Discussion in 'Food and Drink' started by Mshenay, Jun 19, 2017.
Gabby's Grills Santa Maria mod?
Ima gonna get me a new grill. Do you guys recommend the pellet grills? I've got my eye on a REC TEC.
Only active tube based ones are any good!
Never heard of that mod before. Might be for the future.
I'm just using the smoker expect without the water pan. It actually gets really hot as it has a chimney effect.
I don't have much experience with pellet grills. My first question would be do you have access to good cooking grade pellets?
There is a lot of upside to pellets grill. The auto feeders really do take the guess work out.
So for fathers day I had the following menu:
-prime tri tip steaks (seasoned with salt, pepper and rubbed with garlic)
-Santa Maria style salsa
-beef fat roasted potatoes
Reading about how tri tip is cooked, I discovered that they use red oak and adjustable grates to keep the flames from completely burning up the meat. Using wood appealed to me but never seemed like an option with a regular charcoal grill. The Weber Smoky Mountain however has two levels a fair distance from the coals, which I figured would keep things out of reach of the flames. I used a mix of coals and wood chunks and removed the water pan.
Now I somewhat assumed that the increased height from the coals would make it a bit cooler and I was doing this mainly for the smoke flavor. Later on I would remove the stack and just put the grill directly on the bottom layer. Turns out the opposite occurred and it was far hotter then I expected. II am sure many of you that use a chimney starter for charcoal are familiar with how red hot the coals get with little effort, well cooking like this creates a megasized version. Some hairs on my fingers were singed while flipping the meat and I needed to use BBQ gloves the rest of the time. I think with some modification this is also a good way to simulate a tandoori oven. Or just get a ceramic smoker like a Big Green Egg.
For a nice browned exterior without overcooking the inside you need to have as high a temp as possible. People have even resorted to using blowtorches to brown the outside. Well if you have a Weber Smoker, I would seriously consider this method as it doesn't require any special equipment. The results speak for themselves:
Now some consideration needs to be taken when carving a tri-tip. The fibers don't run along the length, so I find it's best to split it into two parts before slicing:
As this is one of the tougher cuts of meat, be sure to slice thin. Serve with salsa and potatoes
Also wanted to include a review of the Lavatools Javelin Pro thermometer. I bought this awhile back since it was cheap and I wanted a good pen-style thermometer. I cooked the steak until the thermometer said it was 125f expecting a nice rare to medium-rare. However cutting into the meat it looked far closer to well-done. Luckily tri tip is one of those cuts that is okay cooked a bit more, but I am very disappointed in the performance of this thermometer. Because of this I CANNOT RECOMMEND the Javelin Pro.
$7 and works great
This past weekend I was excited to finally try out a Cookshack electric smoker that I recently found and repaired. Long story short, the smoker functioned perfectly and the ribs were the worst I've ever had (I lived in Memphis for awhile so my standards are pretty high).
Lessons learned include not going overboard with the wood (resulting in bitter, acrid flavors) and not relying solely on the thickest part of the rack to judge temperature/doneness. Might work for drumsticks, brats, etc but the rest of the rack was toast. Ah well... nowhere to go but up, right?
For meats that will certainly be beyond well done (ribs, brisket, pork shoulder), I find that feel is a far better gauge than temperature. For brisket I only use a thermometer when I'm resting the meat or maybe to check if I reached the stall.
I've been using a Cookshack for a few years now. 4 ounces is the most wood I'll put in it. That's about two chunks worth.
Traeger pellets are easy to find. Not sure if they work in Rec Tec grills, but Amazon delivers Rec Tec pellets free.
I made cornbread muffins this morning, not the boxed ones, and it turns out that honey and butter and sugar is delicious. Also, I took a trial run at baked beans and also crock pot herb roasted potatoes last night, also delicious as is that seasoned corn on the cob in the crock pot.
I'm thinking a corn and black bean salad to round out the sides menu and tortilla with a couple different home made salsas, maybe along with the corn bread muffins as 'hors d'uerves'.
I have a Camp Chef smoker that uses pellets. I've done baby back ribs, beef brisket, pork butt, and pork shoulder. Its a winner. Lots of recipes online, pellets available through amazon (if you can't find them locally or if you are lazy, like me), hard to screw up if you follow directions. Everything I've made has been a hit with the family. Oh, and they are pretty easy to maintain.
Your family or your smoker or both?
Both! Haha... I just took a look, and my pronoun usage was poor.
All the best to you, your family......and the smoker
I really, really suck at photography...
But I wanted to talk about my 4th of July pork loin roast. I used a local, but mostly atypical bbq seasoning that features brown sugar and smoke flavorings. I then added smoked paprika and black pepper on top of that. I was having a hard time keeping the temperature down at 225 where I like it. It was a hot and windy 4th here, so I was mostly hovering at 250 instead, which brought the cook time down to 3 hours 15 minutes. That was way faster then I planned for this 7 pound roast.
I only had time for one spritz of cranberry juice, but I would normally do two or three. When I hit a temp of 145, I coated it in a South Carolina style mustard bbq sauce, wrapped it, and took it off the heat for a longer then planned rest.
The smokiness and mustard played quite well together, and will use this flavor pairing again. Oh and FYI, I added some applewood to the charcoal for a light smoke, since I didn't want to overload the smoke flavor with something like mesquite.
I know someone was talking about their negative experience with a budget thermometer, and I'd like to share a more positive review. I believe this was my 5th time using my ThermoPop, and its been super consistent. It seems to always be 2 degrees higher then my Thermoworks Smoke temperature monitor. And I really like its rotating display. It feels like a baby Thermapen. I mean the auto on/off and self rotating display are a plus for the $99 thermometer, but at $29, I have no desire to spend the extra money right now....
sorry for the image spam, but heres what I've been making out on the RECTEC.
CANT FORGET THE CHICKEN.
That's some great looking smoke penetration. Now I want to make ribs too...
RecTec - Nice! I’ve been honing my chops on a Weber Performer kettle - the regular 22.5” kettle with the nice table and cart and the gas charcoal lighter. If you must have only one - a Weber kettle is tough to beat. I use a Slow-n-Sear pretty religiously with it. Lots of tri tip and rib eyes, only one round of ribs so far. A pork butt and a brisket are on the challenge list for this summer. I splurged and we got a Weber 4 burner gas grill this year as well, for the instant on burgers, quick, thin steaks and for all the side dishes like corn, onions, potatoes, asparagus....
Oh, thermometers - a couple of thermoworks dots and a thermapen for me. So far.
Once I cook a brisket and a pork butt successfully, I’m looking at the Kamado style grills to round out the collection. Maybe next year. Apparently if I cook, I get a semi-free pass on barbecue equipment.
Wow - sorry for the BBQ life story. I like barbecuing.....
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