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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 03-03-2009, 09:09 AM   #1
DeoreDX
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Default Rookie Mistake #1, maybe I should pay attention to the weather man?

Last Saturday was an interesting day in Alabama. Woke up to lightning strikes so frequent it sounded like God himself was microwaving popcorn outside. The threat of tornadoes loomed all morning. At one point the TV reporter said "We have word of a funnel on the ground south of Opelika"

Sipping my coffee I think to myself "I live south of Opelika"

He then said "The tornado is on the ground between highways 51 and 169"

I thought to myself "Hey, I live between 51 and 169"

It took a minute to realize what this exactly ment, beyond the standard Saturday bad weather I guess I am not playing golf today thought. (Luckily it hit about 3 miles south of me)

But the weather that evening was perfect. Bright, sunny, upper 60's, perfect weather to be outdoors. "This is perfect weather to smoke something" I thought to myself with gleeful optimism. The night before I was cleaning my smoker out from some Rock game hans I had cook and figured out I could maintain low heat (~150) not by turning the control as low as it would go, but by turning it the opposite direction between "High" and Off". Maybe I could smoke some fish? I was wearing shorts as I made my way to Sam's club to pick up 3lbs of salmon to try out on the smoker.

I did a bunch of internet research and had sort of a game plan with my fish. My plan of attack was very similar to the Johnny Cash tune 'One Piece at a time' where he would take a bumper here, a fender there, a tranny from this, and a windshield from that to make a monstrosity of a car. I think I used bits from about 10 different recipes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1-zzJnKtDg

That night I put on a dry rub of dark brown sugar, salt, and garlic and let it sit over night. I set the alarm early and got up at 6 to rise the rub off and let me Salmon start to dry on my wife's cookie rack (She was still asleep, she'll never notice). I grabbed a cup of coffee, my little Netbook, and sat on the couch and turned on a little ESPN to spend a nice relaxing Sunday morning with no Tornadoes. That's when I looked out the french doors leading to the patio and noticed about a inch of snow sitting on top of my new lovely GOSM.

In my 15 years of living in Alabama it has snowed exactly 2 times, well three times if'n you count Sunday. The poem "To a Mouse" by Robert Burns comes to mind with his famous quote about the schemes of Mice and Men... but I had 3lbs of freshly brinned Salmon drying on the counter I can't really let a thing like a once a decade snow ruin my fish.

By the time I was ready to smoke the fish I had about 4 inches of snow sitting on top of my smoker. I pulled the cover off and moved it closer to the house where it was at least sheltered a little from the snow. Some snow was still hitting my smoker and I didn't want a bunch of rain water dripping into my smoker. I made a sort of rain hood using my wife's cookie rack and her largest cookie sheet placed upside down in the rack. Perfect rain hood! About a 2" gap between the sheet and the cooker to let the smoke out and the snow hit the sheet a melted and ran off the side keeping my smoker mostly dry. Excellent. I can hear it now "Honey do you think my cookies taste like Salmon and Alder with a bit of Applewood?" Luckily the wind was blowing hard from the north and my patio is on the south side of the house so it was pretty well sheltered from the wind. I jacked the heat on high and let the smoker heat up. I threw a mix of Alder and Applewood in the way too small chip box and waited for the sweet blue smoke to come out.

I tossed my fish in there and did my little trick to jack the heat down low. I was able to maintain a good 160 and I sort of left it alone for a while. About 2 hours into it I changed out the wood chips but that was about it. The way too small chip tray ususally burns out in about an hour at 225-250 but it smoldered for quite a while at 160.

Luckily my fished turned out pretty good. Once it hit 150 it was out of the smoker. Made from some darned good sanwitches and salads. Next time I'll be sure to get pictures for you guys. I will say dealing with the snow was a huge pain in the butt and it would have been much less of a hassle to cook without it, but I didn't let it ruin some good fish when it easily could have.
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Unread 03-03-2009, 09:16 AM   #2
Midnight Smoke
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Glad you stayed safe! As to the cook.... I don't see it!
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Unread 03-03-2009, 09:17 AM   #3
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Great tale (tail?)! Glad your feesh wasn't ruined.
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Unread 03-03-2009, 09:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pork Smoker View Post
Glad you stayed safe! As to the cook.... I don't see it!
Well I have the last piece of the thin tail section in my fridge for lunch today, I'll be sure to snap a picture of it just for you
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Unread 03-03-2009, 09:43 AM   #5
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No pics of the tornado or snow either! Didn't happen! Good imagination, though!
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Unread 03-03-2009, 09:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hachie Qer View Post
No pics of the tornado or snow either! Didn't happen! Good imagination, though!
I got a picture of the snow!

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Unread 03-03-2009, 10:08 AM   #7
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I love a happy fish ending!
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Unread 03-03-2009, 10:40 AM   #8
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Hmmmm...sounds like a fish story to me ;-)

You will learn around here...no pics...no happen...but that's ok...you aren't the first!

Glad to hear everything turned out OK...at least until the next time your wife goes to bake some cookies...
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Unread 03-03-2009, 10:44 AM   #9
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Pictures :) The last of the Salmon. Damn this salad is good!
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File Type: jpg Salmon.jpg (108.6 KB, 100 views)
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Unread 03-03-2009, 10:48 AM   #10
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Wow fine looking salad/salmon!
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Unread 03-03-2009, 12:35 PM   #11
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Wishing i had some of that!
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