BEGINNER Q: Good meat to start smoking with on kettle BBQ?

Discussion in 'UK Smokers' started by schminky, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. schminky

    schminky Newbie

    Hi folks,

    I recently bought a kettle BBQ (47cm Firefly model) and im wondering what you'd recommend as a good place to start with regard to the choice of meat to smoke?

    My research indicates that pork ribs take 3-4 hours and might be a good start for me to get to grips with the method of indirect and water pan cooking. What do u think?

    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
  2. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Schminky, Cheaper cuts are best.

    Chicken, Pork Tenderloin.

    3-4 hours for ribs? this all depends on size and thickness.

    Standard cook time for ribs (meaty ribs) is 3-2-1. 3 hours straight forward cook, 2 hours foiled with liquid (like Apple juice to steam) then 1 hour un wrapped to finish.

    These times can vary with thickness. 2-1-1/2.

    You are looking for draw back of the meat from the bone.

    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
  3. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yes, chicken is a good choice for learning your rig without risking too much $$ and time for that matter.
  4. schminky

    schminky Newbie

    Great! Thanks for the feedback. 

    @Smokin Monkey  

    Do you have a favourite recipe for the marinade/ rub? What's your favourite thing to smoke on your kettle bbq?


    Loved your Mod Masterbuilt thread. What's your favourite thing to smoke on your rig?
  5. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Whole or spatchcock chicken work well on the Kettle but my advice is do not try to cook it too low and slow. It really needs to be smoked at around 280-300 F and it will only take a couple of hours. Cook it too long and it will dry out and 1-2 hours gives chicken more than enough smoke.
    When I do chicken like this I take 4 ozs of butter, the grated zest of 2 limes and their juice, 2 crushed garlic cloves and half a habanero chilli chopped finely.
    If the butter is cold then grate it into a bowl to soften it and add all of the other ingredients. Mix well with your hands
    If you spatchcock the chicken then spread it out breasts up. If you are doing it whole then cook it untrussed as either beer can chicken or with the skin removed from the large end of the cavity to ensure that it remains open.

    Lift the skin away from the breasts by poking your fingers underneath and insert 1/3 of the butter mix under the skin of each side of the breast and squish it evenly underneath, Make a small slit in the skin of each thigh and put a little butter under the skin there too.
    Rub the rest of the butter under the chicken - on what was the inside of the carcass.
    Brush some corn oil over the skin and dust with salt and pepper

    Arrange your lit coals on either side of the coal grate with a foil ban between them.
    Smoke at _150 C (~300 F) until the internal temperature 80 C (175 F). Wrap in foil and leave to rest for 30 minutes before carving.
    You may think that so much chilli would make it very hot but you will find that the heat is absorbed by the skin whereas the lime is absorbed by the meat. You get a lovely contrast of cool meat and very spicy skin.
    Some people brine their chickens but I don't any more. I find that it alters the texture of the meat and makes it too wet. It can also make the meat pink even after it is cooked which can put some people off.
  6. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use Jeffs Rub as a base.

    I do not have a Kettle BBQ, I have a GMG Pellet Smoker, large and small Kamados and various other smokers.

    A regular Sunday cook is Belly Pork. Will send you a link. Another easy one is Corned Beef.
  7. Hi Schminky

    most meats and cuts lend themselves well to being smoked on a kettle or any bbq machine. I've had a 57cm homebase cheapy for years now and use it for both regular grilling and hot & cold smoking.  

    When I hot smoke for bigger cuts over longer times, I generally do it using the snake method rather than the regular minion method as cooler burns can be maintained easier IMO. For smoking chicken (whole or spatch-cocked) I use the indirect method of cooking and smoking and for chops,steaks, wings drumsticks etc indirect smoking/cooking after hot searing (reverse sear)

    I only use Hardwood lump charcoal and not Briquette's purely because I haven't found any decent quality briquettes over this side of Ireland that dont billow out puke loads of crap tainting the meat.

    Rubs are subjective and what I may like you may find disgusting.but start with ones specially made for the type of meat you cooking them experiment by adding flavours to suit your tastebuds

    Invest in a digital probe thermometer to check internal temps or if you serious go for a probe system,but I would spend a few hours watching videos of techniques of how to cook and a couple of hours learning how much coal you need to maintain the temp range you want to cook in.

    but most of all have fun and dont get too downhearted when it isn't quite what you intended, its a big learning curve that always throws sand in your facewhen you just think you know what you doing

    Rome wasn't built in a day
  8. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes, for the longer low and slow smokes then the snake is best method to achieve low steady temperatures for an extended time. 

    Briquettes will give you the most controllable temperatures however Bog Man is correct about the poor quality of most off the shelf briquettes that are available. You need to use a good quality premium briquette to avoid the horrible smells given off by the cheaper varieties. I only use Heat Beads but I have also tested the Nature coconut shell briquettes and have found those to be good too,

    The premium briquettes seem more expensive however you need to use far less of them. A 1.5 Kg snake can provide you with sufficient sustained heat for a good 8 hour smoke at 110-120 C.

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