Smoking lots of meat, need to store some

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by chut26, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. Hey folks,

    New to smoking, but have been a long time griller. I have a question on storing quite a bit of different meats. My son is having a birthday party, and we'll be having a bunch of the family over. What better time to break out the new smoker? :)

    Well anyways, my new smoker isn't very large. Paid $60 for it at Home Depot, and it has two racks that are about 18" each. It is a vertical coal unit. What I wanted to do was to make a variety of meat the day before, and store it over night.

    Basically my questions are 1) Best method to store? Foil, plastic wrap, etc? 2) Best method to reheat the meat the following day?

    The meat will be pork shoulder, baby back ribs, boneless chicken breasts, chicken drumsticks.
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Chut, evening and welcome to the forum....

    Please take a moment and stop into " /Roll Call/   " and introduce yourself and get a proper welcome from our members.... Also, if you would note your location in your profile, it will help in the future when answering questions about smokin'...   elevation, humidity etc....    

    We're glad you stopped in and joined our group...    Enjoy the long smokey ride....     Dave
  3. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If your smoker is what I think it is (Brinkmann Smoke n Grill or similar), you'll need a lot of luck and a huge amount of patience to smoke a pork shoulder...ashes will kill your fire in a matter of just a few hours and fire control is non-existent so you're constantly adding hot coals to keep it burning. You're looking at roughly a 16-hr smoke for a 8lb bone-in Boston butt to reach pulling temps. Even baby backs could be quite a challenge and those will run you 5-6 hours if you can maintain 225+* smoke chamber temp...breasts and thigh or legs would be do-able with just about any charcoal smoker, though. There's a reason these smokers sell cheap...they need tons of mods to make them reasonably usable. Also, you need a reasonably accurate thermometer to gauge chamber temps with, otherwise you're cooking blindly with no idea what the smoke chamber temp is...this is a must to keep your meats safe for consumption.

    Ziploc bags or several layers of plastic wrap for short-term storage. Reheat slow in a covered roaster around 225-250* with a bit of added liquids to keep it moist.

    Good luck on the smoke and have a great BD party!

    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
  4. Thank you very much Eric for the tips. I am going to go out this weekend and grab a good electric thermometer for the chamber. I'll probably upgrade my meat thermometer while I'm at it. I may just wake up early on the day of the birthday to do the smoking.
  5. sound1

    sound1 Smoking Fanatic

    20 hours....better get up real early. I always try to leave a couple hours for a safety factor.  
  6. Haha the shoulder got pulled off the menu. I treasure my sleep :)
  7. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Fanatic

    If your running into problems keeping the smoker going you can always use your oven to finish off the food. I've been caught in heavy downpours with high winds before and just transfer my cook to oven. I've been lucky that I'm at the foiling stage when this happens so the smoke flavor hasn't been affected to much. In your case I would probably do the shoulder the day before and reheat in the oven or crook pot, the ribs are probably about 5 or 6 hours depending on size and how well your temps are controlled. Sorry can't help with the chicken as I've never fully cooked chicken on my smoker. I usually just smoke them for a while and then transfer them over to my gas grill to finish them. Sounds like a fun day you have planned - enjoy.

  8. wtipton

    wtipton Fire Starter

    Greeting and welcome to the forums,

    I have a brinkman vertical charcoal smoker like you described and have done several pork butts ribs and whole chicken (not at the same time mind you)

    There are several things you are going to want to do first before you put and meat in the smoker.

    1. take the factory temp gauge and throw it away.... these things are junk and are not reliable or even remotely accurate. the first time I used mine the temp guage kept jumping 100 degrees in a matter or seconds but my maverik stayed constant, 

    2. Take the charcoal pan and drill as many 1/4" holes into it as possible.... As they come from the factory there is no ware for the ash to go and will kill any heat or fire you might be lucky enough to keep going.

    3.take the charcoal pan off the rack and have it sit about 1 inch off of the floor of the smoker (so the ash can fall to the floor). this is because ware the rack is is to high for the vent to work properly.  if you can go buy a heavy duty colander (search google for mods on the smoker and there are several threads of what people did) as tha\ry are bigger and work very well.

    4. Always add hot coals to it as you go, there is not enough charcoal to keep up the temp and start fresh charcoal.

    5. use chips not chunks of wood, and only a little at a time

    6. Time... like forluvofsmoke said things will take time and alot of attention for it to come out right. you alway want to go by internal temo of the meat not time... I have had butts of the same weight vary in smoke time by several hours. 

    7. be ready to babysit this thing... when I use mine I can not be away from it for more than 20-30 min at a time. 

    These smokers are very challanging to use and in my opinion not a good starter smoker.... I would honestly would say use it several times before using it for a event. Save time and any embarassment that might come (I know I have been there)

    I hope that you do let this scare you away from smoking meat and hope you have fun learning. 

    also post pics we love to see "Q-view" of peoples smokes good or bad and remember [​IMG]

  9. William,

    Thanks very much for your tips. Gonna drill the holes in the coal pan tonight when I get home, and take her for a test drive tomorrow. Birthday party isn't for another 2 weeks, so I got time to make a few trial runs to fine tune it :)

    I smoked some boneless chicken breasts last weekend, and they came out amazing. I had those going on the bottom rack, and had some hot dogs and burgers going on the top rack. Used hickory chips, and kept the chicken moist using a little bit of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ thinned out with some olive oil and basalmic vinegar. I used some commercial McCormiks rub because I wasn't exactly sure while at the market on which spices I should use for my own custom rub. After the chicken came to temp I added a coat of BBQ and tossed them on the grill to get a nice charred look. They came out pretty damn good, and tasted much better than anything I ever made on the grill or in the oven.

    I have no problem with needing to babysit this smoker. I enjoy being active while cooking instead of just putting the meat in and only checking back a few times to mop the food.

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