First Smoke

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Original poster
Jun 21, 2006
Belpre, OH
Well, First Smoke is done, and I have been baptized by fire and learned some important lessons. I appreciate the tips and tricks from this forum, and the advice from the Zen Master of SE Ohio smoked meats, roksmith, who granted me entrance to this alternate universe by selling me his old smoker cheap.

So, I learned: that substituting the same volume of regular salt for kosher salt in brine results in salty meat (I found out afterwards that I should cut salt volume by 1/2 when substituting regular for kosher); that a large drip pan with the contents of several beers in the bottom of a New Braunfels smoker keeps the temp artificially low (like about 190) and the charcoal usage artificially high; that sprinkling herbs on salmon prevents good visual confirmation of completion; that local Kroger jalapenos are the very hottest kind, and from now on I might stick to mild banana peppers for ABTs; that I either was able to guess the correct time to pull the meat from a low-temp smoke (1-1/2 hrs on the salmon, 2-1/2 hrs on a beer can chicken, and the brisket after 9 hours when it peaked at 175 in the smoker) or that smoker is awfully forgiving, because everything turned out cooked just right in spite of the temperature problem (tho I foiled the brisket and stashed it in the oven at 200 overnight because I couldn't get it up to 185 in the smoker - turned out pretty good); that portabella mushrooms topped with smoked chorizo (fresh from the smoker itself) quartered lengthwise and covered with sharp cheddar and smoked for an hour or so in a pan makes one of the tastiest tidbits I've ever had, and is an awesome complement to a couple of fried eggs or an omelet with crushed garlic, chopped green onion and banana pepper (to heck with ABTs, no way they could be as good as that, even if they weren't too hot!); and finally, smoking meats ain't easy (tho I hope it gets easier) and is time-consuming to boot (duh!)!

All in all, about what could be expected from a first smoke, and not bad in my opinion. Everything was edible, and except for the slightly salty meat and the super-hot jalapenos, actually pretty good.

Can anyone tell me, can the jalapenos be rinsed after coring to help remove some of the heat? Would removing all remnants of the seed-holding ribs from the inside help remove some of the heat? Or is all the heat in the seeds? Can anything be done at all to tone down the heat of hot peppers?
Alright Buckeye, Sounds like all in all you had a pretty good introduction to the Joys of Smoking :P .

When I core my Jalepeno's to make ABT's I take anything white out of the pepper. I like things hot, but not everyone else does. :cry: So far I haven't had a problem. A few years ago I grew some Jalepeno's that were so hot I couldn't even eat them. I think it just depends on the pepper.

Glad everything came out good for you.

What is the model of your New Braunfels smoker.
Thanks, cajun. It's a Silver Smoker (added the info to my signature), got a hot spot next to the fire box and needs a heat disperser/baffle plate, plus the chimney could be extended a couple inches down to the added-on upper rack. I've also come up with a simple catch mechanism designed like a chaise lounge step-recliner mechanism to keep the smoker lid propped up when I'm in there.

I got into a jalapeno pepper eatin' contest with a Cajun once (we were stationed together at Homestead Air Force Base south of Miami before Hurricane Andrew smashed the area). I forget how many he ate, but I stopped at 5. Put me to shame. He made the hottest chili I ever ate (says he put gunpowder in it - whatever it was, it felt like the powder burned its way out). He was covered with tattoos, and wrestled alligators for fun, used to try to provoke barracuda and morays when diving out on the reef (all of which I witnessed). Craziest guy I ever knew. But he knew good cajun food.

I love red beans and rice, jambalay, gumbo, and shrimp creole, but my favorite was fresh Gulf jumbo shrimp cooked whole in a pan totally covered with worcestershire sauce, a lot of black pepper, some garlic & onion powder, some cayenne, some tabasco, and some crab & shrimp boil, served with French bread for dipping in the sauce. Unbelievable stuff. I bet it would be even better simmered in the smoker for an hour or two.
Yes, when I prep my pepper, I remove all seeds, and the ribs. Only once in a few attempts do I get stuck with a "hot" jalapeno pepper.

Good going on that 1st cook. Yes, it will get easier, no, you are going to be putting away some hours to produce some good quality brisket. That is where the beer comes in handy. . . . If not beer, then the cold beverage of your choice.
Buckeye, Welcome to SMF. If you like the flavor of jalapenos but not all the heat try finding a grower that has Tam jalapenos. They are mild in the heat department.
BUCKEYE!!!!!!!!! howdy, i am extending to you a warm welcome.

i myself am a buckeye, born and raised in columbus ohio. was there for 29 of my 34 years of life. sure do miss seeing all the hype the buckeyes bring to ohio. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.