First Smoke for total newbie!

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alfredo.daniel67

Newbie
Original poster
Dec 4, 2021
16
8
Hi everyone, I have assembled my new pellet smoker grill and have done the burn in. Now what should be my first cook?

What are your suggestions?
Thanks
 
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I usually recommend something short and forgiving. Pork steaks (cut from the Boston butt), a small pork loin roast, a meatloaf, or a rack of loin back ribs if you want to spend 3 or 4 hours.
 
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I usually recommend something short and forgiving. Pork steaks (cut from the Boston butt), a small pork loin roast, a meatloaf, or a rack of loin back ribs if you want to spend 3 or 4 hours.
Good choices! Pork tenderloin would be another good one for a short smoke. I pretty much always have some smoked tenderloin in the fridge for a quick meal.
 
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Welcome from Iowa! Many good choices! You can really smoke whatever you want... but these ones mentioned are pretty easy and gives you a chance to know your smoker and won't break your wallet in case it turns out not so good.

Ryan
 
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Greetings from Virginia! Your best bet is to browse recipes then just dive in! Experience is the best way to learn, mistakes and all! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised and hooked with your first go. All recommendations above are perfect!
 
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Welcome!

I'm going to echo a few others and recommend a pork but or loin depending on how much time you have. Keep us posted!

You're in the right place, such a wealth of info here.
 
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Welcome from Mississippi. Glad you joined up with us. We are visually oriented (ie...We like pics) around here. There is a ton of info and years of cooking knowledge to be gleaned on here. And for the most part we are a friendly bunch. Dont hesitate to ask questions. Shoot we all started somewhere.
Jim
 
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Hi there! I have several years casual grilling and zero experience at smoking!
The best tip when smoke is involved with food is "less is more better". Food safety aside, using excessive smoke is one of the most common errors that younger cooks experience. You want to expose your food to a light and delicate amount of smoke.

Beyond grilling, you will see some regional differences in terms or techniques when cooking with fire, heat and smoke. A catch all is term is 'barbecue', which (in my vocabulary) refers to cooking meats with indirect heat which has a light component of smoke involved.... "I'm going to barbecue some ribs, and a pork butt". However, I can substitute the word 'smoke' or 'smoking' and I could mean exactly the same thing. Or 'smoking' can refer to working with foods that have been cured.... things like bacon, ham, pastrami or even fish. Then there are a bunch of sub-categories like 'cold smoking', 'warm smoking', 'hot smoking' and even 'flavor smoking'. Experience will come at it's own pace, but you are in for some good experiences along the way.
 
What did you decide? I’m getting ready to throw on a butt if you would like to do a side by side?

This is exactly why this forum is the best and I have been on here for just shy of a decade for a reason!

Members like bauchjw bauchjw reaching out to help do a side by side…. Awesome gesture IMO!
 
Hi there! I have several years casual grilling and zero experience at smoking!

Just about anything you are familiar with grilling is good to transfer to the smoker. Chicken likes high temps. A smoker is just a smoky oven, but not all smoke is good smoke. Pellet smokers are more forgiving.

Once you are familiar with the smoker, then you can move on to button, briskets, whole turkeys, etc.
 
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Season your smoker then I personally will suggest doing a pork butt. Butts are about the most forgiving meat. You can smoke them at about any them from slow to high. See the recipe in the sig below to help get you started.

We all love to see pic's, so show us what you came up with!
 
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I gotta agree with pork butt. There is no more forgiving piece of meat in this universe than a butt. That way, your first cook on your new smoker will be a success. Or you could try something a bit more difficult. Then you might well match my first smoke. At least my old hound, Roxy, was more than happy with what came out of my smoker that day--she got to eat it all.
Gary
 
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What did you decide? I’m getting ready to throw on a butt if you would like to do a side by side?
Hi there. I decided this weekend to start small and smoke chicken thighs. Next will be more than likely chicken wings. Then maybe I'll take the leap with beef short ribs! :D
 
The best tip when smoke is involved with food is "less is more better". Food safety aside, using excessive smoke is one of the most common errors that younger cooks experience. You want to expose your food to a light and delicate amount of smoke.

Beyond grilling, you will see some regional differences in terms or techniques when cooking with fire, heat and smoke. A catch all is term is 'barbecue', which (in my vocabulary) refers to cooking meats with indirect heat which has a light component of smoke involved.... "I'm going to barbecue some ribs, and a pork butt". However, I can substitute the word 'smoke' or 'smoking' and I could mean exactly the same thing. Or 'smoking' can refer to working with foods that have been cured.... things like bacon, ham, pastrami or even fish. Then there are a bunch of sub-categories like 'cold smoking', 'warm smoking', 'hot smoking' and even 'flavor smoking'. Experience will come at it's own pace, but you are in for some good experiences along the way.
Thanks for the thorough response as well as bringing me up to speed on the vernacular. I've bookmarked your website!
 
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