Grilling and Smoking

  1. Types of Cookers
  2. Modifications
  3. Accessories
  4. Preparation
  5. Cooking - Temperature and smoke
  6. Recipes:
  7. Marinades:
  8. Web Links:
  9. Cooking Logs:

Types of Cookers:




Cooking - Temperature and smoke

Keep smoke production low

Add wood slowly, not too much at once. Regulate temperature by closing fuel vent while leaving main air vent and smokestack open. If more cooling is needed try partially closing smokestack.






Easy Grilled Salmon

Use skin-on fillets and place the salmon fillets on the hot grill skinless 
side down first. 

The fillets, when raw, won't flake and fall apart like they will when they are 
cooked. So, you sear the raw skinless side first, only enough to get some good 
grill marks and an edge of cooked fish, then you carefully flip it and finish 
your cooking at a lower temp with the skin-side down. 

This way the skin will help keep the fillet together and help keep it from 
flaking apart and falling into your grill while the fish completes its 

Also make sure you coat the grill grates and the fillets well with oil, to 
help prevent sticking. Some sticking is likely to happen anyway, which is why 
you need to be careful when you flip the fillets over. But having a well oiled 
hot grill and well oiled fillets will help. 

There are plenty of marinades you can use with salmon; Some are listed 

I usually just use a simple soy sauce and minced garlic marinade. Sometimes I 
get a little fancier and add mirin rice wine, ginger, and sugar. 

    Prep time: 15 minutes
    Cook time: 10 minutes
    Marinating time: 20 minutes


    1 1/2 to 3 pounds salmon fillets, skin-on (figure 1/3 to 1/2 pound per 
    Canola, olive, or grapeseed oil

Marinade Recipes

Basic marinade:

    3/4 cup soy sauce
    4 garlic cloves, minced

Basic teriyaki marinade:

    1 cup soy sauce
    1-inch nob of fresh ginger root, grated
    4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
    2 to 4 Tbsp brown sugar

Teriyaki marinade with mirin:

    1/2 cup soy sauce
    1/4 cup mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine) or seasoned rice vinegar
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    2 Tbsp minced garlic
    2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
    1/4 cup minced green onions
    2 Tbsp vegetable oil
    Pinch chili pepper flakes

Yakitori marinade with sake:

    1/2 cup sake
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    1/2 cup mirin
    2 Tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    A dash of red chili pepper flakes
    1/4 cup white sugar


1 Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl. If sugar is an ingredient in the 
marinade you are using, stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. 

2 Cut filles 1 1/2 to 2-inches wide. Place marinade ingredients in a large 
casserole dish (or a plate with sides so the marinade doesn't run). Coat the 
salmon fillets in the marinade and then place them skinless-side down in the 

Marinate for 20 minutes for a quick marinade (can do this at room temperature 
while you are preparing the grill) or if you have more time from 1-2 hours 
chilled in the refrigerator. Before grilling, remove fillets from marinade and 
discard marinade. 

3 Prepare grill for high direct heat (if you are using a charcoal grill, 
prepare one side of the grill for high direct heat and the other side with 
fewer coals for indirect heating). When the grill is hot (you should be able 
to hold your hand one inch above the grill grates for only 1 second), spray or 
brush oil generously on both sides of fish fillets. Place fillets on grill, 
skinless side down first, so that they can get nice grill marks on the hot 
grill while the fish is still firm. Close the grill lid. Cook 1-3 minutes on 
the first side, depending on how thick the fillets are. 

Once the fish fillets have been placed on the grill, do not move them until 
you are going to flip them over, otherwise they may fall apart. 

4 Look for grill marks on the fish and a small layer of opaque (cooked) fish 
where the fish is closes to the grill. Using tongs, and a metal spatula to 
help if necessary, carefully turn the fish onto the other side, so that the 
skin side is now on the grill grates. 

If you are using a charcoal grill, the fillets should be placed on the side of 
the grill furthest from the coals. If you are using a gas grill, just reduce 
the flame to medium. 

Close the grill lid. Cook for another 2-5 minutes, again depending on the 
thickness of the fillets. Salmon should be just barely opaque throughout when 

Better to err on the side of undercooking the salmon, rather than overcooking. 
You can always put the fish back on the grill, but once a good fillet is 
overcooked, there's nothing you can do. 

Remove from grill and serve immediately.

Sesame-Crusted Salmon with bok choy

4 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
4 skin-on salmon fillets (4-6 oz. each)

Place sesame seeds on a baking sheet mixed with 1 tbsp. olive oil and press 
both sides of salmon fillets into sesame seeds to coat evenly. 
Add salt and black pepper to taste.

Cook salmon skin up 3-5 minutes.
Turn over and cook 3-5 minutes more.

Serve with a sauce made as follows:

In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup soy sauce, 3 tbsp. fresh lime juice,
2 tbsp. honey.  Set aside.

Heat 1 medium garlic glove minced, 1 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger,
and 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet.

Add 1 pound baby bok choy, rinsed and quartered lengthwise. and 1/2 Holland 
chile seeded and thinly sliced. Toss to coat.

Add 1 tbsp. soy mixture from above and cover pan with a lid.

Steam until tender, 2-3 minutes.  Remove from pan.  Set aside.

Pour remaining soy mixture into skillet.  Increase heat and boil until 
slightly reduced, 2-3 minutes.

Serve salmon and bok choy with sauce.


See Shish Kabobs above.


Your Everyday Basic BBQ Marinade


1 cup applesauce, unsweetened
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon cayenne pepper
Apple juice or water for thinning


1. Add the applesauce, honey, and dry ingredients together in a nonreactive 
bowl and mix well. Be sure to use a container or jar deep enough to submerge 
the needle holes in the marinade before you pull back on the injector's 

2. If the marinade is too thick, add a little water or apple juice to thin it. 
The liquid you use will depend on your preference for sweetness. Taste the 
marinade before you make any changes. 

3. Fill the barrel to capacity and then inject the marinade into your beef, 
chicken, or pork. Make sure your injection points are spread out evenly 
(approximately two inches apart for big cuts), and that you apply pressure 
steadily as you remove the needle. 

4. Let your meat settle for 30 minutes before you start grilling, roasting, or 

BBQ's Pork Injection:

    1 C pineapple juice
    1 C apple juice
    1/2 C brown sugar
    2 Tbs Worcestershire
    2 Tbs soy sauce
    2 Tbs hot sauce
    1 Tbs dry mustard

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Heat until they are well blended. 
Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate before 
using. Never inject hot or warm marinades, they should be cool or no more than 
room temperature. 

A well-balanced marinade contains four basic ingredients: acid, oil, salt, and flavoring. Before you can throw these items together, you should know a few other things.

The following are a few flavor profiles that work well with particular types of meat, poultry, and fish.

Chicken: orange, ginger, thyme, mint, coriander, saffron, parsley, tarragon, cumin, onion, basil, paprika, cream, garlic, cinnamon, rosemary, lemon, sage, cilantro, and coconut.

Goose: mustard, opinions, paprika, parsley, and rosemary.

Duck: honey, lime, onion, thyme, soy sauce, ginger, coriander, and bay leaf.

Pork: paprika, mustard, ginger, juniper, allspice, chili, nutmeg, thyme, chives, rosemary, coriander, vinegar, balsamic vinegar, parsley, and sage.

Beef: pepper, mustard, rosemary, garlic, celery, cumin, basil, cayenne, leek, onion, sage, oregano, thyme, fennel, and bay leaf.

Veal: mint, paprika, ginger, dill, pepper, saffron, lemon, sage, bay leaf, parsley, oregano, marjoram, nutmeg, and tarragon.

Lamb: rosemary, thyme, cumin, mint, garlic, onion, basil, cinnamon, oregano, and sage.

Fish: lemon, butter, lime, saffron, cream, paprika, tarragon, garlic, bay leaf, onion, parsley, soy sauce, mint, cayenne, mustard, sage, marjoram, thyme, and turmeric.

Don't be afraid to experiment. Create an acid and oil base and then season it with flavors you know you enjoy. Although recipes vary in quantity, start with equal parts oil and acid for a base.

Web Links:

Cooking Logs:

Seasoning Omaha Smoker - 05-24-15

6:55 am temp 57  started charcoal in chimney with newspaper & canola oil.
made deflection baffle in cooking chamber with tin foil
and also used tin foil to seal edges of lid of cooking chamber.
All vents wide open

7:20 am - emptied charcoal into fire chamber and closed cooker leaving
vents wide open.  Temperature inside cooking chamber immediately went
up to 300 degrees.  It drops about 50 degrees when door to cooking chamber
is opened.  Used aluminum roasting pan for water pan in cooking chamber
next to fire chamber.

8:00-8:30 am - Temperature inside cooking chamber stayed around 350 degrees.

8:30 - Added a stick of sassafras and a stick of ailianthus wood and temperature soon passed 450 heading to 500 degrees.

8:45 - Temp. up to 700 degrees.  Cut lower vent to half open.  Temp. went down to 600 then on down to 500 and to 450.

10:00 - Temp. down to 350.  I put more wood in and it was soon up to 450 with 
fuel vent still only half open.  Other vents fully open. 

10:30 - Temp. up to 600.   Closed all vents except smokestack and it went down 
to 425 pretty quickly.  I probably shouldn't have put so much wood in at once.  
The outside ambient temperature is now up to 82 degrees.


2:00 pm - outside temperature up to 86.  Cooker chamber temperature down to 
150 degrees.  I added a 9 pound pork tenderloin roast cut in half horizonally 
to the cooking chamber and added a stick of cherry wood and some Kingsford 
lump briquettes of charcoal to the fire.  Turned the fire vent all the way up 
for a few minutes until the wood catches up. 

After a few minutes the wood caught up and the temperature in the cooking 
chamber went up to about 400 degrees.  I turned the fire vent all the way down 
and closed the smokestack to about 1/3 open.  The other intake vent was left 
fully open.  The fire then stabilized at about 225 to 250 degrees and was 
still steady at 3:30. 

I kept the fire stable at about 225 degrees by adding wood and some lump 
charcoal and adjusting the fuel and smokestack vents  and the roast reached 
150 degrees internal temperature about 7:00 pm or about 5 hours cooking.  The 
smoker held the temperature pretty well without too much tending the fire.  
Basically check it every half hour or so.  

Using the remote thermometer I found that the thermometer on the smoker
reads about 35 degrees higher than the temperature at the cooking 
surface so I had cooked the tenderloin at a lower temperature than
I thought.  Later with a more accurate thermometer, it took between 3 and
4 hours with the cooking chamber between 230 and 250 degrees to cook the
pork tenderloin to 160 degrees.

May 31, 2015 - Outside temperature at 85 degrees

Started Charcoal at about 3:30 pm.  Put 3 1/2 pounds of country 
ribs in aluminum roast pan covered with barbeque sauce and beer.  
After charcoal started good and emptied from chimney to charcoal 
baskets, added 2 sticks of cherry firewood.  

By 4:00 temperature inside cooking chamber by remote thermometer 
was up to almost 300 degrees and then fell to about 270 as I 
turned down the fire vent.  The meat temperature had risen from 
an initial temperature of 63 degrees to 108 degrees. 

By 4:40 after adding more wood and charcoal and adjusting fire
vent, temperature inside cooking chamber was 234 degrees and 
temperature inside ribs was 129 degrees.

At just after 5:00 I drained the sauce off the ribs and wrapped
them in tinfoil and put them back in the cooking chamber.
At 5:30 then cooking chamber was 270 degrees and the ribs were
up to 156 degrees.  A shower had lowered the external temperature
to 72 degrees.

At 5:40 I added five italian sausages to the grill and by 6:10 the
ribs were up to 172 degrees.  At 6:15 I took off the sausages and
the ribs.

June 7, 2015

Marinated 5 pound rump roast overnight in the refrigerator with
a marinate of:

1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 small finely chopped onion

and turned it at about 6:30 in the morning.  I took the roast out of the 
refrigerator at 11:00 am to let it begin to warm up. 

1:45 pm - outside temperature 92 degrees.

Put roast on grill with temperature in cooking chamber soon climbing to
250 degrees and meat temperature up to 60 degrees.

2:15 pm - cooking temperature up to 280, turned fire vent half closed.  
Added cherry firewood.
Meat temperature is now up to 70 degrees.

2:30 pm - cooking temperature - 235, meat temperature - 79

3:00 pm - cooking temperature - 239, meat temperature - 104. 
Closed fire vent completely.

3:17 pm - half closed exhaust vent.

3:37 pm - cooking temperature - 235, meat temperature - 126.

4:00 pm - cooking temperature - 217, meat temperature - 138.
Fully opened exhaust vent.

4:30 pm - cooking temperature - 208, meat temperature - 147.

Took roast off fire and put on platter to cool for 30 minutes.
The internal temperature should continue to rise to about 155 degrees
before it begins to cool.

They turned out to be a little rare so don't take off the fire next
time until they are about 155 to 160 degrees.

Turned the fire vent fully open and put almost two pounds of polish
sausage on the grill.

cooking temperature - 225, meat temperature - 77.

4:50 pm - cooking temperature - 240, meat temperature - 155.
took sausages off grill.

Outside temperature stayed at 92 degrees all afternoon.

June 28, 2015

Marinated about 3 pounds of stew beef and steak cut into cubes for 9 hours
in the refrigerator with a marinate of:

    cup red wine vinegar
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    1 minced garlic clove
    1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
    1/8 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper

At about 4:30 pm with an outside temperature of 80 degrees I built a fire 
and heated the smoker to 280 degrees.

We pre cooked onions and peppers and put olive oil and spices on them and
on squash, mushrooms and carrots cut into small cubes.

Then we alternated all those with the beef and with bacon squares on 
wooden skewers that had been soaked in water for 30 minutes.

These loaded skewers were then put in the cooking chamber of the smoker 
and cooked for a little over an hour and then served with fresh cucumbers
and onions in vinegar.


July 18, 2015 - Saturday

1:00 pm - took 17 pound USDA choice beef brisket from fridge and trimmed off
about 3 pounds of fat and rubbed first with brown mustard and then with a 
mixture of 1/2 cup coarse black pepper, 1/2 cup coarse kosher salt with some 
paprika, garlic powder, and dried onion flakes.  Brisket was then put on a 
flat pan, covered with cling wrap and replaced into the refrigerator for the 

11:15 pm - Took brisket out of refrigerator and started fire.
11:45 pm - Cooking temp. 266 degrees.  Put meat in smoker.

July 19, 2015 - Sunday

12:00 am - Cooking temp. 228 degrees.
 1:00 am - Cooking temp. 270 degrees.  Turned fire air vent down.
 1:30 am - Cooking temp. 225 degrees.  Added wood. Meat temp. 104 degrees.
 2:00 am - Cooking temp. 320 degrees.  Meat temp. 118 degrees. Turned vent down.
 3:00 am - Cooking temp. 217 degrees.  Meat temp. 140 degrees.  Added wood.
 4:00 am - Cooking temp. 201 degrees   Meat temp. 149 degrees.  Added wood.
 5:00 am - Cooking temp. 280 degrees   Meat temp. 156 degrees.  Turned vent down.
Wrapped meat in tin foil and added 1/2 cup water inside package.
 6:00 am - Cooking Temp. 219 degrees.  Meat temp. 162 degrees.  Added wood.
 6:30 am - Cooking Temp. 263 degrees.  Meat temp. 165 degrees.  Closed fire vent.
 7:00 am - Cooking Temp. 241 degrees.  Meat temp. 171 degrees.
 8:00 am - Cooking Temp. 221 degrees.  Meat temp. 178 degrees.  Added wood. Opened vent.
10:30 am - Cooking Temp. 232 degrees.  Meat temp. 187 degrees.  Added wood.
 1:30 pm - Cooking Temp. 284 degrees.  Meat temp. 192 degrees.  Added wood.
 2:00 pm - Cooking Temp. 225 degrees.  Meat temp. 194 degrees.  Added wood.
 2:30 pm - Cooking Temp. 262 degrees.  Meat temp. 194 degrees.
 3:00 pm - Cooking Temp. 300 degrees.  Meat temp. 194 degrees.  Added wood.
 3:30 pm - Cooking Temp. 410 degrees.  Meat temp. 196 degrees. 
Removed meat from smoker, wrapped it in a towel and put it in a cold oven to
rest for two hours, then sliced the point into cubes and the flat into


July 26, 2015 - Sunday - 91 degrees

Started charcoal in kettle grill and heated grill to 450 degrees.

Put on 15 hamburgers Eva had mixed with one raw egg and other flavorings 
from about 4 1/2 pounds of ground beef.

Grilled for 18 minutes to 170 degrees turning after the first seven minutes.


August 9, 2015 - Sunday - 93 degrees

10 pound sirloin tip roast cut into two pieces and marinaded in the 
refrigerator overnight was taken out to warm at 11:00 am.  

I started the fire in the smoker at 12:30 and put the meat on and added
cherry wood to the fire at 1:00 pm.

At 1:30 the cooking temperature was 139 degrees and the meat temperature
was 52 degrees.

At 2:00 the cooking temperature was 205 degrees and the meat temperature
was 68 degrees.

At 2:30 the cooking temperature was 250 degrees and the meat temperature
was 88 degrees.

At 3:00 the cooking temperature was 250 degrees and the meat temperature
was 106 degrees.

At 3:30 the cooking temperature was 243 degrees and the meat temperature
was 122 degrees.

At 4:00 the cooking temperature was 250 degrees and the meat temperature
was 135 degrees.

At 4:30 the cooking temperature was 300 degrees and the meat temperature
was 144 degrees.

At 5:00 the cooking temperature was 280 degrees and the meat temperature
was 154 degrees.

At 5:30 the cooking temperature was 276 degrees and the meat temperature
was 162 degrees.

Note:  The temperature of the bigger piece was 162 degrees but the 
temperature of the smaller piece was only 158 degrees because it was on the
cool side of the smoker.  It was a little rare.  They should have both
been cooked about half an hour longer or to 165 degrees.  Should have started
cooking at 11:30 am instead of 1:00 pm.


August 23, 2015 - Sunday - 86 degrees

About 7 or 8 pounds of Texas style country ribs were rubbed with the paprika, 
chili powder, etc. rub and covered in the refrigerator overnight and taken out 
at 1:30 pm. 

I started the fire in the smoker at 1:30 and put the meat on and added
sassafras wood to the fire at 2:00 pm.  The temperature in the cooking chamber 
was 226 degrees.

At 2:30 the cooking temperature was 232 degrees and the meat temperature
was 97 degrees.

At 3:00 the cooking temperature was 232 degrees and the meat temperature
was 130 degrees.

At 3:30 the cooking temperature was 200 degrees and the meat temperature
was 138 degrees.

At 4:00 the cooking temperature was 219 degrees and the meat temperature
was 144 degrees.

At 4:30 the cooking temperature was 255 degrees and the meat temperature
was 149 degrees.

At 5:00 the cooking temperature was 268 degrees and the meat temperature
was 154 degrees.  I brushed the ribs with barbecue sauce and wrapped them in 
tin foil.

At 5:30 the cooking temperature was 250 degrees and the meat temperature
was 165 degrees.

At 5:55 the cooking temperature was 279 degrees and the meat temperature
was 172 degrees.  I took the ribs off and we ate.  Delicious.


September 6, 2015 - Sunday - 88 degrees

About 4 or 5 pounds of boneless chicken breasts (7 pieces) were covered with 
marinade in the refrigerator overnight, turned in the morning and taken out at 
3:30 pm. 

I started the fire in the smoker at 3:30 and put the meat on and added
cherry wood to the fire at 3:45 pm.  The temperature in the cooking chamber 
was 264 degrees.

At 4:20 the cooking temperature was 241 degrees and the meat temperature
was 129 degrees.

At 4:58 the cooking temperature was 253 degrees and the meat temperature
was 149 degrees.

At 5:25 the cooking temperature was 311 degrees and the meat temperature
was 160 degrees.

At 6:15 the cooking temperature was 277 degrees and the meat temperature
was 172 degrees.  I took the meat out of the smoker. 

I should have kept the cooking temperature between 275 and 300 degrees 
throughout and maybe cooked the chicken in 1 1/2 hours instead of 2 1/2 hours.

I also grilled 3 pounds of salmon after marinading it for 20 minutes.  I 
grilled it on a very hot fire for 10 minutes turning once.