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New Member from Alberta Canada

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi all. Just joined and saw this is the place to start. Just bought a GrillPro propane smoker over the weekend and broke it in with a pork shoulder, some veggies and a couple frozen pre-fab burgers thrown in for a the heck of it.

Unfortunately my first smoking experience was a bit of a let down actually. I guess I'm wondering if the $200+ investment was a bit of a bad/impulsive decision on my part. After trying it for real (instead of just daydreaming about it while watching the Food Network) I can imagine that with our long cold Canadian winters that I might only be using this smoker maybe a half dozen times a year.

Let me explain, and I apologize if I'm coming across too pessimistic or commiting some kinda of Barb-Q sacrilege:

It's a fairly big unit and smoking takes a long time with a bit of babysitting and uses a fair amount of propane. All to be expected right? Right. But I underestimated or miscalculated this- I can really only do it on days off work, in decent weather, and with no plans or desire to leave home.

And it also means that when I do a smoke that I'll tend to want to fill the thing up as much as possible. But everything that comes out of there tastes the same. So even though you can get creative and do beans, corn, potatoes, other veggies, etc in this thing, if you have any normal palate I think that one or two smoked items per meal/evening is about enough. Especially when the chef ends up smelling smoked too- you smell it all day long and all over yourself, and it creeps into the house every time you open the patio door. To be honest I was almost kinda sick of it before I even started to eat.

And we don't have a chest freezer in our house so I am thinking what am I going to do with 10 - 20 lbs of perishable assorted smoked meat? Just my wife and I, a baby and a poor-eating 4 year old. No other family in the area, we very rarely throw any parties.

To get around this all, I'll have to plan properly. I am thinking i'll end up doing one main meat, like ribs, plus jerky (which has a longer shelf life), plus veggies which I can smoke and then puree and freeze for future use in sauces or dips, plus some kind of seafood appetizer like salmon or scallops, and maybe a sausage of some sort as well for lunches and snacks over the next few days following. And that should allow me to make the most of each session without a bunch of food going in the garbage a couple days later. I'm also thinking of trying setting it on high and using it like an oven to make some pizzas with a bit of smokey flavour.

Obviously I didn't think it all through properly before buying it. And I'm sure I'll figure out a way to make the most of it. But if nothing else- maybe others thinking of buying a smoker of one type or another will at least get some different perspectives to consider. You have to have a lot of time on your hands, and reeeaaaalllly love the smoke taste to make the best of one of these units. Having a big family or a lot of friends in the neighborhood wouldn't hurt either.
post #2 of 10
Sigh...sorry to hear... but you have alot of reading and questioning to do. But that's a GOOD thing! Sign up for the 5 day ecourse... and paramount to everthing smoked... is TBS Thin Blue Smoke. THAT is what you want to see..err, dang near only SMELL outta your smoker vent.

And the Eau'd Hickory cologne? gotta love that... or..well... I dunno.

Hungarian by chance?

Welcome to SMF and hang in there bud...we'll have ya up to speed soon as possible. No faster track to smoking Nirvana!
post #3 of 10
Welcome to the SMF. There is a great knowledge base here that you can plug into, really helps to get yuo on the learning curve at speed. Use internal temps for gauging when the stuff is done, but also knowing the cabinet temp at different racks will help you mucho. Lots of luck my friend!
post #4 of 10
Welcome to the SMF. I tend to disagree that everything tastes the same that comes out of the smoker. It all has a smokey flavor but that just enhances the flavor of the original product be it meat, veg or others.

I think investing in a freezer would solve a lot for you. It is natural to want to fill the smoker to get the most out of the fuel. Most smoked meats freeze really well so you'd be able to portion and freeze your end product.

It is true that you don't come home from work and fire up the smoker to get dinner going. It is a long, slow process that requires time and attention but that is what most folks here enjoy about it. Give it some time, hang around here do a few smokes and you might get hooked.
post #5 of 10
Enjoyed the different view, havent thought of smoking that way. Grab a beer and enjoy, you don't have to fill the thing up. It's just the wife and myself and I smoke 2 or 3 times a week. Small amounts, I don't care for leftovers everyday either. As for as things tasting the same, read on and you will learn about that.
Welcome, stay encouraged and you will love smoking.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the encouragement

Yes, I'm going to have to study a bit harder- that TBS term is both new and interesting. I noticed at the beginning there was no real visible smoke coming out of the vent, but a nice smell for sure. At that point I was liking what I was seeing/smelling.
post #7 of 10
Isn't that smell great?? Here's a visual of the difference of what you what to have (TBS) and what you don't want to have (puffy white smoke):

To echo Rich (regardless of which NHL team he backs PDT_Armataz_01_28.gif) the 5-day eCourse will definitely teach you the basics, and how easy it is.

Good luck, and look forward to your future posts and q-vue! biggrin.gif
post #8 of 10
Welcome to the smf..............
post #9 of 10
Gypsy, I also liked your thoughts. I would offer like a few others above that if you leverage the knowledge here at the SMF (5-Day e-course, forums, rub recipe, etc) it will get up the learning curve enough to save you time, frustration and $$$ no matter what you decide about when/how much/how often/ .....you decide to use your smoker.

Be careful, if your friends & neighbors start eating your Que, you might find yourself keeping that smoker full more than you think. wink.gif
post #10 of 10
Welcome to the forum. Great place full of information and great people.
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