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Just got a smoker..need advice


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#1 SportsGuy

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 10:56 PM

So I got the weber smoker for Xmas.

Those of you who do it, do you use devices for temp control, thermometer, etc...?
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#2 NewMarketSean

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 11:50 PM

Tim Alleman says to get the BBQ Guru fan set up with the Digi-Q temp control.
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#3 Mackus

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Posted 21 April 2016 - 10:14 AM

Gonna smoke a pork butt on Saturday.

 

I just have a Weber kettle with one of these to set it up as an indirect smoker.  I've done a pork shoulder once before on the smoker and it turned out great.  I've got a digital thermometer to monitor temperature, I try to keep it around 250.  Went for about 12 hours last time.



#4 Nigel Tufnel

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Posted 21 April 2016 - 12:58 PM

Aaron Franklin has a series of Youtube videos on how to smoke things.  Here's the one where he sets up his smoker:

 


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#5 SportsGuy

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 02:33 PM

I am smoking for the first time this weekend.

 

Going to start off with chicken, figure that it should be easy.

 

I made a rub too and plan on making my own bbq sauce just for the hell of it.


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#6 Mackus

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 02:41 PM

Good luck man.  You don't need a ton of wood at all for chicken, a little goes a long way.  You can butterfly the chicken as well if you want it to cook a lot faster.

 

If you have any leftover, it makes amazing chicken salad.  And making stock from the carcass of a smoked bird after you're done is really great, imparts an awesome smokey flavor that is great for making soups, chili, or (my favorite) gumbo.



#7 SportsGuy

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 03:08 PM

So, I did order some hickory wood chips to try them...but I use them AND charcoal right?



#8 Mackus

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 05:22 PM

Yeah. Depends exactly on your rig, but it's mostly charcoal for the heat, then just toss on some chips or chunks and get it smoking right before you put the meat on. Probably only need a big handful of chips or one or two baseball size chunks.

Don't need to soak them or anything. That just delays when they get smoking.

#9 Mackus

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 11:48 AM

How'd this turn our for you, Rob?



#10 SportsGuy

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 12:31 PM

Awful. The temp dropped a lot and couldn't get it back up in time for everyone to eat, so had to grill.

It was up for a little bit of time but them it plummeted.

I think I know what I did wrong. Should have done some trial runs without food.

#11 Mackus

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 12:35 PM

That's a bummer.  Nothing wrong with grilled chicken, though.

 

What kind of smoker do you have?



#12 SportsGuy

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 02:10 PM

That's a bummer.  Nothing wrong with grilled chicken, though.

 

What kind of smoker do you have?

Weber WSM 18

 

I didn't properly light the charcoal and didn't use enough either.  

 

Went over what I did wrong with my brother in law and I think I am good.



#13 SportsGuy

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 11:11 PM

I smoked the chicken tonight and it turned out as it should.

#14 BSLMikeRandall

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 08:43 AM

I smoked chicken by the piece yesterday. BBQ dry rub. Only done chickens as whole before. Apple wood, apple juice in the water pan for added flavor. 3 hours at 250. No higher or it will get too smoked, burnt skin. Pull the wings half way through, cover, and put in the oven at 200 for the other hour and a half. Add your favorite sauce at the end.  (I was cooking a ton of it so I just used sweet baby rays instead of making a large batch of scratch good stuff that would have been expensive, and maybe not to everyones taste). 

 

Might be the best tasting thing I've done on my smoker. No joke, it was better than the half chicken at Mission BBQ. I probably will do it by the piece instead of the whole chickens from now on. 


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#15 Mackus

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 08:51 AM

Breaking the chicken down is definitely the best way to get each different piece cooked correctly.  It's literally impossible to cook a whole chicken (or turkey) properly since the thighs need to get to a temp that make the breast overdone.  Ice and rotating the breast away from the heat and other tricks (either on the grill or in the oven) can help, but a whole bird is done largely to look pretty.  Which it definitely does, a whole smoked bird with nice brown crispy skin carved at the table is pretty tough to beat and looks marvelous.  You can still end up with a very tasty end product doing it whole, but it'll taste a little bit better if you have it cut up and can pull the breasts when they are done and then the thighs later.

 

I also like dark meat the best anyway and leg quarters are dirt cheap. 


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#16 BSLMikeRandall

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 11:06 AM

Oh yeah. Dilute the Apple juice in the water pan. If you use straight Apple juice you will get a carmelized mess in the pan as it cooks because of the sugar.

Learned that one the hard way.
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#17 Pedro Cerrano

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 11:06 AM

Mmmm I kinda want BBQ chicken from Mission now lol

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#18 Mackus

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 11:09 AM

Oh yeah. Dilute the Apple juice in the water pan. If you use straight Apple juice you will get a carmelized mess in the pan as it cooks because of the sugar.

Learned that one the hard way.

 

I'd skip anything besides water in the water pan unless you are gonna make gravy or something from the drippings (which is delicious, but very smoky).  It doesn't impart any flavor to the meat, so just need the water to evaporate and keep the humidity high in the smoker.  Also, add hot water there so you don't waste energy heating up the water to get to the evaporation point.  If you want stronger apple flavor on the chicken, marinade it in the apple juice or better yet, inject some juice directly into the meat before putting it on the grill.


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#19 BSLMikeRandall

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 11:39 AM

 
I'd skip anything besides water in the water pan unless you are gonna make gravy or something from the drippings (which is delicious, but very smoky).  It doesn't impart any flavor to the meat, so just need the water to evaporate and keep the humidity high in the smoker.  Also, add hot water there so you don't waste energy heating up the water to get to the evaporation point.  If you want stronger apple flavor on the chicken, marinade it in the apple juice or better yet, inject some juice directly into the meat before putting it on the grill.



I figured if the moisture from the pan was Apple it would add more flavor. Coating the meat, keeping it moist as it rises and evaporates. But I'm not a science guy. I might be way off.
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#20 Mackus

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 11:42 AM

http://amazingribs.c..._water_pan.html

 

Best website I've found for info on smoking and grilling. 


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