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taking the plunge

This is the place to ask your BBQ questions, share information, and more.
Post Mon Mar 15, 2004 5:53 pm
PJay rare
rare

Posts: 10
Location: Long Island, NY

Tonight I plan on heading over to HomeDepot to pick up a Chrabroil Silver Smoker. Once I've got it all put together, do I need to season and/or cure it? And what exactly is the difference between the two? And are either one, really necesary?

I've been catching up with the older posts on the board and am trying to soak it all in. I've purchased 3 of Steven's books which I hope will lead me onto the path of BBQ Enlightenment - How To Grill, Sauces, Rubs & Marinades, & BBQ USA. Hopefully come the summer, I'll have picked up enough tips and hints form the board to host a kick-butt BBQ.

Thanks.
PJay
There is no shame in failing - Only in not trying...

Post Mon Mar 15, 2004 7:26 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
Welcome to the board PJay,

You have a good starter library. I really like the step-by-step illustrations in How to Grill. Curing and seasoning are one in the same and is very much recommended. Smokers that are porcelain coated on the inside do not required seasoning. The seasoning/curing process helps to protect the interior of the smoking chamber from rusting and this coating also gives additional flavor to foods cooked in it. To season your pit you will need to spray or wipe down the inside of the cooking chamber and the cook racks with heavy coating of vegetable oil, peanut oil works good. Start a fire and bring the pit up to a temperature of 350-450 degrees. At this time, Put some hickory or mesquite wood in the fire box which has been soaked in water for about 20-30 minutes. This is about the only time in operating your pit that “the more smoke, the better” is applicable. Allow the pit to smoke heavily for about two to four hours in order to build up a sufficient coating, reapplying vegetable oil every hour or so. Some have recommended coating the grates with pork. After you have cured the pit, you are ready to cook. Once the pit is cured you do not clean the smoky coating off. I do however wash my stainless steel racks, but not to the point that they shine. Discoloration is normal.

Enjoy! And let us know how the first cookout goes.
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Post Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:40 pm
hickory pete well done
well done

Posts: 403
Welcome PJay...you came to the right place. You won't be disappointed with your collection of Steven's books, or being part of this group. :)

Pete

Post Tue Mar 16, 2004 1:08 am
PJay rare
rare

Posts: 10
Location: Long Island, NY

Thanks for the welcome fellas. I made the purchase tonight and as luck would have it, there's rain and snow in the forecast for the next 2 days or so. Oh well, I better go dig up that umbrella I've got hidden somewhere...

Bob-BQN wrote:
...Start a fire and bring the pit up to a temperature of 350-450 degrees. At this time, Put some hickory or mesquite wood in the fire box which has been soaked in water for about 20-30 minutes. This is about the only time in operating your pit that “the more smoke, the better” is applicable....


Bob - I am assuming when I start the fire, I should start it in the side firebox. Because otherwise, I'd just have a handful of wet chips in it once I added them in. Or do I start a fire in both compartments?

Thanks muchly for the how-to, I do appreciate it.
PJay
There is no shame in failing - Only in not trying...

Post Tue Mar 16, 2004 2:02 am
Vinsect well done
well done

Posts: 576
Location: Middle Tennessee
PJay,
Welcome aboard. I sell grills at Home Depot and I also have a Silver Smoker. I really love mine. I hope you will too. I put fires in both compartments when I cured mine. It may not really be neccesary though.
Do you have a good thermometer? The one sold at Home Depot by New Braunfels is a good one. What I really recomend is a Polder though. You can find them online. I got mine from eBay. I recomend the dual sensor model. It's a digital unit that sits outside the smoker with a cable running into the grill. One sensor goes in the meat and the other gives you the grill temp at food level. You can also set alarms on them. If your cooking beef and you wan't it medium rare, you can set the alarm to go off when the internal meat temp reads 145 and you will nail it just right.
Also, do you have a good woodpile? Horizontal smokers are designed for long slow low temp cooking primarily. They are very versitile and can also do higher temp direct grilling but you'll find its not as fuel effiecient as a Weber kettle if your just doing a few steaks. You could go broke feeding it charcoal briquttes. Get some whole logs or logs cut into chunks. They taste better anyway.
Also you'll need at least one chimney starter. Since smoking and roasting takes hours you'll be replenishing your coals about every hour. There are some threads on this already.
See "How to add charcoal"
http://www.barbecuebible.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=178
and "Green Wood or Dry Wood? Ginger or Mary Ann" for starters.
http://www.barbecuebible.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=592
I hope you find it as much fun as I do.
If it aint broke, Break it!
Then rebuild it better.

Post Tue Mar 16, 2004 11:11 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
The idea behind curing the smoker is to get a coating of baked-on oil on all the bare metal surfaces inside your smoker to prevent them from rusting. Most only start a fire in the offset firebox during the curing process which allows you to coat the entire surface in the cooking chamber. However, as Vinsect mentioned, some opt to burn in the main chamber as well. Whichever method you use, just make sure to coat it well two or three times to get a good seasoning.
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Post Tue Mar 16, 2004 11:39 am
PJay rare
rare

Posts: 10
Location: Long Island, NY

Vinsect -
I've heard lots of good things about Polder thermometers - specifically the one you described. I did a search on them and was very surprised to see them get a less than average rating on Amazon.com. I'm more inclined to trust the bbq'ers point of view regarding them and will probably try it out, because it sounds like once the thermometer is working, it makes things alot easier. Definitely worth a shot, IMHO.
As for the woodpile, I plan on getting some lump charcoal over at HD for now. There are a few places that sell lump charcoal near me and I figure I have all summer to try them all out. Now when you say whole logs as a fuel source, would the wood I use in my fireplace be a good choice to use? I have quite a bit purchased, but never ended up using them - almost 3/4 of a cord or so. I don't know what kind of wood it is, and I think I'd still have to add wood chunks to get that smoke effect.

Bob -
Thanks for the clarification. I think I'll coat the insides 2-3 times and start fires in both compartments. And in four hours I'm sure I"ll be ready to bbq. Lord knows I'll defintiely be hungry.. :D

Thanks.
PJay
There is no shame in failing - Only in not trying...

Post Tue Mar 16, 2004 12:45 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
PJay I checked out the polder themometers and saw the low rating on Amazon as well. It seems that folks are trying to use these thermometers on grills. Polders are rated to about 400 degrees and grills get too hot for them and burn the probes. They work great in smokers as long as they're not too close to the firebox.
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Post Wed Mar 17, 2004 2:25 am
Vinsect well done
well done

Posts: 576
Location: Middle Tennessee
My Polder is rated up to 572 degrees. :D
As for the wood you have, see if you can find out what kind it is. Avoid using pine and cedar. Peel off your bark and don't use pieces that are excessively moldy.
See the posts mentioned above along with the Moldy Wood post.
If it aint broke, Break it!
Then rebuild it better.

Post Thu Mar 18, 2004 12:35 pm
PaulP well done
well done

Posts: 681
Location: Beautiful St. Mary's County, Maryland
I use my Polder in my grill when I'm doing an indirect cook, like a whole chicken or a roast. I have also wrapped heavy-diuty foil around the wire to protect it where it touches the side of the grill. Finally, I route the wire through a notch that's in the grillside for a rotissiere rod to prevent it from being pinched. Still going after 2 seasons.

Overall though, I tend to use my digital inmstant-read more than the Polder.
PaulP
If you don't like the food, have more wine


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