View Full Version : First ever smoke today

Hank Hill
07-09-2006, 11:46 PM
I've been a bbq lover my entire life, but until today I had never smoked a single piece of meat. Two weeks ago, I picked up a new Bandera at Academy. Finally got it put together on Friday, seasoned it Saturday, and fired it up today. I'm glad I found this site - I owe thanks to several of you for tips on the forums here.

The bbq turned out surprisingly well for my first time. I had a 12 lb brisket, a rack of spare ribs, 3 kinds of fresh sausage from Sprouts, and a fatty (never would have even thought of it myself). No marinade, just a rub of sea salt, coarse black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. I think I went a little too heavy on the salt, but other than that it was great.

I woke up, pulled the brisket out of the fridge, and started my first chimney of lump at 6:30. I picked up one of those wireless thermometers with smoker and meat probes, so I was able to go back to sleep until it told me I needed to adjust the fire. When I got the bandera up to about 230, I threw in some mesquite chunks and loaded up the beef fat side up. I went 7 hours without a peek at the meat, and the temp inside the pit varied from about 175 to 220. After 7 hours, I opened it up, sprayed some apple juice on it, and loaded up the rest of the meat. 3 hours later I took out the ribs and the fatty, wrapped them, and put 'em back in. Another 2 hours (12 hours total) and the beef was 188 inside. I took everything out and put it in a cooler until my 5 man eating/testing crew all made it over about 30 minutes later.

Overall, here's what I thought. Brisket was really tasty and not at all dry. I thought about wrapping it, but it never looked like it needed it so I just sprayed some apple juice on it. I probably could have kept it going at 200 or so for another few hours and it would have been even more tender. Ribs were probably the tastiest meat of the bunch, but it was also the ribs that made me realize there was a bit too much salt in my rub. All the sausage from Sprouts was great, and the fatty was tasty but a little dry (maybe I'll try 2 hours instead of 3 before wrapping it next time).

Overall, I'm definitely hooked...only problem is I have a ton of leftovers to eat before firing it back up again!

Finally, here are the pics of the finished products. Thanks again for the tips!

07-10-2006, 04:56 AM
welcome aboard
those are some good looking eats

07-10-2006, 09:23 AM
Takes Nads to do a Brisket on the first cook.

07-10-2006, 09:23 AM
Nice stuff. As far as the leftovers....buy a foodsaver. It will be your best friend. Just split evrything into snack size bags and freeze them. Pull out a bag when you are hungry and throw it into boiling water for 10-15 minutes and you will have fresh Q.

Did u do the baffle mod and firegrate mod on the bandera?

07-10-2006, 09:41 AM
“only problem is I have a ton of leftovers to eat before firing it back up again!”

Problem? I don’t see any problem. Let me PM you my mailing address. See, No Problem!!!:wink:

Welcome. Nice porn for a first timer….Actually, nice porn for anybody!!!

07-10-2006, 09:57 AM
Welcome aboard Hank, enjoy what you learn and share what you know, it's what we do here. Nice looking eats you got there, has me drooling.

07-10-2006, 10:32 AM
Nice work for a first timer! Welcome to the Brotherhood.

07-10-2006, 10:41 AM
Welcome Hank!! Do you sell Propane and Propane accessories??:wink:

Say hello to Dale Gribble for me. Enjoy the site and post often!!


07-10-2006, 10:46 AM
Welcome fellow Texan. Tell us a little about yourself.


Hank Hill
07-10-2006, 11:04 AM
Thanks for all the response...I love brisket, and figured I'd have to learn sometime so why not now? At $1.50/lb it wouldn't kill me to fark it up (did I use that right??).

Smoker: thanks for the tip on the foodsaver. Some of my leftovers are frozen in ziplocks, but I know freezerburn can be a problem with those. I haven't done the permanent mods yet (I can be patient with the meat in the smoker, but I couldn't wait another week!) but I will. I made a temporary baffle out of foil that seemed to work OK, and I piled some old ceramic tile on top of the ash pan in the corners of the firebox to raise the grate. It still wasn't high enough to avoid having to scoop ashes a couple of times.

Dale Gribble came over last night, but he decided bbq was a little patriotic so he didn't stick around...

Oh yeah, one other thing I learned. Be very careful if you use the new Kingsford Charwood. It sparks like a sumbitch in the chimney and I caught an ember in the face. When I ran out of that I went to ACE Hardware and picked up another brand (don't remember which off the top of my head), and it was much better behaved.

Hank Hill
07-10-2006, 11:15 AM
Welcome fellow Texan. Tell us a little about yourself.


Well, I'm a 30-year old investment analyst, and a naturalized Texan (I'm an Okie by birth). I've always been pretty good on the grill but had never experimented with smoking and now that I have a backyard there is no excuse for that!

Surprisingly I haven't been able to find a really good BBQ restaurant in Dallas so any suggestions are guaranteed to be tried. Almost wept in Austin a few weeks ago to find John Mueller's closed. I lived there for a couple of years and John did the finest brisket I've ever had.

I also have an inherited turkey fryer in my garage that I haven't used yet...might have to wait until crawfish season rolls around again.

Grumpy's Q
07-10-2006, 11:27 AM
Welcome Hank! There is starting to be quite a gathering of bro's here in the DFW metromess.

07-10-2006, 11:31 AM
Welcome, bro! Good lookin' eats, there! Congrats on a successful first cook!

07-10-2006, 12:17 PM
Welcome to the group

07-10-2006, 02:52 PM
That's a might big smoke ring on those fatties! Great job Hank and welcome!

07-10-2006, 04:16 PM

Welcome, my new brother! That was quite the first cook there - congrats on a job well done!

And yeah - your use of "fark" was grammatically correct. <smirk>

I look forward to meeting you down there one day!


07-13-2006, 05:31 AM
Welcome aboard Hank! Good to have another brother in the DFW area.

07-13-2006, 08:10 AM
Takes Nads to do a Brisket on the first cook.

Pretty much my thought, too...

Hank, great smoke; if that's how you're starting, I can't wait to see photos from when you really get going!

Hank Hill
07-13-2006, 08:18 AM
I got the food saver and it worked like a charm...I may never again be without Q!

07-13-2006, 08:45 AM
...I may never again be without Q!

That thought brings a bit of a tear to my eye... right up there with world peace!

[with thick Geogian accent]

"As God is my witness, I'll never be without 'que again!"

07-13-2006, 09:53 AM
Nice looking first cook.

07-13-2006, 09:28 PM
Welcome Brother.

big brother smoke
07-14-2006, 08:40 AM
Nice pics, welcome!

07-14-2006, 10:00 AM
Welcome aboard Hank. Seems like you've learned a lot already. Nice job.

07-14-2006, 10:20 AM
Nice looking first cook.

Why don't you introduce yourself since you are already in Cattle call?

07-14-2006, 11:07 AM
Welcome, Hank! Nice looking food for a cartoon character!

:-D :-D :-D

07-14-2006, 01:22 PM
Welcome aboard Hank! It looks like you have been smoking food for a while. I would have never guessed you have been at it for only a couple weeks. Keep it going man, your doing great!

07-14-2006, 07:07 PM

07-14-2006, 09:00 PM
Welcome to the party and great post.

07-14-2006, 10:43 PM
Welcome to our nightmare. Farkin good looking chit there Brother...