Food, Wine & Just Good Living With SaucyJoe

It started with a love of food, wine & fun and blossomed into a maddening pursuit of the best recipes, techniques, grills, smokers, wines, crafted beers, rubs, marinades and sauces... We do more than play with our meat though -- we review and discuss all things cooking, drinking, reading, laughing and living at SaucyJoe's.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

What You Smokin'?

Like our former president, this weekend I smoked but did NOT inhale. I tried the Tennesee Pork Loin with Whiskey, Mustard and Brown Sugar with great success! I used my Sears gas grill, placing the wood chips wrapped in aluminum foil right on the heating element. Since my grill has a temperature gauge, I was able to keep the cooking temp at 250 deg F for ~5 hours. The result was a vert tender, tasty pork loin.

So, I've whetted my appetite (and my whistle with that Tennessee whiskey!), and I'm ready to go out and get a smoker. My question is: "What type?" I've seen charcoal, electric, gas. Is there any one of these which stands out? I'm somewhat of a cheapskate, so none of these $2500 cowsized smokers.


Blogger Saucy Joe Sullivan said...

Most of the time on the weekend I smell like smoke and feel like I've had a whole pack. Such is the thrill of the smoke. Congratulations on the successful smoke!!

Now that you have turned towards the "smokey side" we need to continue your training. A proper smoker? That brings up some questions immediately. We'll go through each one.
I skipped over the price part since you mentioned you're somewhat of a cheapskate.

Abilities: Control is the name of the game with a smoker. You're trying to keep an even temperature (usually pretty low) that will allow you to give your food some great smoke flavor in a set amount of time.
Two adjustible vents - intake and exhaust controls will allow you to keep the proper temperature.
Fuel - What are your throwing in that smoker?? Will that Pecan log that you snagged from the neighbors wood pile fit in your little water smoker??

Availability: There may be only a few smokers available in your area. Most all of them are available over the internet, but depending on size you could be spending a lot of money on shipping. Fuel will be another issue. What type of wood or charcoal is in your area?

Immediacy: This runs hand in hand with availability. How bad do you need it?? You may go for a model you didn't really want just because it's the only one available for the weekend plans. Patience is a virtue on this one!!!

Capacity: How much are you planning on smoking?? From the blog entry you didn't want the $2500 cowsized model. I'm guessing that's due more to price than patio space, but it could be a little of both. Do you want to cook two briskets at once or two beer can chickens?

Effort: A labor of love or a big pain in the ass? I'm sure we all want the best end result with the least amount of effort. Some research into how much time you'll have to tend your smoker may tip the scales one way or another. Electric smokers are very easy, but it may be very difficult to open your electric bill at the end of the month.

I'm a big fan of the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker @ $199.00. Lots of users and great availability. If you want to go cheaper, Meco makes a model 5031 smoker that's around $70.00. Not an easy find at your local stores, but you can grab it online. These are both small models, but will give you a great start to smoking!!

Tue Oct 18, 10:48:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Ski Sullivan/TexBall said...

I found the Smokey Mountain Cooker online as well as the Meco 5029 Stainless Steel Electric Combo Water Smoker and Meco 5031 Charcoal Combo Water Smoker

Tue Oct 18, 11:58:00 PM CDT  

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