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New Guy - First Time Suggestion

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone.  I'm Jim, 29 year old, first time smoker from Maryland. I recently picked up a ECB from Walmart for $38.  The wife said if I really get into this hobby I can upgrade but until then that's what I'm working with.   This weekend I plan to make all the suggested upgrades suggested by Jeff.


What is a good meat for my first time?  I would love to do a Boston Butt or a Beef Brisket but don't know if a 12 hour process is best for my first time.   Thoughts or suggestion?


Thanks to everyone for their advice.  I look forward to interacting with everyone and becoming an active member of the forum.


- New Guy Jim


For future reference: Bear's Chuck Roast (chuckie) tutorial is located at


Edited by JimF - 6/23/11 at 9:57am
post #2 of 13

Hey Jim!

Welcome from another Marylander. For your first time, I'd suggest ribs, a fatty and/or some ABT's. They'll all cook within 6 hours, will be delicious and give you good insight on how your smoker works. Also make sure you have a good thermometer to monitor the chamber temps. Read through the posts here for more tips and most importantly, HAVE FUN!!. (and make sure to post lots of pics of your first smoke)

post #3 of 13

Welcome to the SMF. Many here started on an ECB, myself included, and many still use them for great smokes once you learn the nature of the beast. After a few years of non-use I dragged mine outta the garage, did the mods and did a test run with no meat to see how the temps did. My first real smoke with it after that was a 3# chuck roast following Bears tutorial and it came out very well after a 6.5 hour smoke. Turkeys also do very well in the ECB but take a little longer. Birds can handle the higher temps you might experience until you get the 'low & slow' dialed in with your unit. Good luck, have fun & post pics. Take advantage of the info posted on whatever you decide to smoke using the very handy search bar. 

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Do you think doing two meats during my first session is a little overzealous?  I'm thinking a Chuckie and a Tri-Tip.


A general question about smoking two meats at once; a) does this significantly increase the smoking time? b) doesn't the meat on top drip onto the meat on the bottom rack, is this a concern or considered more flavor?

post #5 of 13


Welcome to SMF, Glad to have you with us.

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

Many of our members have years of experience in smoking meat.  They are more than happy helping Newbies learn the art.

We have members who cure there own Bacon, Hams, Jerky, Snack Sticks, Make Their own Sausage, etc. if you want to learn,
this is the place. 

Don't be afraid to ask questions of them and follow their advice. You won't be sorry, you will be making great Q in no time at all...

Just remember, when curing your own meats follow the instructions included with the cure to the letter, this is not something to experiment with.  

Never use more cure no mater if it is Tender Quick or Cure #1 or Cure #2 than the manufacturer says to use, this can be very dangerous.

Tender Quick and Cure#1 or Cure #2 are not interchangeable, neither Cure #1 interchangeable with Cure #2 or vise versa

Sign up for Jeff's 5-Day eCourse.  Click Here


Tips For New Members.

  1. Go into your profile and Under Location put where you are.
  2. City & State or Area & State will do. This will help members when answering your questions.
  3. Go to ROLL CALL thread and tell us a little about Yourself (A Name We Can Call You) and Experience & Equipment.
  4. Do Not Post  your other questions and smokes in the Roll Call Forum.
  5. Post your questions and smokes in the Proper Forum, Beef, Pork, Sausage, Electric Smoker, Charcoal Smoker etc.
  6. Use the Wiki Section, many of our members have posted great tutorials and instructional threads so take advantage of them.
  7. When you can't find an answer ask plenty of questions, we have some highly experienced members willing to help you.
  8. When posting about your smokes be sure to post plenty of Qview (Pictures) Our Moto, "No Pics, Didn't Happen".
  9. Get a good Probe Thermometer, Don't Depend on the Built in Thermometer in your Smoker (They are notorious for being off).
  10. A good choice for a remote dual probe thermometer is the Maverick ET-732
  11. Remember, We Always Cook by Temperature and NOT BY TIME...
  12. Don't Take Chances, Always Follow USDA Safety Guidelines When Handling Meat.
  13. If you are wanting to get into curing meat, there are many members here more than happy to help and give good advice.

  14. If you are unsure of a procedure ASK, don't ASSUME, It will make your Smoking experience much more pleasant...

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info/welcome.


Based on rule 4 above, can a moderator move this thread to the appropriate forum based on my questions?

post #7 of 13
post #8 of 13

Welcome to the forums! For the first time I would suggest a pork tenderloin, about 3 hours and super delicious. You could also do chickens, that is also about a 3-4 hour endevor, Hot wings is another good starter, and of course Pork Spare ribs would't be a bad start either, those take about 6 hours. With all that said, the boston butt is really a good starter piece of meat because it is so forgiving, you could do a small one for just your wife and you, say around 3-4 lbs, it shouldn't take 12 hours to cook that, more like 8-9 hours there. I think the long cooks are the cream of teh crop when it comes to this hobby, you learn how to maintain your heat and smoke, and you get to brag about the time and effort you gave to turn out some great food~!

post #9 of 13

Hi Jim,What ever you decide remember the Qviewbiggrin.gif


post #10 of 13

Welcome to SMF Jim  I am glad you joint us 

post #11 of 13

Welcome aboard Jim, I'm new as well and you can see you are in the

right place to learn and become a master. Whatever you decide to do,

remember ...The Qview!


No pictures, didn't happen.


Go get em...James

post #12 of 13

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 13


welcome1.gif    Glad to have you with us!

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