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Hi there, ya'll

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hey, name is Dave and I'm in Nashville. I'm an fairly accomplished cook/chef, having been in the front of the house side or restaurants for about 15 years (with one 6 month stint in the kitchen in one of my restaurants, where I cranked out as many as 75 personal sized pizzas per hour from a wood fired hearth oven). Even though I'm FoH, I've paid a lot of attention to the chefs in each one of my kitchens.

My first smoking experience was in 1974 (thereabouts) where a group of friends pit cooked a pig. I was tasked with making the BBQ sauce. I was in Memphis at the time and made up a couple of gallons of a vinegar/tomato based sauce. As it turned out, in converting from the qt. recipe, I miscalculated and added about 3 times the amount of spices. As it turned out, the sauce was actually incredible and everyone raved about it. That taught me that you can't be shy with seasonings when it comes to BBQ/smoking/grilling. We did the ole plastic bag/lots of sauce/wrapped in foil deal. The pit was about 5 feet deep and we started with lots of wood burned down to glowing embers. Then we added the bundles and built a new fire on top. After about 12 hours, we fished the bags out and the result was amazing. The pork was like butter and the sauce had permeated every bit. My sauce was a huge hit (wish I still had that recipe).

Haven't done any smoking or much grilling in the interim and I wanted to expand my repertoire (I do a lot of Thai, Vietnamese and other Pacific Rim cuisines in addition to my normal cooking).

Just bought a Brinkmann's electric smoker. I wanted to be able to cook brisket for a long time without having to tend the fire every couple of hours. Unfortunately, I found that it cooks a bit hotter than I wanted. I experimented with a 3.5 lb pot roast just to see what would happen (it's been in the freezer for a while and I wanted to use it up). I was hoping to go long and slow, but it was well done by 5 hours (175 degrees). So, I know a lot of people have wondered about hooking up a dimmer and/or thermostat to it, but I was wondering if anyone had experimented with cracking open the feed door and/or opening the top a bit and just letting some of the heat (and smoke I guess) bleed off to get to more like 200 or so. The pot roast was wonderfully smoky from the foil wrapped mesquite and hickory chips that I added at various points but just too well-done (but not too well-done to eat, I must say). At least I know that if I do it again, I'll start with about 3 hours with a closed unit and see where that gets me. Incidentally, I did a variation of the 3/2/1 system (using apple juice in the foil - didn't seem to bother the dry rub crust any).

I'll be taking delivery of my new Weber 22" grill tomorrow, so I will be able to do charcoal smoking as well. I'm really looking forward to that.

Anyway, sorry for being so long-winded, but thought I'd prep you in advance for my potential wordiness <chuckle>
post #2 of 9
Greetings teleburst...
I am sure I will be learning tons from your wealth of knowledge! I will look forward to your first Q-VUE
post #3 of 9
Welcome Dave. Look forward to some of your q-view. Good luck with new smoker.
post #4 of 9
Welcome to SMF. Nice to have a more experience "noob" join up! Looking forward to your experiences and tips!
post #5 of 9
From one Tennesseean to another...welcome aboard.

There are a couple BBQ competitions in your neighborhood. Might want to check em out.
post #6 of 9
welcome aboard-long winded or not-we just love q!
post #7 of 9
Welcome and good to have you from another restaurant person.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the warm welcomes (and in advance for future ones).

Here's a tip for dry rub. This might be redundant for some, but a major component of the rub I worked up for my pot roast was sumac. I find sumac has a sweetness and an earthiness that works really well with cumin (it's got a slightly similar flavor profile). I actually doubled up on the sumac. Basically I eyeballed some brown sugar. Then I eyeballed the usual components of onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, ground sea salt, thyme, paprika and chili powder. I also tossed in just a little cinammon for good measure (maybe next time I'll add a little nutmeg as well). Then I toasted some cumin seeds and coriander seeds as I do when I do a good Indian curry. I threw those freshly roasted seeds in the Braun coffee grinder that I keep for spices. I added two whole dried small chipotle peppers and ground it all up and added them to the rub. Then I added about double the amount of sumac than I did for the other spices. The resulting rub is sweet/earthy, a little smoky, a little warm from the chipotle and worked really well with beef. Another little shift I did was using palm sugar to coat the roast before adding the rub. I don't know how much difference it made, but I suspect that it helped. Palm sugar is something I use for my Thai curries and you can find it in many international markets. It's not super sweet and it has the consistency of a creamy vasoline so it's perfect for coating the meat and holding the rub fast.
post #9 of 9
Dave, Welcome to the SMF. I saw your other post and answered with my experience on the ECB electric.
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