Greetings to all.

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by vraib, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. vraib

    vraib Newbie

    Got a weber smokey mountain for Christmas. Doing a lot of Internet searching and seems like I always end up on this site so decided to join. Seems like a good group.

    I'm located in Iowa. Have used the smoker 5 times now. Always good results but sooooooo much to learn.

    One question I have initially is how do you know how many chips or chunks of smoking wood to put on? Everyone says to not over smoke the meat, and basically half the cooking time should be smoking but it's an inexact science in how long it takes to burn off the chips. I'm sure I will learn but some advice could help.

    Thought of another. I started with an entry level smoker because I didn't know if I would keep at it. The instructions say to use briquettes but all the reading leads me to lump charcoal which is what I have been doing. Should I use charcoal in this type of smoker?

    Thanks for all the great advice over the last month. You have all helped me a lot already and I really appreciate all of you.
  2. one eyed jack

    one eyed jack Master of the Pit

    Welcome to the site and to the smoking hobby.  Congratulations on your new smoker.

    I've got an  18 inch model WSM and I use briquettes in mine.  (Usually good old Kingsford blue).  I do have one store around that sells one brand of All natural briquettes and they do produce less ash build up, (which can smother your fire), that I use for long term smokes.

    The briquettes pack better in the fire ring and make for a more easily controlled smoke chamber temperature.  I am not against using lump in the smoker but lump is hard to find around me and quality lump is harder yet to find.

    As to smoke wood;  I use chunks rather than chips and add them into the briquettes as I fill the fire ring around my "minion method" starter can.  I just guess at how much wood I need to create smoke till I figure that the meat will reach around 160* internal temp.  Experience will teach that one best, I think.  (The tin can shell is pulled out with pliers after I dump the lit briquettes into it).

  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    What Jack said. I use blue bag in my WSM too. For the wood I take oak or hickory splits & cut it into about 1" thick slices with my 12" chop saw.

    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
  4. vraib

    vraib Newbie

    Thanks for the advice. Jack, rookie question, why the can in the center?

    Made a pork loin and over smoked it. Need to figure this out.
  5. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Welcome from SC. It's good to have you on this great site. Congrats on the WSM. When I had mine, I used lump all the time. The lump makes much less ash than briqs. I started the lump with briqs in a valley or hole similar to Jacks can. That is a modified Minion method. I never use chips. The chunks that I used were about fist size and I used 3-4. If they were much smaller, I would use up to 2 more.

    Good luck with your WSM and good smokin', Joe:grilling_smilie:
  6. one eyed jack

    one eyed jack Master of the Pit

    The can is there so that you can build your bed of briquettes leaving a spot for your lit briquettes without having to use your hands to create the cavity for them.  I pull the can out with a pair of pliers as soon as I dump the lit briquettes in.
  7. one eyed jack

    one eyed jack Master of the Pit

    Overlooked the part of your post about the loin first time through.

    In what way was your loin over smoked?   Do you mean that the meat was over cooked, or it got too much smoke?

    The loin is mighty lean and will dry out if you cook it too long.  I use a good dual probe thermometer to keep close track of the smoke chamber and the internal temperature of the meat.

    A lot of folks around here use this thermometer.

  8. vraib

    vraib Newbie

    Perfect advice on the probe. I was looking at the weber probe but it had terrible reviews. I will get this one.

    The loin was cooked about right but just tasted terribly smokey. Didn't care for it that much.

    Goes back to my comment about only smoking for half the cooking time. Which means the chips need to burn out in the middle of the run. I will figure it out eventually. Just thought others would have some hints.
  9. one eyed jack

    one eyed jack Master of the Pit

    I can't know if this could have been a factor in your too much smoke problem but it is important to keep your fire fairly hot,  (A small fire so that you can maintain a low cooker tempo, but the small fire needs to burn on the hot side so that your wood chips / chunks don't smolder.

    You are correct to try limiting the period of cook time that you are producing smoke.  Experiment is good.

    Best luck on your next try.

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