The Smoker's thread

Discussion in 'Geek Food' started by hsvguy, Aug 28, 2016.

  1. Deftone2k

    Deftone2k In the Darkroom

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    Some great chatter in here. Thanks for the tips on the Maverick, I ordered an ET-733 tonight from the American BBQ website (which looks the goods).

    Also ordered some rub and brine and a couple of other things.

    So I recently picked up an Aldi Smoker, I've already PM'd Azrael but figured it doesnt hurt to post in here and ask.

    How on earth do you know where to start? I have spent the better part of the last few hours reading.. and I am not even up to recipes yet. Any favourite stores/sources for products in Australia? I dont mind ordering from O/S.. of course its just the lead time.

    The base book/PDF from Hark was a good read as an introduction about the basics and that paired up well with my research thus far.

    It is mostly joining the dots on the options and where to start at the beginning. I'd rather keep it simple than dive straight into a brisket (for example).

    I have yet to season, but have read about problems people have with wood chips in the Aldi Smoker catching fire in the wood chip tray.. that perhaps I should just skip and go straight for the A-Maze-N tube and maybe pellets. It seems to vary (even in this thread) with the experiences people have had. Found these guys .. no#27 who are priced quite well (from the quantity) and also a method to avoid the catching fire.

    So I guess.. for a newbie. What is a good place to start? I am all for just giving it a go, keeping it simple. Wood chips from Bunnings and some ribs perhaps? I've found a few forums, but also many that have info but not much recent information/posts that is easy for a newbie to follow. It seems that Ironbark is popular in Australia (guessing due to it being readily available).

    Really appreciate any points in the right direction or maybe what taught you a lot when you were starting out. I work a crazy amount of hours but do work from home most of the week.. and hoping to make this years festive season super festive with some smoked BBQ goodness.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  2. Thea

    Thea Member

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    I made smoker for myself
     
  3. Lupuscrux

    Lupuscrux Member

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    Hope I'm aloud to plug these sites...

    place i found good for info was aussiepitmasters.com.au pretty sure that is Sgtraven site?
    places i buy stuff from
    americanbbqaustralia.com.au
    smokedandcured.com.au
    usafoods.com.au
    bbqsplus.com.au
    smokinpellets.com.au

    if you want meat to practice on Aldi's ribs are good value, costco, and nothing wrong with woolie/coles Chickens.
     
  4. connico

    connico Member

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    OK first things first...

    You need to season your smoker. Use a high temperature oil, stray it on every surface within the cooking chamber and light that fire. Aim for 150° degrees for two or more hours.

    Once done you're ready to learn about smoking...

    Firstly research fire and fire management. The quick and easy method is summarised below

    1. Fire up coals in a chimney
    2. Once read, fill back of firebox
    3. Prehead logs of wood in the front of the fire box
    4. Tune the temperature in the cooking area to ready for cooking
    5. Maintain fire with logs or coals etc by adding when required.
    6. Use vents to control temperature


    Further tips
    1. Cook with a clear bluish smoke. White smoke and black smoke are not good cooking smoke apparently
    2. Dont use soaked chips as it produced a white smoke
    3. Upgrade smoker with a baffle to direct smoke if required
    4. Upgrade smoker with new gauges that are installed at the grill height. This gives you better readings at the grill level
    5. Experiment with different meats, brines and rubs. Start cheap cuts and progress from there.
    6. Get a good remote monitoring temperature prob for your meats. Make sure it has multiple probes
     
  5. Deftone2k

    Deftone2k In the Darkroom

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    Thanks lads that is a good start.

    All set to season next weekend and will start off with some simple cooks. So excited, glad I spent the money on a good thermometer up front as well I think that will make life a lot easier, especially since i wont have to open the smoker.

    All great tips :thumbup:
     
  6. GreyWolfe01

    GreyWolfe01 Member

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    What's the thought on a proq frontier vs a Weber kettle premium buying new? I figure I'm gonna get something decent to last.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    hsvguy

    hsvguy Member

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    I don't have any experience with the proq, but Weber kettle is literally a lifelong investment. The fact they have a 10 year warranty alone says it all.

    I personally don't think the special ash catcher is worth the extra price, you should be able to get the base model for around $350.00 if you can still find it.

    You can use a weber for virtually anything, grilling, roasting, smoking, low and slow, spit roasts etc.

    I have looked at bullet smokers myself a few times, but could never see the need for one over my weber.
     
  8. GreyWolfe01

    GreyWolfe01 Member

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    I've used webers and also cheap bullets before, so I'm aware of what they do.

    It's more a matter of which one to a put money into...I'd love to buy a ceramic kamado, but the budget doesn't stretch that far yet.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    hsvguy

    hsvguy Member

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    Do you prefer bullet smokers, or Kettles?

    Weber also make a bullet smoker, the Smokey Mountain.

    There's also a cheaper version of the Kamodo for around $600, though i'm unsure of build quality.

    https://www.bunnings.com.au/char-griller-akorn-kamado-kooker_p3180332
     
  10. GreyWolfe01

    GreyWolfe01 Member

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    Yeah BBQGalore has the dragon kamado, which is the same thing but $400.

    TBH, $400 for a knockoff metal kamado or $350-$450 for a brand new weber kettle? Weber every time I think.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    hsvguy

    hsvguy Member

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    Yep.

    Could always grab a s/h Weber from gumtree, and keep saving/convincing yourself you need a big green egg in the future?
     
  12. bobfranklin

    bobfranklin Member

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    Don't bother with them, especially the metal ones.
    I've got a Kamado and love it (paid $700ish) but it's as close to a BigGreenEgg as it gets in terms of what mine is.

    Weber kettle everytime if you're going for bbq, I like the insulation more in the case of the BGE design but I'm sure the Smokey Mountain would do a similar job.
     
  13. sjp770

    sjp770 Member

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    Been waiting a while to post this. A while back i decided on an upgrade from my Weber.. found a local tradesman / boilermaker that had made a few smokers. Last year he had shown off his smokers at the local Brewery on their Anniversary event.


    Click to view full size!


    Got to customize a few things along the way as well. Most of the smoker is made from 6.35mm steel.


    Click to view full size!


    This is before seasoning, just took delivery at the time of the pics. Added 3x tuning plates.


    Click to view full size!


    Cant wait to hook in and use this baby.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  14. bobfranklin

    bobfranklin Member

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    Seems those img links are busted (or might just be me).
     
  15. sjp770

    sjp770 Member

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    Fixed with ocau pix
     
  16. clonex

    clonex Member

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    Mrs got me a Proq frontier, picked up some charcoal today but seems i should of picked up one of those starter baskets to get the coal going? :D
     
  17. Badger

    Badger Caveat lector

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    Yes, chimney starter is ace. I have the Aldi version now, but at first I made my own with a milo tin and some wire.
     
  18. clonex

    clonex Member

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  19. mmBax

    mmBax Member

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    It would appear that bunnings doesn't sell the starter that I got. I think mine was a redhead brand and paid around 30. Before I had the starter I used to use a coffee tin that I drilled a heap of holes in. Definitely well worth the money buying one (out of stainless if possbile so it doesn't rust out)
     
  20. OP
    OP
    hsvguy

    hsvguy Member

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    Yep either of those will do fine. They are great and get the coals absolutely stonking hot (almost looks like a jet engine coming out the top once they're going)
     

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