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New Smoker, New to Smoking. Love Seafood and spicy! TIPS NEEDED!

BAMFGypsy

Newbie
1
0
Joined Mar 22, 2018
Hello,

New to all of this. First forum. Bare with me! Ive smoked a butt one time 2 years ago. Someone let me borrow their electric smoker and I WAS HOOKED! So I finally bought my first smoker. Masterbuilt Pro. Any pointers on first use for it and from there, what would be a good starting point on what to smoke to learn. I really love seafood and would like to try my hand at that. Brines, ehh... little kknowledge due to my love of gardening and making pickles. Throw me some pointers!
 

pit of despair

Meat Mopper
271
88
Joined May 18, 2011
Gypsy,
Welcome! I can't give any advice on your Masterbuilt, but I will say start with something cheap...like chicken.
 

bluewhisper

Master of the Pit
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Joined Apr 1, 2014
Welcome to the board! Use the Search here (click on the bars next to Members at the top) and look up your model of smoker to see how people use them.

MANY people here smoke salmon and there are many ways to do it.

Edited to add, try smoking chicken like thighs or quarters to get the hang of your smoker. It's inexpensive and easy.

Pickled vegetables, huh? I'm going to make a salsa fresca today.
 

Geebs

Smoking Fanatic
744
232
Joined Mar 9, 2018
Welcome BAMF, like the previous posts it will take some time to figure out your smoker so trying something cheap is always a good idea. I did a couple butts my first few times and some wings (which arent cheap anymore). Im sure there are a ton of previous threads regarding your type of smoker, I would just do some searches and read up on what others have to say.
 

Mffl84

Newbie
25
7
Joined Mar 16, 2018
Welcome to the party BAMF! Being fairly new here (and to smoking) I can't offer much advice, but there are many knowledgeable and helpful folks here. There are also TONS of threads you can read through that have a plethora of information. You came to the right place!

One suggestion I do have...get a good remote digital meat thermometer, if you don't already have one. I have a ThermoPro TP-08, and I love that thing. Takes a bit of the guess work out when it comes to internal temps of your meat, and is typically more accurate than the thermometers that come built into a lot of smokers.
 

SmokinVOLfan

Master of the Pit
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Joined Feb 27, 2018
Welcome! Jeff's rub and recipes are a great place to start.

Is your masterbuilt pro an electric or propane smoker? If electric search the term AMNPS its what most of us MES owners use to generate smoke.

Give a boston butt a try for the first smoke on the new smoker(after you season the smoker of course). Its a very forgiving meat and there are countless ways of doing it none of which are wrong but almost always give great results. Its all about your personal preference.

I personally like to inject mine with apple juice, give it a good coating of yellow mustard, a nice thick coating of rub, and smoke at 225 until I reach 205. I also wrap at the stall usually around 165.

Good luck let us know how it all turns out!
 

tallbm

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Joined Dec 30, 2016
Hello,

New to all of this. First forum. Bare with me! Ive smoked a butt one time 2 years ago. Someone let me borrow their electric smoker and I WAS HOOKED! So I finally bought my first smoker. Masterbuilt Pro. Any pointers on first use for it and from there, what would be a good starting point on what to smoke to learn. I really love seafood and would like to try my hand at that. Brines, ehh... little kknowledge due to my love of gardening and making pickles. Throw me some pointers!
Hi there and welcome!

I would suggest smoking chicken as well like others mention, it is cheap and it is good. Just a heads up though. If you smoke chicken with skin it may come out rubbery unless you smoke at a high enough temp. I find 325F to work for edible skin where others may have success at slightly lower temps but if you go too much lower expect leather skin. This is a confusing thing with chicken and isn't a problem with what you did rather than a problem with the temps that chicken skin likes. My suggestion is to try some boneless, skinless pieces first and then move up to skinned pieces.

FYI, I brine white meat and whole chickens to keep them from being dry but dark meat is good to go with just a seasoning/rub and smoking.

Also mentioned getting a good wireless thermometer is a huge must. I always recommend the ThermoPro TP20. It is best to have a dual probe (or more probes) so you can check the smoker temp with 1 probe and the Internal Temp (IT) of the meat with the 2nd probe. The more probes the merrier :)

I hope this info helps!
 

ZeroEvol

Newbie
20
6
Joined Oct 6, 2017
Welcome! My first smoked fish was salmon. I kept it simple and it turned out pretty damn good. Used the Jack Daniels wood chips from Wally World (Walmart), took a salmon filet, skin on, topped meat side with brown sugar. Smoked at 200 until internal temp was about 160, I think it was about 2 hours or so. I did not brine first. This was ONLY a test to move on to bigger pieces of fish, etc. I am sure there are other tips and recipes on here that are 1,000 times better, this was just my experience. Good luck!
 

Mohitb793

Newbie
1
0
Joined Nov 16, 2018
Hello,

New to all of this. First forum. Bare with me! Ive smoked a butt one time 2 years ago. Someone let me borrow their electric smoker and I WAS HOOKED! So I finally bought my first smoker. Masterbuilt Pro. Any pointers on first use for it and from there, what would be a good starting point on what to smoke to learn. I really love seafood and would like to try my hand at that. Brines, ehh... little kknowledge due to my love of gardening and making pickles. Throw me some pointers!
Hey, hope you've learned some great BBQ recipes now. Make sure you maintain and clean the grates of your electric smoker periodically. Happy smoking.
 

TomKnollRFV

Master of the Pit
Group Lead
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717
Joined May 19, 2018
If you have a Masterbuilt Electric, be prepared to need a hair dryer to get the sensors to read it above 32f to get it started if you live in a colder area.

I also concur with the sentiment of for your first breaking in run after seasoning to do some pulled pork. It's a super forgiving cut and you can make alot of good eats out of left over pulled pork :)
 

Tim Morgan

Newbie
18
3
Joined Mar 2, 2019
Welcome, my first smoker was an electric smoke hollow. I used it about 6 times then upgraded to a offset. I also have a pitboss pellet grill. I have had great luck smoking salmon. I recommend doing a dry brine 12 hours prior to hitting the smoker.
 

Jonok

Smoking Fanatic
536
233
Joined Feb 4, 2019
If you have a Masterbuilt Electric, be prepared to need a hair dryer to get the sensors to read it above 32f to get it started if you live in a colder area.
Not to hijack the thread (excellent suggestions from all with which I agree (big butts are easy and forgiving, and everyone will love what you do, even if YOU know you could have changed something for the better)

But do others have problems with needing to preheat a MES to get it started? I am on #s 3&4 at this point and have never had an issue despite living in Michigan for the past 10 years.
 

TomKnollRFV

Master of the Pit
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Joined May 19, 2018
Not to hijack the thread (excellent suggestions from all with which I agree (big butts are easy and forgiving, and everyone will love what you do, even if YOU know you could have changed something for the better)

But do others have problems with needing to preheat a MES to get it started? I am on #s 3&4 at this point and have never had an issue despite living in Michigan for the past 10 years.
It's a fairly common thing. The sensor doesn't register below 32f. Surprises me they haven't just changed what ever governs this to let it work at any temp.
 

DocShadownix

Fire Starter
52
24
Joined Apr 23, 2019
Welcome!

If you like fish, I attached my Alaskan salmon recipe below...it is modified from someone on here years ago and has worked for 100's of pounds of salmon (yes, fresh from Alaska, even caught by me!) ...it lets you make both cold smoked and hot smoked in the same batch... Family loves it. What you will have to figure out is how long you want to brine ... this will change the texture the most. I like the double brine, but that is just me...

Brian’s Smoked Salmon (Lox AND Hot Smoked)

These instructions are for an average sized fish of 10-12 lbs (before being filleted).
Coho (silver) or Sockeye (red) are best but Atlantic salmon may work as well (I don’t have any experience with these…). For smaller (thinner) fish shorten the time and for bigger fish lengthen time by 1-2 hrs per brining step.

SALMON PREPARATION:
If you are filleting whole salmon, leave skin on and remove pin bones (a small pair of clean needle nose pliers or needle driver (for us medical types) works best for removing bones that are still in the flesh). I often use partial filets (1/2 or 1/3 filets), since we only usually eat this much as a family.
BRINING: (Two-Step process)
Step One - Dry Brine Ingredients:
o 5 lbs. Kosher or canning salt
o 6 lbs. Dark brown sugar
Directions:
1. Mix salt and sugar well, using your hands to break up the chunks of brown sugar. This will be used for dry brining the fish. You must use COARSE (non iodized) OR KOSHER SALT. Any left-over dry mix can be place in a sealed container or Ziploc bags.
2. Using a small container that is just wide and long enough to lay your fillets flat; spread an even 1/2” layer of the dry brine mix on the bottom (I use a Rubbermaid container just long enough for the fillets and wide enough for two side by side). Lay the first layer of fillets skin side down on the dry mix. Now cover fillets with more dry mix (1/2"). Place next layer of fillets on top with skin side up (meat to meat). Cover with 1/2" dry mix. Make sure fish is completely covered in the mix (that's why the size of your container is important so you don't waste excess mix). Continue to layer the fish. You can place them anyway you like as long as they are relatively straight and flat. This process will remove excess moisture from the fish and really firm it up.
3. Place fish in the refrigerator for 7-9 hours (Thick king (chinook) sometimes takes 10+)
IMPORTANT: If you forget this part of the process and dry brine for too long, you will ruin your fish. Set a timer or maybe two of them so you don't forget.
4. After the 7-9 hours have passed you will see a considerable amount of syrupy liquid in the bottom of the container (the moisture from the fish) now take it out of the refrigerator, and remove 1 fillet at a time and cut in half (so it fits the Bradley smoker) rinse the mixture off the fish completely. Fish will seem hard, firm and considerably smaller than when you started. Discard the syrupy liquid from the dry brine process (do not reuse the salt/sugar).
This next step will change the texture again.

Step 2 - Wet Brine Ingredients:
o 3.5 gal. Water
o 6 cups Kosher or Coarse (non-iodine) Salt
o 6 cups Brown Sugar
o 1-2 cups Real Maple syrup
o 1/4 cup Whole black peppercorns
o 2 Cloves garlic
o Chopped fresh dill, to taste
***You may add any flavor you want to the wet brine. More garlic, or soy
sauce, lemon, coriander seeds, maple syrup, lime, etc. I like to add lemon or lime peel sometimes. Occasionally orange peel.

While Dry Brining the fish in the in the refrigerator, begin to prepare your wet
brine.


Directions - Prepare Wet Brine Solution:
1. In a 5 gallon food bucket (or non-metal container large enough to hold your fish and
brine), mix all ingredients well, making sure that all the salt and sugar is completely
dissolved.
IMPORTANT: check salinity (salt concentration) - a fresh raw egg (in the shell) will
float in the mixture. If it doesn't add another 1/2 cup salt and mix well, then recheck
to see if the egg will float. If it still doesn't float add another 1/2 cup salt repeat as
needed until the egg floats. Let the brine set for at least 3 hours before using it (I
usually do this the night before…)
2. Place filets that have been dry brined, rinsed, and halved, into the wet brine. Cover
with a plate so all fish are completely submerged. Brine for 7-9 hours.
REFRIGERATION at this point is optional as the dry brine has pretty much "cooked
the fish" already. I usually place in a cooler with ice, but don’t worry about the
temperature. I would “stir” the brine once if possible to make sure mixed well..
Freshening Your Fillet:
1. Remove the fillets from the brine and rinse in fresh water. Discard brine and rinse
out your bucket (or container that you wet brined the fish in), making sure all spices,
peppercorns etc are removed.
2. Now put the fillets back in the bucket and fill with clean water. Let the water run into
the bucket (do not use too much pressure or you will damage the fish) 20-40
minutes stirring the fish gently with your hand every 7-10 minutes
TASTE a small piece of the fish. If still too salty rinse for another 10 minutes but no more
or the fish will begin to waterlog (swell). I do mine for 30 minutes and consistently have
good results.

Drying Before Smoking (Pellicle formation):
1. Remove fish from wet brine. Pat dry with paper towel. At this stage, you can rub the
fish (if you want) with rum or scotch as some recipes require; I do not routinely do
an alcohol rub. I do often sprinkle things like dill or lemon zest on top at this point…
2. Using your Bradley racks (Teflon coated ones work best), turn the racks upside down
and lay the fish on the racks skin side down. (IMPORTANT – suspending the fish
using upside down racks makes sure they are “dry” evenly)
3. Allow fish to dry for approx 1 hour. WHEN THE FISH BECOMES A LITTLE STICKY
(and shiny but not wet!) on the meat side they are done and ready for smoke. (If
it is taking too long, a fan over the filets can speed the process)

SMOKING:
First, let me say there are multiple options here:
A. Cold Smoke (“Lox”)
B. Cold and Hot Smoke (“Lox” and Smoked Salmon)
C. Hot Smoke (Smoked Salmon)
I usually choose B, because I use a variety of salmon in dishes and love them both! To
prepare your smoker (I have a Bradley), fill the drip bowl with ice and add a good block of
ice between the bottom shelf and the lower plate; (even if you cover 2/3 of the holes in the plate, it has no effect on the smoke reaching the fish). As the ice melts it drips into the bowl (not on the smoke burner) good design by Bradley. Place a large aluminum pan under the drip bowl to catch any water will overflow from the water bowl. Make sure that you empty the water bin/bowl when full… I have shorted out my smoker once and that is NOT fun!
Just watch the temperature (do I need to say it again)
Smoking is a matter of taste; I like about 3-4 hours of smoke; avoid hickory and oak, but
alder, maple, cherry, apple are all good (I use a combo of cherry, alder and apple usually). Use the following profile for smoking:
Temp (F): Time:
65-85 ~ 2 hours
100 ~15 minutes
LOX are done. After 15 min at 100, oils are brought to the surface and make the lox
“pretty”; this step is optional, but go NO LONGER than 15 minutes or you will hot smoke the
lox. REMOVE any salmon you want lox at this point! If going onto B or C… (SMOKING
DONE NOW, this is further cooking…):
Temp (F): Time:
125 1 hour
140 2-3 hours (longer for thicker, shorter for thinner)
170 30 minutes
Try to go up slowly; fast will yield unsightly (white proteins on top of the fish!) but does
NOT affect the taste.
With this recipe you can make the great quality Lox. The finished color in almost RED
(with Coho or Sockeye) due to the carmel in the brown sugar coloring the fish during the
dry brine process. The final texture is like velvet and slices really well.
 

tyradia

Newbie
8
0
Joined Jan 27, 2020
I WAS HOOKED! So I finally bought my first smoker. Masterbuilt Pro. Any pointers on first use for it and from there, what would xender discord omegle be a good starting point on what to smoke to learn. I really love seafood and would like to try my hand at that. Brines, ehh... little kknowledge due to my love of gardening and making pickles. Throw me some pointers!
 
Last edited:

HalfSmoked

Smoking Guru
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Welcome tyradia first go to home page and sign in under roll call. Then for more information click on forums on top of home page and just keep strolling down and you will see all kinds of info on just about everything.

Warren
 

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