question Please HELP !!!

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Original poster
Jan 5, 2014
First of all I am really new at smoking . What really got me interested is I started learning about brining. Ok I see people taking about the 3-2-1 method or the 2-2-1 method and I am lost!!!!! Also if anyone could give me hints on what recipe book I should get so that I know what I am doing would be great! Maybe even one that brines and smokes as I think I like the brining process. My MES 40 arrived today so I need to get very prepared . Thanks all
Have you signed up for the E-Course? It's broken into 5 one days segments which help people get their feet on the ground to start running with smoking. Its kind of a "Smoking for Dummies" and very helpful. I have been smoking all my life and I enjoyed it.

Next 3 2 1 and 2 2 1 are for cooking ribs. If you are new to your smoker, and also new to smoking, I would highly recommend you start by smoking a plain ol'nekkid chicken. Why? Because chickens are cheap, chickens are easy,  and chickens are one of the most delicious things you cam master. Over your smoking career you will be cooking 100's maybe 1000's of chickens, they are just that good. But I recommend you start off plain and simple so you can establish a good base for your future cooking. Down the road you'll learn brining, rubbing, injection, marinating, rubs, smokes, spritzs, mops, sauces, woods, times and temps. AND if you have a good understanding of what a delicious and juicy nekkid smoked bird tastes like you'll not know what each modifier actually brings to the table.

So, me, I'd get a whole chicken, wash it, dry it, put it in the reefer overnight uncovered to slightly dry and dehydrate. When ready to put in the smoker, rub it with plain cooking oil, season inside and out with salt and pepper, pick some aromatic for the cavity (usually a fruit, or herb or veggie), cut and /or bruise and insert. The tie the legs together and you are ready to smoke.

For your first smoke try a high temp like 275 degrees, wood chips are best to be light smoke woods which are normally fruit or nut tree's chips. My favorite is pecan. But if you have hickory, or oak, or mesquite they are ok, but please use a light hand loading the smoker. Too much smoke ruins more cooks than not enough. Be gentle with the wood. It does not require smoke the entire cook. Load the tray it maybe a little light but start easy you can try more next time. You do not need to soak the chips.

the pan in the smoker is a drip pan, MES is not a water smoker, most folks will line the pan with tin foil and fill with sand as a heat sink to help the unit recoup its heat if you open the door. See an electric has to work really hard to recoup lost heat unlike a fireburner, but it holds and maintains the moisture unlike a fireburner, as long as you keep the door shut.

LOL... That's plenty enough to start with.

I highly suggest that you drop by the roll call section in the forums and introduce yourself so you can get the official welcome and learn the secret handshake and password. Don't work they don't bite.

Also I would ask that you take a min. click the "Profile" icon on the above toolbar and let us know who you are and more importantly where you lay your head down at night. It will make a big difference when folks try to help you with your questions knowing basically where you are located in the world.

Remember man has been smoking food since the cavemen, its not hard, its more about having fun. Just relax and enjoy the smoke.

If ya have any more questions just post 'em people here are always happy to help.
Smoker , welcome to our World , hope you enjoy it as much as we do and decide to call this home for all your BBQ needs. Be sure to stop by the Roll Call and get a rousing welcome .

We hope you decide to call this your home base for all your BBQing needs.

Also , please go to your profile and fill - in the location. You may have neighbors near by . . .

Have fun and as always . . .
This should help you...

A full rack of Spare Ribs will take about 6 hours at 225*F...The 3-2-1 smoked rib recipe is a good way to smoke ribs and tends to turn out perfect ribs every time whether you are using the meatier Full rack spare rib or the Saint Louis cut. Baby Back ribs use a 2-2-1 method. The ribs are smoked at 225 - 250 degrees for best results...
The 3 stands for the 3 hours that you initially smoke the ribs with nothing but your favorite rub on them and some smoke with your favorite hardwood such as hickory, apple, pecan, etc. After the 3 hours you remove the ribs and quickly double wrap them in heavy duty foil.. just before you seal them up add some Foiling Juice or Apple Juice and close the foil leaving some room around the ribs for the steam to be able to flow around the meat and the juice to braise the meat which Flavors/Tenderizes it.

The ribs cook in the smoker wrapped for 2 hours undisturbed. There is no need for Smoke at this point... After 2 hours remove the ribs from the smoker, unwrap and place back into the smoker for the final 1 hour, with smoke if you wish.This firms them up, creates a nice Bark and finishes the cooking process. You can add a glaze or sauce at this point if you like. The meat will be pretty close to fall off the bone and be extremely juicy, tender and flavorful...JJ

Chicken is an inexpensive way to get started. Since you are interested in Brining, chicken are the perfect canvas to develop the brine flavors you want. Here are some recipes to get you started. These are popular around here and you can add or subtract ingredients according to your taste...

Here is a Brine and Rub that is a Favorite with members of my Family. I like Apple and/or Hickory with Chicken or Turkey. Measure the Temp in the thickest part of the Breast and Thigh, 165* and 175*F respectively. 275*F is about the best you can hope for in an MES. If the skin is not Crisp enough when the IT is 145*F in the Breast, put the Bird in a 425*F Oven to finish cooking to 165* and Crisp the Skin...JJ

Families Favorite Brine

1/2C Kosher Salt

2T Paprika

2T Gran. Garlic

2T Gran. Onion

2T Dry Thyme

2T Black Pepper

1C Vinegar (Any)

1-11/2Gal Cold Water to cover Chix

1/2C Brown Sugar, Optional

1T Red Pepper Flake Optional

Mix well and Soak the Bird over night or up to 24 Hours.

Remove the Chix, rinse if desired and pat dry with paper towels.

Place in an open container in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours for the Skin to dry.

This will give a crispier skin when Smokng or Roasting...

Bubba Chix Rub

1/2C Raw Sugar

2T Paprika (I use Smoked if I'm just Grilling)

1T Cayenne

1T Gran. Garlic

1T Gran. Onion

1tsp Black Pepper

1tsp Wht Pepper

1tsp Allspice

1tsp Bell's Poultry Seasoning or Thyme

Mix well. You can put directly on the skin or mix with Butter, Oil or Bacon Grease and rub on and under the Skin.

Reduce Cayenne to 1teaspoon if less heat is desired.

BTW...Go over to Roll Call and introduce yourself...Give some info on experience, equipment and your location...It will make helping you  easier
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There is a lot to learn and this takes time and hours of reading. Resist the urge to go too fast and jump into something like Curing and Cold Smoking Sausage before you know every aspect of the basics, safety and sanitation, food handling and the in's and out's of every inch of that smoker. We are here to help so don't hesitate to ask questions...JJ
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