Smoking meats/fish/other?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by moonwolf, Jan 23, 2005.

  1. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Share your ideas, equipment, and methods that you've used to smoke meats, fish or other food items.

    I have tried in the past with a portable aluminum smoker outside. It has an electic heating element and I've tried apple and cherry wood that came with it. Smoked lake trout is very good. Did smoke venison, which is very good.

    I have tasted homemade local smoked turkey, sturgeon, trout, lake herring, and ham.
    Would love to do more of this with other meats, fish, or fowl given the time.

    What's your favorites?
     
  2. rio002

    rio002 Well-Known Member

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    We tried a standard electric smoker but it took forever and was rather high maintenence. However for Thanksgiving this year we used the propane bbq'r as a smoker--it worked Wonderfully and Fast--7lb Primerib took just over an hour, and was immaculate in smokey taste and melt in your mouth tender. All we did was heat up the bbq'r with the propane, toss in some smoke chips on top of the propane biscuits (in total used 2 small bags) let them light a bit, then turn off propane and close the lid. We still wandered out and would check to be sure it was doing alright for chips and temperature, and used a spray bottled to kill any flames that popped up when we opened the lid--but I will never use the electric smoker again, and I have never had good luck with the canister smoker setups. As for cleanup in the bbq'r, it was really no different then cleaning it each year, just swept up the ash and cleaned the racks as usual.
     

  3. Christiaan

    Christiaan Dutch Highlands Farm

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    I use a Little Chief smoker and have had good results with it. Years ago I used one to cold smoke two hams. After curing, I built a large cage above the smoker and wrapped it in feed bags. I hung the hams inside. This put them about three feet above the heating element. The whole setup was out in an unheated garage in January, so the temp was around 40-45 degrees. The hams never got warmer than this, even when I was able to keep the smoke going constantly for 12 hours. Usually I would add a pan of chips every two hours or so during the day and then unplug it at night. I did this for about 30 days. Got two absolutely wonderful country hams.
    This past fall I made dutch rookvlees, which is cold smoked beef, known more familiarly when done as chipped beef. I brined the chunk of round for 30 days in a mildly spiced (garlic, pepper) pickle. It was then cold smoked on a Little Chief for three days. It was fantastic. The only improvement it needed was to be sliced thinner.
    I've also hot smoked fish, poultry, pork, etc with a Little Chief and would recommend them to anyone.
     
  4. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    I use the $30 canister water smoker from the X-mart. It was a gift over 6 years ago and it is still going strong. I keep it on a covered porch. Those cheapo plastic covers last 3 months so I don't use one any more. Mine is not electric but uses charcoal. I do not use an electric charcoal starter like my friend does. I use lighter fluid and matches to start it.

    I smoke chicken, beef, pork and venison for my neighbors. I do not like fish that much so don't smoke it. When we want smoked salmon I buy it at Big Lots! Have plans to smoke some cheese this spring.

    I use fruitwood from trimmings in my orchard (pear, apple mostly), hickory and also some discounted mesquite chips I got at the end of a growing season years ago. I bought 8 large bags which is a lot of that flavor for me.
     
  5. Jack in VA

    Jack in VA Well-Known Member

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    Turkey legs marinated in a spicey brine , done in a Weber with fresh cut apple wood.
     
  6. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    I have a large horizontal smoker with an offset fire box. It's large enough to do a 100lb hog. It's homemade and was a gift 15 years ago.
    I do anything from briskets, turkeys, venison, hams and bacon to cheese, olives, jalapenos and salt.
    I really would like to get a smaller one, maybe a brinkman or a weber. When ever I start the big smoker up, I feel like it should be "FULL" of meat. I end up cooking for an army! I want something small enough to do a single turkey without feeling guilty.
    I use wood in my smoker, hard woods. As for flavor, we have access to a lot of mesquite. I also love fruit woods, pecan, hickory etc..

    A simple brine I like to use for turkey, chicken or pork is
    8 cups of water
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/4 cup of kosher salt.
    To this I add a couple of bay leaves, garlic cloves, peppercorns and red pepper flakes. You can add any of your favorites. Heat til the salt is dissolved, cool before using.
    Let the meat soak overnight. Then smoke. This one is good for pork chops too.

    When doing a whole hog, I like to use a vinegar mop.
    1 quart cider vinegar
    1 medium onion sliced
    sliced jalapenos, 3 or 4
    3 tbs kosher salt
    red pepper flakes
    black pepper
    I use a dry rub on the hog and then mop with the vinegar mixture every hour.

    I have too many favorites to mention them all. :eek:


    Edited to add:
    I forgot to mention one of my all time favorites, ...pastrami! I corn my own beef and smoke it to make pastrami....I also make turkey pastrami.....Now I'm getting hungry. :eek:
     
  7. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    I love to smoke fish. The problem is to get them lit.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. edjewcollins

    edjewcollins Well-Known Member

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    I love to smoke foods! I am relatively new to it though. I first had the Brinkman electric vertical smoker and though it's good I had a few issues with it. The electric element was burning out every 2 years with medium use and cost almost as much as the smoker does to replace. Also, I don't like the vertical configuration. I kept the two water pans from the brinkman and bought this at Lowes: http://www.chargriller.com/smokinpro.html
    I would marry this sucker if my wife would let me. I love it! It is heavy duty and large. I have also purchased the sade shelf, rotisserie and propane ignitor for it. Lowes has a better price on the unit than chargriller does, but accerories need to come from chargriller.
    This grill can also be used as a regular charcoal grill with the adjustable charcoal pan thats included with it. When you use it as such you usually have to lower the charcoal rack al the way down. When you smoke, you raise it up to deflect and disperse the heat and smoke evenly. I also use the the two water pans I saved to wet smoke, they fit perfect.

    Ed
     
  9. Mid Tn Mama

    Mid Tn Mama Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have a small electric brinkman and are very pleased with it. Thanks for the recipes. And am so excited to see cowgirlone posting. I'm a big fan of her recipes and experiments!!!

    I also use fruitwood trimmings for chips.
     
  10. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    I have a traditional smoke house. Its 8x8 I make extra money smoking turkeys etc especially around holidays. I also have one that I made out of a old refridgerator. All you need is a electric skillet soaked woodchips and liquid smoke and some meat. I will see if I can get a pic posted. It seems to work as good as my smokehouse but wont hold as much.
     
  11. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    How sweet! Thank you Mid Tn Mama!
    I think I'm addicted to smoking. :D :D
     
  12. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    found this at mother earth news


    [​IMG]
     
  13. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    [​IMG]
     
  14. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    cowgirlone--I have never made pastrami, can you elaborate a bit?

    I am enviousof this box from La Caja China: http://www.lacajachina.com/

    Man, even the small one looks cool, but the middle size would be lovely. Was written up in "Bon Appetit" magazine in their 'Best of' issue.
     
  15. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    Sure BCR. first I make corned beef using a brisket.

    Corned beef
    1 Beef brisket 4 to 6 LBS.

    5 TBS Tender Quick

    2 TBS brown sugar

    1 TBS black pepper (ground)

    1 tsp paprika

    1 tsp ground bay leaves

    1 tsp ground allspice

    1/2 tsp garlic powder

    Trim fat from brisket. Mix all ingredients together, rub into all sides of brisket. Place brisket in plastic bag or glass container, refrigerate. Let brisket cure for 5 days per inch of meat thickness. (Most brisket flats aren't very thick) You can cook it like you usually do or if you want to make pastrami, smoke it low for 6 to 8 hours, depending on how big it is.
    There are a LOT of corned beef recipes, they are all good. This is just the one I have been using for a long time.

    For turkey pastrami, I use a rub.
    got it from the "How To Grill" Cookbook by Steven Raichlen.

    I use turkey breasts.

    The Rub:
    3 TBs Coriander seeds, crushed
    3 TBs cracked black peppercorns
    6 cloves of garlic, minced
    1 1/2 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
    1/4 C. coarse salt
    1/4 C. brown sugar
    1/4 C. paprika, (sweet)
    1 TBs ground ginger
    1 tsp ground mace (optional)
    1 4 to 5 lb turkey breast

    Crush all together, rub over turkey breast, cover and let it sit in the fridge over night. You need to place it in a bowl in the fridge so it won't drip on anything.
    Cook on your grill or smoker using indirect heat. You need to cook this one at a higher temperature than a brisket. Let it cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the temperature reaches at least 170 degrees. Let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes before cutting OR chill and slice and serve with rye bread and mustard.

    I like the looks of that La Caha box! :)

    Dripping Springs, I love those fridge smokers. A friend of mine has one and it works like a charm. Holds LOTs of jerky too! :)
     
  16. Furstek

    Furstek New Member

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    Christiaan,
    I maintain a dutch recipe website (http://home.cogeco.ca/~sfurster/Henny/intro.html)
    and have recently had a request from a user in North Queensland, Australia regarding the recipe for rookvlees.
    They can't seem to have it shipped there, but the local butcher says he'll give it a go if given the particulars. Could you, when you have the time, expound a bit on the procees you used to make your Rookvlees?
    Even the bit that you've posted here is a big help; I haven't had any better description! Many Thanks!
    From Canada
    Steve


     
  17. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have A major Question, Is the meat smoked or smoke cured???? and if its smoke cured how long will it take??? as I hope to go hog hunting around Christmas time, The good Lord willing...
     
  18. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Sun drying works fine for small perch and they light up readily.
    Remember, though never to inhale!
     
  19. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We splurged and bought a cookshack smoker for our RV. It is absolutely phenomenal. Here's a link to their forums, lots of great tips and recipes there.
     
  20. Christiaan

    Christiaan Dutch Highlands Farm

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    Sure Steve, here goes,

    4 to 5 pound top round, sirloin tip, etc roast. The meat needs to be as lean as possible and trimmed into a more or less square or rectangular shape. Stab it all over many times with a carving fork, this helps the pickle penetrate.
    I use Morton Tender Quick but you can use your own mixture of half salt, half sugar. Tender quick has nitrite and nitrate in it to keep the meat "prettier", but it isn't necessary.
    Make a pickle of 1 cup salt mixture to 4 cups water. Doesn't have to be heated as it will dissolve readily at that concentration. I then add a couple of bay leaves, a teaspoon each of whole alspice and juniper berries, 3 or 4 dried small red chilis, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of mace leaves, not ground, one tablespoon of whole black pepper and 2 to 3 tablespoons of dried sliced garlic (one head of garlic, cleaned and sliced). The pickle goes in a non-reactive container and I add the meat. The pickle needs to cover the meat. Refrigerate.
    I turn the meat weekly. If it should start to get slimey, take it from the pickle and wash it under cold water. Make a new pickle, but heat it and cool it before adding the meat. I've never had it happen, but anything is possible.
    After thirty days remove from the pickle and allow to air dry overnight. I hang it in an unheated garage.
    I use a Little Chief smoker with the rack set in the box above the body of the smoker as you need to cold smoke the beef. I use apple chips for the smoke, but any neutral flavored wood should do.
    I smoke for about 12 hours each day, changing the pan every one to two hours. Just turn it off at night. Repeat for three or four days.
    Slice paper thin.
    Now, can you tell me how to make zout haring?
    Christiaan