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In Orlando...Do I Really Need A Smoker?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
It's been so darn hot down here that I'm beginning to think all I need it a rock to cook on....forget the smoker. HA

Here's my story.

I have grilled for quite a few years. Simple stuff like burgers, chicken & hotdogs. We've been wanting to cook something that has that REAL BBQ flavor so I started reading and realized that I should be cooking in a smoker.
My sons 3rd birthday is tomorrow so I decided what the heck...nows a perfect time to start my smoking resume.
I went to Home Depot last night and got a horizontal Brinkman charcoal smoker. Put that bad boy together and now I'm about to go buy some meat (Brisket, Ribs and maybe some pork).

Do you guys have any suggestions or links to point me in the right direction. I know most forums like this have their "sticky" threads that everyone loves and uses...got any of those around here?

Point me in the right direction guys and gals!

When cooking Briskit (or anything else for that matter) should I go by temp or time to tell when it's getting done (or a combination)? And what's this about wrapping a towel and letting it "rest"?
How long will it take to cook a 5 to 8 lb briskit and is there a downside to cooking brisket, ribs and pork all at once in the same smoker?
Can you tell I'm new to smoking LOL.

Thanks and I look forward to spending lots of time with my new BBQ family!
post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 
Here's a pic of the smoker.
post #3 of 17
Wecome to SMF! First thing you should do is clean and season your smoker. That will take about 4 hrs minimum. Wipe the inside down with damp cloth to remove any manufacturing grime and spray all internal surfaces with Pam or equivelant. Start a small fire and keep her smoking heavy. Run the temp to say 400 and then bring down to 250. Let her run for about 3-4 hrs to season. When that is done we can get to the cooking. Glad you found us. Consider the free smoking course by email on the site. Lots of good basic info and it is really free! LOL
post #4 of 17
Welcome to SMF glad you decided to jump right into it. For most things we smoke to temps not time every piece of meat is different so times will vary. Here are a few links to some of the meats you listed
Pork Butt

Have fun as Rick said be sure to season the smoker before you start. I would suggest a couple meat thermometers as well. If you have questions feel free to post them and somebody will try to help
post #5 of 17
i would start with a boston butt(pulled pork). its an easy cut of meat to cook. lots of info in the pork section to help you along the way. make sure to make the finishing saucePDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #6 of 17
Welcome to the site PitFall.
Glad to see you are taking the plunge deep into smoking and it sounds like a great meal planned, just try not to overwhelm yourself too much. Briskets and even ribs can take a bit of practice to get them to your liking so be sure to read up before starting something like that. Many different methods and recipes so it can seem like a bit much at times but I'm sure you'll be fine.
Another thing you can try that is not only fun but also one of the most delicious yet somewhat simple smokes would be a fattie.
If you follow the advice and links Rick and Piney gave you you should be smoking like a champ in no time.
As they said, any questions please feel free to ask, always someone around who is more than willing to help out.
Good luck!
post #7 of 17
Welcome from HOT and humid Sarasota.

Hats off to you for jumping right in.


If I were you, I start with some whole chickens, country style ribs, a small butt or picnic, smoked sausage, smoked meatloaf. You really are taking a big bite for your first smoke. Besides learning to cook meat, you have to learn to control your smoker. Chicken is okay if your temp drifts high, and the other stuff is pretty easy.

Whatever you choose, good luck, ans don't be afraid to ask questions here.
post #8 of 17
Congratulations on your new smoker!

You've gotten a ton of good advice above ^^^ so pay attention and especially season it well as Shooter said.

A couple folks recommended starting out with a pork butt. I agree, it's very forgiving and is a great way to start out and get the hang of your smoker.

Here's the recipe for the rub and the finishing sauce which is integral to a true Carolina BBQ....

Carolina Pulled Pork Barbecue
1 Shoulder Pork Roast (around 5 lbs)

For the rub:
Yellow mustard
2 TBSP seasoned salt
2 TBSP coarse ground black pepper
1 TBSP paprika
1 TBSP red pepper flakes
1 TBSP dried oregano flakes
1 Cup dark brown sugar

For the sauce:
3 cups apple cider vinegar
1 Cup Dark beer (Guiness or Killian’s Red)
1 TBSP salt
2 TBSP red pepper flakes
1 TSP coarse ground black pepper
¼ Cup dark brown sugar or honey

Let roast it sit to room temperature, about an hour. Mix rub spices in a bowl. Generously rub roast with yellow mustard. This will allow rub spices to stay on during grilling making a nice crust, and the mustard taste will go away. Rub spices into roast well all over, sprinkling extra on top. Let sit another hour minutes before cooking. Sometimes I do this the night before. Your choice.

Set up grill for indirect medium heat (about 275 degrees F)

Place roast onto grill and let barbecue about 4-5 hours. Larger roast will take more. Cook until 190 degrees F internal temperature MINIMUM. I always go for 200 F. Otherwise it won’t “pull”. You will have to add coals and or wood about halfway through cooking time. You don’t want to cook at hotter temperature than 300 degrees F.

Remember, the trick is LOW AND SLOW for a true Southern barbecue

When done place roast on cutting board and let rest around 15 minutes. Them pull apart with forks and chop crispy skin and all with a sharp butcher knife. The bones are great for simmering in a soup or baked beans. Dogs have been known to beg for them…..

Mix all sauce ingredients in a deep saucepan and bring to boil. Then reduce to simmer for about 30 minutes…not too hot!

Mix sauce and meat in a large bowl, toss and combine well. Serve on warm buns with coleslaw.
post #9 of 17
You live in Orlando and wonder if you should get a smoker??

I would suggest getting your head examined instead!! icon_mrgreen.gif

Stress capital of the world, baby!! I know, I lived there for 48 years. PDT_Armataz_01_05.gif

Hopefully you do not need to drive I-4. I surely do not miss it.
Welcome aboard, you'll get plenty of help to relieve your stress at SMF. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #10 of 17
Welcome to the forum. There's not much I can add to what has already been explained. Just enjoy and post lots of pics.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

Going to post this in another section (Beef). I guess this section is to introduce myself.

post #12 of 17

1. I'm seasoning my smoker as we speak. Threw some charcoal and some hickory wood in the fire pit and got her up to about 500 degrees. It soon went down to about 300 but now I can't seem to get it under 290.
I closed the damper almost all the way and the smoke stack is about 1/2 open. Is there a trick to getting the temp down to 210 -230?
I'm sure it'll take a lil getting use to but if ya have any tips for me that would be nice.

2. What is optimal temp to cook a 4lb brisket along side of spare ribs? 200 to 230?

3. I know cook times vary depending on several factors but how much time should I allot for this cook off? I would like to have everything done around 3:00pm to 5:00pm. How long does a typical brisket and ribs take to cook on a smoker?

4. When building my fire should I just use charcoal and add small amounts of hickory directly on top? Should the wood be soaked in water first?

5. Exactly how would YOU cook these ribs and brisket (start to finish - from the rub to the carving). If you have time please enlighten me.

I'' do my best to answer your lasted postings.
First, open your stack all the way. Regulate your fire with the damper. Personally, this is the hardest part of smoking, learning how to use your damper to get the temps you want. But once you get it, you got it. You say your temps are too high? Are you going by the thermometer that came with the unit? If so, they are usually not even close to the actual temps, so you may be well under what it says. Get your self a good probe or digital dual probe, Maverick makes a good unit.

Optimal temps for your brisket? Id say 225-240 range. Keep it in that area and youll be fine.

Its hard to answer question #3.Every piece of meat IS different. A 10# brisket one week on a smoker might take 7 hours and a 10# the next week might take 12 hours. If you have a deadline to meet as far as what time you want it done by, then I'd start early and allow yourself several hours. If it gets done before you need it, wrap in foil, then a towel around it and place in a old cooler. Or do like me, put an old pillow in the cooler, then the meat, then another pillow. Will stay hot for HOURS....

#4 You can use just charcoal if you like and add wood as needed, but dont soak. You want the wood to burn, not smolder. When wood smolders slowly, you are getting the nasty stuff in your smoke, creosote, a nice small clean burn with a light thin smoke coming out the stack. It doesnt take much smoke to give your meat a nice taste. You just to barely see it coming out.

#5 As far as brisket goes, I have only done a few of them. There are many rubs recipes on here, just look for a few under the beef section. Pick on that you think would suit your tastes. I start my brisket in a preheated smoker and smoke at 225-230 degress. After the first hour, and every 30 minutes after that, I give the meat a spray of apple juice. I keep doing this until the INTERNAL temps reach 190 degrees, I then remove it and wrap in foil and place in a cooler for at least 2-3 hours. I like mine sliced, some like theirs smoked to a higher temps so they can pull it. Again, look under the beef section and find briskets. For the ribs, it all depends again on your temps, the kind of ribs, baby backs, short ribs, trimmed or not. Check under pork and see what other have done with their ribs. The 3-2-1 method is popular as well as 2-2-1. Good luck....
post #13 of 17

Welcome Aboard!

You have had some excellent advice and answers posted to your questions so all I can ad at this point is a heart welcome to the SMF.

post #14 of 17

Glad to have you with us.

Be sure to check out Jeff's 5Day Smoking Basics eCourse, you can find it here 5 Day eCourse
post #15 of 17
First off welcome to SMF. you'll like it here there are alot of good people here that would just love to help you with just about anything to do with smoking. Being not to far from you Jax here it is awful hot but I still smoke almost every weekend. Just wait till you have smoke a few things and then you'll be hooked then it wouldn't matter how hot it is your smoking something.
Welcome To The Addiction
post #16 of 17
Welcome to SMF. Glad you joined us.
post #17 of 17
1 Welcome.
2 You'll be happy with your decision.
3 What they said
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