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Viceroy 🟩🟩🟩
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
EDIT....

This started out as a cocktail recipe thread, but it has evolved into a discussion of pellet smokers. Teetotalers can scroll further down for the meat smoking discussion. :)

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FeralCatKillr’s Summer of Cocktails continues in earnest today! This afternoon, Mrs. Cat Killr and I are having a nice old prohibition-era recipe as an aperitif to compliment the honey-and-apple-cider-glazed ribs I’ve been doing on the smoker all day.

The crisp, refreshing tastes of dry gin, fresh lemon and good quality honey, alongside the smell of wood smoke; the sound of birds singing; and the temperature on the back patio – not too hot and not too cold – all make for a great way to kick off a long weekend and begin summer in earnest.

The earliest publication of The Bee’s Knees can be found in a 1934 recipe book by one William Boothby: World Drinks and How to Mix Them. I like how his version is nice and dry – not sickly sweet – and has a little dose of orange juice to balance things out. It adds some citrus without making it too sour.

As for the gin, I usually have oodles of Boodles around the house, and it really works well here. It’s definitely in the style of a “London Dry”, strong on juniper but not quite as aggressive on the other herbs as some brands in that gin category. The very royal looking blue color of the label is also nice and elegant. (I don't buy a bottle for the label, but I also like it to not look tasteless. For some reason, some spirits companies think that I want cartoon characters of pirates and octopi on my bar. No thanks.)

Here's my recipe:

THE BEE'S KNEES
2 oz Boodles gin
1/4 oz of a honey syrup (equal parts good honey and water heated to create a simple syrup)
3/4 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 oz orange juice

Shake vigorously in a cocktail shaker then strain into a pre-chilled coupe. Garnish with a lemon twist, expressing the lemon rind's oils into the glass before dropping it into the drink.

Enjoy!

143797
 

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Cat Herder
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You should share your ribs recipe too. Some of us don't drink, but still enjoy smoking meat.

I am learning that I find meat smoking to be enjoyable and relaxing, especially since I went to a propane smoker- I think it tastes even better (more pure wood flavor) and so easy to control, plus there is never a hurry. Bonus, I get to tell the wife I'm busy cooking all day.
 

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Viceroy 🟩🟩🟩
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Discussion Starter #3
I've been practicing my cocktails for decades. During the old days as part of the diplomatic corps, you could say that it was a career where one "drank professionally". However I'm pretty new to the pellet smoker business, so I don't think I'm ready to share yet. I'm still at the point where I'd welcome mentorship.
 

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Viceroy 🟩🟩🟩
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Discussion Starter #5
Not real knowledgeable on pellet smokers, are they all electric or actual burning type?
I think most pellet smokers work like mine where the pellet hopper is emptied by an augur into the fire pot. It maintains temperature by adjusting a fan speed and augur speed. So yes it’s 110 electric just to control those electronics and the initial ignition rod to start it up. Otherwise all the heat and smoke is wood pellets.

I went with a Rec Tec on the advice of a guy who has several trophies from winning at the big national BBQ competition in Memphis. Some of the pellet smoker brands like you see at every hardware store only adjust in 25 degree increments and only hold the heat within 15 degrees of the temperature setting. Rec Tecs are adjustable in five degrees increments and hold within two degrees of that setting! Plus it’s Wi-Fi so you can check and change the temperature, check the meat probes temp readings, and set alarms (like for when your meat reaches a certain temp) all from your smartphone app.

It’s a far cry from welding up a real wood burning smoker and scrounging sources of wood, but I wanted to start the hobby with something that could turn out great barbecue and not require as much baby sitting.
 

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I think most pellet smokers work like mine where the pellet hopper is emptied by an augur into the fire pot. It maintains temperature by adjusting a fan speed and augur speed. So yes it’s 110 electric just to control those electronics and the initial ignition rod to start it up. Otherwise all the heat and smoke is wood pellets.

I went with a Rec Tec on the advice of a guy who has several trophies from winning at the big national BBQ competition in Memphis. Some of the pellet smoker brands like you see at every hardware store only adjust in 25 degree increments and only hold the heat within 15 degrees of the temperature setting. Rec Tecs are adjustable in five degrees increments and hold within two degrees of that setting! Plus it’s Wi-Fi so you can check and change the temperature, check the meat probes temp readings, and set alarms (like for when your meat reaches a certain temp) all from your smartphone app.

It’s a far cry from welding up a real wood burning smoker and scrounging sources of wood, but I wanted to start the hobby with something that could turn out great barbecue and not require as much baby sitting.
I've been tempted to dive belly first into smoked meat / bq but hesitant due to me being unknowledgable on the matter ...
 

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Viceroy 🟩🟩🟩
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Discussion Starter #8
I've been tempted to dive belly first into smoked meat / bq but hesitant due to me being unknowledgable on the matter ...
All I can say is that Rec Tec is the hottest thing going right now. (And advertising frequently on Rush Limbaugh!) Their little $599 RT-340 is small enough to be portable (folding legs make it easy to load in the pickup and go) but big enough to do a large rack of ribs, medium-sized brisket, reverse-sear steaks for a family of four, or smoke a couple pork butts. Smaller unit is more efficient on pellets too. I can do a 12 hour pork butt smoke with only ~$3 worth of pellets, even on a cold, windy day.

if you have the money and want to cook for more than a family of four, a bigger model would give you a lot more smoking room.

What sold me on them was the heat precision compared to Traeger. And their customer service is phenomenal. Every rep seems to be a serious meat smoker. I’ve even had them call me back after customer service hours when I sent them an email.
 
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