Sunday Smoking Beef Jerky

This isn’t my first attempt doing jerky on my tiny little Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker but it’s the first one that I’ve taken the time to consider writing a post about it. My first attempt was…oh, let’s just call it…a trial run, and it didn’t turn out quite as I had hoped. I have the smallest version of the WSM and rack space is very limited. Jerky takes up a lot of space if you’re relying on rack space so for that first run, I only sliced up about a pound of marinated flank steak and that pretty much covered the entire top rack. I figured it would be safest to avoid using the bottom rack at the time thinking it would be too close to the heat source despite the empty water pan in place as a heat shield.

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First Try at a Hefeweizen

This is an account of a batch of homebrew I made back in early September. I’m very much behind on keeping up with these posts so I’m trying to do right by my intention on keeping up with these little endeavors. This particular brew day is not fresh in my mind, but I’ll do my best to remember the basics. Here goes.

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Kitchen Pantry Closet – Part 5

It’s done! It’s finally done! With the exception of tracking down a decent wireless LED light of some sort online, the pantry is finally done and stocked. Suddenly I find myself with less stress and more time on my hands. I guess that’s a good thing though. I’ve got to figure out some priorities to catch up on some other things that took a backseat to this project over the course of the last few months. There are also some family things that have been the primary focus as of late and that will take much attention in the coming weeks. Needless to say, I’m glad that I can finally cross this item off of my to-do list.

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Kitchen Pantry Closet – Part 4

Continued from “Kitchen Pantry Closet – Part 3”

I am making progress. It’s been slow going, as I’ve only had an hour or two at a time to work on it since my last post, but progress is definitely being made. For a while, I had no real timeframe. I just wanted to do what I could when I had the time to do it. There was no rush basically. Still, being in no hurry, didn’t mean that I wasn’t going to stress out over it. That’s kind of how my mind works. When I’m elbows deep in something I obsess about it. I lose sleep in some cases.

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Kitchen Pantry Closet – Part 3

Continued from “Kitchen Pantry Closet – Part 2

I was correct in assuming when I kicked off this project off nearly a month and a half ago, that it was going to take some time. I knew it was going to take time because I didn’t have a lot of time on any given day to work at it. Plus, it’s probably the biggest home improvement project that I’ve ever attempted to take on without someone else’s valuable expertise guiding the way. I’m just figuring this shit out as I go. Anyway, even spending only a couple hours a day a few times a week, you wouldn’t think a closet remodel would take all that long. It is just a closet after all, right?

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Kitchen Pantry Closet – Part 2

Continued from “Kitchen Pantry Closet – Part 1

It’s been almost a month since I first started tearing up the old plaster in in my office closet. As expected, I’m nowhere near done. I knew I would only get the chance to work on this project periodically as I found time. If this project took place in a room that is used daily, I’d be a little more anxious to get it done but it’s a closet in the office that I’m converting to a pantry. My grocery storage has always been chaotic so it can remain that way a little bit longer as I work it all out. I’ll get there eventually.

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SMaSH #1 – Citra – My First Recipe

To be fair, it’s not much of a recipe, but it’s my first attempt at brewing a batch of homebrew without relying on someone else’s recipe. I have been brewing the occasional batch off and on for some years and it’s only been the last few years where I made the move from extract brewing to all-grain brewing. Now that I have a handle, how ever loosely gripped, on the process, I thought I might toy with the idea of creating my own recipes. I’ll admit that I’m a long, long way from being able to say that I really know what I’m doing, but a guy has got to start somewhere, right?

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Smoked Chicken Breasts and Thighs in Bulk

The three odd men out

The three “odd men out” riding it out on the gas grill.

I may have went a little overboard with this weekend’s smoke session. I wanted to try something simpler like chicken breasts. Sweetness wanted thighs because their a little higher in fat and thus better for her and her keto diet. I figured there was no harm in doing a little bit of both so we headed to Costco on Wednesday (I don’t know if I’ll ever try to go shopping there on the weekend again) where we bought some bulk packages of both breasts and thighs. We decided that we’d do about half of each package and freeze the rest for another time. We unpacked the rest of our groceries and went on with the rest of our week until Saturday came.

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Kitchen Pantry Closet – Part 1

Someday I hope for the chance to remodel my kitchen. Unfortunately, that’s a big ticket project that will come with a big ticket price tag when that day finally arrives. It’s just not in the cards anytime soon. I’ll be paying off my new rain gutter and bathroom projects for the next couple years, and the next big project after that will probably be a new garage (with a new shop hopefully), so a new kitchen will have to wait.

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My First Attempt at Smoking Pork Shoulders

Since Sweetness gave me my little Weber Smoky Mountain smoker for Christmas a few months ago, I have been wanting to try my hand at pulled pork. It’s one of my favorites to enjoy, but I’m new to smoking and the time commitment kind of held me back. Instead I broke the smoker in with a few sessions that were a little less extreme. In the past four months I’ve done a couple whole chickens, a few batches of baby back ribs and I even smoked a quartered chuck roast for something different as well as a couple bacon-centric appetizers, but none of those sessions required more than four or five hours in the heat. The general rule of thumb for pork shoulders is to plan for 1.5 to 2 hours per pound for the largest roast. This meant that even a smaller, six pound shoulder could take up to twelve hours. Finally, it looked like I had a weekend that allowed for the extra time, so I did my homework and prepared ahead of time as much as I could to make the smoke session go as smoothly as possible. Of course, there is a saying that has something to do about the best laid plans of mice and men often going awry. My preparations may have helped to start me on the right path but I did end up facing a few obstacles throughout the day that slowed me down.

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