New UK member.

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by sup boarder, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. sup boarder

    sup boarder Newbie

    Hi people,

    I got a very basic vertical smoker for my birthday. Its basically a vertical tube in two parts and about 4 ft tall, it would probably be better for cold smoke. I light a fire at the bottom using charcoal and pop a few pieces of wood on. I have not managed to keep the temp high enough to cook the meats for the full time so instead I smoke for 2-4 hours and finish in the oven at 225 deg f. It's very labour intensive and requires constant messing with the vents and lid to ensure a steady temp. I am using locally cut silver birch but I am open to suggestions on what type of wood I should be using for the best flavour. I have experimented with lots of different rubs and sauces. I find that a lot of pulled pork sauce recipes are too tangy for the families pallet.

    I have managed to get some decent pulled pork from shoulders I have bought from the wholesale in Manchester. I have also had great results using 1.5kg chickens.

    What I have noticed when I tried to smoke for longer is that the smokey flavour became very over powering. 

    I had a go at brisket but it turned into an old piece of leather!

    If you guys can suggest, advise and coach me that would be sweet!

  2. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to SMF its good to have you with us....
  3. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    [​IMG]to SMF!!! We're happy you found us! You've come to the right place, we have over 45,000 members who just love to share their experience and over 900,000 posts describing it! The search bar at the top can be your best friend when you are trying to find answers to your questions but you can still ask too if you want!

    Would you do us a favor and add your location to your profile, it helps others to know where you are when they offer advice, Thanks!

    You might want to check out Jeff's Free 5 day E-Course, it will teach you all the basics plus a whole lot more!
  4. the duster

    the duster Fire Starter

    I was in your boat not to long ago and one of the first questions asked me was what smoker do I have.  When I put what exact smoker I have and more of the process I used these good folks schooled me up pretty quick.  good luck
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  5. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    [​IMG]  to SMF!  So glad you joined us here!

  6. welcome aboard...heres to lots of smoking.
  7. garyhibbert

    garyhibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Hey Sup

    Welcome to the forum

    Here's a quick reference guide.  Personally I use a lot of apple and cherry because I like the flavor.  I also use a lot of birtch and willow because they are both very abundent here


    Reference guide for Woods used to Smoke Food

    ACACIA - these trees are in the same family as mesquite. When burned in a smoker, acacia has a flavor similar to mesquite but not quite as heavy. Is a very hot burning wood.

    ALDER - Very delicate with a hint of sweetness. Good with fish, pork, poultry, and light-meat game birds.

    ALMOND - A sweet smoke flavor, light ash. Good with all meats.

    APPLE - Very mild with a subtle fruity flavor, slightly sweet. Good with poultry (turns skin dark brown) and pork.

    ASH - Fast burner, light but distinctive flavor. Good with fish and red meats.

    BIRCH - Medium-hard wood with a flavor similar to maple. Good with pork and poultry.

    CHERRY - Mild and fruity. Good with poultry, pork and beef. Some List members say the cherry wood is the best wood for smoking. Wood from chokecherry trees may produce a bitter flavor.

    COTTONWOOD - It is a softer wood than alder and very subtle in flavor. Use it for fuel but use some chunks of other woods (hickory, oak, pecan) for more flavor. Don't use green cottonwood for smoking.

    CRABAPPLE - Similar to apple wood.

    GRAPEVINES - Tart. Provides a lot of smoke. Rich and fruity. Good with poultry, red meats, game and lamb.

    HICKORY - Most commonly used wood for smoking--the King of smoking woods. Sweet to strong, heavy bacon flavor. Good with pork, ham and beef.

    LILAC - Very light, subtle with a hint of floral. Good with seafood and lamb.

    MAPLE - Smoky, mellow and slightly sweet. Good with pork, poultry, cheese, and small game birds.

    MESQUITE - Strong earthy flavor. Good with beef, fish, chicken, and game. One of the hottest burning woods.

    MULBERRY - The smell is sweet and reminds one of apple.

    OAK - Heavy smoke flavor--the Queen of smoking wood. RED OAK is good on ribs, WHITE OAK makes the best coals for longer burning. All oak varieties reported as suitable for smoking. Good with red meat, pork, fish and heavy game.

    ORANGE, LEMON and GRAPEFRUIT - Produces a nice mild smoky flavor. Excellent with beef, pork, fish and poultry.

    PEAR - A nice subtle smoke flavor. Much like apple. Excellent with chicken and pork.

    PECAN - Sweet and mild with a flavor similar to hickory. Tasty with a subtle character. Good with poultry, beef, pork and cheese. Pecan is an all-around superior smoking wood.

    SWEET FRUIT WOODS - APRICOT, PLUM, PEACH, NECTARINE - Great on most white or pink meats, including chicken, turkey, pork and fish. The flavor is milder and sweeter than hickory.

    WALNUT - ENGLISH and BLACK - Very heavy smoke flavor, usually mixed with lighter woods like almond, pear or apple. Can be bitter if used alone. Good with red meats and game.

    Other internet sources report that wood from the following trees is suitable for smoking: AVOCADO, BAY, CARROTWOOD, KIAWE, MADRONE, MANZANITA, GUAVA, OLIVE, BEECH, BUTTERNUT, FIG, GUM, CHESTNUT, HACKBERRY, PIMIENTO, PERSIMMON, and WILLOW. The ornamental varieties of fruit trees (i.e. pear, cherry, apple, etc.) are also suitable for smoking.

    Types of wood that is unsuitable or even poisonous when used for grilling. Don't use any wood from conifer trees, such as PINE, FIR, SPRUCE, REDWOOD, CEDAR, CYPRESS, etc.

    There are many trees and shrubs in this world that contain chemicals toxic to humans--toxins that can even survive the burning process. Remember, you are going to eat the meat that you grill and the smoke particles and chemicals from the wood and what may be on or in the wood are going to get on and in the meat. Use only wood for grilling that you are sure of.

    If you have some wood and do not know what it is, DO NOT USE IT FOR GRILLING FOOD. Burn it in your fireplace but not your smoker.

    Also ELM and EUCALYPTUS wood is unsuitable for smoking, as is the wood from SASSAFRAS, SYCAMORE and LIQUID AMBER trees.

    Here are some more woods that you should not to use for smoking:

    Never use lumber scraps, either new or used. First, you cannot know for sure what kind of wood it is; second, the wood may have been chemically treated; third, you have no idea where the wood may have been or how it was used. For all you know, that free oak planking could have been used in a sewage treatment plant.

    Never use any wood that has been painted or stained. Paint and stains can impart a bitter taste to the meat and old paint often contains lead.
    Do not use wood scraps from a furniture manufacturer as this wood is often chemically treated.

    Never use wood from old pallets. Many pallets are treated with chemicals that can be hazardous to your health and the pallet may have been used to carry chemicals or poison.

    Avoid old wood that is covered with mold and fungus that can impart a bad taste to your meat.

    Last edited: Dec 14, 2013
  8. Hello SUP and Welcome to our addiction.  A word of warning: There is no 12 step program for this one!  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.  Spend some time doing some research on the forums, tons of advice and recipes already available there.  Really would like to know what smoker you have.  If it is what I am thinking you will have a tough time with it.  Have a look at the UDS build forum.  They are relatively cheap to build and work well.  Your life will get extremely easier.  We look forward to your contributions.  Have fun.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

  9. [​IMG]Hello and welcome from East Texas. This is a great site, lots of information and great people that are willing to throw in their two cents worth on about anything..........



  10. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    This sounds like A Brinkman smoke n grill? Or what we refer to as an ECB here.  El Cheapo Brinkman. If so there are some great tutorials on the site to help you get the most out of that smoker. I used to have one which I converted to propane for ease of use and less tending. It worked well with lots of mods. The modifications were simple and used all the same hardware that is already on your smoker. There is an ECB section of this forum just for you. Happy smoking and welcome from the USA. also you might want to search the minion method for loading your charcoal and wood. One more thing. You can sign up for the free E-course jeff puts out for beginning smokers. Lots of good info and insight.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2013
  11. Post some pictures and you will get a lot of input.  One thing, brisket takes a long time to do right.


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