Newb Q, search not helping

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by eminence_front, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. Hi ya'll,

    I just relocated from Dallas to SoCal in June of 2008, and after having trouble finding good BBQ out here, I decided to do it myself. I bought one of these $40 Brinkmann's from HD, and seasoned it overnight last night with about 10 lbs. of Charcoal and 3-4lbs. of Hickory.

    I was able to keep the heat relatively within the duymmy gauges "ideal" range, but It took alot of care and feeding.

    Plus the hickory I got was the chipped variety, thinking this would be better in this small smoker. Well, of course it burns up like kindling and didn't last too long.

    Anyway, I am thinking lump Mesquite and Hickory are in order for my halved shoulder tonight (about 4 lbs. each).

    My question is, how much coal and how much wood chunks can I expect to go through ?

    I am expecting right at 4 hr. cook time, but being that adding coal is such a P.I.T.A on this thing, I am going to probably extend that because I'll probably have it open for 5 minutes to add coals from my chimney-starter.

    Any and all feedback, links, and pointers are appreciated. I'd like to get the coals going and the meat on before noon so we can have pulled pork and slaw for dinner.

  2. irishteabear

    irishteabear Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to SMF. Please be sure to stop by roll call and introduce yourself.

    I can't answer your question, wish I could. Just hang in there and someone will be along shortly who can answer it for you.
  3. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Welcome to the forum.

    First off I would suggest using the minion method for starting your coals. I would also change the wood over to chunks. Only put in 3 or 4 decent size chunks for the whole burn. Fill the basket up with as much as it can hold.

    Second you should look at a longer smoke than 4 hours for a 4 lb shoulder. I would expect at least 6 hours (or more) to get it done for pulled pork (200 F internal temp)
  4. Thanks Rick, and everyone else.

    I am going to pickup a sack of cubed Hickory on the way home this afternoon and get her fired up as suggested. I got a nice coating of creosote from my seasoning burn-in last night, so I am hoping we're ready to go.

    Maybe an extra day sitting in my rub will help the Shoulder along the way.

    I know I am drooling already, waitin to crack a cold one and fire this baby up.
  5. jdt

    jdt Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    sounds like you allready got your info, all I got is welcome anyway
  6. texas_skills

    texas_skills Newbie

    Have you made mods to the Brinkman?

    Do you have the bullet or vertical smoker?
  7. alx

    alx Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I would also suggest a digital thermometer like taylor or podler, put at grate level threw a cork, potato etc.Good luck.
  8. I have the el cheapo $36 Brinkmann Smoken Grill Bullet smoker.

    It's been pretty steady temp-wise. About 1/4" past the "warm" and into the "ideal" so, about 10 oclock on the dummy gauge.

    This is my very first time smoking anything myself. I can grill the hell outta pretty much anything except Fish, so I am hoping to hone some decent skills as a smoker.

    My wife is a Native Texan and I am originally from KY, so our tastes are in competition with each other.

    Obviously, we settled for Memphis style, sense it's halfway.

    ha ha
  9. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What ya don't want is that heavy white smoke coming out of the smoker. All you're doing at that point is creating creosote which will make the meat bitter.
  10. jaye220

    jaye220 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Get yourself a good digital thermometer or 2. That way, you'll know the exact temp. in the smoker and of your meat. Lots of people on this site, including myself, like the Maverick ET-7 or ET-73.
  11. goobi99

    goobi99 Meat Mopper

    welcome to the site![​IMG] a little bit of advice....DONT TRUST THE THERMOMETER ON THE ECB! the one on mine was off by 50* [​IMG] and there are a ton of folks on here who have had the same issue. like ALX said spend a few dollars (even if its the replacement guage frome HD) it will pay off in the long run. Good luck!
  12. Well, my cherry is gone..

    I finally got through and smoked my first shoulder. It was actually two small butts the butcher halved for me from 1. I am very impressed with this little $35 smoker.

    I was worried the Butt was too big, looks like it might have fit though.

    All I can say is I was terribly nervous I was gonna screw up and it turned out phenomenal ! After a batch of homemade sauce, dill potatoe salad and slaw, we're ready to go.

    I can't wait for the scratch apple pie my wifey made.



  13. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Very nice. How long did the smoke take?
  14. crusty ol salt

    crusty ol salt Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Here is some links to the ecb mods that a good number of us have completed over the years.

    I would also recommend getting a good digital thermometer, the factory deal is just bad from the get go.

    As far as charcoal goes i start with a chimney and add as i go. i got a cheap $5.00 fireplace ash shovel, modified it to fit in the door. i just throw in a shovel full every hour and it smokes right along

    Good luck
  15. crusty ol salt

    crusty ol salt Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Looks like everything came out okay, great job [​IMG]
  16. goobi99

    goobi99 Meat Mopper

    looks great! good job![​IMG]
  17. 6 hrs smoke.

    Although, the last hour or so I just couldn't keep the temp up. I DID manage to keep it at about 210, but the remainder of the smoke was 250+.

    I smoked it with 5 medium sized Mesquite chunks and 2 lbs. of Hickory chips in a foil pouch.

    I am very pleased with the results. Pulled it after 6:10 when the internal temp was 185.

    I gave one to my neighbors and we devoured the other one.

    <off to make pulled pork and tabasco taco's for breakfast ! YUMM !

    Thanks for helpin a newbie with good advice, I couldn't have done this on my first try without the collective knowledge of this forum.

  18. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Stick around, I for one am constantly learning from all these good folks.

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