First Time Smoking

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rustin788

Newbie
Original poster
Nov 14, 2016
19
31
NC
Hey,

I received a smoker (WSM 14.5”) for my birthday last week and tried it out for the first time this past Saturday with a 6lb Boston Butt.  Here is the process I used, please let me know if there is anything I should have done differently as this was my first time smoking as well as the first time doing anything with coal.  Also starting outdoor temp was 40° with a high of around 60°.  I'll start with the pics then go over what I did.







  1. The day before I covered the meat in mustard and applied the following rub and let it sit overnight.  I stay on a keto diet so I opted for no sugar.
    1. 4 tsp Salt
    2. 1.5 tsp Paprika
    3. 1 tsp Garlic Powder
    4. .5 tsp Pepper
    5. .25 tsp Cumin
    6. .25 tsp ground ginger
    7. 1 tsp chili powder
  2. The next morning I got the smoker ready by lighting 60 briquettes in my weber chimney and them pouring them on top of another 40 in the smoker.   I also added in the water pan at this point.
  3. Once the temp hit 225° I added the boston butt as well as the soaked wood (I used 75% Hickory and 25% Cherry)  For whatever reason  I didn’t record the amount of wood I added.
  4. After that I kept the temps between 225° and 235° for most of the cook.  Being the first time using coal I’m sure I played with the vents a lot more than I needed to.
  5. I added more wood and coal 3 times throughout the cook.  About 9 hours in I decided to let the smoker temp go up to around 270°.  I did a bad job of recording data but at the 9 hour mark I believe I was around 170°.  I had a pretty long stall right at 160°.
  6. A little after 11 hours of smoking I decided to wrap the meat in aluminum foil and finish in the oven to 195°.  At this point the meat temp was 185° and the outside temp was dropping quickly
  7. I let it rest for an hour, while still in foil, before pulling
I thought it turned out very tasty though I would say it was a smidge on the mushy side.  From what I have read that was possibly from putting it in foil?  I think it was in foil for a total an hour and forty five minutes.

Thanks for taking a look and I look forward to any comments/advice.
 
Last edited:
Nice first smoke with your WSM. You will love how easy it is to control temps and hoe efficient it is. I love my home built mini-wsms's and my 14.5 & 18 WSM's.

Point!

For your turkey smoke here's a few tips.

1. Air dry the bird a good 8 hours or even better overnight. Place the bird on a rack, pat dry. Place over a pan in the fridge. This will help crisp the skin.

2. Run your smoker dry. No water in the water pan. Foil the water pan for easy clean up or remove it all together (typically what I do when cooking poultry)

3. High temp cook. Try and run your pit between 325°-350°. This will ensure that you have crispy skin.

4. DO not over cook! Pull the bird when the internal temp reaches 165° in the breast or thigh. Rest the bird 30-45 minutes in tented foil prior to carving.

Another option that works well, but would be hard to do in the 14.5 WSM is to spatchcock the bird. This alows for even cooking.

Check out the poultry section here:

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/191066/dirtsailors-mega-mother-of-all-cooking-links-index
 
Looks real good....great first time!! If it was mushy, might have been overcooked. Did you get the internal temp when it was done? I shoot for 200-205 degrees.
 
 
Nice first smoke with your WSM. You will love how easy it is to control temps and hoe efficient it is. I love my home built mini-wsms's and my 14.5 & 18 WSM's.

Point!

For your turkey smoke here's a few tips.

1. Air dry the bird a good 8 hours or even better overnight. Place the bird on a rack, pat dry. Place over a pan in the fridge. This will help crisp the skin.

2. Run your smoker dry. No water in the water pan. Foil the water pan for easy clean up or remove it all together (typically what I do when cooking poultry)

3. High temp cook. Try and run your pit between 325°-350°. This will ensure that you have crispy skin.

4. DO not over cook! Pull the bird when the internal temp reaches 165° in the breast or thigh. Rest the bird 30-45 minutes in tented foil prior to carving.

Another option that works well, but would be hard to do in the 14.5 WSM is to spatchcock the bird. This alows for even cooking.

Check out the poultry section here:

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/191066/dirtsailors-mega-mother-of-all-cooking-links-index
Thanks.  I've been reading a bunch of different methods for the Turkey but still undecided which way I'm going to go.  So you prefer to go without a brine?
 
Looks real good....great first time!! If it was mushy, might have been overcooked. Did you get the internal temp when it was done? I shoot for 200-205 degrees.
Thanks.  When I took it out of the oven it was reading 197.  I didn't check it later on.
 
If the bird is all natural and hasn't been commercially enhanced then I will usually brine the bird.

If it's an enhanced bird (injected with a solution) or Butrerball I will only dry rub the bird. Brining may add off flavors to what has already been done to the bird.

There is no need to brine a bird for moist meat. A properly cooked bird will be moist. Brining will enhance the flavor.
 
If the bird is all natural and hasn't been commercially enhanced then I will usually brine the bird.

If it's an enhanced bird (injected with a solution) or Butrerball I will only dry rub the bird. Brining may add off flavors to what has already been done to the bird.

There is no need to brine a bird for moist meat. A properly cooked bird will be moist. Brining will enhance the flavor.
You've sold me on the no brine.  So should I rub the turkey prior to air drying it? 
 
Yes I would rub the turkey prior to air drying. This basically would be a dry brine if your rub has salt. Keep in mind you don't need a ton of salt in your rub. 1-2 tablespoons. Add 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder to your rub. It will help dry the skin and doesn't effect the flavor.
 
Nice butt!  
points1.png


Mike
 
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