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Absolute newbie to smoking

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the invite and information, Danny - much appreciated.


Hi all,


A little bit about me: I'm completely new to the 'smoking/bbq scene', never before now owned a bbq/smoker but have an obsession with the food.


I finally managed to persuade the 'boss at home' last week, and treated myself to a Brinkman Gourmet Grill & Smoker. I was told by the sales guy that it would be a perfect starter as it's cheap and good enough to learn "the art" on. After setting it up on Monday, I fired her up as directed and put some brisket (aprox 2kg) and a rack (aprox 14 ribs) of spare ribs in. I was told to use about 5kg of Webber premium briquettes, two handfuls of apple or hickory wood chips and a 3/4 pan full of boiling water and then just leave the smoker to do it's thing for 5 (uninterrupted) hours. Well, lets just say that after 5 hours, the beef and ribs were dry as **** and almost inedible.


That was my smoking cherry popped ...onto the next, eh!


Looking forward to reading up, learning and listening to all of your advice.



(London, UK) 

post #2 of 20

Hello and Welcome  to the family Ben.  Sorry the first time went bad.  Not to worry.  Will enjoy helping the new folks.  MarkUK just recently smoked his first whole chicken, beer can chicken.  There is nothing mysterious, you just need some advice on a few techniques, some advice on which meat to try and some practice.  I know I overloaded you with info yesterday, ( sorry ) but I have some advice for new folks with new smokers I'll send to you.  I hope it helps.  Glad to have you.  If you have any questions feel free to PM me.  I am usually here at least once a day ( not like I have a REAL life ) and I hope you stick around, many U.K. folks ask one question and are never heard from again.  Keep Smokin!


post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

Appreciated, Danny.


Send it through - there's no such thing as too much.


I'll be sticking around for the duration (or until you guys get the pox of me)!



post #4 of 20

:icon_biggrin:  No problem Ben.  You just wait, we will have you smoking a 7-8kg brisket in no time.  Just a quick question: do you have room on your drive for one of those custom built American style trailer mounted smokers that you can smoke a whole cow on?????  JUST SAYIN!!  :ROTFKeep Smokin!


post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 

Unfortunately not, Danny - the  6 shelf rotisserie smoker is taking up all my drive space :beercheer:

post #6 of 20

Hi Ben


Don't dispair - many of us have similar experiences when we are first starting. What the salesman forgot to tell you was that temperature control is the most important thing when cooking for long periods. You will find many different methods of cooking both ribs and brisket on here - and I suggest that you try several different methods before you decide which one you prefer. I would also suggest that you get gour confidence back perfecting something like ribs or maybe pulled pork before you move onto something more difficult like brisket.


To get you started here is a simple but effective way of preparing basic ribs.

  1. Firstly get some good ribs from your local butchcher that actually have some meat still on them. The supermarket ribs are almost always trimmed too close to the bone and will always dry out. You want to see at least 5-10 mm of meat covering the top of the ribs.
  2. If the membrane is still in place on the underside then remove it. This is not difficult to do and if you have never done it before take a look at the following how-to clip www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9plB5BYhj8
  3. Buy some BBQ seasoning rub from the supermarket and rub it generously over both sides of the ribs - the meat will probably go darker as the rub is applied. Wrap in cling film or place in a plastic bag and leave in the fridge overnight. DO NOT apply any BBQ sauce at this stage or it will probably burn during the first stages of cooking.
  4. Heat the smoker to about 150 Deg C (300 F) and place the ribs on the grill. Keep the temperature steady at 150C/300F for 3 hours. This can be done by regulating the air flow over the charcoal.
  5. After 3 hours wrap the ribs in foil and place back in the smoker for a further 2 hours.
  6. After 2 hours unwrap the ribs, coat in BBQ sauce (there are some good ones in the supermarkets these days) and cook uncovered for a further 1 hour - giving the ribe a second coat of BBQ sauce after the first 30 minutes.
  7. Eat and enjoy 


This method of cooking is usually referred to as the 3-2-1 method for cooking ribs.


To begin with it is easier to buy a commercially prepared rub and BBQ sauce however as you progress you will probably want to make your own. Again there are some great recipies here on the forum.


We are looking forward to hearing how you get on and would love some photos Thumbs Up



post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 

Brilliant, Wade - thanks a bunch. That's my w/e sorted :drool:

post #8 of 20

Hang in there Benjay. I started out with what sounds like the same smoker and I had a terrible time with temp control.

If you check out some of my previous posts I made some modifications  to have more control over the air flow thus having

more temp control and it works like a dream. I have been at this for only about a year and these folks here are jam packed

full of info and ready to share it.

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Ron. I'm going to surf your posts now and see if I can replicate your mods.
Thanks again
post #10 of 20



Got to this

post #11 of 20

Hi Benjay, here is a rub for you. coat meat in olive oil and rub the rub in( it's not called a rub for nothing). Let the meat have a nap overnight and cook



3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup
1/4 cup garlic powder
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons ground ginger powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 teaspoons rosemary powder

Edited by Osprey2 - 5/30/14 at 12:11pm
post #12 of 20

Hi there


Welcome to the Group....


I agree with the above - however I do a little twist as I'm not that hard core when it comes to smoking so I tend to combine the smoker and kitchen oven.


e.g.  with the Ribs yes do them in the smoker for the 3 hours but I then just switch to a normal oven for the 2 bit and then do the sauce bit on the bbq or even under grill...  saves a lot of heartacre and worry over keeping temperature.


I also do this with pulled pork - 3 hours smoking then the rest in the oven then you get the smokey flavour - maybe not so much as a full 10 hour PP smoke but a lot less agro !


I'm trying a different method tomorrow - over the winter I cooked Pulled Pork in a Slow Cooker for around 10 hours which came out great - therefore I'm trying this in combo with the Smoker - -see my new post on this which I'm now going to do and see how I get on....


Happy Smoking



post #13 of 20

I agree. I often press the oven into action for stage 2.

post #14 of 20

Mark?  Are you at it again? Have fun!  Looking forward to your post!   :icon_lol:  Hello Ben.  The whole point is there is not a "perfect" way.  There are many " die hards" on SMF who say ONLY 225F.  Well, I like to eat the same day I start cooking.  I don't follow the "rules".  I have done this smokin thing a time or two and have found that everything is not black and white.  I do not post some things on the site because new folks should just not try them but there are short cuts if you have the experience.  The thing is to find a method you like an use and produce a superior product that you and your family enjoy and then stick with it.  I hope you can make it to the weekend gathering.  There will be several of us there who have been doing this a while and will be happy to pass along info.  Some of it we may not post here.  I know Wade will be there and he can share some GREAT info on smoking Salmon and other things.  Smoking Monkey will be there and he runs a catering business which specialises in whole hog smokes.  Keep Smokin!


post #15 of 20

I try to get on as often as I can at the moment but it has been difficult over the past few weeks as I am in the USA on a touring holiday. I hope to get back on more regularly after the 6th June.

post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Ron Eb View Post



Got to this

Ron, looking good mate. Where did you get the accessories from to do these mods? Thanks

post #17 of 20

I got the weber vents from amazon for a song, 4 inch version, thermometer from a local home store, fiberglass gasket for lid from a hardware store(don't use glue supplied with it, get a high temp gasket glue from an auto store)

post #18 of 20

Hello Ben.  It just dawned on me what you posted earlier.  "A 6 shelf rotisserie smoker.  So you were "takin tha piss" or am I missing something here?  I don't usually miss when folks are "pulling my leg" but sometimes with British humour...  Hey!  I don't understand cricket either.  Keep Smokin!



I'll PM you a "clean" funny story about Merican and English.

post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by KC5TPY View Post

Hello Ben.  It just dawned on me what you posted earlier.  "A 6 shelf rotisserie smoker.  So you were "takin tha piss" or am I missing something here?  I don't usually miss when folks are "pulling my leg" but sometimes with British humour...  Hey!  I don't understand cricket either.  Keep Smokin!



I'll PM you a "clean" funny story about Merican and English.

Yeah, sorry, Danny. I was taking the piss.

I liked the "household" story very much, made me chuckle

post #20 of 20

Hello Ben.  No problem at all.  I was just curious if I had missed something and you were holding back on some good experience you already had.  You are gonna fit right in, we all take tha piss now and then.  :icon_biggrin:  Keep Smokin!


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