This is a membership forum. As a guest, you can click around a bit. View 5 pages for free. If you would like to participate, please join.

[ Pitmaster Club Information | Join Now | Login | Contact Us ]

There are 4 page views remaining.


No announcement yet.

Any ideas for some first time smoking?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Any ideas for some first time smoking?

    So my Smokenator will be arriving tomorrow, and I need to do some test runs. What is the best/cheapest cut to accomplish this? I was thinking whole chicken. Thanks for the advise.

    Chicken is good and cooks quick, pork shoulder is cheap and hard to mess up. I like doing rolls of sausage and then cutting them up for breakfast.


      Pork shoulder - follow the guidance here and it's pretty much bullet-proof and oh so tasty.


        I got a Smokenator last year and have done more than 10 cooks on it. Understand that it does require a bit of baby-sitting. For that reason I would steer you away from pork shoulder only due to the duration of the cook - that's a lot of baby-sitting. A whole chicken was suggested above and it's a good suggestion. The thing about chicken is you want it to be higher heat (320-335 range) and in order to achieve that temp I would remove the water pan (it's the technique I used for Thanksgiving turkey). The only downside to that is most low-slow is done in the 220-250 range and if you are looking to practice your technique mastering that range is a good place to start. For that perhaps a slab of baby back might be a nice choice.

        Here are a few things I've observed regarding the Smokenator. I found that 225-250 is pretty easy to maintain if the bottom vents are 1/4 open and the top vent is about 1/2 open, obviously weather conditions can impact things a bit. With that range you can probably control the temperature with the top vent. When I've used the Smokenator I've always used the provided water pan (the 1 turkey cook notwithstanding) and always filled it with water. I recommend using Kingsford blue as your fuel. As Meathead emphasizes you don't need a lot of wood and it's better to under-smoke than over-smoke (I can vouch for this from firsthand experience). I have found that once per hour the water bowl needs to be re-filled. Every other hour the ash will need to be knocked off the coals. At the 4 hour mark you'll want to add coals if you are looking to extend your cook beyond that range. The amount of coals added will depend on how long you want to continue the cook. The nice thing is at the 4 hour mark the coals that are in the Smokenator are hot enough that they will light unlit coals - a continuation of the Minion Method - so you can add unlit coals. Fortunately, with the hinged grate all of these steps are quick and easy. This site offers its own suggestions regarding using this device and while I have no doubt that it's good advice, the techniques I just shared I know work from firsthand experience.

        Welcome to the world of smoking!


          Thanks guys for your advise so far, and special thanks to JeffJ for a first hand account. :-)


            I think pork butt is the ideal first smoke, however, it can take all day (12 hours or more). If you want a shorter cook last meal ribs are the way to go!




                whatever you decide to cook mark your vent opening and indicate temp.


                  Keep a Cooking Log for all of your calibrations and cooks!




                  No announcement yet.
                  Rubs Promo


                  These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

                  These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

                  Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

                  A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs

                  Groundbreaking Hybrid Thermometer!

                  Thermapen One Instant Read Thermometer

                  The FireBoard Spark is a hybrid combining instant-read capability, a cabled temperature probe, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. We gave Spark a Platinum Medal for pushing the envelope of product capability while maintaining high standards of design and workmanship.

                  Click here to read our comprehensive Platinum Medal review

                  The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One

                  The Good-One Open Range is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.

                  Click here to read our†complete review


                  Comprehensive Temperature Magnet With 80+ Important Temps

                  Amazingribs.com temperature magnet
                  Winner of the National BBQ Association’s product of the year award. This 8.5″ x 11″ magnet contains more that 80 benchmark temperatures for meats (both USDA recommended temps as well as the temps chefs recommend), fats and oils, sugars, sous vide, eggs, collagens, wood combustion, breads, and more. Although it is not certified as all-weather, we have tested it outdoors in Chicago weather and it has not delaminated in three years, but there is minor fading.

                  Click here to order.

                  Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

                  The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
                  Click here for our review of this superb smoker

                  Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater

                  Char-Broil’s Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you’re off to the party! Char-Broil’s TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

                  Click here to read our detailed review and to order

                  Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker

                  This is the first propane smoker with a thermostat, making this baby foolproof. Set ThermoTemp’s dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin’.

                  Click here to read our detailed review

                  Grilla Pellet Smoker proves good things come in small packages

                  We always liked Grilla. The small 31.5″ x 29.5″ footprint makes it ideal for use where BBQ space is limited, as on a condo patio.
                  Click here for our review on this unique smoker