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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Smokin'

For years, Greg has been bugging me to let him get a smoker. He's had numerous barbecue grills, from low-rent jobbies to ultra modern and ultra expensive. Most have lived on the fringes, coming out only on special occasions like days when we lost the house during a hurricane. We had no choice but to cook outside.

I relented on the smoker when we found a particularly good price on one that looked heavy enough to withstand a zombie attack.


Let me say upfront that I'm not a big fan of smoked meats. To me, it was always heavy on the smoke which clouded the flavor of the meat, but Greg changed my mind.

So far, he's smoked chickens and a brisket. 

The juice is from the marinade he used.
Best. Food. Ever. 

I wish this blog had smell-o-vision so I could prove it.

The chicken was juicy and so flavorful that I ate more than my fair share. The brisket, by far my least favorite meat (as meats go), was absolutely delicious in sandwiches. I was hooked.

This year we will be smoking our first turkey.

I was wrong about smoked foods. (Yes, Greg. I said I was wrong. Don't get a big head over it.)

Done right, smoking the food imparts a unique flavor and is so juicy it melts in your mouth.

In front of the chicken are two baked potatoes wrapped in bacon.


Have you ever eaten smoked food right out of a smoker? Was that your reaction too?


33 comments:

Angela Brown said...

I love smoked meats. Not skilled to smoke it myself, but I love that smokey flavor that mixes with the meat's own natural flavor. When done right, the meat is so succulent it makes you weak the knees lol!

So yeah, I like smoked meats :-)

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: I wish I had known it was that good! LOL.

We used our own oak and mesquite to cook the meat and it gave it a flavor that artificial smoke flavoring can't duplicate.

Stacy McKitrick said...

I loooove brisket (when cooked right). My only experience with smoked foods it through a restaurant, though. I wish my husband liked to cook outdoors, though. I'd let him cook all the time! Haha!

LD Masterson said...

Oh, I want some. Just looking at the the pictures has my drooling.

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: This beats the restaurant food I've had. I was a little surprised Greg wanted to try it. For his first time, it surpassed all my expectations.

Maria Zannini said...

Linda: You and Angela will have to come back when Greg is here. He can teach you to shoot too. :) I know I wasn't much help.

B.E. Sanderson said...

I've eaten smoked meats at restaurants, but I've never had freshly smoked meats. It looks so good...

And now I'm hungry. =op

R. Mac Wheeler said...

I bought the exact same smoker.

Used it a dozen times.

Then it sat for ten years and rusted, until I finally put it on the curb for an optimistic neighbor to resuscitate it.

It was gone in 30 minutes. I wonder how many more pork loins it smoked to perfection after.

Michelle H. said...

My father wanted a smoker one day. Went and got one as my mother rolled her eyes as she knew she would be the person cooking on it.

I never tried smoke meats before in a restaurant, so I had no true comparison to base an opinion on. I wasn't really impressed, but that might be the fact that they were just trying it out and trying to get it right.

Maria Zannini said...

BE: I was a good test subject for this because it's not my favorite food. He sold me.

Maria Zannini said...

Mac: I was surprised how heavy that sucker was. LOL! It took two men just to put it in the trailer. It was a good thing we had the trailer with us too because I don't think Greg and I could've lifted it. It definitely needed more muscles than I had.

Maria Zannini said...

Michelle: It seemed to me Greg spent a long time marinating and slow-smoking the meat. The brisket alone took over 12 hours and he thinks now it should've smoked longer.

Definitely more labor intensive than chucking it in the oven.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

A friend of ours had a smoker for a long time and had us over a lot for dinner. There were some hits and misses. I really enjoyed the brisket, but the poultry was too underdone to eat. I think our friend just got impatient.

I love smoked brisket, though. If you spy someone lingering in the bushes next time you make it, that's me.

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: You're always welcome. No need to hide in the bushes. :)

Greg used a meat thermometer to check for doneness and that seems to help in knowing when to pull them out.

Darke Conteur said...

I've never eaten meat cooked that way. The closest I think is grilling. The pictures look yummy!

Maria Zannini said...

Darke: It was new to me too, but I became a convert. It's much tastier than regular grilled meat.

Mike Keyton said...

Fortunately I've just eaten otherwise my innate greed and acquisitive instincts would have gone into over drive!

Who gets to be called 'old smokey' you or Greg?

Brandy said...

Hubs is drooling over an electric smoker, but we're waiting until next year. Do you like pork? Because pork butt hash is OMGosh good.

Jackie Burris said...

Our local BBQ place in town smoked with Oak, favorite is a family owned store in Beeville that smokes with Mesquite wood only, brisket at both places literally melts in your mouth and tastes so good.

Maria now I am hungry for smoked brisket darn it!

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: I think we both got a little smokey, but I'll let Greg wear that title. He was the one who got up at 3am to start the brisket.

Maria Zannini said...

Brandy: I feel bad I waited so long before I let Greg buy his smoker.

Re: pork hash
I've never tried it, but I am putting it on my list! I love corned beef hash. I'm surprised I never thought of doing it with pork.

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: Mesquite imparts such a good flavor. I'm really beginning to differentiate between the various woods.

Shelley Munro said...

Hubby has a small smoker and has smoked fish for years. He's also smoked chickens. My absolute favorite is smoked salmon. Hubby smokes whole fillets, and it's delicious. Great on sandwiches or flaked in pasta dishes. Perfect for Christmas dinner.

Maria Zannini said...

Shelley: Salmon! I hadn't thought about that. I'll bet it's better than any old smoked salmon we get at the store.

Thanks, Shelley!

Jenny Schwartz said...

I love smoked salmon. Before the local fish stall closed at the markets (years, I'm still mourning) we used to have salmon smoked in whisky barrel shavings. So good.

Maria, just looking at your post made me hungry - and it's only breakfast time!

Maria Zannini said...

Jenny: I know what you mean about mourning the loss of fish markets. We have not had a good fish market in years. There is a world of difference between fresh fare and the stuff you get in the grocery store.

Jenny Schwartz said...

The problem with my complaining is that I'm surrounded by great fish markets - but they're all kind of shiny, whereas I remember fish markets actually run by fishermen.

Maria Zannini said...

Jenny: Exactly! Whole generations don't know what the good stuff is really like.

raelynbarclay said...

The guy who lived across the street from us, our very first house, ran a barbeque business and did smoked meats as well. Now this man KNEW his meats. Melt in your mouth deliciousness. He could take the worst cuts and cook them to gourmet ah-mazing. He's about the only thing we miss about that house, LOL.

Dang, now I'm hungry.

Maria Zannini said...

Raelyn: I'm not sure I'd want to smell it all the time, but I know I'd have a hard time sticking to a diet if I did live next to a place like that.

It's a real art to cook food. Smoking and grilling has got to be the hardest of all.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I love smoked turkey!!!!

Maria Zannini said...

Karen: I'm really looking forward to tasting the difference between home-cooked smoked turkey and the stuff I've had from the store.

So far I've not been disappointed. At this rate I'll be 300 pounds by next year. :)

Michelle H. said...

That had to be it. My parents don't have the patience to sit and watch and marinate the meat for 6 hours, let alone more than 12. So it really didn't taste any different.