Beginner question

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by djohn3853, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. Hi All

    I'm new at this.  Have the weber smokey mtn 18".  I'm using it right now for the second time.  Have a 7 lb pork shoulder picnic going.  I filled the chimney.  Poured it in about 20 min later.  Put in 4 chunks of hickory that I soaked about 30 min.  added another 50 or so briquests.  Kingsford original.  Had a lot of smoke at first, but by about an hour in, there was no smoke coming out the top vent which is open about 1/2 way.  Its been on almost 2 hours now, has held fairly steady at 240F (trying to get that down about 10 degrees)

    Is this normal?  Haven't peaked in at all since if started it this morning.  My first smoke was a 12 lb turkey with applewood.  It came out with good flavor but kinda dry.  I didn't brine it but I think next time I will.
  2. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the SMF, Plenty of great information available just for the reading. Most folks don't soak wood chunks, and they should last for more than 30 minutes. You don't need to see the smoke rolling out, just a whisper, or even if you can just smell it, you're OK. Try to keep that smoke circulating, you don't want stale smoke as it can cause creosote, that is a health concern. I moved your thread to roll all, so that everyone can give you a warm welcome. It's all good my friend.
  3. Thanks for the welcome.   Are you telling me to add more wood?
  4. rgacat

    rgacat Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to SMF this is the greatest place to be.
  5. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Not unless you can't see any smoke or you can't smell any wood burning.


    Good smoke on right.
  6. Like I said, I'm new at this.  I don't see any smoke at 230-235F.  It crept up to 245 and there was a little smoke, but it went away as the temp went back down to 230.  I smell something burning...whether thats wood or charcoal I'm not sure.  My nose isn't trained to that yet.  Thanks for responding to all.  I'm planning to do some ribs on July 4th.
  7. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well you can always sneak a peek, but remember each time you do, your adding 15 minutes or so to your smoke.
  8. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It all sounds normal to me. And as to wether or not you want to add mor wood depends on how smokey you like your meat. I am not a huge fan of too much smoke.

    I have 2 chuckies on the Egg right now, I put in 2 chunks of apple, and probably 4 chunks of cherry throughout the charcoal.

    Good luck!
  9. jaxgatorz

    jaxgatorz Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    All good advice......I would keep the top vent always full open .....Adjust temps with the bottom vents..
  10. OK everyone, after 10 hours yesterday, we couldn't wait any longer.  I had an anxious hungry family as well as a couple of guests.  Even though the internal temp only read 165-170 we took it off the smoker.  The bone didn't just pull out. We couldn't just pull the pork, we had to cut it.  There was a layer that was tough to cut but seemed to pull off in one sheet.  I guess it was skin, but I thought I put it in skin side down and this was on the top.  The taste was ok, but I've had better.  I kept the temp between 230 -240 most of the time.  A couple times it crept up and couple times it crept down.  After about 8 hours, the temp dropped to the 215 area and I added appx 50 more charcoal which I started in the chimney before putting in smoker.  I'd say I used appx 250 briquets total.  Overall, I was disappointed in the final product, but I'll keep trying.  As I said before, baby back ribs on July 4th.

    All comments are welcomed.
  11. jaxgatorz

    jaxgatorz Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    John, for a long smoke on my wsm ( mine is a 22 so it may be a little different) i load one full chimney and pour the rest of a 17# bag  into the charcoal ring..I then make room in the center of the ring by moving some coal around..I also place the chunks around in different places and levels into the coal..Then pour the chimney full of lit right into the center of the ring..Keeping the top vent open full, then adjusting temps with the bottom vents...Give yourself plenty of time for the cook... A 7# butt i usually allow 12-14 hours for @225-240...Don't give up, the next 1 will be better as u figure out the smoker..[​IMG]
  12. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


     First off welcome John to SMF. You'll like it here cause there are alot of really good folks that would just love to help you with anything to do with smoking. Now we like having new folks here to give a new prospective on some of the ways we do things around here. Now if you are really new then I would suggest that you sign up fir the 5-day E-course it free and it will give you the basics on smoking and a few recipes too. Here's a link to it:

    then you will have a method to your newly found madness and believe me it will be a madness. Then when you start smoking things you will have to learn how to post the pictures / Qview 

    here. So here's a link to a tutorial on how to post your Qview so we can see what your doing.

    Now the next thing you have to do is run out and get something to smoke. Then just smoke it and if you have any questions just post  them here and we will answer all your questions that you might have. Oh yea there's no stupid questions we were all there in the beginning and we just really like to help others enjoy the fabulous smoked foods that we do. So again


    Welcome to Your New Addiction
  13. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    First, welcome freind! Second, it almost sounds like your saying your putting bricketts on top of the lit ones? Are you using the minion method? Also I agree you probably don't need to soak the chips, just put them more to the edges. You pork probably didn't pull well as it needed more time to break down internally? Keep the faith NONE of us got it the first try :)
  14. old poi dog

    old poi dog Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    A lot of good info coming your way here.  Your next one should be better.  As for the ribs, try to do a trial run before the Big Event.  That way you can  address any similar issues.  Check out the 3-2-1 or 2-2-1 method for the type of ribs you will be smoking. Take Care.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2010
  15. etcher1

    etcher1 Master of the Pit

    Welcome [​IMG]to the [b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b]SMF[/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b] forum, You came to the right place. Good people and good info.
  16. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview.
  17. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    John, lots of good advice has been offered here; the thing that will help make you a great pitmaster is learning your pit and lots of practice. One thing to keep in mind when doing the tougher cuts of meat like pork butts and briskets is the dreaded plateau. Foiling the butt once it reaches the 160°-170° mark well help get you though the stall quicker. If you use a thermometer to monitor the internal temps of you'll notice a slight drop in the internal temps. This is normal-once the connective tissue begins breaking down, the internal temp will start to go back up.  You'll be tempted to increase the heat when the internal temps drops-resist the temptation-the only thing it will do is waste your fuel. Let the meat run it's course and you'll be rewarded with a butt that will practically fall apart on it's own.

  18. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  19. ok guys, to answer a couple of questions.  I did not remove any skin before smoking.  I'm not sure if it was or wasn't skin but like I said it peeled off in one piece

    If I really should have smoked it for maybe 12-14 hours and then wrap it in tin foil for anothter 2, I guess I'll have to start on Sat and eat on Sunday.

    Dutch said "Foiling the butt once it reaches the 160°-170° mark well help get you though the stall quicker"     So you're saying to foil it and continue smoking ?

    I loaded a chimney to the top (appx 100 brickets), fired it up, poured it in charcoal ring.  This looked wimpy so I poured another 50 to 100 brickets on top of the lit ones and added the wood.  I guess this the bizarro minion method?
  20. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Once you foil you continue cooking but you don't need smoke.

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