Smoking BBQ Experiment

Its February, its not too warm, its wet, so its hardly barbeque time is it? Wrong! At Christmas time, Jane was gifted some Amazon vouchers, and after some consideration and a lot of browsing, she had a brainwave. Something she was always wanted – after she and I watching hours of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on Food Network – was a BBQ smoker. The thought of smoking our own meat sounded a great idea, and something different from the normal BBQ turnout (in our house at least) of burgers and sausages. After more consideration, Jane plumped for the Mini Idaho Smoker BBQ ( It seemed ideal for our first smoker. Big enough for our needs really, and nothing too expensive if it all went wrong!

We gave it a bash a few weeks ago with some marinaded chicken, which turned out well. But today we experimented again! Jane had bought a cheap beef joint (we weren’t ready to risk a more expensive bit of beef!) and with the weather forecast to be dry today, we decided to plough ahead. Jane had prepared a wet rub for the beef – there was hoisin, sugar, garlic, black pepper, soy sauce amongst the ingredients – we actually meant to go for it on Sunday, but as I was ill, we postponed it until today meaning it had a few days to really marinade. It smelled absolutely amazing – and that was before we got it in the smoker!

We prepared the coals this morning. We bought a chimney charcoal starter ( as we’d read that it really helped get the coals up to heat. If you’ve struggled getting your bbq up to heat then its a must. There’s no need for firelighters as you fill the pot with coals, then underneath the grill you stuff it with paper and light with a match. Once the paper takes light, its not long before the coals get going and within 20 minutes, they are glowing red-hot. On to the bbq they went, and before long, it was up to 400f. On went the soaked wood chips, then the meat. The smoker was, well, smoking! It wasn’t long before there was a glorious smell coming from it.

We had to heat a second lot of coals after about 2 – 3 hours, but after 4-odd hours of cooking time (and basting the meat with the remains of the marinade), the meat was ready. Would the experiment have worked? The outside of the joint was very crispy, but the flavour! Amazing! The inside of the joint was beautifully moist and juicy and incredibly flavourful. The boys devoured their share, so I think we can say it was a bit of a big success! I think we will learn some lessons – we should probably try to cook beef joints at a slightly lower temperature, probably somewhere about 325 – 350f and for slightly longer. But for a first attempt at cooking a beef joint in the smoker, it was a bit of a success.

Barbeque season starts in February for us!


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