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Hello from very-rural no-where Texas

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by txgal, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. txgal

    txgal Newbie

    Once again I found myself looking for ways to smoke a turkey, so here I am.

    I live in VERY rural south-central Texas on 32 heavily wooded acres.  I am a Houston native, however.  We raise Texas Barbado hair sheep which is a breed originated from the Barbado Blackbelly and Rambouillet and Mouflon sheep.  The ewes are polled.  The rams grow large horns and can be very dangerous when sexually mature.  If you are looking for lambs to throw on the pit, we sill have 6 ram lambs left to sell from this lambing season.  We also have a lovely St. Croix ram, 2 white Dorper ewes, and St. Croix / White Dorper mixes.  These are hair sheep too.  We fly white homing pigeons for "White Dove" releases.  We have city dogs who would love to kill our animals if they could.  We have two cats.  And we have all sorts of things that go bump in the night, that also go bump in day time hours.  

    We smoke in a wrought iron smoker with a separate fire box that we bought years ago off the side of the road from someone who hand-makes them.  On rare occasion we smoke on our Weber.  We normally use the Weber for cooking steaks, meat patties, hotdogs, etc.  Our smoker has a thermometer screwed into the lid.  We regulate the heat with the damper between the fire box and the pit, and with the damper on the top of smoke stack.

    The only wood we cook with and smoke with is Post Oak and Live Oak from our ranch.  I start my fires with about 5 Kings charcoal brickets, and small pieces of wood.  I LOVE playing with fire all day!  But must always be careful to watch for poisonous snakes when pulling wood off the wood pile.

    I make a damned good smoked packer brisket seasoned only with oak smoke, and brown sugar packed baby-back pork ribs seasoned with oak smoke.  My husband does most the Weber cooking as I know I would destroy a steak, but I can smoke a cut up chicken on the Weber. 

    I tried smoking a turkey in 2006 and it was HORRIBLE, in my opinion.  I would like to try to smoke one this Thanksgiving and/or Christmas.  I know nothing about brining other than what I have read here and there.  I am not much of cooking fancy.  I just want to learn a simple brine (would consider brown sugar in it), and how to smoke with no flavorings other than our Post and Live Oak smoke. 

    Other than that, not much more to say other than I like smelling like wood smoke, and I loved smelling like my horse when I still had her.

  2. txgal

    txgal Newbie

    Correction -

    My husband says our smoker with the fire box is made out of heavy steel pipe. Who knew?  Not me.
  3. elginplowboy

    elginplowboy Meat Mopper

    Howdy from just up the road in Elgin. Welcome
  4. Hello TxGal and welcome to the fun.  Seems many of us Texas folk just like to taste the meat without all the fancy rubs and such.  Many good folk here with a load of experience that they are more than willing to share.  If you have specific questions just start a thread and someone with experience will be along soon to offer advice.  All info you can provide us with such as smoker type, location and so on will help us answer any questions you may have.  Spend some time doing some research on the forums, tons of advice and recipes already available there.  We look forward to your contributions.  Give this brine a try for your turkey.  Pops is in Dallas/Ft. Worth area.  He is THE MAN for this stuff.  Have fun.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!


  5. mike johnson

    mike johnson Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

     How fresh is the wood your using since you get it on your ranch? How long do you season it for? Most bad tasting smoking jobs comes from wood that's to fresh. Oh yeah!! Welcome to the SMF home, Im glad you joined us [​IMG]...
  6. gary s

    gary s SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member

    [​IMG]Hello and welcome from East Texas. This is a great site, lots of information and great people that are willing to throw in their two cents worth on about anything.   ........



  7. seenred

    seenred Legendary Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Welcome to the forums!  You've found the best place I know for sharing ideas on smoking, grilling, curing, etc.  There are plenty of friendly, knowledgeable folks here who really enjoy helping one another.  Looking forward to your input here, and just ask when you need anything...someone here will surely have the answer.

  8. disco

    disco Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Welcome from Canada!


    I only started smoking last year and it sounds like you are already experienced. From your introduction, I am really looking forward to your posts!

  9. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Hey Gal

    Welcome from the Alberta bushland

    Sounds like you have a pretty wide assortment of critters on your place.  I'm guessing that the snakes are rattlers.  Always wanted to try rattlers on the smoker, but we don't have any up here

    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  10. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Hey Gal

    Just took a close look at your avatar.  Is that one of your sheep??  Beautiful animal.  Don't want to appear stupid, but oh well, here we go again, what do you do with them??  Eat them, shear them ..........??

    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  11. gary s

    gary s SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Post some pictures of your smoker, so everyone will know what you are working with and can help on the Smoked Turkey.   Also love Cabrito

  12. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You said very rural no-where Texas.....?  I thought you were no doubt  from Notrees or maybe Frankel City.


    Nice to meet you, I assume that you have already found and used the search engine. That sucker has soooooo much info it can dazzle you with it's quantity. If you need assistance, check out the folks with the tags under their name of either Moderator or OTBS these are the Guru's of Knowledge and what they don't know, they know the right phone number to find out. Of course there is the masses..... sadly folks can't smoke all the time, but the second best thing is .... well the third best thing is talking about smoking. Doesn't matter the topic. Its sorta like Texas sports everyone has a story or at least an opinion.

    There are loads of stuff you'll figure out here, most of it good. I'll make a suggestion, get a dedicated notebook and keep notes. That way before you do something again that you did two months ago, you take a min and refresh your memory. Use it to save recipes you want to try also. Keep notes of your smokes, what you did, what you thought of the end result, what you'd like to change or what you read about that seemed a good idea. Then the next smoke you are locked and loaded for bear! Here is some of what others used... maybe give you some ideas.


    If you get past the board software problems you'll meet some really great folks here who'll  love to share what they know, what they don't and just get to know ya.

    BTW, first time saving hint, if you will click on the "Profile" link on the task bar at the top of the page, enter where you make your meals, you'll save having to answer that question 100's of times.

    Pleasure meeting ya Ma'am, look forward to seeing your smokes. [​IMG]  
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  13. Glad you joined the group. The search bar at the top of any page is your best friend.
    About anything you wanna know about smoking/grilling/curing/brining/cutting or slicing
    and the list goes on has probably been posted. Remember to post a QVIEW of your smokes.
    We are all smoke junkies here and we have to get our fix. If you have questions Post it
    and you will probably get 10 replies with 11 different answers. That is because their
    are so many different ways to make great Q We all have our own taste.

    Happy smoken.

  14. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome aboard!

    Thanks to all the Texans for how well they treated our military way back when!

    Good luck and good smoking.