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Hi from a Brooklynite at the Jersey shore

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    Hi from a Brooklynite at the Jersey shore

    Hi from a longtime lurker on the free side. I've been barbecuing for the past five years, all thanks to AR wisdom. Summers only. But there's a small chance I'll be able smoke at our new home, all year round.

    I'm a fiftysomething editor working from home in Brooklyn, with breaks at the Jersey shore. I introduced my lovely spouse to 'cue. She breaks my heart with the hot sauce, but was happy to marry at Danny Meyer's Blue Smoke, the first Manhattan restaurant allowed to smoke on site thanks to very heavy scrubbing in its stacks (satellite view of that crowded neighborhood, showing ducts running up the side of the building up to roof gear, @ https://goo.gl/maps/r6bNuH2wiXeB1Daw6 ). The wedding (including its meat) was fantastic, and even a great deal (by inflated East Coast urban price points), though we prefer the central-Texas-style restaurant Hill Country.

    My first real 'cue was in the midnineties, at Robert Pearson's Carolinas- and Texas-style "Stick to Your Ribs" in an otherwise desolate stretch across the river in Queens, near a big power plant (https://www.nytimes.com/1998/07/15/d...ing-dixie.html ). They lost their permit after neighbors complained about the smoke (and the begging tailless cats).

    I don't remember why I began smoking at the beach house, only that I felt compelled. At first I improvised with chips in Corningware, with the meat placed at the coolest spot I could find on the Weber Genesis II grill. After a few rounds of meat charcoal (props to whoever posted that in another channel; I can't find it again) my starving in-laws got me a "value" propane Master Forge vertical water smoker, which I use fruit and nut wood chunks with.

    I dry-brine overnight and add mostly spicy rubs (all learned on AR), with occasional exceptions for the sugar/capsaicin/salt intolerant/neurotic. The chamber's big enough to fit quite a variety. I might baste with apple juice, but haven't been interested in mops or sauces. Brisket; pork and lamb and beef short ribs; chicken and duck. I should experiment more (mac and cheese!) but I've loved the staples I've made, and I've had very happy eaters. I make enough to freeze to take back to NYC. Also, failures that are too undersmoked (or charred/sooty) to enjoy as is also get frozen for a whittled-down future as ragus or sloppy joes. And I always make stock (as I am this minute) from raw chicken trimmings and smoked pork/lamb/duck bones/gristle. ("Don't throw that out! I don't care if it was in your mouth!!!")

    The few beach-town butchers here have pretty high-quality meat, though the spices you find might have been left over from the Eisenhower administration. One Sunday I had to have a pork shoulder when all the butchers were closed. A convenience store sold me a fresh extra that he'd been saving for grinding for breakfast sausage. I love this town.

    My Master Forge is badly leaky (even after I did the rope-gasket mod I learned here) with thin uninsulated walls. But so long as I avoided rainy or breezy days, it's served me well till now. I bought the Maverick wireless thermometer a while ago, but the smoker's so fussy anyway, requiring tweaking of fire and air, that I stopped using it and have relied on patience and an instant-read thermometer (and a backup fuel tank).

    This fifth year may be this smoker's last. It burns cooler than ever. After the sooty, let's-get-takeout-instead disaster of a mostly orange fire last month, I replaced the regulator. That helped a lot, but I still begin losing the hot, clean blue flame by the time I crank the box up to a max of only 200 degrees on a warm, still day. Two days ago, after three hours of 150 degrees, I almost threw out the whole load. Friends and family rebelled, convincing me it was still safe to finish in the oven.

    I will try cleaning the Venturi/burner/etc. one more time before junking this smoker. But I have a second reason to hope for upgrading. Since our new apartment has a deck, I'd love to have one medium-size, higher-end smoker to drive between home and summer home at the start and end of each season. If propane, it would have to sip from those smallest, 14-ounce cylinders; otherwise, pellet. And there's constant, even gusty wind on that deck, so it'd have to be bottom-heavy and very well insulated, as if for winter.

    A daydream, maybe. Here's to 'cue dreams coming true.
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    Last edited by josh_karpf; August 16, 2019, 11:49 AM.

    #2
    Welcome, welcome indeed! From south Texas!

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      #3
      Very enjoyable read! Welcome, brother .

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        #4
        Welcome from Maryland

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          #5
          Greetings from South Africa.

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            #6
            Welcome to the Pit!
            Cheers from Norway

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              #7
              Welcome from the California Delta

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                #8
                Welcome from Colorado ...

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                  #9
                  Welcome the Pit! From a former Jersey boy who spent summers at the shore. Whereabouts do you stay?

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                    #10
                    Dress to Eat! OK, we’ll let ya in! Welcome, eat good and have fun!

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                      #11
                      Welcome to the Pit from Dallas! I grew up in New Orleans, and the locals are often told the sound like they are from Brooklyn. Go figure.

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                        #12
                        Thanks, everyone. Wow, didn’t realize this was international.

                        NYC has become so globalized and gentrified that I’m not sure there are any more local Brooklyn, Bronx, etc. accents. On the plus side, thanks to the Caribbean accents in my own neighborhood, I am almost surrounded by the best jerk chicken.

                        HawkerXP, Loveladies on LBI.

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                          #13
                          Welcome to the pit from Colorado. Looking forward to your contributions

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                            #14
                            Welcome from Pittsburgh!

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                              #15
                              Welcome from the mountains of MC. You have a real dilemma there. I would buy two grills/smokers. For the beach a Weber 26 that you can smoke grill and smoke on. Add the Fireboard, fan and SnS and it smokes almost effortlessly. And when you want burgers it can do that. For the Brooklyn place get a small pellet cooker. I hate to call them smokers as they don't put out nearly the smoke of a kettle but they are set and forget and some like the amount of smoke they put out.

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