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Topics - Lonzinomaker

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This is a brief "How I did it" for making the tray/boats from flashing instead of using aluminum foil.
I hope it is not to hard to follow. I didn't want to do a step by step instructable because that would be to long for this forum.
I use aluminum flashing that I buy from Home Depot to make boats/trays instead of using aluminum foil.  The flashing lasts forever, it is stronger and looks nicer than foil. The flashing can be cut with a retractable blade utility knife by scoring heavily and bending, just like sheetrock. Or you can use tin snips, poultry shears or even heavy scissors.  To bend the flashing I use wide bladed vise grips (search Amazon for vise grip sheet metal tool) and a 2X6 as fulcrum to help get a straight bend. I also use a straight edge metal ruler to get straight  lines when scoring and a sharpy for laying out lines. The cut edges on the flashing is very sharp, so I use sandpaper to soften the edges and also fold over and crimp the sides so they are stronger and I won't cut myself when using the trays. Caveat: I am not a tin smith so these are fairly crude, but they are cheap and work very well to keep wood from combusting.  I put the smoke box on the flashing and trace the outline for sizing the trays. I make 2 trays that together will cover about 2/3 of smoke box.  And I make on longer one that covers 1/2 of box for a smoke when I use less wood like when doing jerky.
Pic #1 shows the layout lines. 
#2 shows the first bend and how I push the grips against a board to make the bend straight and tight on line. 
#3 shows the ends bent. 
#4 shows the sides formed and start of corners being joined. 
#5 is a closeup of corner and how I fold over the long end onto short end to crimp and keep the sides at a 90 deg bend.
#6 shows the completed tray. 
The last picture shows a couple of my first attemps that weren't very pretty, but they worked.

Gadgets and Gizmos / How to Make Aluminum Flashing Trays for wood box
« on: October 14, 2020, 10:17:09 PM »
I decided to create a HOW-TO post on making the aluminum flashing trays that I made for my wood box to keep the wood from combusting.   I prefer the trays over foil because they are easy to empty and re-use.  I also almost never have any ash after a smoke, only charcoal when using the trays. I use 1-2 trays depending on how much and what kind of wood Im using rather than one long tray. I leave at least one row of air holes on the  bottom wood box uncovered for air flow. The trays are also narrow enough to easily fall to bottom so they make contact with wood box floor.
I apologize for the crude construction, but Im not a tinsmith. (See Trays-old 1 and Trays-old 2 pictures for early efforts.)
Material: 1 piece of Aluminum flashing of about 8X13 to make a 3.5 in X 8 in tray. (I buy a 14X25 roll from Home Depot because the flashing is handy for a lot of projects.)
Tools: Single blade Utility knife, Tin snips or heavy duty shears, flat faced hammer (auto body type), Irwin Vise-Grips Sheet Metal style, 1X4X24 piece of wood (to use as a forming block), 220 sand paper (to remove sharp edge on flashing after cutting), straight edge ruler ( for measuring and marking lines), pencil or sharpee marker.
1.    Measure bottom of wood box so you know what the maximum length and width can be.  After measuring, transfer outline to center of flashing. I use a double fold on top edges of box and make all the sides -1 tall. So if box is 3.5 in wide then mark 2 lines on long side 1 in wide. (See Tray-1 pic) That will give total width of 7.5 in.  Do same for narrow ends.
2. Score outline of box using very firm pressure with knife. No need to cut through with knife, just score well.  With a slight bend along scored line, flashing will break. Score long ends even with narrow end of box so when the long sides are folded over they can be bent to slip over the narrow end. (Tray-2 pic).
3. Using the Sheet metal grips, fold over the first 1 bend on narrow end using the board to help make a crisp even fold by pushing jaws onto wood. (Tray-2 pic) Continue folding until you have crimped the fold line and the fold stays on itself. Then move jaws to next line on box, bend to a 90 deg angle again using wood board to get a smooth line.  Do this to both narrow ends. (Tray-3 pic)
4. Start the first crimp on the long side, going about 45 degree for first bend along the whole length moving jaw along 2/3 of their width each bend. Repeat bends going about 45 deg each time to keep metal fold smooth until folded.
5. Start final long sided bend the same way but dont give the end a tight crimp (Tray-4 pic). You will need to bend the end in to a 90 deg fold so it will fit over the narrow end. Continue to create fold and slip over the narrow end so the long end stays down on the narrow end. (Tray-5 pic).
6. Crimp the edges of the folds with the vise grips so they are all flat.  If necessary use the hammer to smooth out any edges or cuts.  Sand the scored edges and cuts as those are VERY sharp.  You can pop-rivet folds if you want, but I just dimple them with the point of the hammer or a nail set or screw.

Model 1 - The Little Guy!! / #1 and Bella Smoke Generator
« on: April 16, 2020, 07:37:17 PM »
I just got the Bella Smoke Generator and predrilled door for my #1. Did a trial burn with generator filled about 1/4 full (just above the holes in side). Even with the pump turned down to about a 1/4 turn on, there is A LOT of smoke coming out of the exhaust on smoker.  I'm not use to having this much smoke coming out.  I'm thinking the smoke times are going to change because there is so much more smoke. 
So my question to Bella owners with a #1 especially, do you get a stronger or more intense smoke flavor when using the generator or do the flavor profiles seem the same as using the smoker in original configuration? I don't want to ruin a bunch of cheese from over smoking.

BTW- so far I have a 20-25 deg differential between ambient air and inside smoker. (My MES mailbox mod has a 10-12 deg differential.) Might try to extend Bella away to lengthen the output tube to cool smoke a little more.

Poultry / Turkey Breast tastes 10X better than it looks.
« on: November 17, 2018, 10:59:08 PM »
Just took this turkey breast out of the #3.
Brined in mix of 1.5gal water, 1.5c kosher salt, 2Tbs sage, 2Tbs onion powder, 2Tbs garlic granules, 1Tbs ground black pepper, 1Tbs ground celery seeds, 6 bay leaves and 1.5tsp Cure #1 for 12 hours. Put 4oz of cherry chunks in smoker. Cooked in #3 at 150 deg X 90 min for smoke then raised temp to 225 until internal temp hit 155 deg. Got about 3.5 hours of smoke total.  Will be slicing tomorrow and taking to relatives for dinner Thur.
Had to sample and it tastes 10X better than it looks!

Gadgets and Gizmos / Air Venturi adapter for cold smoking idea
« on: September 07, 2018, 02:48:20 PM »
My jerky drier moves too much air through the smoker for cold smoking, have to turn on the heat for wood to burn in the tray, reasons I'm not doing much cold smoking and hanging onto the MES30. So I've been looking for a way to get smoke going internally without modifying the smoker and without resorting to an external smoke generator (IE-Smoke Daddy).
I thought about how to make a venturi adapter to fit on top of the box, lots of work but doable. But while I was replacing the plumbing under my sink because I took out the garbage disposal, the light bulb went on when I replaced the dishwasher diverter/adapter.  The adapter has a shield in it to direct water from the dishwasher downward keeping it from going up into the sink.  I looked at that and thought VENTURI!!!
Bought a 7/8in inlet x 1 1/2 in pipe adapter added a couple of other fittings I had on hand, along with a 12v 40mm fan, put them all together and it works.
Minimal modification required, just had to drill a 1" hole for the fan in the plug adapter and a couple of holes for the screws. I had a 12v power supply for the fan.  The fan is rated at 4.5 CFM, seems to pull enough air through to keep my tube lit on the short test run today.
Smoke output seems about equal to what I get when using heat so I think the venturi effect is working well. Now I have to do a long run test with the tube and monitor the temps, and length of tube burn to make sure this is a good option for cold smoking.

Gadgets and Gizmos / Exhaust chimney for smoker to increase draft
« on: August 18, 2018, 04:10:19 PM »
I had been using a piece of 2 in aluminum flex tubing for an exhaust chimney to help draft a little and to keep the smoke out of the smoking area. It fit over the top vent of the smoker fairly well, but it wasn't very steady. I have been trying to figure out a way to make it steadier and heavier at the base so it would stand up. I also wanted it to look nice. 
While I was plumbing a new drain for my sink, I saw the perfect pieces that when put together looks nice, is heavier at the base and not very expensive.  I used a brass 1 1/2 in adapter and a 2 in X 5 in long chromed slip joint extension. Put together and tightened a little keep them together.  I also cut a notch in the bottom so it won't pinch the thermometer cables and not wobble.
The first pic shows the complete chimney with notch on bottom/side. Second pic is closeup of notch.
Third pic is my Amazin tube with a 2 in ground clamp on it. The clamp elevates one end and allows better airflow around it so it stays lit better when doing cold smokes.  I could use two, but one works just fine.

Jerky / Just got the big batch of jerky in #3
« on: July 27, 2018, 01:18:33 PM »
Going to start wheat harvest Monday and need some snacks for the combine driver and other truck driver.
Sliced up a 8.5# eye of round for Teriyaki jerky. Used 1/2 Soy Vay marinade and 1/2 my own connoction for the marinade X14 hrs. Pic shows the pellet tube getting started on top of smoker.

Gadgets and Gizmos / Cambro score from Craigslist
« on: February 22, 2018, 11:25:49 AM »
I've been looking for a replacement cooler to use for my meat rests. The cooler I used for my pulled pork retained the smell through several vinegar and baking soda rinses ( I use the cooler during harvest for my drinking water). So I wanted a dedicated cooler to use for resting meats in.
I've seen Cambro mentioned in some of the other forums so I did a Google search and thought the carriers would work really good. But they are right up there with Yeti prices.
I did a Craigslist search and found 2 large carriers and one small one for $120.  Noticed the add had been in for almost 2 months, so I offered $100 and they accepted. Now I have 2 great front loading coolers that I can fit trays in to rest my meats. Not sure what I am going to do with the small one yet.
1rst picture is of the square cooler (I think they don't make it anymore, so I want to keep it for drinking water as it fits perfectly in my harvest truck). The second is of the Cambro carriers. Alongside is my volunteer taste tester that needs a haircut.

Jerky / Making jerky for the first time in SI #3
« on: February 13, 2018, 12:48:45 PM »
Making my first batch of jerky in my #3. Going on a trip this weekend and need some snacks.
Bought a 4 in duct fan from home depot to use as a dryer fan. It shows as being 65cfm free air, might be too much air movement for drying but as it only cost $30, won't break the bank.
Bought some Hi Country dry cures  as there have been a few posts recommending them (I usually prefer to make my own rubs and marinades). I got the Original, Sweet and Spicy, and Sweet Teriyaki to try. Round roast was on sale at grocery store so I bought 2 3# roasts and 2# of extra lean ground to try ground jerky. The roast was cheaper than the extra lean by almost a dollar so I will be doing sliced most likely in the future.
Sliced the roast up by hand yesterday because I didn't wait for them to be frozen and use my electric slicer. Followed package directions for seasoning and cure amounts, mixed with meat in a glass bowl and transferred to zip lock bag. Did the same with the 2# ground beef. Turned the sliced beef about every hour until I went to bed at midnight. Got up at 5 and started turning again. At 9am took meat out, added about 1/2 cup water to each bag and drained liquid (from samples cooked up yesterday it was too salty). There is still a lot of mix and protein on the meat strips.
Got all the sliced jerky on my leftover 4 MES grates and the ground on 1 SI grate. Added about 1 1/2 oz hickory chips (on chip screen) and set smoker temp to just under 140 deg to get smoke for 2 hours and then when smoke has stopped, will turn temp down to 120 and put the fan over exhaust. Will check about every hour so I can make sure they don't get to dry.
Will follow up with times and taste results later.

Did my first boneless Boston butt last night/today. (14.5 hour at 220 by dial. Low sodium brine with apple/raspberry juice and 4 tbs Memphis dust mixed in X 14hr. Applied Memphis Dust just before putting in smoker).  I got to thinking about the cooler and whether it needs to be preheated for finish/rest.  Maybe I'm overthinking the process but it seems it would help hold the temp up longer.  This time I preheated the cooler to 160 deg, but would be nice to skip this step.
Question is whether if the meat does better when kept closer to the 190 deg temp (sort of allowing to cook longer) or is a gradual immediate cool down better?
I'm using this Coleman 3 gal cooler, butt fits in it very nicely. It is fully foam lined in body and lid so it holds temps very well.

Gadgets and Gizmos / MES30 racks fit #3 SI
« on: January 29, 2018, 04:38:24 PM »
I was thinking about getting a 5th rack for my #3 so I could do more ribs at one time.  I then thought to try the racks out of my old MES30 smoker just on the chance they will fit. Good news is they do with a couple of caveats.

Width is OK, length of coarse is short. Two racks in one slot are about 4 in to long so there is some overlap. There is also a bend in the racks to keep them from pulling out to far when loaded in the MES that keeps them from fitting in the SI rack guides.  It isn't very hard to flatten the bend so they slide in easy though. Sure glad I didn't throw the MES racks away when I disposed of the old shell recently.

Baby back ribs are on sale at the local resturant supply store for $2.56/lb. So I got 2 packs of 3 each.  Kind of a last minute smoke, so I didn't get them brined overnight.  Just brought them home, washed them off, pulled the silver skin, salted moderately, then sprinkled with Memphis dust (no mustard). They sat for maybe 1/2 hour while I got the smoker ready with 3 oz  apple wood, water pan, and racks. Put ribs in and set dial to about 235 deg at noon. Closed door and left it alone until 4:30. Checked ribs, not quite ready. Checked again at 5:00. Pulled one rack, brushed on some Sweet Baby Rays sauce, cut the ribs up and they were sure good, I ate one whole rack!
My daughter got 1/2 rack, and she said they were the best ribs ever.

I did make a couple of adjustments to the Memphis rub.  Used powdered turbino sugar instead of white sugar. Added 1 tsp of mace to the mix. No other changes in the basic recipe.
Did add a basic condiment for the cook though.

Really happy that I waited until the #3 got in stock after Christmas and then splurged for the #3 instead of #2. The extra length is really handy. I was also surprised by how much liquid was in the drip pan, never got  that much in my Masterbuilt electric.

Introductions / New member with #3 analog ordered
« on: December 24, 2017, 08:59:10 PM »
The #3 analog smokers finally got back in stock and I got mine ordered. Been reading the forum for a couple of months since I decided to upgrade from my MES 30 with mailbox mod.
Up until last year I mainly smoked chicken breasts, pork chops and the like. Found out how to do the mailbox mod to the MES so I could smoke cheese. About the same time I started doing some air drying to make Lonzino (pork loin).  I cold smoke the Lonzino 8-12 hr every other day for a total of 36 hours.
Last summer I started making slab bacon and canadian bacon.
So because all my friends want some of my bacon, I needed a bigger smoker, so an #3 is on order.
Glad to be on this forum.

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