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First Smoke/First QView

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Well I did my first smoke today. I smoked a rack of ribs and some drumettes. It didn’t come out great, but not bad either. Now for the mistakes made that I could use advice on. First I left the Drumettes on too long, about one hour and forty five minutes on the bottom rack. I was thinking chicken about 1 ½ hours. I didn’t consider the size of the drumettes verses a whole chicken. Taste was excellent but of course a bit dry due to the amount of cooking time. I used basic brine plus a splash of lemon juice and bit of teriyaki sauce for 4 hours prior to putting them in the smoker. I also smoked using cherry chips for the entire time they were in the smoker. Taste was pleasant and not too Smokey, just over cooked. I think I have the answer for the next time I smoke drumettes, same as above but less time in the smoker.

Next the ribs: Need advice with the rub. It seemed very salty; I used a rub from the forum. Maybe there is a secret to applying the rub; the ribs were really salty in some portions more than other portions of the ribs. They were not so salty that they were not edible, just a little too salty for my taste. I rubbed them last night, wrapped them in saran wrap overnight and threw them in the smoker for 5 ½ hours this morning. Again I used Cherry wood chips; they did not have a very strong smoke flavor. I smoked for the first 3 hrs. Should I smoke longer or maybe try a hickory smoke flavor next? The flavor was excellent for the chicken but not so great for the pork ribs.100_1834.jpg

Temperature issues: I know how important the temperature is. Here in Central Texas, I woke up this morning with the outside temp at 79 degrees and now we are sitting at 98 degrees. Needless to say the smoker temperature went crazy for a while. I fluctuated from 220 all the way to 260 degrees. Finally the smoker temp settled in around 231 degrees about 3 hrs into the smoke. Is there an effective way to control the heat or will that come with more experience? How much of a difference does it make? I think that had a lot to do with the food being over cooked a bit. I don’t mind that too much, I’d rather over cook than under cook. Getting sick would really be bad. Anyway, on a scale of 1-10, I’d rate my first smoke at about a 5, average. I’ll give it another go next weekend. Thanks in advance for the assistance. Sorry for the long post. Wanted to get it all out there. Thanks




post #2 of 11

OK, not a bad first smoke.  What are you smoking with? gas , electric, fire?  Spare ribs or BB?  personally I almost always cut the salt in half.  BB 2-2-1, spare 3-2-1 method usually works.  I smoke at 230 with my MES and cut the braise part by 1/2 hour.


Hang in there, there is a learning curve.

post #3 of 11

when I do drummies I dont brine, I toss in a bowl with olive oil, cajuan seasoning, and crushed red pepper.  simple and amazing.  I smoke them at 225 with hickory or JD chunks for about 2 hours.  our drummines here in Iowa are about 5 times the size of the ones in texas :)


what heat source are you using?  are you using a water pan?  I dont use hardly any salt in my rubs, just when I brine a bird.


keep at it and eat your mistakes.  it gets easier :)

post #4 of 11

As for the salt if your using Kosher Salt and what the recipe calls for you may just need to change the recipe in your file to use less. As for the temps in the GOSM just shoot for a range and try to keep it in that range otherwise it will drive you nuts. I usually try to stay between 220 and 245. As for the chicken those small pieces don't take long and I'd suggest putting a thermo probe in them from the beginning of the smoke to keep an eye on temps just make sure your not against the bone with the probe

post #5 of 11

Check out my pig rub in the wiki section. no salt rub.  you can add salt if ya want .

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys for the advice. I'm using a Landmann propane smoker. Yep water pan down low and recipe was with kosher salt. I’m still not sure what it means when you say you use 2-2-1. I still have a lot of reading and experimenting to do. Ballagh, I guess folks are wrong when they say everything in Texas is bigger cause those were some small chickens, man did I over cook those things. :)  But they were edible just a bit on the dry side. Maybe this coming weekend I'll try smoking a whole bird. Thanks for the tip on the thermo, I need to buy another one, only have one and was using it for the oven temp. Again, thanks for all the advice.



post #7 of 11

3-2-1 or 2-2-1 is a method of cooking ribs. 3-2-1 is for spare ribs and 2-2-1 is for Baby Backs. There are directions on this in the forum but I will give a quick run down. Basically the first number 3 or 2 is the amount of hours you have the ribs on the smoker grates then the second number which is 2 is when you put them in foil with a splash of apple juice or your favorite spritz to keep them moist or some put butter, honey and brown sugar as well. Then your final number which is 1 is when you remove the ribs from the foil and put them back on the grate to firm them up a bit. These aren't firm numbers as people shift them for how they like their ribs. If you like them more fall off the bone put them in the foil longer etc. Just experiment and see how you like it best. Personally when I do baby backs I follow the 2-2-1 method to a T but when I do spare ribs I have found that leaving them in the foil for the full 2 hours is a bit much as they want to fall off the bone when you are trying to pull them out of the foil and put them back on the smoker. Again some love that and some don't want the bones to fall out. I would highly suggest buying Jeff's rub and sauce recipe. It not only is a great rub (Not salty at all) but it also supports this forum. So its a win win.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks rbranstner for explaining. Yeppers, I bought Jeff's rub on Saturday but haven't had a chance to try it yet. I was definitely not discouraged at all with my first smoke, need quite a bit of fine tuning though.



post #9 of 11

TexasChef, sounds like your first smoke was a success, the fact that you already have some tweaks in mind...makes that a successful smoke, in my book.


I have the GOSM BB, here is a link to my Blog that has a few tips and some other information, let me know if you have any questions.


GOSM Big Block Blog


its also in my signature

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks SQWIB. I visited your blog. Your blog is excellent and the food looks great. I'll keep at it and hopefully my food will look as good as yours one day. I bet it was tasty also. Your smoker is just like mine except I bought the smaller version with the drawers on the botton for the chip box and water pan. Yours is huge.  I have really got to learn to control the temps, it was varying 40 degress or so. It did settle down eventually, but took quite a while. Thanks to all for the assistance.

Edited by TexasChef - 7/19/10 at 2:24pm
post #11 of 11

Now your food looks great to me there Chef. All you need is a little practice and you will be as good as anyone here.

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