First Smoke - Recommendations?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bglassbe, May 9, 2015.

  1. bglassbe

    bglassbe Newbie

    Just picked up an MES40.  Going to season it today.  Any recommendations what to do for a first smoke?  (I've never smoked anything before)
  2. Hello and welcome to the fun.  Many good folk here with a load of experience that they are more than willing to share.  If you have specific questions just start a thread and someone with experience will be along soon to offer advice.  Spend some time doing some research on the forums, tons of advice and recipes already available there.  The trial and error method works well.  We will try to help you keep the errors to a minimum.  We look forward to your contributions.  I will assume you have seasoned your smoker and sealed every leak you can.  I always advise the same with this question.  Chicken leg quarters and maybe some burgers with just salt and pepper.  Easy to do and cheap to buy.  I know!  I know!  You have been reading for weeks, now have your smoker, you are ready to get started and this idiot says chicken legs and burgers??  WHAT??  The first few smokes are about learning to control temps in YOUR smoker.  Each one can be different.  If that first smoke burns, the dog gets a good meal.  If it ain’t done, finish it in the oven.  Little money lost and with luck you still get a good meal.  TEMP CONTROL!! IS THE KEY!!  Have fun.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

    bglassbe likes this.
  3. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Let me suggest Chicken it is easy to cook.With your smoker I would recomend getting another digital probe to monitor the cooking chamber and the meat,MES probe and control panel temps are way off.
    bglassbe likes this.
  4. solidbob

    solidbob Fire Starter

    I would agree with the chicken. It's cheap, doesn't take long to smoke and doesn't require a ton of planning. Plus, I think it retains the smoke flavor better than other meats so you can really taste the smoke. With ribs/shoulder, I think the smoke enhances and compliments the flavors already in those meats but you're not going to get that "wow smokey!" flavor like you would with poultry.
    bglassbe likes this.
  5. oddball

    oddball Smoke Blower

    I jumped straight into the deep end and smoked a brisket.  But it all boils down to what you want or like to eat, and the amount of time you want to invest.

    Good luck.
    bglassbe likes this.
  6. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Chicken or a pork butt! Beware long cooking time for butts are common and it's not actually the butt it's the shoulder.
    bglassbe likes this.
  7. smokin218r

    smokin218r Smoking Fanatic

    Welcome!! Butts and ribs are pretty forgiving if you follow some simple examples on this site.

    I have had some good success due to the people here.

    You will find tons of help if you ask.

    I am addicted to the hobby and this site!

    Again, welcome!
    bglassbe likes this.
  8. All good advice here ....... quick easy stuff is a fattie, meat loaf, small roast, chicken ..... then there's ribs for a longer time, butts and briskets even longer .........  No matter what it will all be good.  My two pieces of advice .... control the cooker temp and make sure you cook the food to temp, first attempts many times seem to get an anxious streak and the food comes out too early.  Be patient and most of all have fun.
    bglassbe likes this.
  9. chewmeister

    chewmeister Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    As some others have mentioned, you need to verify your smoker and food temps to really get a feel for how your individual smoker behaves, especially for the food temp. Food safety is the number one priority. Start out with something easy like a meatloaf or chicken. If doing poultry, be sure it gets up to a safe IT. Good luck!

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