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When it's hot it's hot

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

When is hot to hot , IMO smoking should be low n slow around 225-275. I know some of you smoke at 300 or even higher I think this is border line grilling even though your not turning your meat. IMO smoking is starting your coals or wood at 5 a.m and sitting around the smoker with friends and telling lies all day until you enjoy the fruits of your labor.

post #2 of 14

What I love about smoking is the variety of methods you can use to achieve virtually the same end result.  The meat you smoke determines temps too, like poultry, which just comes out with crispier skin at higher temps.

 

To me, a smoker is just a smoky oven.  I can set my kitchen oven as low as 150F or as high as 550F.  My smokers I can set between 200F and I don't know how high, but I've yet to go over 365F, and that was just last weekend when I absentmindly left the lid off the smoker while I was wrapping two pork butts.  I closed it down and brought it back into the 310-315F range to finish.       

 

I like to smoke at 225-275F when I'm laying down smoke on bare meat.  Once I wrap though, I'm up in the 275-350 range because it is no different than putting it in the oven.   

 

One thing I've learned on this forum and from decades of kitchen cooking is that there is no "right" way to smoke, cook, bake, roast, or grill a meat.  What matters is what works for each person and their tastes, techniques they can duplicate given their equipment and style.  In the end, the ooohs and ahhs after forks disappear into the mouth and come out clean are all that really matters.   

 

Happy smokin' all.

 

Dino bones are on my menu this weekend, three full racks.

post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noboundaries View Post
 

What I love about smoking is the variety of methods you can use to achieve virtually the same end result.  The meat you smoke determines temps too, like poultry, which just comes out with crispier skin at higher temps.

 

To me, a smoker is just a smoky oven.  I can set my kitchen oven as low as 150F or as high as 550F.  My smokers I can set between 200F and I don't know how high, but I've yet to go over 365F, and that was just last weekend when I absentmindly left the lid off the smoker while I was wrapping two pork butts.  I closed it down and brought it back into the 310-315F range to finish.       

 

I like to smoke at 225-275F when I'm laying down smoke on bare meat.  Once I wrap though, I'm up in the 275-350 range because it is no different than putting it in the oven.   

 

One thing I've learned on this forum and from decades of kitchen cooking is that there is no "right" way to smoke, cook, bake, roast, or grill a meat.  What matters is what works for each person and their tastes, techniques they can duplicate given their equipment and style.  In the end, the ooohs and ahhs after forks disappear into the mouth and come out clean are all that really matters.   

 

Happy smokin' all.

 

Dino bones are on my menu this weekend, three full racks.

 

Yep, right on.  What I do when I smoke, someone else may say OH NO!, but to them I say, you do it your way, I will do it my way.  I do know some people cannot understand that, to bad for them.  That being said, I am all for trying any other recipe out there, who knows, we may like it.

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

I wasn't saying

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palladini View Post
 

 

Yep, right on.  What I do when I smoke, someone else may say OH NO!, but to them I say, you do it your way, I will do it my way.  I do know some people cannot understand that, to bad for them.  That being said, I am all for trying any other recipe out there, who knows, we may like it.


I'm not saying hot and fast is not the proper way to smoke ! Before I bought my OK joe's the only smoking I had ever done was whole hogs which require low and slow. I personally don't like cooking on gas grills. does that mean you cant turn out a good product on them ? NO that's not what im saying . All I'm saying IMO is that to me hot and fast is border line grilling. I  have seen many qviews of hot and fast birds that looked very good .

post #5 of 14

This is why I like having my first offset, everything before was direct, and yes, it was closer to grilling - still good, but not classic low-and-slow smoking. I can still cook direct on it if I want to.

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by james1nc View Post
 

I wasn't saying


I'm not saying hot and fast is not the proper way to smoke ! Before I bought my OK joe's the only smoking I had ever done was whole hogs which require low and slow. I personally don't like cooking on gas grills. does that mean you cant turn out a good product on them ? NO that's not what im saying . All I'm saying IMO is that to me hot and fast is border line grilling. I  have seen many qviews of hot and fast birds that looked very good .

What I was trying to say, I have had people tell me that slow cooked, smoked ribs are in no comparison or better to their boiled and BBQed over a gas grill ribs are.  So if I like them Marinated, rubbed and smoked and this other person likes plain jane ribs, throws them in pot of boiling water then puts them on a BBQ to finish applies BBQ sauce, that is his loss, not mine.  So to each his own, I do not preach to him smoked ribs are good, but if he asks, I would make him some.  Do I hope to change the way he does ribs, no, just have him realize there are different ways to cook ribs.

post #7 of 14

"..........throws them in pot of boiling water then puts them on a BBQ to finish applies BBQ sauce......"

 

That's the way I was shown how to cook ribs many years ago.  For a long time I didn't know how good ribs were when cooked low and slow....or that you could cook them another way.  Other than cooking a whole hog over Hickory coals in an open pit, I didn't know about other methods.

 

I've learned to smoke by reading here and watching the BBQ shows on TV and YouTube.  I love the internet!

 

I like trying new and different methods.

post #8 of 14

FINALLY :icon_exclaim: Someone that understands the meaning of what BBQ is about :biggrin: I commend you James , for the support in  doing long smokes . The set and forget is O.K. , but I like the company, and seeing the looks on neighbors faces when they realize they weren't invited. :frown:.

 

Here's my type of equipment :

 

  both are stick burners the smaller one a reverse flow. :beercheer:

 

Have fun and . . .

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the kind words Oldschool  :beercheer:, before I bought my smoker I was either grilling or doing whole hogs. I still prefer doing whole hogs my pig cooker is home made had it for 30+ years wood burner  of course. july fouth weekend I'm doing a whole hog and will post Qviews

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by james1nc View Post
 

When is hot to hot , IMO smoking should be low n slow around 225-275. I know some of you smoke at 300 or even higher I think this is border line grilling even though your not turning your meat. IMO smoking is starting your coals or wood at 5 a.m and sitting around the smoker with friends and telling lies all day until you enjoy the fruits of your labor.


Here, here!!  My favorite time to smoke is 4th of July when our street has a big block party.  Sure others (and even I) have the regular grill going for the hamburgers and hotdogs for the kids and such.  But I get my smoker going long before the crowd shows up and get the ribs started.  As the day moves on; friends, family, and neighbors keep checking back (each time with longer drool down their chin) to see when the ribs will be done.   I keep telling them, "they'll be done when they're done."  And every year they love me for making them wait when they finally taste the goodness.  BTW, that reminds me, at some point soon I'm going to need a bigger smoker.  I don't have enough room for the increasing demand each Independence Day.  Maybe I could get the neighbors to chip in for the cost of a larger smoker.  Hmmm.  Now that's got me thinking....    :beercheer:

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Kgb1 If you  want to go big go all in on a wood burning pig cooker.  when ever I need more room than my OK Joe can handle I use the pig cooker. I have an adjustable grate to raise the coals so I wont  have to use extra coals or wood when cooking chicken r hamburgers or maybe next year its whole hog time for the block party.

post #12 of 14

A lot of folks use smoking and Low and Slow cooking synonymously, they are in fact to different beasts.

 

Here's a blurb from my website... need to be cleaned up a bit but here it is in a rough draft.

 

when Pit Cooking, my goal is not to incorporate smoke flavor, this is a welcomed by-product of cooking with hardwood and I subscribe to the belief , "less is more", when cooking on my pit.

If I want to infuse a smoke flavor I will usually use my GOSM, I usually use the GOSM for my appetizers as well..

 

 

The following is how I approach my cooking, this is not to say that this is everyone thought but rather my opinion.

  1. Smoking, desired outcome, to infuse smoke flavor into food product.
  2. Grilling, cooking over direct heat to achieve a Maillard Reaction, searing, charring etc...
  3. Cold Smoking, infuse smoke flavor into a food product without cooking.
  4. Low and Slow, desired outcome, to slowly cook product to render fat and break down connective tissue.
  5. Barbecue, to cook food indirectly with the use of hardwood coals (infusing smoke flavor is not the goal here but is a welcomed by product).

 

4 and 5 play well together.

 

 

There is no Magic number for the perfect temperature, I have learned this through experience. You got guys that will never go above 225° and you got some folks that like it around 275°, some folks are in between.

 

You can smoke at 350° but you can't cook low and slow at this temp, I smoke at 50° sometimes, is that too low? No, not for cheese or Buckboard bacon.

 

 A lot of times I see these terms used interchangeably.

 

But to answer your question directly I don't like to go above 275° when cooking "Low and Slow"

 

And I do agree with you james1nc, here's a blurb I live by.

 

 

The goal here is to have fun!

I find something therapeutic about being outside cooking with a fire. I guess you could say it's sort of a therapy, well we know its definitely an aromatherapy. It's quite relaxing to be out tending the pit on a cold day, without the worries of the world around me.


This is what it is like for me when cooking on my pit.

You get up before the sun, head out to the pit, it is dark but the darkness is welcome, it makes you feel like you are in your own world.

You open up the firebox door and start a fire. It is very still and dry out, the fire burns upward.

It is silent, almost a deafening quiet, no birds, no airplanes or cars, no air conditioners, the only thing that is heard through the silence is the crackling of the fire, 
you glance at the temperature gauge on the wall and it reads 36°, you think to yourself , "that's cold", but the warmth from the pit is comforting and you are not cold. 

The light from the fire cuts through the dark giving the area a warm soothing glow and the smell from the freshly ignited wood makes you close your eyes and inhale deeply, you loose yourself for a minute, at this point you know its going to be a great day.

You head upstairs and grab the pork, once at the pit, you unwrap the pork and get hit with another welcomed smell... it's of your rub, as you gaze at the slather that has developed from the rub mixing with the meat juices you are fighting the urge to swipe the gooey goodness with your finger and taste it like you would icing on a birthday cake, the whole time saying to yourself, "life is great".

The fire settles down, you look over your shoulder and notice the glow of the sun peeking through the trees.

You set up your pit and place your treasure into the pit, you close the pit and head upstairs to grab a coffee and back out to the pit.
You then place your favorite chair by your firebox and gaze at the thermometer and it is now 42°.

As you sip on your coffee you get a faint smell of your rub alongside a bit of smoke smell, now you get anxious... you spring up and take a peek... not much going on but you take a minute to admire your treasure.

A little while passes and you add some more wood to the fire, as the fire crackles you hear a sizzling sound, you spring up out of your chair and pop open the pit,...whoosh you get plastered in the face with the first signs that your pork is on it's way, you have now just opened Pandora's box, the anticipation weighs heavily on you like a crushing force that can only be lifted by time.

As you admire your treasure you notice the "pork gold" oozing from the surface, you know everything is as it should be and you have aligned with the universe.

too be continued.




Nothing is more relaxing to me than being outside tending the pit on a nice fall morning, kicking back with a fresh cup of coffee taking in all the wonderful aromas from the pit.

As much as it is relaxing, there is also something primeval about cooking meat over a fire, there is also the satisfaction of producing a product that required so much attention and will be enjoyed by many.

When I'm cooking on the pit, it's not just cooking, it is more of an event. Now that I look back I remember my Mother In Law would make thanksgiving dinner, I saw her slaving in a kitchen all day, but to her she was enjoying her event, she was in her element and enjoying every minute of it, to me it looked like a lot of hard work.

When I'm cooking on the pit, folks look at me and say, "man you've been tending that pit all day, that seem like a lot of work", but I'm in my element, so I say, "its only work if you don't enjoy it".
 
 
 

 

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Well said SQWIB :beercheer:   Nothing more relaxing than starting off your morning by the fire pit and ending the day with family and friends having a great meal.

post #14 of 14

hard to find something else to add to that SQWIB...You summed it up perfectly

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