So here's the new thing I mentioned in the last post, filet smoked with chunks of wood from orange trees one of our guests brought for us:
It was remarkably easy, fire up the coals on one side of the grill, toss a dry chunk of orange wood on the hot coals, put the steaks on the opposite side of the grill and close the lid and let it go for a bit less than half an hour. I usually soak the wood for smoking in water for a bit to keep it from burning too fast, but following the recommendation of the guy who had done this before, we didn't this time and it worked beautifully. We only used a small chunk of wood also, less than 1x1x3 inches in size; I would have thought we would need more and I would have been wrong.
Another important step is to get the ventilation right. I had wanted to get a Bar-b-chef Texas grill, but by the time I went to buy it I discovered they had been discontinued, so I ended up with this one from Lowes. It was difficult to find one I wanted since I was adamant that it have both an adjustable firebox I could raise and lower it to control the heat and a door to access the coals to add or adjust them without removing the grill surface, and I was having difficultly finding a grill with these features. My friend's one complaint about his bar-b-chef was that it didn't have enough vents to control the air flow, I think it only has 2, one on each side of the hood. Fortunately my girl has 4, one on each side of the hood as well as one on each side of the main body closer to the coals. These proved useful for smoking, because I could open the top vent close to the meat and the low vent closer to the coals on the opposite side, and close the other two. This directed the smoke up and over the meat, as well as allowed me to adjust the size of the opening near the coals to cut down on the air intake if it was getting too hot inside to slowly smoke the meat. So maybe having the bar-b-chef discontinued was a blessing in disguise. This one's definitly not quite as sturdy, but she works.
Definitely adding this one to my repertoire in the future.
I've ordered some more orange wood and some other fun looking stuff from citruswoodchips.com.