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New smoker on the way, newb question

Discussion in 'For New Members' started by SquareJerBear, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. SquareJerBear

    SquareJerBear Newbie

    Hello all,

    I recently posted about my history with cooking, and what I wanted to accomplish.

    The responses I received pointed me towards an electric smoker, so I purchased a Masterbuilt 20071117 30" smoker. I also purchased the cold smoke attachment due to reviews stating they were not getting enough smoke @225f, which is what I plan on cooking brisket at.

    I also read that you should use a pipe between the smoker and the attachment to prevent creosote from forming on your meat, which I will also do.

    Exactly how long should I be 'rolling smoke' while a brisket cooks? I've read that if you smoke too long, it can cause an off flavor. Total noob question, but when I search in this way, no specific answers come back.
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Welcome. Smoke flavor intensity is a matter of taste. As a newbie, 2 hours of smoke my be too much. For a guy like me, been smoking meat 25 years, I run smoke the entire cook. But aquiring that taste, especially by my family, developed over time. Heck, for a Texas raised on Mesquite, there is no such thing as too smokey! Type of wood matters. Mesquite is very strong and not a good newbie choice. Hickory is powerful but commonly used and familiar to many. Anywhere from 3 hours to the whole cook is good, depending on taste. Nut woods tend to be stronger and Fruit woods more sweet and mellow. Few hesitate to go start to finish with Apple, Cherry or Peach. Oak and Alder are fairly mild and neutral. Next is Blends. My current Goto is 1/3 Hickory, 1/3 Cherry and 1/3 Maple. Gives a middle of the road intensity with the best of all three. Look at meat type. Pork Ribs do well on 3 hours of smoke. There is almost as much Smokey surface area as overall meat. On Pulled Pork or a Brisket most smoke the whole time, unless they foil about the 5 hour mark. With these the intensely Smoked surface bark amount is small compared to the remaining 8 to 15 pounds of the interior meat that never sees smoke. If the surface bark is not heavily smoked, you won't taste it ,much, mixed in or sliced.
    The biggest thing that affects flavor is Quality or Color of smoke, regardless of type of wood. Your goal is TBS,Thin Blue Smoke. TBS is everything from whispy blue or gray smoke to barely visible but smells so sweet and tasty you linger over the vent just letting it waft over you. The opposite is Billowing White Smoke. This white smoke is acrid smelling like a house fire and fuel oil. The smoke is pungent, burning your eyes and throat as you breath. White smoke comes from in efficiently burning, wet/soaked wood. The harsh component is Creosote, drive way sealer, and will give a nasty mouth numbing flavor to your meat if exposed more than 30 minutes. When adding fresh wood a few minutes of white smoke, 3 to 5, is normal until the wood gets going and turns gray to blue to barely visible. So there you go. Others will add anything I missed and what they like...JJ
    SquareJerBear likes this.
  3. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    With a brisket I let the smoke roll though out the cook. My family seems to like hickory with beef.

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  4. oldsmokerdude

    oldsmokerdude Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Chef Jimmy about covered it all. Smoke is the seasoning that isn't in a bottle, so as with other seasonings it's a matter of personal preference and taste. I would start with a couple ounces of flavor wood and see if that is enough smoke for you and the family. If not, smoke for longer the next time. Even if it isn't quite enough smoke for you, the meat will still taste good. Too much smoke initially and the family may not like it cutting your budding smoking hobby short. As when learning anything new, there are rarely any hard and fast rules; it's a matter of experimenting and trying things until you find what works best for you.
    SquareJerBear likes this.