Lots of people have been asking me about the type
of barbeque or smoker that I use.
The truth is that you can get great results with many different
types of grills or smokers and very bad results with others. For
good old-fashioned slow cook barbeque you need constant indirect,
uniform heat, (about 200 degrees F) over a long period of time.
You also need moisture and a source of smoke for flavor.
So what do I use? I use an electric smoker, slightly modified
of course. I used to use a large cast iron barrel smoker with a
separate firebox, but it is just a lot of work and when I do ribs,
I want to relax, have a couple of beers and have fun. I live on
a hundred acres bordering the Ocala National Forest and in a half
hour I can cut more fresh hickory or oak wood than I can use, but
why should I. My smoker is quick, easy and gives me the best results
of all the smokers or grills Iíve used, and itís a no-brainer.
I also use this smoker combination to cold-smoke seafood like salmon
So what is it? I use a Brinkman® electric smoker with a Smoke
Pistol tm. These two components are not made by the same company,
but they should be. They make a great combination. The Brinkman® electric
smoker has an electric coil surrounded by lava rock which gives
a continuous uniform heat. Above the electric coil is a steel pan,
which is filled with water. This provides the moisture, helps keep
the temperature constant and the heat indirect. It is large enough
to handle three large slabs of ribs and a few throw-downs. (appetizers,
for you slickers) CharBroil® makes a similar unit that has
a thermostatically controlled heat coil and a thermometer in the
top. The only problem with these units is that they donít smoke.
The manufacturers tell you to put wood chips by the electric coil
but if you believe that, youíll be adding wood chips every 10 minutes
and getting sporadic smoke at best. Thatís why I added a little
thing I found on the Internet called the Smoke
Pistol tm is a little smoke generator with a great smoke
output. This little patented device can be added to anything from
a large smoke house to a barbeque grill to provide a constant,
continuous and controllable source of smoke. There are little,
easy to light, wood cartridges that are about the size of stick
and they put out more smoke than three large logs. The trick is
the way they are burned but the nice thing is that the amount of
smoke is controllable. Yea, there is a little dial on the unit
that lets you set it for more or less smoke. I happen to have quick
and easy access to all the hickory, oak and other hard woods I
can use but it is still a whole lot easier, and less wasteful,
to use one or two Smoke
Pistol tm cartridges than 6 to 10 logs.
You can also try some of the other wood flavors that arenít native
to your area like mesquite and I recommend alder. (Alder is a wood
from the northwest with a great flavor). The only problem with
the unit is that sometimes you need to tap on the side of it if
the smoke slows down. I usually set the thing to low, just so that
it is blowing out just a little smoke. You can send out enough
smoke to fill a large smoke house with it but you donít need a
lot of smoke to add flavor.
After you put together your Brinkman® smoker and add the Smoke
Pistol tm (it takes about 15 min to put together the smoker and
5 min to add the Smoke
Pistol tm ) youíre ready to do great barbeque
ribs with little effort.
So thatís the smoker that I use and the whole thing will set you
back less than $100. Now check out my slow cook ribs recipe and
be the bbq pro on your block.