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ready for my first smoke and need some help

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mrmosh303, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. mrmosh303

    mrmosh303 Smoke Blower

    i have put the smoker together, cured it with charcoal, and now have the propane hooked up and a pan full of hickory chunks...i have seen the temp hold fairly well at 250-300, maybe a little high, but i think i can control it with a closer eye...and i have sufficiently filled my neighborhood with smoke!! 

    i am now ready...to smoke!! so...my question to you expert, and self thought of experts...what should i do first? what is the easiest to complete first? is there such a thing? fool-proof??

    also...i am using a Master Built dual-fuel 2-door unit...what about things like the vent settings? should they be open? closed? is it something that should be monitored through the process and open and close for certain results??

    i do have a probe thermometer, and will be able to monitor meat temp without opening the locker...and i will be trusting the door thermostat, but i will be getting a more reliable way of checking temp inside the locker...any suggestions on a way to monitor that would also be appreciated...

    i am sure my excitement has come through in this post...and welcome all tips, tricks and comments...

    looking for that smoke ring will be my new goal

  2. dewetha

    dewetha Smoking Fanatic

    to me, a Boston but is easiest. it's hard to mess up. however Chicken is cheaper to learn with. 

    it's always best to open the top vents to allow smoke to exit clearly. use the bottom vent to control temps.

    don't worry about the temps. like most things 225 is the goal but if your dialed in at a steady temp of 240. just go with it. it's best to have steady temps vs the actual target temp. close is actually good enough.

    enjoy some good food and have less stress :)
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  3. Congratulations on your new smoker.

    I would start with chicken. It is cheap and will take wide temp swings. It is also tasty.

    Practice temp control and have Patience. Keep the door closed.

    Post some Qview.

    Happy smoken.

  4. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Welcome to the SMF and enjoy your first smoke. My 2 cents is to do something cheap...like chicken quarters...to get some smoky grease on the insides for seasoning. A 10 pound bag around here is about 7 bucks. If you screw it up no harm, no foul. They are usually tough, being older birds, but serve a purpose in breaking in a new unit. If you wish you could also do a whole bird, cheap enuf at about 1 buck a pound, to give you something to eat later. Then I'd suggest a pork butt which is nice & fatty inside and very forgiving if you make an error. Top vent (exhaust) is full open all the time to let stale smoke out....bottom vents I'd start with half open vents for the propane, observing the flame. Yellow, no good...blue = good air flow. Vent use for charcoal is trial & error on your part to get it to maintain a temp. Make small incremental adjustments on the lower vent, taking notes and monitoring temp swings. After a while & a few smokes you will know just about exactly how much to open or close the vents. The therm is probably useless, they are usually off by a lot...although sometimes not. Good luck and enjoy the ride.....Willie
  5. mrmosh303

    mrmosh303 Smoke Blower

    great responses!! i tried to like them all, but i guess there is a limit on how much i can like, which will be hard for me since i like everything i learn!!

    i think it will be chicken!! i will pick up a couple of whole birds, and hope it looks like a case at CostCo when it is all done...and all the help with the vents is also great info that will be learned

    thank you again, i will post some pics as i go through this learning curve...i post almost every meal i cook on FaceBook anyways, so that is the easy part

    smoke on, my new friends...

    and by the way, how is there no Colorado Club on this forum yet??
  6. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Some ideas..... Start with chicken, with only salt and pepper. Maybe an fruit or veggie in the cavity. Do a light smoke, extremely light smoke. What this does is give you a good base to judge what you do in the future upon. It will be a delicious chicken and for then on you'll try different applications seeing what you like and don't like. But start nekkid so you know what it tastes like without marinading, injecting, brining, rubbing, exotic woods, high temps low temps, basting, spritzing, mopping, etc etc etc......

    A simple nekkid chicken lightly smoked is without a doubt what I would recommend. Then you can add more next time, you can try brining, or anything else you'd like. when you get some birds done and happy with where're at, then move to the easier ribs or butts, then there is always a brisket. But chicken are cheap and a great indicator of what the different smoking modifier change in the flavor as well as the meat density.

    I already know you are going to love it. Make sure and check out the wicked beans and Mac & Cheese recipes too. The bride will be more happy in a nice cool clean kitchen.
  7. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Figure they are always in the mountains huntin.......
  8. mrmosh303

    mrmosh303 Smoke Blower

    i will learn how to pick out one line of this soon...but you said a fruit or veggie...i will use an apple...and just some salt and pepper...

    again, thank you for your suggestions...i will post qviews as soon as i do
  9. I would go pick up some Pork Ribs, side ribs, St Louis cut.  Marinate those ribs, use some Apple Juice, Apple Cider Vinegar, some oil and any spices that you fancy. Marinate those ribs for 24 to 36 hours, then the night before you smoke them, take them out of the Marinade, and rinse them of under running water.  Apply a glue, I use Honey, some folks use Mustard, then your Rub.  There are a million Rub recipes on this site, choose one and run with it, you can always change it. Wrap these individually in Plastic Wrap; put these in the fridge overnight.

     The next morning, remove from the fridge, unwrap and apply more Rub if needed. Leave these to come to room temperature; then you go do what you need to get the smoker up to 225 degrees.  Once 225 is obtained, Put the ribs in and a 3 – 2 – 1 cook, where for the first 3 hours, it just the ribs in there, full smoke. Then after the first 3, take ribs, wrap in aluminum foil, add Apple juice and anything else your heart desires.  Put back in the smoker, no smoke needed, unless you’re doing other things that need it, still 225 degrees. leave these wrapped ribs for 2 hours in the smoker.  At the end of 2 hours in foil, remove foil, place back in the smoke 225 degrees, about 1/2 hour later, apply any BBQ sauce or take to hot grill and apply BBQ sauce

  10. mrmosh303

    mrmosh303 Smoke Blower

    thanks...that sounds great!! and i was wondering what everyone meant in other threads about 3-2-1...now i know
  11. Chicken and ribs are the best things to experiment with. You mentioned you had a dual fueled smoker, what is that?

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  12. wes w

    wes w Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sounds like everyone has you pointed in the right direction.

    I'd also add you'll need a good therm.  Food safety is always first.  Yardbird must go from frig to 140 in under 4 hours.  Don't want anyone getting sick.   

    This site is full of food safety tips.   Just use the search bar for anything you need to know.  If you can't find it, just ask.

    You'll love smoking.  I'd smoke everyday if I could.  My rule of thumb. " You can't fire the smoker without beer.  It just won't burn right if you don't"
  13. mrmosh303

    mrmosh303 Smoke Blower

  14. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Go to go..... break that sucker out, set it, season it.... and its party time!
  15. Still in the box, WTF?   Get that baby out, season it and Rock On.  Watch for meat deals in your local flyers and have fun making some of the best eats you can make and consume.  And most of all, Have Fun doing it.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
  16. mrmosh303

    mrmosh303 Smoke Blower

    Oh, no, Pall...it was in the box long enough for the picture! It now has a chicken in it @225*...
  17. mrmosh303

    mrmosh303 Smoke Blower

    going to update because i have that kind of time...

    little more than 2hrs, temp holding between 225 and 300...according to the door gauge, since i do not have a better probe yet...

    smoke has been good, adding chunks of hickory and they turn to ash...

    one thing i have not touched on, and i am sure i will get a response...i have been keeping the water pan full, or close to it...hope that is correct...

    have only opened the big door once, at about 2hrs, internal temp about 120, and it was dark brown, and looked great...dammit i am hungry...
  18. mrmosh303

    mrmosh303 Smoke Blower

    i forgot to say...i did shove a cored apple in the cavity
  19. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Be careful and don't over smoke, hickory is a hard smoke and can be quit bitter if over applied.
  20. mrmosh303

    mrmosh303 Smoke Blower

    right on...thank you...and actually, it started as mesquite, but i just had a few chunks of that...the hickory has been just for the last little bit, and two chunks of it