chessie_yaker

Relearning my smoker with Royal Oak

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One of my favorite things to make relax time for is cooking and on a sunny day in my neck of Maryland it’s a perfect day for it. I wanted to perfect my Carolina style candied Apple BBQ sauce (will post later this evening) and today felt like the right day to do it. 

 

I first went out to check my charcoal situation because I recently had a problem with my charcoal container opening itself, leaving itself open and letting the rain in- ruining the whole container, every time. My thinking is it’s my property and I don’t have the time to drill the kids to figure out if it was one of them or a squirrel so I set a mouse trap in there a couple weeks ago. Low and behold I went out this morning and the mouse trap was missing, but the lid was securely fastened with the little bit of charcoal in the bottom bone dry. After getting over my own amusement I realized that I didn’t have enough coals so to the store we went for them and the meats. 

 

After grabbing a rack of baby baby backs and some wings we stopped to grab a bag of the usual professional slow burn blue bag when I started looking at the royal oak bags. Feeling confident from my small victory with the “squirrels” I decided to grab a bag and give them a shot. 

 

I started the smoker with what charcoal was left, which was enough to fill the bowl to get things going. Once the coals were white and roasting I threw a few pieces of the royal oak on and headed back to the kitchen to get the ribs in the brine and start the sauce. I came out about a half hour later and was shocked at how hot it was. Usually I would leave the vent full throttle and she would hover steady between 180-200f, my preferred range when smoking. According to the thermometer my little kettle was humming at 350f and I almost didn’t know what to do. It was like a new morning from 50 first dates and I was the one learning everything we had together all over again. I choked the vent to half throttle, stirred the coals to half bury the chunks of royal oak under the white ash and went back to my sauce pan. 

 

I knew the bag said it burned hotter, but I didn’t realize it would be THAT hot. An hour later it’s still at 300 and I just choked her down to 1/4 throttle and stirred the coals again. I’ll give it another hour to settle down and if it doesn’t comply with my wishes I’ll just have to use a meat thermometer and try to adjust my timing accordingly. 

 

Does anyone else use and have success with Royal Oak? Is it the only traditional char readily available for anyone else? I’ll admit I haven’t tried to hunt any others down, but it’s the only bag I see everywhere I look. 

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A couple hours later and I’m hovering around 250f. Just did the first flip, reapplied the piggies sunscreen, added a few more chunks of char and a handful of hickory. So far so good

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Well no pics for this go round. A storm blew through and I had to bring the meats in and finish them in the oven. I was fine till the lightning started and a tornado watch alert came over the phone. The wings were great, but the ribs needed more time. 

 

Once i I got the hang of it I liked it. It definitely improved the taste of everything. Used less, costs less...I’m a fan. I emptied the bag into my container and found that there were chunks like coal in there. Really dense and heavy. Should those get pitched or are they good to burn?

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10 hours ago, chessie_yaker said:

Well no pics for this go round. A storm blew through and I had to bring the meats in and finish them in the oven. I was fine till the lightning started and a tornado watch alert came over the phone. The wings were great, but the ribs needed more time. 

 

Once i I got the hang of it I liked it. It definitely improved the taste of everything. Used less, costs less...I’m a fan. I emptied the bag into my container and found that there were chunks like coal in there. Really dense and heavy. Should those get pitched or are they good to burn?

Pitched...???

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2 hours ago, MickAff said:

Pitched...???

Not used in the smoker. I’m sure they’d be great in the fire pit if they’d do anything to the food

30 mins ago, Steve in Mass said:

Love the elegant story telling in the first post. Good job. :th::)

 

Ha thanks Steve. I had a minute to sit back and reflect before anything else needed to be done 

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