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Rookie Smoker needs help

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hello all,

I love smoked foods and I finally bought myself a smoker/grill but am not sure the correct ways of smoking foods and preparation.  The first thing I smoked was a brisket.  It was great but I had to put it in the oven because I miss-judged the smoking time. 

My first question is what is the proper way to start and pre-heat my smoker? Do I do it the same as charcoal or is there a different technique? Also, how much wood chunks should be used?

Second, where do meats get placed?  Some say over the wood others say on the opposite side of the smoker.

Third, how do I regulate the heat in the smoker?

Fourth, how do i judge cooking temperatures and time?

Thank you for your help!

 

post #2 of 14

I highly recommend the free e-course on this site, it will answer these questions and many more.  I just started myself and it was very helpful.  

post #3 of 14

Welcome to the party!

Tell us a little about your cooker - there are a lot of different types so giin g us that info will help us give you better info.

I usually use 1.5 hours/pound as a starting point and add at least 2 hours to that number when cooking between 230 and 250.            Do a lot of reading - there is a ton of info here.

Good luck and keep at it!

post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by NiY-45 View Post

Hello all,

I love smoked foods and I finally bought myself a smoker/grill but am not sure the correct ways of smoking foods and preparation.  The first thing I smoked was a brisket.  It was great but I had to put it in the oven because I miss-judged the smoking time. 

My first question is what is the proper way to start and pre-heat my smoker? Do I do it the same as charcoal or is there a different technique? Also, how much wood chunks should be used?

All smokers are different in how they operate.  So there is no one answer.  But speaking in general terms, you'd want to get the smoker up to the desired temperature or close to it to get started.  There are different methods for doing this some more effective than others depending on your cooker.  The amount of wood you use is also dependant on the cooker.  But ultimately you're looking to have just a light amout of smoke.  If it's white billowing smoke your food will taste pretty nasty by most people's standards.  So you'll have to judge how much by how your smoker reacts to it.

Second, where do meats get placed?  Some say over the wood others say on the opposite side of the smoker.

Several smokers will have hot and cold spots.  You'll either make modifications to even out these variances or use them to your advantage by learning how to place certain types of foods in certain areas of the smoker.

Third, how do I regulate the heat in the smoker?

Assuming it's a charcoal or wood buring smoker...most of the time you regulate heat by regulating the air flow in and around the buring fuel source.

Fourth, how do i judge cooking temperatures and time?

You'll hear it said over and over, we cook by internal food temperature and not by time.  Proper BBQ technique is usually looking for a couple of things, 1. being flavor 2. being texture.  Different foods cook at different rates (or speeds if you will).  There are some general rules of thumb like average of 1.5 hours per pound.  But this is just a starting point.  You're best friend in this is quality and calibrated thermometers.  You need to know what the smoker chamber temp is and you need to know the internal temp of the food you're cooking.

Thank you for your help!

 


 

Welcome to the SMF.  Like my friends above said.  Sign up for the FREE 5 day ecourse and let us know what you're using for equipment.  There are lots of great folks on here who are always willing to help.  We all smoked for the first time once in our life.  All of here have only gotten better by using each other.
 

 

post #5 of 14

 

Welcome to SMF. There are a lot of very friendly & knowledgeable folks here to help you. I urge you to sign up for the free E-course. It will give you the basics, & even if you are an experienced smoker you may learn something new. Then start asking questions. Good luck & glad to have you aboard. Don't forget we all love Qview! You just got a lot of your questions answered, just keep on reading & use the search box at the top.  

post #6 of 14

Welcome!!

 

Lots of info here.

Read the Wikis and put whatever you want to know about in the handy dandy search tool.

 

  Have a great day!!

 

  Craig

post #7 of 14

First off welcome to SMF and were glad to have you aboard so join in and share your experiences, have some fun and don’t forget to post our favorite.

 

The Qveiw

 

Joe

post #8 of 14

welcome44.gif

 



Welcome to SMF, Glad to have you with us.
 

This is the place to learn, lots of good info and helpful friendly Members.
 

For those of you new to Smoking, be sure to check out Jeff's 5 Day Smoking Basics eCourse.

Click Here it's "FREE" ... 5 Day eCourseE

post #9 of 14

hey NiY-45    what the dude said bout sums it up. just like a lot of things

experience is a good teacher also . get in there and get your feet wet.

try to remember your dos and donts . temp is the key factor. make sure

you have good thermometors.

good smokn

 

 

oh yeah welcome to the best smokn site on the net   imho

 

 

post #10 of 14
Listen to the Dude I think he covered it, IT not time is the key
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the Help!

post #12 of 14

Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

I am haveing trouble pre heating and keeping a sustained burn?

post #14 of 14

Welcome to SMF its nice to have ya

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