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Orion Cooker - My product review
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DawgPhan
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21 07 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like that we go over smoke ring formation every few months...what is amazing that most folks seem to forget it every few months...You have to have combustion for a smoke ring to form without tenderquick and all of that stuff...

You barely get a smoke ring in electric cookers because there is very little combustion. Hell Shane's Rib Shack cooks on electric smokers for that very reason. They dont want a smoke ring in there food so they smoker on an electic smoker. The orion cooked maybe be able to produce a small smoke ring, but probably at the cost of the taste.

This is like one of those cajun microwaves or caja china cookers.

It gets hot inside the chamber and cooks the meat....more like a charcoal oven.


Last edited by DawgPhan on Wed Mar 21 07 3:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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allsmokenofire
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21 07 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just getting caught up on this thread, so I guess I'll add my thoughts...

Actually, you don't need wood, or charcoal, or combustion of any kind to make a smoke ring. An old competition trick is to rub the outside of a piece of butt or brisket w/ prague powder or tenderquick, let it sit for about 5 mins. and then rinse it off. Perfect "smoke ring" every time. Cool

The "smoke ring" is actually the outside of the meat curing from the presence of nitrous acid, which is produced from the nitrogen dioxide present in smoke. It can also be artificially produced with a sodium nitrite/nitrate cure.

A stickburner, a charcoal burner, an electric smoker, a propane-fired smoker, or even an oven can produce a smoke ring, as long the nitrous acid is present from whatever source.

Here is one of the best articles I've found explaining the process:
http://www.geocities.com/senortoad/SmokeRinginBarbequeMeats.htm

Just my thoughts.....swing away gents. Wink
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adolpho
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21 07 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I don't have to add charcoal or wood chips inside?
When I cook with sticks, I get a ring. With lump and chunks, I get a ring. With a heating element (electric) and chips I get a thin ring. This was the first cooker without a ring. Allsmoke, would that be the only route to get a ring in the Orion? Is it an artificial ring?

This is cool, turning out to be educational!
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DawgPhan
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21 07 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

umm...I meant to mention tenderquick in my post...had to go back and edit it to actually say what I wanted....without...
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allsmokenofire
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21 07 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

adolpho wrote:
So I don't have to add charcoal or wood chips inside?
When I cook with sticks, I get a ring. With lump and chunks, I get a ring. With a heating element (electric) and chips I get a thin ring. This was the first cooker without a ring. Allsmoke, would that be the only route to get a ring in the Orion? Is it an artificial ring?

This is cool, turning out to be educational!


Adolph,
I don't think the charcoal or the chips on the inside are going to help with smoke ring creation because it's not a good environment for creating the nitrogen dioxide. You could create a smoke ring using tenderquick or prague powder. It would probably be less pronounced on chicken than it would a butt or a brisket. It's not necessarily an "artifical ring", it's a cure just like the smoke would create, the nitrous acid is just created from a different source. Wink
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Tony
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21 07 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

allsmokenofire wrote:
Just getting caught up on this thread, so I guess I'll add my thoughts...

Actually, you don't need wood, or charcoal, or combustion of any kind to make a smoke ring. An old competition trick is to rub the outside of a piece of butt or brisket w/ prague powder or tenderquick, let it sit for about 5 mins. and then rinse it off. Perfect "smoke ring" every time. Cool

The "smoke ring" is actually the outside of the meat curing from the presence of nitrous acid, which is produced from the nitrogen dioxide present in smoke. It can also be artificially produced with a sodium nitrite/nitrate cure.

A stickburner, a charcoal burner, an electric smoker, a propane-fired smoker, or even an oven can produce a smoke ring, as long the nitrous acid is present from whatever source.

Here is one of the best articles I've found explaining the process:
http://www.geocities.com/senortoad/SmokeRinginBarbequeMeats.htm

Just my thoughts.....swing away gents. Wink


Thanks, Mike! Cool

As YOU and a few others here know,most of My food is cooked in an old 'fridge which is Gas fired.Smoke is created outboard in a separate
chamber,and then introduced via natural convection.

Without getting into the where-fors and the whys,I get a smoke ring 1/4"-3/8" every time.It really wouldn't bother Me if it didn't occur at all..
but it does.

Thanks again,allsmokenofire for puttin' down in layman terms what folk need to know! Wink

Best Regards, Tony Very Happy
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roxy
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21 07 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

5 16 lb turkeys again tonight for dinner and every one had a smoke ring... Go figure.
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mlebwill
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21 07 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

adolpho,

I'm guessing (and it was mentioned before) that your chicken got to the 140* threshold before the nitrates could do thier mojo and create the smoke-ring. From what I understand, the longer the meat is exposed to the smoke while under 140* internal temp, the deeper the smoke ring.

Try keeping your chicken in the frig (as cold as possible) right up to the time you place it in the cooker. This should aid in the creation of a smoke ring as well as reduce the smoke flavor of the meat (I believe that cold meat takes less smoke than room temp meat does durring the cooking process ***IMHO***).

Thanks for sharing your experience with your new toy.

Mike
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ChefBubbaQ-ardee



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25 07 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought an ORION cooker a few weeks ago. I wondered where to put the wood chips. Thanks for the pictures. They aided in showing me how.

I am planning to smoke a few Boston Butt pork shoulders in the ORION for Thanksgiving and for Christmas instead of the usual fried turkey.

I am researching some brining methods, marinades, and spice/herbal rubs for the pork shoulders. I want to make it VERY tasty for my finicky immediate family.
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Harry Nutczak
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25 07 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChefBubbaQ-ardee wrote:
I bought an ORION cooker a few weeks ago. I wondered where to put the wood chips. Thanks for the pictures. They aided in showing me how.

I am planning to smoke a few Boston Butt pork shoulders in the ORION for Thanksgiving and for Christmas instead of the usual fried turkey.

I am researching some brining methods, marinades, and spice/herbal rubs for the pork shoulders. I want to make it VERY tasty for my finicky immediate family.


One problem with your theory;
the orion is not a smoker but instead a charcoal heated oven, the combustion byproducts are not present in the cook chamber and therfore no smoke flavor or ring will happen.

it is basically an oven, I think you would have better luck creating what you want on a weber by cooking indirect and adding chips.
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Eddie



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25 07 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One problem with your theory;
the orion is not a smoker but instead a charcoal heated oven, the combustion byproducts are not present in the cook chamber and therfore no smoke flavor or ring will happen.

it is basically an oven, I think you would have better luck creating what you want on a weber by cooking indirect and adding chips.
[quote]

A little confused with the statement above.
I have an Orion as do several of my friends. The wood chips burn, and smoke is produced in the cooking chamber. I get smoke flavor every time. Although it is not a traditional "smoker" it is a smoker none the less. I would put the baby back ribs off of it against anybodys.[/quote]
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roxy
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26 07 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eddie:

I understand the theory of the cooker and all but I cant see your ribs that you do beng better than ones done in a real smoker. I have eaten ribs cooked in an oven and I have eaten ribs from a smoker.. No brainer there. The smoker wins every time. Now ya might convince a regular at Montana's or Tony Roma's that your ribs rule but I dont think any one here will be believe'n ya.
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Harry Nutczak
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26 07 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not trying to bust anyones chops, or piss people off, (It just happens without trying)

If there is no oxygen to support combustion in an orion cooker, I think the wood chips would be carbonized into charcoal instead of actually burning and releasing a flavorful smoke.

yes wood will emit a smoke when it is being carbonized, but it is usually the really acrid yellow stuff.

Maybe I am wrong, But I don't think so.
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Hogwild
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26 07 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got no dog in this hunt as I have never even seen that "smoker" before yesterday, but adolpho did say his chicken was over smoked. In his pics you can see stuff running out of the smoker. I'd wager enough oxygen gets in to burn those few woodchips. I'll stick with my Chargriller, though.
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ChefBubbaQ-ardee



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26 07 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I want to say this. I bought ORION because I already have two grills. I didn't want another grill plus a smoker. Those were my options here. I didn't see any plain smokers at the store where I was.

The ORION cooker was there. It was at a price I could afford at the time. I decided to purchase it.

If it doesn't smoke up to snuff with ORION. Like you said it is an convection charcoal oven. The Boston Butt pork shoulders are still going to taste good. I am going to marinade the pork shoulders and use some really good spices on it.


Harry Nutczak wrote:
ChefBubbaQ-ardee wrote:
I bought an ORION cooker a few weeks ago. I wondered where to put the wood chips. Thanks for the pictures. They aided in showing me how.

I am planning to smoke a few Boston Butt pork shoulders in the ORION for Thanksgiving and for Christmas instead of the usual fried turkey.

I am researching some brining methods, marinades, and spice/herbal rubs for the pork shoulders. I want to make it VERY tasty for my finicky immediate family.


One problem with your theory;
the orion is not a smoker but instead a charcoal heated oven, the combustion byproducts are not present in the cook chamber and therfore no smoke flavor or ring will happen.

it is basically an oven, I think you would have better luck creating what you want on a weber by cooking indirect and adding chips.

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adolpho
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26 07 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's an update:
I cooked two chickens cut into halves again. This time I used a handful of Jack Daniel's wood pellets, instead of chips. The chicken came out very moist and was done in an hour and five minutes. So moist, that the skin was sliding off. That could've been my fault, since I like to cook with skin side down and all the juices may have gathered a bit too much with this type of cooker. I'll try cooking with skin side up next time. The pellets gave very little smoke flavor, maybe even none, but the chicken was well marinaded overnight and had a lot of flavor. I put the chicken on directly from the fridge so that way it was colder when the cooker started up. Great chicken this time with no oversmoke flavor, but not enough smoke flavor Confused . It also didn't get a dark color.


Next experiment will be in a couple of days. I will use a handful of apple wood chips and that's it (that's less than a 3rd of what I used last week). It may darken it and should add more smoke flavor.
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SmokinOkie
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01 07 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting thread, I probably wouldn't have looked at a review of a cooker, but a search on something else brought this subject up.

For the newbies that don't know me, I've studied SR's for a number of years. A lot of the research was to help some friends work with an electric cooker to see why they didn't get a SR.

All the information is basically here. SR is a cure, it's a cure of the meat, that's why it's pink. Food Scientists will tell you it's nitrate/nitrates curing the outside of the meat. That's why cured meat is pink. It's really silly discussions about myglobins and things like that, more than keeping the meat it's original color.

To get a SR you need to understand what you're cooking with and how it's combusting the fuel. Charcoal, because it burns imperfectly and incompletely is a good source for nitrates. That's why adding only a chunk or two gives you a SR in an electric.

Not sure why the statement was made "only charcoal gives a SR" but how does a log do it. Remember what charcoal (the real stuff) was before it was charcoal...it was wood. Wood logs will burn down to charcoal and as they burn they'll create nitrates that cure the meat.

Yup, 'ole Allsmoke is right. Just rub some TQ in the meat and see it turn pink. More than one team in the past used it, but they won't tell you they do.

That's why KCBS rules it illegal in contests, because it can be artifically created.

That's how you corn a brisket, you cure it long enough to turn pink.

Love these SR discussions...won't change anyone's opinions of them. Still love to hear new judges say..."wow did you see the SR on that one, it must be great BBQ". Didn't we all hear THAT ONE growing up.

Sad but true, now I think I need to get to Mythbusters and have them disprove it for America.

Smokin'
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adolpho
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01 07 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SmokinOkie wrote:

....Sad but true, now I think I need to get to Mythbusters and have them disprove it for America.

Smokin'


I love that show. It would be a great subject for them.
Thanks for your input. I had a contest this weekend so I didn't get a chance to use the Orion. But I want to try the handful of chips theory and piece of charcoal theory (lump). Then finally rub some TQ and see what happens.
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SmokinOkie
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01 07 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try cheap charcoal instead of lump. I've found better results with charcoal than with good lump, but if you don't have it try it.

Chips won't work as well, they combust too fast and just don't generate enough Nitrates to help out.

Smokin'
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HoggyStyle
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30 08 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are these cookers legal at KCBS competitions?
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