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First smoking session


Joined Jul 13, 2016
I just recieved my Smoker from a friend and am going to my first session tomarrow.  I have all day for the most part except i need to go to the store to buy the meat.

I am looking for something I should try as a first time smoke.  Also a step by step recipe if possible but I can figure it out with basic info.  I have to read book for my college class tomorrow, so will want to take plenty of breaks. 

The only thing I don't really want to do is Pulled pork I love it but thinking more of a dinner thing. But I am easily convinced.

I have a char broil side smoker. 


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Sep 7, 2013
Badger2W1, a first smoke can be pretty intimidating but it shouldn't be.  You'll have it figured out in no time flat.  Here are a few things you need to know.

1.  Since you have a side burner, make sure your fire is hot and the yucky, creosote white and grey smoke has started to turn blue before you add your meat.  Don't add your meat until you see this happen.

2.  Don't sweat temperature swings.  I've allowed up to 100F temp swings and the meat still came out tender and great tasting.  You're more concerned about a minimum temperature than a maximum one.  To give yourself some peace of mind on this point look up online how to prepare in the oven whatever meat you choose.  You generally won't see temps less than 325F.  Your smoker is just a smoky oven and cooks fine at lower temps.  It just takes longer.  

3.  Use 225F as a minimum chamber temp.  250F is a good target for your first smoke.  

4.  Pick a meat that is very forgiving and easy to smoke cook the first time.  Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, salmon, sausages, hamburgers, meatloaf, tri tip roasts, ABTs (Atomic Buffalo Turds), and meatballs are all very forgiving.  Have a meat thermometer ready and make sure anything that involves ground meat, plus the thighs, are cooked to 165F internal temperature to kill bacteria.  The tri tip, probably the most forgiving intact hunk of meat on a beef, should be smoked until an Internal temp of 125-135F.  It will look pretty grey when finished, but you can caramelize the meat on the outside after the smoke on a grill or a frying pan on the stove top.  You get all the smoky flavor and the color by doing so. 

5.  As you can tell, the meat is done when the meat reaches the correct internal temp.

6.  Add wood and charcoal as necessary keep the chamber temp above your minimum.  Personally I add hot charcoal to my rig, but it is different than yours.  

Use the Search feature and type in ABT.  You'll get lots of results and recipes.  They are easy to make, and since you are still at school, will impress your friends.  You can easily vary the spicy heat if you're not a fan of hot food.  I use sweet peppers instead of Jalapeno's for example, in which case they are SBTs (Sweet Buffalo Turds) instead of atomic ones. 

Here's my recipe for Italian ABTs or SBTs.  Just as a point not to sweat the maximum temp, I've done these in the oven before at 425F.  They were done in less than a half hour. 

Italian Style ABTs or SBTs


16 oz cream cheese (2 x 8 oz packages)
1 cup Italian 3 cheese blend grated cheese (Parmesan, Asiago, and Romano)
1 cup Seasoned Stuffing
1 14.5oz can diced Italian tomatoes, drained.  Drink or discard the juice.
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbs Red pepper flakes (optional)

Peppers and Meat
20 Jalapenos or 8 Poblanos or 6 Red/Green/Yellow Peppers, halved, seeded, cleaned. 
1 lb Hot or mild (or both) caseless Italian Sausage
Bacon to wrap


1. Mix all the filling ingredients together in a mixing bowl or KitchenAid type mixer.  Stir on medium speed until well mixed.

2. Spoon the cheese stuffing into the pepper halves.

3. Optional:  Sprinkle the cheese stuffed pepper with red pepper flakes if a little heat is desired.

4. The caseless sausage in our local grocery comes in plastic that is kind of shaped like a cone.  Just clip off one of the pointy ends and squeeze a strip onto the cheese like putting icing on a cake.  Then wrap the ABT with a strip of bacon secure with toothpicks.

5. Use a 9x13 aluminum roaster then put the ABTs in the roaster.  It isn't necessary but it helps at the end of the smoke.

6. Smoke in a 225-250F smoker for 2-3 hours until the bacon is brown and crisp and the IT is 165F.


Joined Jul 13, 2016
Well it is on like donkey kong.  I got a pork tenderloin, a store bought and qtr'd chicken and a few salmon fillets.  Figured I would use as much of the smoker gill as possible.  The store only had hickory chunks and apple wood chips so I got a bag of each.  I also simply bought a few pre made rubs to save time and focus on the cook. I started by preparing the charcoal, used one chimney full and let get hot till all the charcoal was ashy.  I put three chunks of Hickory and sprinkled about two had fulls of apple wood on the hot coals.  I was a little disappointed how much smoked leaked from every crevice of the smoker so not sure if that is normal will work on that in the future. My temp only got to about 225 than started to go down, I added a two chunks of hickory and opened the vents a bit more but it stayed a 225 ish. It went the temp dropped to 196 I added about a half chimney of charcoal, left the fire box door open till most of the charcoal turned grey and added three chunks of hickory, my temp is now at 244 so I believe I should have used more charcoal at the beginning.  Not worried just going to let the smoker work. Figure first time whats the worst that happen, I smoked food and I am creating it.  Just looked at temp we are at 280 so I think adding as much charcoal as I did was a poor decision.  In fact remember in the movie with harrison Ford when they were drinking from the holy grail and the one guy died and the night said "he chose poorly" that guy is following me around the house.  Not going to check temp on any meats until after an hr and half, about 37 min from now.  


Smoke Blower
Joined Jun 1, 2010
I would say be careful about adding too much hickory. It is a strong wood. Bold strong flavor.


Joined Jul 13, 2016
Well it turned out good.  Kinda reminded me of my first batch brew when I started Home brewing which has turned into a addiction of beer and everything Craft Brew. 

I am expecting my smoking to evolve as well.  So here it is the chicken was salty as all hell. I used a premade McComick Roasted garlic and herb.  It was so salty I had to drink three great beers with it so there is a positive.  Other than that great not to smoky and very moist, although as it cooled it did dry on the plate, but still made great leftovers.  I put the larger breast near the fire box and the side did char a tad bit I rotated it about 3/4 through the cook, the wings legs and thighs were legit.  The Salmon I used a Garlic butter and put them as far away from fire box as possible.  Perfect smoke really tasty, son gave it a 9 of 10, I put more garlic butter on mine because well I love garlic.  Wife had hers on crackers, there were two left over and were outstanding cold the next day as well.  The tenderloin I used a Grill master pork rub, t was fine the tenderloin was dry on skinny end moist and tasty on fat end I put it between the Salmon and chicken,  I should have pulled it off earlier, not for over smoke more overdoness.  all in all very happy with the out come of food.

the Smoker on the other hand not so much happy but ok with, I felt it difficult to maintain a constant heat, it dropped fast, and leaked a lot.  Might look into a fire blanket to wrap the smoker in but not sure.  Just want to try to perfect a few things, goal it to figure out temp to be able to do a brisket.

next session will probably be sausage, I live in Germany so no shortage of good brats, they also have Schwien steak, kinda like a pork chop the meat market puts  crazy awesome marinade on them so I think i might just do store to grill on those.  They usually have them on a fresh roll so that is what I am thinking.  Gotta get ahead on school work before next smoke getting degree in History and early american Colonization is not my fav. 

God bless and smoke on my friends.

papa t

Meat Mopper
Joined Jan 12, 2016
Send me a good brats recipe please lol.
I would start with a chicken
Papa t

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