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Introducing....Our New Toy

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Introducing....Our New Toy

I'm baaaack....

I've been VERY scarce lately since I was out of town for 17 days in January.

So let's play a little catch up, shall we?

[OKAY VEGETARIAN READERS, YOU MIGHT WANT TO STOP HERE]

First I want to show off our new toy, a SMOKER, which we bought with some money my parents had sent for Christmas.

Here it is!  Thanks to our local Bass Pro Shops and my parents!
Dave and I had been wanting a smoker for a VERY long time.  Experiencing some Thanksgiving turkey at Dave's squadron that came out of a smoker cinched it.  The week before Christmas, we headed over to our local Bass Pro Shops (in Destin) where we chose a 30" tall compact electric smoker.  The model we chose is relatively lightweight, was easy to use for day-to-day cooking, yet is big enough to handle a holiday turkey!

Which is why we bought it in time for Christmas!

The first thing we did?  Of course, a brisket!



Tasty, but not quite tender enough.  We have a lot to learn.
Before the Christmas turkey, we gave the smoker a test run with a small flat-end brisket.  We even stuck in a probe thermometer and geeked out watching the temperature hold around 150F as the connective tissues take time to break down.  But we didn't cook it for long enough.  Parts of the brisket were tender, but many parts weren't.  Tender or not, the smoke flavor was outstanding and we muddled through quite a bit of it just the same, the boys too!

Later in the week, after lots of internet research, we attempted our 13-lb. turkey.

We run the probe thermometer through the vent.  This is an inexpensive model from Wal Mart.  The probe line will get covered in smoke residue so I don't recommend investing in a super-expensive one.  Just make sure it's accurate.
It came out spectacular.  I'm awful at roasting turkeys in the oven.  Even with that pop-up thermometer, while the breast would be juicy and delicious, the thigh meat wouldn't be cooked through.  Or if the thigh meat was cooked through, the breast meat would be dried out.  Ugh on both counts!

Our Thanksgiving turkey just before coming out of the smoker.  It was spectacular.
We had the thermometer alarm us when the temperature reached 155F, turned off the smoker, and then let "carry over" take the thigh temperature up to 160F.

For the first time, everything was cooked through properly.  We might have been able to take out the turkey a little sooner, the breast meat was borderline dry, but the dark meat was oh-so-perfect!

This morning I just put some Kansas City-style rub on a rack of spare ribs and in a couple hours I'll be popping it in the smoker for 6-7 hours.  We tried this about a month ago and it didn't cook nearly long enough.  This time we're just going to let it go until the meat falls off the bone!

Let meat come to room temperature before putting it in the smoker.  Why?  Energy savings!  You can probably save about an hour of electricity that would otherwise be used to bring the meat from refrigerator temperature up to room temperature.

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3 Comments:

At Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 4:03:00 PM CST , Blogger Shari@Rain into Rainbows said...

Mmmm yummy! We have a smoker & love it. Hubs makes the best ribs you've ever tasted. And I normally don't even like ribs, they're just THAT good.

Have fun w/your new toy! :-)

 
At Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 9:18:00 AM CST , Blogger Don Miller said...

MM,
Interesting. I did not know they had such a thing (electric). Amazon did not say, but I assume it plugs into a 120V (standard outlet). Only 275 degrees so it does not need a high wattage heating element. I assume 1500W? How long to preheat the box? Is preheating required? A Kill-a-watt would be neat to use to see what it cost to run it.

 
At Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 7:32:00 PM CST , Blogger Bengela said...

how did the ribs turn out? all your food looked yummy! Ben and I are considering a smoker, so thanks for your thorough review...as if we need another reason to go to the Bass Pro shop :) LOL

 

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