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Corn Nation’s 2016 Summer Series: The Smoker

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We kick off our Summer series this year, which is all about going low and slow.

Brisket. yesssss
Brisket. yesssss
Brian Towle

We’re making the debut of the summer time passing subject today on CN.

Smoking meat. mmmmmmm.

Why, yes, it’s kind of odd, but I thought that the perfect time to release this would be Fathers Day. What other day do you have that Dad can spend some time out on the pit, going low and slow with a somewhat tough yet prized when done cut of meat?

Most of the staff at CN does this in some sort of way, and since we’re in different spots of the 48 United States of America, we can go over what we like, don’t like and such. Since it’s the first installment and it’s my idea, well, I’ll go with what I use and such.

Equipment:

I already had been thinking of a pit last Fall, with living in Texas and seemingly seeing one in every other backyard. While I dig Texas barbeque, the cost of getting good stuff does kind of make you wonder if it’s cheaper and easier to make your own. My mother-in-law heard about how I had thought of this, and made it worth my while to start off this past Christmas. She gave me (& my wife, but, lets get real, it’s for me) a Green Mountain Grill Davy Crockett wifi enabled Pellet Smoker.

Here’s the video I have seen that best explains how it is set up and how well it works.

When I got the smoker, I got a bag of GMG fruitwood pellets, and have since then gotten the GMG Texas blend pellets. Obviously, the Texas pellets has given me a better taste of what I’m used to than the fruitwood. Not saying the fruitwood is bad, in fact for ribs it seemed to work pretty well for me.

Things I like and dislike about this smoker:

Likes:

  • Obviously, the fact that I can use wifi to keep an eye on not only the temp inside the grill but also the food I’m smoking. That obviously helps when you have stuff to do at home and can’t sit and check something every 20 minutes.
  • The pellets are not terribly expensive either. For a 28 pound bag, it’s less than $20 dollars. For what the cost is of mesquite and hickory logs, I’ll take that all the time. Plus, once you load it in, you’re good to go. No dealing with fires and such as you’re cooking.
  • The AC power works like a champ on this. Plug it into a 110 volt or your car AC/DC and you’re good to go.

Dislikes:

  • One of the bigger things I’ve had to deal with is cleaning out the chamber that the pellets light and such. When clean, it works like a champ. But, when it does accumulate dust and eventually carbon, lighting the grill is a chore and you can tell how much faster you go through pellets. I suppose it’s a small price to pay for how convenient it works, but then again, taking the whole grill apart to get to that part to clean seems like a pain.
  • Due to the size of the cooking area, doing something like a whole brisket is a little rough. I’ve had better luck with pork butt, half briskets and ribs. The Davy Crockett is definitely not for those wanting to pit 2 briskets and 5 racks of ribs at the same time, but it’s good enough for that one or two things you have on your mind for Sunday family dinner.

One more thing on this, I would bet that if I got a rack to stand ribs up on their sides, space would not be an issue. When I get that, I’ll show y’all what it looks like.

What I’ve Cooked:

There are several things I’ve put on the grill that I’ve enjoyed. That includes:

Brisket (both points and flats)

Chicken:

Pork Butt, both bone in and boneless:

A Pork Tenderloin, which turned out way way better than I thought it would:

And, finally, ribs:

Recipes:

Honest to goodness, I’m fairly simple on recipes for rubs and such. Here is the base of what I use for a brisket:

Salt
Coarse Pepper

That’s it. No really, that’s it, equal parts. For pork butt, I’ll add:

Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Paprika
Chili Powder (a touch).

Ribs? All the above plus brown sugar.

I do use a fair amount of cider vinegar for spritzing whatever I’m smoking, applied in a basic spray bottle.

I’ll give you Aaron Franklin’s rub recipe for brisket, which seems to be the norm even up in North Texas as it is around Austin. These clips are from his public television series.

Now, granted, I’m not using a wood log fueled one, but the offset and such is the same with the GMG I own.

That’s what I have for you, and hopefully the CN staff will share their stories and recipes for you all in this series, which I think we all can dig.