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Tips and learned lessons.

DocSteve

Meat Mopper
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Joined Sep 27, 2018
Been on a few places, this type of thread seems to get some things out there that sometimes we assume everyone knows.
Little tips and advice, offer them up. Basic, advanced, whatever. Someone will benifit.
Here's a few basic things on my part.
- Getting into making your own rubs. Save a few empty parmesan cheese containers. Make great storage and shakers for homemade rubs.
- Always, always remove the membrane from the back of ribs. Use a butter knife to start and a paper towel to keep peeling.
- Use a cooler to store your charcoal, wood chips, pellets. Sealed, waterproof and keeps humidity out. I keep a large one on my porch outside to store my fuel. No issues. Garage sale, 2nd hand, whatever. Just remember to close the drain plug.
- Tin foil line your heat shield on grills that have them. 20 min of cleaning vs 30 sec of cleaning.
- Rest your meat. Be it open air or sealed. World of difference.
- I'm a pellet cooker. I get mine from Amazon $5 cheaper and next day delivery.
- Get a vaccum sealer. They are affordable and you will benefit. Buy bulk, separate and freeze. I'm single. Let's me defrost realistic portions instead of a 20 pk of chicken thighs.
- Lose the wire brush. Use tinfoil. Those bristles will hurt you. I know, been using one for years. Only takes that one wire bristle to change your life and cost $ medical bills.
- Injectors, add some much flavour into a big piece of meat.
- A remote temp probe will change your cooking game immensely.
- Roll back the skin on poultry, season, then roll the skin back up, season again. That way the rub in on the meat, not just the skin.
- Being a member here, post your meals, good or bad. Be open to suggestions. No matter how good you are, I guarantee there's some old guy sitting somewhere that can look at your meal and give a a tip to make it better.
 

GaryHibbert

Legendary Pitmaster
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--Always keep the top vent wide open on a MES
--a MES doesn't need water in the water dish. The MES is so air tight, it has plenty of humidity. I filled mine with sand and tinfoiled it to keep the sand clean.
--If you have a metal drip tray/pan, cover it in tinfoil. Makes cleanup soooooo much easier.
--Spray your cooking grates with Pam before each cook. Makes cleanup quick and easy. Just clean off the big chunks and put the grates in the dishwasher--they come out looking like new.
--I agree with Doc that a Vac/Seal is one of the best things I have. We buy bulk at Costco and vac/seal everything into meal portions for 2. It also work very well for smoked meat. Cook, Vac/seal, freeze, and when you're ready to eat it, just put the bag in a pot of water and heat it up. I've found that if you thaw it out first and put it in a pot of cold water over medium heat, by the time the water comes to a boil, the meat is hot.
--store rub in an airtight container to keep the brown sugar from clumping.
--If you have one, don't leave your PID outside when it's not in use. Moisture/humidity is not a PID's friend.
--And, the most important tip of all.....Relax and enjoy. Don't sweat it if your temp fluctuates up and down. Just keep an eye on the average temp and if it's close to what you were aiming at, then it will all work out OK.
Gary
 
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bbqbrett

Master of the Pit
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Joined Jan 17, 2013
I would say those are some great tips you guys. I would add:

Don't be afraid to experiment a bit and have fun doing it. Sometimes we get so hung up in what we should do that we don't take the time to find out what we could do.

And to add on to that, when you experiment a bit don't forget to write down what you are doing in case you hit on something really good. I normally have a pretty good memory however there have been a couple of times where I got some great tasting food and didn't get all of the details for the next time.
 
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schlotz

Smoking Fanatic
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Whatever you do, remember to TAKE GOOD NOTES about details of each smoke. Personally I use a recipe program so each time I smoke (example a brisket), I add a note to the recipe that includes date, gross and trimmed lbs, type of meat, outside conditions, prep, rub, injections, by time recording the temps (grate & IT) etc...
 

Jabiru

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Joined Mar 5, 2019
Very helpful Tips noted, helped me no end.

My only one tip is, if the Internal Temp is saying its done, its done. Some of my cooks seem to be a bit quick and I didnt listen to the thermometer and winged it, wasnt a good result.

What threw me out at the start was cooking times, mine were always half of what most said they would take.
 

GaryHibbert

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Very helpful Tips noted, helped me no end.
My only one tip is, if the Internal Temp is saying its done, its done. Some of my cooks seem to be a bit quick and I didnt listen to the thermometer and winged it, wasnt a good result.
What threw me out at the start was cooking times, mine were always half of what most said they would take.
Jabiru, are you using a remote digital therm or the built in therm on your smoker??
Gary
 

Jabiru

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Mar 5, 2019
Hi Gary,
I use both - Igrill 2 and probes from the smoker. They are accurate.

The bit that threw me out was following a method someone has created, my times seemed to be half of what the author or recipe says everytime even when the meat I am using is bigger/thicker.

I followed one for a 6 pound Brisket i.e method says 225F for 12 hours , mine was 8 pound and took 6. I thought thats a hell of a difference. In my head they are saying 12 hours and mine is done at 6 so it didnt compute.

Now I just trust the thermometers when they tell me internal has been hit. Just hard to judge serving time. If the method says three hours now, I aim that mine will take 1.5 :emoji_wink:
 

DocSteve

Meat Mopper
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Joined Sep 27, 2018
Very helpful Tips noted, helped me no end.

My only one tip is, if the Internal Temp is saying its done, its done. Some of my cooks seem to be a bit quick and I didnt listen to the thermometer and winged it, wasnt a good result.

What threw me out at the start was cooking times, mine were always half of what most said they would take.
 

DocSteve

Meat Mopper
177
92
Joined Sep 27, 2018
That's the biggest thing. Cook times vs weight are just estimates. Internal temp is the true deal.
 

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