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newbie from Kansas

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
After searching the net for some good smoker sites I came across this one, after reading some acticles this looks like the best place to find and share advice.

About me... Born and raised in Kansas, mid 40's married with two teenage boys. I inherited a Oklahoma Joe smoker when a good family friend passed away a couple years ago. I have used the smoker about six or seven times and each time the results are better and better.

I still have a lot to learn, but my attempts so far have come out pretty good. The last brisket I smoked I ended up serving at a large family gathering, and everybody loved it, and now I've had several requests to smoke various meats for the rest of the family.

I seem to get the best results with my brisket by smoking at 225 for three hours, then covering in foil and smoke (all I had was oak which tends to get too smoky) another three to four hours at the same temp, leaving the fat side up. It comes out very tender and tasty, but I think If I had more smoke time it would probably be even better.

I am going this week to purchase some new wood to smoke with, I found an outfit that carries most of the fruitwoods, so I am looking forward to trying out some apple and maybe some pecan.

My next attempt at smoking will likely be this weekend, and Ill probably end up with at least two or three briskets, maybe a chicken or three and maybe even a turkey thrown in for good measure. If I decide to hold off on the turkey, I will probably subsitute some ribs.

So to start off with, any advice for smoking mixed kinds of meats? tips? Temps, cook times, etc?

In the meantime Ill keep reading.
post #2 of 23

Re: newbie from Kansas

Sounds like you've got a full weekend planned.

One thing to keep in mind...when you start filling up the smoker, your cooking times will increase a bit...it takes more time to overcome the cold of the meat.

If I were to give any advice on what you have planned, I would say with regard to your chickens....butterfly and brine them. Butterflying the chicken will give you a couple of nice uniform pieces of meat which makes it easier to get the whole thing done at once. And..if you have never brined your birds...try it..I promise you you won't regret it...I have never had chicken more tender and juicy than when I brined them.

The brining also works for the turkey...

As far as wood...give Cherry a shot...it's so mellow, you can roll smoke as long as you wish without overpowering your food.

You sound like you are off to a good start...you've got the right equipment, the desire to learn and a fantastic resource for getting good advice...

post #3 of 23
Welcome to SMF okjsmoker. Glad to see that you found the best smoking food site on the 'net. Folk here are friendly and are willing to share tips, ideas and pictures of what they have smoked.

Looking forward to your participation on the Forum-

post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tip on brining, I will give it a shot. I have done ribs, brisket and even smoked a couple heads of cabbage which turned out a lot better than I expected.

But the Chicken and Turkey I havent tried yet, and I didnt know about the brining process, sounds like it will be awesome.

Bad part of this whole deal is I am on a diet!! lost about 30 pounds so far, got another 30 to go. Makes it real tough seeing all the awesome pics of various smoked meats on here [/drool]

cant wait to try the smoked meat loaf too!! the rolled and stuffed pork loin looks outstanding, soo many good ideas and recipes....where to start????
post #5 of 23
I'm new here too. I read about brining foul here and tried it on a turkey this past weekend...it was awsome! I have always had good results smokeing turkey but brining it added more flavor and also made it much more juicy.
post #6 of 23

Re: newbie from Kansas

I will never smoke or grill another un-brined bird..
..as a matter of fact, I've got 6 chickens going for a swim tonight..they will be joining about 15 slabs of baby-backs in Brutus tomorrow for a little family get-together.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
sounds yummy, whens dinner?

ROAD TRIP!!!!!!!
post #8 of 23

Re: newbie from Kansas

I'll save ya a couple of bones.. :D
post #9 of 23

Re: newbie from Kansas

OK ROK, I have been smoking chicken and turkey for about 20 years now and have never brined one. However, you make them sound so good that you have talked me into trying it. :roll:

I'm just doing some wings this weekend but the 4th is just around the corner and I'll try it then. Any tips on a good mix?
post #10 of 23

Re: newbie from Kansas

I'll be honest with you...other folks have their special concoctions they say adds more flavor, but I can never tell the difference when I add extra spices.

My basic brine is one gallon of water, a cup of salt(kosher..use half if using table salt), and a cup of sugar.
If I feel like it, I may add a spice or two...but like I said, I can never taste the difference.

What I'm after is the juiciness, and for that all ya need is the salt, sugar, and water.

About 8 hours is all I will allow the birds(chickens) to swim...too long in the pool makes chickens a salty bird.

...Even the leftovers (if there are any) will be nice and juicy days later.

...let me know how it works out for ya!!
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Well after reading more and more great tips, I think Im ready. I went out and bought the Taylor digital thermometer, also got a load of new wood (apple, cherry, and pecan) the meat is in the fridge, the chickens will be taking a bath shortly. hope I didnt forget anything.

Instead of the 6/8 hour smoke I was doing before I think Im gonna try the overnight deal, and do my best to maintain temp. Ive also bought stuff for making the marinade, and also have a couple different rubs to try.

If things work out like I think they will, then Ill be firing up the smoker again for the big 4th of July bash. Nothing better than getting the whole family together for some Beer, Fireworks, and good eats!!!

Thanks all for the tips.
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 

Got rave reviews all around, not a single complaint.
Everything turned out great!

The Brisket was very tender and full of flavor. Probably the best ones I have done yet compared to the way I was doing it before!

I Used the 3-2-1 method on the ribs and they were the best ever, meat was falling off the bone it was sooo tender.

The chicken came out very tasty...but I messed up and spent too much time worrying about the brisket temp and overcooked the chicken just a little bit, but it was still very good. Looks like Ill need to buy several more of those Taylor temp units!

Speaking of which, I dont know how I ever got along without one.

I also smoked some chicken gizzards since my son and I love gizzards, figured why not try em on the smoker. I sprinkled them with some rub and placed them in a foil pan, smoked them for about 2.5 hrs and they came out ok, very tasty, but they didnt come out as tender as I was hoping, they were still pretty chewey, anybody else ever try these???

Cant wait to try the smoked fatty, its all ready but Im not! I ate way too much.....maybe a midnight snack?

All in all it was a great time, with some real good eats! thanks for the tips, it sure made me look good!

Oh BTW, one of the briskets went to my dad, which has not been able to eat brisket in many years. (cancer survivior-long story)

I took it over to him and showed him the right way to cut it, he ate a sample and I could tell he really loved it, and commented about how tender it was. It made me feel good knowing I did something for him that he really enjoyed, it just made my day!

Ok well enough rambling, after spending all night babysitting the smoker....I stink. Off to shower and relax.
Have a good one!
post #13 of 23
Way to go Joe! Sounds like things went well for you. You're right about the digital thermos- they are a must have. Nice touch sharing some brisket with your Dad.

About that fattie you were to full to eat-check out my "Dutch's Gourmet Cowboy Gravy" post in the Sausage forum.

post #14 of 23
Sounds like a great time was had by all. Isn't that a nice feeling ..... all is done, everyone well fed, lots of happy faces, mess cleaned up and smokey smelling clothes. Now for bath and mellowing out. Mmmmmm.
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Earl, Ill try it out for sure. I did end up slicing the fatty and making it into sausage, egg and cheese biscuits. Oh man was it good!

Bwsmith, yes its a great feeling! For some strange reason I have always enjoyed cooking for family get togethers and other large groups, and when its all said and done, and everybody's belly is full, and hardly any leftovers, I know I did my job!

Oh BTW, I went and bragged about how good the dinner was to the guys at work, and they "volunteered" me to smoke a batch of ribs tomorrow. 7 good size slabs (spares) for about two dozen hungry guys, think that ought to be enough?
post #16 of 23
For 25 guys, I'd add about five more slabs. That would equate to about a half slab per person. If they are all adults and hungry, that'll be just barely enough. Have a good smoke!
post #17 of 23
Joe-on average, a slab of ribs will have 13 ribs. I suggest that after smoking the ribs that you cut the slabs into fourths- cutting the small end with four rib bones and three ribs each for the other three. If you do this with each slab you would end up with 28 portions. If you do 6 slabs it would give you the 24 portions and then you'd have a slab that you could do at home. :P
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yeah I may have to split them to get enough portions, but I think about 7 slabs are my limit on the smoker unless I come up with a rib rack.

I only charged $5 a person
I originally figured it on total weight, 24 guys eating 1 lb each = 24 lbs. I know they wont eat the bones (unless they are REALLY hungry ;) so I ended up buying almost 30 lbs or ribs. We have a few guys that could down a whole slab themselves, to other guys that could only eat a couple of ribs and they are done.

They will also have a couple big pots of beans and potato salad and desert to grub on, so its not like they will only focus on the ribs....I hope! lol

well gotta run, the smoker is almost ready!

BTW, the spares cost $2.99 a lb. (at the butcher shop) how much do you guys pay?
post #19 of 23
Hope it works out. No matter what you plan I always figure on 1 extra slab. Somebody is going to set a new personal best eating record on your ribs.

Have fun, take pics and post here to tell us how everything comes out.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Well...nothing but rave reviews!!! Each and every one of them commented on how good it was, and not a single complaint. I even got a few marriage proposals...lol sorry but no.

We ended up having enough for four good size ribs apiece, plus some extras for those that didnt get full, all in all I wish I had made at least one more rack to keep me from worrying if we had enough.

But in the end it all worked out and everybody was fat and happy.

I do have a digital camera, and one of these times Ill have to snap a few pics and post them up.
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