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Christmas time means new first time Smoker!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone! My wife's gift to me this year is a new smoker! We love smoked food, and we're looking forward to expanding our culinary vernacular with this primal and amazing cooking method!

 

I live in the Tampa Bay Area with my wife and sons (5 & 1). I've been grilling about 2-3 days per week for about 8 years, and really love outdoor cooking.

 

I've decided to pick up a Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5" (I'm getting it when we're back from vacation). I've heard this is a great way to get introduced to smoking. I'm curious to know what you guys think would be the best meat to try first?

 

Thanks for being such a great community!

post #2 of 14
Congrats on the new Q toy.., the WSM is a great smoker ! For the first smoke you could try some chicken, whole or some drums/thighs... Also a pork butt for pulled pork isn't a bad way to go... Never a bad idea to toss on some ABT's for an appetizer... They are tasty !
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks, WaterinHoleBrew! I was thinking of starting off with the Pork Butt, so I'm glad you confirmed that for me. To this point, my wife usually plopped the Boston Butt into a slow cooker with seasonings and bbq sauce. While it's tasty, we do prefer it smoked. I'm excited to get going!

 

Being new to smoking, I picked up a dual probe wireless thermometer (one probe for the grate, and one for the meat). I've also got the chimney starter, apple wood chunks, oak chunks, and Kingsford Blue on the list.

post #4 of 14
Welcome! The WSM 18 is a great smoker. I really like using mine and my mini-WSM's. Get yourself a good multi probe digital therm. I use the iGrill 2 with 4 probes. The Maverick 732 & 733 are also good.

Here's a few cooks for you to peruse:
http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/191066/dirtsailors-mega-mother-of-all-cooking-links-index
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtsailor2003 View Post

Welcome! The WSM 18 is a great smoker. I really like using mine and my mini-WSM's. Get yourself a good multi probe digital therm. I use the iGrill 2 with 4 probes. The Maverick 732 & 733 are also good.

Here's a few cooks for you to peruse:
http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/191066/dirtsailors-mega-mother-of-all-cooking-links-index

Thanks so much, sailor. I recently bought the Maverick 732. I tested it in my oven for my annual Standing Rib Roast for Christmas, and it's performance easily exceeded my expectations. 

 

Thank you also for that link! That is indeed the mother lode of information!

post #6 of 14

Yep, go with the butt, they are hard to kill.  You will be tempted to chase the temps all over the place with your WSM.  Go slow and make small adjustments, and let it sit for at least 15 min, half hour is better, for the fire to stabilise to the new setting.   Your WSM will get better at maintaining temps with use.  Pork butt can handle large temp swing and still be REALLY good.

Rub it, smoke it, pull it (finishing sauce?) eat it.  Don't try to sauce it while in the smoker, that will just make a mess.

post #7 of 14
Welcome from SC, Ferris. You have gotten some really good advice. The butt is very user friendly and adapts to the WSM nicely. I would suggest the chicken if you have some time before you want to do the butt. It's good for getting accustomed to the temp swings and is also user friendly while being very economical.

Please let us know how you season that culinary vernacular and is that a pork cut or beef? I've never tried one before.

Good luck, Ferris and good smokin', Joe
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewed View Post

Yep, go with the butt, they are hard to kill.  You will be tempted to chase the temps all over the place with your WSM.  Go slow and make small adjustments, and let it sit for at least 15 min, half hour is better, for the fire to stabilise to the new setting.   Your WSM will get better at maintaining temps with use.  Pork butt can handle large temp swing and still be REALLY good.

Rub it, smoke it, pull it (finishing sauce?) eat it.  Don't try to sauce it while in the smoker, that will just make a mess.


Thanks for the tip on the saucing, Drewed. The last thing I want to do is make an unnecessary mess right out of the gate!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Black View Post

Welcome from SC, Ferris. You have gotten some really good advice. The butt is very user friendly and adapts to the WSM nicely. I would suggest the chicken if you have some time before you want to do the butt. It's good for getting accustomed to the temp swings and is also user friendly while being very economical.

Please let us know how you season that culinary vernacular and is that a pork cut or beef? I've never tried one before.

Good luck, Ferris and good smokin', Joe

Thanks for the advice, Joe! As soon as I buy it (after this vacation) , I'll season it with bacon a time or 2 after I do the initial residue burn. After that, I'll try the chicken first (cheaper if it goes poorly, eh). Then I'll give the Boston Butt a go.

I'll be taking pictures and sharing my progress!
post #9 of 14

:welcome1:  to SMF glad to have you aboard. If something goes wrong don't give up the best of us will have a failure one in  a while just keep trying.

post #10 of 14
Ferris, One great thing about the porcelin finish in the WSM, no special seasoning is needed. Just fire it up and start smoking. Try to locate a thread on spatchcocking chicken or go to the search bar and type it in. This is a great way to cook a bird. It will not take as long and will cook more even.

Good luck. Joe
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for the tips. I did a high heat smoked chicken on the WSM for about an hour, and the results were fantastic enough that my wife wants me to smoke twice this holiday weekend. 

 

So, I'm going to do the chicken again on Saturday, and then Pulled Pork on Monday. 

 

I know I was lucky to hit a home run out of the gate, but it certainly encourages me to keep going!

 

After the first turn:

 

 

Final product, after resting:

post #12 of 14

That chicken looks great. I love smoking chicken on my WSM. I'm new to this game, with only one season under my belt, but I think you'll find it easier to control the temp of the WSM as it gets used.

 

You've gotten some good advice here. Drewed's advice about adjusting the temperature is well worth listening to.

 

Are you using water in the bowl? For right now I use a dry bowl and high temps for chicken and water in the bowl with low heat for ribs and butts.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwschenk View Post
 

That chicken looks great. I love smoking chicken on my WSM. I'm new to this game, with only one season under my belt, but I think you'll find it easier to control the temp of the WSM as it gets used.

 

You've gotten some good advice here. Drewed's advice about adjusting the temperature is well worth listening to.

 

Are you using water in the bowl? For right now I use a dry bowl and high temps for chicken and water in the bowl with low heat for ribs and butts.

Thanks!

 

I took the bowl out completely for the chicken, as I wanted temps in the 300s (was around 310-320 the whole smoke). I chose the high heat method strictly for crispier skin, which I got.

 

I'll likely follow the same empty/full water bowl methodology you mentioned. I'm crossing my fingers for a successful pulled pork on Monday!

post #14 of 14

Awesome chicken. WSM is a great smoker. I have 3. They make BBQ as good as any smoker. What a great gift to get!!

 

Al

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