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Dad-in-law got a Traeger, still can't cook

Discussion in 'Pellet Smokers' started by Blue Kettle, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. Blue Kettle

    Blue Kettle Newbie

    My father-in-law got a Traeger. He's retired and basically doesn't do anything but sit around watching the golf channel so I actually had suggested that he get into smoking meat, thinking it would give him a hobby. So for the 4th of July we go over to their house and he's cooked a brisket and he's in the process of finishing up some 3-2-1 ribs. I asked him him how long he's cooked the brisket for and he said 6 hours. It was a six lb. flat. Needless to say this thing was still fairly tough. The connective tissue hasn't really broken down (he claimed it had gotten to 191).

    So how do I offer advice without offending the guy? I'm afraid I'll be stuck eating horribly cooked food at every family get together from here on. Any cook book suggestions? I think that is part of the problem. He's relying on this little cookbook that came with the Traeger but I don't think the cookbook is actually very good. Can't it be very good if it told him to cook that brisket to 191 for goodness sake.
  2. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    My dad and I always had a very honest relationship with one another. If either of us saw the other was doing something wrong we'd politely or jokingly tell the other. Sometimes we'd let each other go to just the point of no return. Before speaking up. It worked for us and we were able to maintain the father son relationship as well as best friend relationship. Good luck, you don't want anyone to get sick.

    Blue Kettle likes this.
  3. bdskelly

    bdskelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    In my opinion, His best opportunity for guidance is to get him to join this forum. Good luck! B
    Blue Kettle likes this.
  4. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Good luck!
    That is a tough situation.
    I think I would just invite them over to your house for brisket, so he can see how it's supposed to be done.
    RobCat and Blue Kettle like this.
  5. Blue Kettle

    Blue Kettle Newbie

    That's definitely what he SHOULD do (that's what I've been doing ever since getting into smoking stuff and I still consider it a learning process). Unfortunately, he's one of these guys who never really adapted to the computer age.

    I think I've devised a plan. Next time we're over there when he isn't looking we'll hide the "cook book" that came with the grill. Then he'll be forced to actually seek out information himself instead of rely on that.
  6. joe chierchio

    joe chierchio Newbie

    The book is actually pretty good especially for a beginner. He just needs some practice.
  7. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would agree with this . Sure didn't happen over night for me .
    Maybe start by having a positive , helpful mindset towards the man ?
  8. You could buy him Jeff's book for a gift next bday or xmas. 2 birds.....
    chopsaw likes this.
  9. Braz

    Braz Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

  10. bregent

    bregent Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    How did the ribs turn out?
  11. Blue Kettle

    Blue Kettle Newbie

    Those were decent.
  12. Blue Kettle

    Blue Kettle Newbie

    I think I figured out the possible issue. Although I can't confirm because I don't have the book I would imagine it is the same recipe from their website. I think he quit reading after the 1st part were it says cook it 6 hours and just thought he was done without realizing he had another 3-4 to go after foiling it. 9-10 hours would be a lot closer to right.

  13. Blue Kettle

    Blue Kettle Newbie

    I'm nothing if not helpful and positive I want him to get the most out of this great hobby.
  14. TomKnollRFV

    TomKnollRFV Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I think being honest with him is the way to go. <Also from what I've seen, Traeger recipes are really well done. I use them as guidelines a lot.>

    Otherwise I do like the hide the cookbook method..
  15. Clownpuncher

    Clownpuncher Newbie

    I'm not sure what temp he is bringing it up to. It does sound like he forgot the second step of wrapping it and then it also sounds like he forgot (or didn't know) that he should let it rest for at LEAST an hour afterwards in a cooler.
    As far as telling him, try a nonchalant way of saying something like "hey, would you mind if I help out on the next brisket? I'd love to try a few things out and see if they work. I'll buy the brisket!" or something like that.
  16. ab canuck

    ab canuck Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Buy him a good remote thermo. Is he using the Traeger one? And I agree with suggesting he Join this site. Lol you can always delete the thread....
  17. bregent

    bregent Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Or, start cooking the brisket and ask HIM for help. That way he'll see how you do it, without insulting him by inferring that he needs help.
    Blue Kettle likes this.
  18. TomKnollRFV

    TomKnollRFV Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I like this method if you think he'd just get super upset.
  19. Blue Kettle

    Blue Kettle Newbie

    I like the way you think. Great idea.
  20. Toys McGerk

    Toys McGerk Newbie

    Why don’t you smoke the brisket and let him watch the golf channel?