Smokin'

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I recently purchased a BBQ with a smoking box. For those interested, this is how it's going:

I've been watching some YouTube vids on Texas style, "low and slow" BBQing and decided it was time to get involved. My trusty half oil drum BBQ of ten years had finally rusted through and it was time for a new barbie anyway.

A quick look on Amazon revealed various contraptions ranging from 50 quid jobs made out of old coke cans to 800 quid behemoths.

I went for a KIUG something or other, it was about 160 quid reduced from 250ish.

For those of you unfamiliar with this style of BBQ, it is essentially a small half oil drum, with a lid and a smoking box to one side. You put your meat in the oil drum side and light the fire in the box, smoke permeates through and you control the temperature using the adjustable air vents.

First time out I smoked a packet of Cumberland sausages and some thick cuts of cheap steak. Both turned out very well.

Today I'm doing a shop bought brisket, more sausages and some salmon fillets.

Method and pics to follow:
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
So here is the smoker. On the left is the fire box, I've lit it using non treated lump wood charcoal. Briquettes don't work as they add a chemical flavour. Where possible I avoid using fire lighters or any fluid, my thinking is that this will ruin the flavour.

You'll notice there is a chimney with a vent for regulating the smoke and a built in thermometer. Both of which are crucial to getting the thing set up right.

On the right is a washing up bowl filled with hickory chips and some lumps of hardwood, soaking in water.

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Just looking around at the moment for a new BBQ, never heard of this kind of BBQ before. Hows it taste ??
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I've let the wood soak for a good hour or so, if you chuck it on dry it will just burn up too quickly. The chips are available from most supermarkets and they do all sorts of different types including ones made from old Jack Daniels barrels.

Once the coals are white hot I add a sieve full of chips and a chunk of hardwood. I then close everything up and wait for a nice smelling white smoke.

I don't want any bitterness from the charcoal, once the smoke smells good it's time to add the meat.

IMG_9233.JPG
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Just looking around at the moment for a new BBQ, never heard of this kind of BBQ before. Hows it taste ??
It's awesome mate. You can use as a normal BBQ too if you just want burgers etc. But once you start smoking you won't go back.

Seen these at Aldi quite cheap. Definitely worth a punt.
 
It's awesome mate. You can use as a normal BBQ too if you just want burgers etc. But once you start smoking you won't go back.

Seen these at Aldi quite cheap. Definitely worth a punt.
Sounds good, something different as well. I'm inspired to go down that route so will have a look in Aldi next time I am passing. Just hope we get some decent Scottish weather to enjoy the end result !!
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
In the meantime I've been prepping my brisket.

Last time when I did my steaks I just added salt and pepper. The low heat seams to make the pepper spicier and really brings out the flavour. You don't need much else.

Having said that, I had some Mexican taco seasoning leftover and decided to rub a bit of that in this time as well.

For the salmon I've chucked on some salt and brown sugar. Avoid cheap granulated salt as it contains anti caking agents and other shit that ruins the flavour. Decent sea salt will do the trick.

The salmon has been curing in the fridge for a few hours. I will chuck it on after 3-4 hours of curing.

Sausages can just go straight on when required. They don't need any seasoning.

IMG_9234.JPG
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Now it's just a case of maintaining the smoke and the temperature. About 250f is perfect.

I've just adjusted the vents accordingly and it will sit at that temp for a good 2 hours without any ******* about.

IMG_9232.JPG
 
In the meantime I've been prepping my brisket.

Last time when I did my steaks I just added salt and pepper. The low heat seams to make the pepper spicier and really brings out the flavour. You don't need much else.

Having said that, I had some Mexican taco seasoning leftover and decided to rub a bit of that in this time as well.

For the salmon I've chucked on some salt and brown sugar. Avoid cheap granulated salt as it contains anti caking agents and other shit that ruins the flavour. Decent sea salt will do the trick.

The salmon has been curing in the fridge for a few hours. I will chuck it on after 3-4 hours of curing.

Sausages can just go straight on when required. They don't need any seasoning.

View attachment 284630
 
It's awesome mate. You can use as a normal BBQ too if you just want burgers etc. But once you start smoking you won't go back.

Seen these at Aldi quite cheap. Definitely worth a punt.
Spent part of Saturday smoking some port fillet - Weber MasterTouch in my case, but any decent kettle barbecue should work as long as you can control the temp.

Light a small amount of charcoal and stick it to one side (Weber do a basket to hold the charcoal), stick a tin tray with boiling water next to it (moderates the temp and adds moisture). Close the vents almost completely to keep the temp down and smoke in.

Stick the meat to be smoked above the tin tray. Chuck some well-soak wood chips onto the charcoal. Put the lid on. Every hour or so, stick some more wood chips on, might need some more charcoal after a few hours.

It'll probably take a few goes to get right - particularly keeping the temp right - first time check it regularly.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
After about 2 hours I check the brisket. All looks good. I add some more chips and a small amount of coals and adjust the vent just to keep it going.

In the meantime I've been watching War Machine on Netflix and supping a couple of beers.
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I usually go a bit lower than 250, 225F. 25 deg is not a lot, but it's the difference between an 8hr smoke with excellent penetration and a 4 hour smoke that has to be curtailed because it's cooking the meat too quickly.

Might also be the difference in design, your firebox is off to the side, whereas my fire is underneath. Or even just thermometer calibration.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
So there is no direct heat Ravers? Just residual heat from the smoke?

MB
Yep. No direct heat. The meat is on the far right side as far away from the firebox as possible.

It also came with a grill that goes in the fire box. So if you want to make burgers or something while the rest is smoking, it's possible.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Sausages don't take as long. 3 hours is fine so I put them on a bit later.

Once cooked these last a week or so in the fridge. As before the low heat really brings out any flavour in the sausages so if you go for ones that have a lot of herbs like Lincolnshire or Cumberland sausages, these flavours will be accentuated. The last batch of Cumberlands I did came out quite spicy.

Notice how the brisket has started to blacken and separate a bit (I removed the string).

This is about 4 hours in now.

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