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My First Smoke

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Happy Monday All,


Well it finally happened... My First Smoke!

First impressions on the WSM was just how easy it was to maintain the temp.This was at the time what I was concerned with the most but i'd need not worry You could say it almost ran itself. . I still have a lot to learn in regards to knowing when the meat is ready but I bought a small pork shoulder and a few burgers (Because we all need snacks) :sausage:




I rubbed the shoulder in a bbq rub and left overnight. I didn't do any trimming but I do wish now i'd have trimmed a bit more of that fat off the top.


I used Hickory lumps (Maybe a bit too much wood) I'm not sure on that just yet. The meat turned out really smokey and it was very enjoyable. I'm hoping to use some fruit wood next to hopefully get that sweeter smoke.


Random shot of my starter :)


And getting my WSM up to temp with probes at the ready.

In total the 3lb shoulder took 6 hours / burgers where on for 2 hours.

I pulled the pork at 162 IT and wrapped it in foil. The bark was no way near what I wanted it to be but I'm guessing as I filled the water pan up that the moisture stopped a real bark from forming? Would like some advise on that part :o)


Action shot of the meat going on


Pulled the burgers at 155 IT and they had a nice little smoke ring. The cheese on the top didn't really work. Looking to find some jack cheese next time for them. But the burgers where out of this world! nice little smoke ring there!


Some crispy bacon on top



And finally the shot of the pulled pork. As I said before I wish that i'd left it for another hour on the smoker as it just wasn't quite tender enough. It did get pulled off the smoker at 192 IT and wrapped for 1.5hrs. it pulled fine (Not great) but fine and the smokey flavour again was out of this world! Everyone at work this morning enjoyed some pork sandwiches to rave reviews. 



For my first smoke I think everything went well. I have plenty to learn and lots of techniques to master. But the more I do the better I will be :beercheer:


Cheers for looking



post #2 of 19

Looks like you had a nice day weather wise too Matt. Well done on the pulled pork and glad you're sharing with your workmates, spread the love !

post #3 of 19

Hello Matt.  My opinion:  leave the fat and trim it when you slice or pull.  Yes, the water pan stopped the bark from forming but the water pan also helps to control the heat in a bullet smoker.  Some folks use sand in the water pan as a heat sink.  Looks GREAT!  Glad all turned out well.  Keep Smokin!


post #4 of 19

If you let it go to the mid 200's I like 203 much more fat renders out. Like danny said most of us use sand or gravel in the water pan wrapped in foil for easy cleanup. Nice first smoke though. Apple is my favorite wood by far with cherry being a close second.

post #5 of 19
There was no need to worry about the weather, did not think it would stop you any way!

Good looking Pulled Pork, I agree with timberjet, I would let it go further!

Smokin MonkeyThumbs Up
post #6 of 19

Nice one - great first try !

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for the kind responses.

For me first try I believe I can use the term "Success" :biggrin:


I knew as soon as I opened it out of the foil that I should of left it on for longer.

Next time I want to use a fruit wood. Apple or Cherry?! What is everyone's opinion on Hickory? It was a very intense smoke flavour and I think I may be more suited to a sweeter smoke?


The weather was good for most of the day and it was really enjoyable.


The start of something very good here boys! thumb1%20copy.gif



post #8 of 19

Hi Matt - it looks great - well done.


As above, I take my pulled port up to at about 85 C (185 F) in the centre and then wrap in several layers of foil to rest for at least an hour. While it is resting the core temperature will initially continue to rise as the heat from the outside continues to radiate inwards. This can be by as much as another 4 C (8 F).

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thread bump, Hi All


I've now decided that i'm planning on a pulled pork for my friend's 30th Birthday tomorrow.


And some tips are required by you fine fellows of the smoking world.


I plan to "borrow" some of Cleethorpes finest sand to use instead of water in the pan.

I know the temps I want to be aiming for but I just have a few questions as I strive for perfection..


1) to foil or not to foil? what would be the difference?

2) if I do foil, would a foiling juice be a good idea?

3) If I don't foil I assume a good sauce to be applied every hour?

4) Wood chunks to be soaked or not? they would last longer right?


I'm all about the questions today :) thanks guys.. Your help is always appreciated

post #10 of 19
Howdy Matt.
When I do pulled pork (which I am tomorrow 😄) I only ever foil at the very end for the last hour of cooking. I smoke mine at about 225/250 F for 1.5 hours per pound. I like to keep the smoke going nice and steady for the duration.
In regards to soaking the wood I do. I use any fruit wood I can lay my hands on and chop it down to fist size pieces then I fill a bucket to thirds of the way with 70/30 water and white vinegar and soak the wood over night. I try to keep a second bucket handy so I don't run out of soaked wood during the smoke.
While the pork is cooking I will give it a spritz every half hour with a little spray bottle filled with either fresh pineapple juice or for a more adult flavour I use Jack Daniels and coke (make sure the coke is flat first as the pressure in the spray bottle can cause leaks)
Any thing else you need just shout.

Happy Smoking.
post #11 of 19
Hi Matt
If you are cooking at 225-250 F then you can foil or not as you wish. I Always used to foil after the first 3-4 hours but now sometimes I do and sometimes I dont. Either way it will turn out OK. If you foil it will retain more internal moisture and you will have a lot of juice in the foil for it to reabsorb while it is resting and to pour on as a jus once it is pulled. If you dont foil it will be a little drier when it is pulled but the amount of fat still in the meet will keep it moist.
Foiling will reduce the amount of smoke that comes in contact with the pork however as most of the flavour will be taken up over the first 3 hours or so any loss of flavour will be minimal.

when I don't foil I do not spritz either. When you do that you are only adding water to the surface, which quickly evaporates, and more importantly you are cooling the meat by opening the smoker and spraying it with liquid And you will potentially extend the cooking time.

I don't soak my wood chunks at all but these days I mainly use pellets. Smokewood should be able to offer advice on that.

I hope it all goes well.icon14.gif
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

I Wade,

Would a spray say every hour of something that's high in sugar content ie, apple juice caramelise (Spelling) and add to the bark?


@BOBBOBSBBQ thank you for the advice, it seems everyone has their own way with these things but adding joke n jack sounds like a lot of fun :)



post #13 of 19
Hi Matt

As has been mentioned above there are many ways that you can tackle this and people have their own preferences. My response would be the following:

If you want to spray then ordinary apple juice is usually fine. Pork is quite a sweet meat anyway and you probably dont really want to make sweet caramel crust.
Have you applied a rub? This will usually contain enough salt and sugar to help the crust to form.
Cooking unfoiled should also give you all the bark you need, or if you have foiled, take the foil off the top for the last 30 minutes and crank the heat up a little.
post #14 of 19
Hi Matt, good luck with that Pulled Pork, I am a bit late on this thread, been a hectic few days and it's a full on weekend.

Check this out for your Pulled Pork, http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/140055/boston-butt-pulled-pork-step-by-step

Do a Search for Bears Step by Step, whom will not go wrong if you follow guys like this!
post #15 of 19

I'm doing my second pulled pork tomorrow, so this is a helpful thread.


I've dry rubbed it today and it's in the fridge, ready to hit the smoker in the morning :sausage:

post #16 of 19
It must be pulled pork Saturday because I'm just about to fire up the smoker myself. Good times 😃
post #17 of 19
That is always a good weekend smoke icon14.gif
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

Afternoon all,


Fired up R2D2 this morning and we are 3 hours in. If this thread has thought me anything is that people have their own way of doing things. Today i'm trying no foil & sand instead of water. But i intend to tryout all the different methods that people have kindly suggested.


It's Smoking Saturday :sausage:


Currently at a IT of 160f and i think a stall is coming on. Will of course plow through this and plenty of time until the 7pm deadline :)


Keep you posted



post #19 of 19
Hey Iv just hit a 160 stall to😁
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