Sunday, April 13, 2008

First run-

The Char-Broil Silver Smoker. What we had for our first run were some steaks from the Safeway Select line. I rubbed them with a little salt and pepper, and then got the fire going. My temperature indicator said I was just a bit below 300 degrees, so I laid them on the cooking surface and found a place to sit.

My guess was about two hours, but I planned to play it by ear. I didn't want to be the anxious neophyte and constantly open the cooking chamber, so I used a timer to keep myself in line. My vents were set at 1/4 for the upper and 1/2 for the lower.

After fifteen minutes I checked the temperature. My thermometer is attached to one of the cooking grates, so I have to open the lid a bit to check the temperature. It was good. I then added a handful of soaked hickory chips, and a handful of dry chips. We got smoke in a hurry, and it continued through the next fifteen minutes just fine.

So, I checked things every fifteen minutes, adding a bit of charcoal to provide fuel to keep up the temperature and periodically adding my smoke chips to keep up a good smoke. The Cowboy brand lump charcoal had a good scent, as well.

At an hour and a half I decided that things looked ready to test. The surfaces of the steaks had a nice brownish red patina. I pulled a steak from the box, cut off the end, and had a look. Good smoke ring. I tasted it, and decided that the Silver Smoker had been a great choice.

I called the family to come and get it. Beans, salad, and some very good steaks. I ate mine without any sauce. It was moist, and the fat was rich in flavor. The meat was fabulous. Oh, yeah!

Now these steaks had been about 3/4 inch thick before cooking, and were a bit less after cooking, but they held up well. I was concerned that pieces of meat that thin might not do well in a slow cooker. The were just fine.

Talk during the meal was of what to try next. I am thinking a pork shoulder. There was some talk of turkey. Maybe beer chicken. We shall see. It should be very soon.

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