8th Annual Recovery Fest & 3rd Annual BBQ Cook-Off

Well, this was not what I expected. :( This was a serious competition. Meaning… I thought I was going to going to be able to go up to people and say "Hey, what are you cooking there? Can I get some of that pork? Here is $3-$4" Nope! What you see here is:
Serious fussing
a team fussing with a wooden skewer and a napkin to make the perfect plate for the judges. The day was not a total loss as I did enjoy seeing all the various smokers and contraptions. I also did chat up a few people but, I went there thinking I was going to have a smorgasbord of BBQ meat. I did have on pulled pork sandwich from a local vendor that has permission to sell food to the public. To say it was "average" is being generous.

I did however pull in to the local butcher and he had aged tri-tip on sale so I plan to smoke that bad boy later this week.

Hello to a new friend

Since my old smoker broke this week I was toiling over a new smoker I ran across this on an Amazon search, by accident quite honestly.

I started looking at all the comments and reviews for the Smokin-It model #2 then started Googling the rest of the internet. The information I could find was sparse but for the little there was I was quite impressed. I wanted to know more especially about being able to replace worn out parts.. I contacted the company and left a message. The owner, Steve, called me back and we and chatted about smokers, high end units, the similarities and differences between his and the high end units, replacing parts, and what if he were to go out of business. i.e. how standard are his parts? and could I fix this myself? I would say, for the most part, he sold me… since I bought one.

One of my main concerns was the depth of the model since I on occasion cook 8 racks of ribs at once or 3 racks of ribs with a pork butt underneath. He talked me in to the Smokin-It model #3 which is basically a stretched model #2 with a bigger heating element (1200 watts).

Guess what showed up today? My new BBQ meat smoker! This is not so much a review as it is a first impressions.

It was well packed with plenty of cushion for the shipping
The only thing I had to assemble were the casters in to the legs of the smoker. These are nice BIG casters!
If I had to be critical I would say that they could of done a better job concealing the welds but after I had it all together and really looked at it. The places you can see the welds don't show since they are underneath were you will never see them or are inside the smoker (soon to be black with smokey goodness).

The wood box is made for chucks, or blocks, of wood but since I have pounds of oak, hickory, and apple wood laying around in chip form I ordered the additional screen. So now I can use the chips without having them fall though the large holes and hit the heating element.
Besides having a big 1200 watt element I was happy to see totally removable racks for easy cleaning. I can hear the wife asking, "what is in the dishwasher?!?!" now. ;)
I was also impressed the the front door drip shield as now the wife won't be wanking at me about "staining the deck with meat drippings"

I wiped down the inside with a cloth sprayed with Pam to pick up any foam or other debris that may have fallen in there and started the 4 hour recommended break-in/seasoning run. i placed one temperature probe on the bottom rack and one temperature probe on the top rack. Smoker is set to 250*. As you see one picture shows a 2 degree variance but I know my old probe is about 4 degrees off so I am happy to be within 6* top to bottom. The other blue thermometer is a model engine surface temp gauge that I was using to look for heat leaks. The top of the smoker was around 100 degrees and the hottest area I could find was at the right hand side of the door that was 118*. I was very pleased with the insulating properties of the new smoker.

I do have some beef ribs to cook but that will have to wait till Sunday since the is a State Championship BBQ competition right here in Richmond sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ society so I am going!

Goodbye to an old friend

wood insertfrontclose

I bought this "Masterbuilt" BBQ smoker back in 2007. I repaired it in 2009, then again in 2011. This year the freaking thing electrocuted me! Now granted it was probably due to my awesome electrical skills but for something that has as big of a heating element that it does it had awfully small wires inside. Now, if you are a part time "smoker" and you want and easy to set up machine that costs around $200 then they still make one similar. But make sure you

a. Keep it in the garage and make sure it is dried out before you put it away
b. When you clean it out on occasion be sure not to let water run down the area where the heating element connects to the box.
c. When you are cooking i would tin foil the area where the element connects to the back wall.

They still make this thing but not in stainless.

They also make a nifty new more expensive one. But I just could not bring myself to spend that much more not knowing if this thing was going to be an electrical nightmare like the last one.


Day 1

Well here I sit and stare a blank page pondering the "Why am I doing this?" Oh yes. Zen. Enjoying the pleasures in life. Or a place to talk about the stuff I buy then bitch about it. Welp… lets get started.
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