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Old 04-12-2012, 09:28 AM
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Default Smoking Meat

I just bought a smoker and plan on smoking some meat this weekend, what do I need to know?

I'm hoping to get some real answers along with the expected snorkeling answers.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:32 AM
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You need to know the over/under for number of reef parodies of your thread title is 2.5.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:33 AM
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Make sure you keep the smoker at a low enough temperature. It will vary by type of meat and how you want it to come out, but I think somewhere in the 180-220 range should be pretty good. Others can refine that range if they have more experience. I have had smoked meat that was done at too high of a temp and it wasn't anywhere near as good as it should have been.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:34 AM
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I have heard that a lot of the flavoring can depend on the type of wood that is used but I don't really know anything about it.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:35 AM
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I'm sure Chillax won't mind if I get smoked by the master chef

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Old 04-12-2012, 09:35 AM
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How much are you willing to pay for some nice wood? Prices probably vary based on quality.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:36 AM
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what kind of smoker?

Your best learning meat is pork shoulder. It is the most forgiving and can handle the most smoke. Try not to let the temp get past 275*, and 240 is about perfect. Or Chickens, they are are easy and cheap.


Get a probe thermometer to check meat temps at all times. Cook low and slow. LOW and SLOW. The best pork shoulders can take 12 hours of more.


Don't attempt beef brisket until you have done 6 or more pork shoulders. If you mess up a brisket, the meat is not good to eat. Once you have technique down (mainly temp control, and this depends on your fuel) then move on to a brisket.


Soak wood chips in water. Wood chunks are harder to use to maintain a smoke steam than big wood chunks.


The best TV show to watch is Primal Grill on PBS. That guy is better than any of those guys on food network.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:36 AM
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Careful you don't try to work with too much meat at once. You probably want something manageable for your first time.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:38 AM
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I've always been partial to 200F, but most recipes I've seen call for around 225F. Meat stops absorbing the smoke flavor when it reaches around 140F, so using higher smoking temperatures means your meat will cook faster and stop absorbing smoke faster.

Is it an electric or wood fired smoker? The electric are much easier for beginners.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:39 AM
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Hopefully, you did not waste money on an ECB..... the El-Cheapo-Brinkman. Those aren't worth the small amount that they cost. Hopefully you are working with charcoal. A lot of what I would suggest depends on what model you have. If you went high end (like a Traeger) you will have no problems at all. THe best beginner smoker is a Weber Smokey Mountain.
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