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"Don't eat it all. I want more!"

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I really appreciate this site.  Every time I come up with a new idea, this site is all "been there, done that."  Plus the friendliness and courtesy really sets it apart.

 

Less than a year ago, I had maybe two or three things that I could cook.  My wife was the cook.  She is an attorney, and I became a stay-at-home dad.  She never had time to cook, and, well, I sucked at it.  My daughter and I ate at a lot of restaurants.  Not only was the food lackluster, but it was unhealthy.  I had high cholesterol, but I had to go through stress tests and an angiogram to determine that I had no serious heart disease.

 

I grew up in Texas, so I knew that food could taste good.  (I now live in Maryland.)  What I didn't know was that food could taste good AND be healthy.  The heart scare motivated me to learn to cook, and I started cooking various chile dishes.  Soon I was making food that was better than anything I had had, even in Texas.  Not only that, but my cholesterol dropped 70 points in about a month, and was well within normal range.

 

One day, after spending $40 for 2 lbs of so-so restaurant smoked brisket, I decided to start smoking my own foods.  I had confidence given my experience with learning to cook chile-based foods.  I bought an Outdoor Leisure propane smoker.  Now, not only are my smoked foods much better than anything I can buy around here, but also I can smoke things I have never had:  smoked fish, smoked potatoes, smoked Italian pasta sauce, smoked onions (yum!), etc.  Healthy, yet intense flavor.  Best yet, my 3.5 year-old daughter loves smoked food.  Tonight I smoked artic char, and when I went back for seconds, she said, "Don't eat it all.  I want more!"  My goal is to discover a dish to smoke that no one has thought of on this board (seems unlikely).  My wife suggested smoked s'mores.  I'll have to search later!  Still, her idea, not mine.

 

Lately, I have been unsatisfied with my propane smoker.  It does not have the right fuel to air mixture, so it burns too yellow.  The company has promised that a new control panel will solve the problem.  I think the current problem affects the smoke because it melts the aluminum to the smoker box in the middle.   To set temperatures lower than 275, I have to cheat by pretending that I am going to turn it off and stop just before it does. It's very sensitive:  A nudge one way will send the smoker to 200, and a nudge the other way sends it to 275.  I like to be 100% in charge, so I ordered a WSM today that should arrive Tuesday.  It will be the first time I have ever used real charcoals.  I have an ABC fire extinguisher ready and waiting!  I don't want to be too negative on the propane smoker because I have been able to make some good food with it.

 

Anyway, I really appreciate this site.  Amazing stuff.  Wonderful contributors!  My next big project is to make a fattie like those I've seen here, but I will need to eat nothing but chickpeas for a week or two before! 

 

Thanks for reading.

 

post #2 of 15

Welcome to SMF glad you decided to join us. Congrats on the new WSM they are certainly getting rave reviews. Good luck on finding something that nobody here has tried forget the Twinkies and Cheetos they have been done   Have fun and happy smoking

post #3 of 15

 First off welcome TTo to SMF. You'll like it here cause there are alot of really good folks that would just love to help you with anything to do with smoking. Now we like having new folks here to give a new prospective on some of the ways we do things around here. Now if you are really new then I would suggest that you sign up fir the 5-day E-course it free and it will give you the basics on smoking and a few recipes too. Here's a link to it:

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/forum/list/127

then you will have a method to your newly found madness and believe me it will be a madness. Then when you start smoking things you will have to learn how to post the pictures / Qview 

here. So here's a link to a tutorial on how to post your Qview so we can see what your doing.

 http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/forum/thread/82034/how-to-post-qview-to-smf

Now the next thing you have to do is run out and get something to smoke. Then just smoke it and if you have any questions just post  them here and we will answer all your questions that you might have. Oh yea there's no stupid questions we were all there in the beginning and we just really like to help others enjoy the fabulous smoked foods that we do. So again

 

Welcome to Your New Addiction

post #4 of 15

Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview.
 

post #5 of 15

Welcome aboard, tto!

 

Very interesting and informative introduction you've made. You're not alone on the cholesterol issues, as my last labs (about 9 months back) showed a touch high, but doc said still acceptable, and to start making some small adjustments now to avoid issues later. I'm looking into healthier cooking methods and foods too.

 

Low and slow still seems to beat the socks off all other methods for healthy cooking, and with a bit of smoke...man, who wouldn't want to eat these foods everyday? (OK, vegans aside...put my foot in my rear on that one, didn't I? But then, what do I care about a vegan's habits? NADA!!!) I'll rephrase that by asking: what omnivorous person in their right state of mind wouldn't want to eat these foods everyday? There, that's better, sorta...LOL!!!!!!!

 

Hey! Just remembered this thread from a few weeks back...you may find it interesting...regarding a study on certain spices which they claim can make cooked meats healthier to eat (you didn't ask, but I thought you might like this):

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/forum/thread/93643/why-spicing-it-up-and-the-low-and-slow-is-the-healthiest-way-to-cook

 

 

Enjoy the forums!

 

Eric

post #6 of 15

Welcome to the SMF forum, TTOsmoker.  Also, welcome the WSM family.  You are going to love that smoker, hands down.  It is, IMHO, almost set it & forget it, depending on what you are smoking.  Glad to hear your health is not a major issue in you life & I envy your "At Home Husband / Father" status, as I get tired of having to come to work & post at SMF during lull periods.    Anyway, good to have you aboard.  New things to smoke??  Candy bars are a great challenge!  Enjoy your stay & have some big fun while you are here.

post #7 of 15

Thanks for a great introduction, the SMF welcomes you. Looks like you'll be posting some smokes and Q too, real soon. It's all good my friend.

post #8 of 15

Welcome to the forum and good luck with the new cooker. When you smoke those 'smores be sure to post the optimum internal temp for the marshmallows

post #9 of 15

Welcome ttosmoker,

 

You're gonna love it here!

 

 

 

Bearcarver

post #10 of 15

Another "welcome" tto.  Enjoyed your intro -- well written, I appreciate good writing.  I have loved to cook for a long time, but over the past year or so my passion for it has really grown.  There is no doubt that good home cooked food is, or can be, better than any restaurant food.  And certainly better for you.  I'm in Ohio, and I'm starting to go to the local farmers markets (not much local produce yet), looking to focus on locally sourced foods when I can.  This summer one of my goals is to make BLT's with bacon I've made (made my first batch already), with tomatos and lettuce I've grown, on bread I've baked.  In fact, I think I'll make the mayo too!  I have a 7 year old daughter who is starting to enjoy cooking too.  She helps me all the time.  There is something very special about cooking with your child.

 

You made a good choice with the WSM.  I recently got one, and like Caveman said -- nearly set it and forget it.  Makes for outstanding Q.  Recently brought some in for people at work....the could not believe it was made at home.

 

I'm looking forward to more of your posts, and for your unique dish!

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for the great welcome.  It almost feels like what I imagine would be an Tobacco Anonymous meeting: "Hi, my name is TTO, and I am a smoker."  I do enjoy cigars...  Unfortunately, I cannot smoke while smoking, as I do not smoke cigars while my daughter is awake.  Anyway, this is a unique site, and I am glad to have found it.

 

Being a stay-at-home-dad is the best job I've ever had, but also the hardest.  For those guys who have stay-at-home-wives, give the wives extra-special treatment.  Give them a great smoked meal, but take charge of the table settings, serving, and the complete clean-up afterward.  My wife did this yesterday, and believe me it was very much appreciated.

 

For some reason, I feel compelled to give my biggest disaster so far:  I decided to make pulled pork from a 3.5 lb Boston butt on a particular Sunday.  I allowed 2 hours per lb, or 7 hours.  Instead, it took 11 hours to get to 200 degrees!  When it was obvious the pork would not be ready in time, my wife made her signature tuna casserole (with my smoked onions) for dinner that night, and we had pulled pork the next day.  Hee, hee, my daughter gave me credit for the tuna casserole since she loves smoked onions, like I do.   The pulled pork was very good, but I don't understand why it took so long.  I need more experience.

 

Anyway, thank you all.  I will probably post a Qview soon, particularly if I find a new noteworthy dish. 

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ttosmoker View Post

Thank you all for the great welcome.  It almost feels like what I imagine would be an Tobacco Anonymous meeting: "Hi, my name is TTO, and I am a smoker."  I do enjoy cigars...  Unfortunately, I cannot smoke while smoking, as I do not smoke cigars while my daughter is awake.  Anyway, this is a unique site, and I am glad to have found it.

 

Being a stay-at-home-dad is the best job I've ever had, but also the hardest.  For those guys who have stay-at-home-wives, give the wives extra-special treatment.  Give them a great smoked meal, but take charge of the table settings, serving, and the complete clean-up afterward.  My wife did this yesterday, and believe me it was very much appreciated.

 

For some reason, I feel compelled to give my biggest disaster so far:  I decided to make pulled pork from a 3.5 lb Boston butt on a particular Sunday.  I allowed 2 hours per lb, or 7 hours.  Instead, it took 11 hours to get to 200 degrees!  When it was obvious the pork would not be ready in time, my wife made her signature tuna casserole (with my smoked onions) for dinner that night, and we had pulled pork the next day.  Hee, hee, my daughter gave me credit for the tuna casserole since she loves smoked onions, like I do.   The pulled pork was very good, but I don't understand why it took so long.  I need more experience.

 

Anyway, thank you all.  I will probably post a Qview soon, particularly if I find a new noteworthy dish. 


Oh, so very true about being a homemaker, and great advice as well.

 

There are many factors which can effect the overall cooking time versus total precooked weight. I have had similar situations with 3-4lb beef chucks and even a few small boneless fresh picnics. Sometimes a drop in chamber temp for 20-30 minutes before the plateau starts can really slow things down. Smoke chamber humidity can have some effect as well. If I dry smoke, it seems to take longer than if I use a water pan in my SNP, so I generally go with a wet smoke. One of the biggest differences for my location is that we typically have a relative humidity of 20-35% (@ 4,900 ft, on the high plains), unlike lower elevations near large bodies of water.

 

I do find that once I get to ~160* I/T, I'll have all the smoke I want, so, I pan and foil tent to bring it along the rest of the way. I like to use an accessory rack (non-stick bakers cooling rack) to smoke on, then, transfer to a pan/tent...this keeps the meat elevated above it's drippings while reaching finish temp, which reduces fat content and helps keep a nicer bark going. If I want to firm up the bark more, I can always go back to the open grate for an hour or so just before I reach the I/T I'm looking for...like you would do with pork spare ribs using the 3-2-1 method. Oh, don't forget to de-fat the meat drippings and use that for a finishing sauce...excellent!

 

Have fun smokin', brother, and enjoy your family!

 

Eric

post #13 of 15

Welcome ttosmoker! This is truly a great place to learn and well as make some new buddies.

 

I never had the luxury of being a stay at home mom. I was mom, dad, bread winner, bread baker, healer of booboo's, and butt kicker of teenage attitudes. Now, I'm the semi-retired coolest grandma in the world!

 

post #14 of 15

Welcome ttosmoker,

 

You're gonna love it here!

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

Again, thank you for the warm welcome.  Squirrel, my hat's off to you. Gawd, one kid, all day to watch that kid, and I am friggin' exhausted!  I respect anyone who has to work...and clean...and watch the kids...and...and...and smoke dinner...and do it without help.  I consider myself the luckiest guy in the world.  My wife, bless her soul, goes out of her way to help me out.  Funny though that just a few hours with the kid wears her out.

 

Anyway, I finally fired up my new WSM today for some smoked pork tenderloins and smoked brussel sprouts with apple and pecan wood.   Wow!  The WSM is so much easier to control than my Smoky Hollow (propane).  BTW, the smoked brussel sprouts were terrible.  Straight to the trash.  But the tenderloin was juicy and tender, and just fantastic.  Sorry, no Qview as this was my first-ever charcoal fire -- actually, my first non-propane fire.  Had all eyes watching the fire, and 9-1 already punched into the phone.  But it went fine.  Kept the WSM between 220 and 235 for two hours with no problems.

 

Looking forward to more sessions, and still looking for a good unique smoked dish!

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