Wal Mart Smoker

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Sundancer7
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2003/04/09 13:39:16 (permalink)

Wal Mart Smoker

I bought a $29.95 smoker from Walmart and I have been experimenting with adding different spices/sauces to the water pan. Anybody got any good advice/experiences with these wet smokers? I tried it with a ham and did not like the results. Worked real well on a turkey. I found out real quick that easy start charcoal is not a good idea. Leaves a petroleum tasete/smell.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
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    Bushie
    Filet Mignon
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    RE: Wal Mart Smoker 2003/04/09 14:31:25 (permalink)
    From my experience with "water smokers", you're not going to get a lot of flavor from whatever you put in the water pan. I've tried beer, wine, and various sauces, and it just hasn't made much difference for me. In fact, adding sugary sauces just gums up the pan!

    The primary purpose of the liquid is to regulate the heat and provide moisture. That works, but seasoning the meat directly is where you'll get your spicy flavors.

    I've taken to using a "chimney" to start the charcoal so there won't be any petroleum taste. I always add a few well-soaked hickory chips, but you don't need to use a whole bunch. Using good hardwood charcoal and keeping it fed will impart the smokey flavor you want.
    #2
    mayor al
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    RE: Wal Mart Smoker 2003/04/09 14:31:56 (permalink)
    SunDance...
    I also did the Walmart thing...Bought one of the Brinkman units with the firebox on the side of the cooking space($129). It is bush-league when compared to the competitive units we see at the festivals and contests, but it handles two large briskets or 4 pork shoulders and a bunch of ribs, and that takes care of our family gatherings rather well (40 people). It does not use a water pan...but indirect heat and I use a mixture of charcoal chunks and Hickory chunks (about 5 inch cubes). We soak the hickory for an hour or so before we use it, and make sure the unit's temperature stays on that 190-220 range. It takes 12+ hours to do things right, but that's why Beer was invented, right??
    #3
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Wal Mart Smoker 2003/04/09 14:37:36 (permalink)
    Mr. mayor, does the brisket come out tender when you do that. I tried brisket in the over at 225 for six hours and it came out tough. Probably my technique. One of the BBQ joints I visit in knoxville uses briskets and it is always tender and tasy.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #4
    mayor al
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    RE: Wal Mart Smoker 2003/04/09 15:43:06 (permalink)
    Brisket takes at least 12 hours in the slow-dry smoke/heat. I don' trim any of the fat off the brisket prior to cooking..tried that once and results were 'Not Good'. Leaving the fat on top and in the "in-between" keeps things moist as it slowly melts out. I do use a dry rub before putting the hunks of cow on to cook.
    BTW Walmart had Whole Briskets (12-15 lb.) at $.83 a lb today as I did some shopping. That's a pretty good price for this area.
    #5
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Wal Mart Smoker 2003/04/09 15:47:14 (permalink)
    Mr. Mayor, do you do the whole thing (12-15lbs) of brisket or do you divide it. What do you dry rub it with?

    Paul Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #6
    mayor al
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    RE: Wal Mart Smoker 2003/04/09 18:11:12 (permalink)
    Paul,
    We do it all in one piece. I will turn the thick end towards the side of the cooker where it is closer to the firebox (not much closer, but enough to keep the thinner end from overcooking)
    The rub is a mix of whatever we have in the kitchen, usually Garlic and Onion salts, Cajon Seasoning, Garlic powder, and a couple of varieties of season salts.. If I happen to have it handy I will include a little liquid smoke to the mix before rubbing it in/on/over. I will dust the top of the Brisket with this mix evry hour or two while it cooks, since the melting fate will 'wash' some of it off during the cooking. If we have some fresh Serrano peppers (seasonal) I will smush fresh ones into the mix also...but a little goes a long way with these little guys. I am not one to look for spicy hot BBQ anymore, so we are real careful with the peppery stuff.
    #7
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Wal Mart Smoker 2003/04/09 18:20:02 (permalink)
    Mr. Mayor, I noticed that you use a lot of different salts. Does this not make it too salty? I am going to do a brisket on the dock this weekend. I will try a large one and I hope I do not screw it up. Does it come out tender. Do I need to use a meat tenderizer? That is also salty.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #8
    mayor al
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    RE: Wal Mart Smoker 2003/04/09 18:56:52 (permalink)
    If it seems a bit salty, sub onion powder and garlic powder for the two salts...I will dump a little brown sugar in also to cut the salt intake. My season salt has the tenderizer in it (WalMart $.50 ea)Nothing but the best in Hoosierland!
    It will be tender if you go "Low and Slow"...during the last couple of hours brush it with your fav basting sauce if you want to...Some of my kids like a Pineapple Juice baste on it to soften the tougher out crust on the thin-end.
    #9
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Wal Mart Smoker 2003/04/09 19:02:31 (permalink)
    Mr. Mayor:

    The Walmart spice section has featured $0.50 section for spices. I buy them all particularly the onions, pepper, seasoned salt and all the rest. It really bugs me when I look on top and I see the same thing for several times more. I shop with you. I have ask my wife to buy me when I die at Walmart, at least she will come to see me

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #10
    pigface
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    RE: Wal Mart Smoker 2003/04/09 20:16:03 (permalink)
    I gotta stay out of this Brisket Topic, But it does sound good
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    mayor al
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    RE: Wal Mart Smoker 2003/04/09 20:31:23 (permalink)
    Ahhh Come On Piggy, Tell us a story of the Brisket, as you see it!!
    Paul, I bought a mess of Walmart stock several years back...Now it is like the Discover card, The more you spend there the bigger the dividend. The California stores didn't have the grocery side like they do here. or the cheap gas feature.
    #12
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Wal Mart Smoker 2003/04/17 19:56:32 (permalink)
    Most people have a ham on Easter but i am doing a small turkey. I am putting it in the smoker at 4:00AM Sunday morning and hopefully it will be a beautiful brown crispy bird by noon. From previous e-mails, I was advised that putting spices in the water did not do a lot, but I am doing it anyway. I am putting onions, peppers, BBQ sauce, lemons, limes, etc. Even if it does not work, it improves my attitude and it might smell good in the neighborhood along with the apple wood chips that I will have in the fire underneath the pot of water. If I do good, my family will appreciate and if I do bad, I will probably have to go out for the evening.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #13
    mayor al
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    RE: Wal Mart Smoker 2003/04/18 12:53:24 (permalink)
    Back in '95 (a century ago?) my wife bought an old refrigerator at an auction for $5. It was one of those that had the porcelain on metal linings- not plastic- and had the boxlike freezer unit suspended inside the reefer unit. We gutted the machine, drilled a bunch of vent holes in the floor of the unit, and used the hole in the upper back where the freezer plumbing had been as the chimney and PRESTO the basic smoker chamber was ready. After experimenting with a couple of charcoal heat sources, we turned to an electric hot-plate with a pan of wood chips for the heat and seasoning smoke. It worked like a charm. With the three racks normally in the reefer we could do a very large amount of meat at one time...one large brisket, 4 Butts and 4 racks of ribs. The hot plate would hold the temp between 190 and 225 depending on it's setting and if I could resist the temptation to open the door to check it frequently.
    The insulation really made a difference in holding a steady temp during the cooking process (esp. in winter)...Of course in the summer months when the air-temp 'outside' was 105 or higher it made holding a temp inside the cooker that much easier.
    We gave that one away when we moved rather than drag it back here...but will be looking for another if the family demand for BBQ continues to expand beyond the capabilities of my current 'Que Machine.
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    Stogie
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    RE: Wal Mart Smoker 2003/05/01 10:32:25 (permalink)
    Hi paul!

    Throw that cheap thing away!! LOL I have cooked on a water smoker for over 20 years. I now use a Weber Smoky Mountain Cooker. The BEST backyard unit for under $200. I use charcoal and can get 20 + hour burns on ONE load of fuel. Portable as well...I use it in all the contests I do.

    That cheapy you bought won't hold the heat long enough to do a brisket or a pork butt. If you would like to see some modifications you can do, let me know. But, it is just better to buy the WSM.

    Also, NO added flavor putting anything into the water pan...BUTTTTTT, I like your reason for doing it!! LOL

    Stogie
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    Sundancer7
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    RE: Wal Mart Smoker 2003/05/01 20:26:58 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Stogie

    Hi paul!

    Throw that cheap thing away!! LOL I have cooked on a water smoker for over 20 years. I now use a Weber Smoky Mountain Cooker. The BEST backyard unit for under $200. I use charcoal and can get 20 + hour burns on ONE load of fuel. Portable as well...I use it in all the contests I do.

    That cheapy you bought won't hold the heat long enough to do a brisket or a pork butt. If you would like to see some modifications you can do, let me know. But, it is just better to buy the WSM.

    Also, NO added flavor putting anything into the water pan...BUTTTTTT, I like your reason for doing it!! LOL

    Stogie



    thanks for the advice. A unit that would cook for 20 hours is really superior to what I have. It is good for about 6 hours and then I have to reload and in addition, adding charcoal is a pain. I found that using quick fire charcoals leave an awful taste. I quit that and use Jack Daniels and I use an electric heater to fire off the charcoal.

    I guess the ingredients I added to the water had no value, but my olafactory senses appreicated it partticularly on my second drink.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
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