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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 12-31-2013, 01:21 PM   #16
IlliniQ
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Thanks to all of you for the advice and encouragement!

Two follow-up questions...

- Should I inject the butt? (there's something I never thought I'd be posting on the internet...)

- Assuming I'm just smoking one piece of meat, does it matter if I use the top or bottom grate? I'm assuming the bottom grate will be easier to keep warm on a cold day, but wasn't sure if there was a preferred location in the smoker.
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Unread 12-31-2013, 01:23 PM   #17
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I would stick with the butt as well. You biggest enemy is going to be the wind rather than the cold. It will work better if you are able to keep the wind off of it.

I would consider the charcoal grate mod that the others mentioned to be essential. Without it, your coals will sniffing out every 2-3 hours. Also, if you are using the water bowl, get a cheap watering can that has a long spout. It makes putting water in the bowl without spilling on the charcoal (or burning yourself) much easier.

IMHO, the mods that Wampus made to his are better than the ones on the Comcast site.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=104545
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Unread 12-31-2013, 01:50 PM   #18
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Don't bother injecting the butt. It has enough tissue within itself to keep it moist throughout the cook. Top grate will make it easier to load/unload and refuel/water and the temp difference in that chamber isn't going to be much.
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Unread 12-31-2013, 02:05 PM   #19
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I'd skip the water, just cover the water pan with foil to catch the drippin's. It really is just a deflector. The water may stabilize the temps ( sort of), but your going to use a lot more coals in the long run to keep the water pan warm. IMHO. When I modified my bullet smoker I found using a water pan useless, just use it as a drip pan.
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Unread 12-31-2013, 02:26 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebijack View Post
I'd skip the water, just cover the water pan with foil to catch the drippin's. It really is just a deflector. The water may stabilize the temps ( sort of), but your going to use a lot more coals in the long run to keep the water pan warm. IMHO. When I modified my bullet smoker I found using a water pan useless, just use it as a drip pan.
All good points. The water is a heat sink and is for temp stability. It can make sense for me, in Memphis, because of the milder temps, but even I have not used the water pan in my Cajun Bandit for the last several cooks.
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Unread 12-31-2013, 02:38 PM   #21
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All great advice thus far. I'll only add that there's no need to inject a butt as they got enough natural food lube already built in, and watch the wind on your cooker. If it gets windy, make a makeshift wind block with plywood or cardboard or whatever and that'll greatly help keep your temps stable and not allow wind to rob you of heat. Cook the butt till bone wiggles loose and you can stick a temp probe in it like a knife in warm butter. Have fun!
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Unread 12-31-2013, 03:51 PM   #22
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^ That was the only thing I was going to add, my brothers have it covered. A piece of plywood will help a lot -- just make sure you can wedge it between something heavy if the wind blows hard enough to knock it down. I used to use a two wheel dolly backwards to the wind for my COS and would fortify bracing with concrete blocks in harder winds. You're lucky you have a ECB instead of a COS for smoking in winter, mine was murder to get up to temp in winter, never mind maintain.

Here's a couple photos from an unseasonably mild but windy January 2012. The following spring I gave up the struggle and bought a kamado (which rocks for winter smoking!) I had a tent up because it was raining and I didn't want the heat I struggled so hard to create get used up making steam from the rain. Even modified COS smokers really suck in Canadian winters.





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Unread 12-31-2013, 10:59 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IlliniQ View Post
Thanks for posting this - it seems I always find write-ups on modifying the brinkmann with the longer silver legs, but haven't seen anyone specifically showing what to do with the model I've got. This is awesome!
Same Smoker - the longer Silver legs are a mod themselves.
Wind will affect the Smoker more than cold - you can use a drum or trash can with the bottom cutout to go over n around LilBrinkmann for wind break, just weight it down
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Unread 01-01-2014, 06:39 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IlliniQ View Post
Assuming I'm just smoking one piece of meat, does it matter if I use the top or bottom grate? I'm assuming the bottom grate will be easier to keep warm on a cold day, but wasn't sure if there was a preferred location in the smoker.
The top grate is easier IMHO. The lower grate you have to tip the grate to get it past the top grate leg locations.
Once you have a proper coal basket, air control you should not have a problem cooking at any temp. I used mine ( master forge model) year round and never had a problem. I finally got some photos after getting it back from being on loan. It's on loan again I also made a expanded metal ring I would put on the second rack to hold coals for searing steaks and burgers.




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Unread 01-01-2014, 07:36 AM   #25
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Welcome, IQ!

The only thing I can add to all the great advice is to use lump charcoal (or natural briquets) instead of the "usual" charcoal (Kingsford, etc). You'll have A TON less ash (and none of the off-flavors some can detect) to deal with.

Good luck and enjoy! (and diligently search Craigslist for a used WSM!).
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Unread 01-01-2014, 11:33 AM   #26
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Updates???
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Unread 01-01-2014, 01:08 PM   #27
IlliniQ
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Hasn't stopped snowing all day... So I'm holding off til Saturday. I don't mind the cold, but I don't have anything to keep the falling snow off the smoker, and I think it would be too frustrating to do my first smoke in a snow storm. Will definitely post updates on Saturday though.

(In the meantime, making pork/steak/sausage chili in the house today to hold me over...)
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Unread 01-01-2014, 01:56 PM   #28
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here I am complaining that its raining and high 60s here
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Unread 01-01-2014, 02:28 PM   #29
IlliniQ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCQuick View Post
here I am complaining that its raining and high 60s here
Haha - yeah, I think I'd take that about now. It's about 21 degrees here, and I've already run the snowblower twice (which turned me into a snowman from all the wind).

Things are supposed to calm down by the weekend here, though, so I should have temps in the upper 20s and low 30s with no more snow by Saturday. Just gotta get through two days of work and then get ready for a full day of smoking on Saturday.

Your butt is looking great, by the way, JCQuick - been following your thread, and it's making me hungry!
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Unread 01-01-2014, 08:41 PM   #30
IlliniQ
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Since everyone was so quick with the replies and so helpful, I feel bad not having any delicious pork photos to share since it's been snowing for almost 24 hours here.

So, while I was out picking up a few things for my postponed first smoke (got the s-rings and extra grate to keep my charcoal off the bottom of the coal pan - and already had two bags of royal oak lump charcoal), I had some chili going in the slow cooker.

It was a mix of cubed country style pork "ribs," chunks of sandwich-sliced ribeye and a pound of jimmy dean pork sausage. And it was good! Since I have no smoker photos to share, thought I'd give you all a little something to look at until I get my pork going this weekend...





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