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Rival K.C. Smoker Roaster Grill

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Last Chrismas, or the one before I got two rival roaster ovens, one of them which is also a smoker. I am having a tough time getting it to give my food a good enough smoked flavor. I am hoping there might be some more experienced users of this roaster/smoker on her that would share some tips, and experiences with me?

post #2 of 19
I'm not familiar at all with the cooker you speak of. I do have a few questions and related answers which may help put things into better perspective and get your creative thoughts going a little more. Here goes:

1. What temperatures are you cooking at? Sometimes, just bumping the cooking chamber temp by 25-30* is all it takes to get a nice smoke started.

2. Is there a factory smoke box, and if so how is it positioned in the cooking chamber and how close to the heat source? Does it have it's own dedicated heat source or is it reliant upon the cooking chamber heat? If possible, try relocating it closer to the heat source, then try higher temperatures. Lack of smoke is generally caused by too little heat to the smoke wood. Also, be sure there is adequate ventilation of the smoke box so that it gets enough air to release the smoke. It may be capable of producing smoke, but has it trapped inside the box.

3. What size of smoke wood chips are you using (1/4" thick, 1/2" thick)? The smaller the size, the easier it should produce smoke, because it's cross-section is smaller, thereby heating through to smoking temperature in less time. Also, if you have flat sided chips, try laying them flat in the smoke box for more contact surface area.

4. Are you using dry or soaked wood chips? If wet, try dry chips. Wet chips take much longer and sometimes higher temps to produce smoke.

That's all that comes to mind right now...I think I covered most of it. Others may be along shortly with more to add, or soeone who has used your model of cooker.

Hang in there...if there's a will, there's a way!

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
It's an electric Roaster oven. I use small wood chip, and I have done them wet and dry, and even tried cooking without water in the water pan.

Here is the manual, it has some pictures of what all there is.

post #4 of 19
Is this the one you are talking about?

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
It's kinda like that, but not exactly. Here's the best I can find.

post #6 of 19
Your experience with it seems to be the same as mine. I had one for about a year and after several attempts to get some decent food out of it, I donated it to my trash man a month or two ago. Thermostat is all out of whack (225 doesn't equal 225 apparently) and there's no easy way to add more wood during smoking.

It would add a slightly smoky flavor to meats, but if you try doing a slather & rub on something you end up with smoky paste on top of meat. I never got a bark on anything. I could've held on to the thing for making a big pot of beans or chili, but it was just taking up space in the storage room. Hope that helps!
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Question. One time I smoked some burgers on this, and it didn't smoke too well because of the juice off the meat made the chips too wet. If I used a small foil pan, or bowled up some foil on the bootom rack, would that affect the flavor from the smoking since it wouldn't be directly sitting on the rack?
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Okay, I did some BS Chicken Breast on there today, with some Golden Potatoe Halves, and it tasted great though the chicken was a little dry. I did everything dry, dry hickory chips, and dry water pan.
I am thinking next time melting a stick of butter, with 1/2 - 1 cup of olive oil, and adding some of what ever I rub on it, and brush it real good the last hour or so?
post #9 of 19
Sorry it took me so long to come back on...just got off work.

Yeah, you can't have anything dripping on the smoke wood...it'll stop the smoke rather quickly. Even a foil pouch with the smoke wood inside would help keep it dry.

A couple things with foil pouches: keep away from open flame if near a gas burner or charcoal, and no direct contact with electric heating elements. Some guys poke holes in the pouch to let the smoke out slowly...I never had to myself, it will come out through the seam in your pouch.

The water pan helps to disperse the heat more evenly and adds humidity to the cooking chamber, which should help keep the meat moisture content a bit higher. It helps if a little if you overcook the meat...makes it a bit more forgiving. The flip side is, if you want a crispier skin on a bird, or if smoking/drying jerky, you will want no water in the pan.

Try water in the pan and the butter baste towards the end. I think you're getting on track here, though.

Keep trying...there's always a learning curve with every cooker you use. Keep notes on what you change and what the results are...that's a great way to tinker with the variables and find out exactly what effects the end product of your different meats, and when you start using different methods, you cvan look back to refresh your memory. Soon, you will find what works well, and what doesn't work for the particular meat you're cooking. Same goes for seasoning blends in your dry rubs.

Keep playing with it and learning as you go. It gets easier with practice... PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

The best part is, you get to eat any mistakes you make!!! biggrin.gif

It's all good eats, even the bloopers! LOL!!!!!! Trust me...been there...

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
I was meaning more along the line of something to hold back or catch the drippings?

Another question, I was wondering, when basting with BBQ sauce, would it help any to thin out the sauce a little with some juice? I was thinking like some apple, or cherry, or even apple cherry juice.
post #11 of 19
Aah, I gotcha now...yeah, foil pans for drippings work great, and you can skim the fat off and add back to the meat before serving.

Diluting the sauce does help for a thinner glazing of ribs or birds. If applying bottled sauces with a mop, I like it a bit runny (50/50), if brushing it on, a bit thicker (70/30)...sauce to juice ratio, that is.

I don't use sauce much here, but that's what I remember doing. Fruit juices do add alot to the flavor. I use them for brasing during foiling of pork ribs or butts all the time.

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
The biggest problem I've had was smoking burgers. My wife loves smoked burgers, and I like to use the really lean meat (90% or better), but it lets off alot of water or juice when I cook it.
I am hoping to be able to get a charcoal Smoker around tax refund time next year. I think I could do better on one of those. I really like cooking, especially on the grill. If I could afford it I would build an out door kitchen. lol
post #13 of 19
The drip pan should take care of the burgers.

Man......I know exactly where you're coming from about the kitchen. You sound alot like I did a couple years back. Now, I have a 10' x 20' wood patio, partially covered and 2 walls for wind breaks, with an old 12 cu ft freezer, a 21 cu ft side-by-side, 3 smokers, 2 grills and all the accessory equipment, charcoal and propane tanks in one space. I don't want to go as far as having a sink/running water as we get winters with -30 to -40*F night temps...I'll make due. I do need to run dedicated electrical for everything yet...heavy duty 12 AWG drop cords are just temporary, and that's what I have now.

It is nice to be able to cook whenever I want, regardless of what mother nature says about it. The weather here is crazy sometimes...the local saying here is: if you don't like the weather, just wait 10 minutes, it'll change...lol

It does take time and careful consideration of what equipment you will get use out of in order to build up an outdoor kitchen space like mine...something you can walk into and appreciate, knowing that most everything you need for the day's smoke is cloase at hand. I'm not finished yet...my food prep area is OK, but could have a few more conveniences and I'm still re-organizing from time to time...helps me stay busy though.

Anyway, the kitchen is a good thing to move towards, especially if you really enjoy outdoor cooking like I do. Just take your time, so your budget doesn't get pinched and your brains don't get scrambled in the process!!!!! LOL!!!!!! It's been 2 years on mine so far...

If you're considering a verticle charcoal smoker for a starter outdoor rig, the small Brinkmann Split-door square smoker looks like a nice one for the money...I think it's $74 @ wallyworld, but I read a post here where somebody got it for $59 or something. It probably would need a charcoal pan modification for optimizing the smoker's performance. I was considering adding one to my collection a few months ago just for the challenge of learning how to use a different smoker. Then I did a gas to charcoal conversion on my small GOSM verticle for kicks, and love cooking with it.

Enjoy your passion for great food!

post #14 of 19
That was me, I paid $40 for mine but YMMV with Wal-Mart. RaceyB is in FL and his Wal-Mart said absolutely not since it's grilling season all year long. Someone in NC I believe found a Wal-Mart selling them for $35. I replaced my charcoal pan with a stainless steel grilling wok from Home Depot and my temps are great (as long as I use briquettes, lump was too unwieldy)! Just figured I'd chime in with that info.
post #15 of 19
Moral of the story: There are no shortcuts, there are only compromises. Sometimes the compromise is too compromised, and therefore a waste of time and $$$.
post #16 of 19
hey please dont throw this unit out to the trash man my mom has one and makes the best food. If you are thinking of seliing or getting rid of please let me know I would love to have on these rival smoker. I am not sure how to use it because mom has one and does all the cooking in it. But my family would love if we had our own thanks Janet
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
I am not getting rid of it, it is the only way I have to smoke food, plus I can always use it for a 2nd roaster. Besides I rarely get rid of anything to do with cooking. I am kind of a horder when it come to my kitchen, and cooking tools, and appliances. lol
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
I really need some help here. I have a couple things I want to smoke in this. I have two big slabs of ribs, and a HUGE cabbage (I'm talking twiced the size of my head). I want to smoke, and bbq the ribs, I am hoping to make them like those really good bbq ribs that you need a bib, and a case of wet naps. and I am not exactly sure at all how to smoke this cabbage, I know it will have to at least be cut in half to fit this smoker, and smoked one half at a time. Any help would greatly be appeciated.
post #19 of 19
Here is a link for a previous cabbage smoke that msmith did, could give it a try.

Good luck!
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