Smoker maiden voyage

Had the first smoker event – a large batch of pork ribs and chicken drumsticks. Paired with Dutch Cole slaw, cauliflower-broccoli salad, and macaroni salad, it was a great meal. It’s quite different from the Holland grill. The Holland is more of a conventional oven with almost everything taking an hour or less to prepare. It operates at 400 degrees and is easily cleaned after use with a thorough cleaning required every six months or so. The smoker has much more overhead associated with it – more to clean with each use so you wouldn’t want to use it for just a casual meal. Right now I’m looking at the smoker as a special event cooker with company rather than a mid week meal producer. One operational aspect that surprised me was water usage. There’s a water pan that holds a quart or two and supplies moisture to the meat when cooking. Tom had indicated that he had to add water to the pan on an 8 hour smoking experience. The ribs were scheduled to cook 4 hours so I filled the pan expecting it to be down 50% by the end of the process. Instead it was still full – in fact if anything there seemed to be more than at the start. I could understand some rendered fat drippings adding to the water during the cooking process but with an oven temp of 235, I would have expected more water to have boiled off. Wonder why it didn’t?

The detailing job on the truck turned out nicer than I expected. I forgot how it looked when new. The new cover fit perfectly so now it’s set for a while. The guy who did the work asked me if I parked it under pine trees. He guessed that based on the amount of pine sap that had dripped on it and the scratched areas where I had tried to remove it. He had a good idea – don’t park under pine trees. And if you do, don’t try to remove the sap drippings – just live with it. The cover is our solution.

The previously mentioned biscuits passed a major milestone. We had taken the risk of buying and freezing a dozen assuming they would be just as good or almost as good when thawed and heated. Good move. I popped one in the oven to go with the left over turkey soup Nance had made and was overjoyed when it tasted as good as fresh out of the original oven. Now between the Olde Hearth ciabatta rolls and Emma’s biscuits, I’m in the best bread zone since we left Salt Lake where we had Pacific Bay ciabatta bread and biscuits at Ruth’s Diner.

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