Sunday, July 22, 2018


Funny story! I first spoke to Richard Morris asking his opinion on smokers, this was before he came a famous DUDE of the 2KETODUDES and YES I got to meet and hug him at KetoFest 2018. Carl eluded a selfie!

My cheap setup.

I bought a smoker! Nothing too fancy, I woke up one morning and I wanted to smoke meat... so I went to home depot and got the cheapest I could find. Silver Spur Water Smoker by Rivergrille for $39,97 and a couple bags of lump charcoal (I later switched to briquettes) and a chimney. Spur of the moment, I didn't want to spend $300.

My first attempt started abysmal, I had no idea what I was doing. Youtube videos weren't helping and after trying ripping my hair out trying to get the heat to 220F... I gave up and threw the chicken wings on the grill! They turned out pretty good but I quickly switched off to briquette coal, which is a bit less natural but burns a bit easier.  Also, patience young grasshopper.

This stuff actually takes a while *WHINE!* and my first understanding is that this particular grill does not hold it's heat. I ended up filling a first chimney with coals then not even an hour later, I fill up another one to boost the heat and afterwards I toss coals in here and there like a Devil's minion but the heat stays steady and learning to tweak it is an art.

Is it worth it? Yes, absolutely 100%. So far I've made pulled pork and lots of chicken, a few meatloaves wrapped in bacon. The flavor is great and it'll be amazing for parties, it's easy going and fun for social gathering.  You'll always have a friend who's going to want to play with it so you can take a break.

Now the $40 was a neat little investment but I have my eye on a Weber Smokey mountain. I'm being promised 11 hours of steady heat with little over watch... which sounds reaalllly nice but for $299,00 brand new, I've been keeping my eye on Craigslist.

Here's an unprofessional account of the process, as I grow more acquainted with it, I will happily update! Up next will be ribs, bacon and pork belly.

A few adventures in smoking:

Pork and Meatloaf

Meatloaves on the bottom, pork shoulders on the top
The loaves took 2 1/2 hours to reach 160F
Pork shoulder took 7 hours, it pulled apart like butter with a fork.

Meatloaf is my usual beef, pork and hot Italian sausage mixture with Parmesan and Italian seasoning and savory, salt and pepper. Nothing too crazy. Here I mixed some kale, tomatoes and cucumber from my garden with walnut oil, salt and pepper. Walnut oil is great on salads.

Chicken Wings

Do yourself a favor, don't buy "party wings" or anything pre-cut. You'll pay almost twice the price. Use a large solid knife with a good handle, chop the tips, snap the joint and cut around the bone. It's super easy and you'll save a lot of money. 

Raw and dry rub
Rub your chicken with a dry rub or soak in a marinade at least an hour before smoking (bonus point if you use the marinade in the water pan.)

Same goes for thighs or drumsticks, about 2 hours at 220F. Then toss those puppies on the grill for a few minutes a side to make the skin nice and crispy. You can apply a few brush of sauce while you're at it but if you're going to use Frank's hot sauce, wait till it's off the fire. Direct heat does something terrible to Frank's.

 Two and a half hours, then hop on the grill!

Wings and drumsticks, ready for the party! 
I love this particular BBQ Sauce, I'm putting up a link so you can see what it is but don't buy it there. Go to Walmart because you'll pay $3,99 for a bottle, this is too expensive.

They have many flavors but this one is the bomb!

Now that I have thoroughly bombarded you with information, I bid you good day and I hope I put the bug in your ear about trying out a charcoal smoker! There's a ton of Youtube videos about it!

Hungry Julie

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