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Greetings from Ireland!

Ohoopee

Newbie
6
1
Joined Aug 11, 2020
I'm an ex-pat, a good ole boy originally from near Savannah Georgia. I have lived in Ireland for over a decade now. I am a classically trained chef, with two culinary degrees but have not worked as a chef for some time. My family was always big into pig pickings. My family's own BBQ sauce has been passed down to me and currently, I am the only person left alive that knows how to make it. It has been a challenge, working with different ingredient brands, and finding some ingredients here in Ireland, but I have finally found a combination of ingredients that makes the sauce taste the way I remember it. My family never really used spice rubs, just salt and pepper, and a mop made from cider vinegar and water. I have during my time as a chef, developed my own spice rub that along with my family BBQ sauce, makes some darn good ribs. My family never used smokers. We had this old bed frame, one of the old ones where the base that the mattress sits on is cross-hatched like a grill. We would dig a shallow pit under the bed frame. We then had a barrel with a slot cut out of the side, at the bottom. We would put wood in the top of the barrel, light it on fire, and as the wood turned to coals, we would scoop them with a shovel, out fo the slit in the barrel, and spread them under meat which sat on the old bed frame. Every spring, my uncle would buy a young pig to fatten up, he would slaughter it on July 3rd and we would scald it, scrape it..and saw it in half. He would start before daylight on July 4th and literally cook the pig all day. This is the BBQ I grew up with. I would love to try to bring something similar to Ireland. There are a few lads here who try it but they just don't get it right...most get it way to dry and smoke is just way too strong, all you can taste is the smoke. The cuts of meat are cheaper here than they are in Georgia....a rack of Pork Ribs here only costs about 8 euro and pork shoulders or butts have to be specially ordered from butchers as they don't really use them here but are generally about 7 or 8 euro as well...the same for beef brisket but it is a little more expensive. Wood here is way more expensive though and getting hickory or pecan wood is almost impossible...my grandparents in Georgia had a huge pecan orchard so we always had lots of pecan wood and that was the main wood we used. Because I rent my home and don't own it, I am looking to have a smoker built since the landlord will not let me dig a pit in my back yard lol. I am not a welder and no one over here knows how to make a smoker...the few that do think very highly of their services. I'm hoping to get some help and advice on coming up with a plan that I can take to a metal fabricator and say here...make this. I'm looking forward to learning a lot.
 
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Red Badger

Newbie
19
19
Joined Jul 23, 2020
Welcome from Hog Mountain, GA!

Best wishes on finding a fabricator and introducing the Irish to great 'cue. Are fruit woods available? If not, pellets might be a viable option.
Over the course of my career, I spent months traipsing to Shannon, Galway, Malahide, Dublin, and several other towns. Many fond memories, including grabbing fish and chips at Macari's takeaway in Malahide, and consuming them while on a bench overlooking the bay.

Also, besides the sage advice you'll receive here, Youtube has lots of videos on different smoker fabrication.

Best of luck!
 

Brokenhandle

Master of the Pit
★ Lifetime Premier ★
1,773
1,066
Joined Nov 9, 2019
Welcome from Iowa! Wish ya the best of luck on your smoker build. Maybe a uds (ugly drum smoker) would work for you, if you can locate a barrel

Ryan
 

Cajun Smokes

Fire Starter
35
17
Joined Mar 16, 2020
Welcome from Louisiana. You bring back memories of my family doing the same with pigs once a year. The pigs would be cooked in every way possible that day. Neighbors, friends and family would gather for dancing, drinking, eating and true fellowship. Miss those good times. Good luck sir
 

Ohoopee

Newbie
6
1
Joined Aug 11, 2020
Thanks, everyone. After doing some research, I would really love to have a reverse flow smoker. I am just having a real problem finding anyone over here who seems to believe they can make one. The offset smoker you can by here a cheaply made, just not good quality at all. I don't care how pretty the smoker is, I care about the quality of the smoked meat. There is one company I have found here in Ireland that specializes in making smokers, they have two reverse flow smokers of two different sizes...the cheapest one is over a thousand euro. The larger of the two is over 2000 euro. Applewood is pretty easily available here, if not from Ireland then from England where they make lots of hard ciders. You can also get oak pretty easily and beechwood. At the moment, my number one goal is to get a smoker built. Does anyone know of any actual plans for a reverse flow smoker out there that I could give to a metal fabricator and say 'here, make this'?
 

Cajun Smokes

Fire Starter
35
17
Joined Mar 16, 2020
I have never found plans for one. As a fabricator, I am putting something together but my plans aren't complete yet. Had to put on hold for the moment. This link may help you and a fabricator get the smoker you want built. If you decide to do this, start another thread for the build and some of the masters here will help figure out option or plans.
 

Ohoopee

Newbie
6
1
Joined Aug 11, 2020
www.feldoncentral.com/bbqcalculator.html
Sorry forgot to attach the link lol
Thanks, I'll have to convert that to metric for any Irish or polish fabricators but that seems very useful. As a fabricator yourself, do you think a steel drum would work as a smoking chamber? I am having a hard time finding a metal tank, most of the ones I do find are huge and are used on dairy farms when I do find a smaller tank more of the size I am looking for it is stainless steel which is fine but it is usually more expensive than I would like and doesn't stay on the market for long. I am finding quite a few steel drums or barrels for sale for very cheap here in Ireland, I found one guy in Kilkenny who has loads of them and is selling them for 10 euro each. His ad says ' Barrels 45 gallon, steel with lids and clamps, very clean, ideal for water, animal feed, horse jumps, field day dust bins, BBQ's and mortar boards €10 each' Do you think one of these drums would work for the smoking chamber of a reverse flow smoker or do you think it would be too flemsy?
 

Cajun Smokes

Fire Starter
35
17
Joined Mar 16, 2020
I do think it would work. It may not hold heat as well as thicker material but would be a good start. Some of the cheaper models sold here in USA aren't much thicker. Some people make them out of flat plate material and they work fine. Maybe that would help you, dosent have to round to smoke. Many people on here make stand up vertical smokers out of wood and produce great food. Just depends what you are looking for.
 

Ohoopee

Newbie
6
1
Joined Aug 11, 2020
I do think it would work. It may not hold heat as well as thicker material but would be a good start. Some of the cheaper models sold here in USA aren't much thicker. Some people make them out of flat plate material and they work fine. Maybe that would help you, dosent have to round to smoke. Many people on here make stand up vertical smokers out of wood and produce great food. Just depends what you are looking for.
I mentioned I found one company here in Ireland who makes smokers, they make different kinds. The pictures of their smokers all look like they are made from steel drums which again made their price all the more surprising. I also have access to beer kegs but the fabricator I have been speaking too said a beer keg would be hard to weld. Like I said, I just want to make great Que...I don't really care what the smoker looks like. I'll head over to the fabrication threads....I'm ready to get started!
 

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