A Learning Experience

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by tmw611, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. tmw611

    tmw611 Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    Bible says, tribulation worketh patience, patience experience, and experiance hope. So I do have hope.

    My first smoke went off well. I learned alot yesterday with my first attempt at smoking. Here is a picture of the final, and those wicked beans are awesome (cant screw them up).

    I used the 3-2-1 meathod and thought to myself they've been in there half of forever, they'll be dryer than a well diggers arse. Not the case thank goodness.

    There are so many questions I dont know where to start.

    I know I screwed up the rub (too much, I think)

    I used a cheapy themometer on the grate, which I will mod this week. the stock through the lid was 60 degrees low.

    I need to add baffle and tuning plates

    I need basket for coals, oh and the small handle for the coal drawer gets hot, duh![​IMG]

    Alot of smoke came from under the lid, I saw some mods for that.

    Here is a question for y'all. Is there a rule of thumb as to how often you add charcoal to keep up the temp?

    I had a great time and look forward to the next smoke.

  2. kookie

    kookie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looks good, glad it turned out for you...........Get a digital thermometer...........or two or three...........Keep us posted............remember low and slow is smoking..........
  3. teeotee

    teeotee Smoking Fanatic

    Glad you enjoyed the first smoke.

    How much rub to use comes down to personal taste. I don't use lot because it gives the wife heartburn.

    Get a good pair of gloves for when removing the ash pan[​IMG] .

    As for when to add coals, there is a lot of factors that can affect when to add. Once mine is up to temp i close my sfb vent all the way up and have exhaust vent open all the way (this one should always be open when cooking). As temps start to dip i'll open the sfb vent 1/4 way. If this doesn't pick the temp up then i'll open vent another 1/4 and get another chimney ready.
    Since i added a basket to mine i can get 3 hours of constant 230 - 250 with lump using the minion method.

    Over time you'll get used to when to add, just watch temps.

    The more you use it the easier it will get.

    Congrats on the first smoke ....... you are hooked now [​IMG]
  4. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well done, Sir! Soon you will not need hope, I promise :{)
  5. tmw611

    tmw611 Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member


    I added a couple more mods, digital grate thermos, coal basket and baffle and went for another try. This time baby backs. They did turn out really good (better than the week before last), at least that is what everyone said, including me.

    Anyway, I learned about the effects of wind, rain, and cool outdoor temps. Thank God for remote monitor digital thermos.

    Seemed like I could only get to 205, but once it was there it wasn't too hard to keep it. I could see the temp on the thermo increase and decrease with the wind gusts. So I was very concerned about cook times.

    I've tried to use the proven cooking methods so I used the shorter 2-2-1 method on the ribs (not too much rub this time). When I stuck them with the thermo after the second 2 hours they read 174. I assume this was due to small racks?

    Anyway this is getting long, and sorry but no Q-VIEW. [​IMG]

    Till next time.
  6. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks good! Glad you got your smoker problems worked out. The more you smoke, the better it gets. [​IMG]
  7. bb53chevpro

    bb53chevpro Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well done. We will always learn with every smoke. The conditions of smoking are never the same. (hot, cold, windy, etc). Keep up the great smokes and never give up.
  8. ron50

    ron50 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    A couple suggestions. It is hard to get an accurate internal temperature of ribs. Too much bone, too little meat. You need to go by the way they look and feel. When they are done they should bend almost 90 degrees when you grab them in the middle of the racks. Also the meat should pull back a little from the end of the bone, although that's easier to see at 250 degrees then at 205.

    In the 2-2-1 for bb ribs or the 3-2-1 for spares, the times are estimates. Every rack is different as is every smoker. The meat is usually done by the second 2 hours, the last 1 hour is just to firm them up after you remove them from the foil (if you used foil).

    It's all trial and error but the best part is, you can eat all your mistakes :)

    Good luck!
  9. master_dman

    master_dman Meat Mopper

    I know what you mean by seeing the temp go up and down with the wind. Yesterday was the first time I had a digital probe inside.. and the wind would really mess with the temps. I ended up putting a big thick wool blanket on top of the smoker.
  10. seboke

    seboke Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good goin' there TMW. Looks like you got a lot of the initial problems worked out. If your smoking meat passion develop like mine did, you'll have much more trial and much less error. Keep at it and the best of luck to you! Butcha GOT to remember that we LOVE q-view on here !!!

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