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Everything posted by SmoovD

  1. RE: cooking grate Not a fan of the cast iron grate and I love my Akorn SS grate from Michael's custom but for my Akorn Jr I use a grate from a Weber Smokey Joe. In your case, it is more likely to survive the bumps and bruises of travel and cheap enough that if it gets lost, it can be easily replaced.
  2. SmoovD

    Rib Guide

    When the fire burns clean it will exhaust a light blue smoke, not white or grey. I will give the fire at least 1/2 hour after the starter has burned out and I get the lid closed.
  3. Top round can be a tasty cut and your cook looks mighty fine.
  4. SmoovD

    Rib Guide

    When you put them on was the smoke white? If so, the fire was not ready and it will give off an acrid flavor. As far as the cook time, check them after 3.5 hours to check if they are done. St. Louis low and slow are normally at 225F and BB at 275F but I have done both for STL. The important part is that the ribs will be done when they are done. Welcome aboard.
  5. ...and in life. Over the last six years my weight has ballooned and my overall health has decreased. This has been a result of bad decisions followed by more bad decisions. The time to make better decisions is well past due. The Mrs. and I have joined a popular lifestyle/diet plan and are will complete our first week tomorrow morning with a weigh-in. In addition to this plan I have also switched to a low carb diet. Hopefully these changes will become habits, which will lead to a better, more healthy lifestyle. So I have cleaned out the refrigerator, freezers, and pantry. Starting from scratch. Found homes for the unwanted foods so little has been wasted. The biggest issue for me over the past few months I have been really into sausage making. Different styles of bratwurst, kielbasa, German sausage, Italian sausage, and the like are still packed away in the freezers. I have found homes for them but haven't had the time to pack and distribute the frozen, intestine-encased goodies. Now comes the time to begin experimenting with recipes to produce low fat sausage using chicken and turkey. In the past I have made some tasty chicken brats using chicken thighs (with skin) but I would like to refine further to remove more of the fat. Unfortunately, fat is tasty and almost essential to create linked sausages. If anyone has any found any tips or tricks, please share. I will do the same should I find a product or combination of ingredients that fit the bill. I must say that I am fairly excited by this challenge. Happy New Year to all my fellow KGurus!
  6. And the results are in. The sausage with olive oil and the soy protein isolate tied for first place. The sausage with the commercial fat replacement in second. Finally, the sausage with NFPM but no added fat was last. Notes- family said that all were good and more than edible. The oil and SPI had a better mouth feel than the commercial product and the final was a little dry and crumbly. My wife and kid didn't mind the commercial product but the xanthum gum leaves a film in my mouth. Verdict- for fresh, bulk sausage to be cooked at that time I will just add some olive oil. For fresh links I will use the SPI. Next up is the smoke test for the SPI. Getting there.
  7. Today is test day for fresh sausage made with chicken breast. Using German Sausage seasoning from Walton's for the test. Made 1 pound each of following: 1-Seasoning plus 1 tsp olive oil 2-Seasoning plus NFPM 3-Seasoning plus soy protein isolate emulsion 4-Seasoning plus commercial fat replacement Results to follow.
  8. SmoovD

    Smoked and Braised Oxtails

    Oxtails braised with root veggies is one of my all-time favorite meals. Your cook looks spectacular.
  9. Thanks for the support. 7 pounds down after 1 week. Good start. And my research has led me to the very real possibility of low fat sausage. I have tried a commercial fat replacement product in the past but didn't care for the mouth feel. Today I read about using either flax seeds or soy protein isolate in an emulsion. This emulsion can be used as a 1 to 1 replacement for animal fat. And it supposedly works well with lean protein so turkey or chicken breast can be in play. Off to do some experimenting!
  10. I have owned one for years. It is a nice cover and plenty heavy duty. IMHO it is considerably better than the KJ cover.
  11. SmoovD

    Peri Peri Roti Chicken

    Very nice. Peri Peri bird is one of my favorites. So tasty. Yours looks delicious.
  12. SmoovD

    mini kamado

    If you can find one, the Akorn Jr is perfect for travel/camping. Small and lightweight yet functional.
  13. SmoovD

    Smokin Stone caught Fire

    Flip the stone so you burning off the previous cook. A high heat burn off will also do the trick.
  14. That sounds a good option as well.
  15. Malcolm Reed with How to BBQ Right has a great recipe for a honeybaked-style ham. Recipe and YT video in link: http://howtobbqright.com/blog/?p=1885
  16. SmoovD

    Need some help with poultry

    One thing to keep in mind is the quality of the bird and amount of pre-brining that occurs before you even get your bird home. Steer clear of all birds that too large. Smaller birds are more tender. I tend to stick to around 3 pounds. Also, check the label. If it reads that the bird is packed in a solution then it has already been brined with salt and all kinds of additives. Try to find a bird that is not packed in such a solution. If you want to brine, do it yourself. Good luck.
  17. SmoovD

    The Stall

    If you want to blow right through the stall cook at a higher temp. Butts at 325F and briskets at 300F. I have had great success with "turbo" cooks.
  18. SmoovD

    Lasagna on the Alfa

    It would break my heart to cut into that pan but it would crush my soul to not do so.
  19. Nice bird. Poultry and pork almost always get brined, be it wet or dry. Firm but moist and tender meat and crisp skin is a winner.
  20. SmoovD

    New MES just arrived

    Probably a sacrilegious event but I have been wanting a low heat smoker for jerky and sausages and I found a great deal on a Masterbuilt digital electric unit. Couldn't say no. Will break it in tomorrow as I have some beef marinating for some jerky. Maybe next week I will bust out the sausage stuffer and crank out some polska kielbasa.
  21. SmoovD

    New MES just arrived

    I use LEM as well. A few pounds when into the MES on Sunday. After using the Big Chief for jerky I was surprised by the amount of moisture held in the MES. All in all a decent batch of jerky so I am pleased as punch.
  22. SmoovD

    New MES just arrived

    I had been using either the oven or a Big Chief smoker for jerky and sausage but was never thrilled with the results unless it was cool outside. Not a regular occurrence in Texas. Now I have to brush up on sausage smoking schedules to up my game. Jerky is super simple. I use pre-made mixes and it takes the guessing out of recipes. Place the slabs on the racks and let them go until they are ready. MES should be able to handle the task well.
  23. SmoovD

    Homemade Italian Sausage Sub

    Nice looking links. Actually, nice looking meal!