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life is short, live long
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I started thinking about this tonight and wanted to get some suggestions and techniques. Maybe even some recipes if you have them. I bought a charcoal smoker many years ago but could never commit to the time involved. Life always got in the way. Gave it away.

Then a few years ago I bought an electric smoker. Didn't need as much attention as it had a digital pad to set temp, time whatever you want. Also had Bluetooth so I could set it and forget it and go about my weekend honey Doo list. Could keep tract of it on my phone. Worked well but burned up the small woodchip box quickly and it needed refilling often.

Now I'm retired and bought a propane smoker. Unfortunately I haven't smoked anything all year. Am going to fire it up and see if I like it.

My question is for any of you that smoke meat, what is your preferred smoker type? Any tips for the type you use. Your favorite cuts. Favorite rubs. Recipe times and temps. Pretty much any and everything. The few times I used the electric smoker, things turned out good, but not WOW, if that makes sense.
 
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I have a Bradley smoker and a Traeger Pellet grill, the thing about smoking meat is it comes with experience, and trying to figure out what wood to use for the meat being smoked. Same goes for the rub. The pellet grill is now my go to tool when I want to smoke meat, bake cookies, or even make a pizza.
If I want to cold smoke meat I used the Bradley.
There are a lot of recipes out there that are very good, but it comes down to a personal preference.


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I started thinking about this tonight and wanted to get some suggestions and techniques. Maybe even some recipes if you have them. I bought a charcoal smoker many years ago but could never commit to the time involved. Life always got in the way. Gave it away.

Then a few years ago I bought an electric smoker. Didn't need as much attention as it had a digital pad to set temp, time whatever you want. Also had Bluetooth so I could set it and forget it and go about my weekend honey Doo list. Could keep tract of it on my phone. Worked well but burned up the small woodchip box quickly and it needed refilling often.

Now I'm retired and bought a propane smoker. Unfortunately I haven't smoked anything all year. Am going to fire it up and see if I like it.

My question is for any of you that smoke meat, what is your preferred smoker type? Any tips for the type you use. Your favorite cuts. Favorite rubs. Recipe times and temps. Pretty much any and everything. The few times I used the electric smoker, things turned out good, but not WOW, if that makes sense.
I use a pit smoker. Specifically a Weber smokey mountain. Best bang for your $ and it lasts 30 years.

The ceramic egg cookers (big green egg or kamado joe) are a touch better but significantly more expensive. An off brand ceramic cooker may be a good way to get into that style.

I am anti pellet smoker. They don't have a very long shelf life. The auger and ECU can give you issues. They don't give off good smoke. You have to run them a lot cooler (like 200°) and the smoke still isn't comparable to a Weber smokey mountain running at 275-300. You aren't winning any competitions using a pellet grill. They are a touch simpler to use in daily use. But anything more than 5 years of use and you are on borrowed time.

I would like an offset but they use up a lot more room. I have enough big grills and toys, I don't need a giant smoker eating up more room.

The Weber smokey mountain can also be used as a charcoal grill. I used mine last night to reverse sear a few Ribeyes at about 225° and finished them off with a cooking torch. They came out about as tender as steak can be made.

Smoking is therapeutic. Setting aside a day every month or so to long cook something is a nice little getaway from the world. Baby back ribs, pulled pork, and burnt ends are my favorites. Pork shoulder and brisket are long cooks. A chuck roast is a good cheap alternative to brisket if you don't want to make some giant slab of meat.

I am to the point where I make my own rubs for my little weekend cooks. But I have about 5 or 6 store bought rubs that I like a lot. When I do big cooks for groups of people I usually use store bought. My two go to rubs are "killer hogs the bbq rub" and "Weber KC BBQ." I pick those because you can buy them in bulk at any Walmart. The KC BBQ is a little sweeter and it's great with chicken. But just as important as the rubs are what you're spritzing the meat with, your glazes, and any specialty sauces. For example, with my pulled pork I like using a sauce that is foreign to my area called Carolina gold that I make from scratch. I'm sure you can Google a recipe for it. But that flavor profile is unique in this region. When people try it they are surprised by the new flavors and it's usually a big hit.

There are a lot of championship teams that make YouTube videos to go check out. Malcom Reed is a pretty good one to look at. He is really easy to follow and he is consistent.
 

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I’ve owned a kamado joe and green egg for almost 10 years. (One large and other portable) We smoke or use it 3-4 times a week. You name it we’ve smoked it. I’ve taken the potable joe on snowmobile trips even. Nothing like putting a 1/2 brisket on the joe riding all day and having the best meal at the trailer when we get back. Put grill grates on them and sear a steak at 650 degrees in 4 minutes with perfect grill marks. Cook the Best smoked pizza in 4 minutes with the pizza porta at 600 degrees. Bacon wrapped meatloaf is a snap in 4 hours. It’s a smoker, oven and grill.
 

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You guys sure spend a lot of $$$ on your smokers.

I made one out of a 55 gallon drum around 20 years ago, I just built another one.

It's a charcoal burner, 1 lbs an hour. The crazy thing is it'll run 225F at 90 degrees or 0 degrees. We've smoked brisket in the heat of summer and the dead of winter.

I'll get a picture of the new one and post them up. This one is a lot more fancy than the last one.
 

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I have a Traeger Ironwood 665 pellet smoker. I don't have the patience for charcoal or stick fired, I want to set it and go do something else. If you're looking for something easy with great results I would suggest the 3-2-1 ribs. They always come out great and it's super easy. https://www.traeger.com/recipes/3-2-1-baby-back-ribs

Two tips:

1. Make sure you peel the silver skin off backside of the ribs. A butter knife and paper towel make this pretty easy.

2. Quality of meat matters. Go to a butcher, pay the money, and buy good meat if you really want great results.

Food Ingredient Home appliance Recipe Cuisine
 

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life is short, live long
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
All good responses so far. I've looked at the green egg but they are crazy money. If I was at a point where I knew what I was doing I might be able to justify the cost, but not yet. I guess the best advice is what I kinda thought, practice and experimentation.

Which works best, wet or dry rub? Or do you prefer letting the smoke and natural meat flavor do the work?

I may ask some dumb questions, but I really don't know anything about smoking. I've watched a few videos, but my results never match what I see. Guess it takes a little finesse....
 

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life is short, live long
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have a Traeger Ironwood 665 pellet smoker. I don't have the patience for charcoal or stick fired, I want to set it and go do something else. If you're looking for something easy with great results I would suggest the 3-2-1 ribs. They always come out great and it's super easy. https://www.traeger.com/recipes/3-2-1-baby-back-ribs

Two tips:

1. Make sure you peel the silver skin off backside of the ribs. A butter knife and paper towel make this pretty easy.

2. Quality of meat matters. Go to a butcher, pay the money, and buy good meat if you really want great results.
I've looked at those. Set n forget would work for me too. Don't know anyone with one to get a hands on verification on how well they work. Seems simple enough.
 

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I've looked at those. Set n forget would work for me too. Don't know anyone with one to get a hands on verification on how well they work. Seems simple enough.
They really work well. My favorite is to do overnight briskets. I put it on at 180F at 9pm and go to bed, in the morning I wrap it and let it go until it's done. The BBQ has a meat thermometer built into it's wifi interface. When the meat is XXX temp, it alerts you on your phone. If you're away from the house, you can change the temp settings from the Traeger phone app.

I also use the Meat Church products and just follow the directions. Watch this one on the "weekday overnight brisket".
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
WOW! That's meat porn right there. Those smokers are sweet. I'll give one a serious look next summer. I'll replace my electric smoker with one.
 

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I have had 2 Bradley's. First one was used and given to me for free by a friend. I listened to the internet the manual and some very good cooks. All were wrong. I was ready to throw it out so gross. If it says smoke for 6 hours I smoke for 1 or 2. Then continue cooking with no wooden pucks otherwise it always tasted waaaaay too smokey. Brisket smokes longer than pork butt and less again for ribs.


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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Went and looked at some Traegers. They're up there to. Liked the ironwood 650. Pretty nice. Over a grand for a grill is steep, especially considering it doesn't come with a built in bottle opener.....lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The electric sucks in Canada when cold weather hits. I Would love to build a real wood burning smoker. Have to look into it.


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I noticed that my electric had a harder time in winter also, that's why I grabbed a propane smoker for half price during a store closing sale. Going to try it as much as possible now till spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The Weber smokey mountain is the type I bought many years ago and never used. That's the type my dad had and you had to pay too much attention to it for my liking.

Although, now being retired, it probably wouldn't be so bad. Kinda wish I'd have kept it.
 

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I've had a Traeger for a few years now and I absolutely love it. I started out with a vertical charcoal smoker to learn how to cook the hard way before switching to the easy way (set and forget). The charcoal definitely had a more unique flavor, but the traeger is so consistent that it's hard to knock it.

I live in Manitoba and have smoked turkeys in the dead of winter. The traeger smoker parka was out of stock so I just covered it in a welding blanket . It used a bit more pellets than summer, but nothing too crazy.
 
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