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Hello from Europe

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hello folks,

greetings from an American living in Europe (Switzerland and Austria, to be specific). I started learning various smoking techniques a couple of years ago because there just isn't any real barbeque tradition over here -- they either cold-smoke stuff to be eaten cold (which is fine, they especially do really well by trout) or burn the hell out of wursts and pork chops directly over coals (which CAN be good if done properly, but...) So since I can't just pop over to the local pit for the real thing (and I'm from Maryland, so some of y'all will doubt I ever had the real thing), I've been working with indirect grilling on my Weber and experimenting with recipes from books, the web, friends back in the States, etc. to some good effect (Austrian grill jockeys have all read somewhere that Americans wildly over-smoke their meat -- then they taste what I've done and have to admit that they like it). Getting wood isn't really a problem -- you can get hickory chips at any hardware store that stocks Weber stuff, and chunks are available mail-order, most of the rest of the classic smoking woods grow over here, and I'm really fond of the local plum wood which is not quite as sweet as most fruit woods and makes a really nice all-purpose smoke.

The bigger problem is equipment -- Weber is about the only big US manufacturer who gets distributed over here (and you can forget the little ones), and the off-set smokers available are all poorly made and ridiculously over-priced OK Joe knock-offs. A Klose is on its way over the ocean to me now, and even though the shipping costs pretty much double the price of the thing, the weak US dollar and the fact that it's still better value for money than what I can get here do soften the blow a little.

Another problem is butcher related -- the cuts here are all different. In Austria, you can't get baby backs or a Boston butt unless you describe in detail what you want (with pictures, if you have them), and what an Austrian or Swiss butcher means by "spare ribs" is usually about half of a St. Louis cut -- and not always the same half. The quality of the meat is nearly always really high, though, and independent butchers and the ones at fancier grocery stores are really good and generally interested in working with you to get the cut you want.

So can anyone point me out to some good resources (web or books) where various cuts are described in butcher-style detail? Pictures would definitely help -- my German's good, but my culinary German's not that good, if you know what I mean.

post #2 of 16
Hello from Canada!
Welcome to SMF!!
There's a lot of good folks and info around here,just have alook around.
Also,you should sign up for Jeff's free 5 day eCourse.
He also has some very informative free PDF files you can download.
Here's an American pork site that might be helpful:
And here's one on meat charts that may help as well:

Hope this helps a bit.
Keep on smokin'!!
post #3 of 16
post #4 of 16
I see that first link didn't come out right...just copy and paste it to the address bar ..should work then...
post #5 of 16
Willkommen zu SMF. Ich erlerne Deutsches als Liebhaberei, weil ich Rammstein liebe, und wie, um zu wissen, was sie singen. Wenn Sie irgendwelche Fragen haben, bitten Sie einfach.
post #6 of 16
SMF's going global! Very cool. Teach them boys how to make someting close to Chesapeake Bay Crab Soup, if they'll listen!
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Vielen herzlichen dank! And thanks for trying out your German on me, Chris, but the folks back home in Annapolis tell me I haven't forgotten my native tongue completely yet. I will say that the best part about learning German from Rammstein records is that you'll have no problem with the words for smoke, fire or meat! icon_lol.gif

Some of those charts have been very helpful so far, especially the beef ones, and I thank y'all for them. I think the pig is a little more problematic because they have such an established tradition of pork butchery and because, in general, the animals are smaller, so the butchers want me to get very specific before they'll do a custom cut for me. I guess I'm looking more for materials for butchers than consumers. Again, books are more than welcome, if you can think of any.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Oh, they'll listen, all right -- I just found a source in Vienna for live blue crabs from Nigeria (it's the same animal, believe it or not -- apparently they've been hitching rides on freighters from the US and have started growing in the Mediterranean and off the coast of Africa), so that's my next project!
post #9 of 16
have you went to amazon.com, barnes and noble, or anyother book websites? there is some good books there i am sure. also, check out jeff's how-to articles.

i have a book on learning German. i bought it after i discovered Rammstein. i know most of their songs, both in German and the English translation. i mean the literal translation.
post #10 of 16
Eurosmoker, welcome. this site has been wealth of information for me. i am sure some one will be able to help you out.

Were in austria are you? I spent 3 months in Graz for work. it was fun since work paid for it but would not want to live there. Did get to wein, salzburg, octoberfest and amsterdam twice on the expense report. But after all of that all I can do in germen is ask for one large beer and a shot of jack.

i also did see rammstein play in a little club. very interesting. I had heard the music which i had no problem w/ cuz i like pantara and NIN but there were a lot of freaks at the concert in the their leather. fun people watching.
post #11 of 16
Welcome to SMF Eurosmoker!!!
post #12 of 16
PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif Welcome to the SMF PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #13 of 16
I'll write to you from Ocean City.........going in a month!
post #14 of 16
Welcome aboard glad to have you hear.

If we can help any just ask
post #15 of 16
Big Howdy from Us to You! Glad you found us. Saw on an earlier post that someone mentioned www.askthemeatman.com . Great place with pics (hey...I need them) and tons of info on several animals. Dont be shy and hope to see ya soon.
post #16 of 16

Welcome to SMF!!! Sorry I dont speak German. Most of the time I dont speak english well either so I guess it all evens out...

Welcome and good smokebiggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif
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