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Topics - swthorpe

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Beef / Beef Ribs
« on: January 18, 2016, 08:16:38 AM »
I finally got to RD and picked up some beef (plate) ribs.  The ribs came in a two pack with three ribs on each piece.   I brined them for about 5 hours on Saturday, then rubbed with a Dalmatian rub for overnight on Saturday.  On the smoker at 8am Sunday with 3.5oz of hickory and 1.5oz of oak with temp set for about 240F.   Nine hours later and dinner time looming, I pulled them at 5pm with the bottom rack at about 190IT and the top rack at about 180IT.   I wanted to get them closer to 200IT, so I popped them into the oven at 350F to finish for about 30 minutes.

These bad boys were absolutely perfect, and the amount of meat on a bone was outrageous!  It was all I could do to finish eating one of them.   Left overs should be great!    I will definitely be smoking more beef ribs in the future.

Cold-Smoking / Kudos to Steve!
« on: December 28, 2015, 04:15:56 PM »
For Christmas, my wife gave me the cold smoking plate from SI so I can try out smoking cheese.  For most holidays (birthday, father's day, etc), my wife has strategically found something from SI to give to me.  So, this Christmas was no exception, but what she said on Christmas Day really struck me.  She said, some guy Steve put a note in the box with the cold plate that said something like, "another year, another accessory...thanks for purchasing from Smokin-It".   She said the company really has good customer service to do something like this.  She was shocked when I told her that Steve is the owner!   Way to go Steve!  But next time, could you suggest that she purchase the 2D for her husband's birthday...LOL!

Beef / New Years Eve Moinks
« on: December 28, 2015, 04:10:38 PM »
Several folks in my neighborhood celebrate New Years at a neighbor's home, and the neighbor requested that I smoke moinks for the party.  Having not done this is in a while, I thought I better try a practice run.  I tested today with 1.3# of 80/20 hamburger, to which I added a bit of garlic powder, pepper, onion powder, 1 egg, bread crumbs, and a squeeze of Sweet Baby Rays hickory/brown sugar BBQ sauce.  Made the balls around 1.4oz each and wrapped with small sized bacon.  Smoked at 225 for 1.5 hours with 3oz of mesquite, removed and sauced with the Sweet Baby Rays, and then back into the smoker for 30 minutes.   My daughter said they were "da bomb", so I guess I am cleared to prepare these for the party on Thursday night!  For the party, though, I will up the hamburger to more like 3#...lots of people! 

Beef / Brisket Cheesesteak
« on: August 19, 2015, 08:12:18 AM »
I have been eating away on a brisket that I smoked last week, primarily brisket sammies.   Got a bit bored with that approach, and then found a post from RG in the "What's Cooking" forum on brisket cheesesteaks.  I tried this last night and WOW!  what a great cheesesteak!   Planning to do another one today...

Beef / Virgin Brisket
« on: July 05, 2015, 03:06:55 PM »
Putting this off long enough, I purchased a 8# brisket flat yesterday.  Brined for 9 hours, then rubbed for an overnight rest using Jeff Phillips Texas rub.  On the smoker today at 6am with 3 oz of hickory and 3 oz of mesquite at 225F.   By 9 am, it was at 178IT and removed at 1pm at 196IT.  I was hoping for a later removal around 2pm or so, but nevertheless, it is now resting in the cooler, double foiled and towels.  Looking to slice around 5pm.

Beef / Smoked Steaks
« on: March 22, 2015, 03:08:54 PM »
I watched a video recently on how to cook steaks and they advised slow cooking the steaks at 275F in an oven and then reverse searing in a cast iron skillet.  So, I thought I would give it a try using my #2 and then the Weber gasser.   I got a couple of 1.25 thick steaks, seasoned and in the fridge for a few hours with EVOO, kosher salt and pepper.

I used 2.5oz of mesquite wood and the steaks took about 45 minutes to get to an IT of 120F. I then removed them and let them sit for 5-10 minutes as the Weber grill heated up.  When the grill was ready, I gave the steaks a reverse sear for 1.5 minutes on each side.   So, essentially it took less than one full heating cycle before the steaks were ready for the grill!  After the grill, I let the steaks sit for another 15 minutes wrapped in foil before serving.

My wife said the steak was the best she has had!  The smoke was near perfect on the steaks, although I would have liked the steaks a bit more rare; if I do this again, I might remove the steaks at 100IT rather than 120IT.

Truth be told, I suspect I could get a good result from just using the Weber gasser and putting some mesquite wood on the flavorizer bars, as was suggested by Tony (Divot) a while back.  But, yesterday I had time to play, so I thought I would give the smoker a try.   

Appetizers and Side Dishes / Cheesy Smoked Meatballs
« on: January 31, 2015, 02:28:37 PM »
I tried Jeff Phillip's recipe for Cheesy Smoked Meatballs ( today.   I followed all of the measurements for the recipe, but I did not sauce the meatballs after they went to the smoker.   I smoked the meatballs with 2oz of apple wood from MGW at 225F.

The recipe says the meatballs take about an hour, so I let them go 1:15hrs before checking the IT.  At that point, they were around 155F, so I let them go another half hour.   That was a tad too much as the meatballs were around 170IT at that point.  So, I think 1.5hrs would have handled it.

I made my meatballs in 3oz size, which was too big.  Next time, I am going for more like 2oz.   Not sure what Jeff's meatball size was, but I ended up with 17 meatballs at 3oz, which clearly is not enough for 20 people as called for in the recipe!

They were tasty, though.

Poultry / Turkey Breast Stall
« on: December 30, 2014, 03:32:17 PM »
I am smoking an 7# turkey breast this afternoon.  On the smoker at noon with a set temp of 240F.  Now at 3:30pm, and the breast has stalled at 154F for the past 30 minutes!   No worries, don't need it to hit 165F until 4:30-5:00.   I wanted to share this for folks that want to smoke a turkey breast to be aware that it does stall, so allow at least 4-4.30 hours for this sized breast.

Appetizers and Side Dishes / Mac and Cheese
« on: June 02, 2014, 08:04:28 AM »
I have been wanting to try out mac and cheese in the SI2, and finally this weekend pulled the trigger.   I followed a recipe posted by Jeff Phillips of, which I highly recommend.  The mac and cheese was fantastic!


The one problem I encountered earlier was that a 13x9 baking dish does not fit in the SI2, but an AL lasagna pan fit the bill perfectly.   I had the M&C on a top shelf with some bacon-wrapped chicken breasts on a lower shelf and smoked at 225F.  I used 3oz of cherry go to wood for poultry.   When the chicken breasts were done at 2 hours, I pulled them but let the M&C stay and raised the temp to 240F for another 30 minutes.   

Chicken was great, but the M&C was most excellent!   Nice and cheesy, great smoke flavor, and even the kids loved it!  ;D

Gadgets and Gizmos / FoodSaver GameSaver Deluxe
« on: May 20, 2014, 08:24:43 AM »
I am close to pulling the trigger on a food sealer.  In addition to the reviews already posted, I came across the FoodSaver GameSaver Deluxe that is sold at Cabela's for about $140.   Has anyone used one of these or a related FoodSaver product?   Thanks!

Sausage / First Try for Sauasage Fatties
« on: November 04, 2013, 07:39:17 AM »
Decided to try a sausage fatty this weekend, but I made the mistake of telling my neighbors up the street.  They wanted to know what time to stop by on Sunday to try it out, so I decided I better make two!   The fatty's were totally delicious, with only 3 pieces left by the time folks left for the evening...I will be making these again in the near future!

I used the recipe from dehager (earlier post in this thread) and Jeff Philips.   I added baby spinach leaves, Colby-jack and mozzarella  cheese, red onions and jalapenos chopped.  I coated the sausage on the inside with Jeff Philip's BBQ sauce as well as on the outside of the bacon.  I also applied a healthy dose of Jeff's naked rub on the inside of the bacon weave.    On the smoker at 225F, and reached 170IT at 3 hours with one piece of cherry and one piece of hickory wood.

Jeff Philip's warned that the bacon might not be crisp on the outside and suggested putting the fatty's under the broiler.  Instead, I took the rack right out of the smoker and dropped it on my grill for a couple of minutes...this crisped the bacon nicely.  By careful, though...the bacon grease on the grill causes a flare up.

Poultry / Turkey Breast - Test 1
« on: November 02, 2013, 08:22:03 PM »
Did a 7# turkey breast run today to prepare for Thanksgiving.   I followed the brining advice and bacon on top that were mentioned in other posts.  The brining was limited to about 5 hours given that the tb was already injected with stuff from the manufacturer.   I used Jeff Philip's rub  and topped the tb with bacon.   Started the smoke at noon at 225F (cherry wood) and expected to be at temp within 3.5 hours.  Here's the point to this post...the temp in the tb was rising rather quickly and I actually thought it would be in under 3 hours, but no way.  The tb stalled at about 156 for a good thirty minutes, and only reached 160IT at the 4 hour mark!   Now I know to allow more time.  I pulled the tb at 160IT and doubled foiled/towel wrapped in a cooler for 2 hours, but it clearly needed more time on the smoker.  The tb was very moist and tasty, but I could see that some of the meat was still underdone.

For T-day, I will allow extra time for the smoke.

Pork / Pulled Pork Success!
« on: August 26, 2013, 08:50:22 AM »
The first time I tried a Boston Butt (July 4th), my family got tired of waiting and I ended up removing the Butt at 175F..tasted fine, but chewy.   This weekend, my wife and kids went to the beach and I had the whole day to myself, so I decided to smoke a 6.2# Butt.   I used mustard and Jeff Philips rub the day before for an overnight trip to the fridge, and had it on my #2 at 6am on Saturday.   Hit the stall at 165F around 11am, and then started creeping up around 3:30pm.    By 5:30pm, I reached the desired temp of 200F and wrapped and placed in the oven to rest for about an hour.   I think from here forward I am planning to use 2hrs/lbs, which is essentially what I experienced, rather than 1.5hr rule.

Huge success!   The pulled pork melted in my mouth.    The wife enjoyed pulled pork sandwiches on Sunday, and I am looking forward to more tonight!   

Pork / First Boston Butt, looking forward to next
« on: July 06, 2013, 09:19:23 AM »
Hi all, I hope everyone had a great 4th!   I tried out my first 7# Boston Butt on the 4th.  I applied the rub the day before so it had about 24 hours wrapped in plastic wrap.  The Butt was in the smoker at 5:30am with temp set to 225F.   Stalled at 11am at 160 IT, and remained there for the rest of the afternoon!   I fully expected the Butt to be finished at 4:30pm, which would be 1.5 hrs per pound.   Well, at 5:30pm, the IT was 175F and folks wanted to eat!  So, with great reluctance, I pulled the Butt and let it rest foiled for about 45 minutes and then pulled it.  The bone did slide out easily, and the meat had an excellent taste and moist, albeit a little tough.

When the IT hit 175F, I wonder how quickly it might have reached 200F (my target) if I had just let it go?   After the stall, how much time have others noticed before the Butt reaches 200?

The first attempt is in the books, but clearly I need to allow more time.  The next go around I will allow 2 hours per pound and see how it goes...

Model 2 & 2D - The Middle Kid / Boston Butt - Additional wood?
« on: June 30, 2013, 05:16:25 PM »
I am thinking of trying out a Boston butt for the fourth, something that I have been delaying to attempt given the time requirement.  My question for those of you that have smoked a butt in 7-8lb range...should I add addtional wood after 3 or 4 hours, or just rely on the initial wood that I use at the beginning?   I have noticed that my wood is pretty much just ash after a 4 hour smoke, so would this be sufficient for a 10-12 hour smoke?  Many thanks!

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