Trying to learn how to smoke without getting burned

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by e flo, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. Hello Ya'll

    My name is Emilio originally from San Antonio, TX (Go Spurs) now living in New Braunfels, TX where I live with my wife Erin and dog Maggie.  I've always loved to cock outdoors from grilling to dutch oven baking and I've recently caught the smokin' bug.  I joined the forum hoping to get quality information and tips from those who have more experience than me.  Not wanting to get in over my head I picked up a used Old Smokey electric smoker to learn on thinking it would be more forgiving.  I look forward to being a part of this community talking to Ya'll.

  2. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nice meeting you Emillio, Its a great place to learn and its full of info, pictures and people who love talking about smoke only a little less that smoking itself.

    If and when you start asking questions remember to let people know you have an Old Smokey. I am assuming it looks a lot like this?

    This is I believe the predecessor to your smoker. Remember you have a analog smoker vice a digital. Analogs are great smokers, a lot of fun, and make some great end product. They just play by different rules.

    Digital smokers maintain a specific temperature whereas an analog maintains an average. Digital maintains 220 degrees, analog may come on at 200 and off at 240 to achieve their medium setting.

    Most electrics have no vents, until here just lately, your Old Smokey probably has none. Again its not bad, its just a different set up which can confuse those who normally use fire burners and those with electrics which have been modified to mimic a fire burner w/ vents. You can always customize your unit to include these things also. I never did, but I had fire burners to do the big stuff on too.

    I like the above so well that I completely wore out 3 of them.  In this age of digital controls and digital thermometers, and exact times and expecting everything to work as you expect, analogs are more about the old ways of throw it in and wait without worry. You know that with experience it will be good, and you hope you factor in the variables to be one of the best you've ever smoked. 

    Seriously its a load of fun. makes some good food
    e flo likes this.
  3. Thanks for the heads up Foamheart, I'm doing my first trial run tomorrow of ribs and a small Boston butt and I'll be sure to keep that in mind.  If I remember I'll try to post the outcome of my first run
  4. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you open the top, you will release all the smoke and generally its a one shot deal with the smoke.

    You go to high first for about 15 to 30 mins to smoke the chamber then turn the heat down to your cooking heat. Then its all time and temp. You can open the top and lose the smoke after its smoked for 2 or 3 hours, then the meat will already be smoke absorbed. Don't go crazy on the chips either.
    e flo likes this.
  5. Well my first attempt at smoking in the Old Smokey went much better than I expected,[​IMG] the tips I got from Foamheart really came in handy today.  The small Boston Butt could have come off a little earlier but it was good and it had a better bark than I was expecting from this unit.  I saw in a few post that getting a bark would be hard since it was a sealed cylinder but I had no problem.  The ribs came out well except they would not stay together I'm guessing they where on too long?  All in all I'm happy with the product considering it was my first attempt at smoking anything.  Any ideas on how to firm up the ribs?
  6. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Less smoking time?
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  7. Welcome to the forum, Foam gave you some good advice, It will get easier as you go and get familiar with your smoker

    Gary S
  8. Did you have a thermometer in the pork the whole time? What method did you use to cook the ribs?

    The Smokey cooks sort of in 3 ways. It's a smoker, an oven, and a pressure cooker (mind you minimal). I'd say the oven factor is the biggest point here because things seem to cook faster than with a unit with vents on it. 

    Glad your first shot came out good. Enjoy!
  9. I did not have a thermometer in the butt the whole time, I have a handheld insta-read style thermometer at the moment.  After my first go around it was at the top of my list of things to get before I smoke again (hopefully this Thursday).  As far as the ribs I went with the no foil style of cooking, I used a rub of my own design and two hours in I basted with a little butter on top.  I do believe that the prob thermometer will help greatly and of course just spending quality time with my smoker to learn it. 

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