Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 21 to 35 of 35

Thread: Smoker

  1. #21
    Senior Member payne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Montréal, Québec, Canada
    Posts
    242

    Default

    A few questions:

    - Is there an ideal air circulation value? Or the more sealed in while having enough air to maintain the fire, the better?
    - Why remove bark from the wood you use to smoke?
    - What is the temperature we are looking at here? Just a warm 20°C?
    - How do you prepare the meat before smoking it? How thin must it be? Any pre-rinse?


  2. #22
    One step at a time intothenew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    1,139

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by payne View Post
    A few questions:

    - Is there an ideal air circulation value? Or the more sealed in while having enough air to maintain the fire, the better?

    Totally enclosed would likely be optimal considering your current temps, short the fact of allowing enough draft for the fire to smolder.

    - Why remove bark from the wood you use to smoke?

    Taste, bark and some wood for that matter, will give a bad/bitter taste.

    - What is the temperature we are looking at here? Just a warm 20°C?

    The official answer is to always bring meat to 160 degree F internal. wink, wink.

    - How do you prepare the meat before smoking it? How thin must it be? Any pre-rinse?
    3-6mm is what seems to work for me. A marinade/dry rub is up to you. Salt and pepper will help in preservation. If you smoke it, you are adding acidity as the preservative. If you are only going to dehydrate it (in a dehydrator, in the oven, racked over a stove) without smoke, you do need to add a preservative (salt, pepper, lemon juice, vinegar, liquid smoke, etc, or some combination)
    "They call us civilized because we are easy to sneak up on."- Lone Waite

  3. #23
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    North Florida
    Posts
    42,939
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by payne View Post
    A few questions:

    - Is there an ideal air circulation value? Or the more sealed in while having enough air to maintain the fire, the better?
    - Why remove bark from the wood you use to smoke?
    - What is the temperature we are looking at here? Just a warm 20°C?
    - How do you prepare the meat before smoking it? How thin must it be? Any pre-rinse?
    In addition to what ITW responded with.....

    1. With the tarp and a good bed of coals I had it sealed up pretty good. I was prepared to open the flap on the tarp to allow some air flow if needed, but did not need to do so.

    2. As ITW responed - the bark imparts a very bitter flavoring IMO. I would also avoid any resinous woods.

    3. I did not check the temperature. I did not want to cook the meat just smoke it so used my hand as a guide. I could keep my hand at the "smoking" level indefinitely. That was my thermometer.

    4. I did marinate the meat, but it is not necessary. In the field I would just use a dry rub as ITW posted.
    Can't Means Won't

    My Youtube Channel

  4. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    378

    Default

    Wow, good set ups Crash and intothenew. My brother made me a smoker a few years ago. I should take some pictures, but it is basically a dog house looking box with a pipe that leads about twenty feet away to an old stove. The box has a chimney and refridgerator grates that slide in.

  5. #25
    Senior Member payne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Montréal, Québec, Canada
    Posts
    242

    Default

    - What is a "dry rub"?
    - Avoid resinous wood heh? Any rule of thumb to identify such woods aside from resin on the trunk?
    - Smoking meat without actually cooking it makes it safe to eat?

  6. #26
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    North Florida
    Posts
    42,939
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by payne View Post
    - What is a "dry rub"?
    - Avoid resinous wood heh? Any rule of thumb to identify such woods aside from resin on the trunk?
    - Smoking meat without actually cooking it makes it safe to eat?
    Dry rub is a mixture of (really whatever you want to use) spice and herbs that are rubbed (literally) into the meat (instead of just sprinkling).

    Not familiar with your area, but for my area it would be the pines. The resin in it is great for lighting fires (fatwood) but gives food a turpentine taste. It's OK to use it for your coal bed, just not your green wood for smoke.

    Yes. Keep in mind that there is some heat - but not very much. Depending on the thickness of the meat (I would recommend thin slices) along with the type of meat and moisture content you may be smoking it for 10 -12 hours to preserve it.
    Can't Means Won't

    My Youtube Channel

  7. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    1,056

    Default

    If any of you guys go the cheap garbage can route for a smoker, make sure you burn a very hot fire in it before using it as a smoker. You want the can glowing. Reason being is it will vaporize some of the harmful metals that are used as coatings.

    Terracotta works well too, without any worries of chemicals (assuming its not painted or anything)

  8. #28
    cold leftovers Psalm25's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    196

    Default

    404150_372352819454879_662043324_n.jpg

    I built a smoker a couple summers ago out of plywood. I was thinking it would burn down but it turned out much better then expected, never let me down. Next summer I am going to try making one from straw and clay. I don't have a pic of the smoker handy, but I have one of the first batch of meat I smoked

  9. #29
    naturalist primitive your_comforting_company's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    31º4.3'N, 84º52.7'W
    Posts
    3,969
    Blog Entries
    7

    Default

    General rules for jerking meat, 1/8 to 1/4" thick slices. Colder smoke is better. When possible use hardwoods that are well aged / seasoned. Avoid bitter woods, like persimmon (we made a mistake a few weeks ago with persimmon!). Consider all pine family woods to be resinous.

    The thinner the slices, the shorter the jerking times.
    Cooked meat will spoil and make you sick. Raw meat will not. This is why we call it "jerking" and not cooking. Jerky is raw meat that has been preserved.
    Green woods tend to have saps that will not only make your container sticky on the inside, sometimes the saps impart bitter flavors, depending on the wood.
    Sweet woods, like citrus, will impart different flavors. Persimmon is a fruit that will dry your mouth out from the astringent saps. Hardwoods tend to burn and provide good coal bed. Older more rotten wood will smoke and smolder, rather than burn.
    One suggestion I might add: keep a container of water handy for flame ups. you can sprinkle some water on the flames, just enough to subdue them. Don't add a lot of water, or you'll be adding moisture back to the meat through the steam.

  10. #30
    One step at a time intothenew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    1,139

    Default

    I am not sure I understand you YCC.

    I typically do not cook meat before drying or smoking. Although, on occasion, I will dehydrate leftover meat. Turkey in particular, pork is consumed in the next couple of days even after drying, and beef. Venison is always frozen for at least 30 days prior, cooking makes it too dry and tough least ways with my methods.

    At least one of my dehydration books recommends cooking all meats to 160 degree F, and many other articles/methods do the same.

    Again, I do not typically cook it beforehand but have never been sick as a consequence.
    "They call us civilized because we are easy to sneak up on."- Lone Waite

  11. #31
    cold leftovers Psalm25's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    196

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by intothenew View Post
    I am not sure I understand you YCC.

    I typically do not cook meat before drying or smoking. Although, on occasion, I will dehydrate leftover meat. Turkey in particular, pork is consumed in the next couple of days even after drying, and beef. Venison is always frozen for at least 30 days prior, cooking makes it too dry and tough least ways with my methods.

    At least one of my dehydration books recommends cooking all meats to 160 degree F, and many other articles/methods do the same.

    Again, I do not typically cook it beforehand but have never been sick as a consequence.
    I have never cooked the meat before smoking ether... but I guess it goes by the taste of who ever is cooking and eating it. I like my jerky chewy, like the texture one would get using a food dehydrator... the dehydrator does not cook the meat, it just takes out the moisture. When I smoke the meat over a small bed of coals and wood I try to keep the temp right around 150-160deg. I don't want it cooked, I just want the moisture out. When I smoke ribs, brisket ect I bring up the heat between 160-170deg. 160deg and over will kill all bacteria in the meat.

    re-reading the post I believe ycc is saying if you smoke the meat it will not go bad after a short time, as it does when you cook it
    Last edited by Psalm25; 01-08-2013 at 10:54 AM.

  12. #32
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    North Florida
    Posts
    42,939
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    ITW - IMO he was saying that smoked meat will have a longer shelf life than cooked meat. I don't think he was saying you can't smoke/dehydrate cooked meat.
    Can't Means Won't

    My Youtube Channel

  13. #33
    naturalist primitive your_comforting_company's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    31º4.3'N, 84º52.7'W
    Posts
    3,969
    Blog Entries
    7

    Default

    Crash is right. You can cook it and then smoke it, but it still will not last as long as raw meat that has been jerked (not cooked). That info is taken from two different primitive skills and lifeways books.
    Another general rule is that you should be able to hold your hand indefinitely, on the drying rack, as Crash did for his heat test. you want smoke, not heat.
    I'm not a cook, at all, so I can't say whether 160 degrees will cook the meat or not, but we have jerked raw venison that stayed in the pantry in a ziplock bag for over a year and it never molded or turned, and did not make me sick when I ate it. I have not tried this with cooked meat, well... because my books say not to cook it!

  14. #34
    cold leftovers Psalm25's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    196

    Default

    When I first started smoking meat I was paranoid about bacteria so I cooked the meat first. I found it made the meat brittle, ended up throwing it out. I find to get the perfect jerky texture the meat should be smoked raw at the lowest heat possible. Rule of thumb for killing bacteria is 160 degrees and I usually smoke it at that temp because my kids eat it too. But I have smoked it at 110 deg and it turned out even better. I agree YCC, it will keep a long time (never tested how long) as long as there is no moisture and salt is used (or any kind of meat cure) It is the moisture that causes meat to go bad, but if the meat is not totally dry the cure helps a lot.

  15. #35
    naturalist primitive your_comforting_company's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    31º4.3'N, 84º52.7'W
    Posts
    3,969
    Blog Entries
    7

    Default

    I got some of those jerky kits for christmas and I wondered what the "cure" was. We (the wife and I) talked at length about adding preservatives to something that won't last that long anyway (because we eat it up!). Our dehydrator has a heat setting, and it seems like the instructions said 160, but I don't think it ever got that hot.

    I finished carving up about 120 lbs of deer meat yesterday, some for jerky. I'll get some photos and do a comparison of cold smoke vs dehydrated at 160, NO CURE on either one, and see which one lasts longer.

    In ancient times, the jerked meat was stored in special pouches, usually rawhide "pemmican pouches" that were saturated in fat and usually sealed with the same, to keep out moisture.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •