Let the fun begin!

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by yooper1217, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. yooper1217

    yooper1217 Newbie


    I'm new to smoking meats myself, but I love to cook and look forward to this new adventure.  Just this weekend I bought my first smoker (18" Webber Smokey Mountain) and I can't wait to try it out over the 4th of July.  I'm going to spend some time over the next couple weeks looking through this forum to get any ideas and/or tips that I can.  (The smoker wasn't exactly "cheap" and I need to prove to the wife that it was a wise investment.)  I am frrom the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (Yooper - Look it up...it's now in the dictionary.)  My goal is to "perfect" the pork butt, ribs and possibly wings.  Being that I'm new to this, I'm open to any ideas and/or advice.

    The first "hurdle" is that my wife isn't a fan of strong "smokey" flavor, but she loves meats that are done properly in the "low and slow" method.  Goal #1 is finding the balance between good flavor/cooked properly and not too much "smoke".  (Maybe I should have gotten a crock pot instead...)

  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Welcome Yooper1217.  Congrats on the new smoker and joining the SMF family!  You'll have your wife convinced in no time that you are the man with the plan!

    The WSM is one great smoker and the learning curve on it is pretty fast.  I'm guessing you haven't purchased a wireless thermometer, which is fine, because the lid has a therm.  If you did get a wireless, all the better because they are more accurate than the lid therm.  Without a wireless you will need a meat thermometer though and pretty much anything will work.  Knowing the internal temp of your meats is a good way to find that perfection you are looking for regardless of the chamber temp.

    I suggest you light load the WSM with charcoal, say 1/2 way up the charcoal ring.  Put water in the water pan, no wood in the charcoal, and put it through its paces without any meat inside it.  You can play with the vents to figure out temp control.  The WSM tends to run hot until you learn how to control the temps.  It is much easier to learn temp control without the pressure and risk of ruining a $20-$30 chunk of meat.  The dry run seasons the smoker and gives you confidence to load it with protein the next time.

    Ask any questions you have and enjoy reading the threads on the WSM.  Lots of folks here with your smoker so you'll be an expert muy pronto!
    yooper1217 likes this.
  3. handymanstan

    handymanstan Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Welcome to the forum from Lansing yooper1217.  And what a great forum it is to learn the art of smoking everything.

    We have a Michigan group here.  http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/groups/show/27/michigan-members-group          

    If you get a chance check it out and please join if you have not done so yet.

    We are having a Michigan get together this year and I hope you can make it.   There’s still time to get in the fatty throw down. 


    It’s always nice to see another Michigander here.  

    yooper1217 likes this.
  4. yooper1217

    yooper1217 Newbie

    Thanks for the input!  I hadn't thought of doing a "dry run", but probably a good idea.  I do have a wireless thermometer that I plan on using as well.
  5. Welcome to the club, when I first got my smoker I did a dry run on some cheap birds and had dominos pizza on speed dial if it didn't turn out[​IMG].  my chicken was eatable but not perfect. but it taught  me how to control my temps . Good luck and keep smokin
    yooper1217 likes this.
  6. humdinger

    humdinger Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Big Welcome Yooper from a fellow Michigander and troll from unda dah bridge! To get a lighter smoked flavor, use apple, alder, or maybe pecan wood. Avoid oak, hickory, or mesquite!
    yooper1217 likes this.
  7. Hello and Welcome to our addiction.  Many good folk here with a load of experience that they are more than willing to share.  If you have specific questions just start a thread and someone with experience will be along soon to offer advice.  All info you can provide us with such as smoker type, location and so on will help us answer any questions you may have, and pictures help a bunch.  Spend some time doing some research on the forums, tons of advice and recipes already available there.  Check out Jeff’s 5 day smoking E-Course ( link below ) that will help you get started.  The dry run is pretty much necessary to season your smoker.  You can throw on some chicken leg quarters and maybe some burgers so that the charcoal is not completely wasted.  As your smoker gets more seasoned the food taste will improve.  As stated above the whole idea is to season the smoker AND learn temp control, temp control is the KEY to smoking.  If the wife isn't in to heavy smoke stick with small amounts of fruit wood like apple or even try alder.  All are pretty mild.  Just a few chips added now and then.  We look forward to your contributions.  Have fun.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!


    yooper1217 likes this.
  8. Good morning and welcome to the site. You have already gotten a lot of good advice. After your initial dry run, try some chicken to experiment with Cheap and easy, and can ply with the amount of smoke you'r looking for.

    Gary S
    yooper1217 likes this.
  9. knifebld

    knifebld Smoking Fanatic

    Welcome Yooper! Don't worry about the wife, I too found that I would have to put out some decent meals to convince her that the cost of my WSM was a great investments.

    It only took ONE smoke to convince her! [​IMG]

    Chicken is a great start or if you search the forum and follow some great advice found in here you can use Pork Butt for your first smoke...as long as you do your research, it is quite hard to screw up.
    yooper1217 likes this.
  10. yooper1217

    yooper1217 Newbie

    I have a couple runs of ribs and couple runs of pork butts under my belt.  The first time around I tried to do too many ribs and the butts were too big.  The second time around they were fantastic.  I had a lot of butt leftover so I vaccum sealed it to eat when it's 40 below zero here in the U.P.  I plan to just thaw it out and throw it in a crock pot with a little vinegar and some sauce.  Thoughts?
  11. Sounds like  a plan , I would probably heat them in the oven on 225 sealed tight with foil. never did them in crock pot not sure if you would lose your bark and make them mushy
    yooper1217 likes this.
  12. garyhibbert

    garyhibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★


    Welcome to the Smoking forum. You’ll find great , friendly people here, all more than willing to answer any question you may have. Just ask and you’ll get about 10 different answers—all right. LOL. Don’t forget to post qviews.

  13. humdinger

    humdinger Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hey yooper. One clever way of reheating PP is to leave it in the vac bag and drop it in boiling water for 10-15 minutes. I do it all the time. The bags never melt and the meat always comes out buttery, moist, and delicious. Hit me up if you want more info.
    yooper1217 likes this.

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