Smokers vs BBQs

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EliseT
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2005/04/04 09:47:53 (permalink)

Smokers vs BBQs

I have a big old oil can BBQ. I can slow-smoke ribs using the indirect method (taught to me here), but it's hard to keep a consistently low heat for 6 hours.

Now I have a recipe for homemade tasso that requires an even lower heat for a longer time! Is it worth investing in an "upright-can" smoker? Is it easier to keep a consistent heat with less "babysitting"?

And what about the drip pan? Do you have to keep refilling it with liquid all the time?

Thank you in advance for your sage advice.
#1

25 Replies Related Threads

    SouthHillbilly
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/04 09:56:25 (permalink)
    Ya gotta "babysit" good bbq. sorry.
    Check out chargriller.com. They have excellent products at VERY reasonable prices.
    I have the pro model with the firebox on the side. I also use a separate temperature probe that I can position either directly below or above my meat.
    Yea, good bbq takes time and effort. . . it aint no crock pot.
    #2
    Raine
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/04 10:04:24 (permalink)
    Get a WSM.
    #3
    EliseT
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/04 10:17:01 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Raine

    Get a WSM.


    ???
    #4
    tiki
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/04 10:37:13 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by EliseT

    quote:
    Originally posted by Raine

    Get a WSM.


    ???


    A Weber Smoky Mountain water smoker------they are said to be pretty nice units.
    #5
    Raine
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/04 10:44:05 (permalink)
    Yep, we've went about 12 hours with having to fiddle with it, and the temp stays the same.
    #6
    EliseT
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/04 11:26:09 (permalink)
    I guess I'm not "down" with you crazy kids and your newfangled BBQing MTV lingo

    ...that smoker sounds like what I'm looking for. Fussing over the BBQ IS irresistable, but when the temperature has to stay at 200 for 12 hours, it's asking alot.

    How much do those puppies run?
    #7
    Raine
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/04 11:37:45 (permalink)
    Well, BBQ takes time. That's why so many folk try to cut corners and cook it in crock pots etc. However, you can cook pork in a crock pot, but it ain't BBQ.

    A WSM usually run in the neighborhood of about $189. You can find them on the Internet cheaper sometimes. Amazon, etc.
    #8
    RibDog
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/04 11:46:38 (permalink)
    Raine is correct in that the WSM is an excellent entry-level smoker. I use two on them on the professional competition circuit.

    But they are not set and forget it. You can't start it up and leave to go to the store or go to bed. They are excellent at maintaining temps once you get used to the operation of them.

    Check out http://www.virtualweberbullet.com as this a website which has one but one purpose; cooking on a WSM.

    John
    #9
    1bbqboy
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/04 12:04:41 (permalink)
    Elise, can we see the tasso recipe?
    #10
    Raine
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/04 12:08:19 (permalink)
    Ribdog,

    Stu says he loads his and goes to bed. But I would recommend that to a newbie. Learn fire control and how the cooker operates firat.
    #11
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/04 12:34:05 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by RibDog

    Raine is correct in that the WSM is an excellent entry-level smoker. I use two on them on the professional competition circuit.

    But they are not set and forget it. You can't start it up and leave to go to the store or go to bed. They are excellent at maintaining temps once you get used to the operation of them.

    Check out http://www.virtualweberbullet.com as this a website which has one but one purpose; cooking on a WSM.

    John

    Boy, that WSM looks exactly like my old Coleman smoker/grill, except for the legs. The legs on the Coleman are longer.
    #12
    nvb
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/04 15:15:07 (permalink)
    Cookshack seems like the way to go for a lot of folks these days. I can testify to the ease of operation and flavor these things produce because I use one myself. And because of the flavor of my meats a few my friends have bought them.

    http://www.americasbestbbq.com/cookshack-main.htm?ref=OvertureCookshackSmoker
    #13
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/04 19:48:13 (permalink)
    Elise, the WSM does indeed look like a very nice water smoker. However, until you decide you're really serious about wanting to do "Low & Slow" 'Que you might want to get a cheaper off-brand. I bought my first Brinkman water smoker at K-Mart for less than $40. Of course that was ten years ago, so you might need to adjust for inflation. Once you determine that you enjoy this method of cooking, THEN invest some real dough in a horizontal smoker with an off-set fire box. There are also some very nice vertical units mentioned, with links, in previous posts on this topic. My point is that smoking is a very "hands on", time consuming process and you shouldn't drop $189 until you know for sure that it is something you want to pursue hardcore.
    #14
    RibDog
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/04 20:13:24 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Raine

    Ribdog,

    Stu says he loads his and goes to bed. But I would recommend that to a newbie. Learn fire control and how the cooker operates firat.


    I find that a the meat hits a point overnight where the temps will head up. Usually, I will get up and make one adjustment and go back to sleep. Of course, I also use a remote thermometer with a high and low range set for the smoker temp. If it does not outside that range, I don't get woken up.

    Of course, I don't even do that now since I got my Fast Eddy smoker. Boy is that nice!

    John
    #15
    DLnWPBrown
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/04 20:23:03 (permalink)
    Brinkman water smoker here. Use good lump charcoal and you can't go wrong.

    Dennis in Cary
    #16
    Raine
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/04 20:48:38 (permalink)
    A el cheapo Brinkman wouldn't be a lot different from what they are currently using. You have to work to learn to keep it at constant temps.
    #17
    aleswench
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/04 21:52:04 (permalink)
    Those look very interesting - in the market for a new grill this summer and debating on a number of factors. One: Price - we'll be moving soon to who knows where and the investment is an issue due to if we will be buying/renting a house or apartment and the room for a grill or smoker. Bob has an old smoker, he can post the details, and I don't know if I even want one that keeps the temp. constant. Too much fun trying to keep it that way. We have summer Saturday nights with WAY too much beer, friends popping in and out all night long - (when the quads get involved it can actually get scary)- I ususally crap out about 2 am, but waking to the sounds of "WOOO WOOOOOOO! and wheelies in the back yard wake me up long enough to roll my eyes and shove my head under the pillows....boys! By by the next day, the pulled pork and ensuing BBQ orgy is well worth every waking hour. It's almost that time of year again, and I can't wait.
    #18
    EliseT
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/05 02:39:46 (permalink)
    It's not the time and effort I'm worried about. It's level of difficulty. I have a hard time maintaining a steady heat for days on end, and if it helps, it's worth it.

    I'll post the tasso recipe when I get home.
    #19
    Theedge
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/05 09:00:05 (permalink)
    This is the best food investment I've made. It's so easy I use it every week. There is no need to use water in these, they are insulated.

    http://www.cookshackamerica.com/res_smokers.aspx
    #20
    Raine
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/05 09:40:57 (permalink)
    Elsie, all that comes with practice. Most likely you will need to add more charcoal/wood about 1 1/2 to hours. Also, if you're looking, you ain't cooking. So the more you open the cooker to mop/baste or whatever, the longer the cook will take, as it will take time for the cooker to recover the temp.

    How often are you adding more charcoal? How are you lighting it?
    #21
    EliseT
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/07 05:04:03 (permalink)
    One problem with the oilcan is that it is difficult to add more coal. I made a huge pile of coal and wet wood on one end, and just let it go...
    #22
    EliseT
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/07 05:13:26 (permalink)
    Sorry this took so long...


    TASSO (from Coops)

    3 cups "Bayou Blend" (see below)

    1 cup Paprika

    1 pork butt (whole)


    Bayou Blend:

    4 parts Salt
    3 parts Cayenne pepper
    3 parts Ground Black Pepper
    3 parts Granulated garlic
    2 parts MSG
    1 part Ground cumin
    1 part Paprika


    Mix Bayou blend and Paprika together well.

    Cut pork butt into 1" strips. Coat THOROUGHLY with spice blend. Wrap each steak in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 days to cure.

    Unwrap. Smoke at 200 degrees for 8 hours.


    Simple, no??
    #23
    UncleVic
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/07 05:16:44 (permalink)
    This may be cheating... But buy an electric smoker (Weber makes them)... Get one of those thermostats like they use in homebrewing that you can set the temp, so you have something similar to an indoor oven. Plug your smoker into the thermostat so it turns it on and off.. Just keep feeding it your soaked wood chips as needed.. About the only thing you would have to do is a minor modification on the smoker to feed the temp probe into the unit..


    #24
    EliseT
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/08 04:12:33 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by UncleVic

    This may be cheating... But buy an electric smoker (Weber makes them)... Get one of those thermostats like they use in homebrewing that you can set the temp, so you have something similar to an indoor oven. Plug your smoker into the thermostat so it turns it on and off.. Just keep feeding it your soaked wood chips as needed.. About the only thing you would have to do is a minor modification on the smoker to feed the temp probe into the unit..



    nothing wrong with a little cheating now and then...
    #25
    Raine
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    RE: Smokers vs BBQs 2005/04/11 13:30:47 (permalink)
    Elsie, maybe a charcaol basket/ring might help you out. Have any pictures of your cooker?
    #26
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