01. February 2012 · 3 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags:

I’m baaaack….

I’ve been VERY scarce lately since I was out of town for 17 days in January.

So let’s play a little catch up, shall we?


First I want to show off our new toy, a SMOKER, which we bought with some money my parents had sent for Christmas.

Here it is!  Thanks to our local Bass Pro Shops and my parents!

Dave and I had been wanting a smoker for a VERY long time.  Experiencing some Thanksgiving turkey at Dave’s squadron that came out of a smoker cinched it.  The week before Christmas, we headed over to our local Bass Pro Shops (in Destin) where we chose a 30″ tall compact electric smoker.  The model we chose is relatively lightweight, was easy to use for day-to-day cooking, yet is big enough to handle a holiday turkey!

Which is why we bought it in time for Christmas!

The first thing we did?  Of course, a brisket!

Tasty, but not quite tender enough.  We have a lot to learn.

Before the Christmas turkey, we gave the smoker a test run with a small flat-end brisket.  We even stuck in a probe thermometer and geeked out watching the temperature hold around 150F as the connective tissues take time to break down.  But we didn’t cook it for long enough.  Parts of the brisket were tender, but many parts weren’t.  Tender or not, the smoke flavor was outstanding and we muddled through quite a bit of it just the same, the boys too!

Later in the week, after lots of internet research, we attempted our 13-lb. turkey.

We run the probe thermometer through the vent.  This is an inexpensive model from Wal Mart.  The probe line will get covered in smoke residue so I don’t recommend investing in a super-expensive one.  Just make sure it’s accurate.

It came out spectacular.  I’m awful at roasting turkeys in the oven.  Even with that pop-up thermometer, while the breast would be juicy and delicious, the thigh meat wouldn’t be cooked through.  Or if the thigh meat was cooked through, the breast meat would be dried out.  Ugh on both counts!

Our Thanksgiving turkey just before coming out of the smoker.  It was spectacular.

We had the thermometer alarm us when the temperature reached 155F, turned off the smoker, and then let “carry over” take the thigh temperature up to 160F.

For the first time, everything was cooked through properly.  We might have been able to take out the turkey a little sooner, the breast meat was borderline dry, but the dark meat was oh-so-perfect!

This morning I just put some Kansas City-style rub on a rack of spare ribs and in a couple hours I’ll be popping it in the smoker for 6-7 hours.  We tried this about a month ago and it didn’t cook nearly long enough.  This time we’re just going to let it go until the meat falls off the bone!

Let meat come to room temperature before putting it in the smoker.  Why?  Energy savings!  You can probably save about an hour of electricity that would otherwise be used to bring the meat from refrigerator temperature up to room temperature.