I'm diving in head first!

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by smokin scott, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. Hi everyone. I just moved into a new home with a big back yard that is deserving of great BBQ- so I bought a smoker and I'm ready to take the plunge!

    I've been grilling for years and I like to proclaim my 'grill skills' can match up with anyone's. But, smoking? I must say that I'm a bit intimidated. I've already started learning about wood and heat and temps and times, but it just seems there is a ton of variables. I can also see myself getting obsessive over this stuff and the missus having to step in.

    So, two days ago, we were at the grocery and I happen to pass by a nice looking 6 lb brisket at a decent price. I say to my wife, "This would be awesome to break in the smoker with" expecting her to tell me to put the brisket back. Much to my surprise she says, "Great idea and grab that family pack of chicken thighs too!"

    Before we had even reached the checkout line, she had confirmation from her ENTIRE family that they were coming over for Saturday's BBQ!!!  [​IMG]

    Like 15 people! I'm like "Honey, this ain't about flipping burgers and timing the steak, I could really screw this up!"

    Fast forward two days later, and I'm sitting here the night before the big day a little freaked out. I've relied heavily on this and other forums to learn as much as I can, and I have a plan in place:

    The brisket is already rubbed and will be on the smoker by 8 am, chicken thighs will get rubbed tomorrow and be on the smoker by 1 (gonna pull the chicken for sammies), and the sausage kabobs can go on by about 3:30. Hoping (praying?) that everything is ready by 5. The smoker is gonna be crowded there for a bit towards the end, but ... this is the plan

    Gonna use charcoal and hickory and try to keep the temp at 250-275 and the lid closed! (I'm a looker!)

    OK, that's about it...I'll post the results and pics in the general forum and thanks for all of your help so far!

    Smokin Scott
  2. PS: My smoker is the standard Charbroil barrel offset with the side fire box...
  3. Scott,

    You'll do great.  Here are my concerns:

    1. You're using a ECB offset.  I have produced a LOT of BBQ from one - even catered a wedding - but I to this day would not call it user friendly.  Don't go far and watch your thermometer. Do you have a charcoal basket?  ...and a case of beer?   ...and a lawn chair?

    2. You're a looker.  If you open that cooker you are going to extend the time.  You'll see the brisket when you put the chicken on.  Get it on and close the door - no dilly dally-ing.  Which leads me to my third concern:

    3. a 6 lb brisket could take 9 hrs (1.5 hrs/lb) or 12 hrs (2 hrs/lb) or even more.  They are notorious for not doing what you expect them to do even when you do everything right.  Some critters are just more ornery than others. 

    So my recommendations are: monitor your heat and try to keep it at your temp using your vents and fire control, don't look, and in this case I recommend you use the TX crutch when the stall hits to try to stay on schedule.

    You got this!  I look forward to the photos!
  4. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Welcome aboard, Scott!  Glad you've joined us.  You've found a great place to learn and share ideas on our favorite pastimes...smoking and grilling great food!  There are lots of friendly and knowledgeable folks here who really enjoy helping each other.  When you need help, just ask and you'll get plenty!

    Good luck with today's cook!  Bama's advice is right on the mark...my biggest concern would be that brisket stalling and not getting done in time.  I've been there...a house full of hungry guests waiting on me to feed them and a piece of meat that won't cooperate.  And just in case you didn't know, Texas Crutch = foiling the brisket once it reaches an IT of around 160*.  Splash a little liquid in the foil (beef broth, water, worcestershire, etc.).  It'll speed up the cook, and with the brisket protected by foil, you can actually kick the smoker temp up higher which will decrease cook time even more.

    Have fun, and don't forget we love Qview!

  5. BAMA- great tips and spot on re the temp...every 5 minutes the needle does a plunge. Do I need to feed the fire box all day and if so, should I add more charcoal or more hickory or a mix of both?  

    Thanks for any added input...

    so far I would say things are not going so well, but there is a lot of time and I've pulled through worse...
  6. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Hi Scott! :welcome1: to SMF!!! We're happy you found us! You've come to the right place, we have over 50,000 members who just love to share their experience and over 1,000,000 posts describing it! Yea that’s right over 1,000,000!

    The search bar at the top can be your best friend when you are trying to find answers to your questions but you can still ask too if you want!

    We have an Articles section that is full of great information about smoking to include a lot of recipes and instructionals. Check it out there is a lot to learn in there!

    You might want to check out Jeff's Free 5 day E-Course, it will teach you all the basics plus a whole lot more!
  7. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    [​IMG]to SMF!  We are so glad you joined us! Make sure to take pictures and show that Q-view!

    If you didn't read the "Terms of Service" notes.....please do.  There are a few things that everyone should know about those pesky little rules before plunging into the forums and some guidelines of how to interact within the forums. Off site links are not allowed here at SMF per Jeff in Rule #11.

    If you need any help roaming around the forums....just holler!  Happy to help out!

  8. If you don't have a charcoal basket, therefore couldn't load up for a :minion method" fire, you'll have to keep feeding the fire with charcoal.  But make sure the fire is really dying.  Charcoal fires tend to go up and down throughout the cook as some coals go out and others light so kinda let that happen. When the fire is going dead due to burning all your fuel add more fuel to continue the cook. 

    After a few hours (some say 2 others say 4) smoke wood adds what I call the "ashtray effect" (aka too much smoke).  Some like more smoke - I probably fall into the less is more camp on smoke.  ANyway - I quit adding smoke wood after a cpl hours.  If you have heat waves coming out the smoke stack you're still cooking - it doesn't need to smoke the whole time.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013
  9. Good luck, Scott!

    I agree with Bama. Before I got my WSM, I tried indirect smoking on my Weber kettle. I thought that lots of smoke was the thing to do...ended up tasting like creosote!  Then, thanks to this site, I learned what TBS stood for (Thin Blue Smoke). I'd rather see no smoke than grey or black smoke!

    I hope it all turns out great, but if it doesn't, don't give up. Like I've posted here before, you learn by making mistakes, and believe me, I've learned a lot! [​IMG]
  10. Thanks again for all the feedback...

    All things considered, the Q turned out AMAZING! I am shocked actually at how everything came together. I'm posting a full recap under my thread in General discussion with a pic if you are interested.

    The two most important outcomes for today:

    1. The Q was a hit with the who party, thank goodness...

    2. I learned a TON today while 'on the job'...
  11. Sounds like a perfect cook to me.  ^^That's all that matters^^

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