Alan here, nickname gruesy. I'm new to smoking meat and to this forum. I'm looking to gain as much knowledge about smoking as I can to reduce the amount of failures that I'm sure comes along with trying something new. So far, I'm 50/50. My first smoke was a pork loin that was a great success. My second attempt was, at least a partial failure if not a total failure. I smoked turkey legs last weekend and was less than thrilled with the end product. I think I may of over smoked them if that's possible. The skin was horrible and the meat wasn't too bad but a little dryer than I expected. My goals for smoking are to be able to produce smoked salmon, ribs, and I'm dying to smoke some cheese.
A little bit about myself...I retired from the Air Force in 2000 and have spent the last 15 years in Cincinnati, OH with my wife and 4 kids. I work full time at the third best children's hospital in the country and part time at Kroger. My children are 14, 12, 12, and 11 and keep my wife and I busy full time running them around! None of them are too sure that dad has all his marbles in one place because I want to learn to smoke. They are 4 of the finickiest eaters I have ever met and don't like spicy. So anything I make has to be on the milder side.
My director makes the best smoked salmon I've ever had and even my kids love it! So I'd like to be able to recreate his success but know I have a ways to go.
I thought I'd start out slow as my wife also isn't sure I'm all there and doesn't want to invest a lot of $$$. So at first I bought a triangled smoke box from Bass Pro and tried smoking a few things with my 5 burner gas grill. Little success there and I don't really consider it a true attempt at smoking. Then I found a cheap ($25) Brinkmann on Craig's List that I bought about 3 weeks ago. Now, all the research I've done warned me against getting an ECB. Ok, I get it but money is a factor and the price was right in my wheel house and my wife didn't object! Also, I've tried to research the exact model that I have but haven't been able to totally figure it out. A couple of articles I read said to drill holes in the charcoal pan, but my pan has pre-made factory "vents" if you will so I don't think it's the cheapest model. May one step up. Has anyone has continued success with a Brinkmann bullet smoker?
Ok, I've rattled on long enough. I hope to hear from you experts and can help mentor me in the ways of the smoke!