not a huge wing fan in general, and I do prefer them to be nice and crispy when I do.. I invited my brother down since he likes them and can also be a judge. The brining was definitely important to their success. They were very moist.. The one challenge I seemed to have was that the skin was very tough. Is this the combination of the brining and smoking? Or just the smoking?

I'll tell you one thing.. I was a proud smoker yesterday.. I was out in my shorts and T-Shirt every 30 minutes, tending to my fire. People look at me like I am crazy normally, but yesterday I really got some weird looks. I call it jealousy...

It was a very successful day. My mom tried the Smoked Turkey for the first time and has requested that I smoke 4 Turkey Breasts for Thanksgiving day.. Sounds good to me..

Well, that's my day in smoking.. I am geared to practice with Ribs next. I just need to do a lot more research first.. Also going to try Natural Chunk Charcoal next time..


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Old 11-13-2006, 10:31 AM   #2
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Good job!!!!! You will like the natural lump charcoal. It stays hot for longer periods of times too.

I'd like to smoke a turkey for Thanksgiving but I'm scared to death to do that the first time smoking one!

When I do pork butts they usually take 10 hours or so. Isn't the flavor MUCH better versus the propane? I still have an electric smoker and not one time did I EVER get a smoke ring on the pork butts like I do with the wood smoker.

Do post your method and results for your ribs. It really helps to hear people's results.

"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy
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Old 11-13-2006, 01:18 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Eau Claire, WI
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Now I am excited to give the Natural Lump a try.. I'll probably wait for after the Thanksgiving meal so I don't mess anything up.

I would say, if you are comfortable cooking a Pork Butt, you will have no problem cooking the Turkey. I simply brined it for about 12 hours, injected the brine into the brine, and then smoked until I reached 180 degrees. I would say, probably the easiest thing I've smoked.

I have both a Charcoal Barrel Style Smoker and the boxy Propane. I started with Propane, but longed for the world of dry smoke. Once our gas grill started shooting fire out of the bottom (near the tank) we decided that we would just get the Barrel Smoker that we could use for both a grill and a smoker. I would say we smoke weekly. Usually on Sundays..

I'll keep you posted on the Ribs. I definitely have a lot of reading. Personally, I prefer ribs that have meat just falling off the bone. I prefer less connective tissue and fat to pick around, as does my wife. I believe that's where the LOW AND SLOW term comes from. I won't know until I get more time to read.

One thing I noticed smoking in the colder temperature is that I obviously use more charcoal. Thus, I did have to actually empty out my ash tray at one point because it was beginning to sufficate my coals. In 2008 I plan on remodeling my backyard patio with a brick/concrete smoker. Again, I have a lot of reading to do before then. I have heard there are automated dampers that you can use to actually get the exact temperature you want with a all wood fire.. This is something I am definitely interested..

One last note.. I did actually get a smoke ring using propane. But the flavor is most definitely improved with the Charcoal. Hands down.. Plus, I like the offset box for not having to constantly open the entire smoker just to tend to the chips..

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