Friday, August 09, 2013

Smoke A Little Smoke

So for my birthday my darling wife thoughtfully bought me a Brinkman Charcoal Gourmet Smoker:

This was highly altruistic on her part, and the fact that a friend of hers had a husband that had just smoked some fish and had just happened to bring it into the office gave her quite the inspiration. She wanted me to set it up prior to my birthday to thoroughly test it so it would be ready.  How better to test it than by smoking fish?

Assembly was pretty straight forward and with the help of an electric drill didn't take long. Its a very simple contraption - a base, a charcoal holder that goes in the base, the main cylinder that holds a water bowl for smoking and two cooking grates and a lid.

After studying up on smoking on the internets and this model in particular, the only thing I needed to add was a Brinkmann Temperature Gauge as the stock gauge has only the unhelpful words Warm, Ideal and Hot on the dial, which is insufficient for proper smoking.

The temperature gauge was easily installed by drilling a 3/8" hole in the metal and it screwed into place perfectly with no slop.

In no time at all using a Weber Chimney Starter , Lump Charcoal, and soaked Cherry Wood Chunks  I was smoking away.

The first fish I smoked was a Chinook salmon fillet. I followed Alton Brown's smoked salmon curing recipe and instructions and it came out great if a little heavily salty.

Then two days later I made some smoked Scottish salmon steaks and a fillet of Rainbow Trout - if anything both came out better than the Chinook.

The Trout:

The Scottish Salmon steaks:

These were so good everyone was fighting for more. Exquisitely yummy doesn't begin to describe them.  Were talking the best lox you've ever had.

And today for my birthday I smoked some chicken drumsticks. They came out Awesome.

A great and useful birthday present, and highly recommended if you want to get into effective and easy smoking but not spend an arm and a leg doing so.

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