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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 01-23-2007, 08:53 PM   #1
Hawgsnheifers
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Smile New Pitmaster of a Southern Pride Smoker

February 1st I became the Pitmaster of a Southern Pride XLR-1400-SLSE at a local Micro Brewery and resturant. A co-worker purchased the business and he liked my BBQ so much he asked me to bring the "Q" back to life at this place. I saw the smoker for the first time today and "OMG". You could put a half dozen corpses in this sucker.

See it here http://www.southern-pride.com/p/pits_xlr-1400-slse.php

Anyway, currently they use a mix of hickory oak and apple. I can't remember where I read this but I thought if you mixed some woods it would make the meat taste bitter? Any of the brothers out there have any experience with mixing woods? I was also amazed when I was told that they use green wood. I thought you had to let any wood age a little before you used it to smoke with? According to the manufacturer, Southern Pride, you're supposed to use green wood in this monster.

There were some sheets by the smoker which had directions for smoking different types of meat. Brisket for 14 hours at 175? Sounds too low. All the temps seemd too low and the time too short. Guess that's why the current customers say the Q is tough and nasty.

Anyway, if any of you brothers out there know anything about this smoker, what works and what doesn't, mixing of woods etc. let me know. Wish me luck.... I think I'm gonna need it.
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Unread 01-23-2007, 08:56 PM   #2
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Congratulations on a super cool gig! I've heard that about the green woods with those cookers because they draft so well you need green wood to help get a good smokey flavor.

I wonder if Willie B would have a second to chime in about using one of those suckers. I say try a few test runs with each wood and see which you like and which could be harmonious.
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Unread 01-23-2007, 09:05 PM   #3
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I dont know about green but the mix of apple oak and hickory is fine. I think that is the mix Paul Kirk talks about in his book.
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Unread 01-23-2007, 09:51 PM   #4
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That is an awesome pit; I see them at many commercial establishments and figure Willy B would be the best source from around here.
I too heard the mix wood-bitter thing but believe that only to be true with some of the 'stronger' varieties like mesquite. Blending gentler cuts should be fine.
I would stay away from green in my humble opinion no matter what I was cooking on but I will defer to those who actually cook on Southern Prides.
Congratulations and keep us posted.
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Unread 01-23-2007, 09:52 PM   #5
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Don't know about the Southern Pride specifically, but I mix woods all the time. Cherry and Hickory, Appled and Hickory, and Pecan and Cherry are some mixes I commonly use.

The green wood question sure is interesting. Hope someone who knows this cooker chimes in. Goes against everything I think I know. Congrats on the new job!
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Unread 01-23-2007, 10:00 PM   #6
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Fark. That is a little bigger than a WSM. Whens the bash?
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Unread 01-23-2007, 10:01 PM   #7
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mixing wood is fine.. dont worry about that.

The faster cooks are due to the convection of those cookers.. open them up and your hit with a powered blast of hot air.. not just draft. Meat cooks in 2/3 of the time if not faster.

I think the concept of the green wood is that it wont vaporize as fast as dried when it gets hit with that gas fired blue flame. I havent seen it used with green wood, but on willies 500 or 1000 using the recommended amount of 2-3 dried logs does NOT give the depth of smoke flavor you get in a steel pit. i would give it a try with some green to see how it comes out, or used more than the recommended amount if you want the smoke WE are accoustomed to. But be careful, the general pulic may prefer the lesser smoke flavoring.
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Unread 01-23-2007, 10:54 PM   #8
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I'm not sure if its the exact same cooker or not, but we use a very similar Southern Pride for the Kookers Kare charity event each March. Its the only time of the year we get to cook with it, to I don't know much about it. Randy and I cooked 9 cases of butts on it last year for Kookers Kare. Used like 2 sticks of very cured hickory. It is one sweet pit.

Where's the Brewery? What's the name?
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Unread 01-23-2007, 11:04 PM   #9
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I've seen 'em used and I agree with Todd ....very sweet pit!! THe one I saw in use was in TExas and a Friend of mine was cooking on it....I distinctly remember him going on and on about how the thing used GREEN wood! THey used Hickory in theirs....All the Q I had off of it, tatsed pretty good IMHO!!!
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Unread 01-23-2007, 11:08 PM   #10
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This is me about 90 lbs. heavier and looking very sad at last year's Kookers Kare. You are gonna love that pit.
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Unread 01-23-2007, 11:08 PM   #11
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Dunno, I use that wood mix and others all the time without my meat being bitter. However, I have no experience using green mixed wood. Perhaps, mixed green wood is bitter, but again I have no experience with that.
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Unread 01-24-2007, 08:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plowboy
I'm not sure if its the exact same cooker or not, but we use a very similar Southern Pride for the Kookers Kare charity event each March. Its the only time of the year we get to cook with it, to I don't know much about it. Randy and I cooked 9 cases of butts on it last year for Kookers Kare. Used like 2 sticks of very cured hickory. It is one sweet pit.

Where's the Brewery? What's the name?
It's the Blind Tiger Brewery & Resturant located in Topeka Kansas.

http://www.blindtiger.com

It's been around for a about 12 years or so and the Brewmaster that has been there for about as long has won many gold medal awards for his beer. He even makes his own root beer. Some customers say the burgers are the best in the area and the Chicken Fried Steak is also a favorite. I think all the stuff is there to get the "Q" back as one of the menu favorites, it's just going to take someone that want's to get it there. The low paid fry cooks don't have much love for "low and slow".
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Unread 01-24-2007, 08:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plowboy
This is me about 90 lbs. heavier and looking very sad at last year's Kookers Kare. You are gonna love that pit.
Todd that is one sad looking look on your face, man!

You look much happier/healthier these days....glad to see that.

On topic-- Robert Pearson ran a legendary bbq place here in the city for years....Texas style food. He used only green hickory in his J&R..for what that's worth.
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Unread 01-24-2007, 08:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawgsnheifers
It's the Blind Tiger Brewery & Resturant located in Topeka Kansas.

http://www.blindtiger.com

It's been around for a about 12 years or so and the Brewmaster that has been there for about as long has won many gold medal awards for his beer. He even makes his own root beer. Some customers say the burgers are the best in the area and the Chicken Fried Steak is also a favorite. I think all the stuff is there to get the "Q" back as one of the menu favorites, it's just going to take someone that want's to get it there. The low paid fry cooks don't have much love for "low and slow".
If I ever get that way, I'll be sure to check it out. Good luck. Hope you enjoy the new gig.
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Unread 01-24-2007, 09:05 AM   #15
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How much time do you have to get over the learning curve?

You may need to experiment for a while to get where you want to go. How old is the smoker? The reason I ask is because it is probably well seasoned or maybe too seasoned. I am just making a logical suggestion due to the fact that you say their BBQ isn't what it should be. I would imagine calling the manufacturer would lead to most of your questions regarding the smoker being answered.

Being a professional in the going out to eat industry in my past life. Actually, my cousin is an executive chef at for the Hyatt corp and I have went restaurant sampling with him when he was developing new menus for the Fort Worth Hyatt a few years ago. There is a lot to consider when running a restaurant. Menu preparation being at the top of the list, that said, you have concerns where beer may top your list. I would have to say that your main concern will probably be finding quality cuts of meat to smoke. They are available and probably do not need to be found as we all know. I just mean that quality cuts of meat far surpass select cuts. I would imagine that the smoker is working fine. Have you inquired from the other workers or patrons as to what has been the problem with the current BBQ being offered?

Back to the meat. I would also imagine that consistant cuts of meat are also to be considered to consistantly produce quality BBQ.

just my 2 cents
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