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Hello from New Jersey. Yeah, we smoke up here too!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Greetings, everybody. I've been browsing this forum since I came across it a couple of weeks ago and finally decided to join up and get in the mix. I've been a sucker for smoked foods for a long, long time, and since I recently built a makeshift smoker at work so I could smoke a salmon (after my smoked salmon order wasn't delivered in time for an event we were cooking for), I've been trying my luck more and more at home with the new Brinkmann I just picked up.

I can officially say that I'm hooked on the smoke, and it's taken my cooking career into a direction I hadn't previously thought too hard about. I've only performed about 7 or 8 smokes at home, and not all of them have been perfect, but the best part about learning to smoke meat is that you get to eat your mistakes.

Anyhow, I just wanted to say hello to y'all and if you'll have me, I'll be learning from the masters in no time!

Big Stu
post #2 of 14
Welcome to SMF, Stu. Glad you joined us.
post #3 of 14
Welcome to the forum! You'll find tons of info here for most anything you may want to smoke on your brinky. Yes, even the mistake we create are still pretty good eating. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

BTW, did you get a vertical bullet style, vertical square double-door, or a horizontal pit with side fire box?

Have fun learning...there's no cure for the addiction, so keep that smoker warm!

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 


Thanks for your replies, guys.

I picked up a Brinkmann Gourmet charcoal, so I guess it's a bullet style. I'm still trying to figure out how much coal and wood to add over the smoking period, but I think I'm getting it right the more I do it.

I've read so many things about mods and whatnot, but right now I just want to figure out HOW to do it before I attempt to figure out WHY it all works, and how to make it better.

I can't wait to pick the brains of some lifer smokers here, and if you ladies and gentlemen will allow, I will more likely than not annoy you all with a barrage of questions so I can at least come close to perfecting my new craft.

I did, however finally get a beautiful smoke ring on my pork butt yesterday, so I'd assume I'm getting closer. It's the nuances I need some help with, so i believe I'm in the right place. Thanks again guys....

post #5 of 14
Welcome to the site Stu.
Always good to see another Jersey smoker join up, there aren't that many of us.
The Garden State, not the I love to smoke good food state.
I'm sure you will learn lots on here and never hesitate to ask questions, someone will always be around and happy to help out.
post #6 of 14
Hi again, Stu.

I checked out your pic...I'm not trying to jump to conclusions, but, my observation of the pic shows you may have been having high temp issues?

I say this because of very dark streaks on the meat. This can indicate stale/heavy smoke from solid fuel/smoke wood. Is that what I'm seeing?

If so, come on back and myself/someone else can help you figure out how to correct this...that's what we're here for...

And, Stu, don't feel bad if that's what happened...I just did basically the same thing a month or so ago on a cold smoke & sear with a charcoal kettle grill. It happens to everyone sooner later. Luckily for me I caught up with it pretty fast and all was well in the end.

It's nearly midnight here and have work in the AM, so I'll look for you Friday when I get back.

post #7 of 14
Welcome to SMF - Make sure you check out Jeff's 5 day e-course.

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 



Thanks for the tip. I figured that's what was going on. I was thinking that if I started with only about 3/4 of a chimney of charcoal and one or two wood chunks it may eliminate the problem. Whether that's true or not, I have no idea... The one problem I've noticed so far with the Brinkmann is that the thermometer isn't much of a thermometer at all. I tried to keep the heat at the lower part of the "Ideal" section on the gauge, but I have no idea how hot that actually is. I was thinking that a probe thermometer just dangling near the meat might do the trick? Another scenario has me replacing the temperature gauge with a more accurate one. Not sure where I would get such a thing, but I digress.

I certainly was having issues with the temperature on that last smoke. I may have been a little over-zealous tending to the smoker, adding wood and coal a bit heavy-handedly, simply because I was excited to pull of an eight-hour smoke and a couple of chef buddies were coming over for beers, baseball and pulled pork sandwiches. Luckily, if that was a mistake, it was still delicious. I can see why this smoking thing becomes addicting. I'm so used to restaurant cooking that the idea of relaxing AND cooking is something I need to get used to.

In any case, thanks again for your input, that's the kind of information I need to know in order to get things right. I look forward to reading more of your comments!

Big Stu
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Garden State Smoke!


Thanks Fire it up. Believe me I know there aren't too many of us here in Jersey. It's too hard to even find some good BBQ around here, and what I've found to be good... I just figured I could do better.

Here's to hoping I can get it right.

Big Stu
post #10 of 14
First off welcome stu to SMF. You'll like here as you know from hanging out in the shadows. Glad to have you here now. One thing you mite want to check out is the E-course it free and very informative. There's not alot of bbq in jersey at least not in the highlands. (we go every year for a big party in late aug) and I bring differant things from Fla to cook there. Last year I brought crawfish and everyone went nuts over the crawfish cause no one had ever seen them. This year I senting up a smoker and then it will be on we my new found addiction and love to cook and please people their gonna be eating pretty good this year. We will be aroung the Atlantic Highlands Gravel point to be exact so come join us.
post #11 of 14
Welcome Stu.

I know you're waiting to do mods. But thought I'd give you this link, it's mods specific to the Gourmet:


On my Gourmet, the "I" in ideal is about 275*. But the thermos are so bad, there is really no way of knowing if your's is about the same. Until you get a real thermo, I'd recommend you try to keep it in between "warm" and "ideal."

Grew up in No. NJ, West Milford, near Greenwood lake.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 



I immediately signed up for the e-course and I'm on day 3. I know about the highlands, a friend recently asked me to be chef partner in a new place there; I declined, but I am more than willing to head down there to eat some crawfish! I can't imagine how good those little guys are coming off of a smoker... I fell in love with crawfish (and, of course, sucking out the heads) on a trip to Louisiana, training to cook in French food I came across my fair share - I'd always throw some aside and just boil/steam them with some lemon and Old Bay before I got stuck smothering them in a cream-based sauce - I for one will make the 20 minute drive to the Highlands and eat like a pro.

Thanks for the tips, by the way. I would love a good excuse for the wife and I to make a trip to go eat, eat and eat. Granted, we're heading to Italy on Monday to go do the same... my goal is to put on six pounds on that little trek.

Seriously, I'd love to come down and eat in the Highlands, so if the offer still stands, let me know exactly when and where I'm going. I truly and sincerely appreciate the offer.

Talk to you soon.

Big Stu
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for the link.


Nice, I used to go fishing up around Greenwood Lake! I've caught some great Walleye and Pike up that way...

That link you sent was exactly the trick I needed. I want to head out to Lowe's right now, but unfrotunately they aren't open an 2 AM. As soon as I get back from my vacation I am going to perform these mods, so I want to thank you for the tip! Hopefully I don't spend a week in a foreign country thinking about how I'm going to tweak my smoker when I get home.

Thanks again man, much obliged.

post #14 of 14

Welcome to SMF

Welcome Big Stu to SMF. Glad that you decided to join us.
Thomas biggrin.gif
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