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jeffshoaf last won the day on October 6

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  1. I'm in the Western Piedmont area of North Carolina, almost the foothills. There's similar stews throughout the Carolinas and Virgina (did a bit of on-line research last year) with most of the regional differences being various veggies and thickeners, but generally no veggies in my area except for occasionally sneaking in some hot peppers. Just chicken, chicken broth, milk, butter, salt, and pepper, flour- and/or corn starch-based thickening, and served with saltine crackers. I like to add cream or half-and-half and a bit of sour cream, but I have to sneak in the sour cream to keep from upsetting my mother. Some regions add crumbled crackers to the pot as the thickening but not around here. I don't know of anyone measuring anything, everything is added to taste based on the amount of broth but I would guess that extra milk is sometimes used to stretch things for bigger than expected crowds.
  2. that's a thought -- i usually cook the chicken in the instant pot, de-bone, and then use the bones to make additional broth in the instant pot. I could cold smoke the chicken and of the bones. That would work for the bigger stew for the family but not for the occasional quicky for just me.
  3. I found that the KK maintains moisture so well that having the fat cap up left the meat a bit greasier than I like so I go fat cap down. I always went fat cap up in my pre-KK BGE days.
  4. No lump, cold smoker only. Saving a little milk is a side benefit - the goal is to get smoked milk to flavor stews, etc. The dehydration is just to allow longer term storage. Think buttermilk powder, but for smoke. That actually reminds me -- I have some buttermilk powder I got for making bread. I'll try to remember to include that in the cold smoker testing I'm planning for tomorrow.
  5. I let my re-smoking session go for an hour or so, burned less than half the chips in the cold smoker. After I'd shut it down, I realized something that had been nagging at me: while I had good smoke output the whole run, it didn't smell like hickory smoke. That makes me question whether it really was hickory chips; it was Cowboy brand. I have up on Cowboy lump years ago due to qualify and consistency issues and wouldn't have got this butt it was the only brand of "hickory" chips they had and I was too lazy to go anywhere else. The smoke smell didn't remind me of any particular wood smoke (I can usually recognize several types, hickory, mesquite, pecan, oak, etc.), not unpleasant but not really flavorful either. Anyway, the meat did pick up a bit more smoke flavor but not the hickory I was looking for, but the sauce was noticably better than before - it really smoothed and mellowed out. Lexington style sauce (commonly referred to as "dip") generally isn't cooked so I tend to wait until the last moment to make it, but this may lead my to make it earlier so I can smoke it! I'm hoping to continue to experiment tomorrow assuming my back doesn't rebel on me when I do some required chores in the morning. I'm leaning towards using the hickory chunks I have in the cold smoker; this will let me see how the chunks do in the cold smoker as well as verifying the hickory smoke smell/taste. I'll re-smoke some more of the butt as well as smoking the rest of the sauce I have ready.
  6. Still gotta lift the wood up there! Repetitive lifting ain't good for me. I have a kindling cracker to split my splits; I sit in a chair and pivot around to take a piece off the track and put it on the cracker. Is that chain drive or hydraulic or ?
  7. I was thinking that this could be a way to make use of milk that's on the verge of aging out and saving it until I had a use for it; my timing just isn't good enough for that to happen at the same time I want to make a stew!
  8. Per my earlier post, I'm experimenting with the cold smoker a bit. Loaded him up with more of the hickory chips from my earlier butt smoke, removed the charcoal basket from the KK, and I'm resmoking some of the pulled pork as well as some of my Lexington style sauce. Smoke is a-rolling! PXL_20211017_202131075.mp4 PXL_20211017_202214901.mp4 PXL_20211017_202401453.mp4
  9. I have some milk that with a "use by" date of Tuesday and I do need to play with the cold smoker!
  10. I've watched several documentaries about Lennox and have taken inspiration from him (like grilling greens - it's always a struggle for me to Incorporate green leafy stuff into my meals since I'm not a fan of salads), but haven't even thought to check to see if he has any books! Hmmmm... This might be something to do with milk that's getting ready to expire (milk is one thing that I've found the "use by" dates to be pretty accurate) - smoke it and then freeze or dehydrate for future use in soups and stews. I wonder if dehydrating and powdering and then smoking would work? That way, I'd only have to handle it in its liquid form once and there would be less risk of spoiling while smoking.... I haven't made powdered milk yet but I think my dehydrator's manual has instructions.
  11. The corn shuckings were well before my time - they went away as farming automation came in and most farms around here moved to more profitable tobacco and only raised corn for the immediate family and animal feed. It was a way to get will-work-for-food community labor for big time sensitive jobs. I'm sure there were a lot of contests with various incentives. I haven't considered making stew on the KK -- I wouldn't want to wrangle my 8 gallon cast iron pot onto it but the 8 qt one work. That being said, I'd be more likely to use the 8 qt one in the brick bed of my big Santa Maria grill just so I wouldn't have to bend over so far to stir and I could more easily manage the wood fire. Of course, cold smoking the milk and making the stew inside in the instant pot would be easier! I think that a lot of milk/cream based soups/stews/bisques would be enhanced with a touch of smoke.
  12. Thanks, but I'm I'm NC. I've used hickory chunks from the same bag on ribs, pecan chunks for turkey, and mesquite chunks for beef, all with good results with and without using a smoke pot. I've used mesquite chips in a smoke pot with beef with good results. My first run with the cold smoker was with apple wood chips and got over an hour's worth of smoke with the cold smoker about 2/3 full. The only thing I'm having trouble with is Boston butts. I got a big Santa Maria-style grill earlier this year and bought a 1/2 cord of kiln dried oak since I couldn't find any seasoned wood; I've gotten a nice touch of mild smoke flavor on everything I've grilled with it but it's hard to say how much of the mildness is from the wood bring kiln dried and how much is from the open nature of the grill. I got enough of splitting wood when I was growing up and we had a wood furnace, plus my back is shot. I'll split wood splits into smaller splits for kindling now but I'm certainly not going to split a 1/2 cord!
  13. Since I've had success getting ribs good and smokey-tasting, I wonder if the length of the cook is playing some part? Might need to try a hot and fast butt to see if that makes a difference. Start the fire around 8 am, 2 hour preheat/soak, 4-5 hours at 350*, and an hour or so to rest should work and doing it during the day would allow monitoring/refilling the cold smoker and do some spritzing.
  14. Anyone used the cold smoker to smoke milk or cream? I assume liquid dairy would take on the smoke flavor since smoked cheese is a thing. There's a tradition in my area of having chicken stews. It used to be a big thing at corn shuckings, barn raisings, and other events when family and/or community came together to help with some big task in the fall. There are a lot of variations in different regions, but around here, its usually stewed chicken that's deboned and added back to the broth, then brought to a boil with milk and cream in a big iron pot over an open wood fire. There's usually a thickening added along with plenty of salt and pepper. it usually picked up some smoke flavor from the wood fire. My father's family used to have one every year with all attendees contributing chicken and broth, but that's died out along with the older generations; I try to have one every year for the immediate family but don't have room for the extended family. A lot of the volunteer fire departments and churches have then add fund raisers now. Anyway, I'll occasionally fix a small batch in the kitchen just for myself but it lacks that bit of wood smoke and I'd like to find a way to get it without so much work.
  15. Nope -- i actually had two probes in and was careful to not hit the bone with both. They both show the same curve within 1 degree. I normally verify with a thermopen but I'm not at my best at 4:30 am and didn't think of it. It certainly looked and felt like it was at pulling temp and the bone slid right out after the 7 hour rest. I had to be careful taking it off the KK to keep it from coming apart.
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