Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Doc Holliday

BBQ smoking

Recommended Posts

Just a quick question about smoking on the bbq. I spatchcocked a whole chicken last night and used beech wood to hot smoke it that I picked up from a felled tree a couple of years back.

 

The short of it is that it had a very over powering smokiness and it made Mrs H dash for the loo an hour or so later. I used about 6 pieces of large kindling sized beech wood, to give some idea of quantity of wood.

 

I've also experienced indigestion issues when I've smoked ham with apple wood.

 

What am I doing wrong or not doing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hello, i am no expert but i would not think the chicken was sufficiently cooked , smoking meat/fish should be done over a long period of time in a proper smoker/not a general bbq

Edited by oldypigeonpopper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You probably used too much wood. Most experienced hot smokers mostly rely on the charcoal and only add a small chunk or two (think small fag packet size) of wood.

 

Temperature management is important. Most people run their hot smokers at about 225 Fahrenheit and use a Thermopen type meat thermometer to check doneness.

 

Google 'Meathead" - lots of useful info there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I smoked a trout in a Abu homesmoker years ago...........I was bloody inedible!.....never bothered since! Lol!.... just chuck em on the Barbie!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

when i was abroad.....and we were doing chicken...on an oil drum bbq..(with a lid).....the chicken was done in a pressure cooker first....when it came out it looked like a dead baby. :lol:

 

then we used to dump it into a sweet spicy bucket of stuff which contained beer....honey....plum jam...chilli.....worster sauce....tomatoe puri.....mashed onion ...sugar...

 

open up the bbq....(not too hot)....chuck on half a handful of Hickory sawdust that had been soaking in water.....chuck on the meat that was covered in the sticky stuff from the bucket

 

cook until crispy with the lid closed....to allow the smoke to infuse with the meat........get it out and eat.....

 

 

dont use pine sawdust....or anything that has been cut by a chainsaw....(chainlube in it)....and yes i do know people who have done this.. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also 6 pieces is a lot of wood all at one time, try soaking them in water or apple juice before smoking and using one at a time, I've done mackerel with just one piece and that was very smokey!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a hot smoker/broiler I made myself from a 45 gallon drum. I use charcoal and only 3 or 4 blocks of selected DRY wood, that is dried of all sap. I soak this for about an hour in water(but the apple juice sounds good) I put adequate charcoal in the bottom tray to cook slowly for 8hrs. I have a pre burn charcoal tin I made which is about the size of a gallon paint tin. I light charcoal in this and wait for it to go grey, I then tip this on top of the unlit charcoal in the smoker, set the meat on the top tray away from the direct heat and then drop a couple of my soaked wood blocks on the hot charcoal and close the lid. Check it after about one hour and then triple wrap the meat in foil and put it back in the smoker and maybe add a couple of extra pieces of charcoal and put the lid on and go back to it after about three hours. I then open the foil carefully and baste the meat with a mix of oil, white wine vinegar, brown sugar or maple syrup,and some spices. Close it up again and give it another 3hrs. Then push the meat thermometer through the foil into the meat and check the temp. These relatively cheap bits of kit are essential. Then shut down the heat and let the meat rest for one more hour with the foil of which glazes it and caramalises the sugar. I never have any complaints or left overs from a full brisket. I cook at about 250.

 

WOOD. Fully dry of any sap. Beech I would not use. What I do use are oak, plum, cherry and apple. I save small quantities as I find them and store for two or three or more years in a dry place. If you cannot do this then buy some saw dust.

 

Check out Barbeque Pit Boys on youtube. Brilliant.

 

 

Just to add. I marinate my meat for at least 48hrs prior to the above.

Edited by Walker570

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very good technique Walker, it took me a while to develop a very similar system for brisket and pork shoulder.

 

Apple juice is also good in a spray bottle to give it a mist whenever adding wood. I prefer mesquite and always soak the pork shoulder in Bannana bread beer before smoking - everyone who has tried it loved it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for replies guys, especially Walker for your comprehensive answer. Out of curiosity, why don't you use beech? I thought all hard woods were ok to use. Definitely sounds like I used too much. I knew regular sawdust was a no-no. I did buy a big bag of oak sawdust some years back. Not sure what happened to it as I only used a small amount. Cost me a tenner too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did read somewhere .... must look it up .... that some woods were not good for smoking and beech was one of those. Always used mesquite when out in Texas and I have a small amount here but once it's gone, it's gone and I really should used it on a knife handle :-)

Plum is very nice but takes about two years to dry out ..say a piece about 2 inches square ... suppose if you ran it through the bench saw into 1/4 inch slabs you could dry it in the oven. I ran out of everything usable this last weekend and found a piece of old... very old ...oak and ran this through my planer/thickneser and used the shavings. Top hole.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beach is fine for smoking, and isn't a million miles different to oak.

 

I would say it's the quantity.

 

Did you soak it before using?

 

What method did you use?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get onto the Country Wood Smoke Facebook forum.

 

I've just got 10 bags of Namibian Hardwood off there.

 

Loads of tips.

 

Low and slow with good air circulation and steady temp is the mantra.

 

What setup are you using Doc?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use the Abu Garcia fish smoker on the top of the BBQ or put camping gas stove under it.

You've got to put the fish in brine first and dampen your saw dust before you start for perfect results . Smoky Jo is a great book and did a good talk at the Cla a few years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Metal biscuit tin, holes punched in the top and a platform made from some old oven shelves, throw dampened shavings in the bottom, put the lid on and place over a very low heat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What smokers are you guys using? Is a purpose built buy in type or homemade?

 

 

I use a Weber Smoky Mountain for both hot and cold smoking. Use a Pro-Q frame (great bit of kit) for the cold smoke. Get about a 14 hour burn from it with the right dust.

 

Discovered cold smoking a while ago and have done salmon, cheese, my own cured bacon and various other things. It's a cinch to do and well worth it (as is making your own bacon, couldn't be easier).

 

A vac-packer and meat slicer definitely helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thunderbird, now you are taking me back about 70yrs. My grandfather always killed three fat pigs a year and the hams and flitches hung in a cool pantry up the back stone stairs of our old farmhouse. I have helped him rub the curing agent into the flitches and hams and every now and then he would send me up the stairs to check for any 'crawlies' as they had no muslin covering in those days. I agree , taking a large slice or two of your own bacon from the flitch for breakfast takes some beating. At least one of the hams would be roasted at Christmas, wrapped in a pastry case and taken to the local bakery on Christmas Eve it went into the bread oven along with local turkeys, to be collected the following morning.

I haven't tried smoking cheese. Any suggestions which cheese to use?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The easiest thing to smoke is salmon.

 

It will only ever take as much brine and smoke as it's needs.

 

Everything else is an exact science.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

I use a Weber Smoky Mountain for both hot and cold smoking. Use a Pro-Q frame (great bit of kit) for the cold smoke. Get about a 14 hour burn from it with the right dust.

 

Discovered cold smoking a while ago and have done salmon, cheese, my own cured bacon and various other things. It's a cinch to do and well worth it (as is making your own bacon, couldn't be easier).

 

A vac-packer and meat slicer definitely helps.

I've seen the Weber, they do look good, a bit out of my price range though. I've seen one made out of an old 50gallon drum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doc, sounds like you cooked it in thick smoke from too much wood, I know exactly what you mean re indigestion. As already said by others, just a small piece of soaked wood will do. Low and slow temps of 225 -250f aren't safe with chicken, you want to hot smoke at a temp similar to what you would roast it in the oven. Once meat hits 60 degrees Celsius it won't absorb any more smoke so if you're cooking a chicken to 75 degrees celcius you'll probably get an idea of how little wood you'd actually need. A dip in a weak brine flavoured with stock and herbs etc will keep the bird moist, and the brine will enable the meat to absorb the smoke better. You want the smoke in the meat rather than a heavy residue on the outside, which is what I suspect happened with your previous attempt. A meat thermometer is always a useful tool with barbecue, or meat cooking in general, you can cook yo the known internal temperature rather than guessing at xx minutes per pound etc... I hope your next attempt is more successful - good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Again, thank you for all the advice guys. I have to admit I was teying to cut a corner and use the regular bbq. I do have a Landmann Kentucky Smoker I bought from homebase a couple of years back. I think the issue, from the sound of it, is using too much wood and generating too much smoke. The regular bbq is another homebase effort (jamie oliver endorsed one). It is ok now that I have fitted a temperature gauge to it. Before that it was total guess work as to how it was performing temperature-wise. I piled the coals and wood at one end and bird at t'other but clearly it was a schoolboy's error all round.

 

I do have a digital meat thermometer and it is invaluable for testing internal meat temps. Totally takes the guess work out if it.

 

I am having another go tonight with just a very small amount of beech soaked for several hours. Will let you know how it turns out.

 

Happy smoking,

 

Doc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First attempt at smoking in the new offset smoker from amazon for about a oner.

 

The shrink wrap machine was £50 off amazon with 12m of bags - I don't know how I got by without one for all these years :lol: Magnificebt toy.

 

3BBA3FEE-7555-41F6-A702-DF1BDF322174_zps

 

E03F0127-CDD3-468B-91F9-15F99257B383_zps

 

47BC7226-D912-40F2-AE1C-19A51882E10A_zps

 

2941D0AB-0D0D-4F6F-A7C4-6E9F74F477C1_zps

Edited by Mungler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks good there Mungler. Only problem is you can't just leave us hanging like that. Give us the gory details. What cut of meat, how long, at what temperature and with what wood. Your smoker looks very similar to mine, the only difference being the mesh shelf at the front.

 

I soaked some small bits of beech for a few hours before starting tge chicken thighs off in the microwave on a medium setting. This should help the meat cook close to the bone. Then on to the bbq with a small piece of beech in the coals. Unfortunately it didn't infuse the meat with any flavour so will try again this weekend.

Edited by Doc Holliday

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...