How many briquettes do you typically use for a 7-9 pound pulled pork smoke?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by zozr, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. zozr

    zozr Newbie

    What do you pay for your briquettes for how many? 

    I'm trying to figure out my cost of wood per meal 

    Thanks everyone
  2. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Most usually wait till Lowes or Home Depot put their twin 20lb bags on sale for $20 and then buy several bags. How many depends on how much or often they cook. So that makes it $0.50 a pound.

    Your title for the thread asks how many briquettes do you use.......... That really depends on your cooker you are using and your style. I have seen people use minis that will only use about 10-12 briquettes for a cook and then those with a large offset use 40lb for the same cook. If you tell us a bit more about your smoker you are using we can give you a better and more accurate answer.

  3. zozr

    zozr Newbie

    Sorry about that.

    I have the Mastforge Vertical Propane smoker from Lowes. 

    I assumed briquettes was the ideal wood is there one that you experienced folks prefer better? 

    Thanks Jeramy 
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
  4. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    For a propane smoker you don't need charcoal briquettes. You will use wood chunks, chips or pellets. My smokehouse is propane and I use chunks. A lot of people will use a AMNPS or AMNTS for smoke generation. The type of wood is really personal preference, I like oak. I get all I need from around our property and locally from friends. The price it! Others really get Into the fruit woods. I would say get a couple different bags of chunks and try them out and see what you like. If you choose to go the AMNPS route, Todd has a ton of different flavors of pellets to choose from.

  5. zozr

    zozr Newbie

    This will be my first smoke so I'm a little unclear how exactly to do it. 

    I turn on the burner and get it to temperature and just add some wood chunks by themselves in the pan above and that's pretty much it? Nothing goes in the pan with the wood? 
  6. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

     I actually use charcoal in my GOSM Propane Conversion. Place them in a can, along with wood, right on the burner. Best of both worlds.
  7. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I am assuming you have the one with 2 doors. If not it will be basically the same.

    First you will need to check the thermometer for calibration. Simply remove it and place the probe tip in boiling water. Use tongs or something like that to hold it so you don't burn yourself. It should read 212f. If not sometimes you can hold a nut on the back of the therm with pliers and carefully turn the face/dial to get it to read the correct temp. Be very careful and make very small adjustments at a time. If you are not able to or not comfortable with making any adjustments, simply make a note of how much it is off and adjust accordingly.

    Lighting the smoker and temps:

    Open both doors before turning on the gas. I prefer to use a torch, but a standard long stick lighter works too, to light the flame. I will light my torch and place the flame next to the burner when I turn on the gas. I don't like to boom that can happen when gas builds up.........

    close up the smoker and allow the temp to get to 250. Adjust the controler to maintain a steady temp. You will want to season your smoker before you cook in it. I would get it up to 300-350 and allow it to run for a couple hours, turn it down to 250 and place a few chunks of wood in the tray just above the burner and allow to smoke till the chunks are gone. The whole time you will want the top vent is open fully. This will allow for good air exchange. This is a good time to see how the temp control works and get a feel for it. When you add the chunks of wood it will be thick smoke, but should settle down after about 10 min.

    There should be a vent towards the bottom of the smoker. That is used to allow O2 in for the burner to burn and the chunks to smolder. You don't want the chunks to light on fire. Wind can cause issues like temp spikes or flare ups in the wood chunks. If it is windy you may want to shield the bottom vents.

    During your cook you will get temp variations. Don't panic! Make a little adjustment and wait at least 15-30 minutes before the next adjustment. We all want to look and see how the food is doing. It is not going anywhere. Allow it to do its thing and relax.......

    Smoker setup and prep:

    Light the smoker and get it up to the cook temp. Traditional low and slow is 225, I like to cook a little higher 250-275. There is a pan just above where the chunks go. That is the water pan. Your choice to cook with water or not, I don't. I wrap mine with foil and others will add other things for a heat sync. That is for later on when you get more comfortable.

    Place the meat you are going to cook into the smoker, middle shelves. Start with something easy and cheap like chicken legs or thighs. They are forgiving and tasty......tons of recipes on SMF with and quick search. For chicken I would go hot cook at 275-300. Chicken can get a rubbery skin at lower temps.

    Once the meat is in the smoker, add the chunks making sure the top vent is fully open. Add chunks as needed. Just because you don't see smoke, does not mean it is not getting flavor. as long as there are chunks smoldering you are getting flavor. Thick white smoke for a long time can cause the meat to get a bitter taste. That is why thin blue smoke is prefered for long cooks.

    Seasoning and sauces:

    Keep it simple. Too many people will crazy with seasonings, just ease into it. A simple salt, pepper, onion and garlic blend (SPOG) does a lot. Use a seasoning you are familiar with to start with while learning. After you get a few cooks under your belt and you are comfortable with running your smoker,nthen play with seasoning.

    If you choose to add sauces to the meat. Wait till the end of the cook. The sugars can burn and cause a nasty bitter taste. Or just serve on the side....

    Hope these help. Let me know if I can help more...

  8. zozr

    zozr Newbie

    Thank you a ton Jeramy. This is extremely helpful. It is indeed a two door smoker. I was a little confused when to add the wood and all that. Can't wait to do my first one. I think I will do thighs.

    My only last question for anyone is what is a good meat thermometer I can leave in the meat in the smoker that won't get damaged? Are there ones the probe is in the meat but the reading can sit outside the box? Is this necessary or can I just use a thermometer every once and a while that doesn't stay in the meat the whole time? 

    I know my model particularly has a bad door reading so people said not to trust it. I don't know what to use for reading the chamber temp. 
  9. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The maverick et732 or maverick et733 are good for what you need. They have 2 probes, one for meat and one for chamber. They are remote so you can monitor the temps from a distance. You could run the probe wire through the top vent or slightly modify the smoker so you could access through a side wall.

    A-Maze-N Smoker is a sponsor and sells the 732 for a good price.
  10. zozr

    zozr Newbie

    Fabulous. Just what I'm looking for. Glad I made this thread!

    Found it on A Maze N's site for a great price compared to else where but unfortunately it says only USA shipping. I'm in Canada so that doesn't seem like it will work. Too bad. 
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
  11. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Pm Todd on here. He will help get it to ya.
  12. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    He is the owner of amazin products. T johnson is his name on here.
  13. zozr

    zozr Newbie

    Will do. Thanks.
  14. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    He will help anyway he can. Great guy.

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