or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Newbie questions

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hey all!  I just got a vertical propane smoker and am set to smoke some pork and a whole chicken.  Any tips for the first time smoker would be great. (Smoking basics that I need to know).  I also have a couple of questions:

 

- How often does the water need to be refilled and how often to change the wood chips?

 

- Is it a good idea to put foil under the meat to help reduce the mess or does that interfere with the cooking?

 

- What is the average cooking time for a 3-5 lb. pork butt and for a medium size whole chicken?

 

- Should sauce/rub be reapplied during the cook?

 

Thanks again for any help.  I hope I don't sound like too much of a rube.

post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by HawkFan1 View Post
 

Hey all!  I just got a vertical propane smoker and am set to smoke some pork and a whole chicken.  Any tips for the first time smoker would be great. (Smoking basics that I need to know).  I also have a couple of questions:

 

- How often does the water need to be refilled and how often to change the wood chips?

 

- Is it a good idea to put foil under the meat to help reduce the mess or does that interfere with the cooking?

 

- What is the average cooking time for a 3-5 lb. pork butt and for a medium size whole chicken?

 

- Should sauce/rub be reapplied during the cook?

 

Thanks again for any help.  I hope I don't sound like too much of a rube.

Hello there HawkFan,

My experience with my first smoker which was a vertical gas smoker. As to how often to refill the water pan?

I would refill the pan at least 1 time at minimum on most all smokes. I have had the pan run dry but it you line the water pan with foil, it will be an easier cleanup if the pan does go dry. Some on here have used the play sand in lieu of water in the pan! But with all the smokes, you will get a feel for what your smoker will do in time.

as for the wood chips, I add at least 2 smoke boxes full depending on the size of your smoke box it will vary.

 

I make a point to take a quick peek into the smoker at intervals of 1/4  then 1/2 the IT of my meat. The meat, Im told will only take only so much smoke and too much smoke can alter the flavor your going after by over doing it! With ribs, I do the 3-2-1 method and at the foil point, I add no more chips but still keep an eye on the water pan and usually needs more at the time I foil and I top it of at the unfoiling stage. 

Its nothing scientific for me, its just what I have a system.

 

 I wouldn't see a problem with foil under the meat, just so long as it was approx. the foot print size of the meat.  I've questioned that before also and have read post on it. I personally like to put it right on the grates.

As for how long to smoke, A  rule of thumb  seems to be to allow 1.5 hrs per pound. I would recommend a good digital thermometer to keep a constant tabs on the IT as well as the CC temp. A MAVERICK 733 is a basic  thermo that gets that job done.

 

 I only sauce the last 15 minutes of the cook. If you are referring to the marinade or rub you put on before the smoke, then I wouldn't.   I do like to spritz through the cook but that can work against you as you lose heat when you open the door.  For this reason, I am resisting the spritz, especially in cold weather for obvious reasons.

 Finally, why would you feel like a rube? These forums are here to give info.  Everyone has questions from time to time!

post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pellet View Post

Quote:

Originally Posted by HawkFan1 View Post

 

Hey all!  I just got a vertical propane smoker and am set to smoke some pork and a whole chicken.  Any tips for the first time smoker would be great. (Smoking basics that I need to know).  I also have a couple of questions:



 



- How often does the water need to be refilled and how often to change the wood chips?



 



- Is it a good idea to put foil under the meat to help reduce the mess or does that interfere with the cooking?



 



- What is the average cooking time for a 3-5 lb. pork butt and for a medium size whole chicken?



 



- Should sauce/rub be reapplied during the cook?



 



Thanks again for any help.  I hope I don't sound like too much of a rube.





Hello there HawkFan,



My experience with my first smoker which was a vertical gas smoker. As to how often to refill the water pan?



I would refill the pan at least 1 time at minimum on most all smokes. I have had the pan run dry but it you line the water pan with foil, it will be an easier cleanup if the pan does go dry. Some on here have used the play sand in lieu of water in the pan! But with all the smokes, you will get a feel for what your smoker will do in time.



as for the wood chips, I add at least 2 smoke boxes full depending on the size of your smoke box it will vary.



 



I make a point to take a quick peek into the smoker at intervals of 1/4  then 1/2 the IT of my meat. The meat, Im told will only take only so much smoke and too much smoke can alter the flavor your going after by over doing it! With ribs, I do the 3-2-1 method and at the foil point, I add no more chips but still keep an eye on the water pan and usually needs more at the time I foil and I top it of at the unfoiling stage. 



Its nothing scientific for me, its just what I have a system.



 



 I wouldn't see a problem with foil under the meat, just so long as it was approx. the foot print size of the meat.  I've questioned that before also and have read post on it. I personally like to put it right on the grates.



As for how long to smoke, A  rule of thumb  seems to be to allow 1.5 hrs per pound. I would recommend a good digital thermometer to keep a constant tabs on the IT as well as the CC temp. A MAVERICK 733 is a basic  thermo that gets that job done.



 



 I only sauce the last 15 minutes of the cook. If you are referring to the marinade or rub you put on before the smoke, then I wouldn't.   I do like to spritz through the cook but that can work against you as you lose heat when you open the door.  For this reason, I am resisting the spritz, especially in cold weather for obvious reasons.



 Finally, why would you feel like a rube? These forums are here to give info.  Everyone has questions from time to time!


 



Points to Pellet!! He covered your Questions very well and like he said we are all here to learn and asking questions does not make anyone a rube!!
post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by HawkFan1 View Post
 

Hey all!  I just got a vertical propane smoker and am set to smoke some pork and a whole chicken.  Any tips for the first time smoker would be great. (Smoking basics that I need to know).  I also have a couple of questions:

 

- How often does the water need to be refilled and how often to change the wood chips? Not a water pan user anymore, wasn't useful, I filled the pan with sand to act as a heatsink. No soaking of chips needed either. In my gasser I preferred chunks, lasted longer. Replace as needed

 

- Is it a good idea to put foil under the meat to help reduce the mess or does that interfere with the cooking? Yes & no. Personally, I switched to using a disposable alum pan on the rack below the meat. Caught all the drippings to be added back into meat if pulling it or into gravy, sauce or the au jus. I do like the disposable alum rack covers sold at Home Depot to help with keeping the grates clean.

 

- What is the average cooking time for a 3-5 lb. pork butt and for a medium size whole chicken? Being burned often by time in the past with a stall or stubborn chunk of pig I now always allow 2 hours per pound. Leave a rack below the pork open and put the chick on later

 

- Should sauce/rub be reapplied during the cook? Some do, many don't. These kind of questions get you multiple answers & opinions. I'm a no sauce guy...prefer just letting it go, w/sauce served on the side for those that want it...no foiling either. I want to taste the meat after hours of smoking it so why cover it with a sauce? Just my opinion, of course. I have sauced ribs the last 15 minutes or so on occasion. Rub is important and gets applied the night before here (no mustard or such needed) and meat gets another dose before going into the smoker. I apply nothing during the cook, inserting the meat probe hours into the smoke. If you feel you must spritz, that would be the time with the door open anyway. Other than that I pretty much leave it alone, watching the IT on the remote.

 

Thanks again for any help.  I hope I don't sound like too much of a rube. A 'rube' is a sucker to be taken by used car dealers and carnies. You are a 'newb'...lol....and that will change very soon. Keep posting, smoking and learning your unit. The search bar is an incredible learning tool, 

post #5 of 5

Welcome to the best place to learn all things smokey :beercheer:

 

I'm relatively new here also but am learning much thanks to all the others. Ask all you want but also great to use the search engine. Quite often what you want to know has already been asked.

 

Also, remember to share what you do and if at all possible do the QVu ! worthless.gif

We all love to drool !!

 

 

As for as technique I just wanna share something I was turned on to by a friend and think it adds unique flavors. Experiment with different liquids in your water pan. I have used different juices.  Citrus juices add a great enhance to pork.  Beer in the pan for chicken is great.  And yes, I agree. Foil line that pan for easier clean up. 

 

Happy smokin' !!! - Ed

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Propane Smokers