What's best to start with?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by thenegativeone, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. As I'm new to smoking meats I was wondering how best to start out. I'm looking for something pretty simple that will let me learn the capabilities of my very cheap and cheerful smoker

    Any advice you can give me would be great.
  2. Chicken is always a good starting place. It is cheap and can take wide temp swings. It is also very tasty. While you are doing that keep notes of what you did. Learn to control your temps. Remember to post a Qview. Keep the lid closed and cook to IT not by time. Keep track of time so you will have an idea how long it will take next time.

    Happy smoken.

  3. I agree with mule. Chicken is cheap and can help you learn the ins and outs of your smoker for a smaller price.
  4. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Chicken is always a good place to start. However it's kind of a short smoke and if you overshoot the target temperature (165) by too much you might come out of it thinking smoked food isn't very good. I'd suggest a "fatty" (use the search function) followed by a pork butt. The fatty is quick and easy and hard to screw up, and the pork butt will give you an idea of how your smoker behaves over a longer haul, while still being damn near impossible to screw up. By the way, what cheap and cheerful smoker are you using?
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
  5. Cheers for the advice guys. I'm using a very cheap (£25) smoker/BBQ I got off Amazon. Tectake I believe.
    Hence I want something simple to smoke to judge how it heats up/ holds the heat/ contains the smoke and see what kind of mods I need to make to optimise it.

    I realise that it is very cheap and am not expecting a lot from it but I figure if I can make passable food from a smoker this cheap it'll be worth a further investment down the road.
  6. A photo incase you're interested:

  7. You can make good Q with about anything. You just have to work harder at it with a smoker that has lots of air leaks. Look for your leaks and seal them up and it will be a lot better.

    Happy smoken.

  8. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would do a dry run on it to see where it has leaks, then seal up the leaks first.
  9. X2 with the fatty. Very easy to make and smoke and as yummy as you make it
  10. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    My very first charcoal smoker was very similar to that. A few tips and pointers. If it has a water pan, fill it with sand and cover that with foil. Try and protect the smoker from the wind as much as possible. Research the Minion method for lighting. Load the charcoal basket as full as you can. You loose to much heat opening the door to add fuel. If you're going to do a dry run might as well throw some cheap meat in there. Hamburgers, bangers, brats, meatloaf, pork loin or tenderloin roast. Pork chops chicken all good first time smokes.
  11. Thanks for the tips, what does this do?
  12. It acts like a heat sink. The water is used as a heat sink.The problem with that is water will only get to 212° at sea level. It also evaporates leaving less of a heat sink as you go along. Water pans are only found on the lower end smokers.

    Happy smoken.

    thenegativeone likes this.
  13. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Exactly what David said. One thing the sand will do is and a stable thermal mass. This will be important in helping to maintain stable temps. One more thing, do not trust the therm in the lid. It more than likely is not accurate. Get yourself a good digital remote therm that has two or more probes. Use one to monitor the smoker temp and one to monitor the meat you are smoking. The Maverick ET732, or ET733 are proven therms. The iGrill2 is another good choice, but requires you to have an iPhone, iPad or android phone to use.
  14. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Practice and patience are your friends , as is time . . .use them wisely .

    Hey , Danny Boy. Contact this one , you're closer [​IMG]. thenegitiveone needs a Friend to change his name to 'apositiveone' [​IMG]

    Have fun negitiveone , and for sure . . .

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