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post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Someone help me. I have been a chef in Boston for over thirty years. I want to try smoking meat but have know idea what you people are talking about. I want to buy a smoker a small one then get the fire going. I know all about meat. The problem is the wood. I have a fire pit, that i bought a cord of hardwood. There is maple and oak. Can I use this, or is it to old. Also how much do I use, and should I use lump charcoal to start. Please help
post #2 of 27
Maple and oak are great woods for smoking.. As far as how much, that will depend on the smoker you buy...... Same for the lump..... BTW, welcome to smf.
post #3 of 27
Firstly welcome to the site, you should stop over in Roll Call and introduce yourself to everyone.

As for the maple and oak they are both really good woods to smoke with.
All depending on what smoker you decide to go with will determine how to tend the fire and how much wood to use.
I own an sNp "Brinkman Smoke-N-Pit and absolutely love it, not a "small" smoker but it has a decent amount of grate space and doesn't cost too much, and if you start small you will end up wanting to go bigger.
Basically I start with one chimney full of charcoal and add it to the firebox, pre-burn a few chunks of wood with my weed burner and then add to the firebox, you have to be sure to keep the wood away from the hardcore heat to avoid it burning too much and producing white billowing smoke, you will always strive for TBS (Thin Blue Smoke).
Stick around on the site, ask questions and do some reading up on things and you will be smoking like a champ in no time at all.
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 


Its a start. I did not think it would have so many things to do.
post #5 of 27
What he said. I moved your thread to roll call, so everyone can give you a warm welcome to the SMF. It's all good my friend.
post #6 of 27
Welcome to SMF glad you joined us. A great starting point would be Jeff's 5 Day Ecourse it will give you all the basics and its free. There are Propane smokers, Electric smokers, Charcoal Smokers, and Wood burning smokers and figuring the type would be the best way to start as they all are a bit different but can all produce some good Q. We are here to help with any questions you may have. Have fun and happy smoking
post #7 of 27
What he said and Welcome
post #8 of 27

Welcome, Glad to have you with us. This is the place to learn, lots of good info and helpful friendly Members.

For Those of you New to Smoking, be sure to check out Jeff's 5 Day Smoking Basics eCourse.
Click Here it's "FREE"... 5 Day eCourse

Everyone here enjoys seeing the Qview so be sure to post plenty of pics... Large ones that us old people with bad eyes can see.

When you uploading to Photobucket I always use the Large IMG setting, 640 x 480 it is a nice size...
post #9 of 27
Welcome aboard!!

I got a Brinkmann Vertical Propane Smoker from Lowes for my birthday. I think they run about $150, and are very "portable" (not too big for a starter). I like the propane idea, because it is easy to maintain the temperature.

I think this is an ideal smoker to start with, but in time...well, I already got my eye on a New Braunfels!

Here's the one I have:

post #10 of 27
Welcome to SMF icon_smile.gif Yes it seems like a lot at first but really it isn't, check out the thin blue smoke in TNDawg's Picture. That is what your looking for. Heavy white smoke on cold meat creates creosote and a bitter flavour, plus it is not good for you.
We cook low and slow. Ribs for example, take about 5-6 hours at around 220-235f but man oh man is the wait ever worth it.
Here's a link to some tips. Included is a link to the types of good smoking woods and some that are actually harmful to you.

PS Smoking meat is just like following a recipe, the wood smoke , and temperature control are part of that recipe. It should be a piece of cake for a Chef of 30 years after a try or two.
Jeff's free 5 day course would set you on the right path asap.
post #11 of 27


Welcome Chef,
Jeffs free 5 day course is the best way to get started .
If ya got questions, Or just want to talk smoking or food in general , Join us in chat some evening.
post #12 of 27
Welcome to the forum. Glad to have you aboard.
post #13 of 27
Welcome Chef.You aint a southie-BOSTON- are yah.Wicked Good-MAINE- makes a fabulous lump/briquette up your way.JOIN IN........lots of knowledge here....
post #14 of 27
Welcome aboard..............I am sure I am not the first one to say this but I will say it again. Sign up for the 5 day ecourse. Lots of great info there and it will get you started in the right direction before you buy a smoker. The ecourse also makes a great future resourse....
post #15 of 27


Hey,and welcome to the SMFPDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
You are going into a wonderful area of culinary fun. I was a Chef for several years(school of hard knocks) and have smoked for all my life.I introduced smoker food to more than several Restaurants I served . The French Quarter in Perrysburg , Ohio being one. Chef, Doug was very pleased with the Salmon I created. Smoked on the stove in a buffet pan and a steamer pan topped off with foil and a lid to contain the smoke, and Cherry chips.
It's a fun and rewarding adventure, at home you can practice new ideas and prefect winners. Work offrers a multitude of challenges, this helps give another avenue of choice!
As for which model to choose from? Start(this is my honest opinion) with a rather self producing unit. Like a small vault unit. Easy to operate as a beginner and good enough to offer the product to friends and customers.
I'm writing this as if you were a working Chef.
On off time when you need to unwind, read the post and search the archives. There is a topic for almost any area you wish to paruse.
It is now my retirement fun and I am rejoicing in the fact I can still wow people with my skills!
An other member you should PM is Ront. Used to own a restaurant. Cool , guy and a good member(recently Knighted:)- Congrats Ron).
Look around, locate some post that have a unit you like and ask away.
Just think about the choice and get the ubit that keeps you interested, otherwise you'll be disenchanted and leave the thought behind.
Good luck and if you ever need a question answered, I'm open. And so are the other folke on this forum.
Have fun and SMOKE HAPPY biggrin.gif
Stan aka Old School icon_mrgreen.gif
post #16 of 27

Thin Blue Smoke

Hey Patriot...welcome aboard....if you cannot yourself falling in love with smoking then you are not reading all the post here. There are guys on here that have forgotten more about smoking then I will ever know. Let us know when you get good so we can come to your establishment and try it out.
post #17 of 27
Welcome to SMF. Glad you joined us.
post #18 of 27


Had a drama here and lost my train of thought.
Anyhow, the wood you spoke of, it really (IMHO) shgould be cut smaller than "fire wood". In my smoker,I use 16" split wood that I have oared down to 2"X2"X 8". Seems to do a better job of control. The Big pits(Pro-business type -use whole or single split wood, but at home it not a option.
As for,is the wood O.K.? Take a piece and set it afire,let it burn a bit and see what color the smoke is,(is it white? Is is light? Is it slightly blue?)
If it is cured well and not too dry, it will smell good and burn with a light smoke-if the air and oxygen is getting to it> that is the optimal smoke.
Play with different woods also and smell them. Sounds crazy,but (again,my opinion) it's like foods ,you can smell the flavor...tongue.gif
Try building a UDS and learn from the get go? Just don't brun your bridges, you'll love it as much as we do!
Have fun
Stan aka old school
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 


You all sound like a great group. I want to thank you for inviting me to your community. I will have a lot of questions and maybe give you some of my recipes from thirty years of working. You are probaly not use to food made by a yankee:) Unlike a lot of you, I have never killed my own food with a rifle or a bow:)
post #20 of 27
But have you used a cleaver? biggrin.gif
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