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Mike R.

Grill Masters
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About Mike R.

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  1. And here I sit at 5:30 in the morning. What the heck am I doing up on a weekend at 5:30 in the morning?!?! Have a small get together with the fam at the park at noon. Now I have 2 racks of ribs going in the smoker, hayooo! Chicken last night was fantastic. I had no idea how long to cook chicken. I can find times for everything but chicken. I figured it would be about 3-4 hours, but have no idea about cooking chicken at all, let alone cooking it on a smoker. After the dry run holding out at 250-270°, I couldn't keep the chicken there. It held around 225°. Put it on at 1 pm and we usually eat at 5. Figured, it's the weekend, no one working or have homework or have anything else to do, if we eat later, we can eat later. By 6:00, the kids were ready to tear into anything in the fridge to eat. Chicken was at 140°. Had some potatoes as I said sitting in the smoker after I scooped and mashed them up for twice baked which could have used some grill time, so I fired up the outside burners, laid a sheet of foil in the middle and put everything on the grill for a bit. Everything crisped up beautifully, the skin, the cheese on the potatoes, the skin of the potatoes unfortunately a good bit too much. I'm not a huge fan of chicken. In fact, I don't like chicken much at all. Thus, I wouldn't say it was out of this world yummy, but it was quite good. I went with the philosophy of you can always add more smoke next time but you can't take away smoke now if it's too much, so I had smoke going for about half the time in the smoker. It definitely wasn't enough and could have used a good bit more. Some pieces of chicken had a bit of smoke flavor and some didn't. Well, I know next time (if there is a next time with chicken, as I said, I'm not a huge fan of chicken.) Now, my mouth is watering already for ribs. This is why I wanted a smoker, for pork. Grabbed spare ribs from Sam's and cut them St. Louis style (first time cutting.) Had to cut them in half to fit as well as I stuck the chunk on the end (brisket I've read in the cutting instructions around the internet?) on the racks also. Could fit 2 racks with the brisket chunk on the 2 grates. That will be plenty, the ribs are a side dish today so everyone can have a try. Third rack I tossed in the freezer for a meal later for myself and my oldest daughter who recently found out loves ribs. Tried to do a shoulder not long ago before the smoker in a regular roaster. Had it thickly coated up with rub and found out we aren't a big fan of a lot of rub. It really overpowered the flavor of the pork. Thus, I dusted the ribs pretty well, but didn't coat them like I see in so many videos, pictures, and TV BBQ shows. The BBQ sauce we normally make is a fam. recipe from my mother-in-law, so I know that will be a hit. Can't wait til lunchtime!
  2. Ha ha about the bears. I forgot I asked about that not long ago. I guess you guys do remember me, LOL. Smoker been chugging along for about an hour now with a whole chicken in it for my first smoke. Also wrapped up a few potatoes (don't know if I would want the smoke on them) and left them in the box. Plan on twice baked potatoes for those guys. Royal Oak lump charcoal, found a site online comparing the lump charcoal and this is what I chose (Wifey works at Lowes, but after looking at the site, I didn't want the Cowboy charcoal that Lowes sells.) Haven't sealed the doors, but Wifey also bought a metal kitchen collander for the charcoal. It seems to be choking off after about an hour. I forgot about the vegetable grill woks that I've since read folks are using. That would have much bigger holes to shake the ash down out of and get air to. Bottom vents wide open. Using Hickory chunks. Wow, they burn up fast. I thought they would just sit and smolder a long time. They are burning up in minutes it seems. I wanted to cook the chicken at 250-275°, but I can't hold it there. It was sitting nice at 275° exactly for about 45 minutes, but it dwindled down to about 230° right now. Difference between an oven thermometer inside and the gage on the outside is just about 75°. I've been reading the difference is generally 50° from the door gauge to a thermometer at the racks. One more thing is, the water in the pan goes fast. I didn't expect it to go that fast (about an hour.) It's tough to refill it when there's food in there and a fire underneath it. Couple more hours and we'll see how she did. I'll post back.
  3. Howdy folks. Haven't been here forever, you all probably don't even remember me. I was involved in the big photography discussions way back. Anyways, I turn 40 on Saturday. Wifey asked me to move the big bag of chicken feed into the shed and I knew something was up. She's a resourceful lady and would never ask me to move a half used 40 lb. bag of chicken feed for her. I walked into the shed and there sat a smoker she bought me for me B-day! It's nothing special, just the old cheap Brinkmann vertical charcoal smoker, but I've been wanting one after reading a bunch on how to mod it to work better. The cheapo one is much easier on our pocketbooks. So, tomorrow I'll be seasoning it up getting ready for something to smoke on Saturday. Instead of taking me out to dinner, I get to cook! This will give me 2 days to do a dry run if I need it to figure out how to hold at 225°. She has a whole chicken roaster in the freezer. I was going to start with that, figured it would be simple enough. I plan to just season it up with sage, thyme, and rosemary, Wifey's typical seasonings she uses on the Thanksgiving turkey. Sunday, she has a picnic planned out at the local state park. We typically do a BYOF when we get the family all together out at the park, but I think I will be waking up early to try my hand at my first ribs to take along. I'm already penciled in by Wifey to do the Thanksgiving turkey come November. She doesn't even know how it's going to work out for me yet, LOL. Been reading a lot here and there about smoking, so I've got a lot of book knowledge, just no practical knowledge yet. Got 6 new chicks a few months ago and 2 of them we think are roosters, so I've got at least 2 future birds to practice with smoke probably come fall before Thanksgiving time. Look forward to spend some time here again. Not to worry, I still have the same old camera and can get the smoker porn going that you all love.
  4. Not sure how that keeps the bears away from the smoker scenting up the air all night, but... thanks?
  5. Howdy folks. Haven't been on the board forever and don't even know if the same folks are around.... Been wanting a smoker, just a small upright unit, a cheapie to modify lightly to get it working better. Then I thought of something.... We have a lot of family gatherings in the summers usually for lunchtime. I figured once getting the hang of running a smoker, I ought to be able to fire up late at night and let it cook all night long. That would be the only way to get a long smoke done for a lunchtime get-together. But then I thought of something.... What to do about wildlife? Wouldn't a bear be real interested when he smelled a nice hunk of meat smoking away? How do you smoke all night out in the middle of the yard without the need to stay out all night? Actually, it wouldn't do any good staying out all night in the event a hungry bear shows up for an early picnic, I think I would be high tailing it out of there anyways. How do you keep the wildlife away if you don't live closer to the city/suburbs where all you would have to worry about was squirrels and rabbits?
  6. 2 out of 4, seems you are correct!
  7. FYI, Snap away in the dead of winter. Taking a warm camera out in the cold isn't the problem, there's no moisture in the air in the cold. The problem is taking the cold camera back into the warm humid indoors. The problem is the condensation forms when the moisture in the air inside hits the cold camera. Take a large ziplock bag with you. After using the camera, put the camera into the ziplock bag and bring it inside. Wait until the camera is back up to room temperature before you take it out of the bag again. This prevents the humid air inside from making contact with the camera until the camera is warmed back up and it won't develop condensation. During the lunar eclipse of last year, my camera sat on a tripod out in the yard for 6 hours in 18F cold as I ran out every hour to capture the eclipse. I put it into a ziplock bag outside and brought it in. It took a while to actually warm up, but no condensation problems arose because the humid air couldn't touch the cold camera. I will say, there was condensation on the outside of the bag, but couldn't touch the camera.
  8. If I had gotten a new fuel tank, I would have been out grilling with our 33.5 inches of snow through February or not. Snow wouldn't keep me from grilling. My suspected leaky tank keeps me from grilling, but taxes due, heating oil, car insurance, and all doctor and hospital bills keep the leaky tank from getting replaced. Why should snow keep you from grilling even if you don't have a covered porch? (which I do) That's why shovels were invented. Oh, and my grill is less than a year old, there's no replacement in the near future. I do have to scrub it down. Did a lot of grilling between Father's Day and late fall.
  9. The Superbowl is on? LOL. Not a football fan. I did my sports watching today at noon after the Pens made the 9 hour trek from Montreal to Washington getting in at 2 am last night. So, the Superbowl menu was a couple of graham crackers as a snack tonight, and then I remembered the Superbowl. Turned it on, but had to go hunt down some clothes for work tomorrow (our washer broke yesterday, just on the first load to catch laundry up) and I ended up on the computer. I suppose I'll go watch the 4th quarter so that I'm not completely lost during the inevitable conversations tomorrow.
  10. Could be worse. I am in Pittsburgh territory and a huge hockey fan. Direct TV has gotten rid of Versus due to a cost dispute, of which many games are broadcast and of which they have exclusive rights to play the semi-finals and the finals for the Stanley Cup. I'm going to be really ticked off if the Pens make it to 3 straight Cup finals and I can see it. Can't watch tonight's game either, though sounds like I don't want to see with it being 3-1 Buffalo right now. Back to the topic at hand, my oldest daughter is on a Mythbusters kick, so we have 20 episodes recorded. I'm out of room to have recorded this on the Travel Channel. Looks like we need to go on a Mythbusters party the next few nights to make some room.
  11. I'm wondering why someone of the name "Wood" needs to ask what "Grill Porn" is.....
  12. Hey Grilling, love the website/blog thing going on in your signature which I just noticed, checked out last night, and bookmarked. Now I can't wait to see some smokin in the blog in the future. I'm hoping the funds are there for Father's Day to get the same. My girls got me my grill last year and now I'm shooting for a smoker. Unfortunately, we are going on our first family vacation to Disney (unfortunately? Yeah, right... ) so this might not happen.
  13. I don't know why they call this stuff hamburger helper. It does just fine by itself, huh? Cousin Eddie, 1983
  14. A pet. We had a pet deer at my high school girlfriend's house. My girlfriend's sister and her boyfriend found a nearly newborn fawn laying beside it's dead mother on the side of the road. They brought it home and we took care of it in the basement. When it was big enough, we let it go. Every single night at 6 pm it would come to the house for "dinner". Imagine having houseguests over when at 6 pm you hear something clomping at the door and in walks a deer when you open it. It finally quit coming to the house through the summer. We could still see it up in the woods, but it would no longer allow you near it (it would just walk away from you, not run scared or anything.) Then November came along and Thanksgiving came. There we all were eating turkey with nearly her entire family when we hear a clomping at the door. Opened the door and in walks this gigantic deer. That was the very last time it came to the house, almost as if to visit for Thanksgiving before going on it's merry way of life.
  15. Screw the camera settings, beach, pack that up in a box and send it my way. It looks fantastic tasting! About the picture in the original post. It is blurry. The reason it is blurry is not the fault of the "camera". There is motion blur from the "camera" not using a faster enough shutter speed due to the lack of light. You need more light and the "camera" would have done quite a nicer job on the image.