New to Smoking

Feel free to ask any questions, one of the experts will certainly respond, don't be afraid to ask anything, we were all beginners at some point.

New to Smoking

Postby TripleM » 22 Feb 2018, 11:37

Hi All,

So after debating whether to buy a Weber Smokey Mountain or a Oklahoma Joe Highland. I opted for the later. I have made some modifications such as adding locks to the smoke chamber, gasket tape on the seals and gasket sealant to the joins.

For my first cook i was audacious and tried to smoke St Louis Ribs and Short Beef Ribs. However, I found that as soon as I got the fire to temperature, I ran out of fuel. So for the next cook yesterday I tried to smoke a Pork Shoulder using the minion method in a Charcoal Basket the fuel I used was Big K Restaurant Grade Lumpwood But all of the fuel quickly set a light and burnt out within 1 - 1 1/2 hours at a high temperature is this due to the variability in wood size small pieces large pieces?

I have brought 2 x 10kg of Aussie Heat Beads for the next cook which i hope to be on Sunday and just wondering how much fuel should I be typically using for the cook? and should I be using the Minion Method?

Any advice welcome
Still Raw Inside
Still Raw Inside
Joined: 22 Feb 2018, 10:32

Re: New to Smoking

Postby LondonBBQer » 24 Jan 2019, 02:47

Well no-one responded and its a year on so hopefully you got somewhere. But I made the same mistake - starting out with lump which shouldn't be used in smoking unless you are cooking shellfish or something quick! You need quality briquettes that aren't UK brand but usually American brand - this is because UK branded stuff tends to contain a lot of extra rubbish and fillers - including sand and once I found lumps of what looked like brick. I've not tried Aussie heat beads but they seem to have a good reputation.

I personally have been using Weber briquettes for the last three years - they have a 3 hour burn so minion will last about 8 hours (good for ribs) and a topup will take you to 16 hours (good for butt). While these seem consistently good, I'd like to be brave and try out some of the other classic American brands - in particular the de-facto Kingsford.

I also recommend that the starting coals in the chimney starter is well burnt / ashened before adding to the minion as the initial smoke during starting is quite harsh and can add creosote to the meat which can ruin it. Once stabilised in the smoker, the minion will start to burn gently which should avoid emitting great clouds of harsh smoke. When topping up, similarly repeat i.e. burn a load in the starter first and add to a fresh (probably smaller) minion. You want a minimum of visible harsh smoke going through - ideally the smoke should be almost imperceptible, like a vapour. The US forums talk of the legendary "blue" smoke but I have not seen this or maybe not regularly. Instead, when I see/feel/smell vapoury, flavoursome exhaust for hours on end - I know its going to be good.
Still Raw Inside
Still Raw Inside
Joined: 30 Dec 2018, 16:24

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