A little smoker help...

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A little smoker help...

Postby aftershox454 » Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:11 pm

Hey guys going on y third round of smoked duck and I'm not getting the flavor i want out of the breasts.

I'm using a simple apple brine
apple juice
kosher salt
peppercorns
and garlic

then smokin with apple wood.

my question is what are you guys doing to get that great smooth smoked flavor.

I'm using a gas brinkmann smoker at around 225 for about two hours, (just what it said to do on the recipe) smoke the entire time and just not getting the results i want. it usually comes out sort of bland, i get some smoke flavor but overall just falls flat nothing special about it.

I would also like to have some kind of glaze to put over the duck to give it some different taste and texture so if anyone has some ideas that would be great.

I've only got one more bin of frozen breasts so the next batch has to be GREAT!!!

thanks in advance

Alex
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Re: A little smoker help...

Postby aggiechiro » Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:51 am

what if anything are you putting on the meat when it goes in the smoke?

have you considered mixing wood types?

do you like spicy, sweet, salt?


as for smoked flavor, i don't consider something smoked if it cooks for less than 4-6 hours.
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Re: A little smoker help...

Postby aftershox454 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:57 pm

as of now i'm not putting anything on the meat at all when it goes into the smoke. I would like to find somthing to put on it, but have had little success in finding a glaze that would compliment the apple.

If anythign i would say that I'm looking for more of a sweet/spicy flavor.

As for mixing wood types....i know nothing about it and mixing apple with hickory or mesquite didn't seem likely to help with flavor at all. so i havn't tried it.

thanks
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Re: A little smoker help...

Postby daffy... » Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:03 pm

how long are you brining? are you letting it "age" in fridge before smoking? also 2 hours isnt long enough.


a decent glaze to go on after would be a pineapple orange glaze:

take crushed pineapple, pineapple juice, orange juice, brown sugar, maybe some golden raisens, simmer for a half hour then thicken with a slurry. to amp it up alittle make the slurry with orange tripple sec or grand mani (sp?)
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Re: A little smoker help...

Postby aggiechiro » Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:32 pm

the glaze sounds good, but i'd still be doing some salt and pepper too right before it goes in the smoke, glaze or not.

do you breast the birds right after the hunt, later in the day, the next day? once they are off the bird do they go straight in the freezer?

also if you do decide to smoke them longer(i would) remember they may dry out more. the glaze would help that, as would lowering the heat if you need.
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Re: A little smoker help...

Postby daffy... » Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:49 pm

the glaze i suggested is for after it comes out.

also. your brine is pretty weak. It needs more acidity
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Re: A little smoker help...

Postby aftershox454 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:58 am

Do I gain the acidity in my brine by adding another juice, like pineapple or orange?

aggiechiro
We are usually pretty good about cleaning the game right after we hunt, usually the birds are cleaned the same day they are shot, then soaked overnight in a salt water mix then rinsed and put into the freezer...
is that process not corect?

as for brining purposes
I usually brine for a few days, 3 at most
i figured that brine recipe was prett weak weak, but its the only one I could find that sounded like it would be ok... I will definitely have to put one together that has a little more *** to it... i only have 15 duck breasts left to get me through till hinting season so does anyone have a tried and true brine that they'd be willing to send my way?


I'll turn the smoker down to 200 and let it go for three hours or so and see what i get. Is three hours enough time or should i be letting it stay in there for more time? it seems as though the duck would dry out being in there for so long, do i need to do anything different with location of pans / racks to get a less dry duck?

by the way, i really appreciate the help
daffy, that glaze sounds amazing :eek:

Alex
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Re: A little smoker help...

Postby aggiechiro » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:26 am

well food saftey has to be your first concern. if it can be safe it isnt a bad idea to let the bird rest for hours to a day or 2 before you clean it, thats if its cool enough to be safe, but not so cold that it just going to freezes solid.
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Re: A little smoker help...

Postby daffy... » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:38 pm

sorry aggiechiro but as a certified chef im gonna have to disagree with your aging method... i know people do it all the time but i dont agree. IF the bird was defeatherd and guts removed im all for the aging process. peking duck anyone?


in your brine add a generous amount of salt. brine is a lot like pickling.. in fact ive used pickle brines to prepare chicken. (chicken statlor, with a dejon hollindase)

salt will add a lot of the needed agents to tenderize your duck but taste the brine after words. if it only taste like salt, obviously to much. you can achieve a more acidic brine by adding orange juice. maybe pineapple, i cant recall. im having a brain fart, something about pineapple melting gelotine (though not relivant) there some chemecial in it that i cant recall... be on the safeside and run with orange juice. also add slice oranges to the mix. most of the flavor of a orange is in the zest. also add hole sprigs of thyme, rosemary and some dried juniper berries, maybe some corriander. all compliment orange apple duck.

three days is perfect for a duck breast brine, not a day sooner, not a day later. also before i smoke things i like to get a kind of "skin" on my protein. with salmon, after ive cured it ill run it under cold water til all the salt and sugar has rainsed free. then sometimes rub a light layer of gin over it but its very important to put the duck unwrapped in the fridge for about 24 hours (out of the brine) to get "that skin". something about that part is what has made all of my smoked products more smokey. plus you could leave that duck in there 8 hours and i dont think it would be dry. is your duck coming out tender from the smoker? also from my experience apple wood is a very suddle smoke flavor.
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Re: A little smoker help...

Postby aggiechiro » Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:27 am

aftershox454 i think you got just about enough advice to go for it. and more because i've tried his ideas in the past and liked it over the "i'm a chef" i'd say take daffy's advice and see how that last batch goes.
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Re: A little smoker help...

Postby swampbilly 1980 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:03 am

I like to marinate in orange juice with Worceshire, hotsauce, and then wrap bacon around them, smoked with Mesquite chips. I've tried Apple and Hickory, but it seemed to be too mild for me. Now,..there is a marinade that we use alot called "Allegro", and we use it on pork steaks. They have a "Game" marinade of the same ..Allegro for wild game, and I tried it last season,..Purty good...
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Re: A little smoker help...

Postby aftershox454 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:42 pm

daffy,

the newest batch i did, was left in the smpoker for three hours at about 200 degreees.
It came out pretty dry, and brittle.
should i be reducing the heat? manipulating the racks?
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Re: A little smoker help...

Postby daffy... » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:05 pm

200 hundred should be right, i cant understand that... to much heat would make it dry. duck being so fatty should withstand that no problem
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Re: A little smoker help...

Postby aftershox454 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:38 pm

I will test the temp this weekend. I'm just trusting the temp gauge on the smoker so it could be wrong.

thanks for the help man I really apreciate it.
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Re: A little smoker help...

Postby aggiechiro » Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:19 am

daffy... wrote:200 hundred should be right, i cant understand that... to much heat would make it dry. duck being so fatty should withstand that no problem



should be, but right after a migration there is less fat on them than mid season. also what species are we talking? teal will cook faster than big ducks so they'd need lower tepms.
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Re: A little smoker help...

Postby swampbilly 1980 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:04 am

daffy... wrote:200 hundred should be right, i cant understand that... to much heat would make it dry. duck being so fatty should withstand that no problem
..Daffy, take a looky here,..
aftershox454 wrote:daffy,

the newest batch i did, was left in the smpoker for three hours at about 200 degreees.
It came out pretty dry, and brittle.
:eek: ..Seems a little too long don't it? I've done that before with just the breasts on the rack,..turns 'em into "mini mummies"..I like to wrap bacon around them for longer smoking periods to keep 'em moist.. :beer:
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Re: A little smoker help...

Postby daffy... » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:09 am

what kind of smoker are you using?
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Re: A little smoker help...

Postby swampbilly 1980 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:28 am

I'm not sure if you're talking to aftershox or not, but I've got a Brinkman Electric...
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Re: A little smoker help...

Postby aftershox454 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:21 pm

I have a brinkman gas smoker
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Re: A little smoker help...

Postby daffy... » Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:54 pm

mmm yeah, i forget how small just the breast are but still i do salmon for 3 - 4 hours pork belly (bacon) for 6-8 hours no and if or buts. you could always try a even lower heat. 140-160 but i dont no how id feel about that with wild game
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Re: A little smoker help...

Postby swampbilly 1980 » Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:01 pm

daffy... wrote:. you could always try a even lower heat. 140-160 but i dont no how id feel about that with wild game
..I'm like you on that Daffy,..I'd want to get the internal temp there..Here's some info I've logged in memory..Small Teal stuffed with Tangelos wrapped in bacon on the smoker,..there's no temp gage on it, but 1 1/2 hr. does it....breasts..wrapped in bacon,..around 1hr. Baked in the oven at 400deg.,..mo more than 30minutes (the whole duck).. if this helps any... :beer:
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Re: A little smoker help...

Postby aftershox454 » Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:25 pm

These are all mallard breasts, and they don't apear to have that much fat on them.

swamp, i'll get some bacon and give that a try and I'll just make the smoker a bit hotter and drop the time it takes to cook.

what should my internal temp be? around 140 or so?
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Re: A little smoker help...

Postby swampbilly 1980 » Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:01 pm

I don't want to screw you up, but when you wrap in bacon you can cook longer,..and lemme' tell ya' that bacon tastes good too smoked up! You've got a temp guage and adjustable flame ' because you're gas,..I'd say 1hr at 250, (and the whole time plenty of smoke),.. then check the bacon to see if somewhat crispy,..if so you're done,..if not, 10 minutes at 350 and turn it over after 5 minutes to make the bacon a little crisp, not too much now, but a little crispy or enough to make that bacon shrink....Makes a puppy pull a freight train.... :beer:
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Re: A little smoker help...

Postby daffy... » Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:08 pm

you can eat duck as low as 120. wild bird i like 140
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Re: A little smoker help...

Postby Indaswamp » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:58 am

daffy... wrote:you can eat duck as low as 120. wild bird i like 140

That low?? I didn't know that....
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