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First time smoker...

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hello SMF im new to smoking and just found out about how sick you can get if you smoke sausage and its not cured... So my question is does raw store sausage come cured already or do I have to take measures myself. Also I plan on smoking a beef brisket, ribs and pork shoulder. Any tips and cooking times I should know. About how many hours a pound and a good tempature to work with. I have a Char-Broiler grill with off-set smoker I jus purchased. Also if i cant find any chunk apple wood i jus plan on using charcole and apple wood chips. And I plan on applying a dry rub to my ribs and possibly shoulder, good idea, bad idea? And i wanted to mop with a combo of apple juice and apple cider vinegar, good or bad idea. Well thanks in advance for all you guys help.

post #2 of 5

I'll let the food safety and sausage experts answer your sausage questions. 


As far as the rest.


You want a temperature of about 225 - 250 degrees for the should ribs and brisket. Depending on the type of ribs, spares, baby back, etc it can average around 5-6 hours at the temperature. It's hard to check internal temps for ribs so the way I check for doneness is to lift the rack in the middle with some long tongs and if they bend about 90 degrees they are done.

Pork should has a lot of internal fat so it would be hard to approximate a time. Cook to temperature not to time. You want an internal temperature of about 195 - 205 degrees if you are making pulled pork, lower if you plan on slicing it. If you don't own one get a good thermometer that you can keep in the meat and give you a readout displayed outside the smoker. The temperature of the meat will frequently stall around 150 - 170 degrees and that can really affect the "how long" do I cook this thing. Be patient and you will be rewarded.

Brisket you can cook to a lower temperature since it's beef.

Dry rubs are always good on shoulders and ribs. Works great on brisket too. Try and experiment with different kinds.


Chunks will probably be better but you can use chips, you will just be replenishing them more often. Remember you want a thin blue smoke, not a white thick billowy smoking coming out of the stack.

Mop sounds good as well.


You have a lot of good ideas. Sounds like you are on your way! Good luck and let us know how you made out.


Welcome to the SMF!



post #3 of 5

Hello, and welcome to the SMF. I moved your thread to Food safety so that you might get a better response. I also deleted another duplicate thread. so that folks will be directed to just one. You should get some good feedback today.

post #4 of 5

Never assume any sausage is cured most store bought sausage is NOT cured. That doesn't mean you can't smoke it this only means you can't cold smoke it. If the sausage is brought from below 41 degrees internal temperature to above 135 degrees internal temperature in under 4 hours and then finished to at least 160 degrees internal temperature its safe to eat. For most sausages this is easily done at any smoker temp of 200 degrees or more.

As Ron said you can smoke everything you listed and the sausage at 225-250 personally I don't try to get an exact smoker temperature you will drive yourself nuts just keep it is a range I usually try to run mine from 220-240. Keep the top vent on the stack wide open and adjust the air intake to the fire and thus the temperatures with the firebox vent or vents. If you have to use the apple chips you may want to wrap a handful in foil and poke a few holes into the foil then set them off to the side of the fire not right onto the coals and use indirect heat to make them smoke. As Ron said thin blue smoke (TBS) is what your looking for or no smoke and just the smell of the wood in the air.

As for timing as was said it will vary from one piece of meat to the next even the same cut of meat that weighs the same. Thats why we go by the internal temperature of the meat. Generally your looking at 1.5 hours per lb of meat but that can vary quite a bit. Once the meat is done it should be foiled if it hasn't already been then wrapped in an old towel and placed into a dry cooler for at least 1 hour to allow the juices to redistribute through out the meat. The meat can be kept in the cooler longer if it finishes early or something else takes longer. Since you need to rest the meat start early and if it sits in the cooler 1-3 hours if its a decent cooler it will still be way above safe temperatures and hotter than you want to touch or taste.


Sausages like Johnsonville brats usually take me 1:15-1:45 hours at around 225


Heres a link to a good rib method the 3-2-1 is for spare ribs if your doing baby backs its 2-2-1



Heres a link to a good brisket method



Heres a link to a good method for the shoulder also called a Boston Butt




Have a great smoke and don't forget to take and post lots of Qview (pics) for us to see

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

thanks guys...keep the replies and tips comin! One more question i plan on buying the meat about a week a head is it cool to let it sit in the refrigerator that long because i really do not want to freeze it... or should i wait closer to my cook date? Thanks again.

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