Author Topic: Need some advice before I get a new smoker  (Read 3700 times)

Offline takem01

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 44
Need some advice before I get a new smoker
« on: October 07, 2015, 10:43:17 AM »
Currently using the portable propane smoker. But it's time to step up. I'm thinking that I want a 6 rack stainless, only because I want to be able to hang a ham inside. Will a 4 rack do a ham?

Offline Habanero Smoker

  • Member Extraordinaire
  • ******
  • Posts: 14,859
  • KCBS - Master Certified Barbecue Judge
Re: Need some advice before I get a new smoker
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2015, 01:13:32 PM »
A six rack will give you a lot of room, but I've been able to hang up to a 18 pound ham in my four rack, with a fair amount of room left. I use a 1/2" dowel that I lay across the vent, and feed a "S" hook through the vent to attach the ham on.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline takem01

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 44
Re: Need some advice before I get a new smoker
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2015, 05:48:35 PM »
Thanks, Hab. Just the advice I was looking for. You probably just save something like $100

Offline Habanero Smoker

  • Member Extraordinaire
  • ******
  • Posts: 14,859
  • KCBS - Master Certified Barbecue Judge
Re: Need some advice before I get a new smoker
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2015, 02:02:12 AM »
I thought I had a picture of a whole ham hanging in my smoker, but could not locate it. The below link is the type of hook I now use, instead of the "S" hook.
Stockinette Hook. It easily slips down through the vent.

If you use stockinette, or even netting; tie it as tight as you can, because once it hangs it will stretch. I had to retie my stockinette a few times, because of stretching. Now before I hang it in the smoker, I will hang it between two chairs, and make any adjustments before hanging it in the smoker. I often will reinforce the stockinette with twine, to prevent too much stretch.  Also you will need around a 2" clearance between the top of the ham and the vent.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

beefmann

  • Guest
Re: Need some advice before I get a new smoker
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2015, 09:44:42 AM »
a 4 rack will do a 18 to 20 lb ham easily,,, though if you  are  looking for  larger cuts of meat,, or  a  heavier load ( in  excess of 25  lbs ) go  with the  6 rack,, also if you will be doing  sausage and  hang it as well... spend the  extra and  go with the 6 rack...

look at all of your options first  then choose, better to buy  once then have to  buy many  times. I  have owned my 4 rack  smoker for going on 10 years during this time ,, i  wish i had a larger smoker,,, mostly wider so i could  do full racks of  ribs or a full brisket with  out having to  cut it

Offline Habanero Smoker

  • Member Extraordinaire
  • ******
  • Posts: 14,859
  • KCBS - Master Certified Barbecue Judge
Re: Need some advice before I get a new smoker
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2015, 01:07:21 PM »
I just located a picture of one of the hams that I hung in my cabinet, and will post it tomorrow. That will give you a good idea of the space available in the 4 rack. I generally will smoke/cook either the butt or the shank, and those cuts will fit on the rack. It is one of the first hams I hung. It is a 16 - 18 boned ham, which was about 22 pounds prior to trimming and boning. After this first experience, I developed better ways to hang the ham.   


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline Habanero Smoker

  • Member Extraordinaire
  • ******
  • Posts: 14,859
  • KCBS - Master Certified Barbecue Judge
Re: Need some advice before I get a new smoker
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2015, 01:50:34 AM »


The first picture, I believe, is one of my first hams I hung in the Bradley. It is one I smoked/cooked for a relative who wanted a boned ham. I learned from this one, some of the issues that you may encounter hanging a ham. As you can see, the stockenette is pretty stretched out, and could be tighter. Now when I smoke/cook whole hams, I first hang it between two chairs. That way it is easier to get the stockenette or netting adjusted prior to placing it in smoker. When hanging it between two chairs you may want to use a 3/4” dowel or metal rod. If you don’t have stockenette or netting, butchers twine can work, but make sure the twine is strong enough to support the ham. The shelf is not supporting the ham. I wanted to smoke the hock at the same time, as you will see in the next photo.

The method I use to hang the ham inside the smoker is to run a 1/2” dowel across the top of the cabinet, then feed the hook through the top vent, securing one end of the hook onto the dowel. To make it easier to fasten the ham on the hook, place a rack on the third rail down. You may want to double your racks, because they will temporarily need to hold the full weight of the ham. Place the ham on the rack, to support its weight while you are fastening it to the hook. Once the ham is securely fastened, remove the racks and allow the ham to hang.



This picture gives you a better idea of how much space you will have in the 4 rack.  Though the shelf is not supporting the ham, it is touching the ham, it did help when I rotated the ham. I only had to spin it 180 degree clockwise and it would stay put. If I needed to rotate again, I would spin it 180 degrees counter clockwise.


I hope this give you a better idea. As I mentioned before, I've done an 18 pound bone-in whole ham with a fair amount of room to spare. Also cutting off the hock, give you a lot more additional space to hang the ham.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline renoman

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 425
Re: Need some advice before I get a new smoker
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2015, 06:42:12 AM »
My 4 rack will hang 14" long sausages. No longer.