1st Time Smokin Anything!!!

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fireman jake

Original poster
Sep 5, 2006
OK, so I have a fireman friend that made me a smoker - - a huge smoker compared to my needs, but hey, I'll always have room to grow. Anyhow, decided today was the day to try it out.... just jump right in.

Fired it up - - all the paint on the firebox started to peel and bubble off - - ahhhh!!!! I think the grate is too high in the fire box - anyhow, cooked-off some kingsford - let the temp get down to 225, then threw my brisket on.

Brisket was marinaded overnight and went on at 9:20am - this may be a long day!!!

Pictures coming in just a sec...

Fireman Jake~
1st hickory log is on the fire - were holdin around 225....


Good luck Jake! Briskets are notoriously hard to get right on a first shot, so just watch your temps and be patient. It is hard to keep a big smoker up to temps, so try to anticipate the heat swings a tad and don't open it up as often. The meat is not going anywhere!

As for your new smoker, grats on the new pit! New pits usually need to be "cured" first before using them. Curing involves rubbing them down with some type of oil or grease, bacon grease has always been my "preferred" method, but others have used lard, vegetable oil, or even olive oil. The concept is the oil will fill in the cracks in the metal and "seal" the paint to the grill so there is no paint taste on the meat. You rub it down with the oil and then fire it up really hot and then let it cool down totally. The metal expands and the oil fills in all the cracks and then as it cools down, the oil creates a barrier to keep the paint on the smoker and the paint taste out of your food.

What size brisket are ya cooking?? Is it trimmed? Are you cooking it "fat-cap up" or "fat-cap down"?
This being my first and all - why jump in the fire feet first!!! I feel pretty certain I'm in over my head at the moment.

I have a 12lb brisket, not trimmed too much, fat-side up. The heat wants to stay around 210... so I think that temp is OK, right?

Anyhow, yes, the temp is tough to maintain on this so far - using more wood than I thought.
Is there a thread about temperature control on this site? I have the same problem Jake. Keeping the temp constant, or trying to raise the temp or lowering the temp. is constant struggle. I see alot of guys say they get their fire going, than go to sleep for the night. I don't see how that is possible.
I think with the temperature control it's more about just learning your smoker - this was my first time to even use my smoker - and I'm getting better at the temp control bit. I don't know about those guys that can throw a log on and go to bed - - I'm too anxious to see the results!!!

Anyhow - just went and checked the temp - smoker's reading 225 and the brisket is sitting at 163 for the past 1 1/2 hour(s). Once it hit between 165 and 170 I'm gonna pull it and wrap it - then back to the pit til good old 185!!!

The ribs went on at 12:30 - - trying the 3-2-1 method - they're looking good and already sort of pulling away from the bone some on the ends. Still have another 1 1/2 hour(s) to go then I'll wrap them up too!!!

Pics following soon!
Nice set up! Looks like you did your homework reading up a bit about different methods, I'm anxious to hear how things turned out...
That indeed looks like an outstanding smoker! It appears to be well built. What type of material is it made from ..... guage etc. I have a cheapo Charbroil off set horizontal smoker (silver smoker). But it is thin and uses a ton of wood and charcoal to smoke. I also have a Gosm that I dearly love. It has double walls and is so efficient. I dream of someday owning a Klose (not sure of spelling) smoker. From your pictures you seem to have already gotten one. Congrats on the smoker it appears to be well constructed. Please do let us know how your first smoke came out.
Nice rig, Seems like I should have asked the wife if she had a smoker before gett n' hitched.

Hi and welcome, Awesome rig bro. Ya might try using a paint that can take real high temps. I think ya get the 1400 deg paint.

Anyway, I hope the foods taste as good as it looks!!
Hey Everyone....

Well, the brisket has been pulled and is "resting" nicely in the ice-chest, double wrapped in foil and blankets 'til 7pm - dinner time!!!

I think my smoker did great - it is a custom, homemade smoker that a fireman friend of mine made (for a fee of couse)... it is made out of a 50gal compressor tank, 3/16 in thick... my only complaint was the paint peeling off the smoker box - but I can fix that, no problem.

Once I unwrap this evening I'll take a few more pics and post 'em back up here tonigt. For now, I'm gonna grab a cold one - head outside and check on the wicked beans in the smoker ;-)

Cheers fellas - - thanks for all the great posts here! This has been an incredible help!!
Just getting to your thread, Jake! Great going! And you have a great looking setup there!
Welcome aboard and keep us posted!

Looks like a real nice rig 8) Dont worry about it being too big brother.....you'll soon find chamber fillin' up. As far as the paint goes, I'm thinkin' it wasn't clean before paint was appied, and also, the paint wasn't high temp. When I seasoned my Klose I rubbed down the INSIDE with bacon grease and smoked with apple wood for 6hrs @450. There shouldn't be paint on the inside of your smoker at all! I would sand blast the whole thing and start over. (just my opinion) Once it starts rustin' it wont stop. Someone with a round fire box would have to give an opinion about the height of your grate, however I dont think it was the cause of your paint peeling. Good luck and have fun
The end result...

OK, for dinner we served brisket, (2) racks of pork ribs, wicked baked beans, corn on the cob, and homemade mac & cheese topped off with bananna pudding!

The brisket was great tender & moist...but the "smoke ring" I was looking for was only on the bottom portion of the brisket. I cooked it until it reached around 165, wrapped in foil then replaced into smoker until it topped out at 188. Then I pulled it and double wrapped in foil and wraped in towels and placed in the ice-chest for about 3 hours.

The ribs were awesome...just followed the 3-2-1 method found on this website. Sprayed them every hour w/ apple juice & Jim Beam (3-1 ratio)... they just fell off the bone and were not mushy.

Overall, I am exhauted - but I had a blast!!! I can hardly wait to do it again!!! I now know I need to get some more wood on hand for the next smoke.

I have a little smoker maintenance to perform, some seasoning and repainting of the firebox. This was a great day - everyone loved the smoked meats and the wicked beans alike!!! I may have gotten myself into something that will grow into a little more than a hobby. ;-)

I just want to add - that because of people's posts in this website is the only way I felt comfortable taking this on. Thanks to all of you for helping us "newbies" out! I hope someday I can be seasoned smoker that can help some others out too!
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