my thought's on how we help/hurt newbees

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by cal1956, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. cal1956

    cal1956 Smoking Fanatic

    I know all of us here have the best intentions when a newbee asks a question, but we need to put ourselves in his/her shoes

    maybe its a young fella and all his life he never even lit a grill much less a smoker , and now he just want's a starting point,

    maybe all he needs is a little encouragement ..he new to this and he is new to us we have no idea his skill level yet !!

      and I know we all want to help  get him started ,

    but there is such a thing as to much information to fast !!!

     can we all agree that before we teach him the latest and greatest , to at least teach him the very basics first ?

    there is  plenty of time to make a fine French chef out of him later ...let's just teach him how to lite the fire first .....ok ?

    smoking meat is simple and easy to learn IF we don't muddy the water with a lot of complicated methods /numbers and so forth

    can we at least agree on this

    ok guys take your best shot at me
  2. As a newbie, I think that is a great idea.
    boboso likes this.
  3. cal1956

    cal1956 Smoking Fanatic

    thank you Steve

    i'm old school and i get a lot of flak because I believe in low and slow and keeping it simple but that's the way I've been doing it for close to 40 years .
  4. Always have to remember...

    Different stroke for different folks... [​IMG]

    In the short time I have been involved in SMF, I have noticed an overwhelming attempt on everyone's part to be helpful in any way possible. There are not many communities of this nature, especially on the interwebs.

    There are too many different ways to enjoy making your own unique variations on smoked meats/meals. Not everyone has the time or resources to smoke all of their meals low 'n slow. If that was the only method to smoking meats, we wouldn't have so many different types of smokers available to us.

    If it works for someone, no need to attempt to disprove their methods. Let them enjoy themselves and merely make suggestions to alternative methods.of cooking.


    Some of us do aspire to be a 5 star chefs, just not the French version. I am not in any way classically trained in the culinary arts. I have learned through personal experience, many different ways to create fun and exciting meals. Some unique to me, some very common. It all comes down to what each individual enjoys, be it fall of the bone ribs or a little chew... 

    If everyone was the same, we would be living in a very dull world.
  5. cal1956

    cal1956 Smoking Fanatic

    missed my whole point  didn't you !!!
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2015
  6. sawinredneck

    sawinredneck Meat Mopper

    How so? I get information overload, but there are so many different ways to achieve the same goal!
    "What temp do I smoke a brisket at?" Well, I like 225, this guy likes 275, and so and so likes to cook at 300. Who's wrong?
    "How long will it take me to smoke a brisket?" Well, how big is it? What temp do you plan to cook at? What smoker are you using? What is the ambient temp? But even then.... Will it stall? How long will it stall? How often are you opening the door? How good are you at tending the fire? What are you using for heat? Will the electricity go out? Will you run out of propane or charcoal/wood?
    What brine should I use? Thousands of right answers!
    How long should I brine? Again, who's wrong on this one?
    It's just not that simple, I make jerky at 160 then up to 180-200 to finish an IT of 165. Many say I go too high and 140 IT is fine with curing salt. I'd rather be sure it's safe, am I wrong? Are they wrong? It's just different means to the same end.
    From the little time I've spent on this forum, and trying to educate myself through the Internet, I've learned that EVERYONE does things differently! I like to use brown sugar and cinnamon to create a bark, many think that's just blasphemous!
    I get what you are trying for, but the main thing I've learned on this journey is that there really aren't any hard and fast rules for this hobby!
  7. jcbigler

    jcbigler Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Are we talking about people new to SMF? Or new to smoking? I agther that it's the latter.
  8. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This site has always strived to team people the art of smoking. We are at the point that we have some very experienced pitmasters that help thet newbies.

    From time to time we will have peolpe that forget that we are hear to help. When this happens the administration here takes actions to prevent it from happening. This just had to happen a few nights ago.

    I think this is a great reminder to all.
  9. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you meet a true dyed in the wool newbie, and there are some out there, I always suggestion to first complete the 5 day E-course which will give you enough to get started. That course covers the basics for the bulk of any starters questions. If they don't understand, or have a more specific question I am always available to help anyone.

    That's just about how I say it too. The E-course can and will get you started. After it, its time to light some fires. You can read and question till you die, but experience brings knowledge. There is NO better teacher that smoke raising out the stack. You'll got to hit a golf ball before anyone can tell you what you are doing wrong, its the same with smoking or cooking.

    Once you get to specific questions you should be experienced enough to know which answer best fits your situation. We all know none of us smokes the same, too many variables and modifiers, throw in geographic and local butchers, their can be no end to the options which can be defined.

    Always recommend a newbie the E-Course first, then try to help his specific question. Make them ask a question so you don't babble all day without helping.

    Go back and look.... there ain't much to question with those E Courses.
    boboso likes this.
  10. Nailed it on the head Foamheart, especially dealing with lighting up. All my smoker/grills run different and all the info overload in the world won't help you till you get that heat under control. Trying to achieve that constant by taking notes will help you in the beginning then you can shoot for the stars. JMHO.
  11. floridasteve

    floridasteve Smoking Fanatic

    I don't think I'd still be smoking if it wasn't for the advice and encouragement I've received at this forum. I have always enjoyed the various levels of hep provided, from the simple to the complex. I understand the concept of not overloading someone just starting out, but imo the mix here provides a balance that has worked, and continues to work, for me.
  12. schlotz

    schlotz Meat Mopper

  13. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I agree with Foamy as well, read the course.

    The other problem, is they see all this BBQ on TV, and what to cook the Perfect Brisket! As we all know their is a starting point, you would not start Mountain Climibing and Head straight for Everest!
  14. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    This board lends advice generously, but there's no substitute for first-hand experience with whatever equipment and fuel you're using. We can at least give suggestions and help troubleshoot.
  15. people learn differently 

    some people want their hand held

    some people want a kick in the but

    and everything in between 

    I think this site covers all bases 
  16. One thing I've learned as a land surveyor is that there's no such thing as too much information. I've learned a lot here, gotten many good tips and it's paid off for me.
  17. dcarch

    dcarch Smoking Fanatic

    Here is my ultimate advice: [​IMG]

    Do not use too many acronyms!!!

    What is TBS?

    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015
  18. TBS = thin blue smoke
  19. dcarch

    dcarch Smoking Fanatic

    I know. I have been smoking for many years, won a few competitions. I was giving an example. :)

    To some newbies, TBS = tablespoon.

  20. hank2000

    hank2000 Smoking Fanatic

    I have been smoking meat for years some good some not so good. But after I found this site and start reading and asking for help with things I didn't know or just didn't understand my food and my attitude towards smoking got so much better

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