My first attempt at smoking meat on a compact bullet smoker

The Aston Martin in the background looks great! The meat looks like road kill, but that it a problem with photographed food in general. I’m sure it was wonderful, Jason!

Can’t make it for dinner tonight, by the way. My cat is giving birth.

From what i’ve seen there is actually a handheld smoker that can be used to cold smoke food stuffs. I’ve seen two youtube cooking channels use them and they seemed to be pretty well liked. Here’s one of them:

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Part of it is how much smoke you apply, as in how far into the cook you keep adding/smuldering wood. But a big part of it is how clean the smoke is. A well managed and aerated fire will push out so called blue smoke. Basically thin, wispy, transparent bluish white smoke without much creosote too it. That’s where you get your mild, sweet smoke flavor. Thick opaque completely white smoke carries a lot more combustion products, and tastes heavier and more acrid. And full on dirty gray, yellow or brown smoke just covers your meat in ashy grossness.

Blue smoke is prized as the sign of good fire management and its treated as the goal for proper cue. But a lot of people who like heavy smoke complain that meats cooked with the cleanest smoke are under smoked or too mild. That’s part of why many people complain about pellet smokers not being smokey enough. So to a certain extent ots personal taste.

I think pellet smokers might be the way to go if he really doesn’t want to deal with bullshit.

But I’ve been reading up on them recently and Traeger’s reputation isn’t as good these days. Quality is inconsistent, they use a controller many people hate. And comparable quality cookers are available for less than half the price. Cheap cookers about equivalent to Traeger’s people seem to go for Pit Boss or Zgrills (actually Traeger’s old Chinese factory shipping Traeger’s old designs). And for higher quality Camp Chef, Green Mountain Grills and a couple other brands.

Smoke gun. Brevelle makes a good one. They’re only really useful for really small quantities. But fun fact, the first one on the market was a rebranded “tobacco” vaporizer. Modernist chefs had been using pot vapes for this for a while, and some one got the notion to actually sell one as a smoke gun.


Agreed. There is a very noticable difference between a weber and the budget manufacturers, the parts are better, the metal is heftier, the manufacturing is perfect. If one can eat the up front cost the weber is going to last a lot longer than a budget model and end up costing less.

I once found a gently used weber sitting in the trash pickup, maybe one of my best finds!


I point anyone who has a Weber kettle here:

This gadget has changed my life. Nothing makes it easier to hold a low temperature for hours of smoking.

And here’s the barbecue sauce I have sworn by since my dad first started bringing it home when I was about seven or eight -


The list of aftermarket things you can make or buy to hack a Weber kettle is amazingly long, too. And practically everything on the grill is available as a replacement part.

“Name brands” are often overrated. But not this one.


That is so true


Without knowing the whole setup, I’d suggest wrapping in butcher paper once the initial bark forms. That stops the surface smoking while keeping the low-and-slow heat doing its thing.

(written while finishing the last of my leftover beef brisket - time to smoke a new one!)

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There’s nothing wrong with using a low-and-slow method (sous vide, crock pot) with a bit of liquid smoke to give that BBQ effect. Stubbs makes great liquid smoke, if you can find it.




I’m not really sure where You guys are coming from. A base model 18" kettle is less than $100 at msrp. They’re really only marginally more expensive than comparable capacity and feature light budget brands. And a kettle with a slow n sear or smokenator and a decent probe thermometer is just about the cheapest competition grade smoker you can buy. And they’re a fraction of the cost of any decent propane grill.

Far from the Cadillac of grills, more like the late 80’s ford f150 of grills. Their nearest equivalents in terms of both quality and history/reputation are Napoleon and Portable Kitchen and both are much more expensive. And any kind of dedicated smoker worth a damn is gonna costs at least 2x (as even their own bullet smokers do). Aside from the fact like charcoal burning ceramic komados and other styles of charcoal burner start much higher (komados around the $1000 mark). There are all sorts of crazy luxury brand grills and built ins that cost much, much more.

Webers just aren’t a high cost product by any measure. They’re just a good one, and that doesn’t come at dollar store prices.

I have a smokenator, an earlier style of charcoal devider/smoker. Its covered so it doesn’t help with searing but it converts a kettle into one hell of a smoker. Bit of a bitch to load though. I’d definitely point anyone and everyone to the slow n sear.

I would say there is something wrong with using a low and slow wet method. Braising (which is what crock pots and wrapped in foil do) tends to render a different, wetter, soft and even mushy texture. And cooking in liquid pulls meat flavor our of the cut and into that liquid. Resulting in blander, less meaty meat.

And its never made much sense to me. Barbeque is essentially just slow roasting. And you can pretty effectively replicate it by following the exact same temps and cook methods you would on a grill. Just in the oven. You tend not to get true bark, and it wont hit a stall so it’ll cook faster. And both of those are down to better convection in the oven over a smoker.

Yep, and if you are ever trying to cook in a Russian winter, Napoleon is not the brand to buy.

Yeah you’re going to need something double walled or insulated for that.

There’s some irony about a Napoleon brand not doing well in a Russian winter.


Just gave my smoker away as part of my downsizing plan. After seeing those pix I’ve got to pick up something from Famous Dave’s and start counting the days until the next Big Pig Jig.


I almost bit my reed on that comment.

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An Orion Cooker is an interesting compromise for smoking also. It keeps the meat wonderfully ■■■■■, but only mildly smokey. I also have a Weber,
and use it to smoke meats for an hour or two and then use the Orion.

Could you fit one of these in the Orion?

They’re a pretty common way to add additional smoke without additional heat. Useful for cold smoking and a lot of the pellet grill guys use them to get more smoke at certain temps.

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For the average joe shopping the average joe grills at the average joe shops, weber does have a premium price when compared to the other thin tin grills sitting next to it. And for that shopper they are worth the extra dollars, they really are.
You are obviously no average joe and shop the high end stuff, different experience.

Nope. Definitely not a high end person. I just comparison shop and do my research. There are much cheaper grills, but they aren’t “average joe” grills. They’re discount, no name stuff. Any remotely quality charcoal grill in the affordable end of the market. From a recognizable brand comes in right around where Weber does. They’re a small premium over something like a Charbroil, but comparable quality grill brands are priced about as much above Weber as Weber is above the slightly cheaper ones.

Like I said. A no frills, basic 16" Weber kettle lists at $89.99. The smallest base model gas grill lists at $350. And they’re almost always available at lower than list through the big box stores. We recently chipped in to buy a basic Weber gaser for a friend as a house warming gift. We got a spirit 210 with cover, tool set and a propane tank for $300, with assembly.

These are not crazy balls fancy guy prices. You can certainly pay a crazy amount for a fully tricked out version of the larger grills. But Webers sit easily in Average Joe territory.

Unless you’re in Europe. From what I hear they sell for crazy balls money vs local brands.