Yet another newbie

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Original poster
Jun 9, 2006
Maumelle, Arkansas
Hey all, Craig here from sunny, humid Arkansas. I was given a Brinkmann Vertical Smoker, the low dough variety for a recent birthday. I have gotten it ready to go, complete with a nice level platform. I keep reading about MODS, and the 3-2-1 method, I can't wait to put some of this to use. I have never smoked a piece of meat, other than grilling a hamburger or steak into oblivion for the wife, who wants her meat done, well done.

Thanks for puting together a great forum, and I can only hope to contribute to the knowledge.

Welcome. I'm a relative newbie too. This forum has helped me a ton. This is also the friendliest forum. Good food and good people seem to go together. They willingly answer all my questions. What kind of smoker do you have? I have a Smoke N Grill and have made some modifcations on mine. The gourmet version is slightly different and has it's own suggested mods. I got a lot of good advice and pointers right here. If you have the Smoke N Grill a charcoal grate is highly recommended. I have read that a grate from a Smokey Joe fits good. A grate aroung 11" in diameter is what you need.

Anyway, the experts will stear you right.

Thanks for the welcomes! I plan to season the smoker tomorrow, and perhaps make a run at smoking a roast on Sunday. Why a roast? That is what appears to be the likely candidate without going to the store. I will probably try to get by the meat market this week, and pick up some brisket, and some ribs. I have already been kind of nominated to cook for our annual Fourth of July cookout. So I see quite a bit of smoke in my future, so I don't let the guests down.
Craig, welcome to the Smoking Meat Forum. Roast is good to go with, you don't want on that's too lean or it will dry out on you. Pork butt is another good choice as it is forgiving when you smoker hits a keat spike. Check out the beef and pork forums and see what others have done and how they did it-some even have photos. A great way to learn the art of smoking foods is to check out tulsajeffs' Smoking Basic Course.
I ended up at the meat market with a nice 5.5 lb briscuit. I rubbed it early Sunday morning, and started it around 2:30. I really don't know what I was thinking, by my thoughts that it would be ready at 6:30. We cut a chunk off of it, and that was very tasty, but a bit chewy. I decided to throw it back on for a while around 9:30. I stoked up a bit more wood, and put it on the top shelf, and let it go. I got it out of the smoker around 4:30 AM, granted it was quite black due to having the sauce on it, but I was able to pull it apart with the fingers, and it was tasty.
I think now that I have tried it, and my learning experience told me to start brisket at 0600, to have a good dinner. The next thing that I figured out, was to do the MOD of drilling a set of holes on each side of the charcoal pan. This should allow the air to get the smoker a bit warmer.
All in all, I am halfway pleased with the first run, and look forward to the next piece of meat. I am thinking about making some jerky this weekend. I should have taken some pics of the meat, but at 0 dark thirty, I didn't think about it.

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