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Hi From Kingston Ontario

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone!  Love what I've seen on the site so far!  

 

I'm totally new to smoking, my wife just bought me an 18" Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker for my birthday and I'm pretty stoked (forgive the pun) about it.

 

I've been looking at videos all week and boy am I looking forward to the spring (we literally just got 19" of snow in a 24 hour period.)  After reading up on sites like this and watching those vids I'm confident I'll do a half decent job when I get to smoking.

 

If you'll do me the courtesy I've got a couple questions that would really help me get started!  The first has to do with wood chips and chunks.  My wife got me two bags of Weber brand chips (hickory and applewood) but almost everything I've read or seen calls for chunks.  The question is kind of two part; 1 - how many chips would be equivalent to a chunk and 2 - are chunks better than chips?  The second question and really the most important one is: what is the most important piece of advice you'd give a newbie?  

 

Oh and one last one... what should be the first thing I smoke?

 

Thanks in advance, I look forward to seeing you guys on these boards!

 

(Forgot to let you know my name... it's Richard) :)


Edited by DesiredUsername - 2/18/16 at 12:01pm
post #2 of 13

Welcome to the site Richard and welcome to the smoking hobby also.  Congratulations on getting your WSM.  I've got one myself and like it quite a bit.

 

In my earliest days of smoking I burned up quite a lot of chips,  (Have switched to chunks and will stay with them).  The chips will give you some smoke flavor but burn up too quickly to give truly satisfying results.  I would throw several handfuls on a full load of briquettes in the WSM and perhaps add them as you build your coal bed in the fire ring.

 

I did chicken for my first WSM smoke.  Some folks have some trouble keeping temps low in new WSM smokers till a bit of "grunk" builds up.  Chicken is pretty forgiving, cheap, and GOOD!  If you decide on chicken don't worry about keeping your smoke temp low, (225* to 250*).  The chicken will come out better around 325* if you can get the smoker temp up there.  I would line the water bowl with foil for easier clean up and not put water in it for the chicken.

 

Pork butts are also pretty forgiving but you have to be aware of "The Stall" which can drive first time smokers nuts, and i personally figure butts are likely to take 2 hours per pound to finish.

 

A very good and helpful tool to go along with your new smoker is a dual probe remote thermometer.  (One probe for the smoke chamber, and one for the meat).  Many folks are happy with the Maverick,  (Myself included).

 

http://www.amazon.com/Maverick-Range-Wireless-Smoker-Thermometer/dp/B00FOCR4UI/ref=sr_1_1?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1455849588&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=maverick+thermometer&psc=1

 

Best luck to you.  Let us know how your first smoke goes.

post #3 of 13

Hello from northern vancouver island.  First off, the best thing to smoke is everything.  Chicken is great, or pork chops are easy first run.  Over the years meatloaf has become one of my faves.  I burn chunks of wood, because I can cut my own from an endless source of alder around here.  But I started with chips, my advice there  would be to make a tinfoil pouch, with the chips inside.  Then make a slit on top to let the smoke out, this will slow down the rate of combustion and increase burn time.  A probe thermometer is a handy tool, because cook times tend to be longer, and smoke browns the food long before its done.  Good smokin', and you don't have to wait till all the snow to melts.

post #4 of 13
Welcome! Yes! Everything they said! Personal opinion is chips are best for electric smokers and chunks are for charcoal. You can't really compare amount of chips to a chunk. Chips will burn fast In charcoal without following Jaspers advice and chunks should just smolder unless they get too much oxygen. Also, others will disagree, but don't bother soaking either Vchuncks or chips in water.

I'll defer to one eyed jack for first smoke! But after that, for me, nothing looks cooler than pulling a couple racks of ribs off the smoker! Somehow ribs speak to our primitive side, taste awesome, and aren't too difficult!

Have fun! Good luck!
post #5 of 13

Welcome to SMF!

 

Looks like the boys got you covered.

 

Al

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for the advice!  I've just ordered some of the essentials; the Maverick ET-733, a Weber Chimney Starter, some wood chunks and a few other accessories. 

 

Does anyone ever use the top and bottom rack on the WSM?  I assume the stuff at the bottom would cook more rapidly than what's above.  If people do use both what order would you use.  i.e. if I did chicken and ribs should one be on top of the other and which or does it matter?  Thanks again for all the advice!

post #7 of 13

Yea good question.  Personally, I'd put the chicken on the bottom, it will benefit from the warmer temp to crispen up the skin.  Ribs are best low and slow, so keep them up top.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks, that makes sense.  In the videos I've seen most have the larger 22.5" model and are able to use the top alone.  I haven't actually seen anyone use both.  I'm reading threads left and right and I'm thinking I may have to just step away from the computer.  I just caught myself actively shopping for a sausage stuffer and grinder lol 

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesiredUsername View Post
 

Thanks, that makes sense.  In the videos I've seen most have the larger 22.5" model and are able to use the top alone.  I haven't actually seen anyone use both.  I'm reading threads left and right and I'm thinking I may have to just step away from the computer.  I just caught myself actively shopping for a sausage stuffer and grinder lol 


I usually only cook for two or three folks and have not, so far, used the lower grate on my 18 inch WSM other than for cheese smoking.  For meats I use the lower grate for a drip pan.  (Sometimes with a pan of beans to catch drippings).

 

 

 

post #10 of 13

Welcome to the site Richard!  I love my WSM and usually have both racks with something on them, (a full smoker is a happy smoker).  I don't find much difference in temps between the top and bottom racks, but I put what will be done first on the top rack. Less time to remove and recover.

 

Mike

post #11 of 13

texas.gif  Good afternoon and welcome to the forum, from a rainy  cool day here in East Texas, and the best site on the web. Lots of great people with tons of information on just about  everything.

 

 

Gary

post #12 of 13
Welcome from Calgary!
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesiredUsername View Post
 

Hi Everyone!  Love what I've seen on the site so far!  

 

I'm totally new to smoking, my wife just bought me an 18" Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker for my birthday and I'm pretty stoked (forgive the pun) about it.

 

I've been looking at videos all week and boy am I looking forward to the spring (we literally just got 19" of snow in a 24 hour period.)  After reading up on sites like this and watching those vids I'm confident I'll do a half decent job when I get to smoking.

 

If you'll do me the courtesy I've got a couple questions that would really help me get started!  The first has to do with wood chips and chunks.  My wife got me two bags of Weber brand chips (hickory and applewood) but almost everything I've read or seen calls for chunks.  The question is kind of two part; 1 - how many chips would be equivalent to a chunk and 2 - are chunks better than chips?  The second question and really the most important one is: what is the most important piece of advice you'd give a newbie?  

 

Oh and one last one... what should be the first thing I smoke?

 

Thanks in advance, I look forward to seeing you guys on these boards!

 

(Forgot to let you know my name... it's Richard) :)

Another Kingstonian  on the forum welcome 

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