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A Pellet Smoker Simplifies Barbecue

In BBQ - Grilling - Smoking, Beef, Gadgets & Tech, Recipes, Reviews, Stories by Dave DeWittLeave a Comment

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ys640_heroI gave up smoking meat a few years ago because it was getting to be too much trouble. First I had to locate the wood, which meant calling firewood lots and asking if they had any pecan or fruit woods around. And then, during the smoking process, was the constant adding of the wood to the firebox, which interrupted anything else I was trying to do. The best time to smoke was during a football game when I could add wood during the timeouts for commercial breaks. But football isn’t on during the summer, which is the traditional time for smoking. Finally, I gave it up and just went to the Pork and Brew Cookoff and bought a year’s supply of pulled pork and brisket from my friends, the Texas Rib Rangers.

ys640_04But along came technology to the rescue in the form of a pellet smoker. Mike Stines, who writes for my blog, Burn-Blog.com, wrote an article about pellet smokers in general and had managed to convince Yoder Smokers to give him one for testing. Mike liked his new pellet smoker so much he ended up writing the owners’ manual for how to operate the YS 640! A few weeks ago, during an email exchange with Mike, I casually asked him if he thought Yoder would send me one if I promised to promote it at the Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show. Surprisingly, Don Cary, one of the owners of Yoder Smokers, agreed, and the 400-pound steel monster arrived last week on a pallet placed on our front patio.

ys640_07I set it up with the help of Max Cisneros and finally tracked down some pellets (culinary only—don’t use stove pellets) that cost $9.95 for 25 pounds. I decided to cook two briskets and a turkey breast, which took about seven hours and cost about three bucks worth of pellets, burning about a pound an hour to keep the smoker at 210 degrees. It was the easiest smoking I’ve ever done, but the brisket was a bit tough, yet still delicious when sliced as thinly as possible. I’m going to inject it with a marinade next time to tenderize it more. The turkey breast was very tasty and not overly smoky. Here are the recipes I used to make this Spicy Smoked Brisket and Breast Combo. Note: The smoking process takes approximately 5 hours for the breast (the skin will blacken–that’s okay) and about 8 hours for the brisket.

Spicy Smoked Brisket
 
Heat Scale:
Recipe type: entree
Cuisine: Barbecue
Serves: 15 to 20
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • 9 to 10 pound brisket ("packer trimmed" preferred)
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups New Mexican redchile powder 1 tablespoon cayenne 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup garlic powder
  • Red's Brisket Basting Sauce
  • Brisket Basting Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 pound butter
  • 2 onions, chopped fine
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups beer
  • 4 lemons, quartered
  • 1 bunch parsley tops, minced
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
Instructions
  1. To prepare the brisket, thoroughly coat all surfaces of the meat with lemon juice, and rub in well. Combine the chile powder, cayenne, black pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl, and sprinkle generously all over the brisket, rubbing it in well.
  2. Make sure that the brisket is entirely covered. Allow it to marinate for at least an hour before smoking.
  3. To smoke the brisket and breast, build a hardwood fire in the fire box using pecan, oak, or any fruit wood.
  4. When the fire is smoking nicely, place the brisket on the rack fat side up, to let gravity and nature do the basting.
  5. Also during the smoking, make the Brisket Basting Sauce.
  6. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onions and garlic, and saute for 4 to 5 minutes to soften.
  7. Add the beer, squeeze in the lemon juice, and add the lemon rinds to the pot.
  8. When the foam subsides, add all of the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
  9. Reduce the heat to a medium low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  10. After the brisket has finished smoking, remove it from the smoker, then slather it generously with Red's Brisket Basting Sauce
  11. Wrap the beef tightly in aluminum foil, and return it to the smoker. Close off all of the air supplies to the fire, and allow the meat to "set" in the pit for about 2 hours.
 
Spicy Smoked Turkey Breast
 
Heat Scale:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Barbecue
Serves: 9 to 10
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • The Turkey Breast:
  • 1 cup honey
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons commercial hot sauce of choice
  • 1 2 to 3 pound turkey breast
Instructions
  1. To prepare the turkey breast, combine the honey, soy sauce, and hot sauce in a bowl.
  2. Using a brush, brush the mixture all over the turkey breast.
  3. Allow the turkey to sit for 20 minutes before smoking.
  4. To smoke the brisket and breast, build a hardwood fire in the fire box using pecan, oak, or any fruit wood.
  5. When the fire is smoking nicely, place the brisket on the rack fat side up, to let gravity and nature do the basting.
  6. Place the breast as far from the heat source as possible, and close the smoker.
  7. During the smoking continue to marinate the breast with the honey-soy mixture until it is used up.
  8. The smoking process takes approximately 5 hours for the breast (the skin will blacken--that's okay) and about 8 hours for the brisket.
  9. Remove the breast from the smoker and allow it to cool. Do not place it in your cupboard or everything in it will smell like smoke.
 

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Publisher | Christened the "Pope of Peppers" by The New York Times, Dave DeWitt is a food historian and one of the foremost authorities in the world on chile peppers, spices, and spicy foods.

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