Hello Chief, wife got me an electric smoker. Let's talk, why not?

smokehouse

I was Born This Ugly.,
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So...my wife gave this fella here to me for my upcoming b-day.

https://www.charbroil.com/analog-electric-smoker

We've both wanted one of these guys for a very long time, so we are excited to get using it.

I know they're not actual chips, but she also bought a bag of Traeger Applewood pellets.

Yesterday, I started simple smoking some salmon and it honestly came out really good. I'll admit there's some procedural stuff I'm still getting used to and it's also apparent I need a decent thermometer as opening the thing over and over to check temp was not smart.

The pellets created decent smoke....at times. On a higher setting, it smoked well and when I'd take it to over 300 F, it would smoke...but it didn't make much at the 225F I cooked the fish at. Not sure if visible smoke is necessary or not. In the end, the fish was delicious and had a great flavor, so it wasn't a failure.

Any help/advise would be awesome...I'm looking forward to messing with this thing. My next attempt is on a pork loin next weekend.
 

racecar

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You can do eggs and ribs , and if you are comfortable with it you can moved up to briskets and picnic shoulder these would take a longer time. You can save a few $ by getting your own Apple wood. There are plenty available also different chips for different meat for fish try alder
 
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NeoSneth

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Started smoking this year as well. I first did it with Whole chickens as it seemed like the easiest. It's pretty hard to screw up.

Chicken wings are also easy.

Just did my second set of Ribs. First batch was good, but a little tough. I cooked them a little too high, ~275F. I couldn't get it dialed in lower at the time. Second batch I went with the 3/2/1 method to make it more idiot proof. It worked. At that point I was able to hold the temp at 200 without issues.

I want to try a brisket, but I wasn't going to spend $60 on a hunk of meat as an amateur. I might try a chuck roast first.
 

smokehouse

I was Born This Ugly.,
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Started smoking this year as well. I first did it with Whole chickens as it seemed like the easiest. It's pretty hard to screw up.

Chicken wings are also easy.

Just did my second set of Ribs. First batch was good, but a little tough. I cooked them a little too high, ~275F. I couldn't get it dialed in lower at the time. Second batch I went with the 3/2/1 method to make it more idiot proof. It worked. At that point I was able to hold the temp at 200 without issues.

I want to try a brisket, but I wasn't going to spend $60 on a hunk of meat as an amateur. I might try a chuck roast first.

I'm going to try chicken legs soon...man, do I love chicken legs. Seems like it should be easy enough.

Ribs will probably be my "level 2" when I feel comfortable enough with the machine and the settings.

Brisket is top level difficulty. There's a reason why it's the litmus for what qualifies as expert level BBQ here in the states...it's easy to make terrible if you suck at it. Like you, I'm sticking to cheaper meats until I really get my stuff together.
 

sr20det510

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Started smoking this year as well. I first did it with Whole chickens as it seemed like the easiest. It's pretty hard to screw up.

Chicken wings are also easy.

Just did my second set of Ribs. First batch was good, but a little tough. I cooked them a little too high, ~275F. I couldn't get it dialed in lower at the time. Second batch I went with the 3/2/1 method to make it more idiot proof. It worked. At that point I was able to hold the temp at 200 without issues.

I want to try a brisket, but I wasn't going to spend $60 on a hunk of meat as an amateur. I might try a chuck roast first.

Try smoking a tri-tip roast.
The meat has lots of fat so it is easy to smoke and not mess up.

Additionally, it has a really good beefy taste.

It is a common cut in California and is and it usually about $4-5 a pound when on sale.
 
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smokehouse

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Try smoking a tri-tip roast.
The meat has lots of fat so it is easy to smoke and not mess up.

Additionally, it has a really good beefy taste.

It is a common cut in California and is and it usually about $4-5 a pound when on sale.

That's a no-go around here...I've tried to get butchers to sell me a tri-tip...I haven't found one yet who knows what it is. I was made aware of the cut when visiting my wife's family in Cali, they'll cook up some tri-tip.
 

wataru330

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That's a no-go around here...I've tried to get butchers to sell me a tri-tip...I haven't found one yet who knows what it is. I was made aware of the cut when visiting my wife's family in Cali, they'll cook up some tri-tip.

Is there a Trader Joe’s near you?

Yeah-I know...’boo/hiss’ from the crowd for copping meat from a big chain; however, their tri-tip is legit.

For the longest time, it was the only way I could score this childhood delicacy out of state.

Thankfully, our local Amish Market started offering the cut recently.

London Broil isn’t as fatty-but could work in a pinch.
 

smokehouse

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Is there a Trader Joe’s near you?

Yeah-I know...’boo/hiss’ from the crowd for copping meat from a big chain; however, their tri-tip is legit.

For the longest time, it was the only way I could score this childhood delicacy out of state.

Thankfully, our local Amish Market started offering the cut recently.

London Broil isn’t as fatty-but could work in a pinch.

It's crazy, I can drive 2.5 to 3 hours in literally every compass direction and get to a Trader Joe's (Chicago, Indianapolis, Saint Louis, Iowa City)...but nothing close to me. It sucks, I love Trader Joe's.
 

NGT

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I've got a little chief, but it hasn't been taken out of the box. My friend gave me a Traeger and I love it. I did a few pork shoulders this summer. It takes all day.

Start on smoke for 2 hours, turn it up one notch as the temp rises, ending on 275 to get the meat to 202. Then I've tried two routes.

A: Off the grill at 202, wrap it in parchment, then a towel, and stick it in an empty cooler for an hour. Then pull it, lay it out in glass baking dished, add bbq sauce, and bake in the oven on 170 for another hour to get the sauce to soak in. The right amount of sauce is key. Too little and it dries up a bit, but too much and the sauce takes over. Personally I like a sauce taste, but to still be able to taste the meat flavor too.

B: Off the grill at 202, 5 minutes to sit, pull the meat apart, put it into a big tin foil tray, sauce it up, and back in the Traeger on smoke for another hour.

Both turned out great! Grab some Hawaiian rolls and your choice of slaw. Good stuff!

Another fun thing to do is cheese. It takes 2 hours, and then 3 days to rest, but I love it! By a big block of your favorite cheese. Get two aluminum foil trays. One that will fit the cheese with some room around the side and one that's much bigger. Both with high sides. I grab them at the dollar store. You put tooth picks (a bunch) in both sides of the cheese. Make them even so the chess stands flat, with space for air to get under it. Gently set it in the small tray. Then set that tray in the middle of the big tray. Surround the little tray with ice in the big tray. Lots of ice. You're cold smoking it. I like the sides of the little tray to be higher than the cheese. It helps keep it from melting. Smoke it on the lowest temp. for one hour. Then flip it and add more ice. Sometimes i use a little shop vac to get some water out of the big tray so i can add more ice. Smoke it for another hour. Pull it off and wrap it in parchment paper. It's important to wrap it really well so the cheese doesn't harden in the fridge. Now the hard part, lol. Stick it in the fridge and leave it for 3 days. It lets the smoke soak in and also smooths out the smoke flavor.

One last family favorite. I bake trout in the oven, pull all of the meat out in small pieces, lay it out on a flat low sides tray (I've just put aluminum foil on the grill too). Brush the meat with a sweat teriyaki sauce and smoke it. While cooking, re-sauce it as needed. When it starts firming up, stop saucing and turn the heat up just a bit. Pull it off when it's toughened up to your desired jerky like texture. My kids destroy this stuff with crackers and cheese. Sometimes I'll do this in a smaller amount on part of the grill while smoking something else. Then just snack on it while I'm waiting.

Having the meat thermometer that you can just leave in and check the temp while it's cooking on your phone, is awesome!

Anyways, enjoy it! I like to write down what I do, so i can adjust things the next time as needed.
 
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smokehouse

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Ok...so been trying this fella out. Made a pork loin a few weeks back, C+, made some chicken legs last week, B+...made these fellas today...A+

2VvpOx2.jpg


Used the 3-2-1 method on some STL ribs I picked up from Costco. Made them the same up until the last step where I mopped on rack with sauce and left the other alone. I'm honestly surprised at how well they turned out, they were superb. I wasn't expecting my first time out of the gate with ribs to be so successful.
 

skate323k137

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Those ribs look great, man. I may consider getting that same smoker. The wife wants one anyway, and who am I to stop her?
 

sr20det510

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Ok...so been trying this fella out. Made a pork loin a few weeks back, C+, made some chicken legs last week, B+...made these fellas today...A+

2VvpOx2.jpg


Used the 3-2-1 method on some STL ribs I picked up from Costco. Made them the same up until the last step where I mopped on rack with sauce and left the other alone. I'm honestly surprised at how well they turned out, they were superb. I wasn't expecting my first time out of the gate with ribs to be so successful.

Those racks look great. Did you use the pre-seasoned ribs from Costco or did you use a different rub?

I like using Pappy's low sodium seasoning as a rub when I make ribs. IDK if it is available in your area, but if you see it give it a try.

At what temperature and for how long did you smoke the ribs?
 

smokehouse

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Those ribs look great, man. I may consider getting that same smoker. The wife wants one anyway, and who am I to stop her?

It's a basic model, but so far the thing works perfectly. No complaints.

Those racks look great. Did you use the pre-seasoned ribs from Costco or did you use a different rub?

I like using Pappy's low sodium seasoning as a rub when I make ribs. IDK if it is available in your area, but if you see it give it a try.

At what temperature and for how long did you smoke the ribs?

I bought the ribs plain, wanted to try my hand at my own from the ground up.

Yellow mustard, Bone Suckin' rub (no MSG):

http://bonesuckin.com/ribrub.html

3 hrs @ 225'ish open rack smoke, apple wood.

Pulled, put in foil with butter, honey, brown sugar, and a bit of sprite (yeah, the soda, it called for grape juice but I had none).

2 hrs @ 225'ish, no smoke.

Pulled, removed from foil. Mopped one down with some Famous Dave's natural sweet, left the other as-is.

https://famousbbq.com/products/bbq-sauce/product/43-natural-sweet

1hr @ 225'ish open rack smoke, apple wood once again.

Came out amazing...and I'm picky when it comes to this stuff.
 
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NeoSneth

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I've used Apple Soda for the second step for the same reason. I think you could probably just use water, but it helps to have a little acid.

I would recommend turning off the smoke for the last stage. Smoke will make the heavy sauce have a more bitter taste.

3,2,1 works. I read some experts that just weren't about it, but it really does deliver good results. Can't complain really.
 

Late

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We have a wood smoker at the summer place, I use it mostly for fish, I'll definitely try NGT's idea of smoking cheese.
 

smokehouse

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I've used Apple Soda for the second step for the same reason. I think you could probably just use water, but it helps to have a little acid.

I would recommend turning off the smoke for the last stage. Smoke will make the heavy sauce have a more bitter taste.

3,2,1 works. I read some experts that just weren't about it, but it really does deliver good results. Can't complain really.

You know, I contemplated not smoking for the last hr, I'll probably skip that next time.

Ribs are really rich...I really enjoyed them but it's probably only a 2-3 times/year thing.

...now, that smoked salmon I made? That was superb, I could eat that weekly.
 

NeoSneth

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You know, I contemplated not smoking for the last hr, I'll probably skip that next time.

Ribs are really rich...I really enjoyed them but it's probably only a 2-3 times/year thing.

...now, that smoked salmon I made? That was superb, I could eat that weekly.

If it's wild salmon, then you probably should!
 
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