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beerorkid: used a bullet, bought a barrel smoker a neighbor made

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Howdy. Pretty much a noob here. I have been using a brinkman bullet that I got at an auction over the years, but really only used it 5 times or so.

Have had good luck, but want to get better.

A guy down the street has been making some smokers and selling them off his lawn. The barrels come from his work and used to hold maple syrup. I bought this one off of him which was a new design and he loved it. Has the smoke stack, a door on the side for messing with the coals and adjusting the intake. There is also a plug to allow intake as well. Love the motorcycle chain to prop up the lid. I know I should of tried to go dual chamber, but I still have the bullet smoker which I intend to modify to do some cold smoking with this new smoker.

Came with a rack for the coals and a rack for the meat surface which are not pictured.

Headed down to SAM's and picked up a brisket. Then I found another site and learned you just do not jump into brisket for the first try. So into the freezer it is going to go while I learn my smoker and get a few more forgiving meats under my belt.

Guess i will get the introduction out of the way and then ask a few basic questions from ya and continue to scour these forums to learn all I can. Just signed up for the 5 day lesson too.

I am Steve and live in Lincoln, NE. I work for the state in IT. I love linux and gadgets. Avid mountain biker and lover of good beer. I brewed professionaly for 7 years before going into IT. Married to an awesome lady who is not too fond of smoked meat, but loves a good brisket. I cannot get enough smoked stuff and want to get to the average level.

So on the smoker I bought. Any basic things you see that might be bummers or coolness?

It has a smoker thermometor on the top. Is that a good place to put it? Should I employ a digital one as well or add another therm somewhere to know the temp of my smoker?

I plan on getting more pics taken tonight and tomorrow. I am going to fire it up tomorrow to get a feel for how to control the temp and will throw a chicken on there to get a feel for it. Prob some ribs sat. Really looking forward to playing around and learning from you all.
post #2 of 16
lookin good, nice smoke ring on those ribs!!!

Lot of good people with plenty of shared knowledge.

I like the new smoker alot. 1 mod you might want to do first is get some fire proof seels for the lid, fiberglass stove sealer rope is what I used. It helps you know where your flow goes.

where did you brew professionally?

Do you still hokebrew at all?

Just another beernut here, welcome aboard.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Good idea on the seal. I guess i will be able to see how much leaks out when I fire it up tomorrow.

Brewed at a local brewpub that changed ownership once. Was Crane River, now Misty's. 9 barrel system with 4 fermenters and 14 grundy tanks we served out of.
Was a pretty cool gig and all the beer i could drink ;)

I homebrewed years before and after, but have resorted to just buying beer for now. Lots of friends still homebrew and might get back into it here soon.
post #4 of 16
I miss Crane River! I loved that place. Good food and good brews. I was sorry to see it go.

post #5 of 16
Looking Good, cooked on a barrel like that till it died (rusted through). Good smoke ring on those ribs man make me hungry.Welcome
post #6 of 16
Welcome Beerorkid.
post #7 of 16
Welcome beerorkid. In no time you will be smokin' like a fiend! I would definitely get a digital thermometer, stick it through a chunk of wood or a tater, and place it on the grate right next to your meat.

Look forward to your input here in SMF.
post #8 of 16
nice looking grill but looks like theres paint on the inside. when your coals are hot that paints gonna give off some nasty stuff you dont wanna ingest
post #9 of 16
I agree with CH, but all you have to do is fill it with charcoal and a couple of logs and get it crazy hot for a while then a quick brush with a wire brush and you are golden baby.

hurry up and get us some q-view. ;)
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
You know that was one of my concerns. I do not know what paint he used. Maybe a good burn will burn that off. Might be high temp stuff, but it should not be there.

Gonna go out and pick up some lump charcoal and get to know it, but rock it for a while and burn it all off.

It was his old smoker and has been used before, but yeah I agree.

Thanks for the tips folks.
post #11 of 16
welcome to SMF beeror. If it has been used before it should be ok for now. I wonder what that red stuff is. Is it primer?

Yes, get a digital remote therm. It will help you learn your smoker faster. Make sure to take some simple notes as to what the therm on the door says, when the digital is at the right temp. It will help ya later on, to know at a glance what the pit temp is at without checkin the digital.

Either way, looks like ya got a nice upgrade, lookin forward to some good pics of your smokes soon.cool.gif
post #12 of 16
Greetings beerorkid!
I think you spelled "and" wrong...lol!
Hey nice looking rig! take that brisket out the freezer my man! check out the smokiey okie sear method and get yourself an all nighter under your belt for the long weeknd! You will love it brisket is scary the first one in, but it really is an easy forgiving piece of goodness YUMMY YUM YUM!
Happy Smokes!!
post #13 of 16
Steve, welcome to the SMF. You'll have plenty of good feedback before you know it.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Had to search around for the smoky okie method. Found it on the google
I will try that one day for sure.

I did not put the brisket in the freezer cuz I am going to go for it. 6 pounder.

Not sure what the red is, I would think primer as well.

Right after work I will be hitting the store for some lump charcoal and burn out the smoker. He added a new charcoal rack and kept his old one. It looks like it was painted with some sort of black paint and you can see the metal in some spots he missed.

Maybe get a chicken under the belt tonight and then it is brisket time tomorrow.

One question for you. What is the foil tent?
Is it to not tightly wrap in foil, but to make a loose dome of foil?

Seems like a great forum here, and thanks for the feedback. I will be documenting everything with pictures for my food site and my main one and will be sure to share with you folks as well. I will be a q-view whore ;)
post #15 of 16
Just put it in a pan and cover with foil. I crimp around the edges to seal it better.

Checked out your website. You have some good stuff on there! I am gonna have to take some notes.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well got a chicken and a brisket under the belt. It was my first time with the smoker and had to figure out how to use. Started friday evening by burning the smoker out with some briquette charcoal. Some over on the smoked meat forum saw the paint on the inside and said I should burn it really hot to make sure no fumes would taint future meals. After the coals died down I set out to smoke some salt and a chicken.

The chicken took a long time and I ended up falling asleep on the couch. Woke up at 5:30 AM and wrapped it up and put it in the fridge. I carved it up sat morning and oh man was that good. Bagged it all up and it will make awesome lunch sammiches.

Got the brisket going around 11:00 AM sat morning. I had picked up some lump charcoal and apple wood chips. I had rubbed the 6 pound brisket with a rub I threw together the night before and wrapped it up with cling wrap. Got the smoker going and it was right at 225 degrees where I wanted it and threw the brought to room temp hunk of meat on there.

Then the fight started. I could not keep the temp up in that smoker since I was being to much of a wussie when it came to adding more charcoal. I would check on it every hour or two and it would be in the 160 degree range and I would freak out and try to get it hot again. After a while I realized I could just add the lump charcoal right on the hot coals with no need to use the chimney starter. I added lots of chips, but tried to not make it too smoky. 13 hours later I pulled it off, wrapped it up, and went to bed.

The thing looks evil, but was not too smoky at all. Hardly any smoke ring and was a bit tough the next day. I sliced up some for dinner and reheated the slices in a foil container for our dinner. Was pretty much like roast beef. Sliced it all up and baggied it for lunches.

Theresa is not that big of a smoked meat fan, but I love it. We do lunch at home every work day and I think that will involve a smoked meat for a long time to come. I have a better grasp on how to use the smoker now and really enjoy spending a whole day messing with it. Ribs are next.
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