Brinkman Charcoal Smoker -- Any Warnings for First Time User?
I just recieved a Brinkman Charcoal smoker. I am VERY excited to start using it to smoke everything. Any words of caution from past users? About this smoker or smokers in general. I love to cook and have grilled meat since I was small, but have NEVER smoked anything...
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanks from the SF Boards!
All I can say it a lot of fun - 2 years ago my wife got me a Brinkman smoker with an off set firebox - here are a some suggestions to insure successful smoking -
1) Invest in an electronic meat thermometer where the unit is outside the smoke it has helped me out you can track the progress of your smoked meat without opening the smoke chamber - insert it before you place the meat in the smoker and pull it out when its done -
2) find a good rub - my basic one is a mixture of dark brown sugar, kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder, sweet paprika and alittle cayenne - i do not measure so I can not give you exact proportions - i mix it until it looks and tastes right - if you do not want to be adventorous - you can get some excellent rubs from the spice house (www.spicehouse.com) my personal favorites - north woods rub and back of the yards rub
3)tend your fire - you have to make sure fire stays going and enough smoke is being generated - I like using wood chips soaked in water for at least an hour before you need them - i like using pecan wood, maple or fruit woods like apple and cheery - and i keep a steady stream of smoke coming out the chimney
4) if you want use sauce - start applying it about an hour before you are done smoking -
happy smoking -it is great fun -
Get a piece of sheet metal to put under it if you are using it on a deck. One of our friends had coals fall out while he was else where and not tending his smoker and nearly burned down a 2 story deck to say nothing about scorching the back side of his house.
Two top suggestions:
1. Go get Steven Raichlen's Barbecue Bible. He's amazing and really did his research. Great recipes for things like sauces and rubs (I make up regular batches of his Memphis-style rub).
2. I'd also suggest a good electronic thermometer where you can stick the probe into your meat and close the cover. I just picked up a cheap one that has a remote unit so I can wander around my house knowing the exact temperature of my pork butt (insert joke here).