Hey all--I'm new here!

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Original poster
Jul 19, 2007
Hi everyone! This seems like a user-friendly forum to me, and I think I can learn a lot here.

My smoking background: I taught myself a while ago how to smoke meats on an old table grill (you know, those big boxy iron ones with four lanky legs and a shelf or two). I had been grilling meats for years, but smoking is completely different, of course. I used to fire up a stuffed-full chimney of charcoal and then divide it up on both ends of the grill. I'd place the meat in the center over a foil pan filled with water. I never used any thermometers but just went by sight and smell. I'm an excellent cook, so I have that in my favor.

Anyhow, I got pretty darn good with that, and people just went wild for my smoked meats. The trouble was that I was constantly lighting more charcoal, almost hourly, to replenish what was burned down in the big old, heat-sucking grill. This can take up a LOT of time. So last Sunday I went to Lowe's and bought an electric ECB. Yep, that's right, electric, and an ECB to boot. :D I did ribs on it on Monday night, and my husband said they were the best he'd ever had--and that's saying something because my husband is a BIG boy and LOVES to eat. :D They did come out AWESOME, if I do say so myself. The only thing I'd change is maybe a few more chunks of wood for more smoke.

Today I'm going to try a turkey breast. My husband is an avid hunter and got a turkey this past spring. We already had one breast on the grill. Tonight the other will be smoked. I don't have a thermometer or anything else. I'm just going by my nose and my eyes. I'll let you all know how it goes!

Nice to meet you all!
awesome... you don't sound like your new, but welcome aboard, and I hope that I can learn from you as well as the seasoned vet's on this forum...
Welcome Mel, and glad to have you as part of the SMF. I'll bet you'll have some good stories to tell along the way. You might consider buying a thermometer or 2, they really can give you a leeading edge on smokin'. We all pick things up as we go along, so start looking for some storage space!
Welcome to the SMF, nothing wrong with an electric ECB, thats how i started and it makes some great Q
im glad to meet you
i have a electric also....

its 96 f outside right now...

in winter it averages about 35 --39 f...

and when wind gets above 10 mph --that changes the heat..

thats a big difference in my non insulated h20 smoker

my thermometers sure help me...

especially on butts and brisket and big roasts..
Welcome to SMF.. Glad you let us know a bit about you. Tell your old man that if he's going to eat, he has to get back to Lowes and get you a thermometer!

Turkey can be touchy with that sow-whatever-it's-called-stuff. Being attached to the porcelin throne ain't no fun.. You'll be using a different thermometer if that happens.. And no, a meat thermometer is not interchangable with a rectal thermometer (and visa-versa)...


Again, welcome!
Hi Mel,
Welcome to SMF, lots of great people and Q. Enjoy your stay.
I believe you are referring to Sam Vanilla... he's a real bastid... makes me sick!!

Seriously, invest in a thermometer for poultry! Oh, and welcome to the mighty SMF!!
OK, I do have a digital instant read meat thermometer, just not one on my smoker. I was cooking back when a good portion of you all were in diapers! LOL! Anyhow, I told you all I'd let you know how it went, so here's some pics!

First, here's the turkey raw. Notice how dark the meat is. These wild birds are like that. This "ain't" no Butterball!

Now here it is with the rub. Looks good, huh?

And here's the ECB in all her glory! And ain't she puuuuuurty??! (Pay no attention to the scraped-off paint on the house. Hubby is painting. At least he's supposed to be.
) Can you see the slight smoke haze above it? hee hee

Now here's the meat all done. Yum!! The smoke ring is about 1/4 inch.

Hubby insisted I take this picture. This is his first helping. He said to make sure I got the Geary's Pale Ale in the picture too. hahaha

It was 66 degrees out when I started with enough wind to ring the chimes on the porch, which is where I had to smoke the meat because it was also drizzling outside. I preheated for 15 minutes and put the meat on at 4 p.m. At 5 p.m. I added more wood chunks because the first batch had burnt out. At 6 p.m. the meat temperature was 148.5*. I think it would have been more, but the wind was cursing me. At 6:30 p.m. I added more wood chunks. At 7:00 p.m. the meat was 153*. I wanted a little more heat, but the wind was cursing me again. Suddenly my wood chunks caught on fire, even though I'd soaked them thoroughly! That raised the temperature some.
By 7:15 p.m. the outside temperature had dropped to 62* and the meat was 158*. I brought it in and wrapped it in foil for about five minutes. Now if this had been a supermarket bird I would have gone for a higher temperature, but the wild birds don't have nearly as many diseases and health problems, so I'm content with 160* or so. It tasted delicious!

What would I do different next time around? Well, I've got to get a wind blocker, that's for sure. I think in addition to painting the house hubby will be building that VERY SOON.
Also, duhhhhhhhh........ I forgot that just this past weekend I'd done some serious pruning of my apple trees, and I could have used that wood instead of regular hardwood chunks!! I can't believe I forgot that!

Oh well, that's all for now. Hope you like the pics! I had a lot of fun doing this. I can hardly wait to see what I'll smoke next!
Welcome to the forum Mel. Wow thats a good lookin bird. Looks like your well on your way to being a smoking enthusiast, or as we have often heard OBSESSED.

Welcome and smoke on!
Welcome Mel -

Glad you found us. That's some great looking turkey! If you still have those apple trimmings stick on a box somewhere and save them for a few months. Depending on the size of the branches you may have to wait up to 6 mots before it's dry enough to smoke with. I use my smaller finger sized trimmings in about 3 months after the spring trimming but wait until spring after the fall trimmming for everything.

You'll find a big difference in efficency after you build some kind of wind break. Makes life alot easier!

Have fun!
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