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BigSmoky 12-02-2011 02:11 AM

Orion Cooker-Quick Batch on T-Day-Picture Heavy
Been lurking. I have an Orion Cooker that we use quit a bit. Also have a Buried Drum Smoker, a side burner smoker/grille, and a Weber Kettle.

We are building a place in a remote area and there is always way more work on the projects than there is time to devote to cooking. So the Orion works for us in that we can cook a variety of meats quickly and then over the next 4-5 days have easy/quick meals since the entrees are basically done. Just reheat the meat and add a few sides and we have gourmet meals and still can get back to the projects in no time. Looking forward to the time when I can begin to use the other BBQ's that we have. I have been eye-balling the UDS here and have a barrel :heh:

Lots of pics follow:

This thanksgiving batch of grub came out well in the Orion: a 3-pak of Costco Pork ribs, a Beef Rib Roast from Ralph's, and a herb marinated Turkey Breast from Costco.

Above: The cooker table that I cobbled together. I place it in a little nook by the back door to the shop where the wind is minimized by the fencing and building.

Cedar Table has a travertine tile top and gets the cooker up where it is easy to load and fire.

I line the Orion drip pan with non-stick foil.

Above: Drip pan goes into the bottom of the cooker.

Soaked a mix of apple and mesquite chips in a pot with warm water.
Spread the soaked chips around the drip pan and against the inside of the cooker's wall.

Load the Easy Light charcoal around the Orion's burner surround. (yes this cooker uses a lot of expensive charcoal. You can use cheaper charcoal and lighter fluid instead)

More charcoal goes into the Cooker's lid holder, which aides in convection.

Trussed Turkey Breast and Rib Roast on the grille. The Digital thermometer probe is in the breast.

Ribs on holders above the grille

All three meats are in the cooker

Charcoal is lit and white-hot and the temp starts building inside.

around 2 hours and at 185F the cooker is opened.

The Beef roast and Turkey breast were done to perfection. Both were very tender and moist. The ribs pulled right off the bone. All the meats have a distinct smoke flavor. Wife made a barley soup using the rib roast and it had a mild smoke flavor too. No shortage of smoke flavor in the Orion.

The trussed breast almost turned into a Turkey breast Log.

Needless to say, we had enough to eat for the 5 days we were out building fence.

Phubar 12-02-2011 03:55 AM

Thanks for the Pron!

aquablue22 12-02-2011 05:54 AM

Cool, always wondered how those works, look good. Thanks for sharing.

K-Train 12-02-2011 08:12 AM

I have an Orion as well. I did two turkey's for T-Day. Came out very well. I have also done ribs and boston butt as well and they have also come out pretty tasty.:-D

Teleking 12-02-2011 08:42 AM

How do you not get bad smoke flavor in a low oxygen environment? No vent for stale smoke.

Sly-one 12-02-2011 08:46 AM

Looks tasty! Thanks for sharing. I have also been wondering about how well the Orion's cook.

Militant83 12-02-2011 08:49 AM

looks good

K-Train 12-02-2011 10:58 AM

"How do you not get bad smoke flavor in a low oxygen environment? No vent for stale smoke."
I open the lid on mine every 1/2 hour or so to let more 02 in, which also lets some smoke out.

BigSmoky 12-02-2011 12:01 PM

Thanks for the comments/compliments.

RE: Bad Smoke questions- It's never been an issue. I know what bad smoke is because I had a nasty batch of chicken in the side burner smoker one time from using green wood.

Guessing that the smoke is drafting out of this cooker due to the gap between the cover/lid and the main "can" caused by the rather thick braided thermometer probe. There is a constant stream of light colored smoke coming up from the seam for the last hour of the cook. I don't force the lid down because it can destroy the thermometer's wires. Maybe that is why-and just getting lucky. never thought about the bad smoke. have cooked whole chickens and loads of wings before and the smoked chicken flavor is the real deal.

One thing: The Orion cookbook has you time the cook and leave it sealed. I have found that not to work for us because we are at 5000 feet altitude and cooking sometimes when nit is 20 deg. F outside. So I use a probe.

BTW- After this cook, the chips were all charred and the drip pan was 3/4's full of liquid.

Lastly-these Orions are a PITA to clean. I sometimes fill with soap and water and let it soak overnight. Too cold for that now. Just bought a pressure washer-so maybe that will help.

thirtydaZe 12-02-2011 01:02 PM


Ryan Chester 12-02-2011 01:16 PM

Nice job. Orions rock when you are in a pinch! I never had a bad smoke flavor with mine and I never cracked the lid.

K-Train 12-02-2011 01:52 PM

To clean it get some Super Clean. I order mine at Ace Hardware. Works like a charm.

BigSmoky 12-02-2011 05:07 PM


Originally Posted by K-Train (Post 1867798)
To clean it get some Super Clean. I order mine at Ace Hardware. Works like a charm.

Thanks for the tip. I'll try that!:thumb:

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