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First Smoke & I survived!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Yesterday was my first attempt with my brand new Brinkmann Electric Smoker. By the time I got the smoker home, put it together and got my brisket, it was already getting late in the day. I used a dry rub and mesquite chips and began my smoke around 4:00 pm. My directions with the smoker indicated that the brisket should be done around 8:00 pm. Yeah, well it wasn't done at 10:30 pm, so I wrapped the brisket in foil and let the smoker do it's thing. Finally around 1:00 am it was done, actually a bit overdone (I need to buy one of those remote digital thermometers!). I wrapped the brisket in more foil and a couple of beach towels and nestled it in my smallest cooler. I pulled it out of the cooler at 6:00 am and put it in the fridge. After returning home from work today, sliced that baby up and we had yummy brisket sandwiches. Could it have been more juicy, sure. But for my first attempt, I was pretty pleased. I didn't burn it to a crisp and my family seemed to enjoy it (so did my Sheltie, who thinks I am now his best friend).

My next project - beer can chickens. I've read that I should brine them in a mixture of one gallon water, one cup kosher salt and one cup sugar. Right? I can let them swim overnight, then pull them out, dry 'em off and oil them up with vegtable oil. Should I use any rub or other seasonings? I'm thinking if I run home and put them on at lunch, by the time I return home 4-1/2 hours later they should be done, or fairly close. Right? Any comments or suggestions is greatly appreciated.

By the way, I'm learning a lot here and really appreciate the willingness to share tips and help others. Ya'll will make a real smoker out of me before this is all over!
post #2 of 5
Congrats on a successful first cook, ande you jumped with one of the harder meats to get right. If you have any questons just ask them and you WILL get answers or opinions.

When I do beer can chickens, it is brine, rinse, dry, rub down the outside, a spoonfull of rub in beer can. {After properly drinking 1/2 the beer} onto the smoker, and sit back drinking the other beers. I personally never plan to leave my smoker unattended, I have walked into the house to watch a ball game, even pulled up a chair and napped, but I do stay in the area.

My other thoughts, for unattended cooking is. BBQ will be ready, when it is ready....You can plan ahead so it is ready for a certain meal, but you can nt force it to cook in a certain amount of time. You can not tell someone, that if you put this on the fire for 3 hours it will be done, it may be close, but you are either going to over cook, or wait till it get finished.
post #3 of 5

Re: First Smoke & I survived!

Overnight may be pushing it for a swim. Most of the time 8 hour is the absolute max for brining a chicken. More than that and it may get a bit salty.
You also don't want to pull the birds from the brine any earlier then you have to because the juices will begin to leach out as soon as you pull them.

4 hours was a bit short for a brisket time. I have heard of people quick cooking a brisket, but it's such a tough piece of meat to begin with, I definately suggest low and slow...I usually plan for 1 1/2 hour per pound.
A little less for a flat, a smidge more for a packer.

Always good to have another smoker in the group..you'll find out that the best part of learning how to BBQ is eating the mistakes...the worst 'Q' I've ever had was better than any fast food joint!!

Good luck and Many Happy Qs
post #4 of 5

Re: First Smoke & I survived!

I also never really walk far away from my smoker. But I'm not to familiar with the electric smokers, it may be easier to assure constant low temps. If you're comfortable that the smoker will keep low temperature than just run with it. Even with my wood smoker I really never have to do much to maintain a temperature, I guess I just get worried that it could change. But really sitting around the smoker is part of the fun, if you get a chance invite friends over to drink and bbq together, maybe even pull an all night brisket smoke!
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the great advice! I'm gonna enjoy playing with this smoker and trying new things. I bought the chickens, organic so they don't have water added. Also got the kosher salt so they can swim tomorrow morning. Thanks for the heads-up on brining Rock, I'm planning to cut the brining time down to 6 hours max. I'm excited to try my first birds on the smoker. Wish me luck!

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