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Beginner and have no clue

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi I bought a new offset smoker 1280 after waiting all summer for the price to drop, however I haven't a clue as to how to use it. I would love to smoke some fish or pork roast but could really use some advice on how to maintain the temp, amd how much charcoal to put into the smoker as well as how much wood? Brine recipes, sweet rub recipes would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys

post #2 of 5

Hi Jeff,


I logged into this site about a month or so ago in the same position as you.  I had tried to smoke something about 5 years ago and it was such a disaster I didn't look at it again until this summer when my girls gave me a slightly better smoker for fathers day.


The very best piece of advice I can give you (other than to tell you about this site) is to use the search engine at the top of every page here.  Someone has already done almost anything that you are thinking of doing.  Read a bunch of threads for a while,  As you come up with questions create a thread of your own and watch all of the replies roll in.  Everyone that I have met on this site has been so sincerely helpful.


I have had 4 or 5 successful smokes since I found this site and I am hooked on smoking now.  Once you get that first successful smoke, I'm sure you will be hooked also.


Good luck and feel free to ask anything anytime.




post #3 of 5

Good advice in the above post & I would add to keep accurate records of all you do so you can refer back for reference. I, personally, would do a few cooks empty or with cheap chicken quarters etc to get a handle on the temp swings and quirks of your unit....they all have them & best to learn them before blowing 50 bucks on a brisket or some such that comes out not to your liking. So, here's a link to some useful info IMO and you can follow other threads from here. happy smoking,  it's not rocket science but it ain't a piece of cake ride either.....but you get better at it (usually) every time....HTH, Willie

post #4 of 5

Chef Willie made some great points.  Keep a log while you practice and definitely run some tests.  I have been doing Full Leg quarters because they are cheap and I like dark meat. 


One more suggestion.  You should register for Jeff's 5 e-course.  It is available from this site and it is free.  It is a great place to start without spending anything.  Once you take the course, consider buying Jeff's book.  You can find a link to it in this website somewhere.  I bought it and am very happy that I didn't it really helps walk you through the steps to learn how to smoke. 


Again good luck and remember, most folks on this site love to see pictures.



post #5 of 5

The hardest thing to master on any new smoker is the temperature control. Keeping the temperature low and even takes time and you will need to experiment to get used to the idiosyncrasies of your particular smoker.


Take Chef Willie's advice about starting with chicken quarters but make sure you have a good digital temperature gauge so that you know what your smoker is doing and also the temperature of the meat.


Don't then try to hit the briskets straight away - try something like a loin of pork. This will taste good if you manage to cook it low and slow but will also taste good roasted fast too - if your temperature control still needs some work. After that the world will be your oyster...


Whichever you try first it is always worth trying out a few rubs - even on the chicken quarters. Start simple with just salt and pepper then progress to one from here that takes your fancy. You could even buy a commercial rub to begin with however these often tend to be high in salt and sugar.


One of the most important things - Don't forget to take photos to post on here Thumbs Up

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