First post... lots of questions... be gentle. :-)

Discussion in 'Pork' started by aarondunlap, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. aarondunlap

    aarondunlap Newbie

    OK, so a little background:  I got into smoking because my father-in-law bought a cheap sideways smoker and started churning out some really tasty meat.  When it came time to replace (**AGAIN**) the interior components of my propane grill, I'd had enough, and bought myself the same smoker (Chargriller 2121 and the side firebox).  So long story short, I am in love and want to smoke everything I see.

    Now on to my questions:

    1) I've read about putting whole onions on the coals when smoking because the evaporating onion juices naturally tenderize the meat....  is there any truth to this?  I've thought about also putting whole apples on there as well when doing pork butts.  Would this do anything at all other than appease my desire to have something unique going on in the smoker as my "special secret"?

    2) Any recommendations for a good ambient temperature thermometer?  I have a decent wireless meat thermometer, but I'd love to have a wireless ambient thermometer that I could configure to alert me if my temp gets above or below the range that I want for whatever meat I am smoking.

    My apologies if most of what I need to know is readily available through searching.  Just thought I'd drop my first post to introduce myself.  I have already learned a lot just from reading through everything in here and I look forward to learning more and sharing any insights that I might have!
  2. heyer5

    heyer5 Meat Mopper

  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome to SMF!

    I've never heard of placing onions or apples on the coals to help tenderize the meat. I would be worried about the smoke given off not being good. For a good therm the Mav 732 is great and pretty accurate. My go to therm now though is the iGrill. The iGrill has some great features and was spot on accurate right out of the box. What ever therm you end up with make sure and test it prior to use. To test place the probes in boiling water. Should read close to 212*f. Also test in ice water. Should read close to 32*. Note the temps that your probes read and adjust accordingly.

    When you get a chance say hello in roll call.
  4. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Aarron, hello. Glad to have you here , we hope you enjoy your visit enough to call this home for all your BBQ needs.

    There are several Brands of Thermometers out there that would do what you want , the Maverick 732 is one of the best (IMHO). I have 2 of them and enjoy thier ease of use and quality of the product.

    As for Onions... they tend to give the smoke a good smell and impart some flavor to the meat, however any moisture laden product placed in the Fire will produce a lot of white smoke and (actually) foul your meat with Creosote making it bitter tasting. No special secret there, sorry[​IMG].

    Your smoke flavor will come from the choice of Wood / Pellets / Dust or what ever you use and the mix of  spices you decide on will permeate the meat for your Rub flavor.

    Your "Special Secret" will be "Practice" . Find a meat you really enjoy(Chicken for example - because it's cheap and goof-ups won't be that tragic). Then practice doing that until you're tired of Chicken [​IMG].

    Hope you have fun and as always . . . 
  5. This is the first I've heard of placing fruits & vegetables on coals. I'd have to agree with Case & Stan in that I don't see the smoke being something you'd want...  [​IMG]   I also use a Maverick ET-732 & it works great for me...
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
  6. aarondunlap

    aarondunlap Newbie

    That Maverick 732 is *exactly* what I need... I already have a wireless meat thermometer, but I could always use an additional one!

    Is there nicotine in charcoal/wood smoke, cause it is addicting!  ;-)
  7. retread

    retread Meat Mopper

    I may be wrong, but I think the "trick" of putting onions, apples , or herbs (which is something I do!) is a GRILLING trick used for charcoal grills.  I have never heard of doing it with a smoker but dropping wet herbs (anyway) on th ehot coals will help impart the herb flavor into whatever one grills over the hot coals so treated.

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