Saturday, May 31, 2014

Selkirk's Infernal Device: An Update.

During the week I seasoned the Infernal Device by burning a couple of baskets of yard wood and tried as best I could to get the temperature stabilized at around 250 deg. F as indicated on my vintage Taylor bimetal thermometer.

I'll have to buy a Weston for my next serious cook as an homage to the old man-he would have liked this.

In any event the last pieces of the puzzle were completed on my way back from the court house Thursday-which I hope will be nearly my last visit. I acquired a chimney starter, a sack of lump charcoal, a bag of hickory chips and a digital meat thermometer.

The Dragon Lady is very passionate about her hatred for chicken, or anything that bears even the slightest smidgen of chicken influence, for reasons that are unknown to me. She claims it would spoil the inside of the smoker forever. I know when I'm licked.  So chicken was out for my test run.

What we ended up with was a package of Johnsonville fresh bratwurst and a ring of Graziano Italian sausage. A handy time and temperature chart was located here. A fire was started with about half a basket of charcoal.

The main idea was to see how closely the temperature in the drum could be monitored and it was simple enough to bring it down if it got too hot by closing off 2 or 3 of the air tubes and the Weber ventilator on the lid, and if the temperature got a little low, by reversing the procedure and opening up the draft. The chart suggests 1 to 3 hours cooking time, and a minimum temperature of about 165 deg. F. After two hours, I pulled the lid and the meat internal temperature was about 185 deg. F.

The product is resting in the fridge for supper, and I sampled one brat. Delicious and smoky, just how I like it. Fifteen minutes later I can still taste the smoke. The Grazianos was not as good, as the skin was a little tough and I can probably do with a bit less cooking next time.


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