How to use my Smoker

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OscarBoots
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How to use my Smoker

Post by OscarBoots » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:39 pm

Hi Forum,

I have a 3 piece stack stack barrel smoker, like a drum stood on its end.

I've got some big beef ribs that I applied a dry rub to.

This is how I set it up.

The section bottom holds a pan with the charcoal

The second piece doesn't hold anything

The third piece holds the water pan with a rack of the ribs on top of the water bowl.

Then there's the lid with the built in thermometer.

Have I built this stack in the proper way?

The ribs were basted with a sauce after about an hour of the start of cooking.

I noticed the water didn't boil away even after 6 hours.

The end result was the ribs were still a bit chewy but the meat had pulled back from the bones.

At some point, should I have wrapped the ribs in foil & put them back in?

Any suggestions welcome.

I have pics but can't upload due to size, am I able to upload JPGs to the forum?

Thanks


Davo
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Re: How to use my Smoker

Post by Davo » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:16 pm

Yes you can upload JPG's on here but you may need to resize them to about 640.

Ok as for your smoker, I feel you need to have the waterpan overtop of your fire so it'll create steam. This will help keep the cooking chamber moist and the smoke and steam will mix together to give you deeper penetration on your meat.
So I think you need to have the waterpan in the middle section, that way on the top section you may be able to install 2 levels of grates giving you more space.

That is how the Weber Smokey Mountain and Pro-Q bullet smokers are set up.

Cheers

Davo
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OscarBoots
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Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:18 pm

Re: How to use my Smoker

Post by OscarBoots » Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:42 pm

Thanks Davo,

I think that would mean I would have the fire at the bottom, the water above that, one rack above that & then another rack above that covered by the top (lid).

The other thing, is at what stage do I start basting the meat & then wrapping the meat in foil?

I have the rub on the meat when I start & the fire at a steady 120 Fahrenheit, I'd like your expertise on the steps I take & when I take them if you don't mind indulging a newbie.

Thanks Pete

Davo
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Re: How to use my Smoker

Post by Davo » Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:58 pm

Yeah Pete....the waterpan has to be just above the coals.

Also if your fire was only 120F i'm surprised it was going at all...thats way too cold however you need to have the fire roughly round the 225F (107C) so i 'm kind of suspecting you made a typo?

Too early for the sauce Pete especially if u have sugar in it but if your fire temp is what you said...that might've saved it from being blacker than a coal miner😅

You need to sauce the ribs about half hour towards the end.
My method of knowing when a rack of ribs are ready is that if you pick up one end and bend it upwards, if it looks to be splitting away from the bones underneath at the bend...they are pretty much ready.

You don't need to wrap them..thats only to hurry them up and it'll end up making the meat mushy...but if you want them that way, then wrap in foil after 3 hours of smoking.

Cheers

Davo
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Angryman65
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Re: How to use my Smoker

Post by Angryman65 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:24 pm

Pete,

Davo has hit the nail on the head, Fire, then water then food. Use the vents to control temp and stick to cooking on the top rack until you learn to control it.

I run a bullet smoker and they are a very versatile bit of gear.
Vegetarian is an old Indian word for bad hunter.

OscarBoots
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Re: How to use my Smoker

Post by OscarBoots » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:32 pm

Thanks Angryman.

OscarBoots
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Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:18 pm

Re: How to use my Smoker

Post by OscarBoots » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:41 pm

Thanks Davo,

You're right, I meant 120 Celsius & I thought this was correct to give the ribs a long slow cook so the ribs would be tender over a long time.

So I have the ribs sitting on a rack & I'm finding the meat has shrunken back on the bone after a couple of hours.

This could be because I have had the water just under the ribs instead of just above the fire though.

The result has been that ribs are chewy and are cooking way before the 6-8 hours I thought it would take?

I've got an internal temp gauge that I put into one of the bigger ribs & it eventually gets up to 65-70 Celsius.

Any clues here as to why my meat seems to get too much heat too early?

Thanks

Angryman65
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Re: How to use my Smoker

Post by Angryman65 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:20 pm

If you put the meat into the BBQ straight after you've tipped in the charcoal or beads, the temp will rise for a while until you can stabilise it. Once the fire source is in, give it a half an hour and make adjustments with the vents to get the desired temp then chuck the meat in.

Every single piece of meat will behave differently but in general ribs are like any of the working muscle bits of meat and they take a while to cook and must be done at a low temp to break down the connective tissues.

The common method for ribs is the 3-2-1 method. 3 hours with only the rub, 2 hours wrapped in foil with a bit of apple juice or stock to moisten them up then a final hour out of foil and being basted with BBQ sauce. Some cooks skip the foil and just spritz with juice and stock and then baste. There is plenty of information on the web about different ways to do it and plenty of different opinions about the need for the foil time.

Have a read of this article. https://amazingribs.com/more-technique- ... ed-cooking

A lot of the issue in Australia is that our butchers do such a good job getting all the meat of a beast that there is no meat left on the bones when cooking ribs so you can get away with cooking for a shorter time. Aldi ribs are usually a lot meatier than Woolies ribs.

I usually do ribs for at least 3 hours with only rub then decide if I'm going to foil them, usually only an hour if I do, then I baste.

Practice makes perfect and don't ever think of a cook as a fail, its just experience. The good thing about low and slow is we generally use secondary cuts of meat and make them shine so if a stuff up happens it doesn't break the bank. It's not like we're ruining a BBQ full of lobsters.

There is so much to learn about BBQ and using a bullet smoker with multiple stackers will give you a lot of options. You don't always need the water bowl and often I just line if with foil for a big drip tray when cooking things like roast duck and fatty meats I want to roast relatively quickly.

If you can get some Banksia nuts, they provide some of the tastiest smoke around. They cost nothing if you can get to the coast and do a bit of hunting around. If you're inland then just use other woods, look around on the forum for the smoking wood matrix it is a great guide.

Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the journey.
Vegetarian is an old Indian word for bad hunter.

OscarBoots
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:18 pm

Re: How to use my Smoker

Post by OscarBoots » Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:06 pm

Thanks Angryman65,

I'll have a go with this advice & let you know.

I'm a bit of 'Mad Scientist' & determined to get this to work!

Appreciate your help!

Pete

paulr
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Re: How to use my Smoker

Post by paulr » Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:12 pm

My 1 ct...
The water helps with the moisture during the cook... But its also a stabiliser for the temps... I found that when I used my WSM i just filled it with sand... does a pretty good job of holding temps as well..

Happy BBQ-ing, Paul
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Davo
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Re: How to use my Smoker

Post by Davo » Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:02 pm

paulr wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:12 pm
My 1 ct...
The water helps with the moisture during the cook... But its also a stabiliser for the temps... I found that when I used my WSM i just filled it with sand... does a pretty good job of holding temps as well..

Happy BBQ-ing, Paul
If using sand in a WSM you need to have it fully covered Paul otherwise all the grease soaking in the sand would turn the sand to concrete.

The WSM was designed perfectly as a water smoker and not only does water keep the cooking chamber moist, steam combined with smoke will help with deeper penetration of smoke within the meat surface.


Cheers

Davo
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Weber Performer Kettle
Weber WSM 18.5

Angryman65
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Re: How to use my Smoker

Post by Angryman65 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:07 pm

I usually use mine with the water bowl full to stabilise the temp when doing something long, low and slow especially using charcoal because it fluctuates when doing the minion method without the bowl.

If I'm doing a couple of ducks or something where I want a crispy skin or crackle I leave the water out to stop too much steam and line the water bowl with foil to stop the fat flareups because too much smoke makes the skin of a duck doughy and not crisp up.

I've thought of sand but had the same concerns Davo talked about with the fat soaked concrete.
Vegetarian is an old Indian word for bad hunter.

RossBolden06
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Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:46 am

Re: How to use my Smoker

Post by RossBolden06 » Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:27 pm

Angryman65 wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:20 pm
If you put the meat into the BBQ straight after you've tipped in the charcoal or beads, the temp will rise for a while until you can stabilise it. Once the fire source is in, give it a half an hour and make adjustments with the vents to get the desired temp then chuck the meat in.

Every single piece of meat will behave differently but in general ribs are like any of the working muscle bits of meat and they take a while to cook and must be done at a low temp to break down the connective tissues.

The common method for ribs is the 3-2-1 method. 3 hours with only the rub, 2 hours wrapped in foil with a bit of apple juice or stock to moisten them up then a final hour out of foil and being basted with BBQ sauce. Some cooks skip the foil and just spritz with juice and stock and then baste. There is plenty of information on the web about different ways to do it and plenty of different opinions about the need for the foil time.

Have a read of this article. https://amazingribs.com/more-technique- ... ed-cooking

A lot of the issue in Australia is that our butchers do such a good job getting all the meat of a beast that there is no meat left on the bones when cooking ribs so you can get away with cooking for a shorter time. Aldi ribs are usually a lot meatier than Woolies ribs.

I usually do ribs for at least 3 hours with only rub then decide if I'm going to foil them, usually only an hour if I do, then I baste.

Practice makes perfect and don't ever think of a cook as a fail, its just experience. The good thing about low and slow is we generally use secondary cuts of meat and make them shine so if a stuff up happens it doesn't break the bank. It's not like we're ruining a BBQ full of lobsters.

There is so much to learn about BBQ and using a bullet smoker with multiple stackers will give you a lot of options. You don't always need the water bowl and often I just line if with foil for a big drip tray when cooking things like roast duck and fatty meats I want to roast relatively quickly.

If you can get some Banksia nuts, they provide some of the tastiest smoke around. They cost nothing if you can get to the coast and do a bit of hunting around. If you're inland then just use other woods, look around on the forum for the smoking wood matrix it is a great guide.

Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the journey.
Thank for sharing
Ross B. Bolden
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