Started by dogbreath, June 23, 2007, 05:37:33 PM

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Been a busy spring, the drought is broken in North TX and it's been crazy long hours at work (the Weather Service). But, even though my days off have mostly been rainy, which has killed my golf career, I can still smoke. If you remember, back in the winter I was having trouble with box temps in my 6-rack. Well, tinkerer that I am, I bought a cheap hot plate and pulled out the coil to sit in the drip pan with its temp setting to medium low. Think of as a "helper" element. Result--box heats up to temp much quicker when first inserting the meat at the start of the smoke...and seems to have less swing during the smoke. It's more helpful when smoking 30+ pounds at a time. I don't use it for smaller loads. So, it seems to me that the heating element could stand to be just a bit stronger in the 6-rack.

The only smoker problem I've had is missing segments from the LED. Tech support had me try to reseat the plug for the display and so far that's held up. We'll see if it comes back next winter.

Besides lots of brisket, pulled pig, chicken & ribs, I've made another run of Habs' Pastrami, as well as another run of his Canadian Bacon. I soaked the bacon for 50 minutes changing water once, vice the 30 he recommends and I think for me the saltiness is perfect.

The pastrami comes out perfect just the way he says to do it. I buy the coriander whole and grind it just before use...maximum flavor/aroma that way. Sam's Club sells a Jarlsberg cheese that's very similar to swiss...and that also makes a great Reuben. I buy the crispy saurkraut (personal preference) and smash it pretty dry between paper towels (before putting it in the sandwich!). Yum!

The one thing I'd tell the newbies (I'm still one, by the way) is that "FTC" is the biggest secret to smoking tender meat. Two-four hours does wonders for pulled pig, brisket, and I FTC my ribs for fall off the bone tenderness.

Thanks to all who replied and helped me...and those who replied to others (yes, I read almost all the threads when I have time).