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Old 09-20-2010, 08:03 PM   #1
Happy Highwayman
Knows what a fatty is.
Join Date: 09-05-10
Location: San Francisco, CA
Default Flavor: Electric vs. charcoal

I find food grilled over charcoal to be generally tastier than food cooked on a propane grill, electric grill or stove top griddle. When I use my Little Brown Egg, it's getting the smokey flavor from the burning wood chips, but naturally no flavor from the cooker itself.

1. Am I losing a lot of the flavor by going electric? The best ribs I've ever done have been on the Weber kettle with charcoal, I intend to try them electric this weekend and compare.

2. On long smokes, I've been smoking it "three times", as my smoker box can go about an hour with a mix of dry and soaked chips. After that I just let it stabilize in temp and let it go until done. Is there any reason NOT to finish it in the oven once I'm done the smoke-flavor imparting process? Should I be smoking longer? I'm switching from chips to chunks to see if I can extend the times between opening the smoker.

You guys have been awesome and supportive and I'm glad I joined this forum.
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Old 09-20-2010, 08:11 PM   #2
somebody shut me the fark up.
Join Date: 01-26-10
Location: Virginia

I am not one of those guys who say you can't cook good tasting pork on an electric cooker. That being said, a real smoker does give better results.

However, when you foil the meat, all that matters is the heat. There is some debate over how long meat can absorb smoke. But, most agree that 3 hours is the maximum amount of time that pork can absorb smoke flavor when being cooked at around 225 F. After that, and if the meat is foiled (that's a key), an oven or a smoker makes very, very little difference in flavor if any at all.

To me, smoking the meat for up to 3 hours and then finishing in the oven (meat covered with foil) gives very similar results if finished in a smoker and covered with foil. If you are not foiling, an oven can make a bad difference in flavor, sometimes. I can't explain it, but I have experienced it.
Operation BBQ Relief Founding Member - I am Obsessive Compulsive about BBQ. Google it.
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Old 09-20-2010, 08:14 PM   #3
Happy Highwayman
Knows what a fatty is.
Join Date: 09-05-10
Location: San Francisco, CA

Sweet. At some point I see myself building a UDS, when I feel ambitious.

or I might cheat and get a Weber Smokey Mountain or whatever the mini water smokers are called.
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Old 09-20-2010, 09:39 PM   #4
is One Chatty Farker
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Join Date: 03-22-05
Location: Ohio

just curious..what type of electric smoker do you have?

GOSM smoker (gas)
Masterbuilt (electric)
Weber Kettle
Weber Gasser (2)
Weber WSM

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me then a frontal lobotomy
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Old 09-20-2010, 09:53 PM   #5
Knows what a fatty is.
samiam's Avatar
Join Date: 08-29-10
Location: Belmont, CA

Originally Posted by boatnut View Post
just curious..what type of electric smoker do you have?

Here is his build thread.
Homemade Little Brown Egg Smoker 18" & Purple Pig Smoker Drum
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Old 09-20-2010, 09:56 PM   #6
On the road to being a farker
Join Date: 09-25-09
Location: San Antonio Texas. Yeah Baby!

i agree with the oven/wrap thing. i disagree with the time that smoke will penetrate the meat. i go more for meat temp pretty much like the smoke ring theory.
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Old 09-20-2010, 10:15 PM   #7
is Blowin Smoke!
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Join Date: 06-05-08
Location: Council Bluffs, Iowa

Electric smoker! Put it in the oven same thing, electric. Ok mine is electric. I don't like eating BBQ out and find out the place is using an electric smoker, no diff than cooking it in my oven, all's I have to do is add wood chips. Of course it would smoke the house up for awhile.
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:07 AM   #8
Babbling Farker
Join Date: 11-26-08
Location: Ormond Beach, Florida

As you can see from my signature i have several different ways to get it done. I modified my electric master built with a smoke pistol to get the amount of smoke we like, I can but 4 butts in it (8 if i pack them in) and set the temperature at 225 and just keep adding smoke pistol tubes for smoke flavor. They always come out really nice. But i also really enjoy doing long smokes on my Weber and Egg, flavor is always great. I don't foil I prefer to just let it go until done. Good luck and enjoy! Remember: Practice makes good eats!

Pron added to show the bark my master built develops.
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Weber Spirit E-310 Gasser
1 - Big Green Egg - Large
2 - 22.5 Weber Kettles
2 - 18.5 Weber Kettle
1 - WSM Mini

I live in fear that my Wife will sell all my "TOYS" when I die for WHAT I told her I paid for them!!

Last edited by aquablue22; 09-21-2010 at 10:08 AM..
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:27 AM   #9
Full Fledged Farker
Join Date: 06-02-10
Location: NW Florida

my electric smoker broke last week so I had to use my UDS for a couple of big smokes over the weekend, four butts for sat, ham for sunday.

The electric smoker is very nice, convient, and produces good food. the UDS (charcoal/lump) takes more work, but it does produce better tasting food. More smoke flavor. And one thing the UDS did the electric didn't do was produce a bark. The electric nevery got a burnt/singe/bark on the food.

If I really wanted to impress, the charcoal is the way to go. But to me the electric isn't far behind and the convience is and extremely big pro. Heck, I used to put butts in the morning before work and have pulled pork that evening. Or throw chicken in the elect smoker before ball practice and have a nice supper when we got home with little work.
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:50 AM   #10
Babbling Farker
Join Date: 02-28-10
Location: North Potomac, MD

This is a mixed bag:

When it comes to chicken and fish, hands down, my Bradley is superior:

Cooked on the Bradley - Proof is in the puddin

Look at the even color... it was amazingly moist, tender, and tasty.

But with butt, brisket, or ribs, hands down, it's my Weber.

Before I bought my Bradley, I read a lot about it. On the Bradley forum they pointed out that when Bradley's were first introduced, some used them in comps, and they won. They were promptly banished from comps. Bradley was quite proud of this.
Graduate: Jack's Old South BBQ School, Smokin Triggers BBQ School, Paul Kirk BBQ School
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