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1st attempt at smoking

Discussion in 'Pork' started by lester547, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. lester547

    lester547 Newbie

    My first shot at smoking was not all that I expected. I chose a rack of spare ribs. Got the smoker going and off I went. 1 st problem- I could keep my fire consistent so that was a pain. It would got to 300. Down to 175. Well I finally got it cooked after approx. 7 hours. Looked great, juicy and all that. I did it dry, no sauce. Sat down to eat, it was just OK. After bout 2 ribs in, I got overwhelmed with salt. 2nd problem- did NOT like rub or sauce.as I hate to admit it, it was store bought Corky's BBQ rub and sauce. Terrible!! So that just turned me off of the whole experience. Depressed right now.....
  2. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Don't get depressed. This thing we call smoking, bbqing, cooking, takes a little practice.

    Tell us about your cooker.

    Tell us about what kind of fuel you used.

    You may want to make your own rub - that way you can control what goes into it. Brown Sugar, paprika, onion poweder, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, maybe a little caynne. First time I smoked I found out that that I had to cut way back on the salt and black pepper. Don't give up!
  3. theracenut

    theracenut Fire Starter

    I agree with Ellymae. The best thing you did is come here. Read read read....ask questions....listen.....and in no time you be turning out some good food on the smoker.
  4. jojo22

    jojo22 Smoke Blower

    ellymae is dead on, this is your first but WILL NOT be the last time you smoke something you think will be great and it's OK. I prefer to tell people to start VERY simple, and build from there. 

    Smoke a rack with no rub, use a little apple cider vinegar and water to baste, taste them, to much smoke, to little smoke, not spicy?? All these things will enter your head, then make a rub. I use a base of paprika and seasoned salt for mine, with MANY other ingredients, I have found ground cumin to give a great BBQ flavor. But experiment. I have been smoking steady for 3 years, and my ribs are STILL evolving, and getting better. I look back on early attempts and think "how did the neighbors like that?"

    Take your time, stock up on meat, and learn as you go!! You'll get the hang of it!!
  5. jojo22

    jojo22 Smoke Blower

    Oh yeah, I wanted to add, stay away from sugars (brown sugar, honey, things like that) until you have a fairly good handle on a steady temperature, one good spike will burn them up and give you a not so great slab of meat!
  6. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I think ellymae has coverd it, si I would second her advice. Let us know what type smoker, the fuel used etc.

    And for the rub, I had the same issue, I never found one I realy liked so I started making my own.

    Just hang in there and be patient, You'll get it figured out  [​IMG]

  7. lester547

    lester547 Newbie

    Well my smoker is a char grill horizontal with side fire box. When practicing fires. I couldn't keep a good temp with just wood, hickory by the way. So for my cook, I started with charcoal to get going then I used hickory the whole way, while
    Adding charcoal to add heat( difficult with temp control). My temp never really stabilized. Thinking I never really had a big enough fire to start with. Anyways, to add. I still taste the salt 2 hours later ( after supper). There are leftovers And thinking bout throwing it out. Corkys rub and sauce was Horrible. Also it tasted like I had too much smoke. Very smokey taste too. Idk.
  8. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    I'm wondering if you have a bitter tingling taste in your mouth. If so that from too much smoke which creates creosote. Hang in there and you will be a pro in no time. [​IMG]
  9. jojo22

    jojo22 Smoke Blower

    I also have a char griller!! I usually burn a few sticks with the SFB open to make a coal bed. Then I keep it pretty full and just let it smolder and slowly burn as it goes, I always position my smoker with the inlet facing the wind. Other than that practice nothing else I can give you, maybe burn a few fires to just get the hang of it.
  10. les3176

    les3176 Master of the Pit

    I have a chargriller duo with side fire box.I use lump charcoal as fuel,one chimeny in the box and bout three quarter full lit as a starting point.Then use wood chunks for smoke.this seems a good starting point then add more fuel as needed.also do not trust the stock temp gauge!!! mine was way off,so i dont even look at it anymore i use my mavrick its tried and true.
  11. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Now like ellymae said don't get upset we all have messed up something along the way. You can't start at the top so keep tring now.
  12. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If your getting a salty,bitter taste it is probably the rub. Most comercial brands have alot of salt in them.

    As Meateater said, if your getting a tingly, almost numbing sensation then your getting creasote from too much smoke.

    I nave 2 smokers like the one you have and I would suggest starting with 1 full chimney of burning charcoal( I prefer lump)

    Then wait about 20-30mins and see where your temps stabalize at. Then you can add some wood for smoke as needed.

    Try a different rub and see if you get the same results.

    Hope this helps

  13. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    I have a no salt rub in the wiki section . emans pig rub. Makes a good starting point and adjust to your taste.

     It is a high sugar rub so adjust accordingly.