Got my smoker, what do you recommend smoking first??

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Original poster
Dec 31, 2013
Got my first smoker! Give me your best starter recipes if you don't mind! It's a 700 cu in propane from bass pro. Thanks guys! I also need a venison summer sausage recipe if your feeling like sharing!:grilling_smilie:
You really can't go wrong with a pork shoulder (Boston butt). It is very forgiving and it really impossible to 'screw up' unless it is undercooked.
It's a great meat to cook while learning on a new smoker.

Get a good rub going of brown sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, maybe some cayenne, and whatever else would create a good flavor. There are recipes for rubs with proportions and measurements both on this site, and just online in general.
Liberally coat the butt in either mustard or olive oil, and apply a thick coating of the rub to the meat. The mustard or oil will help hold the rub.
Place the meat in the smoker when your smoker is heated up. The common temp is 225-230 degrees smoker temp, but actually hotter temps are becoming more popular. I prefer a hotter smoker as it gets the meat done faster, helps with better bark, and really doesn't make a difference in the final product IMO if you smoke at around 250-270 degrees vs. 230.
Smoke the butt until it is 185-190 internal temperature, then wrap in foil and let it rest for at least an hour. After that it will be prime pulling tender.
I try not to wrap until it is done, but if you are pressed on time, you can wrap it when the meat reaches 160-170 internal temp and it will speed up the time to 190.
Pork butts are good smoked over any wood. I prefer hickory (hence my name). Oak, cherry, or apple is also good.

And oh yeah, you can mop or spritz the butt with apple juice durin the cook to give it more moisture and it adds a hint of sweetness to the meat.

Expect anywhere from 1.0-1.5 hours per pound of meat if you are smoking at around 260*. So a 7lb butt would take 7-9 hours to get done. Maybe shorter depending on how the meat takes to the heat.
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I started with fatties, cheap and easy, gave me a chance to work with the new smoker and learn how to maintain a good steady temp.  Even with the temperature fluctuations they came out pretty good, but I learned quickly that day that I was  using wayyyy too much wood and while the smoke didn't taste bad, it was very overpowering.  Next smoke was fatties and ribs, next one was fatties, ribs, ABTs and Wicked Beans, this weekend it's chicken, turkey breast, ribs, beans and ABTs, well you get the picture, it's addicting and cool to have lots of stuff during the week.  You can find a ton of recipes on here to give you ideas to create your own, but I have to give props to Dutch's Wicked Baked Beans, I can't keep these in the house, they go real fast.  We also love ABTs with cream cheese and raspberry preserves.  Just start cooking, you got a lot of room and you'll have a lot of fun ...... and good food.  Enjoy that new smoker!
I would recommend a Boston butt as well.  As stated above, very forgiving and relatively cheap, I might add.  Find a rub you like, homemade or commercial, and rub liberally.  Fat side up in the smoker and let her go!  Trim that fat if you want.  I usually don't, that stuff is DELICIOUS! I leave it in the smoker until the IT is 198° - 203°, perfect for fall apart, yummy, pulled pork.  I NEVER wrap in foil, I love crunchy bark.  Foiling it makes bark mushy.  The crunchy bark...the fat......heavenly!  You will not be disappointed!  I would steer clear of brisket until you know the ins and outs of your smoker.  That is a little pricier eff up, if you ask me.

Also, be sure to invest in a good thermometer.  Just my 2 cents.
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Hello and welcome from East Texas. This is a great site, lots of information and great people that are willing to throw in their two cents worth on about anything.   
[/h1][h1]  [/h1][h1]Gary[/h1]
Hello and welcome to the fun.  Many good folk here with a load of experience that they are more than willing to share.  If you have specific questions just start a thread and someone with experience will be along soon to offer advice.  Spend some time doing some research on the forums, tons of advice and recipes already available there.  The trial and error method works well.  We will try to help you keep the errors to a minimum.  We look forward to your contributions.  I will assume you have seasoned your smoker and sealed every leak you can.  I always advise the same with this question.  Chicken leg quarters and maybe some burgers.  Easy to do and cheap to buy.  I know!  I know!  You have been reading for weeks, now have your smoker, you are ready to get started and this idiot says chicken legs and burgers??  WHAT??  The first few smokes are about learning to control temps in YOUR smoker.  Each one can be different.  If that first smoke burns, the dog gets a good meal.  If it ain’t done, finish it in the oven.  Little money lost and with luck you still get a good meal.  TEMP CONTROL!! IS THE KEY!!  Have fun.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

Agree with the above on chicken. Do some quarters, or even a whole, spatchcocked chicken. Two reasons for this.

1) Getting to know your smoker--as outlined above.

2) The chicken (or burgers) will splatter grease onto the sides as they cook, and give you a headstart on some lovely seasoning for your smoker.
If you want a short smoke then do chicken or a pork loin? If you want the long all day like most of us enjoy go for the butt. You could always do the butt and throw on a pork loin! Mix 50/50 Creole butter with your favorite bbq sauce and inject the loin, then add your rub and cook it too. A 7 lb loin only takes 2-3 hours at 250 degrees to reach IT of 135.
Meatloaf baby!! 2 pnds ground beef 80/20 ,1 egg lightly beaten ,1 cup bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of milk, 1 onion chopped, 1/2 bell pepper chopped, favorite rub (mine preferably ;) ) mix and form put on a tray or foil so it doesnt fall through the grates smoke it at 250 for approx. 2.5 hrs or till 165 degrees done and done.
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Ribs or anything you want. The beauty of this is simple....try, eat enjoy. If you don't like something, change it to suit your taste and try, eat and enjoy.

I did ribs first, then a fatty and I haven't looked back since.

Welcome to the best forum

This is a great forum. I always learn a lot every time I check it out.

All of the suggestions you have gotten are excellent. It's hard to beat a Boston butt, IMO. They take a while, though.

Reading this thread, I now have a craving for the meatloaf! I've gotta try that!

Tabbed in.
"Nekkid Chicken", its something easy, cheap, fast, readily available and once mastered you'll never say, I don't know what to cook for supper. Their is always time for "Nekkid Chicken".

Its so delicious and juicy....... OMG! People think you are a chef and you really hate to take credit for it.

Its so versatile once mastered, you can step from it in many directions with brines, injections, rubs, marinades, woods, etc etc etc.......  But when its all tried and you have mastered the pit, you wonder why you tried so hard to improve upon the taste of chicken which is so versatile that it can even be delicious plain.

That's what I recommend. See I learned long ago you'll never get where you want to go,  if you don't know where you have already been. You need a common mark upon which to grade all those possible modifiers. Hence my recommendation is the humble "Nekkid Chicken".

PS:::  I just realized this is the roll call section.......Its a pleasure to meet you and welcome to the boards. I would ask when you have time if you would take a moment and click on the "My Profile" icon on the above tool bar abd tell us as little or as much as you feel comfortable with about yourself. Most importantly though, is where you lay your head down at night to sleep. Its a big rock we live on and there are folks here from Thailand to England so its nice when a question is asked or answered to see basically where you have gathered your knowledge you are bestowing. Its like me telling you about a crawfish sauce if you were from Montana. LOL Not likely you'll be able to make one to help your meat.

The boards are about preparation, but we all know that smoking is only 5% preparation, its 95% patience. So learn to relax and enjoy the smoke........

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This is a great forum. I always learn a lot every time I check it out.

All of the suggestions you have gotten are excellent. It's hard to beat a Boston butt, IMO. They take a while, though.

Reading this thread, I now have a craving for the meatloaf! I've gotta try that!

Tabbed in.

It is awesome!. I wont cook another meatloaf any other way but smoking it.
Thank ya Mr. J. Is it cool yet up in your neck of the woods?

Its difficult to make a chicken hard to eat. Only way I know is dry from over cooking or bitter from too much smoke or green wood.

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