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What to smoke first?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I’m going to be getting a 16” Horizon Classic Smoker in the next few weeks. I know I should season it before I first smoke in it.

1) What are everyone recommendations for how to season it?

2) What are recommendations for my first cook? Being new to the entire “fire management” aspects what is almost foolproof or very easy to cook for a beginner? My plan is to use lump charcoal as the base for heat and use seasoned oak or beach splits for flavor.

post #2 of 13
thats a nice smoker you got coming, I use peanut oil to season my smokers but you can use any vegtable oil you want, I hand rub mine as its a once or twice a year thing at most, many people season once and can cook for years before it gets so dirty they clean and season again. As far as your first cook goes it depends on how much time you have and what your family/friends like to eat. It really is pretty hard to screw up a Butt so it you got the 10-? hours maybe you should start there, you can always do a quick chicken quarters cook or even some different fatties for variety along with some beans or abts or other easy quick cooking appetizers.
post #3 of 13
I did cornish hens for my first smoke. I think those or chickens would be a good choice.
post #4 of 13
Not familiar with the horizon in particular, but got a great tip off of the forums here for when I seasoned my CG horizontal. Buy some big cans of Pam - makes it super easy to coat the inside of everything before you season it. Mine had cast iron grates so I seasoned them seperately in the oven. But the main body I sprayed the inside well with Pam, then ran it with heavy hickory smoke for 3 hours at about 250°. Re-sprayed with Pam and ran for another 3 hours at about 200°. Ended up with a beutiful deep mahogany color all over the inside.

For a first item to cook - I would do either some pork ribs or a pork butt. Both are fairly forgiving and easy. If you have room I would also do a batch of Dutch's Wicked baked beans! Very yummy!

Best of luck!
post #5 of 13
I would season with the spay, pam or whatever, either that or rub her down with some crisco.
I think for my first smoke I did turkey legs and they came out ok but a butt is a very forgiving piece of meat.
Fatties are good too and don't take very long to smoke so you could also toss one of them on.
Careful with the amount of oak you add if you have coals burning with it, oak burn long and hot so if you have a good sized chunk of oak you won't need many coals.
Good luck Tim, and welcome to the site.
post #6 of 13
Id say to try whatever you feel like tackling.

I started with BB ribs back in the day myself.

Starting out with chicken as some sources recommend isnt a bad idea either.
post #7 of 13
First Welcome to SMF, don't forget to stop by the roll call thread and introduce yourself...

Congratulations on the new smoker... Horizon is a good one... PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

I would start with pork butt or chicken quarters or maybe a fattie & some ABTs something easy just to get the feel of the smoker.

Good Luck...
post #8 of 13
I would do chicken or pork butt.
post #9 of 13
First off welcome Tim to SMF. You'll like it here cause there are a bunch of good folks here that would just love to help you with just about anything to do with smokin. I think you should look up th e E-course it's free and very informative.
Here's a link. Then you need to check out this page for Qview (picture)
So that shows you all our tricks and you can grab something to smoke and I would grab a chicken or like alot of others said a pork butt is very easy and forgiven. It will be a long smoke so you will get alot of practice with fire mangement. So go
Welcome To The Addiction
post #10 of 13
The folks at Horizon does not recommend using any type of oils, spays or otherwise to season their smokers. Get yourself a nice hot fire and let it burn for around 5 or 6 hours to season it.

That is a nice smoker, congrats.

I would smoke a butt or a chicken for the first time. Both are really hard to mess up.
post #11 of 13
Seasoning is a pretty much agreed upon thing. I'd make sure of those beach splits you mentioned, sometimes it's wood you would not want to smoke with, as in pine...
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies, sounds like Pam is a quick and easy way to get everything coated for seasoning. You guys have me leaning toward the pork butt as a first try. I never though about doing beans, I'll have to look into those also.
post #13 of 13


In addition to seasoning your pit as explained, I take the rag I use to wipe up grease as I cook and at the end of a smoke I rubdown the OUTSIDE of the smoker(all over the outside). This helps to set the paint, sort of makes it pliable,so it doesn't burn and flake.I know it's heat paint,but it does help.....JMHOPDT_Armataz_01_03.gif

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