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Old 01-19-2008, 12:59 PM  
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 08-20-2008, 06:51 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by SNAFU View Post
It's a cheap wal-mart Brinkman charcoal smoker. Pretty basic set up but it's done well for me. I have a little trouble maintaining a constant temp if there is wind or cool weather but other than that, no problems. I should be able to get plenty of circulation between the 2 butts. Thanks for the help guys.
Are you pulling or slicing?

The important thing is you want to get the internal temp to 190-195 for pulling and about 175 for slices. Until that happens the 1.5 hours per lbs is kinda unimportant, it's just a guideline. But you shouldn't have to double your cooktime because you doubled your meat.
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Old 08-20-2008, 07:43 AM   #152
SNAFU SNAFU is offline
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Are you pulling or slicing?

The important thing is you want to get the internal temp to 190-195 for pulling and about 175 for slices. Until that happens the 1.5 hours per lbs is kinda unimportant, it's just a guideline. But you shouldn't have to double your cooktime because you doubled your meat.
I'm going to try and get it up to pulling temp but the deciding factor is time. I don't want to be up all night. I'll start it tomorrow morning. That should give me plenty of time. I wish it had a temp gauge but all it has is a gauge that shows warm, ideal and hot. Hopefully, it all comes together okay. I'm under a little pressure because I am doing this for a food day we are having at work on Friday.
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Old 08-20-2008, 07:49 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by SNAFU View Post
I'm going to try and get it up to pulling temp but the deciding factor is time. I don't want to be up all night. I'll start it tomorrow morning. That should give me plenty of time. I wish it had a temp gauge but all it has is a gauge that shows warm, ideal and hot. Hopefully, it all comes together okay. I'm under a little pressure because I am doing this for a food day we are having at work on Friday.
Dude - if I'm going to bed I'll make sure a butt has at least 4 hours of smoker time and then finish in an oven or crockpot overnight. If you drop it in a crockpot on low it won't dry out and should be ready to pull in the morning.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:00 AM   #154
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Our team met last night to go over the details for the Paola comp this weekend. Should be a good one. There are a few live bands throughout the night too. Anyhow, looks like I am the pork butt guy. I am gonna try injecting it for the first time. Any suggestions on the injection mix? I have the BBQ BIble, but wanted to know if any of you guys have tried one and love it.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:03 AM   #155
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Our team met last night to go over the details for the Paola comp this weekend. Should be a good one. There are a few live bands throughout the night too. Anyhow, looks like I am the pork butt guy. I am gonna try injecting it for the first time. Any suggestions on the injection mix? I have the BBQ BIble, but wanted to know if any of you guys have tried one and love it.
I did 100% cherry juice on one of my recent butts. I couldn't really tell a difference but my mother thought it was my best ever. I presume spices would be more noticeable.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:07 AM   #156
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Dude - if I'm going to bed I'll make sure a butt has at least 4 hours of smoker time and then finish in an oven or crockpot overnight. If you drop it in a crockpot on low it won't dry out and should be ready to pull in the morning.
Thats a great idea! I have a large slow cooker that should be big enough to get both in. Should I wrap in foil before puttin them in the slow cooker?
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:12 AM   #157
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I did 100% cherry juice on one of my recent butts. I couldn't really tell a difference but my mother thought it was my best ever. I presume spices would be more noticeable.
What kind of cherry juice? Also, did you inject it the night before then let it sit, or right before smoking it?
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:16 AM   #158
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Originally Posted by Phobia View Post
I did 100% cherry juice on one of my recent butts. I couldn't really tell a difference but my mother thought it was my best ever. I presume spices would be more noticeable.
I tried 100% unfiltered apple juice once and it was very good. Also smoked with apple/hickory wood. Very nice.

You could also brine with a mix of juice and water.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:18 AM   #159
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Originally Posted by Phobia View Post
Dude - if I'm going to bed I'll make sure a butt has at least 4 hours of smoker time and then finish in an oven or crockpot overnight. If you drop it in a crockpot on low it won't dry out and should be ready to pull in the morning.
I'd wrap it and put it in the oven at 190-200 degrees. You don't want it to get above boiling temp or it will dry out.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:21 AM   #160
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Thats a great idea! I have a large slow cooker that should be big enough to get both in. Should I wrap in foil before puttin them in the slow cooker?
It probably depends on how important bark is to you. Cooking in its own juices adds some flavor but destroys your bark. If you really really want your bark, I'd probably wrap in foil and then finish unwrapped for half an hour or so with higher heat (300?) to stabilize that bark.

That said, I like my bark but I usually just drop it in the crock-pot unwrapped - when I do employ this technique. Clearly it's not something you'd do for competition. It's cheating.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:23 AM   #161
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I'd wrap it and put it in the oven at 190-200 degrees. You don't want it to get above boiling temp or it will dry out.
But you're gonna get a lot of fat rendering out and likely in the bottom of your oven if your wrap isn't perfect. That's why I like the slow-cooker.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:24 AM   #162
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What kind of cherry juice? Also, did you inject it the night before then let it sit, or right before smoking it?
I dunno - something the wife had laying around for the kid to drink. I probably injected it a couple hours before or so.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:43 AM   #163
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It probably depends on how important bark is to you. Cooking in its own juices adds some flavor but destroys your bark. If you really really want your bark, I'd probably wrap in foil and then finish unwrapped for half an hour or so with higher heat (300?) to stabilize that bark.

That said, I like my bark but I usually just drop it in the crock-pot unwrapped - when I do employ this technique. Clearly it's not something you'd do for competition. It's cheating.
And the bark is exactly why I'd use the over. I love it, and I won't give it up.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:44 AM   #164
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But you're gonna get a lot of fat rendering out and likely in the bottom of your oven if your wrap isn't perfect. That's why I like the slow-cooker.
Forgot to mention, I'd put it in a roaster on a rack. I don't want it sitting there in the juice.
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:34 AM   #165
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This is a great thread. I bought my first smoker back on the 4th of july. After many days of research I settled on the Weber Smokey Mountain and couldn't be happier. My first smoke was a 10lb brisket and a 7lb pork tenderloin. I used a harley's bbq seasoning that I got from a friend on the brisket and a kosher salt/brown sugar/garlic salt brine for the pork. I cooked with kingsford using the minion method? where you load the charcoal and then start 10-15 briquettes in the chimney and then add to the rest of the unlit coals to keep temps down (this is different than what the instructions tell you to do). I used a combo of mesquite/oak (mistake- to much smoke). The brisket turned out about a 3.5 out of ten but the pork was about a 7 of 10 as I kept it from drying out. Since then I have done pork and beef ribs, chicken, and some sausage that was used to make gumbo. Turned out excellent.

Anyway, I would definitely recommend the WSM smoker to anyone regardless of experience. As long as you have patience and read up on how to use the smoker than anyone can use it and it makes great Q.
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