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How would I go about making a smoker?

I smoke pork shoulder, pork chops, bacon, and even medium sized turkeys on my Weber 22.5 kettle. I use a Smokenator 1000 insert which is great and I recommend if you want to smoke occasionally but don't have a lot of spare room. But you can smoke without it or come up with a make-shift one for your Weber grill. And as other replies here show, there are a lot of choices in smokers whether commercial or DIY versions.

It really depends on what you want to smoke. Weber charcoal is great for hot smoking and not so good for cold smoking. But cold smoking is simple you can do it with a cardboard box - see Alton Brown for details.

Cooking bacon in the oven... why the hype?

What a great thread! I love bacon and make my own, doing 15 to 20 pounds a month for a family of four (and the occasional friend).

While on a day to day basis we usually cook it in a skillet, I often do it on a cooling rack in jelly roll pan. I do the 400F oven but have similar experience with the edges burning. Lowering to 350F will probably fix your problem. Lining the pan for easy clean up is good, but we NEVER throw bacon grease away. Maximum flavor, fantastic for roux, and my wife loves to use it for fried rice.

We also do "Pig Candy" occasionally - same process but coat the bacon in brown sugar and cinnamon on both sides.

For a nice "restaurant style" flat piece of bacon, simply jaccard which means poking it with a fork on both sided to break up the long fibers. Then bake in the oven, particularly if you want to keep some on hand. I often do NOT try to finish cooking it in the oven, I get it 3/4 done, then pull it, cool, and baggie it for the refrigerator. Finish cooking is in a skillet but it only takes a couple of minutes. Handy when there is a hungry crew waiting for breakfast!

Feb 26, 2013
Tatoosh in Home Cooking

Is "Foodie" a Put-Down?

I suppose it depends on who uses the term. Among people who like and respect food, I don't see it as a negative. Among posers, non-food lovers, and snobs of whatever ilk, it is likely to be used as negative since their intent is to demean the individual or the subject.

We all, at various points in our lives, follow trends, reject trends, and enjoy sharing ideas and/or going our own way. There is little to criticize for being somewhere on that path as we each make our own unique journey. There is actually little difference between those that love pâté de foie gras and those that love balut. It is a matter of circumstance, experience and preference.

Nov 24, 2011
Tatoosh in Features

brine for pork using apple cider vinegar

This is an ancient post, but it deserves a much better answer. Yeah, that should work. Or you can use more vinegar and less water. Vinegar helps the pork become not only tastier, but some tests show it may make it healthier to eat.

I don't know that apple vinegar will make the pork taste "apple-y" enough but it will definitely improve your chops. Consider more salt and sugar, the brown sugar being a very good choice. Peppercorns cracked or whole. I haven't tried cinnamon on pork. I usually use mustard, either prepared or in powder form as part of a rub or brine.

Your chop has long ago disappeared and I hope it was tasty. But for others that are looking for ideas on how to brine with vinegar, it is well worth looking for recipes and experimenting with.

Nov 11, 2011
Tatoosh in Home Cooking


I have been limited to microwave popcorn for the last while, definitely not my favorite, but still edible. My preference is traditional popped in oil approach and as a teenager some years back, I would adulterate the oil with bacon grease. I loved that bacon flavor. Recently I simply do a small bit of butter and a tablespoon of bacon fat melted together to dress the popcorn. Not the best choice in terms of health, but a nice little powder keg of flavor. And I try to limit that to a "not very often" indulgence.

If I was going to eat it very often, say more than once every week or two, I think shifting to an air popper would be the way to limit the amount of total oil consumption. The suggestion of balsamic vinegar misted sounds kind of interesting to me. As does the salt and parmigiano, gosh I love parmigiano-reggiano! Curry powder is another interesting alternative I had never considered. Great Thread!

Jun 17, 2011
Tatoosh in General Topics

Is Chick-fil-A Anti-Gay?

Can I file this under the "So what" category? Every company has someone running it that I might not agree with. I go to restaurants to eat, not be politically correct. And I don't really care if the owner/chef/and waiters are twice-born Anabaptist or flamingo-colored druids if the food is good.

Jan 28, 2011
Tatoosh in Features

When Loved Ones Don't Eat Organic

Well, we are talking family and we are talking youth, so all this is part of the learning curve. If you want them to change their food, get a part time job, earn some money and buy it. If you can cook them a nutritious and more delectable meal than what they are buying, you might start to convert them.

If you don't have the money, time for a job, or ability to prepare superior meals then what you are doing is called "talking the talk, but not walking the walk". Your intentions may be the very best. But as you may have heard, the road to the big BBQ is paved with those.

Next best thing, get the heck out of the USA! Move while you are young. See some of the world before you start criticizing. If you think food ingredients are bad, take a trip to Manila, a bus to the province, eat at a calendaria or two. Watch the free range chickens dodge the cars a dusty road in the Philippines or Vietnam.

Being young is not a crime but a punishment. :) Hang in there, pay your way, and get some real experience. Then when you sit down with your aunts you will know their love and friendship is by far the most important thing and whatever they cook won't be as bad as the balut (a Filipino delicacy made from almost hatched egg cooked at 16 to 18 days of incubation) you ate in Cebu.

Jan 21, 2011
Tatoosh in Features