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Old 01-19-2008, 12:59 PM   Topic Starter
Buehler445 Buehler445 is offline
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HELP! I have a smoker and don't know how to use it!

OK. Here's the deal. I got a smoker for Christmas. But the deal is that I have no idea how to use it. I know there are some excellent smokers on the Planet, so here is my plea for help.

Description of smoker here

Basically, I know nothing about smoking meats. I'm looking for advice from you guys as basically a beginners guide to smoking. I know the recipe supercenter is out there, but as far as how to smoke something, I have no clue.

As far as what kinds of meat to use, how long to cook it for, what to season it with, what kind of wood chips to use, and what to do to keep it from drying out. As well as any tips for me to get started.

Any recipes that would be good for beginners would be very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance for all your help.

(I already know that antifreeze makes an excellent marinade)
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:08 PM   #2
StcChief StcChief is offline
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nice Smoker.... puts my Brinkman to shame
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:12 PM   #3
cdcox cdcox is offline
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As for how to cook, I'd follow the directions that came with it.

What to cook: I'd do an 8 lb Boston butt the first time. I'd put on a good bit of rub (I'll post one below) the night before. You want to cook until it is done, which means about 190 for a butt. Plan on at least an hour per pound at 210 to 220 F, but it may take up to an hour and a half per pound. Wood chips: hickory, apple, cherry, oak would be good. Not critical as long as it is a hardwood.

That smoker looks like it has a water pan, so drying out shouldn't be too much of an issue. Again read the directions that came with the smoker. If they don't say anthing about basting, you should be good to go. If they say to baste, you can use almost anything: apple cider, beer, vinegar and water...

A lot of BBQing is experimenting and developing your own style. The biggest thing is to get experience and have fun.

Oh, and you're cheating by using that smoker, just so you know.
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:14 PM   #4
HonestChieffan HonestChieffan is offline
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I have one almost the same....Teach yourself with a couple chickens...

Set the dude up and turn on and stabilize temperature at 225 or so...

Put a TINY bit of wood chips in TINY

Put birds in and let it run for about 3 hours.
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:19 PM   #5
Fried Meat Ball! Fried Meat Ball! is offline
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The easiest thing in the world to smoke is pork butt.

By a bone-in pork butt and remember LOW AND SLOW!

Low temps for a long time. The bigger the piece of meat, the longer it will take.

A 10-pound pork butt will likely take 12-14 hours.

Brisket is harder because cook too little and it's shoe leather, cook too long and it's mush.

I have a difficult time with chicken. The meat tastes good and all, but the skin is terribly rubbery. May be just me. And I've certainly not practiced with chicken.

Phil will tell you, and I agree, that the pork is the way to go. It's a very forgiving meat.

Be careful what kind of wood you use. Hickory and Mesquite are both VERY strong woods. It's easy to over-smoke something with either of those.

Fruit tree wood is mild and very nice, as is maple and pecan.

I like a mix of primarily apple or cherry with a little hickory.
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:28 PM   #6
cdcox cdcox is offline
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Rub (ingredients and amounts aren't critical. Experiment):

1/4 cup black pepper
1/3 cup paprika
1 T kosher salt
2 T sugar (I use turbinado sugar becuase it doesn't burn, you could omit it all together)
1 T each of chilli powder, garlic powder, onion
1 t cayenne

mix ingredients, rub on pork to taste.
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Old 01-27-2008, 04:00 PM   #7
Buehler445 Buehler445 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdcox
Rub (ingredients and amounts aren't critical. Experiment):

1/4 cup black pepper
1/3 cup paprika
1 T kosher salt
2 T sugar (I use turbinado sugar becuase it doesn't burn, you could omit it all together)
1 T each of chilli powder, garlic powder, onion
1 t cayenne

mix ingredients, rub on pork to taste.
Alright boys, update time. I did the chicken. It turned out really good. Then I did some beef chuck steaks. They dried out pretty badly. I'm thinking I should have foiled them, or maybe seared each side for a minute or two.

My next conquest is going to be a 3lb Boston Roast. It was the closest thing I could find at the store to what you guys are talking about. I was going to use the rub cdcox posted here. Do I need to foil this at all? I don't particularly want it to dry out like the beef did.

I'm having some trouble finding decent meat. My town is very small and the stores don't carry a lot of what you guys are suggesting. There are some pork butts around, but they are "partially cooked" and I don't want that. I think I am going to have to find a butcher.

Anyway, any additional pointers from you guys would be appreciated.

Thanks again for all your help.
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Old 01-27-2008, 04:15 PM   #8
RJ RJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buehler445
My next conquest is going to be a 3lb Boston Roast. It was the closest thing I could find at the store to what you guys are talking about. I was going to use the rub cdcox posted here. Do I need to foil this at all? I don't particularly want it to dry out like the beef did.
.


A Boston butt is a great cut for slow cooking. There's plenty of fat so you shouldn't have any worries over it drying out. Three pounds sounds on the small side, is it boneless? If so, I'd use bone-in in the future, they're more flavorful. But that's a small point, I think you'll enjoy your pork.
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:29 PM   #9
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Porks a good start but i found learning to establish heat with that electric is important. I only use it occasionally cause real fire is key to great BBQ
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:35 PM   #10
cdcox cdcox is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HonestChieffan
Porks a good start but i found learning to establish heat with that electric is important. I only use it occasionally cause real fire is key to great BBQ
I see your point. With the chicken it only takes a few hours as opposed to a long day. And if you screw it up, its only chicken.
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:39 PM   #11
Buehler445 Buehler445 is offline
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Great info guys! I appreciate all the help.

I have a Pork Roast in the freezer. Would that be similary to a Boston Butt that you were talking about cdcox?

Also, HonestChiefFan, What do you mean "Learning to establish the heat?"
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Old 01-19-2008, 02:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buehler445
Great info guys! I appreciate all the help.

I have a Pork Roast in the freezer. Would that be similary to a Boston Butt that you were talking about cdcox?

Also, HonestChiefFan, What do you mean "Learning to establish the heat?"
For your first try I wouldn't do a pork roast. It's from the loin, is much leaner, and can dry out easily.
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Old 01-19-2008, 02:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewie
For your first try I wouldn't do a pork roast. It's from the loin, is much leaner, and can dry out easily.

ehh.. Just drape a couple pounds of bacon over it..

lol


j/k... he's right... thats a difficult smoke.. one I probably wouldn't attempt until I get more practice
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:50 PM   #14
HonestChieffan HonestChieffan is offline
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its electric and your first go...chicken is cheap, fast and you will find out if the thermostat works is consistant and correct
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Old 01-19-2008, 02:17 PM   #15
tyton75 tyton75 is offline
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if I were you.. I would still invest in a meat thermometer as well...

just to make sure that the internal temp is getting where it needs to be...

never used a cheater smoker like that.. .but it does look nice and convenient!!

also... just to my preference... using hickory and apple wood in combination is the way to go in my book

also, if you are planning on smoking a brisket.. i have had success marinating it in apple juice for 24 hours before putting it on...

good luck.. it will become an addiction
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