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New to the Group

smoke doctor

Newbie
8
10
Joined Dec 9, 2012
Hello Everyone! I have been visititng the website the past few weeks and decided it was time to join. I have been learing to smoke for the past 32 years. I have had some successes and some failures but overall havent produced anything inedible. Yet!

I currently use a Master Forge Electric Smoker model # 32930 with a variety of different woods. I primarily smoke brisket, ribs, pork butt, turkey and chicken. I have occasionaly smoked some salmon using Alder wood.

I have developed some great recipes for my own BBQ or dippin' sauce. I have both a tomato based one and having lived in South Carolina for a while, a very pleasant mustard based sauce. I also continue, as I am sure most of you do, to work on developing a rub I really enjoy.

I am here to learn and to share. As I enjoy the art of smoking and, as retirement is only 10-15 years away, I am hopeful of having a nice side business at that time. In the new year I am seriously considering buying a Bradley Smoker. I would love to hear your feedback on that potential purchase.

Well enough  from me.... I have a pork butt that needs to get in the smoker. It's going low and slow (205 at 1.5 hours a pound) Apple wood plus a little hickory 4:1 ratio.

Happy Smoking
 

forluvofsmoke

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
5,170
407
Joined Aug 27, 2008
Hello Everyone! I have been visititng the website the past few weeks and decided it was time to join. I have been learing to smoke for the past 32 years. I have had some successes and some failures but overall havent produced anything inedible. Yet!

I currently use a Master Forge Electric Smoker model # 32930 with a variety of different woods. I primarily smoke brisket, ribs, pork butt, turkey and chicken. I have occasionaly smoked some salmon using Alder wood.

I have developed some great recipes for my own BBQ or dippin' sauce. I have both a tomato based one and having lived in South Carolina for a while, a very pleasant mustard based sauce. I also continue, as I am sure most of you do, to work on developing a rub I really enjoy.

I am here to learn and to share. As I enjoy the art of smoking and, as retirement is only 10-15 years away, I am hopeful of having a nice side business at that time. In the new year I am seriously considering buying a Bradley Smoker. I would love to hear your feedback on that potential purchase.

Well enough  from me.... I have a pork butt that needs to get in the smoker. It's going low and slow (205 at 1.5 hours a pound) Apple wood plus a little hickory 4:1 ratio.

Happy Smoking
Welcome to the SMF family!

Now, that's what I like to hear! That tells me you have an open mind and are still learning from everything you do and see...all the experiences you've had are like a data base, just ready to be tapped.

I can't personally vouch for the Bradley, but I know of a few here who have used them. One thing to consider is the heater element output and the weather you may find yourself in while using it. Some have stated that the heater output is not sufficient in colder weather for hot smoking, so bear that in mind. Also, the proprietary smoke wood pucks may become an issue if availability, cost or species of smoke wood comes into the equation. Custom blends of smoke wood may be more difficult to accomplish as well, and you're limited to what you can get in puck form, then mixing the pucks in the smoke generator puck holder to give a layered smoke effect...probably not the ideal situation if you like to play the variables a lot with your smoke.

Just a thought, but 205* may be much lower than you need to go on a butt, especially if it's boneless or injected (compromised muscle meat & 40/140* I/T temp/time)...up to 250* works well for my rigs...moist and tender pulled pork with a nice bark. Anyway, enjoy the smoke, and don't hesitate to ask your ?'s or share your knowledge/experiences with us.

Eric
 

smoke doctor

Newbie
8
10
Joined Dec 9, 2012
Thanks Guys!

I apologize that it takes me so long to respond. I work some seriously long hours and the Powerball people never seem to draw my numbers so.... I just keep working!  But thank God today is Saturday and I can focus on whats important..SMOKING!

Today I am preparing a 10lb brisket. I injected it last night with beef broth and the new Swanson Flavor Boost (which I love). I also put a rub on it and have just let it rest in the fridge overnight. My intention is to not place it in the smoker until early tomorrow AM. I will be smoking it at 225 for about 12 hours. I will be using a combination of cherry wood and mesquite (70/30 mix) The rub I use is a combo of Kosher salt, black pepper, white pepper, smoked paprika, brown sugar, garlic and onion powder.

I am very open to advice on how to adjust this process and would welcome your comments!

Thanks

SD
 

forluvofsmoke

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
5,170
407
Joined Aug 27, 2008
Hey Brother, you may want to start the smoke at closer to 250* chamber temps due to the brisket being injected. Injecting turns the meat into a compromised muscle, which should be handled differently than intact whole muscle for food safety reasons, meaning, the 40-140*/4hr guideline should be adhered to. By injecting, you have the risk of forcing surface bacteria into the depths of the meat. If the meat is not pasteurized quickly enough, the bacteria can thrive for a long enough period to create toxic levels of waste/by-products in the meat. 225* is typically not a high enough chamber temp to achieve the 40-140*/4hr goal.

Once you get close to 140* internal temp, you can back off the chamber temps to slow it down a bit for a more tender finished product, as the melting temps of the connective tissues are in the mid-150* to mid 160* range. Of course, you still need to get to around 185-190* internal temp before foiling/towel-wrapped resting for a nice and tender slice, while 200*+ will yield a good pulled meat if adequate fats and moisture is present.

Personally, I don't inject marinades/broths, etc, especially when I have a whole muscle meat to start with...saves me the worries of pushing temps to get through the danger-zone. A lot of folks still inject...as long as they understand the risk and how to follow through with preventive measures to overcome that risk, I have no problem with injecting.

If you have intact whole muscle meats, 225* chamber temps for the duration will be safe. The only adjustment to the process, in order to maintain the intact nature of the muscle, is to not probe for internal temps until the meat has been in the smoker for a few hours. The probe itself, if inserted too early, can force live bacteria from the outer layer of fat/meat into the interior, where temps may be in the danger-zone for too long to kill the bacteria before they do their dirty work. I generally won't probe for at least 4 hours on larger cuts, but I have been known to let it ride for 8-10 hours, as I know my rigs and cuts of meat well enough to know they're not close to my desired finished temps. Some guys probe early enough to watch the stall (plateau...internal temps will flat-line, or even drop), which is fine, just don't second-guess anything when the stall hits, and don't adjust the chamber temps to push it harder...be patient and let it ride.

I prefer to smoke brisket with the fat-cap up so it self-bastes while the fat renders down...that's in a vertical gasser or charcoal rig with a water pan installed.

As far as time in the smoker to reach finished temps, if you don't foil the meat after reaching 160* or so, it could take over 2 hr/lb (depending on the smoker). If you foil to get to finished temps, it can cut 15-20% off the overall cooking time, depending on how early you foil. Foiling speeds up the cooking after you get a decent amount of smoke time, but will kill the firm to crispy texture of bark on the surface...some don't like bark on brisket anyway, so no loss then.

Hope this helps you to enjoy your brisket experience...have a great smoke!!!

Eric
 
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smoke doctor

Newbie
8
10
Joined Dec 9, 2012
Hey Eric THANKS for the help. You are going to love this... I worked in Health care for a decade or more...you'd think I would have thought of the surface bacteria. It's a wonder I havent made someone really sick! Thanks Brother. I will be starting the temp higher and then going low. Great advice!

Thanks again.

SD
 

forluvofsmoke

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
5,170
407
Joined Aug 27, 2008
Hey Eric THANKS for the help. You are going to love this... I worked in Health care for a decade or more...you'd think I would have thought of the surface bacteria. It's a wonder I havent made someone really sick! Thanks Brother. I will be starting the temp higher and then going low. Great advice!

Thanks again.

SD
You're welcome....always looking out for our fellow smokers. Yeah, the surface bacteria is a risk, even though it may be a very low risk...you just don't know if there are any, where they are, or how many are on the surface of the meat from processing and handling. Chances of someone actually getting sick are slim, but we don't want anyone to find out the hard way that it is a possibility...and, food poisoning does still happen, but in low frequencies compared to what it really could be.

With injecting, things get complicated, because you have the sanitizing of the syringe, the needle, pasteurization of the marinade, as well as the possibility of surface bacteria on the meat. So, lots of possibilities for contamination. If you follow precautions, you reduce the risk, then to maintain the 40-140*/4-hr guideline is a last ditch effort to assure food safety. Hmm, it's sort of like being in the healthcare profession, as you mentioned...reduce you risks for exposure as much as your training, PPE and environment will allow...you do the best you can at that place and time.

I was first responder trained (EMT-B and BEC) and a member of an ERT (emergency response team) for many years on industrial job sites. I still know some of the terminologies and protocols even though I haven't been actively engaged in that for over 13 years. HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response) was another area I participated in regularly. I had level I, II, II and V (Incident Commander) training, and actual responses were frequent enough that it all became somewhat of a routine, though every emergency has it's own set of characteristics to address. It's pretty amazing what situations you can encounter in emergencies, and how you fall back on your training to follow through with protocols and priorities. And to think I did all of that as a secondary part of my regular job duties as a safety supervisor/technician.

The main thing with cooking low & slow is, if you make a habit of thinking about what category your meat will fall into based on how it was processed before you received it, then, how you will further process and prepare it, you can immediately know if your cooking temps need to be stepped-up a bit and monitor internal temps for safely passing through the danger zone or not. All things considered, I prefer to not have to worry about it, so I keep my processes more simplified to keep an intact whole muscle meat as such. I try to avoid boneless shoulder cuts (unless beef chuck...small enough to heat through more quickly), so I am usually smoking intact muscle from the start.

Have a great smoke and a safe and happy holiday season!

Eric
 

marco007

Fire Starter
31
10
Joined Oct 18, 2012
Glad to have you aboard, welcome!!! This site and bbq brothers and sisters are priceless! They helped me 100 fold!
 
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