Breaking the seal...the first smoke
It took a couple of months to get my BWS Chubby in, but after a healthy unboxing, I fired it up yesterday. Wanted to share my first smoke and ask if anyone wants to throw advice, I'm all ears.
Went with charcoal briquets (natural, no filler, etc.) and picked up a few types of wood (cherry, hickory, apple). I decided to try two racks of ribs and a shoulder. Thought those would be easier with which to start.
Started a half chimney of coal and put it in the back corner of the firebox, then filled the rest of the box with unlit charcoal. I'm going to try starter cubes in the box next time, as I'm on a wood porch and handling the lit chimney into that small box, that doesn't pull out all the way...seemed tougher that I thought. Any advice on starter cubes in the BWS, or other ideas to avoid the chimney?
Put in water and let it come up to temp with both intakes open. It got to almost 300, so I got it to come back down to 220-240 with just one intake open about a half inch or less. I settled in two pieces of apple wood and two of hickory. One piece each in the fire and two pieces in the unlit section...is that a good technique? Or should you smoke early?
Got about 5 hours out of the briquets. Had the water pan half full and the heat diverter in. And that was with me opening the box and cabinet much more than normal, since it was all new to me. Also, I'm in Seattle and it's close to 35 and was super windy last night. So that seems pretty good. If you've got a lit firebox and you want to add more to extend the smoke time, would you pour un lit on top of the lit?
The ribs came out great, at least for a first effort in my bias opinioned. I didn't wrap in foil or spray with apple cider. Just put on a homemade rub and let them go. After 5 hours the shoulder wasn't ready, but it was getting really late, so I pulled and finished in the oven. (pardon the heresy). Both didn't seem oversmoked and tasted good. But I'll surely be trying a lot of combinations and recipes.
Anyone have tips for handling the ash pan in the fire box easier? It seems weird that you have to lift it up and slide it over the lip of the smoker...vs. some sort of support that it would rest on.
Pardon the long post, but it's nice to finally get to smoking vs. waiting for the shipment. Oh and I have a DIgiQ DX, but decided to try the smoker without it first.
>> BWS Chubby, DigiQ DX2, more to come...