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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 01-19-2008, 08:48 PM   #31
Extra Point Extra Point is offline
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I do everything the hard way, too. I smoke using a 22" Weber grill. No attaching smoking attachment, just the grill and a cakepan with water in it. The meat goes over the pan, the coals to on the sides of the pan. Did a brisket and a couple slabs so far this year.
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Old 01-19-2008, 09:14 PM   #32
Bacon Cheeseburger Bacon Cheeseburger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Extra Point
I do everything the hard way, too. I smoke using a 22" Weber grill. No attaching smoking attachment, just the grill and a cakepan with water in it. The meat goes over the pan, the coals to on the sides of the pan. Did a brisket and a couple slabs so far this year.
I once converted an old propane grill into a similar contraption and actually made some damn fine grub on it. Then I sent it to the dump when I bought my new Weber and I've regretted it ever since. I've never achieved the same results with it for some reason.
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Old 01-19-2008, 09:14 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Extra Point
I do everything the hard way, too. I smoke using a 22" Weber grill. No attaching smoking attachment, just the grill and a cakepan with water in it. The meat goes over the pan, the coals to on the sides of the pan. Did a brisket and a couple slabs so far this year.



I usually use the same technique and have usually been pleased with the results. I bought a grate with hinges on the sides to make it easier to add charcoal and wood chips. I also have a larger rectangular shaped grill that I use when smoke/grilling larger quantities. But still, I gots my eye on one of them smokers......
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Old 01-19-2008, 09:45 PM   #34
Braincase Braincase is offline
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Get the book "Smoke & Spice".

When you smoke, make sure you have a grate in your off-set firebox. It's important to provide an air path underneath your fire. I use a chimney starter to get a load of Kingsford (NOT MATCHLIGHT!) to get the heat going. After I get one load whited, I dump onto the grate, dump another load of charcoal on top. It takes heat to ignite the next bunch of charcoal, so that helps to balance the heat. After you get the temperature in the cooking chamber up to about 220 degrees, close all of the air intake areas, including side vents, chimney top, etc. Hopefully you'll lock in your temperature to about 200-220. You'll want to add fuel, and that's when I start adding hickory or pecan chunks. If it get's too hot, open up the main cooking chamber to vent heat. Double check and make sure you've got your airvent on the side of the firebox closed.

I usually get mine going around 9:30 AM, and pull meat off around 5:30. Ribs not as long, and they're done as far away from the firebox as possible in side the cooking chamber.
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Old 01-20-2008, 09:55 AM   #35
Buehler445 Buehler445 is offline
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Chicken..check!

I did a chicken yesterday.

It turned out pretty well. I used Hickory chips. I wanted mesquite, but the only place to get that stuff here is Cabela's, and they were out. But it went very well. The chicken came out nice and moist with nice flavor. I didn't season it or marinade it at all to see what kind of taste I would get from the smoke. It definitely wasn't a masterpiece, but it was a good start.

Not sure what I'm gonna do next, but I'm excited!

Looking at your guys' posts, I'm glad I have a cheater version. I would definitely screw it all up if I had to do all the stuff you guys have to do.

But anyway, for you guys. I really appreciate the help.

Any more helpful hints would be appreciated

Thanks again fellas!
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:02 AM   #36
Phobia Phobia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtebbe
It's not. They're just jealous... you won't have to babysit your smoker while it does the work.
I'm not jealous at all. It's the equivalent of boiling your ribs and then carmelizing some sauce on them on your grill. It still tastes pretty good but it's not really BBQ. You can't derive near the pleasure a purist enjoys by using fire and smoke. I'm not mad at the cheaters because it makes no difference to me. I just feel sorry for them.
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:02 AM   #37
HonestChieffan HonestChieffan is online now
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Try a Pork shoulder next...

EVERYONES a BBQ expert so listen to a lot.

I do a rub of salt pepper a little brown sugar and let it sit in fridge overnight. In my electric like yours, I put in at 225 and let it go with NO smoke for 2-3 hours. Then I add water to water pan and some apple wood chips...Im not a hickory guy..let it go for aboit 2 hours more then take it out...
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:25 AM   #38
Buehler445 Buehler445 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phobia
I'm not jealous at all. It's the equivalent of boiling your ribs and then carmelizing some sauce on them on your grill. It still tastes pretty good but it's not really BBQ. You can't derive near the pleasure a purist enjoys by using fire and smoke. I'm not mad at the cheaters because it makes no difference to me. I just feel sorry for them.
Hey man, I feel you. At this point, if I had a rig like yours, it wouldn't do me any good because I would **** everything up, plus it was a Christmas present, so I'm not going to complain. Maybe someday down the road I can do it like you guys do. I'm just trying to get started.

The deal is I moved up here to Western Nebraska, and they have NO BBQ at all, and goddamn do I miss it. So this is the best I can do to get some decent BBQ.

I'm not trying to draw any lines between cheaters or not or whatever. I'm just looking for some help because I'm a moron.
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:29 AM   #39
HonestChieffan HonestChieffan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phobia
I'm not jealous at all. It's the equivalent of boiling your ribs and then carmelizing some sauce on them on your grill. It still tastes pretty good but it's not really BBQ. You can't derive near the pleasure a purist enjoys by using fire and smoke. I'm not mad at the cheaters because it makes no difference to me. I just feel sorry for them.
He will get there...I have 5 smokers...keep buying them like an addict
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:31 AM   #40
Buehler445 Buehler445 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HonestChieffan
Try a Pork shoulder next...

EVERYONES a BBQ expert so listen to a lot.

I do a rub of salt pepper a little brown sugar and let it sit in fridge overnight. In my electric like yours, I put in at 225 and let it go with NO smoke for 2-3 hours. Then I add water to water pan and some apple wood chips...Im not a hickory guy..let it go for aboit 2 hours more then take it out...
I'll try that, thanks. I'll have to try some different wood. I can see where you guys suggest that Hickory is kinda strong. I can see how it could possibly clash with some seasonings.

I appreciate the help.
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:54 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buehler445
I'll try that, thanks. I'll have to try some different wood. I can see where you guys suggest that Hickory is kinda strong. I can see how it could possibly clash with some seasonings.

I appreciate the help.
I like pecan chunks.

One other thing, I've been using an electrical smoker for 20 years and have found if you see smoke rolling out of it you're cooking it too hard with too much wood. I try to set mine so I just see a wisp now and then.
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Old 01-20-2008, 11:52 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phobia
I'm not jealous at all. It's the equivalent of boiling your ribs and then carmelizing some sauce on them on your grill. It still tastes pretty good but it's not really BBQ. You can't derive near the pleasure a purist enjoys by using fire and smoke. I'm not mad at the cheaters because it makes no difference to me. I just feel sorry for them.
I agree 100 percent. I used to smoke stuff all the time on my propane smoker, and while the results were good, I wasn't as proud of what I've accomplished on the one you helped me get to my house.
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Old 01-20-2008, 12:00 PM   #43
Stewie Stewie is offline
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Phobia had some problems with his firebox door warping and Brinkmann wouldn't fix it, even though it has a 75 year warranty. I've never had mine anywhere near hot enough to warp 1/4" steel.
Dang, Phobia. Were you burning hedge wood or something to get that much heat?
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Old 01-20-2008, 12:06 PM   #44
Phobia Phobia is offline
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Dang, Phobia. Were you burning hedge wood or something to get that much heat?
I've never had that much heat to my knowledge.
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:59 AM   #45
tooge tooge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buehler445
I did a chicken yesterday.

It turned out pretty well. I used Hickory chips. I wanted mesquite, but the only place to get that stuff here is Cabela's, and they were out. But it went very well. The chicken came out nice and moist with nice flavor. I didn't season it or marinade it at all to see what kind of taste I would get from the smoke. It definitely wasn't a masterpiece, but it was a good start.

Not sure what I'm gonna do next, but I'm excited!

Looking at your guys' posts, I'm glad I have a cheater version. I would definitely screw it all up if I had to do all the stuff you guys have to do.

But anyway, for you guys. I really appreciate the help.

Any more helpful hints would be appreciated

Thanks again fellas!
Do NOT use mesquite. It will overpower almost anything other than beef done rather quickly. It is great for grilling, but not for smoking. My favorites are cherry and apple. Here is a great rub recipe also:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup paprika
2 tbsp garlic powder
2tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsn pepper
1 tspn cumin add cayene to taste.
Buy one of the BBQ books at smoke and fire. Steve Raichles is good, so is the BBQ Bible. They have tons of marinades, smoke times and temps, and rubs for all kinds of meats. Bottom line though is once you really get into it you will probably buy a stick burner (wood fired smoker) and come up with most of your own rubs, mop sauces and bastes. Have fun with it. It is addicting. I started with one vertical brinkman (still my favorite) and now have three smokers and compete in 3 competitions a year. It is too much fun.
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