Hi to all; my name is Ken; I'm an old timer at 79, I figure it's time I learned how to smoke what I

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by woodsman1st, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. woodsman1st

    woodsman1st Newbie

    Baron and I just moved back to Peoria AZ down from Idaho and we do miss all that fantastic hunting and fishing we had in idaho; but I'm disabled and that cold weather was just killing my knees and a few other parts as well; and  Baron is my best partner and he's no youngster either; just two years younger than me in Doggy years.

    The only experience I have in smoking was back in Ukiah CA in 1959 and 60. Back then I used to catch a bunch of Steelhead, and some old boy showed me how to hook up two junk refridgerators into a passable smoker for all those Steelies I was catching; it did do the job and real good. I used to travel down to Santa Maria and come back with 8 to 10 cord of Red Oak that I used for both heat and for smoking Steelhead, Deer and Wild Hog. That was a long long time ago and today I remember very little to nothing about the process/

    Today I  have a Little Chief Smoker; and most of the fare I'll be smoking will be fresh water fish: Trout, Bass (large mouth, small mouth and stripers), crappie and blue gill; and once in a while my son will bring down some elk and deer when he comes to visit. I'm too disabled for hunting any longer dang it!

    So in case you didnt understand me clearly, I dont remember anything that I once knew about smoking; nada, zip, squat, nothing at all.

    So I'm really hoping to learn a lot here, from what I have read so far there is a big bunch of experts here.

    As luck would have it; the very first post I read was by a  lady that had some pics of a meal she had just "whipped up" on her smoker.Her smoker looked like a  black 55 gal barrel; but oh my God those photos of hers places her high on the list of of experienced smokers! While I only remember one thing that she smoked for that meal it may help identify her; she had  the one veggie that I really dont like to eat; I cant recall the name of them, but they look like little tiny cabbages and hers were wrapped in bacon; my God but she even made them look good to eat.

    I'm an outdoorsman of over 65 years; with a ton of experience but I dont know a single thing about smoking other than it sure is good to eat. While living up in Alaska I learned to love one of many things they had in Alaska to love, and that was "Squaw Candy"; the local name of dried salmon wiht a touch of Alder Smoke I believe. I remember clearly the oil running down my chin at every bite I took.

    So please have patience with my questions and help me learn how to smoke mostly fish on my Little Chief Smoker.

    Take care everyone; and stay safe.

  2. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Welcome and a fond howdy to Baron as well. Lot of research can be done using the handy dandy search bar.....just type in ANY thing you're even thinking of smoking and numerous threads with pics will show up with tips and advice. Good luck with the Little Chief.....I'm here in Oregon and LOTS of guys smoke fish up in them.....Willie
  3. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Welcome from Canada, Ken.


    This is a great place to learn about smoking. There is a ton of great information in the posts and great people who are generous with their experience. 

    I look forward to your posts!

  4. humdinger

    humdinger Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome Ken!!

    I saw your other post before I saw this one.

  6. sb59

    sb59 Smoking Fanatic

    Ditto here Ken, Welcome!  79 huh? Want to learn more about smoking fish! So much for that old dog saying! For salmon I would suggest you look at cmayna's posts. He seems to be a salmon fanatic, his recipe is great and he uses Big Chief smokers so he's right up your alley.

    Also in regards to your other post I used the Little Chief for years and even the slightest breeze or temperature difference will affect smoke times. At the very least I would suggest inserting a small dial thermometer into the smoker and keeping a log when you do your smokes. Internal smoker temp., outside air temp, wind etc. Also for the fish I would get some kind of meat therm. to be sure you at least get the fish to 145 before removing, for safety!
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014
  7. Hey Ken, welcome from East Texas, looks like you got some good advice already

    Gary S
  8. woodsman1st

    woodsman1st Newbie

    I wasn't sure how to answer all the great welcome messages I got; should I have hit "reply" or hit :"start a new thread"; I obviously chose "Reply".

    My thanks to each of you for the warm welcome I received from you.

    One of the welcomes I got, from Bearcarver, made me wonder what kind of thermometer I should be using with my Little Chief electric smoker.

    The only temperature device I now have is made for roasts and wouldnt work too well with small, thin filets; at least I dont think it would do the job.

    At present I believe most of my smoking will be from fresh water game fish that are found here in Arizona: All three kinds of Bass (LM, SM, and Stripers) Crappie, Blue Gill, Trout both Rainbow and Brown; I doubt I'll get the opportunity for Apache  and scheesh, can't think of the name of the other Arizona Trout; oh well that wont be the last thing I forget today. lol

    And last on my list but right at the top when it comes to taste is the Catfish.

    Once in a great while my son will bring me some Venison, Deer or Elk,  I love my venison far too much to smoke it; don't mean to ruffle any feathers, but IMHO I wouldn't smoke any Venison because, once again IMHO, smoking is NOT the way to bring out the best taste in Venison; and again IMHO there is no such thing as a "wild taste" to any properly cared for game meat..

    If you cooled it promptly, cared for it properly,  age it properly and at the right temperature, there is NO WILD TASTE!  it just tastes differently that's all.

    Venison, like any other meat has it's own taste that's all, and some tastes better, much better in a couple of cases, than other meats. Beef tastes different than Sheep, they both differ from goat, or pork.

    My own two thumbs up meat I will take over ANY KIND OF MEAT is Moose. I could, and I have eaten nothing but Moose and Carribou all year with no other kind of meat and loved every day. The Carribou I would send into town and have them make a "Summer Sausage" out of the entire Caribout, Yep that includes the Backstraps; the rest I butcherd myself and did so for over 40 years. That way I got the cuts I wanted and there was no butcher slipping off with a steak from the backstraps or a tenderloin. lol.

    Sorry folks I tend to wander off the subject frequently; I'll try to keep it to a minimum.

    Thermometers for fish filets I remember; having a good day today. lol

    Far too often that choice piece of meat was destroyed by improper handling after it was shot, and even the shot can destroy the taste of a choice piece of meat.

    Ooops sorry folks i went off on a tangent there; it wont happen often.

    Anyway I was trying to get a recomendation as to what kind of meat thermometer I should use when you consider what I will be smoking from the list I gave above. And I will add to that list Salmon, Clams, Oysters, and other Ocean dwelling fish that are reccomended as good fish to smoke. All of these fish I will have to purchase; because sadly my days of catching Salmon in Washington are over now; as is all Salt Water fish. So if I want to smoke Salt Water Fish I'm going to have to buy it.

    Getting old just ain't for Sissies folks.

    Stay safe everyone;

  9. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Welcome Ken, sure glad ya joined us !
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hi Ken,

    Most of us use the Maverick ET-732 wireless Digital thermometer set for most meats.

    However thin fillets are pretty rough to insert a wireless probe in the center & have it stay there & read accurately, so I hate to say it, but I would recommend the Maverick for most of your meat smoking, and a "Thermapen Instant Thermometer" to check the thin type items, and to double check everything else.

  11. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome aboard, Ken!

    This is a great place, and I'm sure you will feel welcome here.

    You sound like a guy who will be a great addition to the forum.

    Personally I am glad to have some folks who are at least a little older than me here!  [​IMG]

    Good luck and good smoking.
  12. woodsman1st

    woodsman1st Newbie

    And still more welcome messages; thank you everyone.

    Bearcarver; your post makes me ask a question or two. First off, I will follow your recomendation on the Maverick ET-732 and the Thermapen Instant Thermometer; but I'm curious as to why you "hate to" recomend one for thicker, or perhaps average thickness, and another for thinner filets? Just curious, I'm still going to follow your suggestions.

    I see you carve Bears with a chainsaw; that's something I've been itching to try. What else have you carved with chainsaws?

    I carve gunstocks for a hobby using hand chisels, and I've done a couple of busts of Chief Joseph that stand about 16" tall. Presently I'm carving a Mule Deer with a rack that most of us can only dream about; this one is on my Grandsons 30/06. I've sold a few of my carvings; but my family keeps me too busy to try to sell more.  I've been thinking lately; I couldn't charge my family for what I carve for them; I'm tickled silly that they want me to do it, cuz like most of us they think an awfull lot of their guns.

    But I cant really see anything wrong with strongly suggesting a hind quarter of what ever they go after this year wouldnt be too far out of line; especially since I can't walk to go hunting any more; what do you think?

    Do you live anywhere near Peoria Arizona? I'd like to see your carving sometime if your close by.

    Thanks for you recomendations on thermometers.

    Stay safe everyone;

  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  14. woodsman1st

    woodsman1st Newbie

    Wow there's a lot more to learn than I first thought to smoking; SB59's comment on internal temp of the fish being at 145 for safety; a factor I hadn't even given a thought to.

    And Bearcarver's thermometers the price really floored me; I'm going to have to settle on a lot less quality my friend; $60 & $90 are way out of my ballpark. Still it's nice to know what is out there and it gives me some guidelines when trying to find thermometers in my price range.

    I liked Humdinger's translation of "Vegetarianism". One of the things I learned in my first classes in Anthropology was that "Vegetarian" was the only common word in all the different Native American languages that meant the exact same thing.

    Regardless of what tribe, what language and what culture Vegetarian meant the exact same thing to everyone useing the word...."POOR HUNTER".

    The biggest attraction for me in starting in this new hobby of smoking, is that I've been kind of messing with it for years as i barbque with my ECB and all the many mods that I stole way back in 1968. I'm pretty sure I got my first Brinkman the same year i went to work for the company that I eventually retired from. Then within a year at the most I'm sure, I found the "EL CHEAPO BRINKMAN" MODS  and put everyone of them into use. I finally had to replace that first ECB about 5 years ago; that's a lot of years on the same BBQ; and I liked it so much I bought another one and promptly copied every mod I did all those years ago.
    I think what i'm going to learn now is how to do the same thing I was doing only with a lot less heat, more time and smoke.

    At any time someone sees me make an incorrect statement, please feel free to correct me. You wont be hurting my feelings one little bit.; because I make no bones about it.....

    I DON'T KNOW SQUAT WHEN IT COMES TO SMOKING FUR, FIN AND FEATHER; so please do correct me. That's what I'm here for; not to tell you how much I know, but to learn how much you know. Then maybe if I live long enough i can say about smoking; "Yeah, I know a little bit about it".

    Stay safe everyone.

  15. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You can get perfectly good instant read therms for $20 or less.  Actually, Thermapen has a budget model.  They may take a few seconds longer?

    Good luck and good smoking.
  16. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    :yeahthat: IMHO, in some cases ya get what ya pay for ! A good, reliable therm is one !! I cannot tell ya the $$ spent, wasted $$ on therms that would not work as advertised or just not work much at all that I personally went thru... Learning the hard way, I finally figured out if I'am gonna spend the $$ to buy a brisket, pork butt, etc why not have a GOOD, RELIABLE therm.... I struggle in my mind why folks will pay $X.XX a pound for meat.... Which is getting no cheaper these days, let's face it...but for a good reliable therm or two as stated above by Bear.... Then folks balk at the price of a good therm. A good therm can make or break a good smoke....Prices generally have one way to go & it's ^^^^^. Why folks won't go out & get a good therm..... Trust me, you'll be buying the good, reliable units sooner or later anyway if your gonna be Q'ing ! Just my 2 cents.....

    By the way, please don't think I'am rude..... Just trying to save you the wasted $$$ & frustration I went thru... Best of luck to you on your decision !
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  17. dtj16

    dtj16 Smoke Blower

    Speaking of therms, is it common for the soft plastic outer shell over the wire to melt exposing the wire itself or should I invest in a steel braided type I've read about in here?
  18. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    IMHO, I would not use the plastic therm probes.... I'd stick with the steel braided ! Just my 2 cents !
  19. dtj16

    dtj16 Smoke Blower

    Thx. The first one I've bought and was what HD had on the shelf which was better than the obviously inaccurate therm in the unit. Now I know and- so Maverick is the name I hear a lot regarding therms, anyone recommend where to find it in Ga?
  20. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ya can get them several places.... A sponsor of this site sells them.... Todd from http://www.amazenproducts.com/

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