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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 09-02-2009, 12:25 PM   #1
B3
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Default My First Smoke... Ever

I've been lurking on these forums for quite some time and joined up a few days ago because I was fortunate enough to receive a small Brinkmann Smoke 'N Grill as a gift. I'm completely new to smoking and my only grilling experience has been on a gasser, so I need as much fundamental advice as I can get (having never cooked with charcoal).

I plan on giving the SnG it's first run this weekend with a Boston butt. Nothing else. I want to keep it simple. I've got a 12# bag of Kingsford Comp. Briquets, wood chips, and the butt. What else should do I need to know?

I'm aware there is plenty to learn over time, but I'm basically trying to avoid being blindsided by the unkown (by me).

Thanks in advance, and count another voice to the many who already praise this community. It's great!
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Unread 09-02-2009, 12:38 PM   #2
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First thing I would do is search out the blue smoke thread, Get the smoke right and a lot of the rest will fall into place. I would also bear in mind, doing a butt right takes time, cannot be rushed. The old saying is 'it will be done when it is done' is very true.
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Unread 09-02-2009, 01:21 PM   #3
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I had a brinkman and wore that thing out....it'll smoke but the only bad is the ash and air problem and its hard to maintain a constent temp. but all in all it's a good little smoker to cut your teeth on..
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Unread 09-02-2009, 01:54 PM   #4
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Ok, so I want "blue and few." I'll be sure to pay attention to that.

I don't plan on rushing through the cook. Because of that, one concern I have is the coal though. How much should I expect to use?
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Unread 09-02-2009, 02:05 PM   #5
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I bouthg an ECB and used it twice and I'm going to take that nugget to the dump this weekend.

I found the UDS thread and will never look back.

There was just too much moneying aroun d with it and I did put holes in the charcoal pan, legs on the outside, and all that other junk.


----edit----
By the way I don't mean to piss on anyones parade, I hope the ECB gets you fired up about smoking meat and you develop a passion and obsession the same way I did. It's a great hobby and the ECB did get my foot in the door.
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Unread 09-02-2009, 02:38 PM   #6
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I use the Smoke n Grill all the time. I use the Minion Method for my coals. I also use a grate in my coal pan so there is a place for ash to fall. Further I do use the water pan with beer & water or other liquids to help deflect the heat and moisten the meat. Because I use the water pan my smoke coming out the top is usually a little on the white side because of the steam.
Good luck and share the pron id not the product!
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Unread 09-02-2009, 03:41 PM   #7
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Butts: get a good rub. I suggest staying away from anything with sugar(s) in the rub early on, because if the heat gets away from you it'll end up burning the sugar which has a gawd-aweful taste. Put that good pepperish rub on it. If you can, inject it with a mixture of apple juice and worchestershire sauce. The apple juice helps break down the fats and adds a little of that sweetness you're looking for. Dont get me wrong, I'm sure I'll get flamed for saying "stay away from sugars". Sugars in a rub make fantastic taste. However, you're learning, and while learning, better to be safe than sorry....

If you can, keep the temps between 220 and 250. A little higher is ok, but dont let it
get away from you. The lower the heat, the longer the cook time. After 4 or 5 hours, you can wrap it in aluminum foil if you'd like. It'll help keep the smoke off of it and save you some wood chips.

Give or take, depending on temps, etc. 8-12 hours and you'll have beeeeeutiful pulled
pork.

Best of luck! Welcome to our addiction.
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Unread 09-02-2009, 03:59 PM   #8
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Thanks Lake Dogs. Avoiding sugar on my first try is just the kind of advise I'm looking for. Like I said, I want to keep it simple.

So, assuming I have an 8 hour cook at 250, how much coal should I expect to use? More than the 12# bag I have?
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Unread 09-02-2009, 05:01 PM   #9
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B3 - Get a couple more bags in reserve ... always. I would season it before putting meat on it first. i have a log burner and treated it just like a cast iron skillet as far as seasoning (Oil it down and heat it up). Use this seasoning time to see what amount of time and # of coals to add. The key is to get her hot and stay in front of the heat drop. If you add when she is dropping, it will keep dropping for a while. If you add when she is at 250, it will stay at 250 for a while.

Also keep the stack wide open and regulate the intakes as far open as possible to keep a fire (Blue Smoke) vs smoldering (White smoke). This means to regulate the heat by the amount of fuel (Coals). Get a temp probe for the meat as you do not want to open the smoker .. drops temp and adds cook time. I take my internal temp to 195 - 200' for pulled pork and do not foil wrap mine.

Hope that helped and practice on your equipment will make the difference. Don't forget to have a beer and fun.
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Unread 09-02-2009, 05:11 PM   #10
Divemaster
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You can actually use Seasoned Salt as your primary rub... IMHO, you really don't need to inject but feel free if you want to... I think you are going to need more charcoal, so pick up a couple of extra bags, it's not like they go bad (unless they get soaked in the rain... Don't ask me how I know this)... and my guess is that you are going to smoke more meat any way so why not have it on hand? You are also going to need a cooler that can hold the butt.

Depending on the size of your butt (I'm not getting personal here), and I do recommend a 'Boston Butt' about 7 pounds, it could take up to 10 to 14 hours when cooked at the temperature I recommend, 225* (just remember one of our golden rules, "It'll be done when it's done") so buy some extra beer and cigars for the guys that are going to stop by... I would also pick up a meat thermometer that you can put in the meat and leave it there... They run maybe a buck or two and is a good start.

Now for the run down of what is going to happen...

1.) You are going to rub down the meat between 4 and 12 hours before you plan on putting it on... This really does nothing but give you something to do because you are going to be to excited... It is also at this point that you could inject it if you wanted... I like the 'KISS' theory so I don't, but again, it's up to you...

2.) Get your charcoal going (without the use of starter fluid please). I like a chimney starter. Also do a quick search on the 'Minion Method'. This should explain how you should lay out your charcoal and wood chips. Another thing, you don't need to over load with the wood chips... A little can go a long way... I would rather have a cook be a little light on the smoke than to heavy...

3.) Once you get your smoker up to temp, put on your pork with the thermometer inserted and NOT touching a bone. I like to cook it fat cap up, some insist it has to be down... Just remember, I'm right... lol...

4.) Keep the cover on the cooker... Remember, if your lookin, you ain't cookin!!! When you notice your cooker temps drooping, Start another 1/2 chimney of Kingsford (I do this because I can really smell KF when it is just starting and don't want that smell on my food. Once it's going, add it to the cooker). It is at this time you can check the temp of the meat. At some point in your cook the butt is going to get 'Stuck', normally between 160-165*. This is normal, and this is when the meat is getting real tender. This period can take a number of hours and is nothing to worry about...

5.) Once the meat gets to about 195* you want to check it... you do this by inserting a fork or steak knife and 'feeling your meat'. It should go in like 'almost soft butter' (NOT MELTED BUTTER, SOFT BUTTER!)... Now is the time to take it off and wrap it in foil, then wrap it in a towel and put it in a warmed cooler (warm it with hot water for 15-20 minutes and then dry it out). Let the butt contemplate the meaning of life there for a solid hour...

6.) Now that your pork has been enlightened, remove it from the cooler and let it rest on the counter for 25-30 minutes. This allows the juices to re-distribute and keep the meat moist.

7.) You have now completed the cooking portion of our program, simply pull the meat with either your hands (it's going to be hot!) or with a couple of forks...

8.) This is the most important rule that I'm going to give you. It's BBQ, and even with how serious we are about it, it's still only BBQ so give your self a break and have some fun!!!! Remember, we don't shut down the site on weekends or holidays so if you have a question, just ask, some one is going to be here for you...
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If it don't come off a smoker, it's just a side dish!

Lang 60 Patio (The Mistress), Black Stainless Lang 36 (Little Princess), Large BGE (Ramona), Big Green UDS (Cottage Cooker), Brinkman SnP Pro (Little Bubba-Retired), 8 Burner Gasser, 3 - 22.5" & 1 - 18" (circa 1975) Weber Grills, & a Weber Smoky Joe.
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Unread 09-02-2009, 05:21 PM   #11
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B3 my advice to you is bbq is all about temperature control. Two things are a must. You have to know the temp of your cooker and you have to know the temp of the product your cooking at all times. Take your pork butt or shoulder. It has to get to an internal temp. of at least 195 or so before it will pull same goes for brisket. As for rubs and sauces well that there is a personal thing. Nobody here knows what you like but you so good luck and feel free to ask all the questions you have to. We're all here for ya.
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Unread 09-02-2009, 05:29 PM   #12
Smokinrubcom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divemaster View Post
You can actually use Seasoned Salt as your primary rub... IMHO, you really don't need to inject but feel free if you want to... I think you are going to need more charcoal, so pick up a couple of extra bags, it's not like they go bad (unless they get soaked in the rain... Don't ask me how I know this)... and my guess is that you are going to smoke more meat any way so why not have it on hand? You are also going to need a cooler that can hold the butt.

Depending on the size of your butt (I'm not getting personal here), and I do recommend a 'Boston Butt' about 7 pounds, it could take up to 10 to 14 hours when cooked at the temperature I recommend, 225* (just remember one of our golden rules, "It'll be done when it's done") so buy some extra beer and cigars for the guys that are going to stop by... I would also pick up a meat thermometer that you can put in the meat and leave it there... They run maybe a buck or two and is a good start.

Now for the run down of what is going to happen...

1.) You are going to rub down the meat between 4 and 12 hours before you plan on putting it on... This really does nothing but give you something to do because you are going to be to excited... It is also at this point that you could inject it if you wanted... I like the 'KISS' theory so I don't, but again, it's up to you...

2.) Get your charcoal going (without the use of starter fluid please). I like a chimney starter. Also do a quick search on the 'Minion Method'. This should explain how you should lay out your charcoal and wood chips. Another thing, you don't need to over load with the wood chips... A little can go a long way... I would rather have a cook be a little light on the smoke than to heavy...

3.) Once you get your smoker up to temp, put on your pork with the thermometer inserted and NOT touching a bone. I like to cook it fat cap up, some insist it has to be down... Just remember, I'm right... lol...

4.) Keep the cover on the cooker... Remember, if your lookin, you ain't cookin!!! When you notice your cooker temps drooping, Start another 1/2 chimney of Kingsford (I do this because I can really smell KF when it is just starting and don't want that smell on my food. Once it's going, add it to the cooker). It is at this time you can check the temp of the meat. At some point in your cook the butt is going to get 'Stuck', normally between 160-165*. This is normal, and this is when the meat is getting real tender. This period can take a number of hours and is nothing to worry about...

5.) Once the meat gets to about 195* you want to check it... you do this by inserting a fork or steak knife and 'feeling your meat'. It should go in like 'almost soft butter' (NOT MELTED BUTTER, SOFT BUTTER!)... Now is the time to take it off and wrap it in foil, then wrap it in a towel and put it in a warmed cooler (warm it with hot water for 15-20 minutes and then dry it out). Let the butt contemplate the meaning of life there for a solid hour...

6.) Now that your pork has been enlightened, remove it from the cooler and let it rest on the counter for 25-30 minutes. This allows the juices to re-distribute and keep the meat moist.

7.) You have now completed the cooking portion of our program, simply pull the meat with either your hands (it's going to be hot!) or with a couple of forks...

8.) This is the most important rule that I'm going to give you. It's BBQ, and even with how serious we are about it, it's still only BBQ so give your self a break and have some fun!!!! Remember, we don't shut down the site on weekends or holidays so if you have a question, just ask, some one is going to be here for you...
WOW!!! What an awesome post for the newbie!!! This right here my friends is the reason this place is the best!!! WTG

Mike
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Unread 09-02-2009, 05:50 PM   #13
Divemaster
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Just remember, we were all new at this at one time or another.

One more thing, it was mentioned before but it is important.

You do need to season your cooker. Get a large can or two of "Pam" and spray it down inside real good, and I do mean REAL good. Get a small amount of coals going and put them into your cooker. Bring the cooker to 225-250* and hold ot there for a solid hour. If you need to add more charcoal, go ahead.

This is going to serve 2 purposes. 1-cure your pit and get rid of any oils used to build it. 2- give you a chance to get used to controlling the temps.

You can do this multiple times and should if she, God forbid, sits unused for more than a month and a half.
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Stockcar BBQ
Race Fast, Cook Slow, and Enjoy Life!
If it don't come off a smoker, it's just a side dish!

Lang 60 Patio (The Mistress), Black Stainless Lang 36 (Little Princess), Large BGE (Ramona), Big Green UDS (Cottage Cooker), Brinkman SnP Pro (Little Bubba-Retired), 8 Burner Gasser, 3 - 22.5" & 1 - 18" (circa 1975) Weber Grills, & a Weber Smoky Joe.
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Unread 09-02-2009, 06:57 PM   #14
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That's a very clear and consise explanation, Dive!!
Thank you for the step by step tutorial for the new smoker in the Brethren!

Would have saved me a few months on the learning curve... how to do it right... the first time.

Should be a STICKIE!!!
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Unread 09-02-2009, 10:22 PM   #15
B3
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Big Jim: I hadn't realized the seasoning could give me a chance to practice temp control. I'll be sure to tend it closely, and I won't forget to have fun. Thanks.

D-Master: Is Christmas early this year? That is more advise than any newbie deserves. I assure you, it is much appreciated. While my butt meditates in the cooler, I'll also make it write your name 100 times on the blackboard.

Skidder: I'm still on the lookout for a digital thermo to stick in the meat that I can view outside the can. I've seen a few digital displays with leads in pictures on the forums. Any idea where I could pick one up?


Well, I've got the coal, a chimney starter, and my PAM all ready to go. I'm going to season/practice tomorrow evening. Ya'll are awesome.
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