Showing posts with label outdoor cooking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label outdoor cooking. Show all posts

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Starting and Maintaining the Temperature in an Off-Set Smoker

 There is something magical about cooking on an off-set smoker. The slow process of smoking meats creates flavors unmatched by any other cooking method.

 However, mastering an off-set smoker can be a daunting task for a beginner. I have been using my off-set smoker for the last six years, and in my review today I'm going to share some things I've learned about starting and controlling the temperature.

Starting and maintaining the temperature in an off-set smoker

Starting Your Off-Set Smoker:

Choose high-quality lump charcoal or charcoal briquettes. It's the foundation of your fire and will provide the steady heat needed. 

Select hardwoods like oak, hickory, cherry, maple, or applewood. These woods burn slowly, adding a rich smokey flavor to your meats. Hickory is my favorite and my go-to hardwood, I love the flavor it adds to the meats.

Fire Box

Building a solid base fire is the key. I start by piling unlit charcoal in the firebox closest to the cooking chamber. Then, I fill my charcoal chimney starter, and when the coals are hot dump them next to the unlit charcoal in the firebox, then, add some wood on top. Close the firebox to bring the cooking chamber up to the temperature I want. 


Smoker Temperture

My temperature is coming up nicely. I'm looking for a temperature between 225 and 275 degrees. The temperature is reading 280 degrees so, that means my surface temperature on the cooking chamber surface is about 230 or 240 degrees. The reason for the variance is that the thermometers are placed high on the lid of the grills, and the temperature will be about 40 to 50 degrees less on the cooking surface.

Firebox Intake Vent


Controlling the Airflow:

This is the intake vent on the back of the firebox. At this point, I leave it wide open for a higher temperature. When I need to lower the temperature I will close it but not all of the way, this allows less air and will lower the temperature.

Smoke Stack

Exhaust vent or smoke stack, I always keep my smoke stack wide open. This allows the smoke to escape, preventing it from becoming stale and bitter. 

I find this method to give me 2 to 3 hours of constant heat before I have to add more fuel for heat. For a long smoke, I'll add more fuel about every 45 minutes to an hour to maintain the temperature.

Patience is the key, smoking meat is a low and slow process. Rushing it will not yield the best results.

Practice, the more you use your off-set smoker, the more you'll understand how it reacts to adjustments.

Find more Product Reviews Here:


Char-Griller 8125 Competition Pro Charcoal Grill, BlackChar-Griller 8125 Competition Pro Charcoal Grill, BlackCheck the PriceWeber Rapidfire Chimney Starter, Standard, SilverWeber Rapidfire Chimney Starter, Standard, SilverCheck the Price

 




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Char-Griller Smokin Champ Review

 Ghar-Griller Smokin Champ Review: The Smokey Goodness of Grilling

Char-Griller Smokin Champ Review

Most people love the taste of smoked food. And, if you are one of those people you need a good quality smoker grill in your life. The Char-Griller Smokin Champ is one of the best affordable smoker grills for the market, and it's perfect if you love to cook with smoke.

This grill is designed to give food that perfect smokey flavor, and it will not disappoint you. The Smokin Champ will deliver consistent results with its even heat distribution and adjustable vents. Whether you're grilling, smoking, or even baking the Smokin Champ will help you get the perfect results every time.

In the photo above is my Smokin Champ just after we assembled it. My daughter got this for me four years ago for Father's Day and it's everything that I expected. This grill has served us well for the last four years and I expect many more.

My Char-Griller Smokin Champ is made of high-quality steel that lasts years. It has a large cooking area of 614 square inches with a warming rack of 315 square inches, making it easy to cook for a large group of people. Or, it's just as convenient to cook for two people as most time it's just me and Fran grilling some burgers and veggies.

Features of my Smokin Champ:

  • Large cooking area
  • Warming rack
  • 3 cast iron cooking grates
  • Side firebox
  • Easy slide-out drawer to clean the firebox
  • Built-in thermometer to monitor the temperature 
  • Side shelf for utensils
  • Ashpan with hangers for charcoal grilling

Char-Griller Fire Box

This is a photo of the firebox, it is also made of heavy-duty steel with a drawer that pulls out for easy cleaning. The firebox is separate from the main chamber making it easy to add wood or charcoal without losing heat in the main chamber.

My smoker is known as an offset smoker. There are many other types of smokers on the market. But, I prefer the offset smoker, it takes a little time to learn how to control the temperature, so there is a little skill involved. Once you have mastered it you will be very happy with the results of the food you cook. 

Overall, Char-Griller Smokers are an excellent and affordable choice for anyone who just loves to cook with smoke. Or, if you don't want to use the smoker you have the option to just grill over charcoal. It's perfect for backyard barbecues and family gatherings. This smoker and grill has served our family well over the last four years and I'm looking forward to this year's grilling season. Every grill master in the family needs a fun apron. Check out my article on Funny Grill Master Aprons.

Here is a link to some of my favorite grilling and smoking recipes:

Main Dishes/Grilling

If you like cooking with charcoal, Char-Griller has a great affordable selection of Smokers and Charcoal Grills.

Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro 830 Square Inch Charcoal Grill with Side Fire Box, 50 Inch, BlackChar-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro 830 Square Inch Charcoal Grill with Side Fire Box, 50 Inch, BlackCheck the Price

 

Click here for more Product Reviews from our contributors: ReviewThisProductReviews.com



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Thursday, June 2, 2022

Coleman Camp Oven Review

coleman camp oven

Who knew a Coleman Camp Oven could prove to be an essential baking tool at home? When I purchased this oven for a camping trip, it never once crossed my mind that I would find myself thankful for its use during an extended power outage at my primary residence. I have actually used it more at home during the pandemic than I would ever have imagined.

cinnamon rolls

Deliciousness! That is the word I associate with my little camping bakery. Imagine waking up to the irresistible aroma of fresh-out-of-the oven hot cinnamon rolls. Oh my yes! One might even make up an excuse for a staycation if this is how we roll.

homemade pizza

And that's only the start of the day. How about some homemade pizza for lunch? Such a breeze to bake in your Coleman oven. I found it best to bake the pizza on the top rack in the oven, though some cooks use a pizza stone on the bottom rack with very good results.

folded up coleman camp oven

Getting back to the oven itself, let's take a look at a few of the great features, along with more baking tips. When first unboxing the oven, I was pretty surprised at how compact it folds up for storage and travel. Very impressive design. It takes up almost no room in the Rubbermaid tote I use for organizing my camping kitchen gear. Included in the box: Coleman Camp Oven, two baking racks, and instructions.

Set-up takes less than 30 seconds. Open a couple of latches, unfold the oven, lock the latches, and pop in the two racks. Didn't even break a sweat.

ready to use coleman camp oven

The oven sits over the top of a burner on my Coleman propane stove. To bake with the oven, you do need the stove and a full one-pound bottle of propane. I made the mistake of starting a pan of muffins with a partially empty propane canister attached to the stove. The propane ran out before the muffins had finished baking. Lesson learned. 

coleman camp oven heat indicator gauge

You will note the heat indicator gauge on the front door of the camp oven. I keep an eye on the temperature as the oven initially preheats and also while my food is cooking. It only takes about a minute for each 100 degrees of heat gain. Amazing!

cinnamon rolls

That said, the most important thing I have learned about baking temperatures with my Coleman oven is to bake things at a lower temp than what is recommended on the recipe or package. I get perfect muffins and cinnamon rolls when I bake them 100 degrees below the temperature I would use in a regular home oven (250 degrees instead of 350 degrees). They bake for about the same length of time.

coleman camp oven

Finally, it is important to use this camp oven out of the wind. If you are cooking outdoors on a windy day, or a chilly day, a windbreak makes a huge difference. Some owners of this oven cover it with a small welding blanket to help conserve heat when cooking outside in conditions that would make the oven work harder and longer. They do this because the oven has vent slots where heat can escape. I haven't tried this, but I appreciate the tip, and could see myself making use of this idea.

For a very moderate price, the Coleman Camp Oven is a winning addition to any camper's kitchen. And, as I have experienced this year, it is invaluable for those temporarily unable to use their regular home oven. It definitely perked me up on days when I would have had no other way to bake my meals. I can honestly say I am happy I made this purchase. Enough said. Let's eat!

homemade pizza with a bite out of it



You may also be interested in this related review by a writing colleague: Coleman Classic Stove










Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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