Jack of all trades…master of none

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chp

Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
SMF Premier Member
Sep 30, 2020
428
465
Colorado
So, let me start with some background. I love to look for deals, so most of my smokers are used. I can do some welding and fabrication, so I typically buy ‘projects’ and finish them. Over the years I have bought and sold a number of smokers. Now I am blessed to have a good selection of options.
CD8B668F-BE57-4BC1-A1EE-322D87BEBF61.jpeg

Currently I have a trailer mounted offset project (not very functional), a hog roaster, an offset, a Weber, a BGE, and a small grill/pizza oven I modified.
Well…I just bought a Santa Maria grill project. This started the discussion with my bride (of 34 years), about the saying ‘Jack of all trades and master of none’. She is a smart lady, so she generally has some good points. She also appreciates my hobby, so she is definitely not complaining. My question is, are we better at our craft when we stick with one approach? Or do we benefit from having a lot of tools in the toolbox??

I just retired, so in the last week I have used both the offset
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And made some pizza
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All the tools get used once in a while, but would I be better if I focused on one method? I’m curious to hear your thoughts. Thanks
 
All the tools get used once in a while, but would I be better if I focused on one method? I’m curious to hear your thoughts.
Being retired will up your game , no matter how good you were before . My opinion is options are good , and if you do this type of thing you should be able to turn out great results no matter what you use . I have options and depending on what I'm doing , and time involved helps me choose what I cook on .
If you have 2 smokers that give the same results , keep the one you like the most . Sell the other one and buy a nice pellet grill . Maybe you have one , but I didn't see it .
My simple answer to the question is if you just retired , take some time . You'll answer the question yourself .

Oh , and welcome to the club . Congrats . You earned it .
 
Being retired will up your game , no matter how good you were before . My opinion is options are good , and if you do this type of thing you should be able to turn out great results no matter what you use . I have options and depending on what I'm doing , and time involved helps me choose what I cook on .
If you have 2 smokers that give the same results , keep the one you like the most . Sell the other one and buy a nice pellet grill . Maybe you have one , but I didn't see it .
My simple answer to the question is if you just retired , take some time . You'll answer the question yourself .

Oh , and welcome to the club . Congrats . You earned it .
Sounds like good advice, thanks. I hope to spend more time on that back deck. I really enjoy working a fire, so no interest in pellets now, but that may change.
 
I really enjoy working a fire, so no interest in pellets now, but that may change.
Same here . Never thought I would own a pellet grill . This July will be 2 years of having one , and it gets used the most . It's really just another option , but it does such a good job it's hard not to fire it up , but there's nothing like charcoal and wood lighting up on a cool morning for an all day cook .

You've grabbed my attention , because after I retired I got into buying Primals . Mostly beef . Breaking them down myself into roasts and steaks . Always some ground beef and stew meat .
I do a lot of beef knuckles . Once I cut the roasts out , I have the options of smoking on the Pellet grill , spinning on the Kettle or using the PID controlled MES . Each has a bit different end result , and takes more or less time to set up and watch .
Same cut of beef . This was cooked on the pellet grill . I like using it for sliced roast beef
sandwiches .
1687004333576.jpeg
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Same thing spun on the kettle . I like this method for a knife and fork meal .

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Has a different texture , a bit higher IT .
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Or if I really don't have time to mess with it , I'll drop it in the SV .
Again same cut of beef . Different result .

1687004836843.png
I guess my point is if you have it , you should know what it will do and what the outcome will be . You'll end up with a favorite , but have different methods to change things up a bit . Sorry for being long , but this is something that really grabs my attention .
 
First off....Welcome to the forums from Mississippi. 2nd....Love the view you got to work with. 3rd....Choppy has great advice.
Look forward to your post and pics.

Jim
 
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Same here . Never thought I would own a pellet grill . This July will be 2 years of having one , and it gets used the most . It's really just another option , but it does such a good job it's hard not to fire it up , but there's nothing like charcoal and wood lighting up on a cool morning for an all day cook .

You've grabbed my attention , because after I retired I got into buying Primals . Mostly beef . Breaking them down myself into roasts and steaks . Always some ground beef and stew meat .
I do a lot of beef knuckles . Once I cut the roasts out , I have the options of smoking on the Pellet grill , spinning on the Kettle or using the PID controlled MES . Each has a bit different end result , and takes more or less time to set up and watch .
Same cut of beef . This was cooked on the pellet grill . I like using it for sliced roast beef
sandwiches .
View attachment 668106
View attachment 668105
Same thing spun on the kettle . I like this method for a knife and fork meal .

View attachment 668107
Has a different texture , a bit higher IT .
View attachment 668108
View attachment 668109
Or if I really don't have time to mess with it , I'll drop it in the SV .
Again same cut of beef . Different result .

View attachment 668110
I guess my point is if you have it , you should know what it will do and what the outcome will be . You'll end up with a favorite , but have different methods to change things up a bit . Sorry for being long , but this is something that really grabs my attention .
Great points and pictures. It demonstrates the idea well. Lighting that fire up in the morning and enjoying a cup of coffee outside…days don’t get much better!
 
First off....Welcome to the forums from Mississippi. 2nd....Love the view you got to work with. 3rd....Choppy has great advice.
Look forward to your post and pics.

Jim
Jim,
Thanks. I don’t get tired of the views we get. I’m curious about you take too. Do you focus on one technique or prefer to have several tools?
 
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chp chp I'm still a rookie in the game. I have a gasser vault smoker and a weber kettle. Plans are for a offset when I get a bigger area to cook in. I have done brisket (first one ever) on the kettle. Run many a butt, ribs, hams, etc through the vault. Oh and I have a 17 in griddle for fun too. Kinda like Chop said....What I use depends on what I'm looking for.

Jim
 
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chp chp I'm still a rookie in the game. I have a gasser vault smoker and a weber kettle. Plans are for a offset when I get a bigger area to cook in. I have done brisket (first one ever) on the kettle. Run many a butt, ribs, hams, etc through the vault. Oh and I have a 17 in griddle for fun too. Kinda like Chop said....What I use depends on what I'm looking for.

Jim
Jim, I bought myself a flat top too. I went out on a limb and bought a Weber new when they first came out. Great tool! Cooking breakfast on it now. Cy
 
I bought myself a flat top too. I went out on a limb and bought a Weber new when they first came out. Great tool!
Nice ! I'm interested to see how it works and your thoughts . I have an older Blackstone 28" , but was wondering about the Weber .
 
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Nice ! I'm interested to see how it works and your thoughts . I have an older Blackstone 28" , but was wondering about the Weber .
So far I am VERY happy with it. It gives even heat with the three burners and is a nice versatile size. I was also happy to support Weber. Nothing against Blackstone, they seem to have a good product too.
 
Over the years I have bought and sold a number of smokers. Now I am blessed to have a good selection of options.
You and I are of the same ilk. I have not bought a used smoker or grill and refurbed it but I have built a few from the ground up. Also sold several grills and smokers that I bought and either found they did not get used or they got replaced with something better. I currently have 8 cookers on the patio. All get used, some more than others obviously, and all have a purpose.
My question is, are we better at our craft when we stick with one approach?
The more options you have available, the potential for a better end result. If you only have an offset smoker, you're gonna have a harder time grilling steaks than if you had a dedicated grill for that purpose. As for pellet grills, I'm with chopsaw chopsaw on that one. Mine is not the most used tool in the box, but it is great to have the convenience. Knowing there will be a long day of yard work, I'll fire it up and just let it go versus tending a fire in between moving mountains of rocks. My most used cooker is the Hy Fyre I just recently finished building. The versatility of that cooker is beyond my wildest dreams when I started thinking through the design and build.

Robert
 
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You and I are of the same ilk. I have not bought a used smoker or grill and refurbed it but I have built a few from the ground up. Also sold several grills and smokers that I bought and either found they did not get used or they got replaced with something better. I currently have 8 cookers on the patio. All get used, some more than others obviously, and all have a purpose.

The more options you have available, the potential for a better end result. If you only have an offset smoker, you're gonna have a harder time grilling steaks than if you had a dedicated grill for that purpose. As for pellet grills, I'm with chopsaw chopsaw on that one. Mine is not the most used tool in the box, but it is great to have the convenience. Knowing there will be a long day of yard work, I'll fire it up and just let it go versus tending a fire in between moving mountains of rocks. My most used cooker is the Hy Fyre I just recently finished building. The versatility of that cooker is beyond my wildest dreams when I started thinking through the design and build.

Robert
I would enjoy doing some full builds in the future and I appreciate your perspective on the whole thing. It would be great to see some pictures of your patio. Thanks for the feedback.
 
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