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Smoke 'em if you got 'em

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MikeMc

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How did I miss this thread. I'm going to be a bit of a contrarian here and it's the only time I differ from my mentor Scotto, for whom I have the highest respect, and say I ditched the sand. IMO, you don't need it. An empty water pan in a WSM works very well. I found the sand turns to concrete and when you get grease on it, it will burn something awful. Also, sand weighs a lot and will bend the support brackets, something you never want to experience when moving the middle at top units to get to the coals.

 

What. what about that trap door? Best I can tell it's there for product liability issues. Get hot gloves and get used to access the charcoal by removing the middle and lid in one motionj. It keeps the heat in and you have much easier access to the coals. I haven't used the access doors on my WSMs in two years.

 

 

Oh, back to the water. I run it dry when I cook hot and fast, but am inclined to use water on a low and slow cook. I was a fan of running WSM dry until a comp last year when we had no electronics to monitor the one we were using for ribs, so we went old school with water and took first place. My current rib smoker is a backwoods party I purchased from a team that did well in the American Royal and is at the Jack right now. It's uses water, as does Myron Mixon's smoker (he cooks hot and fast). So keep that in mind.

 

 

if I am doing pork butts, I cook low and slow in my big WSM dry (just line with foil for an easy cleanup no sand no water) and BBQ guru to pin the temp at 235. I have enough medals and trophies in pork to know that method works too.

 

 

While I use royal oak exclusively now, kingsford blue is great to learn on. It's more consistent and forgiving. I don't like it because it produces a lot more ash than lump.

 

 

 

big tip. give your smoker 45 minutes to an hour to settle in before adding food into it. Also, let the thing run 20-30 minutes after adjusting vents before deciding whether another vent change is needed.

 

 

Anything between 225 - 300 is ok. Just adjust your cook times and don't sweat the smoker temperature. And what is your smoker temp? Good question, I've seen a 75 degree range from the edge of the lower rack to the lid. I estimate as 50 degree difference between the lower rack and the lid, and assume it will narrow as tight as 25 degrees as the cook goes on. That is why you shouldn't worry too much with cook temperature and let the meat tell you when it's done.

 

 

 

And Low and Slow by Gary Wiviott is a must for a new WSM owner.

 

a jew that uses a smoker very well.

 

there's a joke in there somewhere.

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those set it and forget it smokers are considered cheating, or no?

 

 

I see the guys with the Fast Eddy Cookers (FECs) that use pellets an auger and a computer . It's like using your oven. I wonder about them. But most smokers do settle into a tight range and require little attention.

 

Meats cook differently and, IMO, the skill is cooking them without drying out and knowing when they are done. A good cook can produce great food on nearly any smoker, case in point is Harry Soo who took 10th place overall last weekend doing a full 4 meat KCBS comp plus dessert (which he took a 1st) in a single mimi smokey joe WSM

 

 

1000

"... let it go - lets move forward."

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And the chicken tastes like wood.....

 

Well, it tastes like smoke, any how. :D I solved my non-seasoned chicken problem by pulling it off the bone and putting my own wing sauce on it. The taste was great, with the smokey flavor complimenting the spiceyness of the sauce nicely.

 

Chicken legs should be cooked to 165F internal temp. I don't think you got there from what you posted.

 

Don't even think about buying mesquite.

 

They did get to 165, finally. Definitely a learning curve with this stuff. I avoided the mesquite like the plague.:D

You know it must be a penguin bound down if you hear that terrible screaming and there ain't no other birds around. 

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Well, it tastes like smoke, any how. :D I solved my non-seasoned chicken problem by pulling it off the bone and putting my own wing sauce on it. The taste was great, with the smokey flavor complimenting the spiceyness of the sauce nicely.

They did get to 165, finally. Definitely a learning curve with this stuff. I avoided the mesquite like the plague.:D

I've never had much luck with chicken in the WSW. I prefer a more brittle skin than I can get in the smoker and I usually wind up finishing it on the gasser. My chicken would not be considered quality BBQ competition worthy chicken.

 

Removing the bones also removes a lot of flavor.

 

The thing to remember mike is that different muscles respond to differently to different types of heat.

 

A nice fatty shoulder with lots of connective tissue benefits so much more from the slow and low heat than does a leaner muscle like a chicken leg or thigh. Chick will pick up a lot of smoke flavor but unless you do it right you wind up with rubbery skin that taste like smoke. Bleh.

 

I only really use my WSW for ribs and shoulders. I've all but given up on chicken...I'd rather do it on the performer.

#otterlivesmatter

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Well, it tastes like smoke, any how. :D I solved my non-seasoned chicken problem by pulling it off the bone and putting my own wing sauce on it. The taste was great, with the smokey flavor complimenting the spiceyness of the sauce nicely.

They did get to 165, finally. Definitely a learning curve with this stuff. I avoided the mesquite like the plague.:D

 

 

 

keep in mind that charcoal is wood and the charcoal alone will add a nice smokey flavor. I don't aways use wood chucks when cooking chicken or salmon, because the charcoal adds the smoke I am looking for.

 

 

Low and slow cooks more evenly than hot and fast, so don't trust your eyes. For chicken use the thermometer and for pork and brisket trust the feel.

 

 

 

Can someone wake up petey and tell him he's wrong about soaking wood!!!!!! I have things to do today.

"... let it go - lets move forward."

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I've never had much luck with chicken in the WSW. I prefer a more brittle skin than I can get in the smoker and I usually wind up finishing it on the gasser.

 

Chick will pick up a lot of smoke flavor but unless you do it right you wind up with rubbery skin that taste like smoke. Bleh.

 

 

keep in mind that charcoal is wood and the charcoal alone will add a nice smokey flavor. I don't aways use wood chucks when cooking chicken or salmon, because the charcoal adds the smoke I am looking for.

 

EXACTLY!

"Depend not on fortune, but on conduct."

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It's only the thighs that pose a challenge to low and slow chicken on a WSM, but bite through delicate skin with a BBQ sauce with a kick is awesome. Legs and wings cook just fine IMO BBQ wings on a WSM is a real treat. Running it dry at the 300 - 350 will mimic a household oven so I don't see much of an issue.

 

If I am in the mood for crispy skin like a roasted chicken I simply spatchcock it and throw it on the kettle.

"... let it go - lets move forward."

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