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First smoke suggestions?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Good morning, one and all...

 

I *finally* got my Masterbuilt XL propane smoker set up and seasoned, just in time for me to work the weekend and through tuesday (damned general public, always wanting their lights to work).  Anyway, I was looking for any suggestions for what to smoke to get my feet wet, and that is reasonably tolerant of any mistakes.  I adore both beef and pork, and while the wife is currently anti-meat (don't ask, just don't read a book where they process humans for food if you are squeamish at all).  I will have an entire week off after tuesday, so I should have more than enough time to do more than one thing.  Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.

 

John

post #2 of 19
Pork butt is a must...plus any leftover can be vacumm sealed for mid week meal.
post #3 of 19

I suggest yardbird! You just can't hardly go wrong and its about the least expensive learning tool. I would start with a minimalistic approach so that you can see what other things like brines and injections bring to the party with later smokes. Salt, Pepper, garlic onion, and some type oil for suntan lotion (EVOO, cooking oil, etc.).

 

Pecan wood is my favorite because it is plentiful here. I think first smoke I would stay away from mesquite and hickory. whatever you use, us it sparingly. Too much smoke is much worse than not enough.

 

Take notes about what you are doing, like a snipers killbook. That way you'll remember what you did this time, next time you smoke and what you'd like to tweak.

 

Finally the Key Word today is "Patience" , But chicken is a short smoke usually somewhere in the 2 to 3 hour range. Try not to be a peeping Tom, keep the door closed and let the smoker do its thing.

 

Remember its about fun, no stress, so have fun and enjoy the smoke.

post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

@Tonybel and Foamheart

 

Thanks a bunch, now I have at least a pair of goodies to try out...probably yardbird wednesday...and a trip to Costco that evening...*chuckles*...for more meat.

 

John

post #5 of 19

Hello , John. Welcome to the Bunch and hope you come to call this home for all your BBQ needs.

 

As Tony and Foamheart suggested, start out with a cheap , more forgiving Meat. Chicken is the (IMHO) best to start on, easy - quicker than other meats and tasty toobiggrin.gif.

 

After a few Chickens , move to Pork  Butts , they are very forgiving and gives you good practice in heat control ( should be fairly easy in your MB-XL .) You can , after several practices , move on to more involved cooking adventures.icon14.gif

 

To avoid being Jaded from 'not so pleasing ' results , it is IMHO you start small and build your experience as you go.  Happier outcomes and the inevitable "MY , this is good" , will up your spirits and lead you into a fun/delicious Hobby.

 

And , YES, start a BBQ log . A great teaching device...

 

Have fun and as always . . .

post #6 of 19

Yard bird is the way to learn. Cheap/forgiving/taste good

Happy smoken.

David

post #7 of 19

Ditto with what the guys have said.  Chickens are easy...and taste great.  Then do a butt...that will help season that smoker even better.

 

Good Luck!

 

Kat

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks a ton for all the suggestions...I figure I want to get at least reasonably competent prior to doing some of the things I want to do...a good bit of which is recreating the smoked goodness I grew up with in Lancaster County that I simply cannot get here, or costs an arm and a leg to import, like actual dried beef, ring bologna, and maybe even lebanon bologna...but oine must walk before one attempts a marathon...

 

John

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 

More ideas...

 

For the Qlog, I made a spreadsheet to track Item, Weight, Preparation, Smoker Temp, Wood Used, Start time, Start Internal Temp, Finish Time and total time, along with comments.  I think this should work, but any other little variables I may want to track, to improve the finished product?

 

John

post #10 of 19

You might look at this one..........

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/attachments/3

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks a ton, Foamheart...this place really is a vast store of knowledge and help on getting started...

 

John

post #12 of 19

Someone showed me too. You notice my reference to Patience? Look down at OldschoolBBQ's quote. You too will being something with you, thats why we all want to watch your smokes.

post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foamheart View Post

You might look at this one..........

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/attachments/3

Foam.....That's a good link I use it myself a lot of the time.

Happy smoken.

David

post #14 of 19
Once you do your chicken a few times and get to the "l got this" stage, kick it up a notch.

Brine your boneless chicken breasts, carefully butterfly them, season with a nice mellow rub, stuff with thinly sliced ham and then provolone cheese, close up the breasts, wrap in bacon, and secure with bamboo skewers.

Smoked Chicken Cordon Bleu.

Crisp up the bacon under the broiler in your oven if need be.

People will rave.

Children will throw flowers at your feet.

Women will beg to bear your children.

Manna will fall from heaven.

Try it, you'll like it!
post #15 of 19

Along with what type of wood. I would track how long the meat actually saw smoke. Some people like a strong smoke while others like a lighter smoke.

 

 

Chris

post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmc2003 View Post

Along with what type of wood. I would track how long the meat actually saw smoke. Some people like a strong smoke while others like a lighter smoke.

 

 

Chris

 

That is a really good point. Because at a certain point in your smoke you are seeing diminished returns anyway. Why waste the smoke.

post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks all of you for the educational goodness....I am glad I found this forum, and if I can figure out how to do so, there will be Qview of my first smoke..and more should they warrant such a thing.

 

John

post #18 of 19

I would go with Spare Ribs, they are full of fat and the 3-2-1 method cant miss. When you are getting into smoking getting a consistent temp is the first thing to learn. I find that spares are a forgiving piece of meat if there are temp spikes and dips. Defiantly wait on brisket, i think it is the hardest to get right. 

post #19 of 19
It's hard to miss with a simple fatty as well and you can make sevearl variations. They are pretty easy to make and not very expensive.
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