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New to smokin' meat! - Page 2

post #21 of 25

Told you some one would come along soon.!

My expertise,term I use loosely,is with brick.

I used a brand of high temp cement called La Farge,chinese brand is cheaper but not convinced about it. If you are just patching joints to get a seal make your mix what we call down hereaussieflag.gifFAT.Buy some fire clay mix it with the rest to make it more workable,I was taught not to put plastisers into mortar for extra hot applications but I am not a mason. You want it sticky.

I did build this woodfired oven from scratch so I have a few clues,(contracter friends hooting with laughter at this point)


post #22 of 25

nice pit. fire it up and see what happens. you can also use oak if you can get it for heat. the other wood for flavor. go slow bringing it up to temp. then see what it takes to keep it their. i am betting it will hold temp well.

happy smoken.


post #23 of 25

Scott.  First welcome to the forum.   Your going to love it here.


Second,  Thanks to everyone for the shout out.


Scott, its looks like you have a huge smoker with brick to help retain heat.  


As its been said,  clean it out and fire it up.   What the worst that can happen?  Metal building won't burn.  fire.gif:-)


You can use any hardwood to fire it up and see how it heats.   Get a feel for how it holds heat. 


Before you throw any meat on it, buy or find you a weed burner.   Burn the grates off, scrub them down and burn them off again.   Your now ready for meat.   I use seasoned hickory for smoke, oak for heat.   In other words, I use hickory until I get an IT of 160 then oak the rest of the way.  


As big as your smoker is, I'm not sure you'll want to pack it full of meat until you've done a couple trial runs.  Play with it, get used to how  IT wants to work.  


The more meat you pack into it, the longer the smoke.   More cold mass = longer smoke time.   You don't have to smoke pork butts at 225 to get awesome results.   I smoke at 250-300.  Depending on how pushed I am to meet a time.   225 or 300  I get the same results, awesome BBQ


You smoker is quit a bit different then mine.    Mine is a vertical smoker.   If interested here is the link to my build.  It will hold 14 butts.



As others have said,  fire it up and see how it does.    This site it full of people willing to help.    There are no dumb questions, because I've probably already ask them.   


The search bar can be your best friend.   I use it all the time.   Most of the time I can find what I'm looking for.   If you don't find your answer or just need it explained better, create a topic and I promise  you will get the answer you need. 


Keep us posted on your results.     We do love pictures here!!


Edit:   I fire my smoker with a full chimney of charcoal and add wood to it to get it going.   I use about 4 brickettes of  charcoal toward the end of a smoke to keep the fire from going out.  



Edited by Wes W - 5/30/13 at 3:10pm
post #24 of 25

There are some good ideas here, although if I  were to have a start like that, I'd fire her-up , play a bit to see how she operates, look for any damage you would need to fix , and try some recipes.

You're not going to open immediately anyhow, so  play a bit.


You Pit will do the work for you, looks like a great work of love in the old school style. Get some good wood and have a reliable source with Good Wood, not Moldy ,rotten or infested with Bugs. Cook in batches , to get the feeling of a busy day and see how long each meat takes to doneness, and the best heat to cook with , for holding and keeping eatable.

The leftovers can always become a different dish, Burnt Ends , Chile , Salads(Brisket Salad is Great) and anything you can think of  -or  - the Customers suggest.


Cleanliness is a Major factor, as you already know , and a quaint look and service style will bring them in also , Butcher's Paper to serve on... bottles  from other sauces re-filled and on the table , Paper towels for each table  and anything else you may think of, you're not opening a Fine Food Restaurant , it's a BBQ Shack , make them feel the Old Time excellence of a slower and more laid back Era.


Make them want to stop in, no Electric cookers and no Microwaves icon_exclaim.gif A good simple menu and good service does wonders. Too much is a killer...My menu would be:

1. Briskey - Sliced or Chopped for sammies w/sliced Onions, Dill Pickles and a dash of Sauce(Let the meat sell itself.\

2. Chicken , Whole or Halves

3. Ribs and the Tips(these are very popular)

4. Ham

5. Bologna ( a good off the wall seller , and cheap)

6 Turkey Breast

7. a specialty Meat of the area (Mutton?)


and the sides:




and Peach Cobbler for Dessert.


This is JMHO and a list of things I know will sell...

just Please don't waste that beautiful Pit, it begs to make you a lot of $$$.


Wish I were that lucky, I'm jealous devil.gif. Have fun and as always .  .  .

post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot guys!  I'm a bit overwhelmed but I'll figure it out!  I've got my hickory wood stacked nearby with some oak plank scraps as well.  My plan is to try it next weekend - June 6 - 9.  Really excited about the fire!!

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