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How and why did you first start smoking meats? - Page 3

post #41 of 81

No Foil

I was a die hard gas gill guy (commercial stainless gas Char-broil) until a friend of mine ( Master ), introduced me ( student ) to grilling spares ( they were always tuff ). A guy at work told me about the foil, basically the 3-2-1 method. So the student has be become the Master. I smoke all my meat w/no foil and everything is juicy: pulled pork, brisket, spares.
post #42 of 81
My mom died when I was 17 and my dad could not cook . My uncle could and he showed me how to build my 1st electric smoker back in 1973 . The rest is history .
post #43 of 81
I've always been a pretty good cook. (meaning in the kitchen as well as on the grill)

Right out of college, I got a job bartending that lasted about 3 or 4 years. However, I still frequent the place often.

PDT_Armataz_01_12.gif

A few years ago, I was having morning coffee with the owner before I had to head to the office, and I noticed a Brinkmann SnP (no firebox version) sitting in the back store room. I asked him who it belonged to and he told me it was another employee who left it there because he had no place to store it when he moved from his house into an appartment.

For some reason, that very moment was the first time I actually thought about the fact that there was another way to cook things besides in the oven or on the grill....and so before I even found the owner and asked to borrow it, I was completely hooked on the concept of BBQ, yet - I had not even tried it yet!

I experimented every weekend for about 6 months, then I put the SnP under a tarp in the garage, and drove down to St. Louis to get a Brinkmann Cimarron off Craigslist. Once I got used to the offsets, maybe another year later, I bought my Bell Fab. offset...so I've really only been smoking for 2-3 years.
post #44 of 81
Like others, I got the itch to smoke for 2 main reasons: I love ribs and hated having to spend 20-bucks for a halfass rack at the "best" around here. Once I became confident at grilling I started adding a smoke box with chips and then that want good enough so I added the bigger smoke box with chips.

I then entered a very tiny rib cookoff and as I once mentioned - I took the perverbial knife to a gun fight. All the others had smokers of various types and that got me MAD AS HELLO! I researched and found an old (20 yr. old) CS Model 50 on craigslist and snatched it up. Thanks Lew in Marshaltown Iowa!

Now I'm on this site and all I want to do is smoke more! Found a (free) older IH Refrigerator and will be starting a project with it soon!
post #45 of 81
I grew up grilling and barbecuing meats over charcoal or wood. Never imagined doing it with gas or electric, that was for "the house" and lots of house's stoves still used wood! Smoking seemed the next logical step. A lot of stuff made here is not really smoking, but offset barbecuing, but that's just semantics. It's all good stuff.
post #46 of 81
Neighbor had a ECB, got me started with a few tastes of his smokes
post #47 of 81
Neighbor is always brining ribs over to the block parties.
post #48 of 81
It's a law in Texas!!!PDT_Armataz_01_01.gif
post #49 of 81
Have always loved cooking outdoors.
My mom bought my dad a brinkman so he could smoke salmon... dad passed before he even opened the box. Mom was going to give the cooker to her church to sell at their yard sale - I reminded her that charity begins at home and low and behold that smoker showed up under my tree that Christmas (I didn't mind that re-gift). Started with some ribs and three cookers later, here we are!
post #50 of 81
Grew up with a redneck dad who smoked venison and fish so I always had a love for the flavor of smoke.

Fast forward a bit more then a decade....I started to Q myself when I moved out. I ended up working with a guy who was bringing in epic Q while it was like -35C outside. I asked how he was doing that and he introduced me to Weber Grills. I had my Genesis within a year and haven't looked back. Since then I have found a love for rotisserie and to mix it up a bit I bought a Grillpro cast iron smoke-box for the Q. Just with that I started to smoke more stuff and started experimenting with different mix ratios between woods and meats. Now I smoke so much on my Q (just did a 20# spatchcocked turkey yesterday and have two rack of beefies on there right now) that a 22" WSM will be beside the Q within a month (I hope!!). Come the weekend my clothes and house smell like smoke, I have people walking by my house now all the time (I think the walkers in the area have know learned to make my sidewalk a must when the go out for a stroll lol) and my wife seems to be a little more chipper when she smells that smoke....

Dad has a HUGE rotisserie cooker he made out of a 500 gallon fuel tank that he does catering for fishing derbies with. Has a coal stoker gearbox on it for the spit and propane burners in it. I think in the spring a removable firebox is going to be retro fitted to it...then he will see his lines up double once the smell of that smoke is smelt :D
post #51 of 81
I had an ECB that I couldn't operate for some reason. Always wanted to smoke some ribs but didn't have a clue how to do it. My Dad bought a Traeger and left it at my house for awhile...I quickly found this site and started learning. I initially bought a CookShack Amerique and sold it few months later and bought the Traeger I have now. About a year ago I added the Stumps to the mix. I'm starting to think that I may be a bit of a collector...I've been looking at used FEC's for some reason! Please don't tell my wife. LOL
post #52 of 81
me being a chef its part of a the culinary sene
post #53 of 81
i started cooking with my grandmother when i was 3 and when i was old enough I was introduced to the grille and it just all went from there. I think its the whole primal thing of meat and fire for me.

post #54 of 81
My neck's about as red as it gets, so when Bush & Gore were duk'n it out during the primaries, I found myself working in an office full of liberals.

I tend to avoid politics and religious discussions because they turn into no-win debates for both sides.

Not wanting to defend my rights to own firearms, and bicker endlessly over politics, I discovered a new hobby, smoking meat.

So when on of my ultra-liberal office mates stopped by my cubical to dispense messages of hatred towards the current Bush administration, I would always turn the conversation to something like "Hey, I smoked a batch of salmon last weekend that turned out better than anything I got in the store".

So, my reason to start smoking was politics. points.gif
post #55 of 81
My dad used to make his own kielbasa and smoke it in a converted bread cabinet until the cabinet part got stolen. Then he bought an ECB, extended it with some 3' stainless steel he had on a roll, put in some angle iron and used it to smoke his sausage. I had one as well, but relied on the original thermo to give me an idea of where the temps were. Used to do turkeys, but hot and quick. Gave up on that about 9 yrs. ago. Recently bought a Big Easy oil free fryer and started hanging around on their forum. One of the guys there turned me on to this site and started drooling over the qview. Went out and bought an MES at Cabela's last October. Did some ribs, chickens and turkey on that, but had a yen to play with fire. So just before Christmas Lowe's put the CGSP on sale and I took the bait. Now I use the MES for those long overnight cooks like butts and the CG for most everything else. Got two ECB's at my boat club that I would like to rehabilitate, but they may be too far gone for that. Just replacing the water pans and grates, I could buy a new one and do some mods and have one for at the boat. Hey, for $40 I just may do that!

You guys just get me into trouble! Good, juicy, smoky trouble.
post #56 of 81
I have always been a fan of charcoal grilling. One year I decided to smoke the Thanksgiving turkey to free up the oven for Mrs. Solaryellow to work on all the sides and desserts. The turkey came out as the best turkey we ever had. That led to me buying a smoker but only used it for turkey over the next 5 years. Then one day I decided to push myself to do more and the addiction kicked in from there. Never thought I would see the day that I made my own lunch meat, sausages, jerky, etc.
post #57 of 81
I got a job as a bartender at a steakhouse. They had ribs on the menu and were actually pretty good. (That is not the reason for starting to smoke meat). I met my wife there and she is from Kansas City. So, I was exposed to some pretty good BBQ on our trips out to see her fam. When I returned home from the first trip (1999). I acuried a WSM. That was all she wrote! I now have a side firebox, another homemade version of what Jack's old south has. (you know the fire under the water under the meat). And am building a reverse flow. Oh, and thanks to this forum and all of its members, I can produce some pretty good tasting product. I guess I could attribute it all to my wife...
post #58 of 81
Growing up we didn't really grill all that much, mainly because we didn't know what we were doing, and didn't know how to start charcoal properly. We'd always gather sticks and start a fire in a coffee can and then put on briquettes until it lit.

Finally about the time I got into high school we got a propane grill, and started cooking more often, and I kinda got defaulted into grilling. Never really had any instruction, just kind of threw it on and hoped for the best. Moved out on my own and got married, and got a propane grill of my own, and started grilling more often - veggies and any other cut of meat I could find, basically experimenting, never bad, but never that great.

A few years ago, while flipping through the channels, I saw Steven Raichlen, and was really intrigued by the different techniques and methods. I added his shows to the DVR and started dissecting techniques.

About 3 years ago, we were going to a fantasy draft, and it was potluck. I decided to try pulled pork, having never done it before. Did it on a weber kettle, and it was a hit. Did a couple chickens and smaller things over the next year, but nothing big. Come draft party time, I started getting questions about what I was bringing. Decided on a brisket this time, and used one of Raichlen's recipes again, and it was an even bigger hit, Cooked a 12 pound brisket, and it was almost all gone within a half hour.

I had mainly smoked in just the old weber kettle, but finally decided that this year was the year to upgrade. Bought a char-griller with SFB, and started with the mods on this site. Cooked my first ribs, and a lot of other things found on this site. I'm never quite satisfied with my results though, so I keep trying to keep up with the Jones' on this site.

I get to smoke about every other week right now. Unfortunately there is this thing called work that gets in the way. Add in part-time helping family members farm, and I don't have enough hours in the week to sit in front of the smoker.
post #59 of 81
I grew up grilling over wood fires - that's how my dad did it. Then when I got out on my own I had a Weber Kettle for years. Got married, had kids, amount of time I had got less so switched to gas grills for several years. Finally decided I missed the flavor of charcoal and wood, started looking around on the internet to try and decide what type of smoker to get. Found SMF about a year ago, bought a CGSP w/ SFB, learned the basics of fire controll, temp, rubs, ect. Then decided I wanted something a little less labor intensive and got into the WSM cult. biggrin.gif
post #60 of 81
I grew up in a family that COOKED .....my mom was a home ec teacher and cooked nice recipe meals my dad (R.I.P.) used to grill and smoke on the weekends. I love to cook and hate being in the house so smoking went hand and hand with me ......plus the wife says when I drink beer I am not being productive .............haha proved her wrong


P.S. love this place! ! !
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