PDA

View Full Version : Just Bought My First Smoker... what next?


DavidJohnson101
05-16-2013, 12:47 PM
I bought a Masterbuilt 40" new generation electric smoker and while I do a lot of grilling I've never smoked anything. I'm excited to learn and is the reason why I am here. I want to take my outdoor cooking to the next level.

My question is this... where the heck do I start? What should I smoke first? Is there a beginners cut of meat I should start with?

marubozo
05-16-2013, 12:51 PM
Start with a pork butt. It's cheap. It's nearly impossible to mess one of those up as they are very forgiving. Although they do take a bit of time to cook. But you can literally cover a butt with almost any type of rub, throw it into the smoker, and come back 8-14 hours later and have some of the best BBQ you can stick into your mouth. Nothing fancy required and as long as you cook it long enough, it will be incredibly moist and tender.

gettinbasted
05-16-2013, 12:52 PM
Pork butt. Darn near impossible to screw up.

Redleg71
05-16-2013, 12:55 PM
Go buy a cheap pork shoulder or two at the grocery.

Brine (soak) it for at least 6 hours or overnight in a solution of apple juice and kosher salt.

Use a simple dry rub to coat the meat before placing in your smoker

Cook at 225-250 degrees with some apple wood chips till internal temp reaches about 190 degress or fork tender.

Enjoy!

SmokinJohn
05-16-2013, 01:02 PM
What they've said. Pork butt or shoulder......

You could also try tri-tip. Less time to cook, and the worst you could do is carbonize it.

deguerre
05-16-2013, 01:04 PM
At least one fatty (In addition to...) on the first smoke is the law.

NickTheGreat
05-16-2013, 01:06 PM
My first smoke was chicken. Turned out "okay." Second was brisket and third was a butt.

I like brisket a little more personally, but butts are far cheaper. Both teach you the lessons of long term smoking and both are quite tasty.

K-JUN
05-16-2013, 01:06 PM
At least one fatty (In addition to...) on the first smoke is the law.

Yes a fatty would be nice.

dajogejr
05-16-2013, 01:07 PM
Pork butt... nearly impossible to screw up...as said time and time again here.
Get a packer pair at Sams club for 20ish.

Trim the fat cap down to 1/4 thicknes, (learning how, what and where to trim comes later)...

Rub the butt in regular old mustard. Yes, Mustard. The enzymes in mustard help break down the meat a little...but more importantly, it helps the rub stick to the butt.

225 to 250. At 190 internal temp start poking it and when you can poke it...and it has the consistency of Jello, pull it off and wrap it.

I like a plastic/seran wrap first, then foil. Buy Heavy Duty Foil.

Place in a cooler with towels, wait 2-3 hours, then pull it.

Being an electric smoker, you should be able to maintain a pretty consistent temp fairly easily.

unfoundfred
05-16-2013, 01:26 PM
I always start a new season with a pork butt and a slab of ribs to fine tune keeping the cooker between 225 and 240. Practice is delicious.

BB-Kuhn
05-16-2013, 01:53 PM
I have the 30". Pork butt works really well in them. Ribs are easy, but don't come out "amazing" like on a charcoal or wood cooker.

Chicken is super good and easy in these too. My main tip is to not oversmoke - it's actually easy to do in the electrics.

For chicken, add a load of chips when you add the meat. Don't refil the chips after this first load. It's more than enough.

For pork butts, you can add chips for the first few hours of a cook, but once the internal temp clears 130-140 there's no point in more smoke - it won't do much good and it could leave the food with a sour bitter taste.

Honestly, as almost everybody here will attest to - practice. You won't turn out the greatest Q the first cook (or 5), but im guessing the first few mistakes will still be delicious if not amazing.

Welcome and good luck!

LIBBQ
05-16-2013, 02:11 PM
I am hoping practice makes perferct cause I rendered my first perfectly fine butt inedible and trash. Going to try again this weekend. Low and slow is how I need to go.

Teltum
05-16-2013, 02:46 PM
LIBBQ - Did your cooker runaway on you?

If you are new to the BBQ game that is a common occurance. Most of the people on here who get new toys normally run them once with nothing in them to figure out how they control temps.

Someone has the how to tell stuff is done. For Butts and briskets - it is when they are probe tender (185+). Chicken is USDA temp in the thick bits of the Thigh and Breast. Ribs... When they pull back from the bone some way (really hard to get a temp with a probe due to bones).

LIBBQ
05-16-2013, 02:53 PM
I basically ranaway from the smoker! I set the Bradley way to high and Ron Popeiled it, set it a forget it. Bad idea. I didn't want to hijack the OP's thread, but hopefully my bad experience will be a learning one for someone else.

Teltum
05-16-2013, 03:16 PM
DavidJohnson101 - One of the front leg roasts (butt/shoulder) of a pig are some of the best beginner Q for long cooks. Ribs, brisket and chicken are all "more" challanging to smoke due to added quarks in their cooking.

DavidJohnson101
05-16-2013, 03:20 PM
I appreciate all the advice, makes the new guy feel welcome. Pork Butt it is, I'll throw in a fatty as well, see how that all goes down. I will keep everybody updated, I can't tell ya how pumped I am!

Desert Dweller
05-16-2013, 03:29 PM
I remember my first smoker more than my first girlfriend. Just get to cookin...

DavidJohnson101
05-16-2013, 04:17 PM
I remember my first smoker more than my first girlfriend. Just get to cookin...
Will do, I ain't skeered! Saturday morning here I come!

dwfisk
05-16-2013, 04:23 PM
Cool, just remember the fatty won't take that long. If your schedule has you up early to get the butt started, you could probably have the fatty for breakfast or brunch, just to get the day off to a good start!
I appreciate all the advice, makes the new guy feel welcome. Pork Butt it is, I'll throw in a fatty as well, see how that all goes down. I will keep everybody updated, I can't tell ya how pumped I am!

buttburnersbbq
05-16-2013, 04:51 PM
Pork Butt is the way to go. But they have changed the name to a " pork roast " Still ask for pork butt.

DavidJohnson101
05-16-2013, 05:01 PM
A fatty for brunch sounds great! Done. I will report back.

16Adams
05-16-2013, 05:05 PM
One bourbon,one scotch and one beer.

But I digress.

First cook:
One small chuck
One small picnic
One small chicken
Two large fatty's.
ABT's

Make that first farkn smoke memorable.
Honestly, people will leave you alone if they think you're "touched"

DavidJohnson101
05-16-2013, 05:05 PM
I can't access the recipe link just yet, any ideas on a good store bought rub? I'd rather make my own though.

DavidJohnson101
05-16-2013, 05:09 PM
Never mind, I guess with that last post I was given access! lol

16Adams
05-16-2013, 05:39 PM
And if you have not already, these three things must be done.

1. Buy a Foodsaver or better vacuum sealer
2. Buy a bigger freezer
3. Start thinking about your next smoker/grill

The addiction is powerful.

DavidJohnson101
05-16-2013, 05:44 PM
I think I may have the big freezer thing down. We have one of those huge uprights in the garage... maybe I need a second one?

Teltum
05-16-2013, 06:29 PM
The pork rub i use is called best odds pork rub. It is an internet recipie at about.com. it has never failed for me. I have a whole tub in my fridge. Since switching to a kamado the bark has not been as crispy so i have to modify it a bit with a touch more brown sugar.

DavidJohnson101
05-17-2013, 11:42 PM
Looks like it may not be happening tomorrow. I have my butts rubbed, wrapped and in the fridge and while trying to pre-season my smoker for the first time, it keeps tripping the breaker every 35 minutes or so. To late to call Masterbuilt. :mmph:

16Adams
05-18-2013, 04:41 AM
I vote box it up and get your money back and buy a Pit Barrel Cooker or a Weber Smokey Mountain. Its a lot more fun to play with fire than with electrical outlets. :-D

ajstrider
05-18-2013, 05:05 AM
My vote also goes to smoking a boston butt and making some delicious pulled pork. They are relatively inexpensive and can be found on sale for $1.00 a pound often. As mentioned due to their size and fat content, they are hard to mess up if you let the temperature get away from you. Though temperature should not be an issue with an electric smoker. You can purchase a nice pork rub off a website, or look for recipe for one off the internet. Just put a bit of olive oil on it, rub it down, and then smoke it.

One piece of equipment that you haven't mentioned is a meat thermometer. There are other ways to tell when your cook is complete as you gain more experience, but to begin with, internal meat temperature is pretty important. You can go buy one for 20 bucks, but I think it is better to just jump the gun and get a Thermapen from the beginning. It will save you the money wasted on a cheaper one.

I think you made a great choice for a first smoker!

BBQ_MAFIA
05-18-2013, 06:31 AM
I hope your electrical issue gets straightened out so you can cook your first Pork Butt.

Good luck with your first cook on your new smoker.

DavidJohnson101
05-18-2013, 07:01 AM
I vote box it up and get your money back and buy a Pit Barrel Cooker or a Weber Smokey Mountain. Its a lot more fun to play with fire than with electrical outlets. :-D

I think you might be right, but I was up at 5 am and tried again. I did get it pre-seasoned last night and so far so good this morning at 225.

DavidJohnson101
05-18-2013, 07:07 AM
I hope your electrical issue gets straightened out so you can cook your first Pork Butt.

Good luck with your first cook on your new smoker.

Thank you, it looks to be going good this morning. I'm using a sweet mix of apple, cherry, peach and sugar maple. I figured since my rub was sweet and spicy that it would go good together. We shall see!

http://www.persuasiveconcepts.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/966960_567489806607923_2078141550_o-e1368878807881.jpg

DavidJohnson101
05-18-2013, 07:13 AM
My Rub:

1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cur Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Paprika
3 tbsp Coarse Salt
1 tbsp Black Pepper
1 tbsp Garlic Powder
1 tbsp Onion Powder
1 tbsp Chili Powder
1 tbsp Cheyenne Pepper

DavidJohnson101
05-18-2013, 01:08 PM
I just pulled them out of the smoker. The bone pulled right out and they smell amazing! I did cut off a small piece before wrapping them in aluminum foil and towels and putting them in a cooler... wow!

I appreciate all the advice! Whats next! lol

http://www.persuasiveconcepts.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/920968_567610963262474_1569904114_o-e1368899886834.jpg

16Adams
05-18-2013, 01:13 PM
nice looking cook. What's next you ask???
Well, you've mastered that unit, time to start watching Craigslist like a hawk and adding to your stable of cookers. Welcome to the addiction.

DavidJohnson101
05-18-2013, 01:18 PM
I agree, the electric smoker made it almost too easy!

16Adams
05-18-2013, 01:26 PM
If you are indeed located where you're avatar lists you are in Craigslist heaven. With vacation homes, universities etc always search Weber Webber, BBQ and its different spellings, pit, offset, charcoal grill.

Make the MB earn its keep. Good luck and thanks for posting first cook.

DavidJohnson101
05-18-2013, 01:30 PM
That's where I am, Colorado Springs, I will take your advice... off to Craigslist!