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Taipans 03-10-2008 08:58 AM

BBQ / Smoking!
 
I am a novice BBQ'er. I will admit it, my wife infact up until last summer did most of the grilling. (hangs head in man shame) But I finally got the itch to start doing it myself and to get better at it. I noticed one thing that motivated me. All of my friends consider themselves "manly men" and they all do 100% of the grilling. But they SUCK. They pretty much heat the grill, toss on the meat, cook and remove. They don't use an techniques or prep-time on the meat. So I think I have a head start on blowing them all away this upcoming season.

First of all I have been messing around with seasonings, dry rubs and marinades. Something many of them honestly don't get into. They don't think you need anything else but a slap of sauce and a cold one. Now this may work for hotdogs and such, but for ribs, chicken and various other meats it just leaves a lot desired.

One thing I tried last weekend was adding "smoke" to my gas grill. I bought a shallow metal pan and put some soaked hickory chips in it. However in my inpatience I honestly didn't soak them long enough. I think it was only for 20 minutes although my wife is saying 10... :)

I got this idea from some BBQ sites last week. I always wanted a "smoker" but as everyone knows it takes a long time and some skill to turn out right. My main concern was adding a touch of character to my normal meats. So I noticed some tips and went with it. Problem is it never really "smoked". And that is why I am blabbering on atm.

So I had 10-20 minute soaked chips, I am guessing this could be my first problem. How long do you need to soak wood chips for this application?

Secondly I wanted it to start smoking before I put the chicken on, that way I could mess around with it. I started off my placing the pan on one side of the grill with the burners turned up higher then the rest. Waited 20 minutes or so for the temp to max out and still no smoke. Fair enough, so I took the grate off and sat the pan directly on top of the burner guards and reinstalled the grate.

Still no smoke, this has been about 45min now. I could smell it though, and when I lifted the lid some seemed to come out but stop.

So we were getting hungry, the Chicken at this point got put on anyways. I cooked it until it was done hoping for a miracle but nothing really happened. I did note some of the chips seems to burn, and even had embers on their edges. But only a tiny but of smoke.

Has anyone tried this method out? Do you have any tips?

I would love to hear "any" gas grilling tips as I need to improve on this!

Thank you very much!

DepotDweller 03-10-2008 09:01 AM

master the grill as it was originally meant to be used and go buy a smoker, they're awesome.

Taipans 03-10-2008 09:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DepotDweller (Post 106085)
master the grill as it was originally meant to be used and go buy a smoker, they're awesome.


Do smokers only burn wood chips to create the fire? And if so, how hard is it to keep it a constant temp through the cook? I do want one, and well its one of those "why not" situations. I think the only reason I even tried the above was to add some natural smokey flavor on evenings when we only have an hour or so to cook. I have the feeling though that I need to soak the chips much longer, not sure on the reccomended soak time though!

Thanks for the reply, and do you get along with the Lowes guy? :wink:

DepotDweller 03-10-2008 09:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Taipans (Post 106087)
Do smokers only burn wood chips to create the fire? And if so, how hard is it to keep it a constant temp through the cook? I do want one, and well its one of those "why not" situations. I think the only reason I even tried the above was to add some natural smokey flavor on evenings when we only have an hour or so to cook. I have the feeling though that I need to soak the chips much longer, not sure on the reccomended soak time though!

Thanks for the reply, and do you get along with the Lowes guy? :wink:


I wouldn't know, I could never find one :mad: :laughing: I dwell at the home depot. I am not the smoker, my husband is, although we don't have it anymore since he let the boys use it one 4th of July for blowing off fireworks :furious: Soak them longer and keep trying on the grill, but I'm telling ya, ribs were never better than when he did a nice rub and cooked them in there all day long.

Taipans 03-10-2008 09:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DepotDweller (Post 106092)
I wouldn't know, I could never find one :mad: :laughing: I dwell at the home depot. I am not the smoker, my husband is, although we don't have it anymore since he let the boys use it one 4th of July for blowing off fireworks :furious: Soak them longer and keep trying on the grill, but I'm telling ya, ribs were never better than when he did a nice rub and cooked them in there all day long.


LOL!

I have had all day smoked ribs and they were awesome! I am going to go ahead and get one. I will keep trying the gas option though!

Bondo 03-10-2008 11:57 AM

Ayuh,..... I'm no Pro,.... But....

Try soaking your Chips overnight,...
Then add them Directly onto the burner cover, No Pan....
If they Can't Burn,..... They Can't Smoke......
Soaking them just slows the burning process.....
And,....
No,... The Chips are put into Smokers for the Smoke....
The Heat comes from an Electric, Gas, or Charcoal Bricket Burner....
The 1 I picked up last year is electric......

Rehabber 03-10-2008 12:53 PM

I'm with Bondo, works for me:)

kboorman 03-10-2008 03:32 PM

Ah, for once a topic that i am fluent in, grilling & BBQ. You can soak the wood chips for about an hour in warm water and you'll be good to go. Put them in the cast iron box (or pan or a double wrapped foil packet with some holes poked in it) lift the grate and put them right on the flame diffuser / burner cover / whatever. They will smoke, but you'll get limited flavor benefit due to the higher temps and faster cooking times of grilling vs real low n slow bbq. But hey, some smoke is better than no smoke.
Don't think that you need billowing clouds of smoke to get flavor either. What you're looking for is a wisp of blue smoke, not lots of white or gray smoke. When I'm bbq'ing, there's little or no smoke coming from the cooker but believe me, the flavor's there.
As far as the rubs you were looking into, be careful using rubs that are high in sugar if you're grilling. The high heat will burn the sugar, turn your meat dark and probably won't give you the flavor you're looking for. Marinades are a nice way to go here.
If you're looking for a great way to do chicken on the grill, Google "Beer can chicken recipe." It's pretty easy and the results are great.
If you are interested in getting a smoker, I recommend the Weber Smokey Mountain smoker (model 2820 I think). They're more expensive than the el cheapo Brinkmanns but they are MUCH easier and more enjoyable to use. I own 2 of them (along with a 22" kettle grill, an 18" and a Smokey Joe, plus the gas grill, all Weber).
Any other questions you have, ask away. I do not claim to be an expert on the topic but I do compete a couple of times a year at sanctioned contests and I love to talk q.
Kirk

nap 03-10-2008 05:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kboorman (Post 106236)
and I love to talk q.
Kirk

just for all those that do not recognize it but anybody that talks about "q" is into it pretty seriously:thumbup:

kboorman 03-10-2008 05:58 PM

My wife calls it an obsession. I just consider myself a dedicated enthusiast. :wink:

jbfan 03-10-2008 07:09 PM

I cooked a bear can chicken, my first, a few weeks ago and I'm not sure I will ever cook chicken any other way on the grill again!

I can't wait till it warms up some more to experiment with that!

Taipans 03-10-2008 08:16 PM

Thanks for all the input guys.
I will find the smoker you recommend Kirk! Thanks for giving me the model number!

Ok so I will not expect billowing smoke from the grill method. I know my pullover smelled like hickory just from opening the lid so I assume it was doing more then I thought. Should I turn down the heat and cook the chicken longer to give it more soak time, or will that cause it to dry out easier?

I have heard tons about "Beer Can" chicken over the years. Obviously with my lack of BBQ experience I never tried it out. I have seen the stands for it in many stores, is that all you need, well besides the beer!? :)

I do know about that subject however, I don't know if any of you guys HomeBrew but it is one of the few things I have been doing related to cooking!:thumbsup:

Thanks again and I am sure I will have more questions!

NothingsLevel 03-10-2008 08:52 PM

Only 8 months to perfect your technique before Thanksgiving.

My brother in law does the Thanksgiving bird on the grill. After a 25-hour brining. Smoke, applewood chips, the whole deal. This past year was the best turkey I have ever had. 20-pound bird, cooked perfectly - perfect skin, perfect interior moistness, everything.

wfischer 03-10-2008 11:25 PM

One method that's popular around here is cooking with a cedar plank. http://www.cedarplank.com/ I have yet to try it, since my wife STILL hasn't bought me the grill I was supposed to get for my birthday... in December.

And if you wanna talk smoking, I guarantee you you'll never taste anything better than a freshly caught, freshly smoked, wild Alaskan salmon!

Taipans 03-11-2008 05:49 AM

Thanks for the link, the Cedar plank methods sounds pretty interesting. So the plant itself doesn't do much, but its what you soak into it?


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