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Unread 04-15-2013, 11:21 AM   #15
J-Rod
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake Dogs View Post
You'll find lots and lots of techniques, tips, and recipes here to help you get started. Search on. However, I've always been of the opinion that the first few (yes, more than one) should be without "hosting a party", so I suggest having your local pizza delivery on speed dial. I dont want to sound defeatist, but the first few cooks you're going to spend lots of time and effort learning fire and smoke control. Sounds simple enough, but honestly, the devil is in the details. Otherwise there would be no bbq-brethren; there would be no competitions, etc.

I would stay away from unnecessarily low n slow as it tends to smother the fire, makes it tougher to get sweet blue smoke the whole way, could have creosote laiden meats, and just take longer than necessary. Let you smoker find it's sweet spot and cook there; most are in that 240 to 280 range, give or take...

When we talk cooking temperatures, know that we're talking about cooking surface temperatures; not the temperature shown on your external mounted thermometer; they need to be as much as 50 degrees high or low... If you want to know what temperature you're cooking at, get you a $5 oven thermometer at Wally World and set it on the grate next to the meat.

Put only small amounts of wood on your fire, and not wet or soaked wood. Think hot clean-burning fire. White billowy smoke IS NOT good smoke.

If you are trying this, I HIGHLY suggest that you smoke your meats for 3 to 5 hours in your smoker, then remove them, foil them, and put them in the oven for the remainder of the cook (in a pan deep enough to capture their juices). By putting them in the oven you've reduced the likelihood of a flame flair-up or a flame out scenario and you're not constantly trying to adjust intakes, etc. trying to maintain some temperature as you're learning your smoker.

Good luck.
^^^Excellent advice here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
Keep it simple & listen to the meat it knows when it is done.

BBQ RULES FOR SUCCESS


YOU CAN NOT COOK GREAT BBQ ON A CONSISTENT BASIS BY COOKING TO AN INTERNAL TEMPERATURE OR BY TIME ( XXX MIN PER LB) YOU MUST COOK BY FEEL! For Brisket it must pass the poke test(probe like soft butter) Ribs pass the Bend Test, Pork Butts when the bone wiggles loose. These are the only reliable methods to ensure that your cook will be a success. There is one exception to these rules and that is Poultry which must achieve and internal temp of 170 deg in the thickest part of the thigh and 160 in the breast.
As is this^^^. That said, I might consider grilling some cuts instead of doing a long smoke for your first time serving a party. Don't wanna sound negative, but the possibility for a train wreck is definitely there. If you decide to do it though, start EARLY and if you lose temps in the pit after a few hours, pull the meat and foil it and finish it in the oven. It'll still have BBQ taste.
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