Thanks for all the warm welcomes everybody. I've been a long time fan of all smoked foods, and have even enjoyed a few "Raunch Biers". (Smoked Beer). yes it actually does exist,... and it is GREAT !
I started getting into many different beers when I traveled internationally for a living. While in Europe, I got hooked on all the finer Belgian, & German, beers, sausages, cheese's & foods in general. (yeah, I've had some things that would surprize you),
and some of the things we ate in China, I'd rather forget ! Hahaha !
Anyway,... Once I stopped traveling for a living, I realized that the beers I liked to drink were anywhere from $2 to $5 bucks a bottle here in the states! WHAT ?,... Are you kidding me ???
We can't be doing THAT very often, and I'm NOT going to settle for a Coors-Bud-Miller.
SOoooo,.... that's what started me into my Homebrewing ventures. (But that's another story).
It's been quite a few years since I did any serious brewing, and I'm getting the urge to start it back up as well. I mean, what else would go better with a big hunk of Smoked Brisket,.... than a nice Dark Imperial Russian Oatmeal Stout ? HMmmm???
Ok, so now I'm heading into new uncharted waters with my Smoker, and I'm sure it will be a great adventure too.
Like I mentioned earlier, I've done some Dutch Oven stuff, as well as some Trash Can Turkeys too.
Chef Willie has asked to see some pics of that, and I tried searching it here on the SMF site.
I have found where many of you have made Trash Can Smokers,.... but I have not seen quite the same thing as I was reffering to. (I'm sure it's here somewhere, and I'm just getting aquainted with the site).
The method that I have used for the Trash Can Turkey, is probably more akin to a huge Dutch Oven, than it is a Smoker,... so I hope this is OK to be in this section of the forum.
Anyway,... I hope you guys like long tutorials, as I have now edited this half a dozen times,and it has grown with each time.
And yeah,... Lots of pics are included.
As you all already know, cooking with anything Galvanized is a big No-No.
I suppose making a Smoker with a Galvanized Trash Can could be ok, since it really needs to get upwards of 500 degrees before anything bad can come, ( from Zinc Poisioning).
Obviously, Your not going to let a Smoker get that hot, so it's probably ok.
I personally don't want to take the chance, and with the fact that you are basically turning the Trash Can into a huge Dutch oven, and the hot coals are in direct contact with the metal can, I suggest burning off the Galvanizing first.
I first tried to burn it off with just a turkey fryer burner, but that was a complete failure.
I next tried it with just building a fire inside of the can. This burned a little bit of the zinc off around the rim of the can, but didn't do it all the way down very well.
I guess it just couldn't get enough oxygen down in the lower part of the can, so it was just burning from the top, down.
this was taking FOREVER, and I was getting impatient.
They say "Necessity is the Father of Invention",...
...and I say "Creativity is the Father of Innovation".
(of coarse, being a bit of a nutcase helps too.)
Besides, as is evident by the shadows on the ground in the next pic,
I was running out of daylight, and I wanted to get this done quickly.
So not to be outdone by a silly Trash Can, I decided to "Kick up the heat" a little bit.
I got my big tripod for the Dutch Oven, hung the Trash Can on the chain,
used a old 3" diameter pipe from a chainlink fence, and a Blower motor, from a old yard inflatable for my kids.
This did the trick quite quickly and nicely,
(You'll notice the dog is a bit smarter than I am, and she is keeping her distance from the blazing inferno !... She's seen me in action before !! haha)
I had this this thing hotter than a Glass Blowers Furnace !
Bye-bye Zinc coating !
(worthy of note here)-
You do not have to get this elaborate with the Pipe and Blower and all.
You can easily burn off the coating by just building a fire inside of the Trash Can,...
and LEAVING IT ON IT'S SIDE,... so that enough oxygen can get to the bottom of the can.
sure you will need to turn the can eery now and then, but this is just a one time thing,
and you will not be doing this each time you cook a Turkey this way.
Now we are ready to get to cookin !
To cook a Trash Can turkey, is really REALLY Simple.
All you need is a 20 Gal. Trash Can, a roll of Foil, a Stake to hold the Turkey up, and a 20 lb. bag of Charcoal.
There are a zillion videos on youtube about it, and I even did a 6 or 7 part series on it.
I know that as "Smokers", we don't necessarily cook by "Time",... but rather more by "Temp".
I realize this, and know that it is basically the same thing here.
Since it is really kind of difficult, and not adviseable to be removing the trashcan, to take temp probe readings,
you need to trust in the recommended cooking times of,.... (now get this,...)
5 to 6 minutes per pound !
(Yeah,.... it REALLY DOES go that fast).
This is also what keeps it so JUICY.
Leaving the can in place for the entire cooking time, creates an almost airtight seal.
This means that the humidity inside the can stays very very High, and thus promotes a juicier end result.
(nobody likes a dried out Turkey, Right ?)
So just trust that many folks have done this,
and they have pretty well figured out, the necessary cooking time, is 5 to 6 minutes per pound of bird.
(and I would deffinately lean more towards the 5 minute mark),
especially on birds at 14 lbs. and below.
It sears the outside very quickly, and keeps most of the juices inside !
GREAT !... Fast AND Juicy.
This is why it's really a fantastic way to cook a large bird, with minimal equipment, while camping with friends.
here's how it starts off...
here's it is while cooking... (btw- the outer fire pit ring is not really necessary), but since I did have it for camping trips, I went ahead and used it here.
and here is the end result... (and it was JUICY too !)
Below, is another one that I did in the Trash Can, but on this one, I had it neck side down.
Although it did cook just as well, and worked just fine,...
as you will see in the lower picture, the top of the breast did not brown quite as much as the rest of the bird. It was fully cooked, was juicy as could be,
and tasted wonderful,... it was just missing that beautiful golden brown tanning, due to, it had sat directly on the Fryer Stand, and pressed down a bit.
My suggestion is to always cook the bird "Neck Up" if at all possible.
This will also keep the thicker breast meat higher in the "Can", and thus will help to cook it a little faster, which assist's in keeping it juicy too.
Happy wife = Happy Life.......
(see how the top of the breast could have been more golden, for a more appealing appearence ?)
But it did hit the 165 degrees, and tasted just fine,
This was actually our Thanksgiving Dinner Turkey.
Below here, is yet another bird, (smaller, about 12 lb. I think), I did in the Trash Can method, and the difference here is, this is a STUFFED Turkey.
Being Stuffed, this will add about an extra hour, to an hour and a half, to the recommended cooking time.
This is due to the stuffing prevents the hot air from circulating inside of the inner cavity, thus eliminating any "Convection Action".
Notice here, that I did not use the extra fire ring around the Trash Can.
This way works just as well, but you will go through a little more charcoal with out the fire ring.
Don't sweat it, The Boy Scouts do it this way all the time...
Again, I found that cooking it this way, with the Neck Down, works just fine,....
but will result in the top of the breast not getting nicely browned, like it will when cooked in the Neck Up position.
(notice how the breast is flattened out a little at the base of the Fryer Stand)
One thing to note here,
Upon cooking this bird with the stuffing,
We noticed that the stuffing did form a "Crust", that helped to keep much of the moisture inside.
This bird actually SQUIRTED Juices, when we cut into it !
(remember though,... what ever the weight of the bird is,.... If it is STUFFED,... Add about an hour or so to the cooking time)
If anyone is interested, or would like me to post up the links to my youtube videos,
showing the entire process in much greater detail,
I will be happy to do so.
(I think it's about 6 or 7 or 8 video's total).
Thanks again for the warm welcome,
I look forward to being a part of the SMF, and learning all I can about perfecting the use of my new toy.
Hmmmmm,.... I guess it's about time to break out some of those Home Brewing Kettles, Burners, and Stuff,
.....and get to work there too.
does this mean, I'ma gunna git fat agin ?
Edited by Tri 5 ron - 5/6/11 at 5:05pm