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Mid-Michigan Smoker-In-Training

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hello all, I have been looking at the site for a couple days now and have seen some really good ideas and would like a little advice.

I am the new owner of a Brinkmann Gourmet Electric Smoker (got it for Christmas) and as the title explains, I am in training to become a great smoker. I plugged her in today to see if she worked and what temp she would get up to given the fact that we are in mid winter here. My ambient temp was 22 degrees and the smoker got up to around 290 degrees within the hour. Not sure if it was going to get any hotter, but since there is no thermostat, I can't control that. I just wanted to make sure it would get hotter than say 125, which wouldn't cook anything.

I have plans to create a feast for my family and it includes testing out my smoking skills with a turkey breast. It is Honeysuckle with solution added, so I don't think I need to brine, correct? It is roughly 8lbs and I will be using apple wood branches from my father in laws trees. I would like to know what kind of time is typically required for cooking such an animal. I know that temp is the deciding factor (which is why I picked up a good remote probe thermometer) but would like an idea of when I need to put this bird in the smoker. any ideas would be helpful. Bone in, 8lb breast, solution added, time???

Thanks in advance and I'm happy to be here.
post #2 of 25
Welcome aboard! There is some great info on this site. In regards to your turkey question, I would drop by the poultry area an check it out. I'm sure folks will have and answer for you there!
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I am there right now, finding some good insight on the turkeys....PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #4 of 25
Welcome to the smf. Lots of good info here.

post #5 of 25
Welcome to the forum. biggrin.gif

No need to brine with a solution added. If you can run 290 with the meat in there, I would plan on somewhere around 2 1/2 to 3 hours to get that 8 lber done.....just a guess. Although I would suspect that you won't run as high of a temp with a chunk of cold meat in there.

Good luck.
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips. Also, how quickly does the wood actually get burnt up...my booklet says that I will likely have to replace my wood every two hours or so. I will be using chunks of apple branches that are roughly 1/2 to 1 inch thick, not sure what lengths I should cut them into...any thoughts?
post #7 of 25
Many factors into how long it will last......just go easy with it, the birds take the smoke pretty easily.

How old is that wood, if it is too green you may want to buy some wood and let that age a bit. Apple doesn't need to age as long as some other woods IMO, but I am not sure that I would cut it and use it on the same day.

As far as the length of wood.......well, I am a big fan of what ever length I can fit in the box. LOL
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
He took the trees down this past summer, around May or June. It has been in his garage since, it should be fine for smoking I'm assuming. Should I soak it? I've seen it mentioned both ways...I was going to soak since it seems that more people prefer soaking than not soaking.
post #9 of 25
welcome to SMF, more people will be around to give you better solutions with your particular smoker than what i can do

a big hello from Flint though
post #10 of 25
i never soak, i want my wood to start burning as fast i can get it to. if the apple limbs and what not are not too big they should be fine to use right now
post #11 of 25
Yeah, I would use them also, and I never soak either. If you decide to soak, soak them in wine for a little extra flavor.....otherwise I would say don't bother.

Like Teacup said, someone will be along that has your same smoker and can give you more specific advice.

Good luck,
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice and tips. I think I will try some wine for soaking...I have some homemade wine that should be good for it. I will write back tomorrow night and let you all know how it goes.
post #13 of 25
Welcome to SMF. This is THE place to be.
post #14 of 25
Welcome to the site. Glad to have you here. You are already seeing how this place works. A wealth of knowledge to be shared.
post #15 of 25
Welcome to SMF, Wing- From Lake Orion here.

Hmm is the Gourmet ECB designed for chunks? Or is it more a chip machine? I tore an old one apart and used it's body to construct the ECB Squared, and I guess I figgered it would only want chips.

And that apple will be fine at that age, but again, I wonder if ya might have to chip it.
post #16 of 25
Welcome to SMF! Enjoy the forum!

Take care, have fun, and do good!


post #17 of 25
Welcome to SMF. You might check out the 5 day ecourse. Alot of good info there as well. I am going to be doing a turkey breast myself today or tomorrow. Post some Q-view of how yours turns out. Everyone here likes pictures.I don't know about electric smokers, but I don't soak mine either, might have to try the wine thing once as I also have some homemade Blackberry. I know that the book for my Char-Griller Pro says that removing the bark from the bigger pieces of wood is suppose to eliminate any soot while smoking. Don't know how much truth is to that but I remove the bark before I put in the smoker. Good luck with the turkey.
post #18 of 25


Wingrider welcome to smf. Be sure to check out the 5-day ecourse its very helpful and free. Best off luck with all your smokes!!!!!!!!!
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the great welcome into the forum!!! Just as an update, the bird is in the smoker....she's been going for about an hour and 15. Boy my garage smells good. She's running at about 260 with the bird in there, and the bird is reading 58 so far. I decided to not soak the wood just yet. Figured I work my up to playing around some more. For now, just want some plain ole smoke. Didn't take any pictures before-hand, but I will take some after she comes out.

Richtee - " Hmm is the Gourmet ECB designed for chunks? Or is it more a chip machine?"

I think it is designed for both chunks and chips...it basically says to position the wood pieces so they are away from the heating element...so I just cut the branches about 4-5 inches long and put a few in there next to the element...working well so far. To me it seems like the chips would burn up to quickly....I will most likely just use chunks.

Teacup - "a big hello from Flint though"
Richtee - "Welcome to SMF, Wing- From Lake Orion here."

Hey, I'm just a little ways north near Bay City.

Pictures to follow later.
post #20 of 25
Howdy from Hell, Michigan! When ever I do a turkey I seem to get the best results using my Weber Kettle charcoal grill using the offset method. I routinely get a consistant 250o cooking temp with about 20 coals on each side during the cold weather. Depending on the size of the bird it is usually a 3-4 hour smoke. Good luck with your turkey and welcome!

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