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AxeBreaker
Jan 1, 2005
Who fucking cares?



Those homemade power controllers look like they have some nice features, but they don't seem to be any cheaper than the cheapest commercial ones. Of course they have as many features as the really expensive models (CyberQ, Stoker) by man is that a lot of effort to get there.

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Astronaut Jones
Oct 18, 2007
Destination Moon

AxeBreaker posted:

Those homemade power controllers look like they have some nice features, but they don't seem to be any cheaper than the cheapest commercial ones. Of course they have as many features as the really expensive models (CyberQ, Stoker) by man is that a lot of effort to get there.

I suppose it depends on if you're a DIY kinda guy.

AxeBreaker
Jan 1, 2005
Who fucking cares?



I am but not with a soldering iron.

I kind of want to teach a class on barbecue where I work, but I only own vertical charcoal smokers. I want to try some other smokers, mostly ones that I could honestly encourage people to buy without breaking the bank or requiring lots of mods. That, and a couple to help people tame their ill-advised purchases of ECB's and cheap offsets. I have a ECB, so I can give people advice about that although it's pretty much just drill some holes, or better yet, don't buy them.

Still looking for a propane smoker. Cheap build quality I expect, but it seems like everything in my price range is just a little too small inside. I might order the Masterbuilt 40" but I'd still rather buy used. People just don't sell propane ones like they do cheap offsets and ECB's. I suppose an alternative would be to propane mod my brinkman but i think it's an out of round, air leaking lost cause.

A cheap offset is probably next on the list, they pop up on craigslist pretty regularly.

About electrics I have no clue, they're hardly barbecue in my opinion but people like em. My wife kinda wants to do low temp stuff, tofu and dried veggies, so that might work. Maybe I will try to catch a sale on masterbuilt's at the end of the season.

I need a bigger kettle too, those pop up on craigslist all the time. Masterbuilt is also making a 26" kettle for about the same price as a Weber 18". It won't last forever, but you could probably make a lot of indirect chicken and ribs in the meantime, let alone normal grilled food.

The only thing kamodo like in my price range is the Char Griller Akorn cooker, which Lowes is selling now.

Of course, if I get any of these I'll have to put the Brinkmann, my 18" Weber kettle, and possibly my Smoky Joe, up for sale.

Or I could do some crazy poo poo like build a smoker out of a fridge from my father-in-law's backyard.

Ornithology
Jan 28, 2011


A few questions, since I'm about to purchase this beginner smoker: Master Forge Charcoal Smoker from Lowes.

What tools will I need to start my first smoke, other than charcoal and wood? Do I need some kind of charcoal starter (I was raised with propane)? Is a new thermometer absolutely necessary and if so, what type?

Is pulled pork a good thing to try my first smoke or is something with shorter cook time like chicken or ribs much easier for a beginner?

Finally, do you guys have any good bbq sauce recipes you like to use? What buns do you recommend for pulled pork sandwiches? I think the traditional is just plain white bread but I had a sandwich on a nice sweet brioche bun and it was delicious.

Phummus
Aug 4, 2006

If I get ten spare bucks, it's going for a 30-pack of Schlitz.

MoosetheMooche posted:

A few questions, since I'm about to purchase this beginner smoker: Master Forge Charcoal Smoker from Lowes.

What tools will I need to start my first smoke, other than charcoal and wood?
Do I need some kind of charcoal starter (I was raised with propane)?

You'll want a chimney style starter. They look like a giant coffee can with a handle.

MoosetheMooche posted:

Is a new thermometer absolutely necessary and if so, what type?
You should have two thermometers. One to keep track of the air temp in your smoker and one to read the temp of your target meat. Your smoker may have a thermometer on it, and it will probably work for your first couple of smokes, but they're not to be trusted.

MoosetheMooche posted:

Is pulled pork a good thing to try my first smoke or is something with shorter cook time like chicken or ribs much easier for a beginner?

I did a pork shoulder for my first smoke. It took almost 10 hours. But smoking isn't about instant gratification. I'd say the pork is just fine for a first trip.

MoosetheMooche posted:

Finally, do you guys have any good bbq sauce recipes you like to use? What buns do you recommend for pulled pork sandwiches? I think the traditional is just plain white bread but I had a sandwich on a nice sweet brioche bun and it was delicious.

Check for a local bakery that makes soft rolls. Much better than white bread or grocery store buns.

AxeBreaker
Jan 1, 2005
Who fucking cares?



http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/cook.html#beginner

I would try those before trying a long cook like butts. They are shorter and easier to do, and they season your smoker so that the inside surfaces become matte and it runs cooler.

Your smoker's instructions probably tell you to do a dry run anyway, to drive out any nastiness from the paint. Mid-price and expensive smokers usually don't have this step but cheap ones do.

You should look at the smoker setup instructions at amazingribs.com, for whichever type of smoker you have (I think it's a vertical water smoker, but I don't know everything they make for Lowes).

Seconding the thermometers- get a maverick or two oven thermometers, the difference can be 50 degrees.

PuTTY riot
Nov 16, 2002


Phummus posted:

You'll want a chimney style starter. They look like a giant coffee can with a handle.

You should have two thermometers. One to keep track of the air temp in your smoker and one to read the temp of your target meat. Your smoker may have a thermometer on it, and it will probably work for your first couple of smokes, but they're not to be trusted.


I did a pork shoulder for my first smoke. It took almost 10 hours. But smoking isn't about instant gratification. I'd say the pork is just fine for a first trip.


Check for a local bakery that makes soft rolls. Much better than white bread or grocery store buns.

can you use a probe thermometer to measure ambient temp? For some reason I'm not sold on the maverick, but would jump on something like this


edit: I did a brisket first, then a turkey, then a butt. Wish I did the butt first in hindsight, the first brisket I did was awful, probably because I couldn't not look at the meat every 30 minutes. On that note, don't open the smoker unless you have to, you're just making the food take longer.

PuTTY riot fucked around with this message at Apr 18, 2012 around 21:32

mds2
Apr 8, 2004

Merry Christmas, from Cyklone

TECHNICAL Thug posted:

can you use a probe thermometer to measure ambient temp? For some reason I'm not sold on the maverick, but would jump on something like this

Get the maverick. I used one for years in competitions with no problems. And I've thrown several of those cheaper ones in the trash. I've been meaning to buy the newer maverick but I don't smoke enough anymore to justify it.

Nosthula
Mar 23, 2009


MoosetheMooche posted:

What tools will I need to start my first smoke, other than charcoal and wood? Do I need some kind of charcoal starter (I was raised with propane)?

Chimney style starters work fine, but I've switched to using a small propane or butane tank with one of these attached:
http://www.thebbqguru.com/pdf/Guru_Golf_Club.pdf

You could buy the device but if you are the DIY type it would be a pretty easy project.

niss
Jul 9, 2008

the amazing gnome

Nosthula posted:

Chimney style starters work fine, but I've switched to using a small propane or butane tank with one of these attached:
http://www.thebbqguru.com/pdf/Guru_Golf_Club.pdf

You could buy the device but if you are the DIY type it would be a pretty easy project.

I'll use a chimney starter for briquette, works amazing, thought I hardly ever use briquettes. For natural lump I just use wax starters, the kind I get come in 1"x1" squares, but I quarter those and it is more than enough to get the coals going. Quartering them makes them last forever as well.

AxeBreaker
Jan 1, 2005
Who fucking cares?



Anybody done faux pastrami using corned beef round as opposed to flat? Debating whether to crock-pot or smoke one I got half off Sunday.

Also considering a 20$ weed burner from harbor freight.

AxeBreaker fucked around with this message at Apr 21, 2012 around 06:21

kwantam
Mar 25, 2008

-=kwantam


AxeBreaker posted:

Also considering a 20$ weed burner from harbor freight.

Do it.



Also, if you buy fire bricks you can build a muffle and use the torch to harden steel!

AxeBreaker
Jan 1, 2005
Who fucking cares?



Haha, I was more thinking:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKKDWbfCm-w

AxeBreaker
Jan 1, 2005
Who fucking cares?



I started my corned beef "pastrami" a couple of hours ago. I kinda had some speedbumps though- I couldn't quite tell when my coal was lit enough with my new HF weed burner, and the pit probe on me guru kept wiggling out of it's seat on the end connected to the box. It read like 90 degrees or HI alternately, and I ended up opening the door on my WSM to see if it was lit. This was a bad move, because once I did get everything seated correctly it read 290 and took two hours to get down to 230, where I made a damper adjustment (I have the 10 CFM fan, it can let too much air in so I usually have to close it)and quickly got it to 225 where it is staying thanks to the guru.

I also went to Bass Pro Shops and took a look at the Masterbuilt GS40 It does look a bit cheap but no worse than any of the other propane smokers I've looked at, although admittedly those were all cheap.
It is a lot wider than any other cabinet smoker I've looked at, and I certainly wouldn't have to cut any racks of ribs to fit a bunch in there. The chip pan looked like it would need instant replacement and it probably needs one of those needle valves to turn the heat down too.

I dunno, I still wanna get one, despite people dissing on them. I'd rather my pork be a little bacony than have no smoke ring like electrics tend to do.

nominal
Oct 13, 2007

I've never tried dried apples.
What are they?


Last page somebody was talking about the Alton Brown flowerpot smoker. I am a smoking newbie really, so keep in mind that it is quite likely that even after reading about anything I can get my hands on regarding smoking, I probably only have a vague idea of what it is I am actually doing.

I just did a "test run" on my terracotta smoker last night, in preparation for a party I'm having next weekend. I figured I should give it a go doing a little crappy brisket for a couple people rather than serve lovely pork to twenty. I'm really glad I didn't leap right into putting this smoker in prime time, because holy crap were there a lot of bugs to work out. That being said, the brisket ended up turning out fairly delicious, for a first attempt. But if I could do it all over again, I'd probably just buy an actual smoker.

Finding a "lid" for an 18" terracotta pot is impossible. At least in this town, it is. If I went with a smaller size pot on the bottom it probably would have been much easier, but then I would have had other problems, like finding a grill grate to fit and I'm not sure my hotplate would have fit down in there either (note: actually it probably would have if I wasn't an idiot, but more on that later). I ended up just buying another, identical 18" pot and putting that on top. I was hoping for something a little shallower, based on the half-baked and quite likely wildly inaccurate theory that a low top would provide more even heat for the meat. I really doubt it made any difference anyway on this particular first attempt since I repeatedly had to keep taking the lid off and shutting the entire thing down to dick around with the hot plate.

The hotplate itself... required some work. The model I bought from Meijer could basically get the interior temp of the smoker up to about 150 before shutting off. It has no real thermostat to speak of, basically just a piece of metal inside that bends as it gets hot, then pushes a few contacts apart, shutting the hotplate down. Okay, so I bent the poo poo out of that, which kept the plate on, and got my temps past the 150 point, but also had the side effect of blowing the safety fuse inside the hotplate. So I bridged that (safety? ha!) and then the plate turned into a loving heat monster and got my interior temps up in to the mid 300s. Of course, the knob melted off and the power LED also melted. Much of this could have been avoided by me not being a dumbshit and putting THE ENTIRE HOTPLATE in the bottom of the smoker. Definitely just take the thing apart, only have the heating element inside the pot and the rest below and you won't have to deal with the thing shutting off and melting and whatnot. Of course, this created another problem: I don't want 300+ degree temps in there, I want something in the low to mid 200s. I didn't really feel like standing around and periodically turning on-and-off the hot plate as needed, so I ended up hooking it up to a temperature controller that I already happened to have laying around for homebrewing. After tweaking that for a good long while (probe placement vs. heat setting) I had the internal temp near the grate fairly stabilized at about 220. But then there's the problem of my brisket, from being gently caress-off hot earlier, dripping grease onto my wood and causing it to catch on fire. Guess I'd better stop (again) and make a drip pan! While my wife was distracted I took our 9" baking pan, drilled 4 holes in the lip around it (because hey, it's still functional as a pan, right? I'm sure the wife won't mind once she tastes delicious brisket!), and suspended it from the cooking grate with some hooks I fashioned by chopping up and bending a coat hanger.

Throughout this process I had my dutch oven in the stove set for 275F so I could juggle the brisket from the smoker to the oven so it'd still get heat while I was working on smoker issues. Otherwise, I probably would have eaten at about 3AM. As mentioned before I was actually pretty happy how the brisket turned out, despite all the problems. The outside was a little dry but the interior was still nice and juicy. The meat was fairly tender but for brisket I think it definitely should have been even more so. It was definitely still very tasty, and even though it probably only got about 3 hours total in the smoke I think it was almost just a hair on the too-smoky side. Next time longer, lower heat, slightly less wood, and maybe wrapping it in foil after 3 or 4 hours would end up making some pretty good meat. I think.

All told:
$60 ($30 a piece) for 2 18" terracotta pots
$15 circular grill grate
$15 hot plate
$10 9" square improvised drop pan
$15 (on sale) digital thermometer with remote unit (this was awesome and even sort of almost still works at the other end of the house from the smoker)
$84 (optional?) temperature controller
-----
$199

...which is probably about the price of a cheap electric smoker.

Next Saturday I'll be doing a bunch of pork shoulder on this, so we'll see how that goes.

Jo3sh
Oct 19, 2002

Like all girls I love unicorns!

I've been smoking things in Brinkmann water smokers for a few years now. I want to step up a level and take ribs and pulled pork to the next level.

The other day at Costco, I drat near bought a Traeger pellet grill. A little poking around has shown that there are some pretty terrible recent reviews of them, though, attributing issues to Chinese manufacture and poor quality control.

I really would like to have some kind of set-it-and-forget-it control, but I am also not averse to buying some drums and welding something up, using an off-the-shelf pit controller.

So what's the right move? Traeger? Homebuilt? (I'm not really that nerdy that I want to build my own controller, though) Big Green Egg? Cabinet smoker?

crazyfish
Sep 19, 2002



I got super lucky with my smoke this weekend. The wind was blowing at something stupid like 25 mph, and my WSM doesn't do very well in the wind. I stopped in at Harbor Freight and picked up a welding blanket, wrapped it around my WSM, and wound up with this:



Given the ludicrously high winds, this rig did quite well. The two pork shoulders were about 150 after 11 hours at 200-225ish (the temp wasn't as steady as I wanted) and the brisket was around 160. The best part was the fuel. There was enough left in the smoker to go at least another 5 hours, which is a lot more than I could say the last time the wind was super nasty. At that point I Texas-crutched them in the oven and brought them over to a friend's house around 2. Unbelieveably delicious, and now I've got about 5 pounds of leftover pork to make chili with

Alleric
Dec 10, 2002

Rambly Bastard...

Jo3sh posted:

I've been smoking things in Brinkmann water smokers for a few years now. I want to step up a level and take ribs and pulled pork to the next level.

The other day at Costco, I drat near bought a Traeger pellet grill. A little poking around has shown that there are some pretty terrible recent reviews of them, though, attributing issues to Chinese manufacture and poor quality control.

I really would like to have some kind of set-it-and-forget-it control, but I am also not averse to buying some drums and welding something up, using an off-the-shelf pit controller.

So what's the right move? Traeger? Homebuilt? (I'm not really that nerdy that I want to build my own controller, though) Big Green Egg? Cabinet smoker?

For true true true set-and-forget, you'll want electric. To me, at the moment, that's Bradley and Masterbuilt. I own bradley, brother-in-law runs a Masterbuilt since this past december when he made the switch from an offset.

Nothing says you couldn't build your own electric as well. People have totally done it (in fact one of the biggest first-mods of a Bradley is to wire in a second heating element, but honestly I think those people just open the door too drat much. ).

Jo3sh
Oct 19, 2002

Like all girls I love unicorns!

Cool, thanks for the input. I will look into those two brands and see what grabs me. A friend had an electric Brinkmann and he said it burned out elements on a pretty aggressive schedule; obviously, the cheap smokers are built to a different standard, but how has element life been for you and your BIL?

PuTTY riot
Nov 16, 2002


Jo3sh posted:

Cool, thanks for the input. I will look into those two brands and see what grabs me. A friend had an electric Brinkmann and he said it burned out elements on a pretty aggressive schedule; obviously, the cheap smokers are built to a different standard, but how has element life been for you and your BIL?

I've had a ECB electric for a few months now, knowing that I am a BBQ heathen and also wanting an easy intro into smoking. I have to say, I really really like it. I wish it was better insulated and that I could control the element, but it does a great job of staying at 225, and I managed to knock over the water bowl while halfway through a brisket (I was trying to pull it out to wrap it in foil, and it was sticking to the side of the smoker). I managed to burn my wrists from the huge steam plume, and probably killed all the heat in there, but the electric element still works fine. Definitely throw out the lava rocks that came with it though, they are crap. Also, the instructions say to put the lava rocks under the element, put them on top of the element so you don't have to worry about wood touching the element.

AxeBreaker
Jan 1, 2005
Who fucking cares?



I did some amazingly ill timed (I.e i started spares at 4:00) ribs this Sunday, and I gotta say I now want a wide-rear end cabinet smoker just so they can lay flat. One week until I get paid, and that 200$ Masterbuilt wide-rear end gasser is looking good. I tried getting away with only half a ring of charcoal on my WSM, and had to unstack midway. I also had to roll my ribs, and got impatient and foiled them. This ended up with them being really tender, and getting sort of mangled. One fell in half when i un-foiled it, the other two had bones pop out or got big rips, It didn't matter much after I got them sauced and grilled them a bit to sizzle it on, after that they were drat tasty.

I just cannot go as lazy as electric. Some days I'm too lazy for charcoal, but I need some fire involved.

Alleric
Dec 10, 2002

Rambly Bastard...

Jo3sh posted:

Cool, thanks for the input. I will look into those two brands and see what grabs me. A friend had an electric Brinkmann and he said it burned out elements on a pretty aggressive schedule; obviously, the cheap smokers are built to a different standard, but how has element life been for you and your BIL?

I've had my electric for 3 years, and left my offset to my BIL in another state when we moved. I've had only one maintenance issue in my time with the Bradley, and that's opening up the puck feeder and cleaning it. Moisture + wood chips = gunked up feeder paths once a year. It's no big thing at all. The feeder literally hangs off of the side of the main chamber so just pop it off, brush everything out, make sure the feeder mechanism can move freely, and done. No element issues to speak of.

AxeBreaker
Jan 1, 2005
Who fucking cares?



Bradley smoke generators don't generate enough heat to hot smoke, right/ I'm thinking the "turn anything into a smokehouse" product, not the propane/electric heater with the big silver cover.

Niagalack
Aug 29, 2007

No half measure.

Hello savvy smoker's , I just bought a BBQ ( Napoleon p450rbnss-9 to be precise ). Now I am wondering if it's possible to smoke a brisket? I also bought a tray that I can put charcoal in it but I have never cooked with charcoal so far.. Any tips or recommendation is appreciated. Am I dumb for even thinking of trying? I wanted to buy a smoker but my budget went into the BBQ and now the family council ( WIFE ) will not approve one.

Alleric
Dec 10, 2002

Rambly Bastard...

AxeBreaker posted:

Bradley smoke generators don't generate enough heat to hot smoke, right/ I'm thinking the "turn anything into a smokehouse" product, not the propane/electric heater with the big silver cover.

In a Bradley, there are two elements: smoke element, heat element. Each does a different thing. The smoke element turns on or off with the smoke generator and parks a small 3-4 inch hot plate at the end of the puck feed at a specific temperature tuned to do nothing but generate smoke. The heating element is much larger and in the bottom rear of the cabinet. This is tied to a thermostat that you can set to up to 320 degrees.

An important thing I learned very quickly when I did my first smoke on the Bradley... it's a much, much different animal than an offset. The heat is very even, very constant, very tight... which feels pretty much like "very less". Smokes can take much longer on an electric with thick cuts like shoulder. My BIL was visiting last year and did ribs in it no problemo (I usually don't do ribs). Now that I think about it, pretty sure those ribs were what turned him to the dark side of electrics.

Anyway, if you hop up into the digital models the controls for the smoke and heat are totally disparate. You can heat without smoke, you can smoke without heat. This means in the winter time you can do neat things like cold cure fishes, or perhaps cheese.

Or say you have an outside cooking source and just want to turn it into a smoker?

http://www.bradleysmoker.com/produc...moke-generator/

and maybe

http://www.bradleysmoker.com/produc...-smoke-adaptor/

AxeBreaker
Jan 1, 2005
Who fucking cares?



Niagalack posted:

Hello savvy smoker's , I just bought a BBQ ( Napoleon p450rbnss-9 to be precise ). Now I am wondering if it's possible to smoke a brisket? I also bought a tray that I can put charcoal in it but I have never cooked with charcoal so far.. Any tips or recommendation is appreciated. Am I dumb for even thinking of trying? I wanted to buy a smoker but my budget went into the BBQ and now the family council ( WIFE ) will not approve one.

You need the optional smoker tube (or some wood chips in a tin foil packet with lots of holes poked in it). The set up is on page 20 of the brochure for your grill: turn on the left main burner tube, stick smoke tube/packet over it, put the food on the other side. From the looks of it you could do a brisket flat (as opposed to a larger whole brisket) easily. The setup would be something like this, though gas grills vary so much you will have to tinker to get it right.

http://www.amazingribs.com/tips_and...rill_setup.html

Personally, I inject my briskets with beef broth, and cook at higher temps then foil when the meat reaches 150 degrees. After that it's feel- after half an hour in foil, start poking it with a toothpick then and every 15 minutes thereafter. If it goes in with a little resistance like room temperature butter you're good. If it's overdone there will be very little resistance and your meat will present poorly and fall apart. It still tastes great though, and makes great sandwiches.

Later I can post a recipe for foolproof barbecued chicken,that you ought to try first That way you can learn your setup with less likelihood of ruining your food and less cost if you do.

EDIT: and that tray is for charcoal direct grilling with some added smoke, not really smoking. That smoke tube or something improvised is what you'd use for your brisket.

AxeBreaker fucked around with this message at Apr 25, 2012 around 20:14

PuTTY riot
Nov 16, 2002


Niagalack posted:

Hello savvy smoker's , I just bought a BBQ ( Napoleon p450rbnss-9 to be precise ). Now I am wondering if it's possible to smoke a brisket? I also bought a tray that I can put charcoal in it but I have never cooked with charcoal so far.. Any tips or recommendation is appreciated. Am I dumb for even thinking of trying? I wanted to buy a smoker but my budget went into the BBQ and now the family council ( WIFE ) will not approve one.

I'd really recommend a pork shoulder, turkey, ribs, or anything before you try a brisket. I did a brisket as my first smoke and it turned out extremely tough and I really regretted trying brisket first. A pork shoulder is probably the easiest and most forgiving thing to start with. I have since done another brisket that turned out much better, but I'd still recommend a pork shoulder first. And a digital thermometer, either a leave in, instant, or preferably both, a digital probe thermo was the best smoking/bbq investment I've made. The other piece of advice I wish I was given earlier is to just leave the drat thing alone, there's no reason to open the lid and look at the meat every hour.

AxeBreaker
Jan 1, 2005
Who fucking cares?



Pork butts take a looong time though, that's the only issue.

PuTTY riot
Nov 16, 2002


AxeBreaker posted:

Pork butts take a looong time though, that's the only issue.

True, but if you're doing a whole 11-12 lb packer brisket, you're going to run into the same issue. I guess you could use a flat though. Smoking isn't hard, but I don't know if I'd dive in head first like that-- but as long as you're not feeding a dinner party or something, you should be good.

Jo3sh
Oct 19, 2002

Like all girls I love unicorns!

I have good results with quicker-cooking things on my charcoal water smokers - beef tri-tips take about 60-90 minutes, salmon fillets about 50-60 minutes, etc. That's a great way to ease into things. The long cooks required for ribs, butts, etc. are not really hard work, but do require partial attention for a long period of time, which can be a hassle.

GigaFool
Oct 22, 2001



I ordered the Masterbuilt 40" electric, along with the AMNPS pellet tray. Does anyone have this setup and have any tips or recommendations before I start?

BraveUlysses
Aug 7, 2002



Grimey Drawer

My oh my do I love tri-tip roasts...stupid grocery store near me cuts them up as "steaks".

But they are more of a hot and fast cook to me.

BraveUlysses fucked around with this message at Apr 26, 2012 around 01:53

Niagalack
Aug 29, 2007

No half measure.

AxeBreaker posted:

Cool advice

I own the smoker pipe, I forgot to mention it. The thing does not last long, around 30 minutes. I have tried a tinfoil package the result was really sharp but the tinfoil melted. The bbq is equipped with accuprobe thermometer and I own a digital thermometer.

TECHNICAL Thug posted:

Suggestions

This may sound stupid but how do you follow your meat temperature if you don't check it every now and then ?

As for the chicken, I have cooked the beer chicken it was . This weekend I plan on doing chicken on the spit rod. I also bought ribs, I have never cooked those and I can't wait to try it out.

PuTTY riot
Nov 16, 2002


Niagalack posted:

This may sound stupid but how do you follow your meat temperature if you don't check it every now and then ?

I bought this guy on a whim from walmart and it works great, just insert the probe and use the wire to put the electronics outside of the smoker: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Backyard-...ometer/19525225

Wireless is nice, but it's one more thing that can break, and I get to use twice as many batteries. There are tons of brands but the most often recommended one is the maverick, which has the added benefit of an ambient thermometer to measure the cooking temperature instead of just the internal meat temp.

PainBreak
Jun 9, 2001


GigaFool posted:

I ordered the Masterbuilt 40" electric, along with the AMNPS pellet tray. Does anyone have this setup and have any tips or recommendations before I start?

Yes, I have this exact setup, and I recommend that you pat yourself on the back for your awesome purchasing decision.

Also, you might want to make a "chimney" for your top vent. A soup can with both ends cut off fits perfectly on top of the vent, but I only have an electric opener, and cans with the anti-open-bottom bullshit, so I wrap aluminum foil around the can, slide it off, and use the foil as a chimney. I'm sure there's a better option, but it creates better airflow to keep the AMNPS lit.

Also, to clean the window on the door, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers work ridiculously well.

Alleric
Dec 10, 2002

Rambly Bastard...

PainBreak posted:

Yes, I have this exact setup, and I recommend that you pat yourself on the back for your awesome purchasing decision.

Also, you might want to make a "chimney" for your top vent. A soup can with both ends cut off fits perfectly on top of the vent, but I only have an electric opener, and cans with the anti-open-bottom bullshit, so I wrap aluminum foil around the can, slide it off, and use the foil as a chimney. I'm sure there's a better option, but it creates better airflow to keep the AMNPS lit.

Also, to clean the window on the door, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers work ridiculously well.

And to clean your grills and drip trays now and then (just now and then), put them all in a big black heavy duty trash bag and flood the whole inside with oven cleaner. Close bag, and put in another big black heavy duty trash bag. Lay it in the sun for a couple hours and the hose the pieces off as you pull them out. Bonus if you use enviro-friendly oven cleaner.

Some people use their dish washer, but boy howdy I don't need my dish washer smelling like smoke for a week after.

GigaFool
Oct 22, 2001



Great ideas, thanks guys.

I've been smoking on a Weber kettle for over a year now and it's definitely time to get into painless smoking. Not that I didn't enjoy the process, but the time investment required ends up being the major obstacle. Plus the ability to cold-smoke is hard to pass up.

CuddleChunks
Sep 18, 2004



Please hold me, I'm going to try and smoke a pork butt this weekend. Gonna take some pictures as I work. This thread has been a wealth of information, can't wait to see what happens.

Canuckistan
Jan 14, 2004

I'm the greatest thing since World War III.


Soiled Meat

CuddleChunks posted:

Please hold me, I'm going to try and smoke a pork butt this weekend. Gonna take some pictures as I work. This thread has been a wealth of information, can't wait to see what happens.

Butts are great because they're so forgiving. The biggest newb mistake anyone can make is a) freaking out over the plateau and b) taking them out of the smoker before they're done. Good luck and may the pork be with you.

Anyone drill a water hole in the bottom of your WSM? No matter how I try I always get rain water collecting in the bottom of the WSM and it turns into a goopy moldy mess. I just want it to drain and dry out...

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Phummus
Aug 4, 2006

If I get ten spare bucks, it's going for a 30-pack of Schlitz.

I smoked my first butt a month or so ago, and like Canuckistan said, its very forgiving. It started getting really cold near the end of the smoke, so I finished mine off in the oven.

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