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Posted: 5/31/2010 5:26:41 PM EDT
Well, today I took my first shot at smokin but it didn't turn out like I had hoped.






Went and got myself a smoker yesterday.
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This was starting the coals. I wasn't sure what I wanted to start with so I figured a nice picnic shoulder would do nicely.
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I coated it with mustard last night and here it is today with my dry rub on it.
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On the smoker she goes! I left the little pop up sensor in it just for a little help. It popped at about 5hrs. 10min. Going off the standard of 2hrs/lb. This roast was almost exactly 3lbs.



I left it on for another 45min.
Here it is when I pulled it off.
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Looks pretty darn good! Doesn't it? IT WAS AWFUL!!!!


The meat inside was done but the texture was like ballistics gel. The taste was great and it had that nice pink outer ring like I've seen in so many smoked meat pics on here.





What did I do wrong?





Sorry I don't have any pics of it after I cut it open. I was so mad after a couple shots at trying to pull it I pitched it straight in the garbage.






 
 
 
 
Link Posted: 5/31/2010 5:33:11 PM EDT
Bad cut of meat?, I used my smoker for the first time today too. Turned out pretty good. Didn't use a grocery cut, had my wife pick the ribs at a local meat market. We seldom if ever get a bad cut of meat from them. Hit or miss from the grocer though.
Link Posted: 5/31/2010 5:47:08 PM EDT
What temp you running the smoker at?
What temp did you get the picnic up to?

Pork shoulder (butts and picnics) need low and slow, 225-250 for many hours.  You want to convert all the connective tissue to gelatin, and that takes low slow heat.

Sounds like you didn't get the picnic up to a good pulling/shredding temp
Link Posted: 5/31/2010 6:00:29 PM EDT



Originally Posted By marksjeep:


What temp you running the smoker at?

What temp did you get the picnic up to?



Pork shoulder (butts and picnics) need low and slow, 225-250 for many hours.  You want to convert all the connective tissue to gelatin, and that takes low slow heat.



Sounds like you didn't get the picnic up to a good pulling/shredding temp


The "thermometer" on the brinkman was on the upper end of IDEAL for most of the time until around 3hrs. 30min. it started dropping. When it did I dumped the coals and started

with a fresh batch a got going with the chimney. In about 25min. it was back up to the same area on IDEAL it had been running before. I don't know what the exact temp. was but it stayed

pretty consistent. I'm going to go and get an electronic thermometer tomorrow.



 
Link Posted: 5/31/2010 8:26:12 PM EDT
Instead of smoking the entire 5 hours.   Maybe only go 1-2 hours until inner temp has hit a point it's not going to take smoke anymore(160 degrees inner temp?).   Then wrap in foil and let it finish out it's remaining 3-4 hours?
Link Posted: 5/31/2010 9:02:08 PM EDT
I was having the same problem as you are.

My solution, smoke for 3 hours, many folks say meat quits taking smoke after that, wrap tighly in foil and cook for at least 8-9 hours more.  I'm assuming your trying to get pulled pork outa this.  It takes a butt load of time to get the meat cooked enough to pull.  Cook at 225- 250 degrees.  I cook mine to about 190-195 internal temp, always comes out with a nice bark, juicy and pulls apart easily.  I did 2 today butts today, both were perfect.  
about the 10 hour mark check the meat, it's easy to tell if it's ready to pull apart with a fork. If not keep waiting lol.  


Good luck smoking takes awhile to figure out, many websites out there and all seem to contradict each other.    

Link Posted: 5/31/2010 9:23:26 PM EDT
Thanks guys! I did wrap it with foil after I took it off the smoker. Then I left it rest for another hour before trying to pull it.

I'll try smoking it until I change the coals out and wrap it up good then. I can check out the farmers market on Wednesday and

pick out a nice cut to try again this weekend. Maybe I'll try a chicken during the week to practice. A lot better then screwin up

a 10 dollar roast.
Link Posted: 5/31/2010 9:49:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/31/2010 9:55:01 PM EDT by GreenM4Guy]
Link Posted: 6/1/2010 4:31:38 AM EDT
I pour the smoke to my pork butts until 190 degrees and then wrap until temp is above 200 for an hour and remove. It takes a long time at 225 to get a big piece of meat above 200.
Link Posted: 6/1/2010 7:20:48 AM EDT
When smoking, the first thing you need to do it make sure you know your smoker.  If you don't know what temperature you are cooking at then you are wasting your time.  Play with your smoker a couple times with no food on it to get an idea of how it runs.  Monitor it and take notes of temp and how often you check it.  As for switching out your charcoal, once you know your smoker you will know ahead of time when the coals are almost done, so you can have some started in advance and not have your temp drop.   For first timers electric smokers are usually the way to go and they do a great job.
As for the pork, I always smoke mine at 225 at 1.5 hours per lb.  That or when the internal temp gets to 170*.  I then pull it out of the smoker and put in an appropriate sized cooler to "rest" for about an hour or so.  usually the temp will climb to about 185-190*.  Once it reaches the higher temp and has been in there an hour or so its ready to eat!!!
Link Posted: 6/1/2010 12:40:19 PM EDT
Great information all.



I got a smoker this past week off CL for CHEAP.



Needs a temp gauge (missing the one that screws into the door) Will find one soon, once figure out what I need and is best.



So for my first attempt, I used charcoal, with some mesquite chips. Threw a whole chicken in, after putting on the rub and generous portion of butter inside the cavity.



Let go all day. Did not have a mister bottle, so occasionally would pull entire chicken out, dunk in pan of water, they replace inside the smoker.



Did have to add some more wood to the coals, as the charcoal pretty much died out. Just opened the vents to let smoke out so as not to get to much/overpowering flavor.



2nd attempt, I was a little braver, figured would do some Black Angus Burgers and some Hotdogs. (Plus had a Wild Pig Roast I wanted to try for some pulled pork) so in goes the burgers, dogs, and roast. I had the burgers and dogs in there for right at 3 hours. Used hickory chips and chunks.

Took inside and realized not done, threw burgers on gas grill to flame up so could eat dinner. took about 3 minutes.



Wife said burgers were to over powering, I did not think so. Now the dogs are another story. They were over powering.

Left roast on for another 7 hours. Finally pulled it, around 1 am. still was not done. So finished up today in the oven.





Things I have learned from my 2 attempts. 1= success, 1= fail so I am 50/50 so far.



It is a slow process.

Knowing the temp is extremely important.

A charcoal chimney starter is almost a necessity.

Constant/steady temp is a must.

Hickory chips and chunks burn hotter and add a lot of smoke. ( a little goes a long way for flavor)

Wife likes the taste of mesquite better than the hickory.



Looking forward to next attempt with my Great Smoky Mountain Smoker.

Wish I had a mentor.



Looking forward to some more advice/guidance from you all.
Link Posted: 6/1/2010 1:09:02 PM EDT
Did you put water in the bowl in the smoker? I did with my first boston butt, and it came out more "hammy" than "BBQy". Now I smoke without the water and it works great.


buk
Link Posted: 6/1/2010 1:11:25 PM EDT
Good advice in here!  My dad gave me his old smoker (the brinkman like the OP's).  I have it ready to go (it needed some new parts) but I have not quite got the guts up to go for it yet.  I'm still an amateur with my charcoal grill, so the smoker has this For Advanced Cooks Only! vibe going on for me.
Link Posted: 6/1/2010 1:34:27 PM EDT
are you sure thats not a picnic ham? i always thought that when it had the mesh basket lines, it was already cured and cooked.
Link Posted: 6/1/2010 8:43:28 PM EDT





Originally Posted By GreenM4Guy:



you should take a look at www.smokingmeatforums.com theres a ton of good info there. Pork Butt? I let mine go to almost 190 degrees?  Paging more experienced please......


ETA:





Just noticed, You should raise th temp of the  meat cook up to 185 degrees, then remove from the smoke and let rest in an insualted cooler for about an hour then pull. You really cant go by time with BBQ, its all about temp. Every hunk off meat will cook a little different. good luck next time.



Thanks for that link! Tons of great info on that site!





www.smokingmeatforums.com





Anyone else just starting should really check that out.


Also anyone that has the brinkman like mine might wanna look at this site


and do the mods. I have done a few but I'm going to do the rest this weekend.


http://www.randyq.addr.com/ecb/ecbmods.html
 
 
Link Posted: 6/1/2010 8:45:36 PM EDT



Originally Posted By bukowski548:


Did you put water in the bowl in the smoker? I did with my first boston butt, and it came out more "hammy" than "BBQy". Now I smoke without the water and it works great.





buk


I did use the water pan but I used boiling water at the start and again halfway through.

Supposedly using boiling water instead of just tap water keeps you from getting a temp swing.



 
Link Posted: 6/1/2010 8:47:43 PM EDT



Originally Posted By ARinKCMO:


Good advice in here!  My dad gave me his old smoker (the brinkman like the OP's).  I have it ready to go (it needed some new parts) but I have not quite got the guts up to go for it yet.  I'm still an amateur with my charcoal grill, so the smoker has this For Advanced Cooks Only! vibe going on for me.


I would just give it a go! Look at it this way, the sooner we get the fails out of the way the sooner we get great bbq!




 
Link Posted: 6/1/2010 10:08:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/1/2010 10:09:06 PM EDT by supremeweasel67]




Originally Posted By Deaconpyre:





Originally Posted By ARinKCMO:

Good advice in here! My dad gave me his old smoker (the brinkman like the OP's). I have it ready to go (it needed some new parts) but I have not quite got the guts up to go for it yet. I'm still an amateur with my charcoal grill, so the smoker has this For Advanced Cooks Only! vibe going on for me.


I would just give it a go! Look at it this way, the sooner we get the fails out of the way the sooner we get great bbq!


Yep, Going for my 3rd attempt in about 5 hours.

Throwing slab of ribs on to let go for the day.



I am going to use briquets, and lump charcoal for the coal base, and mesquite chips with a little hickory added in for the smoking.

Thinking of just placing mesquite/hickory in the water pan this time instead of actually on the charcoal.



Got a mister bottle and will mix 50/50 water and apple juice, with a cajun rub on the ribs.



Atleast that is my plan.





Hopefully by Nov. I will have it all figured out for Deer camp.
Link Posted: 6/2/2010 7:59:56 AM EDT
As for water for the shoulder or butts, I always add water...well apple cider.  The reason a butt will turn out "hammy" is because the temp.  For a "hammy" chunk of meat don't let the temp get above 165 or 170 and only let it rest for 20 minutes max.  For pulled meat wrap and let it rest in the cooler for an hour so the temp rises to about 190 or so.  DO NOT OPEN THE COOLER until its time
Link Posted: 6/3/2010 5:32:05 PM EDT
I have been using a smoker like the one you have for the past three years I have cooked pork, turkey, beef, chicken and a few other things in it. First off I would have cut more of that fat off of it. Fat and smokers for me do not mix. I have keep my water bowl always with some water in it or it will dry out your meat. It sounds and looks to me like you had to much fat on that pork. Don't worry if anyone tells you the first time they smoked something it came out great there blowing smoke up your a$$!! As my kids about the smoked jerky that tasted like an ash tray .

Don't give up whole chicken and pork ribs I found where easy to start with. Advice if you want to eat the skin on the chicken rub some oil on the bird before the spices and smoking or the skin will taste like shit. Also check the wood your smoking with some wood is better then others I'm a mesquite wood only type of guy! I'm going to be smoking a pork tenderloin roast on Friday for dinner I'll take some photos of it if you'd like? Best part pulled smoked pork enchiladas for Saturday night. Keep up with trying to smoke you will get it soon.
Link Posted: 6/3/2010 7:36:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/3/2010 7:37:58 PM EDT by darkgun]
If your meat comes out dry, you are cutting too much fat off.  The fat slowly melts during the smoking process keeping the meat moist.  Too much of layer of fat will block some smoke from entering the meat though.  The only reason I really add cider or other juice to my water pan is for flavors.  And as for the wood, that can be a personal thing, but not all types of wood go with all types of meat.  Some work well with say pork, while some are terrible.
Link Posted: 6/3/2010 8:07:50 PM EDT




Originally Posted By tayous1:

I have been using a smoker like the one you have for the past three years I have cooked pork, turkey, beef, chicken and a few other things in it. First off I would have cut more of that fat off of it. Fat and smokers for me do not mix. I have keep my water bowl always with some water in it or it will dry out your meat. It sounds and looks to me like you had to much fat on that pork. Don't worry if anyone tells you the first time they smoked something it came out great there blowing smoke up your a$$!! As my kids about the smoked jerky that tasted like an ash tray
.



Don't give up whole chicken and pork ribs I found where easy to start with. Advice if you want to eat the skin on the chicken rub some oil on the bird before the spices and smoking or the skin will taste like shit. Also check the wood your smoking with some wood is better then others I'm a mesquite wood only type of guy! I'm going to be smoking a pork tenderloin roast on Friday for dinner I'll take some photos of it if you'd like? Best part pulled smoked pork enchiladas for Saturday night. Keep up with trying to smoke you will get it soon.
I just finished my 3 rd attempt today.



I had a rack of ribs that bought for Memorial Day but didn't grill them. Turned out great!!!!!!!!!!

Also had some room , so put a Boston Butt in also.



I injected the Boston Butt with Cajun injector Creole butter. Must admit it was also good. Wife agreed as did my little one.



I used a combo of briquettes and lump charcoal for the coal base. I also used a mix of mesquite and hickory for the "smoking". Went lighter on the hickory this time. Filled the water bowl with water and apple juice (No Sugar Added). Mix of water and Apple juice in mister bottle.



I lulled the Boston Butt, and then placed in foil in cooler for an hour. Really didn't make "pulled pork" but sure did make for some good slices.



Think I am going to have to lay off for awhile, before the wife runs over my smoker.

She commented tonight that the whole yard smells like the smoker, and she smells it inside.





Now to find a good homemade BBQ sauce recipe.
Link Posted: 6/3/2010 8:58:48 PM EDT



Originally Posted By tayous1:


I have been using a smoker like the one you have for the past three years I have cooked pork, turkey, beef, chicken and a few other things in it. First off I would have cut more of that fat off of it. Fat and smokers for me do not mix. I have keep my water bowl always with some water in it or it will dry out your meat. It sounds and looks to me like you had to much fat on that pork. Don't worry if anyone tells you the first time they smoked something it came out great there blowing smoke up your a$$!! As my kids about the smoked jerky that tasted like an ash tray
.



Don't give up whole chicken and pork ribs I found where easy to start with. Advice if you want to eat the skin on the chicken rub some oil on the bird before the spices and smoking or the skin will taste like shit. Also check the wood your smoking with some wood is better then others I'm a mesquite wood only type of guy! I'm going to be smoking a pork tenderloin roast on Friday for dinner I'll take some photos of it if you'd like? Best part pulled smoked pork enchiladas for Saturday night. Keep up with trying to smoke you will get it soon.


Thanks Tayous! I just got a whole chicken today and that's going to be the next thing I smoke. If that goes well I'll try another shoulder on Sunday.

I'd really like to see some pic's of your roast as would some of the others here I'm sure. Those enchiladas sound like they might make a nice "Dinner pic"

Saturday night!



 
Link Posted: 6/3/2010 9:06:19 PM EDT



Originally Posted By supremeweasel67:





Originally Posted By tayous1:

I have been using a smoker like the one you have for the past three years I have cooked pork, turkey, beef, chicken and a few other things in it. First off I would have cut more of that fat off of it. Fat and smokers for me do not mix. I have keep my water bowl always with some water in it or it will dry out your meat. It sounds and looks to me like you had to much fat on that pork. Don't worry if anyone tells you the first time they smoked something it came out great there blowing smoke up your a$$!! As my kids about the smoked jerky that tasted like an ash tray
.



Don't give up whole chicken and pork ribs I found where easy to start with. Advice if you want to eat the skin on the chicken rub some oil on the bird before the spices and smoking or the skin will taste like shit. Also check the wood your smoking with some wood is better then others I'm a mesquite wood only type of guy! I'm going to be smoking a pork tenderloin roast on Friday for dinner I'll take some photos of it if you'd like? Best part pulled smoked pork enchiladas for Saturday night. Keep up with trying to smoke you will get it soon.
I just finished my 3 rd attempt today.



I had a rack of ribs that bought for Memorial Day but didn't grill them. Turned out great!!!!!!!!!!

Also had some room , so put a Boston Butt in also.



I injected the Boston Butt with Cajun injector Creole butter. Must admit it was also good. Wife agreed as did my little one.



I used a combo of briquettes and lump charcoal for the coal base. I also used a mix of mesquite and hickory for the "smoking". Went lighter on the hickory this time. Filled the water bowl with water and apple juice (No Sugar Added). Mix of water and Apple juice in mister bottle.



I lulled the Boston Butt, and then placed in foil in cooler for an hour. Really didn't make "pulled pork" but sure did make for some good slices.



Think I am going to have to lay off for awhile, before the wife runs over my smoker.

She commented tonight that the whole yard smells like the smoker, and she smells it inside.





Now to find a good homemade BBQ sauce recipe.


Glad to hear everything turned out good! How does that Creole Butter go with chicken?



Sorry your wife doesn't appreciate the smell of good bbq!




 
Link Posted: 6/3/2010 10:55:01 PM EDT




Originally Posted By Deaconpyre:





Originally Posted By supremeweasel67:





Originally Posted By tayous1:

I have been using a smoker like the one you have for the past three years I have cooked pork, turkey, beef, chicken and a few other things in it. First off I would have cut more of that fat off of it. Fat and smokers for me do not mix. I have keep my water bowl always with some water in it or it will dry out your meat. It sounds and looks to me like you had to much fat on that pork. Don't worry if anyone tells you the first time they smoked something it came out great there blowing smoke up your a$$!! As my kids about the smoked jerky that tasted like an ash tray
.



Don't give up whole chicken and pork ribs I found where easy to start with. Advice if you want to eat the skin on the chicken rub some oil on the bird before the spices and smoking or the skin will taste like shit. Also check the wood your smoking with some wood is better then others I'm a mesquite wood only type of guy! I'm going to be smoking a pork tenderloin roast on Friday for dinner I'll take some photos of it if you'd like? Best part pulled smoked pork enchiladas for Saturday night. Keep up with trying to smoke you will get it soon.
I just finished my 3 rd attempt today.



I had a rack of ribs that bought for Memorial Day but didn't grill them. Turned out great!!!!!!!!!!

Also had some room , so put a Boston Butt in also.



I injected the Boston Butt with Cajun injector Creole butter. Must admit it was also good. Wife agreed as did my little one.



I used a combo of briquettes and lump charcoal for the coal base. I also used a mix of mesquite and hickory for the "smoking". Went lighter on the hickory this time. Filled the water bowl with water and apple juice (No Sugar Added). Mix of water and Apple juice in mister bottle.



I lulled the Boston Butt, and then placed in foil in cooler for an hour. Really didn't make "pulled pork" but sure did make for some good slices.



Think I am going to have to lay off for awhile, before the wife runs over my smoker.

She commented tonight that the whole yard smells like the smoker, and she smells it inside.





Now to find a good homemade BBQ sauce recipe.


Glad to hear everything turned out good! How does that Creole Butter go with chicken?



Sorry your wife doesn't appreciate the smell of good bbq!






Not sure how it goes with chicken.

I did try it one time on a tenderloin on the grill, and I was not impressed.

But using with the smoker, it was good.



My wife likes BBQ, but I have had the thing going since last Sat. , every day.

Guess will have to do trout on the grill for dinner Friday or maybe pheasant.



As a side note:

Not sure if sale is still going on, But Home Depot has Kingsford charcoal briquettes 2 x 20lb bags from $9.

and Sam's Club has lump charcoal 40lb bad for $14.
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