Before doing any cooking you should season the smoker
Lightly spray the interior of the cooking box with vegetable oil.
Light a charcoal fire in the fire box. The best tool for this is a charcoal chimney starter. If you don’t have one, start the coals with paper and/or kindling. DO NOT USE ANY LIGHTER FLUID AND NEVER ADD ANY LIGHTER FLUID AT ANYTIME. This can foul the smoker and cause serious injury.
With the cooking box empty, allow the fire to burn at 225 degrees or higher for about two hours. You only have to do this once. Thereafter you can go right to cooking.
Before putting any meat in the smoker, light the fire in the fire box.
For smoking, bring the temperature up to between 225 and 250 degrees.
Do not put the meat in the smoker until your temperature stabilizes.
The cooking box will be hotter near the fire box than by the chimney. Bigger pieces of meat such as butts and brisket put at the cooler end.
Once you have constant temps, add your meat.
Typical meats for smoking are ribs (both spares and baby backs), pork butts (also known as Boston butts), brisket, sausage, keilbasa, whole chickens and turkeys, pigs, beef ribs, pork loins etc. You can cook multiple cuts and kinds of meats at the same.
Typical grilling meats are those that cook fast such as steaks, chicken parts, burgers dogs, fish, chops etc. (We recommend that you buy your meats at the supermarket to get the best price).
Depending on the meat, it can take for example: ribs-3 to 5 hours (baby backs cook faster), pork butts-7 to 10 hours, brisket-10 to 12 hours.
We suggest cooking with charcoal. Charcoal will add some smoke but for additional smoke you can add a chunk of hardwood such as hickory, oak, apple etc. or moist wood chips. NEVER add soft woods like pine.
The most accurate way to tell if your meat is ready is with a meat thermometer.
Brisket and pork butts-cook to about 200 degrees internal temperature.
Turkeys and chicken to about 180. Stick the probe between the body and the thigh without hitting a bone or if there’s a pop up in the breast use that as an indicator.
Ribs are done when you see “pull back from the tip of the bone and if you can easily tear the meat in between the bones.
We recommend you wrap pork butts, brisket and ribs in double tin foil part way through the cook and put back in the smoker to finish cooking. For the ribs and the butts we add about 4 tablespoons of honey and two tablespoons of brown sugar and then wrap them.
Wrap as follows:
Ribs at about the 1 ½ hours mark, pork butts and brisket when the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees. This helps to keep the meat from drying out. The foil will not interfere with smoking since meat will stop accepting smoke after 140 degrees.
Make sure you season your meats with your favorite seasonings prior to cooking and if you have an injector, inject the briskets and butts. You can inject a mixture of pork bouillon and seasoning for the butts and beef bouillon and seasoning for the brisket.
The beauty of BBQ is each smoker will cook differently. The more you cook the better you will get to know your smoker (kinda like your car). As with any grill weather, temperature, humidity and wind will effect the cook. If you any questions, no matter how simple you may think they are, just call us and we will be glad to help out. We want your BBQ experience to be a successful one.
Lard Have Mercy
By Joe Pino | 11 November, 2015