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Late night for new smoker

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
About a month ago I had the urge to have a brisket. Only problem was I hadn't visited my father in quite some time and had never prepared one by myself. I did the first logical thing that came to mind, went to a big box store and bought a Brinkmann "Trail Master Limited Edition". I have eventually come to learn that for $270 it's not a terrible deal but there are some improvements to be made. I also learned that fire+food doesn't equal dinner in 30 minutes like it does on my ol' Weber and an open flame. So tonight is my third or fourth educated smoke, and by educated I mean eyes opened.

I'm doing a butt from the military grocery store, using a rub titled "A Carolina Rub" and techniques from amazingribs. I didn't find this site until after I had already got the party started tonight because I was too anxious to go to sleep and wake up at 4am. My wife thinks it's funny and told me "I've never seen someone so excited to cook". Unbeknownst to me until I read some posts on here I seem to have found the hulk butt, weighing in at nearly 11 lb bone in. I'm still working on temp control, right now I'm sitting at 310* because the lump I decided to try today had a few too many small shards and apparently some of them wiggled down to the bottom of my basket and lit my fire from top and bottom! So I ended up having to wait over an hour after dumping my chimney just to get a stable temp under 350*.

I'd like to start burning wood only. I have a buddy who ended up with a 4' x80' oak sectioned off in his back yard and is more than willing to let me take as much as I want. I'm thinking a bed full of it might last me a while. This smoke isn't for any special occasion, just another experiment on my behalf before I invite co-workers over for a feast. I am going to focus on getting my pulled-pork technique down and experiment with SoFlaQuers finishing sauce and Meowey's technique next time. Hopefully I'll be ready to serve others within a month.

As far as the smoker, I live on a self-inflicted tight budget and I didn't shop around much. This was an impulse buy because I thought I could instantly prepare a smoked brisket champion style. I'll be buying some high-temp silicone and sealing the cooking chamber lid (only spot where I have major leakage) and I have already installed ducting to route the stack intake close to grate level. I also plan on researching some accurate thermo's to install on the cooking chamber door at grate level. Today I purchased a digital Master Forge which is monitoring the internal temp of my butt through a gap in the cooking chamber lid. Hopefully everything should be done around 1PM tomorrow, ready to serve around 2PM after sitting for an hour wrapped in foil and towels (learned that tonight ;)) I'm betting 10lbs of pork should last the wife and I a while :P
post #2 of 8

Hello and Welcome to our addiction.  A word of warning: There is no 12 step program for this one!  Many good folk here with a load of experience that they are more than willing to share.  If you have specific questions just start a thread and someone with experience will be along soon to offer advice.  All info you can provide us with such as smoker type, location and so on will help us answer any questions you may have, and pictures help a bunch.  Spend some time doing some research on the forums, tons of advice and recipes already available there.  We look forward to your contributions.  Have fun.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!


post #3 of 8

  Welcome to the forum Randy!  Glad you found us. We should be able to answer any questions you have, so ask away! I hope the butt turned out great!



post #4 of 8

Hello Randy, welcome from East Texas, Oak is good, be sure and let it season. Keep on smoking you will get it down to where it's second nature.


Gary S

post #5 of 8
Welcome, glad ya joined us !
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the welcomes! It has indeed been a longggggggggggg smoke. I set my alarm for a wake up call at 430AM so I could get an hour and a half of sleep but apparently rolled over on top of my phone and didn't wake up until 7AM. Unfortunately we were pretty low on the temp scale by that time. After a quick run to pick up some slaw ingredients I finally found an oven thermometer. I threw that bad boy on when I got home and discovered another issue, the 250* on the smokers thermo was only 180* at the grate. No wonder it was taking FOREVER to make progress. Anywhoo, it's obvious I need to seal the lids and work on my technique. I can't commit to 12hr smokes if I lack the ability to run a stable fire for more than 20 minutes. But then again, that's why I am here and that's why I am experimenting with just the wife and I.

Gary, dad and I own about 40AC just outside of Paris and my brother in law lives right outside of Tyler as well. Can't wait to get back home, although the country living here in Va is a little better than what I was dealing with in Southern California.
post #7 of 8

Last week I tagged along on a trip to Home Depot and of course my first stop was the grill area. They had the Brinkmann Trailmaster Limited Edition stickburner and it looked awesome to me, especially for under 300 bucks. Felt much heavier-duty than normal and had a nice ash cleanout. If only it were easy for me to get wood....wait....DOH!     :rotflmao:

post #8 of 8

Oh and :welcome1:

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