best thing to start with

Discussion in 'Beef' started by ottawa rogue, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. ok, if you are an extreme noob like myself, what would be the best type of meat to start with and not totally boot? I always figured a small brisket, but i just don't know[​IMG]
  2. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well things like pulled pork are very forgiving as are fatties, stuffed or not.
    I would go for a chuckie before attempting a brisket.
    My vote would be pulled pork, fattie or chuckie to start with.
    Good luck and let us know how it goes.
  3. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Don't forget we all were extreme noobs at one time or another [​IMG]

    I'd recommend either a good sized whole chicken (4-5 lbs or so) or a pork butt or picnic (whichever you can find. In KS, more than likely a butt, which is good)

    Both can be very inexpensive and are very forgiving, easy to make and result in excellent meat and flavor. However either one is cooked at very different temperatures in your smoker. Poultry is generally cooked at higher temps to result in tight, crispy skin (I do mine at 325-350 F) than pork is. Pork shoulders are generally cooked at lower temps (I do mine at 250-275 F) and benefit from the long, slow heat.

    Pick whichever one you are comfortable with and go from there.

    A brisket, either small or large, is arguably the most challenging meat to learn how to cook properly, so you might want to try a couple other smokes beforehand and get a feel for your smoker and environment.

    Good luck and keep us posted!
  4. Agree with fire-it-up My first smoke was a Boston Butt and the family loved it - and wife said keep it up!

    Allowed me to buy another smoker and have a blast making dinner!
  5. scpatterson

    scpatterson Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My vote is butt or some chicken, a brisket can be hard to cook and i think that the butt is the mot forgiving
  6. boston butt is definately a good choice. It will give you a good long smoke and seems to be hard to screw up too badly.

    I've had great success with ribs and found they were pretty forgiving too. Less smoke time (roughly 5 hours or so).

    Just my $.02 worth.
  7. this is why i'm here, i would have done the brisket and gotten frustrated
  8. scpatterson

    scpatterson Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thats why you should always ask, there are good people here thata re very willing to help
  9. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would start with a pork butt and some fatties since they are very forgiving - but don't be afraid of any cut of meat. Follow the adise of the folks here - they will not steer you wrong.
  10. jaxgatorz

    jaxgatorz Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yup, boston butt[​IMG]
  11. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I'd say a boston butt for pulled pork and while your going to do that do some ABT's or a fatty. The ABT's and or fatty will be done in a couple hours and give you something to snack on while waiting on the butt to smoke. A butt is probably the easiest most forgiving smoke there is and ABT's and fatties are very easy too
  12. bbq engineer

    bbq engineer Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey Ottawa,

    Greetings from down the road in DeSoto.

    Since you emphasized extreme noob, I would even back it up one step from the butt. First you need to learn how your smoker functions, and it is good to do that with something that is relatively inexpensive. Next weekend, fire up your smoker and get the fire under control. Then put on some brats...I absolutely love smoked brats or italian sausage.

    Since the fire is under control, it won't take long...1 to 1 1/2 hours tops...keep it at ~225 °, and you can experiment with different smoke woods. They each have a very distinct flavor that they impart to the food. Try apple, cherry, or pecan to start. One of the easiest things to do early on is over smoke the food...we have all been there. Work on keeping the smoke thin and blue. You don't want belching white smoke. Remember if you can't see the smoke, you can probably smell it, and so can your food. Also, I would stay away from hickory or mesquite, as they are really strong woods and can turn bitter if not 'administered' with care.

    Once you have figured out your smoker, learned to keep the smoke thin and blue, plan your next smoke...a butt. They are pretty forgiving, and I guarantee you will absolutely beam with pride as you shred that baby up...sneaking some of the pink purple smoke ring and delicious bark. It will be a defining moment in your smoking career.

    There are a bunch of really good people on this site, and each can help steer you on the straight and narrow...don't hesitate to ask, and / or use the PM function either.

    Good luck!
  13. raceyb

    raceyb Smoking Fanatic

    Boston Butt or whole chickens are easy enough if you have been reading the forums. I have been smoking a long time and I have never done a brisket.
  14. thanks for the ideas everyone. BBQ engineer, that's a helluva idea!
    if i screw up the brats, it's just a pack of brats and i'll bet the dog will still eat them :D
    I'll admit to being intimidated some, there's sooooo much info here it's hard to absorb and plan a course of action. This sounds like just the thing to start with!!!
  15. grampyskids

    grampyskids Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    After burning off my BPS smoker Ijumped right in. I did BBRibs and Beef Short Ribs. I may be braver than smart, but I did the ribs on a 2-2-1. When we ate them, not on;y was I a hero, but I died and went to heaven.
  16. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    A whole chicken or chicken thighs or leg quarters is a good start. Fast and easy and good eating.

    Pulled pork is good, but a long smoke.

    Good luck whatever you choose.
  17. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would go with either Boston Butt or Chicken...
  18. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm with everyone here and say a fatiie and maybe a butt. But I smoked the easiest and the cheapest on my first smoke and that is a chicken and believe me if you even get some what close do doing it right you will never do one any other way cause they are so moist and just all around yummy.
    So Yard Bird then a fattie and then the butt.
  19. mike91mr

    mike91mr Newbie

    I'll go against the grain and say avoid a pork shoulder. Fire control has been (and remains to be) the most challenging part of a smoke for me, so to attempt to keep it constant for that long (12 hours?) has more potential to be frustrating than anything else.

    I like the fattie idea - very forgiving, very flavorful, and done quickly.
  20. I agree with most. A butt would be the most forgiving. I am still working to perfect my brisket after 3 years.

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