Orion Cooker

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Russ Jackson
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RE: Orion Cooker 2009/06/02 09:03:50 (permalink)
I am still amazed that some of you hate this product. I still use mine all the time. I never use match light. I just use the charcoal burner thing. Two will fill the unit and it is easy to pour them in the tray. You can add charcoal along the way. Given 7 for gifts now and they all use them. Still one of the best threads ever. I always get a laugh. ...Russ
Bingo969
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RE: Orion Cooker 2009/06/02 22:29:34 (permalink)
DawnT

One of my dad' supervisiors had several "trash can" smokers that he used to use to cook for his BBQ's. This goes back to the 70's, long b4 Jeff's books or programs. Very simple contraption. Had kitty litter on the bottom to catch the grease with the old style hotplates that were a ceramic base with coiled wire in the grooves. On top of that was a cast iron pan w/o a handle sort of like a pie plate full of sand and wood chips. He had oversized bolts protruding into the can to support two grates which the meat was on. Fatty meat went on top to baste the leaner meat below. They made great Q and reflected his Kentucky background in the way he prepared it.

My main thought about the Orion is the speed. It takes low and slow to break down the collagen and render the fat at a slow level around 200-275 degrees. This sounds too hot and much too fast



Funny you say that that. I've also built a trash can smoker and helped several others build some. I love it. It's a great fun way to introduce someone to smoking without costing them a fortune.
 
As to the time thing with the Orion.  I admit that it's very odd. I am a huge advocate of low-and-slow with a good understanding of the science and reasons why.  Alton Brown has taught me well.
 
I don't understand why the food cooked in the Orion seems to have a complete connective tissue breakdown.  Everything I've ever been taught says that the only way to do that is low and slow.  Yet in the Orion it seems to work faster. I have pictures showing the meat falling off the bones.  I have meat that is the very definition of "Fork Tender".  Maybe it's the combination of heat, steam and just a little bit of pressure from being all closed up in the cooker. I honestly, genuinely don't know.
What I do know is that it IS juicy, tender and cooked down.  Hell, I forgot and left a pan out in my garage after the last time I cooked up a mess of ribs. When I went back and pulled it out the next day it had a perfect little puck of rendered fat in the corner just like my stock does after refridgerating it all night after cooking a pot of meat and bones all day.
 
I gave up trying to figure it out and just kept eating 'em. :)
 
Like I said in my first post - this thing will NEVER replace a full size serious smoking rig.  But for something to whip up a few racks of ribs, I can't possible imagine anything better. And I damn sure would rather use this than spend a full day working a smoker if it's only 2 or 3 slabs.
 
B
 
Oh - and here's my little Trash Can smoker smoking up a little 4 pound brisket. Heh:
 

 

Russ Jackson
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RE: Orion Cooker 2009/07/01 16:01:12 (permalink)
I will be using the famed Orion on July 4th. I will be preparing Brisket 16 lbs and 3 racks of ribs. I have a friend in town that says it is a joke. So let the Battle Begin...Russ

Pictures to follow...........................
HawaiianFire
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RE: Orion Cooker 2009/07/09 00:10:48 (permalink)
I love my Orion! I modified it by adding wheels from tractor Supply on each leg. Raises it up to a nice level. I get great smoke flavor by never soaking my chips. I have made tons of chicken ribs and pork shoulders in this thing. I never had anyone say it sucked. Everyone raves at how the meat falls off the bones and how tender and flavor filled they are. If I ever learn how to do pics, I'll post some. Till then happy eating. Oh and if your ever in Carlisle, PA for any of the famous car shows....give me a shout and I'll fire up the orion and put a few brews on ice!!
Bingo969
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RE: Orion Cooker 2009/07/24 20:58:41 (permalink)
Russ Jackson

I will be using the famed Orion on July 4th. I will be preparing Brisket 16 lbs and 3 racks of ribs. I have a friend in town that says it is a joke. So let the Battle Begin...Russ

Pictures to follow...........................


Hey I'd love to hear how this turned out. Pictures and a report! Come on!
 
B
Falcon358
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RE: Orion Cooker 2009/07/25 01:22:50 (permalink)
Thought I'd check in and see how all you Orion fans and Non-fans are doing. I used mine over the 4th and did 10lbs of pork ribs( not Baby Backs). Put some molasses crystals ,brown sugar and adobo seasoning . I put them in with some apple wood chips for 1 1/2 hrs and they came out great, you could lightly twist the bone and it would come right out. Still freaks my wife out! One word of caution!! Remember to go light on the wood chips! I was a little heavyhanded this time! If I had been using anything other than apple or cherry I would have over smoked the ribs, but the short cooking time on the ribs saved me. Whew! It"s not like a smoker with an offset fire box that lets smoke out all over, it traps in the smoke and intensifies the small amount of chips.  On to other things. Since the time was so short I had my wife thaw a whole chicken and when I removed the ribs I dropped the chicken in and let it go for 2 hrs and since it still had a little freeze on, it came out just underdone and we finished it of in  the oven. Had it been thawed it would have been totally done. Still, we got 10lbs of ribs and a 5lb chicken on 1/2 Matchlight and 1/2 regular charcoal. Just let the Matchlight get going and then start adding a few briquets at a time around the ring.
Oh by the way.Does anyone have the timing on a brisket? Its the only thing that I just haven't got around to. Well thats it for me. Time to walk the pup. Later!
Bingo969
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Re:Orion Cooker 2009/11/28 09:57:30 (permalink)
Did my first Thanksgiving turkey in the Orion. Came out very good. A little too smoky for what I was really wanting but not in a bad way. It was just enough to kind of overpower the herb rub I made. I used a lot of apple wood though, so it's my fault. next time I'll only use maybe 1 to 1 1/2 handfulls of chips instead of loading it up.
Also, the skin wasn't as crispy as I'd like. I've read there are ways to help that. To be honest, I think next time I'll try rubbing the skin with some butter to see if that helps.
The best part was the fact that it cooked my 21 pound turkey in a bit over 2 hours (2:20 to be exact) and it was excellent!
 
It was a really nice way to do something a little different for the Thanksgiving bird And holy crap was it tender. It was enough to actually kind of ruin my presentation as when I pulled the turkey out of the cooker it had rendered down enough that the front half just fell away from the back half and I wound up with 3 large parts of turkey. Luckily no one cared since I was carving in the kitchen anyways but I did kind of want to get a nice picture of a perfectly cooked turkey. :)
 

 
Bingo
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Re:Orion Cooker 2009/11/28 10:57:05 (permalink)
Bingo969
...Also, the skin wasn't as crispy as I'd like. I've read there are ways to help that. To be honest, I think next time I'll try rubbing the skin with some butter to see if that helps.


Wasn't crispy enough?! That's what I was going to comment on...it looks to me like it's extra crispy which is how I like it. Either way, how it looks and how you describe is drool-worthy. Got any leftovers for the sandwiches?

enginecapt
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Re:Orion Cooker 2009/11/28 13:47:28 (permalink)
The skin looks crispy in a pulled from a burning gasoline tanker, third degree burn sorta way.
Bingo969
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Re:Orion Cooker 2009/11/28 17:15:53 (permalink)
enginecapt

The skin looks crispy in a pulled from a burning gasoline tanker, third degree burn sorta way.


That's mostly the brown sugar and herb rub that went on before going in the Orion.
It actually had just the right amount of doneness but had more of the soft skin like out of a rotesserie rather than the nice crispy skin like a fryer.
 
And yes, while everyone wanted some to take home I do have some leftovers! The carcass is making stock even as we speak.
the1percent
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Re:Orion Cooker 2009/12/02 17:13:33 (permalink)
Bingo969 

I did kind of want to get a nice picture of a perfectly cooked turkey. :)
 

 
Bingo

 
And from the looks of it you did!!  My Orion turkeys were great.  made a stock with both carcasses and made a gumbo.  Cooked it for 4 days.  MMmmm!

oigetit
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Re:Orion Cooker 2010/11/01 13:38:32 (permalink)
"People of RoadFood.com...it has returned"
                                      General MacArthur 
  
Well, I wanted to show you my butt movie.  I guess it is against the rules for now.  I'll wait my 30 days.  I love 'que  and my Big O allows me to indulge on a whim.  Hell, who am I kidding, I love most food!
This thread has been so entertaining that I stayed up until 3am just to read it all
Well, it's off to the seafood forum....

post edited by oigetit - 2010/11/01 13:48:13
CajunKing
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Re:Orion Cooker 2010/11/02 00:04:02 (permalink)
The attack of the Killer Orion Cooker Thread
 
Should be a good "B" movie in there somewhere
Russ Jackson
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Re:Orion Cooker 2010/11/05 09:38:47 (permalink)
Good to see this pop up again. I still say this is a great unit. I have never had a complaint. I guess I have had it for 3 years now and it still works great...Russ
DenimDanTheMan
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Re:Orion Cooker 2010/11/16 16:05:09 (permalink)
Hello Orion fans I purchased one of these at the Home Depot I work at for an outstanding price of 36 dollars! My parents used it once or twice and enjoyed the results. BUT this uear I plan on having my friends over I told them to bring the sides. I will be Orion-ing a turkey WRAPPED in bacon weave. I have yet to buy the turkey... Shoud I brine it first and in what?
PapaJoe8
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Re:Orion Cooker 2010/11/16 16:46:53 (permalink)
I always recamend a Sunday House Smoked Turkey. No need for brineing.
Joe
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Re:Orion Cooker 2010/11/16 17:29:59 (permalink)
In all my time here, this thread bugs the bejesus out of me more than any other...don't know why. I'm ticked I'm writing this!!
PapaJoe8
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Re:Orion Cooker 2010/11/17 13:23:14 (permalink)
DDTM, what is a "bacon wrap"? Sounds good! Maybe I will do that to my Sunday House turkey?
 
Oh, next time you have another 3 hrs to kill tha "Ketchup on a Hot Dog" thread is allot of fun. Don't miss the Dirty Harry clip!
Joe
post edited by PapaJoe8 - 2010/11/17 13:25:23
DenimDanTheMan
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Re:Orion Cooker 2010/11/17 13:50:28 (permalink)
Chewing- If I had one I would... probably near some high voltage power lines
 
Joe look up "bacon weave" on google then search for "bacon weave turkey" and look for the one that in the description says "grilled". I'm hoping it comes out good... I got a 21 pound bird for just over 10 bucks so it should take ALOT of bacon.
PS i love ketchup on my hot dogs its the only way I eat em... unless coated with chili and cheese
post edited by DenimDanTheMan - 2010/11/17 13:52:36
DenimDanTheMan
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Re:Orion Cooker 2010/11/27 17:25:13 (permalink)
Ok so I have no idea if anyone even reads this thread anymore but the turkey came out AMAZING. I ended up using 3 pounds of bacon to wrap the 21 pound beast. The thing barely even fit in the cooker but I cooked it for about 2 hours 20 minutes with cedar wood chips in the bottom. It came out extremely juicy and the bacon (which could be heard Sizzling from outside the cooker the whole time) came out cooked but still quite soft along with the skin. So we threw it into the oven for about an hour and it crisped everything right up. The drip pan was full of turkey/bacon juices that made an extremly awesome gravy. I do have pictures but I did not get one when I put it in the cooker and by the time it was done it was too dark and I dont have a flash on my phone. Once I get approved I will post the pictures.
PapaJoe8
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Re:Orion Cooker 2010/11/27 18:50:35 (permalink)
DDTM, glad things went as planed! And that gravy sounds great!! Oh, thanks for the path to the bacon wrap info!
 
And oh, I promise that especially you will love the "ketchup on a hot dog" thread here at Roadfood. It's only a few pages long. :~)
Joe
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Re:Orion Cooker 2010/11/28 11:21:34 (permalink)
How did you prepare the bacon wrapped turkey? Is that all you did to it before cooking? Sounds good.
 
I cooked two more turkeys this Thanksgiving and both were wonderful. I also cooked a large ham...poured the juice from a can of sliced pineapples over it...put the slices on top, cooked it for three hours and it was the rave of the day. It really turned out good.
chewingthefat
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Re:Orion Cooker 2010/11/28 11:23:40 (permalink)
PapaJoe8

DDTM, glad things went as planed! And that gravy sounds great!! Oh, thanks for the path to the bacon wrap info!

And oh, I promise that especially you will love the "ketchup on a hot dog" thread here at Roadfood. It's only a few pages long. :~)
Joe

PapaJoe, is there a smiley showing Mr. Face pulling his hair out? There should be.

DenimDanTheMan
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Re:Orion Cooker 2010/11/30 10:36:23 (permalink)
Yes thats all I did for preperation. What I did was I used toothpicks and thick cut bacon to weave it dirrectly on the bird. Then I wrapped a couple pieces around the wings 3 pounds of bacon in total so by the end of the process the bird weighed about 24.5 pounds. I still have a TON left but i need to make more of the Cornbread bacon stuffing to go along with it.
PapaJoe8
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Re:Orion Cooker 2010/11/30 15:18:25 (permalink)
DDTM, your Bacon Wrapped Turkey and... the Cornbread Bacon Stuffing, both sound REAL good!
 
Chewer, of course Forrest Gump invented the smiley face but maybe now you have invented a new version.
 
Now back to my Bay Corn Elote recipe that I plan on serving for Christmas Eve snacks. I guess the Orion might work good for cooking that. Hmm, could I wrap those in that Bacon wrap stuff??? :~)
Joe
post edited by PapaJoe8 - 2010/11/30 15:21:13
chewingthefat
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Re:Orion Cooker 2010/11/30 17:09:42 (permalink)
PapaJoe8

DDTM, your Bacon Wrapped Turkey and... the Cornbread Bacon Stuffing, both sound REAL good!

Chewer, of course Forrest Gump invented the smiley face but maybe now you have invented a new version.

Now back to my Bay Corn Elote recipe that I plan on serving for Christmas Eve snacks. I guess the Orion might work good for cooking that. Hmm, could I wrap those in that Bacon wrap stuff??? :~)
Joe


Pics please
PapaJoe8
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Re:Orion Cooker 2010/11/30 19:40:45 (permalink)
Chewer, pics of what??? That Smiley pulling out it's hair? Or DDTM's Bacon Wrapped Turkey w/ Bacon Cornbread Stuffing? Or my Bay Corn Elote? Or, the still hypothetictal Bacon Wrapped Bat Corn Elote...  being cooked on an Orion?
Joe
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Re:Orion Cooker 2010/12/24 11:50:27 (permalink)
Apparently the Orion Cooker is no longer made 
Oh well, gonna have to take better care of mine..LOL
Did a turkey for Thanksgiving and it turned out fantastic! Getting ready to do my Christmas Eve standing rib roast. Have never done one but did help a friend do one on his Orion and it was fantastic..
I guess its gonna be up to us diehard Orion lovers to keep this thread going.
Tom in Fla
chewingthefat
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Re:Orion Cooker 2010/12/24 12:15:36 (permalink)
The onion cooker thread lives on, my Christmas prayers are answered!
NYNM
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Re:Orion Cooker 2010/12/24 14:15:03 (permalink)
Merry Christmas Orion! You sure are a star
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