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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 06-27-2013, 03:58 PM   #1
Sweet Daddy-D
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Default Newbee Trials

Hard to think at 58 I'm new at anything, but I am when it comes to smokin'. Been cooking and grilling as long as I can remember, but thats different. Can't say I'm a virgin becasue I did have some unprotected smoke with a cheap Brinkman a few years ago. My exuberance got the better of me and it was a total failure and she ended up in the county landfill. I went about it all wrong, totally blind. But I just unboxed my new WSM 18.5, I've overloaded on research and now I'm ready for the maiden voyage this Sunday, weather permitting. My usual approach is "nothing exceeds like excess" but this time I am taking it slow and keeping it simple. I figure I can alway ramp up. I have decided that I'm not going to season the cooker-read alot about doing and not doing it. I figure by the time I get comfortable, she'll be seasoned. The question is...since I want to start slow and simple, what should I start with? I'm thinking just some spares and some baby backs. The wife loves BB's. That seems simple enough. What do you think? Should I pick something else for the inaugural run? Hoping it doesn't rain!
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Unread 06-27-2013, 04:06 PM   #2
code3rrt
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Yes sir, the BB's or Spares are not a bad way to start. I've also found pork butt if you want something for a longer cook trial. The pork butt is very forgiving, I think even more so than ribs IMO.
But you are on the right track, start slow and use all the advice you can find here and you'll wind up eventually doing some great Q.

Welcome aboard and enjoy the journey.

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Unread 06-27-2013, 04:08 PM   #3
CharredApron
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Go for it BB, or St Louis Style. Most importantly.....Have fun!
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Unread 06-27-2013, 04:10 PM   #4
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Welcome!

Read. Try. Cook. Learn. Post. Comment. Repeat.
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Unread 06-27-2013, 04:15 PM   #5
jimstocks53
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The advantage of ribs is that you won't be occupied for more than 4-5 hours. The advantage to pulled pork is that its hard to screw up - it is so forgiving a piece of meat. I have read of 'newbies' armed with this board pulling off a brisquet but I'd personally advise you get better aquainted with your smoker and temp control first.
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Unread 06-27-2013, 04:16 PM   #6
ironmanerik
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I thought a fatty was mandatory for breaking the seal!
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Unread 06-27-2013, 04:17 PM   #7
Monty1204
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+1 on pork butt
Although my very first ever piece of meat smoked was a brisket
Its really what hooked me.
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Unread 06-27-2013, 04:27 PM   #8
chad
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Gotta recommend virtualbullet.com and the Minion method for heat/fire management.
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Unread 06-27-2013, 04:42 PM   #9
Bigrolltide1877
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The first piece of meat i put on the smoker was a beef roast and man that was not the smartest thing to do but it had a decent flavor but it was just tough. Good luck and have fun cooking.
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Unread 06-27-2013, 05:08 PM   #10
Garrett
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You can alwys start with a simple fattie too.
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Unread 06-27-2013, 05:12 PM   #11
Toast
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+ 2 on the Boston Butt bone in pork shoulder. A good long smoke and it will help season your smoker.

Welcome to the forum!
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Unread 06-27-2013, 05:25 PM   #12
brbogart
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+3 on pork butt, did one as my first attempt last weekend. Took longer than I expected - make sure you have a good thermometer.
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Unread 06-27-2013, 05:25 PM   #13
Lake Dogs
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Please know that your first X number of cooks (X being somewhere between 2 to 15) has more to do with fire and smoke control than it does actually cooking. I know that probably sounds strange, but it's true. Focus on trying to hit and hold a temperature, and finding the temperature your smoker likes to hold. If that temperature is somewhere between 240 to 280, you're golden. Smoke, not billowy white, and not black. Sweet "thin" blue is desired. That also shows you have a very clean burning, usually small, but hot fire. With sweet blue you wont have creosote blackening your meat(s) either.

Understanding this (above), I start with the most forgiving meat of all of them, and that's a pork butt. Bone in, 8-10#. Use a simple rub.

Also, because your first few smokes are about learning how to manage and control your smoker, I've always suggested that you foil your butt after a few hours. The reason (for those who are against foiling) is this: Foiling helps reduce the potential negative happenings to your meat. If you have a flare up; it's less likely to burn or dry out your meat. If you get into an over-smokey situation, your meat is protected. And so on.... Me, I'd suggest foiling about that 3rd to 4th hour.
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Unread 06-27-2013, 05:26 PM   #14
Tizzy
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I think my first outing was brisket as well. Loved it.
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Unread 06-27-2013, 05:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironmanerik View Post
I thought a fatty was mandatory for breaking the seal!
Nope... No... Wrong!

TWO naked fatties is mandatory for breaking in a new smoker!



As mentioned, pork butt is a forgiving cook, but it can take a while. At 275 a pork butt will typically take 75 minutes per pound.

Baby backs or St. Louis trimmed spares are a good compromise. They only take 4-5 hours so you get some practice with fire management.
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