Smoking newbie from South Suburbs of Chicago!

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by xnigelx, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. Whats up guys, been reading information from here for about a month and I've found some good information so i figured id get signed up since i still think i need some help from some of the veterans here. Anyway about myself: I am 27, I've been cooking/baking since i was young(like 8 for baking) i can cook pretty much anything(notice i didn't say smoke lol). I recently purchased a mast-built XL and did the a couple mods to it, got rid of the small water pan and i use a large foil pan, and i smashed the vents closed in the chip pan and i put screws in the bottom to adjust the height, i normally line the pan with foil as well to prevent flames from hitting the chunks. I use a pampered chef digital thermometer.

    Things I've smoked so far:

    2 Sausage fatties, one with provolone and spinach other with Swiss, sauteed green pepper, onions, shrooms



    and a tiny brisket

    Out of everything i think the only things that came out good were the fatties. The others i think i had entirely too much smoke. The brisket and ribs were a lil tough i think i i must not have had them in long enough or something.

    Current projects:

    Just bought a nice sized pork shoulder i think it was about 9 lbs

    and about a 10lb brisket from Sam's club( you guys have a term for these i forgot what it was)


    How long do you soak your wood chunks?

    For this smoker would i do fat side up or down for the brisket? In a Foil pan or put a foil pan under it? If using a foil pan would i just cover the pan at 165 or foil the brisket outside of the pan?

    How in the world do you acquire that awesome bark you see on the cooking shows like Anthony bourdain, Andrew Zimmerman, and man vs food?

    Is there a problem with smoking meat that's been frozen? Or is the preferred method to smoke only fresh unfrozen meat?

    I have more questions but i don't wanna overload! I am like a sponge right now so I'm trying to soak up as much info as possible since smoking is SOO much different from cooking or baking. Its much harder and i give you guys credit for that!

    Looking forward to some great talks with everyone!
  2. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    First off welcome to SMF. You'll like this place for there are alot of folks here that would just love to help you with just about anything to do with smoking meat. You will find alot of good recipes and techniques here also. so with all that said:

    Welcome to your new Addiction

    Now for your questions:

    I personally don't soak my chips. It just takes longer for the smoke to start if you do.

    Next the fat up for this guys. reason for being the fat drips over the meat as it melts.

    Ok now I don;t use a pan but I'm not a big fan of the Bark that you seem to be. You might want to use a pan to aid in keeping your smoker cleaner. If you want the bark that you are talking about I wouldn't cover the butt just let it go till it hits maybe 195° or 200° and you should be fine. I would however recommend that you look up the 5-day E-course it's free and very informative and it will also give you the basics on smoking meat. So enjoy and go get smoking. 
  3. awesome i will definately looking into that e-course, thanks for the information! Hoping to get this project underway this weekend!
  4. jrod62

    jrod62 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    This place is awesome!! Lots to learn here.
    I use pans on my butts and briskets.
  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    [​IMG]    Glad to have you with us!
  6. ecto1

    ecto1 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Welcome to SMF glad you can join us.  We are big on Pics and love to help everyone out.  Remember the only question that is dumb is one not asked.  You will not find a friendlier place to talk Que on the web.

    I don't soak mine at all

    I like my fat down to put a shield between the heat and the meat.  I think you will find they both work we BBQ guys are just like old women with our superstitions.
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    WELCOME to the SMF Family...Lot's of Folks looking to help...Keep the Questions Coming, with several THOUSAND members...WE...Will Overload You First! [​IMG]...JJ
  8. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome aboard!

    With practice you will learn to manage your smoke both in quality and quantity. For quality look for thin, blue, nearly invisible smoke.  For quantity, personal preference plays a big role in that.

    Fat side up or down? Foil or no foil? Pan or no pan?  Different people here do in quite successfully either way.  Experiment and see what you and your family prefer? If you are looking for a thick crispy bark, you might want to try not foiling and experimenting with different rubs.

    Frozen meat will smoke up fine.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  9. dewetha

    dewetha Smoking Fanatic

    hey there!

    I'm a fellow south burbs guy here! not too south, Alsip area and fellow masterbuilt XL smoke-a-holic

    welcome aboard
  10. teeznuts

    teeznuts Master of the Pit

    Welcome! MES30 owner here. I don't soak my chips. I like fat side up to drip down moisture in to the meat. These are just opinion based. Most guys here like to fill the freezer when we find a good deal on meat. Thaw later and smoke away, it's all good.

    Out of curiosity what are the chip pan vents and why smash them closed? Not sure I know what you're referring to.
  11. wow thanks everyone! Appreciate all the great answers!

    @dewetha  Yes ive seen your posts and have been following a few on here :) my uncle lives at 123rd and cicero or so right there.

    @venture thanks i will definately read some more about the different methods. I would think if it wasnt foiled it wouldnt be as tender?

    @Teeznutz(lol) the flames get through to the wood and start it on fire. some smash them down, others just replace with a cast iron pan

  12. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit


    Welcome to SMF!!  You are already moving fast, here.

    You can already see there is lots of good help should you ever need it! Some of the best informed people around.

    Friendly people, lots of info. Enjoy and good luck!
  13. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  14. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Welcome to SMF!  As you've already experienced, this is a great place to share and get info. 
  15. welcome to SMF. im new here to great site and the best folks you can find are here
  16. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

          [​IMG]  to SMF

      glad you joined the family

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