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Asking for help for my first smoke

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

First off I have to say this website and the forums are such valuable information!! Glad I stumbled across it.  Going to go for my first smoke and just had a couple questions that I wanted to throw out there and get some advice on. 

 

I have the propane driven Masterbuilt 2 door smoker.  Only modification I have done is I have the cast iron skillet to use for the wood chunks and purchased a remote thermometer.

 

1. Should I smoke a Pork Butt?  Have read that it is the most forgiving with temp control.

 

2.  Do I use water or sand?? If sand what do people mean by wrapping it in foil? Replace the stock water pan?

 

3.  Have read that chunks are the best way to go.  To me soaking them doesn't make to much sense since they won't produce smoke that way but I could be way off too.  Do I burn chunks for the entire length of the smoke? Or just a few hours?? and how many should I put in the skillet??

 

Think that might do it for now!!

 

Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by fireman03 View Post
 

First off I have to say this website and the forums are such valuable information!! Glad I stumbled across it.  Going to go for my first smoke and just had a couple questions that I wanted to throw out there and get some advice on. 

 

I have the propane driven Masterbuilt 2 door smoker.  Only modification I have done is I have the cast iron skillet to use for the wood chunks and purchased a remote thermometer.

 

1. Should I smoke a Pork Butt?  Have read that it is the most forgiving with temp control.

Yes Pork Butts are forgiving since they have a lot of fat in them. They are a good go to first smoke.

 

2.  Do I use water or sand?? If sand what do people mean by wrapping it in foil? Replace the stock water pan?

You don't want water in a propane smoker. You can fill you water pan with sand to act as a heat sink. Most people cover the sand in foil to prevent it from getting full of grease.

 

3.  Have read that chunks are the best way to go.  To me soaking them doesn't make to much sense since they won't produce smoke that way but I could be way off too.  Do I burn chunks for the entire length of the smoke? Or just a few hours?? and how many should I put in the skillet??

You will have to do some test runs with your setup to see if chunks or chips work best. You are right about not soaking the wood. I would start out with one or two chunks (baseball sized) and see how much smoke they put off then go from there.

 

Think that might do it for now!!

 

Thanks in advance.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks bmaddox!
post #4 of 9

You are all set with B's advice. Happy smoking. timber

post #5 of 9

Everything above sounds good to me but I am a chicken man. I think since chickens are a more common meal, cost less, cooks faster,  and more readily available that the mastery of the fine fowl is the most important first step.

 

I always recommend a simple nekkid chicken. When you start with the simple nekkid chicken you have a good baseline to grow.  A five dollar chickenn for 3 hours vs. a fifteen dollar butt for 20 hours.

 

Don't get me wrong both are great. But were I to to unknowingly make a mistake with that first smoke, I would rather be able to come back tomorrow and do it again.

 

Course I do love my smoked fowl heres a link, maybe for your second smoke if ya chose.

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/156212/nekkid-chicken-foamheart

 

Your first smoke of course needs to be good, but its more about becoming comfortable with smoking. So whatever you do, I hope it comes out great. Just remember smoking is supposed to be the least stressful type of cooking thats why man has been doing it so long.

post #6 of 9

Oh and BTW when you get a chance click on the "my Profile" icon on the above taskbar and tell us a bit about yourself, especially where you live. It makes any conversation easier when you know what the other guys cooking enviroment can possibly be.

 

Thanks a bunch, se I am getting old and daft and many others here are even older than me, (Not I didn't say they were daft). So even if you tell us, when ya stick it in your header we can always look and see. As long as we can find out glasses.

 

Thanks and look forwward to seeing your first smoke. (Don't forget the pictures).

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

I was going back and forth with the chicken just because of the price point and being able to learn how to control the temps and other variables in the smoker. Plus your right its a shorter smoke and maybe getting familiar with the smoker first would be valuable. Thanks!!

post #8 of 9

I would also suggest a dry run. 3-4 hours with nothing in your smoker will give a general feel for how it operates. It won't be exact but it will get you started without the risk of messing up any food.

 

And I have to agree with Foam. There are not many things that are better than properly smoked chicken.

post #9 of 9
I did a butt for my first smoke and am glad I did. It's just so hard to screw up a pork butt! Allow PLENTY of time and take it to 205* IT and you'll be fine- As long as you can control your smoker temp reasonably well. Yery important to learn your smoker. After that, it's a breeze. Just realize that the butt will be done when it's ready to be done-not when you had planned on it being done! I allow 2 hours/lb plus another 2 hours for resting and ornery butts! Whatever you decide to do-research and plan ahead(which you are doing now), then relax and enjoy your smoke. If something isn't working right- think about it, make adjustments, and carry on. You'll do fine! post pics and comments during your smoke and we'll be here to help if needed. Happy smokin', David. (sorry, not usually this long-winded)
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