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New to smoking

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by tmeans, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. tmeans

    tmeans Newbie

    First let me start by saying I am new to smoking besides electric.  I have owned a cheap electric smoker made by brinkman.  I just bought a Weber Smokey Mountain today the 22.5".

    What is the best charcoal to use when smoking?   I purchased some cowboy charcoal but is stated it is Hickory, Oak and other wood mixed in.

    I live on two acres and have plenty of pecan wood I could throw in for flavor. 

    When smoking do you leave the bottom vents fully open along with the top or do you adjust the bottom to get the correct temperature you are looking for?

    I am an Oklahoman at the moment but was raised in the midwest in Iowa.  Gosh I sure do miss the hunting back home. 

    The first piece I am going to attempt to smoke tomorrow is a pork loin.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
  2. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the forum! You got yourself a great smoker there.... I love mine. Basic set up:
    • put a solid layer of lump or briquets in the bottom of the charcoal ring, nestle 3 or 6 golfball to baseball sized chunks of flavor wood in on top. (Pecan will work fine, just make sure it is dry and well seasoned). Fill the rest of the ring up with more briquets or lump and top with another 3-5 chunks of flavor wood. If you are using lump rotate the charcoal ring back and forth a couple of differant times as you fill it, this helps to pack it into the ring better.
    • Once your ring is set, light a half chimney of lump or briquets and dump on top in the middle of the ring. For lump give it about 10 minutes, for briquets give it about 15 minutes, then put the middle section on, put hot water in the pan, and put on the lid. Bottom vents should be 100% open and top vent 100% open. Watch the lid therm, when it gets to about 200° damp the bottom vents to 3/4 closed (leave top 100% open), watch the lid therm some more - it should settle out between 225° & 250°. You are now ready for meat.
    • When you put the meat on generally try to put poultry on the bottom if you are using both racks, if no poultry then put whatever is going to cook the longest on the bottom. Once the meat is on put the lid back on and LEAVE IT ALONE! It will do it's thing with no adjustments or anything for at least 10 hrs., around 10 hrs. I like to check the water level in the pan if I am doing a long smoke.
    Couple of pointers:
    • Foil the water pan before you start. It makes water pan clean up sooooo much easier.
    • Here is a mod for some cheap easy grommets for getting probe wires in to each of the grates: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/forum/thread/94076/wsm-mods  
    • Your main weather enemy is wind, not so much cold as wind. Some folks build a collapsable wind block with plywood.
    • Get a couple of probe BBQ thermometers. The ones with a wireless reciever are really nice.... you can carry the reciever around the house with you and set an alarm for various temp. targets.
    • Clean your grates while they are hot.
    • Get a stiff paintbrush or something similar for brushing the last bit of ash out of the bottom of the smoker.
    Hope that helps, and don't hesitate to ask question! [​IMG]
  3. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    First off Welcome TMeans to SMF. You'll like it here for there are alot of really good folks here that would just love to help you with just about anything to do with smoking. Now there are alot of proven recipes for some amazing things here too. So if you need sign up for the E-Course it's free and it will give you the basics of smoking and some good methods to use also. So the next big thing for you to do is go out and get you something to smoke and if you happen to have any questions just post it here and we will be happy to answer them for you.

    Welcome To Your New Addiction      
  4. tmeans

    tmeans Newbie

    Great thanks for the reply.  I started it up today and burned all the new grease and seasoning off it before I first use it tomorrow.

    I am going to try the pecan wood since my yard is full of it and it's free :)

    Got the pork in the butt dry rub in the fridge so now I just wait until tomorrow and we will see how it goes compaired to my old electric smoker.
  5. richoso1

    richoso1 Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    First of all, welcome to the SMF. There is a lot of great informayion here. I see that Johnny has given you some good advise, so I won't add anything. It's all good my friend.
  6. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview. [​IMG]
  7. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Pecan is good, but like I said make sure it is dry and well seasoned otherwise it will create nasty tasting creasote all over your meat and inside your smoker. [​IMG]

    Sounds like you are off to a good start - don't forget to take some pictures for the rest of us to drool over! [​IMG]
  8. tmeans

    tmeans Newbie