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First timer from Kennesaw GA. This will be fun!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am a teacher in the metro atlanta area and have the next few weeks off from school. I just got a masterbuilt 30 electric smoker for my birthday. I have never smoked anything in my life. I have done some basic research on smoking but not really sure where to start. I have run my smoker to season according to the directions, now I am ready to cook something great. I would like to try it out this weekend so...any suggestions?
post #2 of 11
welcome1.gif to SMF!!! We're happy you found us! You've come to the right place, we have over 50,000 members who just love to share their experience and over 900,000 posts describing it!

The search bar at the top can be your best friend when you are trying to find answers to your questions but you can still ask too if you want!

We have an Articles section that is full of great information about smoking to include a lot of recipes and instructionals. Check it out there is a lot to learn in there!

Would you do us a favor and add your location to your profile, it helps others to know where you are when they offer advice, Thanks!

You might want to check out Jeff's Free 5 day E-Course, it will teach you all the basics plus a whole lot more!

Go for it and smoke a pork butt! They take awhile but are very forgiving and will teach you a lot along the way!
post #3 of 11

First off, welcome to the forums!  Glad you've joined us.  You've found a great place to learn and share ideas on our favorite pastimes...grilling, smoking, and curing great food!  There are lots of friendly and knowledgeable folks here who really enjoy helping one another.  Just ask any time you need help and you'll get plenty!


Congrats on the new smoker!  For the maiden smoke, you could try ribs or a pork butt.  A butt smoke is a good choice because, even though it takes a long time to cook, its a very forgiving cut of meat, so its pretty hard to mess it up.  Or, you could stay with something that's pretty cheap like chicken wings or thighs, a fatty, or your favorite sausages (brats, kielbasa, polish, etc.).  That way you can get a feel for how your rig performs, and if anything goes south you haven't ruined an expensive piece of meat.  Whatever you decide to smoke, you can browse through many threads in that respective forum for tips on a good smoke.  Or just use the search bar at the top of the page.


Good luck, and be sure to show and tell us how it goes!


post #4 of 11

Hello and welcome to SMF! I see the guys gave you some meat choices, so you should be on your way.


Good luck and show us some q view!

post #5 of 11

  For an easy and cheap first try, go with chicken leg quarters. Only takes about three hours and taste great! Just a suggestion.



post #6 of 11

Chicken is a good starter. Its fast and cheap. I would suggest you start with a minimalistic approach. Just to make a good edible bird first. Its like setting the hook when fishing, once you make a simple good tasting smoke, its will be an addiction. You'll be using different woods, spices, brines, temps, sauces, rubs, etc etc etc.


I suggest you get a remote thermometer. Once you can see IT, everything else you change is just making it better.


Welcome to the boards, you are going to love smoking. Get a notebook and keep notes, you'll appreciate the suggestion later, seriously.

post #7 of 11

welcome1.gifto SMF!  We are so glad you joined us! Looks like you have gotten some great suggestions already!


If you didn't read the "Terms of Service" notes.....please do.  There are a few things that everyone should know about those pesky little rules before plunging into the forums. http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/a/terms-of-service


If you need any help roaming around the forums....just holler!  Happy to help out!



post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the suggestions. I think I am gonna go with a pork butt. I have a rub picked out bought a meat thermometer so I think I am ready but I do have a couple more questions. Will or should I add water in the water tray once I begin? Also should I use my wood chips during the entire cooking process or just at the beginning or end.
post #9 of 11

Miltpiece , welcome to the Family.  You are going to have a ball learning you Smoker. I suggest you Practice as often as you can , taking notes of the experiences ( log of BBQs ). This helps the learning curve and your memory of the last mistakes.


Now, IMHO , would place 'sand' in the water bowl . You get more consistent temps. and cleaner than Water.


The chips are a personal choice ; use to your desired smoke flavor. I would not soak the chips either, they will only smolder giving you a bitter like taste.(Creosote)


Do start with less expensive cuts of meat, Chicken is best for the price.  And as always ...

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
What does IMHO MEAN?
post #11 of 11

In My Humble Opinion = IMHO


I would start with the tray loaded, then its as you like. It is all dependant upon the size and density of the meat, depending upon your vent adjustments, and when you think you have it all figured out some condition changes, it is never exactly the same. Some folks say dump more as your smoke ends, some say once and then hourly, Personally, I have seen more meat ruined by oversmoke than undersmoke. But thats just me. I like to start easy and build, Its like science you need a reference point to calculate data and then build upon it until you feel you have the perfect answer. I think MES30 says fill the chip tray and then add chips in 1/2 cup incriments. But soon you have too much ash in the tray, and to smoke more you must dump it.


Since you are in Ga. and Ga. is a for really smoke state, look around for local assets to start with. Local wood, local spice, I say this because its a pain to decide you like something that is marketed in Alaska to replentish. There is always a local chief with a locally marketed spice mixture. If you like it try it. Where I am its Tony Chachere's or Chief KD, well they are the biggies.


A wise smoker's catch phrase is patience, patience means leave the door closed. If you want more smoke A-Maz-it! so I say a loaded tray and maybe 2 each 1/2 cup reloads. You must realize that it is a different process between electric and fire.


Just do something, then write what you liked and didn't like. Then come and search or ask folks there ideas as to how to make it better, then change what you think and rinse and repeat. Remember there is thousands of adjustments possible, but only the way that makes you happy happy matters.

Edited by Foamheart - 6/7/13 at 7:27pm
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