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-   -   A NEW Smoker!!! (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f172/new-smoker-338768/)

glenn514 06-30-2012 05:11 PM

A NEW Smoker!!!
Brewing Friends...

Yesterday was my wife's birthday. We did the usual hoopla, and three of the four daughters were here to help celebrate. But my wife surprised ME...she gave me an early birthday present [birthday is in October]! She gave me a brand new Brinkmann charcoal smoker! Daughter's "fella" and I got it all put together.

Now, I've been grilling since I was knee high to a grasshopper...but smoking is new to me. And on Tuesday, I am expected to smoke a beef brisket! I have a sauce/marinade recipe which I will use. I have ample charcoal on hand, along with some hickory chips.

Any advice and/or suggestions would be appreciated!


Dixon 06-30-2012 11:09 PM

Is it a brinkmann offset smoker? If so, Brisket will be a chore on that thing, especially for your first smoke. I have a brinkmann as well. Take a look out in the interwebs for "brinkmann smoker modifications". It can be a great smoker with mods. As it sits out of the box you have to babysit it a lot to kerp temps and fuel in it. I think its a great first smoker. If you get the bug you'll probably want to upgrade down the road.

If you do the brisket figure 1 hour to 1 1/2 hour per pound at 250.

dfess1 07-01-2012 12:26 PM

my first suggestion would be to smoke something on it today. Do some chicken, they don't take long (hell, get chicken legs, they take maybe 2 hours). You need to learn how your pit works, and what it takes to keep the temps you are looking for. Also, get a good thermo. The cheapo ones that come on it usually are quite off from what they are supposed to be (sometimes as much as 50*). And if it is the offset, look into the mods. Before I did them on my old smoker, I basically had a grill with an offset fuel source. Make the diverter plate, and tuning plates for below. Works pretty nice at that point.

Brisket is a biatch. I've never had one done in under 16 hrs. I'd start with a pork butt, they are pretty damn hard to screw up. And remember, cook to a temperature, not to a time. Do not put much stock into the "x amount of time per y lbs of meat", UNTIL you know your pit front to back and can keep your temps steady.

opus345 07-01-2012 01:42 PM

Good advice.

1. Season the smoker with something simple.
2. Remote Digital Thermometers are great.
3. The meat will be done when its done. My first brisket was a full packers that took 22 hours and not the 20 hours I had allocated before the big Christmas dinner.
4. Remember to cut the brisket against the grain. You can really hork up a perfectly cooked brisket by cutting it the wrong way.

5. Here is a Smoked Scotch Egg Recipe (From the Cookshack Forums)

1-3 lbs Breakfast Sausage (Jimmy Deans, etc.)
6-8 Hard Boiled Eggs
1 Onion
Minced Garlic

Chop up Onion and Garlic and Mix with Sausage
Flattened breakfast sausage between sheets of wax paper coated with Pam cooking spray till it was about 1/8 - 1/4 inch in thickness.

Cut a rectangle of the sausage as wide as the short side of the egg and twice the length of the long side. Place the egg on it and flip it lengthwise into the blanket. Seal the sides and remove any excess from the bottom.

When you put them in the smoker, you should probably use a mesh rack because they tend to push through a bit on the open rack. I started with hard-cooked eggs that were quenched but still warm, sausage at room temperature, maple/hickory/apple wood smoke at 250 degrees for two hours.

Here is another one up on the Cookshack site: http://forum.cookshack.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/2591028883/m/1982978427


Olive Drab 07-01-2012 02:16 PM

There are sites that show how to mod the brinkman smokers to make them much more temperature stable. Goodle el cheapo brinkmann and you should see plenty.

glenn514 07-02-2012 08:26 PM

Thanks for all the information! I did find the modifications on the Web, and I have already purchased a charcoal "grill" to fit inside the charcoal pan. I have also drilled some air ventilation holes in the charcoal pan.

Today, when I got to the store and saw the "hunk" of brisket...all 18.7 pounds...I decided to smoke two much smaller pork roasts tomorrow. Then, we'll turn them into "pulled pork" sandwiches on Wednesday.

Currently, I have lit charcoal going inside, to "season" the smoker. I'm simply going to let it burn itself out, and then I'll clean it out and start over again tomorrow.

Again, my thanks. I'll let you know how the pork comes out.


Olive Drab 07-02-2012 08:35 PM

Sounds good. Look at extending the chimney stack lower into the grill. Smoking is all about temp control and air controls all of that. I wouldnt be too intimidated by the brisket once you figure how to make your smoker stay relatively consistent in temps +/- 30 degrees
Pork is a great starting point as its extremely forgiving.
One last thing, the way to cook without manning this thing the whole night is called the "minion method". It revolves around starting with just enough lit coals to stay at temperature and placing those on a full basket/ring of unlit coals. Its what Ive used since day one with my ugly drum smoker and its made things super easy. Ive figured out my drum to the point where I can set it and forget it at 10-11pm the night before, and my meat is ready long before the guests arrive.

opus345 07-03-2012 10:23 AM

Start talking to the butchers about the cuts of meat. You will find that many/most of them also smoke. I've gotton to know the butcher at a local SAMs. Tuesday's are when the new meat is put out and he has even cut up some great Pork Butts for me. SAMs is great for Pork Butts, Brisket Flats, and Pork Back ribs when they are on sale. Cooks hams (butt and shank) are uncooked and very lightly smoked so that they will easily take on a new smoked flavor. Honeysuckle White Bone In Turkey Breasts are also very good for smoking. Enjoy.

glenn514 07-03-2012 11:43 AM

Thanks for those additional replies. My smoker is a Brinkmann Smoke-n-Grill. It basically is a "bullet" smoker. and there is no chimney stack. Yesterday, when I was "seasoning" it, the temp gauge...such as it is...read on the high side of "Ideal" for most of two hours, and was still in the "Ideal" range for another 1.5 hours.

Today, when I smoke the pork roasts, I don't think I'll have to tend the smoker much at all. Just check it about every 1.5-2 hours. I did also purchase a wireless temp gauge, which will be a help on the meat temp. I'm going to start the roasts wrapped in foil with the pork rub we like. After about two hours, I'll unwrap them, save the juice, restoke the charcoal and put them back on the smoker with some sauce we like, and the addition of some hickory chunks in the firepan. Each of the roasts is right around 4 pounds, so I'm figuring about 4 hours of smoking, but I will rely on temperature much more than time.

Tomorrow, we'll pull the pork apart, add the juice and more sauce and enjoy "pulled pork" sandwiches on Independence Day! Hooray for the Red, White and Blue!


david00001 07-03-2012 11:50 AM

Here's my tips:
Beef is more of a challenge than pork. Beef can become bitter/dry with too much smoke/time. For a first effort, try smoking for three hours, then braise w/liquid/sauce in dutch oven in your stove at 300 until done. This will take awhile. Good luck, it will be great!

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