Smoked Corned Beef Brisket

This is a pretty simple variation of the standard St. Patrick’s day meal. We bought an electric smoker last summer and we’ve been using it pretty regularly. When Curt was getting his corned beef ready for St Patrick’s day, he noticed that the package had an alternate method of cooking the meat. It was for cooking it in the smoker. He couldn’t pass up this new option.

Smoked Corned Beef

Smoked Corned Beef

Ingredients

  • 1 package of corned beef
  • Wood chips for your smoker
  • BBQ beef rub (optional)
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

Here's a picture of the package that had the cooking instructions.

Here’s a picture of the package that had the cooking instructions.

Heat your smoker to 275 F.

Prepare your corned beef by removing it from the package and rinsing with water. Pat the meat dry and then season with your favorite beef rub.

Add your favorite wood chips. We used a mix of Hickory and Mesquite. Smoke the corned beef fat side up until the internal temperature reaches 160 F. This should take about 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours.

Preheat your over to 350 F for the final step before you remove the corned beef from the smoker.

Remove the corned beef from the smoker and wrap in foil, adding 1/2 cup of water.

Place the foil wrapped corned beef in the oven. Cook until the internal temperature is 195 F, which should be about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

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Smoked Acorn Squash

Fall is one of my favorite seasons for food. After months of eating fresh tomatoes, light chicken breasts and other summer foods, I am ready for hearty, savory fall foods! We recently purchased some acorn and butternut squash at Trader Joe’s. They have great squash and I love trying new recipes. Now that we have a smoker, we’re giving it a try in our smoker.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 large acorn squashes, halved and seeded
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions

Cut the butternut squashes in half and then clean out the insides of all the seeds. Cover the cut pieces in the olive oil and then cover the cut area with foil. Make sure that you cut holes in the foil to allow the steam out and the smoke to get in. Place the squashes in the smoker with the cut side down and smoke for and cook at 225 degrees F for 1.5 to 2 hours, until tender.

Acorn squash in the smoker

Acorn squash in the smoker

In the picture above, there are two squash halves on the top row and a parted out chicken on the lower row. Instructions for smoking the chicken will be in another post.

While the squash is cooking, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, chili powder and cayenne pepper and mix it with the melted butter. Once the squash has cooled, pour a spoonful of the butter mixture onto each of the squash halves.

We have found that serving a full half of the squash is a pretty big serving. If you have other sides, you could serve each plate with 1/4 of squash.

20151017_203657_S 6th St

Electric Smoker by Masterbuilt

Over Father’s Day weekend this summer we bought an electric smoker at Academy. Specifically, we got the 40″ Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smokehouse with Window. Here’s their picture of the Smokehouse that they use for promotions:

Mastbuiltphoto

As a note, the picture above shows way too much food in the smoker. It’s recommended not to over stuff the smoker because the smoke can’t circulate as well.

Here’s my review of this product after using it very frequently over the summer:

First off, we purchased the last one in stock at our local Academy. It was Father’s Day Weekend and they were running a lot of sales and it went fast. We really planned on getting a smaller smoker but the sale made this one cheaper than the 30″ model. That made it a no-brainer for us! We’re always looking for a bargain or a discount so how could we pass this up.

The purchasing process was pretty smooth. It did take us a long time to get assistance in the appropriate department. I guess it was about 10 to 15 minutes. Once we found an Academy employee who could help us, he was extremely helpful and friendly. He didn’t know a whole lot about the electric smokers, probably because he was a young man in his late teens/early 20s and never had an opportunity to use one of these smokers for himself. It took him a long time to find it in their back storage area but that’s reasonable since it was the last one and it was a busy holiday weekend. Once we actually had it brought out from their back area, the checkout and leaving process was smooth. He gave us a little piece of paper that told the checker what we were buying and then he was waiting for us at the front door with the smoker in it’s large box.

The box is large and you’ll need a truck or SUV to bring this home. Once you get home, it’s really easy to put this together. Inside the box, Masterbuilt did a great job of protecting the unit and keeping it secure. After getting it out and removing the Styrofoam from the smoker, it was easy to get it assembled and ready to use. Once you put it together, you’ll have to pre-season it by turning it on and letting it run for 3 hours.

Some of the tips we read online that help us out are:

  1. Wrap the drip tray in clean foil before each use. This makes it a lot easier to clean up after you’re done cooking for the day.
  2. Clean off the window after each use before it completely cools off. This helps keep it clean and you won’t have to scrub off the smoke residue once it dries.
  3. Wipe off and clean around the temperature sensors on the back panel after each use.
  4. Clean the trays while your food is resting and the trays are still warm. This makes it a lot easier to clean.

After we had used the smoker at least once a weekend for a month, it stopped getting hot. It was like it thought it was already at the target temperature when it wasn’t even close. We contacted Academy and they said we could return it or exchange it, however, they didn’t have any replacements in stock and didn’t know if they would get any more because it was after the season for these products. So, we contacted Masterbuilt and they also offered to replace it. However, before we had them replace it, we read about cleaning the temperature sensor. This is when we learned about tip #3 above. Ever since we started cleaning the sensor, it has worked like a dream and we haven’t had any problems with it.

One thing to remember is that you have to set a length of time to use the smoker. The first time we tried to use it, we didn’t realize this so it didn’t get hot. Once we figured this out, we figured out the expected time and then set the timer for that time plus 30 minutes. Adding a little time at the end allows you to keep it smoking if the internal temp isn’t ready. Also, the remote control can actually turn off the smoker. We thought it was turning off the remote controller, but no, it was turning off the smoker. For this reason, I’d recommend not letting your kids play with this remote. It is definitely not a toy and can mess up your cooking if someone adjusts the settings by accident.

That’s it for the review. I highly recommend this smoker and we’ve enjoyed using it for all types of meats and vegetables!

Here are some helpful links:

  • Masterbuilt Website – You can get product specifications and user manuals
  • Smoking Meats Forum – This website has tons of recipes and links to youtube videos showing how to actually use the smoker
  • My Best Smoker – This website also has instructions and recipes for electric smokers