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Old 09-14-2013, 11:15 PM   #161
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I'm looking into a Smoker. But, being up here in below zero temps. I think I'm going to build a brick enclosure for a retail type smoker. I guess wind really affects them. Next years project.

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Old 09-14-2013, 11:21 PM   #162
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I'm looking into a Smoker. But, being up here in below zero temps. I think I'm going to build a brick enclosure for a retail type smoker. I guess wind really affects them. Next years project.
Sonic, that's the beauty of a smoker. low and slow. having a smoker with a seperate firebox is what you need. you can control the heat and add more wood if needed. the low temperature smoke is doing the cooking. i have smoked meat when the temperature outside was very, very cold.
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:24 PM   #163
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You can get it at WalMart. It's Royal Oak brand. There are others, too. First time I bought it I was surprised at how light the bag was. It certainly does burn hot.
The only issue I have with natural charcoal is temperature consistency, some very small and large pieces make it difficult. I sometimes get a hammer and break up the larger pieces.
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:35 PM   #164
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I cook on a Green Egg using either their natural charcoal or any natural charcoal that is available. It works fine in the cold, and maintains a very consistent temperature. If you want really simple, economical smoking check out the Orion Cooker. I bought one for my Father in Law and his vacation house in the NY mountains and it works great if you don't want to spend a lot of time and effort smoking. i am very impressed by that little smoker. I have done a 20 lb turkey in it as well as 2 pork butts at one time, Very handy.

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Old 09-15-2013, 07:28 AM   #165
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i have in mind to build another smoker, just a little bigger than my current one. with some added features, like a grille to cook steaks and hamburgers on. an idea to combine my smoker and grill into one unit vs. the two i have now.

one of the other ideas is to have a propane lighter for the wood in the firebox an a burner for cooking on. i have been working on some sketches but i haven't finalized what exactly i want it to look like yet.

i would like to be able to smoke at least 3-4 large turkeys in pans on it, or about 5-6 decent sized briskets. a grill that i can cook at least 3-4 large sirloins on.

right now i am still in the planning stages and open to ideas.

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Old 09-15-2013, 10:56 AM   #166
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Sonic, that's the beauty of a smoker. low and slow. having a smoker with a seperate firebox is what you need. you can control the heat and add more wood if needed. the low temperature smoke is doing the cooking. i have smoked meat when the temperature outside was very, very cold.
Which brings up a question I have always had with smoking meat. For safe cooking recommended internal temps should reach ; Whole Turkey-165 degrees, Beef and Pork 145 degrees.

I believe 'Smoking meat' temps are generally lower than that. How does it kill bacteria?
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Old 09-15-2013, 12:20 PM   #167
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Which brings up a question I have always had with smoking meat. For safe cooking recommended internal temps should reach ; Whole Turkey-165 degrees, Beef and Pork 145 degrees.

I believe 'Smoking meat' temps are generally lower than that. How does it kill bacteria?
It's the temperature of the meat that kills the bacteria.

Everything you always wanted to know about thermodynamics of cooking meat but were afraid to ask, are right here
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Old 09-15-2013, 12:35 PM   #168
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It's the temperature of the meat that kills the bacteria.

Everything you always wanted to know about thermodynamics of cooking meat but were afraid to ask, are right here
Yes, by internal temps, I meant internal temps of the meat....which are the temps I posted. I will read the info on that site...looks like a good resource.
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Old 09-15-2013, 02:42 PM   #169
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Yes, by internal temps, I meant internal temps of the meat....which are the temps I posted. I will read the info on that site...looks like a good resource.
what is meant by low and slow cooking by smoking the meat is that the smoker portion of the smoker is usually about 225-250 degrees and when i smoke a 13 pound turkey, it's usually done for about 10-12 hours to fully cook and reach an internal temperature of at least 165.

the internal temperature is very important, and regardless of whether it's done fast or slow is irrelevent. IIRC, that the meat internally needs to reach at least 140 degrees to kill bacteria, but that 165 degrees is used for margin of safety. if i cook something at 450 degrees, the internal temperature will reach 165 degree much sooner than cooking it at 250 degrees.

the nice thing about low and slow smoking of the meat is that you can use lesser quality of meats and make them flavorful and tender. that is one of the things that started the BBQ tradition. people found that they could take cheap and tough cuts of meat from beef or pork and by slow smoking them, the meat was very tender and tasted good.
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Old 09-15-2013, 04:36 PM   #170
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Smoking is generally considered around 180 degrees depending on time and what you are smoking. Smoking and barbecuing kind of get used interchangeably by some people also. Like mentioned above, low and slow is the key. I'll smoke salmon at 180-200, but will 'smoke' ribs, brisket, butts or turkey at anywhere from 200-250. And if you cook it long enough at 180-250 you'll eventually get to a safe internal temperature.

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