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Newbie from Cincinnati... Brinkmann WSM

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

I'm Austin from Cincinnati, OH. I'm brand new to smoking so my smoking status is "just learning". I'm a HUGE Bar B Que affectionado, I love it. BarBQ joints are my favorite restaurants. We have several smokehouses here in the 'Nati that are diamonds in the rough and a little off the beaten path. No, not Smokey Bones. You may have heard of one of my favorites; The Montgomery Inn. I use A LOT of Montgomery Inn's BBQ sauce which is store bought.

I've perfected Ribs (baby back, spare, country, ect.), Beer canned Chix, Roasts/Butts all in the oven and I'm also pretty good on the gas grill, but I just feel like I'm missing out on more flavor. So this summer, I've decided that I'm going to learn how to smoke.

I'm on a very tight budget so I bought the Brinkmann Gourmet WSM opposed to the Weber. I plan on making a few modifications before using the Brinkmann (change the thermometer, extend legs, add a coal rack, maybe a vent)... If its something that I like doing and something that I'm good at, I will probably buy the Char-griller (I think that's the name. It's $169 at Home Depot).

So for my first smoked meat on Saturday, I'm planning on doing a couple Chickens and a Pork Loin (for pulled pork) along with Baked Beans, Mac and Cheese, slaw and some kind of potato or corn. My fiance and I are going to invite over just a couple guests for the first tasting. I'd like to find a good BBQ rub for the chickens and pork, so if you have the indredients, a recipe would be greatly appriciated. I'm thinking of using carcoal brisquettes with some good wood chunks/chips. Any reccommendations for wood varieties?

Anyone else use the Brinkmann WSM? If so, tips would really help!

Look forward to learning and reading/posting here on the forums.

post #2 of 34
Hi Austin, and welcome to SMF. I still consider myself a newbie, so I don't know how much I could help you with advice. But you have come to the right place. This place is a goldmine of information, and it has some really nice folks who hang out here.
post #3 of 34
Welcome to SMF. lots of friendly folks here to assist you on your journey into smokedom. Ask any questions some one will have an answer. Jeff has a couple of recipes that he offers for a reasonable price, I have heard nothing but raves on it. Nice to have someone from Cincy on here, I am located about 25 miles east of eastgate mall. again welcome and enjoy the family
post #4 of 34
Hey Austin, Kratz is 25 mi east and I'm about 10 miles north of downtown. Basic rub I use for most things is
3 tbsp Kosher Salt
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup smoked paprika
1/2 tsp Celery salt
1/2 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp Chipotle powder

I like hickory for pork and chicken.

Don't know much on your rig unfortunately.

One piece of advice if I may, BE PATIENT. Being a grill guy, I wanted to play with the meat (that didn't sound quite right) LOL. BBQ will teach you some patience.

Your going to pull a loin? I have not heard that one yet, but then I had never heard of smoking a frozen burrito either. These guys smoke anything! All that said, it seems like it would be too lean. I'm still a little new also so that might not be true. Let us know how it turned out. Dont forget that we like pictures (Q-view).

Have fun most of all!
post #5 of 34
Welcome aboard Austin. The great people in here will definitely help get you to where you want to be! You'll pretty much find across the board that lump charcoal beats briquettes (stay away from "Cowboy" brand). I'd set up a jar... The results you will pull out of your WSM will convince you in no time that its something that you like doing and something that you're good at!
post #6 of 34
Thread Starter 
Oh, so you must be somewhere around Sharonville then? One of my favorite BBQ pit restaurants is right on Sharon Rd, very close to the 75 exit ramp. Don't know the name, but they have excellent BBQ and somtimes live music at night.

Do you like Mongomery Inn's sauce or do you make your own?

I'm actually north of Cincinnati in Hamilton (aka Hamiltucky). My roots are from the southern state of Kentucky.

post #7 of 34
Sounds like your talking about Burbanks. I make my own bbq sauce, finishing sauce and carolina mustard sauce. you will find the finishing and mustard sauce recipes listed in this fourm they are soflaquers recipes and they are goooood! you can pull a loin but without injection it maybe a little dry. I prefer pulling a pork butt or a picnic, they have a lot more fat to keep the meat moist and thay are less expensive to pull your pork you want an internal temp of 195 - 205 and it will melt in your mouth. Loin cooked to 165 is great for slicing. I mostly use my loins to make canadian bacon, now that is something you will want to try.
post #8 of 34
Welcome to the forum!!

Whether you have an ECB or WSM doesnt matter, it's not the cooker its the cook!!wink.gif You can turn out some exsolent smokes!

Trick to this forum is USE the hell out of it, spend the time to learn the search feature as I found out most of the topics I was interested in learning about had already been discussed at length. Also there is that 5 day course which takes no time at all that is offered. It is packed with info usful to the novice, like me.

One tip, to get chix to turn out where you can still eat the skin you have to Q at higher temps 300* or so.

Wood, I used cherry for the 1st year as it is alittle more mild than hickory, then I learned about TBS, all will come with time and experience.

Heck with that loin I would smoker, slicer and eater biggrin.gif, at Kratz said around 165 mark.
post #9 of 34
Thread Starter 
Great, thnx for the tips. I have a loin, so I thought I'd give it a try. Maybe I'll buy a butt and slice some chops out of the loin.

Its not Burbanks, but its very close by. Its on Sharon. Get off 75 north and go right off the exit. Its about two blocks up on the right. You can't miss the place, their pit is HUGE and its in the front of the restaraunt. These people used to sell their smoked chickens, ribs, pulled pork and brisket off the side of Sharon. Just recently they opened the restaraunt. Check it out.

Too bad I already bought the charcoal. I'll have to use it all up then get a bag of lump.

Where can I get my wood chunks around here? All I can find is Mesquite and Hickory in the big box stores.
post #10 of 34
Thread Starter 
LOL, I have a ECB. I thought WSM stood for Water Smoker... Noob.
post #11 of 34
I messed up with the 10 miles north of downtown. I meant 10 miles north of 275. I'm right in your backyard actually. I'm north of 129 off Liberty-Fairfield.

The BBQ place just off Sharon Rd. is Burbanks. The other one on Sharon is Jim Dandy's but I would think it is too small for live music.

I used to like Burbanks but last two times I was dissapointed so I dont go back. Greasy pulled pork with lots of fat = NASTY BBQ!

Went to Montgomery Inn once. It was okay but a little expensive. I dont care much for their sauce so I make my own. I like mustard sauce the best, but dont have a receipe, yet.

Jim Dandy's was over cooked and dried out when I went for lunch. Jim is a great guy though. He actually encouraged me to start doing my own. Fun guy to speak with.

Well if you have any questions just let us know and I'm sure someone will have an answer.

Look forward to hearing from you.
post #12 of 34
Thread Starter 
I'm right by the fairgrounds in Hamilton off Rt. 4. Minutes from you.

Jim Dandy's is exactly what I'm talking about. I've only been a couple of times, but man it was good (at least it was for me). Maybe I don't know much better and its horrible, that's how much I like Q, lol.

Montgomery Inn is very expensive. I don't eat there, I just like the sauce on my own ribs.

Wish me luck guys. I'll stop by after the weekend to let you know how everything turned out. Thanks for the tips everyone.
post #13 of 34
Less than 5 minutes. As I drive past there this evening I'll be looking for the smoke. Cant wait to see your q-view.
post #14 of 34
SmokeyWray, Sounds like you are going to make a very fine smoker. You get your friends hooked and the party is on. Swappin' smokes with friends is cool thing. Easy on the beer.
post #15 of 34
Welcome to the SMF Austin! Glad to have you here!smile.gif
post #16 of 34
Welcome Austin. Your well on your way since you've been doing the ribs in the oven. This type of cookin is just a little different, remember LOW and SLOW!! Also, make sure you dont over smoke your food, as they say Thin Blue Smoke, TBS.

There are some great recipes here and helpful tips. You'll be a pro in no time and you will be addicted. PDT_Armataz_01_26.gif
post #17 of 34
Thread Starter 
Well the smoke went pretty good for my first try. I need to make a modification to the ECB before attemping my next smoke. The temp gauge "Warm, Ideal, Hot" has to be replaced ASAP. I couldn't stand not seeing the actual temperature.

As far as the meat goes, I'm really not sure what I did wrong. I did 2 birds; One with a BBQ Rub and One with Garlic Herb Rub (Both were concoctions of mine)... I will post Q-view's when I upload the pics.

I cooked the birds on the smoker for a total of 3 hours and they didn't come up to temp, not even close. After three hours, I could only get them up to about 90-100 degrees??? What went wrong, I have no idea. The birds where very crispy on the outside but the temp wasn't there. I took them off the smoker and finished them in the oven for about 20-30 minutes.

When I took the birds off, the meat looked done. The thighs/legs fell completely off of one of the birds. The meat was very tender and juicy with no traces of blood. I was worried about the temp though.

Is it possible for the meat (chicken) to be "done" without ever coming up to temp? Maybe my thermometer is broken?

We did eat the chicken after it came out of the oven and it was excellent. The first thing my fiance said was "I can taste the smoke, its really good." That was well worth the 6 hours I invested in the kitchen and on the smoker that day.

One more question: Should the smoker actually "smoke" during the whole cook or only for about 10 minutes after the wood chunks/chips were added? I soaked my chips for about an hour before adding them to the charcoal (I'll use lump next smoke) but they only seemed to "smoke" for several minutes.

Thanks guys. I'm already looking at that bigger and better smoker. I'm not sure the ECB is right for me.
post #18 of 34
Couple of things, congrats on getting that 1st one outta the way.

Check your therm in boilin water for 212* or near there, that will tell alot.
Get a wired/wireless digital therm, they are great for telling internal pit temps as well as meat temps. Make sure the term temps go up to 400 or so.
Try doing a small butt or chuck roast for your next smoke, chix is tricky and requires some extra lovin. That chix will have clear juices and run 170 degrees when done, if the legs and wings are fallin off I would believe you are there although the only true way to know is in the breast or thigh with a therm. I would also recommend mastering that ECB before grad to a bigger smoker as you take with you what you learn from one smoker to the next.
The smoke question, thin blue smoke is what your after like I did when I started was lookin for white puffs of smoke, way too much wood. Now the trick is to identify the blue smoke and moderate it. Soakin chips is up to you, you want the smoke to last longer you could make foil packages of chips, that may help pending a bunch of variables such as how hot that fire is.

Good luck!
post #19 of 34
what chargrilled said. I agree about the original temperture gage I always wondered what the Ideal temp really was? I have several (7) digital thermometers and monitor not only the meat but the internal smoker temp. Pork butt is a very forgiving hunk of meat, and would be a good choice get either the butt (blade) or the picnic. plan on a long smoke and smoke to an internal temp of 160 + for slicing or go the full monty and hit 195 - 205 for pulling after hitting the temp you want to foil, wrap in towels and place in cooler for and hour or two to rest I have let them rest for up to 9 hours and meat was still in the 170 when I pulled it. expect to hit a plateau around 150- 155 the meat temp will hang there for awhile maybe for hours then start to climb again. this is the period of time that the connective tissue and collagen is breaking down. if you do say 2 butts at once you may find that they will finish at differant times. Example for Easter I smoked a 8.5 lb and a 9.5 lb butt. started a 2:00pm sat the 9.5 lber hit 200 at 5:00am sunday morn. the 8.5 hit temp at 10:30 am sunday
post #20 of 34
Char is right, chix are tricky. I tried some for the second time Saturday and I had one done in 4-1/2 hrs, but the other three took right at 6hrs before they came up to temp. Meat was good and juicey, but I haven't gotten the skin part down.

The key to BBQ is patience. I dont know if I said it to you or someone else. If you are looking for some grub in a few hours, smoking aint it. You might get some ABT's out but that is it.

So far I've done butt, Spares, Bbacks, chix and nothing is less than 5 hours.

You learn something new every smoke. I learned that 4 chix produce more fat than a 16oz grease catcher can hold, &^$@)*@ crap! Now I gotta clean the driveway.
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