OT: Smoking Meats (Donate Your Knowledge)

I know this has been a topic over the years, but bringing it back once again. Mostly because I always like learning from a lot of people on here that like smoking meats. Also it's 90+ degrees right now at 11PM on an overnight smoke, and trying to stay occupied while getting the temperature locked in just right so I can watch John Wick and fall asleep for a few hours before checking it again out of paranoia.

Some structure to this. Every smoke is different, so this should just be your ideal smoke.

  • What's your meats
  • Smoker
  • Size
  • Temp
  • Time
  • Rub (injection)
  • Leave fat or trim, cap up or down if it's something like butts, etc.
  • Chips
  • Wrap
  • Misc. spray bottle / mop, drip tray water or additions, anything else you want to throw in there

Here's mine:

  • Pork butt has always been my go to, such a long smoke, but I relish in the pain once it's done
  • Green Egg handed down from my mom, incredibly grateful, but would sleep better or any with a pellet. Temperature holds well, but 10 degree internal change in the middle of summer or cold of winter can shift the smoke by hours. My last two smokes were randomly on the coldest and hottest days of record for the year. Not fun
  • I try to only do it for special occasions, so ends up being about 15lbs, generally two 7.5lbs meats from any butcher in this area
  • I go low, try to keep it at 225 to 250, letting it drop below 225 makes it a stressful next day
  • I'm likely just an idiot, but my smokes end up taking about 2-2.5 hours per pound, have found myself in quite a bind when having company so have started earlier to avoid the stress
  • I do use yellow mustard, mostly because I think the flavor cooks off and it serves as a great way to get your rub to stick. I've spent hours going through good recipes for scratch rub, and settled on traditional seasoned salt, brown sugar, granulated sugar, paprika, garlic powder, pepper, dry mustard, cumin, and ginger. About standard, though I have mixed up the amounts based on taste. Didn't have time today and grabbed a local spice shop rub for tonight, ingredients no surprise were mostly the same, but will report back. I've injected once before, couldn't tell the difference.
  • I leave the fat and put the cap up
  • I like wood chips, and try to find the apple type (I'm heavy on apple in general)
  • Only wrap if I finish early and take the meat off, or top foil over the meat if I am running way behind. I have no experience at all with doing this or doing it well
  • I do spray after having a decent bark with a traditional 1/3rd of water / cider / apple juice. I've always had issues with my drip tray, try to keep a little bit of water in it, but had it overflow a few times toward the 2/3rd mark of a long smoke, end up having to empty it out a bit. Would be awesome to hear suggestions on that

In any case, would be great to hear thoughts.

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.


  • I do them all. Pork butt and brisket are most common. I do turkey legs and chicken regularly for the Lot 18 tailgates. I also do whole turkeys, fish, wings, bacon, sausage, and I currently have 9.5 pounds of Canadian bacon curing in the fridge to be smoked Wednesday evening. Not meat but baked beans and smoked salsa are common too.
  • Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5 in. I have learned how to control my air flow with the vents so I can get the temp steady for hours without any problem. Last weekend I did an over night cook of 3 pork butts and the temp was steady for over 7 hours.
  • I can do up to 40 lbs of pork butt at a time (four 10 lb butts). I did that for my wife's parent's church last year. I also do something my friends and I call Smokerday where I smoke all of the meats. For one away game a year, I will smoke a pork butt, brisket, chicken, turkey legs, pork ribs and baked beans and we will eat until we get the meat sweats.
  • Temp depends on what I am cooking. Pork butts, brisket, and ribs get 225 to 250. Poultry gets 300 to 350 to keep the skin from getting rubbery. There isn't any connective tissue to break down with poultry so low and slow does you no good.
  • Rubs also depend on the cook. Pork butts and ribs and chicken get a Memphis style dry rub that I found on amazingribs.com (incredible website). Brisket get course ground black pepper and kosher salt rub, half and half. Whole turkeys get a kosher salt, garlic powder, poultry seasoning, and a creole butter injection. That I the only one I inject.
  • For pork butts I usually leave the fat cap on unless it is something excessive. It goes fat cap down in my WSM since the heat comes from the bottom. Brisket gets the fat cap trimmed until it is roughly 1/4 in and fat cap up because it fits better on my smoker that way.
  • I never bother with chips. They burn up way too fast. I only do chunks. Luckly my parents live in the woods of southwest Virginia so I have a nearly unlimited supply. My dad cut the wood into fist size chunks and I add them one a time as need to the charcoal to keep a thin, blue smoke. I currently have 6 different types of wood stacked at my house: oak, hickory, cherry, apple, sugar maple, and beech. Each one gives a different taste to the food and depending on what flavor I am trying to give to the food determines which wood I will use. Oak and cherry are my go tos.
  • I never wrap. I like bark on my meat and I think the only way to get a proper bark is to not wrap.
  • I don't mop or spray. I tried a BBQ chicken recipe recently that included a mop sauce but in general I subscribe to the saying "If you are looking, you aren't cooking." Opening the cover is the quickest way to mess with your temperature control. Most charcoal smokers do temp control through air flow and every time you open, you cause the temp to drop then flare up. If you are having temp control issues, try reducing or eliminating how many times you look.

Lot to think about here, thanks for the response!


For your temp issues with the green egg, I highly recommend the BBQ guru PartyQ/DigiQ/CyberQ. These attach a fan to where the air flows in, uses a thermometer on the grate and controls airflow to increase/l, lower or maintain the temperature. It makes the longer smokes on a ceramic grill much easier.

Been thinking about getting one of these, nice to hear they work well. Woke up this morning after 5 hours of sleep and temperature dropped to 195, and had it steady for hours before going to sleep.


Yup they work great. Just make sure the charcoal is lit well and you have enough fuel for the entire smoke.

Co-worker is a competition BBQ-er and swears by his PartyQ on overnights. Wife bought me one for Christmas last year and it has been a huge help on regulating the temps overnight in my WSM.

Have you ever tried wrapping the brisket with butcher paper? I think you'd like it. Usually the bark is set and good to go by the time to wrap. And I agree with you if you wrap in foil, it does seem to affect the bark. But with the butcher paper I find I get the best of both worlds - a great bark with a nice moist inside. I usually wait a little bit to wrap it if the bark isn't set yet. Most of the time this is around 165 but I feel like every single brisket I cook has a different personality. Anyway, if you haven't tried the butcher paper before just a suggestion.

If anyone hasn't watched yet, the two Aaron Franklin episodes on Netflix's The Chef Show are awesome. He talks about how he trims, seasons, cooks, wraps and cuts his brisket.

After those episodes watch the rest because the show is awesome. It's just Jon Favreau and his tutor for the movie Chef just kind of hanging out cooking for themselves and for restaurants. There's really no production and they even said they started this by just hanging out and decided to film whatever they were doing.

Aaron Franklin also has a really great online cooking class deal. I haven't done it yet but plan to. I have had a couple of friends do it and said it was great.

Aaron Franklin Master Class

I've seen those adds everywhere on my phone. He does still have some videos on YouTube still that show you hoe to smoke.

Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5 in. I have learned how to control my air flow with the vents so I can get the temp steady for hours without any problem.

Could you please share some details on your method to keep temps steady?

I bought a WSM 18.5" a few months ago. I've had good results so far (limited sample size), but I find myself adjusting the bottom vents a tiny bit every 45-60 minutes or so. But then, inexplicably, the temperature settles in at 225-230 and I don't have to make any adjustments for 2-3 hours. I don't have enough experience to know what's causing the fluctuations / lack of fluctuations. (Except when it's really obvious, like on my first smoke when I overreacted to a slight drop in temp and, like a moron, added like 15 hot briquettes and then skyrocketed the temp to 315. I know what caused that fluctuation: user error. The pork butt was forgiving though.) I've been keeping all 3 bottom vents around 25% to 33% open. When I need to adjust the temp, I'll just open or close one of the vents by about a millimeter at a time.

I recently read about a method where, when you get into your desired temp range, you open one of the bottom vents all the way and close the other two all the way. The top vent stays 100% open the whole time. Apparently this is good for keeping temps steady. I can see how it would be beneficial to take the human element out of the equation because I'd keep my increasingly intoxicated hands off the smoker and let it do its job.

Can anybody vouch for this? I'm bringing my WSM to the Rappahannock next Thursday for a long weekend. Smoking a couple butts on Friday. I'm thinking about trying this method out, because I want to be able to spend some time relaxing by the water and not have to walk up to the house every half hour.

That is actually pretty close to how I run my WSM. I start it by loading it up with how much charcoal I need and then lighting 15-20 briquettes in a charcoal chimney. Then I dump the coals evenly across the whole surface of the unlit charcoal. I have an old pair of tongs that I use to move them around until they are completely spread out. Online this is called the Minion method after the guy who first started using the WSM in BBQ competitions.

I then go prep the meat and let the temp stabilize for 30 minutes or so. I find that helps get past the bad charcoal smoke stage. I also only use regular old Kingsford blue bag charcoal. I have heard that people who use lump in the WSM will get temp spikes because the charcoal chunks are uneven size and therefore burn uneven.

Also, do NOT rely on that temp gauge on the lid of the WSM. It is often HORRIBLY inaccurate. That thing gets thrown off by the sun and any other heat source. Get a good digital probe and a clip and put it on your cooking grate to get the real temp. You can also put water in the pan to help with temp control. I stopped doing it because it just increased the mess in my opinion and I found I didn't need it any more.

Another thing I have realized with the WSM is that there is a 20 minute or so lag after you adjust the vents before you start to see the temp change. If you are adjusting the temp that often, you are probably fighting yourself on getting the temp steady. I always keep the top vent should always be 100% open of the time. I only adjust the bottom vents during the cook. When I did my last pork butt cook, it was so hot I only had 1 vent open 2/3 of the way and that was it the entire time. It was so hot last weekend that it was all I could do to keep the temps down.

Could you please share some details on your method to keep temps steady?

They're not cheap but I swear by my DigiQ. I got it as a gift years ago and use it whenever I need to cook for more than an hour. Once you get the hang of it, it's set-and-forget.

I don't know if there are other options on the market, nor do I know how well these work across different smokers (I use it exclusively on a BGE), but as far as I'm concerned, if you're doing butts, brisket, or even ribs, it's a must-have accessory unless you LIKE fiddling with your vents every 30-45min.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."

I believe it works for all ceramic egg style grills and the WSM. You just have to make sure you order it for your specific grill because some require certain attachment and closure pieces.

The longer you have your WSM, the easier it will become to regulate the temp. Summer smokes are different than winter smokes. More fuel and air flow in the winter. I always keep my top vent 100% open. Just adjust the bottom vents. There is a 15 or 20 minute delay in temp changes once you adjust those vents....takes a bit for the smoker to reach a balance.
Try adjusting how you place your coals. I fill my smoker....but then remove coals from the very center, making a hole about the size of a quart of paint. None of these coals are hot. Then I fire up my chimney coal heater...but you don't need many hot coals, just enought to fill your hole in the smoker. I don't even super pre-heat those coals....just enough to get a little fire coming from your chimney - you use a chimney starter I assume.
Then you pour those hot coals into your hole. By doing this, you'll get a nice slow burn - working slowly from the center outwards. Of course, put a few nice big chunks of wood on top of those coals to get a nice smoke.
I bring my smoker up to 250 or 300...maybe even higher, then I dial it back by adjusting the bottom vents. Sometimes I'll burn the hell out of the inside getting internal temp a little higher if it's been a while since I've run a smoke and I've got a little funky funk inside my smoker....you may know what I'm talking about!!
Once my smoker gets back to 250 or so....It's time to add the meat. I'll adjust those bottom vents maybe two or three more times over the course of the next hour....just to get the temp perfect. If it's a hot summer day...I may have one 100% closed and the other two open just about as wide as the width of a hummingbird's beek. Sometimes it doesn't take much air at all. In the winter...I may have all vents open 20%. Nothing is ever open 100% unless my burn dipped below 180 becuase I'm running out of fuel (this sometimes happens at 7 am when I'm doing an overnight smoke). In that case....I just throw some more coal in there and open things up...then dial it back down after making a pot of coffee.
As you keep using your WSM you'll get a nice seasoned build up of goop around your joints (lid and sections). This'll keep your unit air tight with the exceptions of your vents. Once you've got the goop...you've become good friends with your smoker, and it's air tight. Temp regulating just gets easier.
Someone always buys me some kind of wi-fi temp thing for my smoker...like every other holiday. I used one like 7 years ago....but now when I get them, I just give them to someone else. Once you're friends with your smoker you don't need an ap on your phone to know what's going on in your backyard. All you need is a decent thermometer to poke into that rubber gasket and just leave in there during your cook. My temp guage on top broke two years ago!
I put my pork shoulder(s) on around 9 pm. Get my temp steady...then go to bed at 10:30 or 11. If I remember...I'll add a few more chunks of wood just before I go to bed. I wake up at 5 am to check my smoke but I already know my tem will be a little below 225 because I'm starting to run low on fuel. I add some more coal and couple chunks of wood, open up my vents, make a pot of coffee, go back outside and dial my vents back down, then find something else to do until my meat is done later in the morning. Or...go back to bed. If I oversleed and wake up at 7:30...it's fine. I'll find my smoker at 150...I just bring it back up.
You can't mess up BBQ!! That's the best part of the smoke project!


My advice, use two different smokers.

I start mine in an electric smoker with a meat probe and use wood chips. Then finish in a traditional charcoal smoker with charcoal and wood chips.

Starting with the electric smoker allows you to leave it with no worries, I do it overnight or while I'm knocking out yard work all day. You set the temp without opening the smoker and messing up the smoke process. Also with an electric I can catch a lot of good juices in the drip pan which I like to use for my basting/bbq sauce base. Really really good for a steeping sauce for chopped brisket.

The last 1-2 hours put it on the charcoal smoker to finish with a nice bark.

Tyrod did it Mikey, Tyrod did it!!

What's your meats
Mainly brisket, ribs, turkey tenderloins, turkey legs.
ASF 24 x 20 Pit with Oven
ASF pit
I also have an ASF Sitloing pellet grill. I put a link above since these are mainly a Texas brand.
Size - it just all depends.
Temp - I'm a firm believer of 202 for the brisket to be pulled off at - I have had success with both 225 and 250. My wife is a longhorn grad and they too have a tradition of turkey legs at games. I find that the best temp for them is 275.
Time - depends
Rub (injection) - Our grocery store H-E-B sells a variety of meat/cut specific rubs. I've also got a couple of local places that make their own too.
Chips - I live just north of San Antonio but we lease a ranch down in South Texas. In the TX hill country where I live the predominant wood is live oak and it makes a fine smoke for just about anything, especially brisket. If I can grab some sweeter wood - apple or cherry I prefer that for turkey. It's easy to find those in pellet blends. The best place to find a good variety of harder to find woods is usually Academy. It costs ya but it's nice to throw in and mix with the piles of oak I have.
The ranch is a different story. I haul oak down there along with some other variety to store. The only wood there pretty much is mesquite. I can just drive around in the truck and fill the bed. Mesquite is overpowering as a smoke. It is nice to have a little for South Texas flavor but you need to use it sparingly or it's all you will taste. With things like chicken which are higher heat, shorter time it is better. I try to mix it in with the oak I bring down so the smoke on the longer taking meats isn't so dominated by that thick and dominant mesquite smoke.
Wrap - I didn't start making decent briskets consistently until I started using the Texas Crutch method. Then, when I replaced the foil wrap with butcher paper I broke through. It is amazing how much more moist and better your brisket is with butcher paper. It keeps it from drying out during that stall that you hit about halfway through. If you don't have it in your stores just order it online.

I've got a side firebox smoker that's close to 20 years old.

I stopped doing mops, like mentioned above, it's impossible to control temp that way.

I try for chunk but use what I can get.

Don't over look a long and slow chuck roast in a moist smoker.

My drip pan is usually part of my sauce.

Pork but is common, also, ham when I'm in the mood.
I do brisket point for burnt ends.

Smoked chicken wings. Cook them through then you can let them cool.
Later, sauce them and cook them on very high heat to reward and crisp them.

If you have too many onions, smoke them and then wrap and roast them to a light carmelization. Freeze it for crock pot roasts in the winter for sweet and smoke or use it in sauces or really cook them down and spread on rolls for sandwiches.

Also, roast garlic, it's excellent. People overlook the veggies. Even if you don't eat them as part of your event, freeze them for cooking with later.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Electric smoker is the way to go if you're learning it out since they're just a smoking oven and you can just leave it worry free.
My favorite starter recipe is the 3-2-1 ribs recipes they work great and the smoker does wonders to tenderize the meat and then you cook the ribs in a beer for two hours then sauce em up for the last hour and they taste amazing.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Everything you need to know is in this here video.


If someone wants to embed the video that would be swell

Here lies It's a Stroman Jersey I Swear, surpassed in life by no one because he intercepted it.

Always wanted to get into smoking meats, but never took the plunge. What's your advice to get started? Good starter smoker, wood chips, meats to start with, etc?

Twitter me

The easiest way to get in, in my opinion, is just getting a Weber kettle grill. I have smoked ribs, chicken, bacon, Canadian bacon, salsa, baked beans, and wings on mine. They are only $150 and of course you can grill on it too! To smoke on mine I used the snake method. I line the briquettes 2x2 along the edge (2 on the bottom and 2 on top) . Then I light about 10 briquettes in a chimney and dump them on one end of the snake and it will burn low and slow until the snake burns out. If you loop it most of the way around the kettle, it will burn for about 6 hours no problem. I have the kettle with the ash catcher on the bottom with the adjustable air flow. If you want to do a longer cook, you will have to add to the snake. But if you have the grate with the flaps, it isn't that hard to add charcoal. It is just a bit annoying but I know people who have done pork butts and briskets successfully this way.

Right on with the kettle grill suggestion. Best thing is that you can grill and BBQ - Grill burgers like everyone know how....or BBQ like it says above. Great way to smoke smaller pieces of meat like chicken fisha and ribs. You can do a shoulder in the kettle too....you'll just have to check and add fuel more often than in a big smoker.


I started with a inexpensive water smoker from Home Depot in college we referred to as R2 - probably ran $75. To this day my friends and I refer to upright water smokers as R2 units. You can cook quite a bit on those and make really good BBQ without worrying about it drying out because of the water pan. It will give you some experience working with coals and trying all sorts of things (butts, ribs, beer can chicken, etc.). I had a lot of fun getting my feet wet making BBQ drinking beers with R2. A couple years later I graduated to an offset stick burner - which was a huge pain in the ass to learn to use correctly. Glad I made the jump - I learned a ton. Finally after having 4 kids, much less free time and a significantly higher bank account I purchased a Memphis grills elite (pellet grill) for my outdoor kitchen. The thing is awesome. I sometimes miss the "art" of the old school smokers, but it is much more practical for me.

So I suggest you drive down to Lowe's or Home Depot grab a water smoker, a chimney, hardwood briquettes, and some wood chunks. Swing by the bookstore and get an intro to BBQ and give it a shot.

Well, today I have:
Four large racks of elk ribs, a pork backbone and ribs with Memphis dust, and a beef rump roast with pastrami rub going.
Pit boss pro pellet grill with pecan pellets at around 200. For some to-be-determined time.
On another propane smoker we have some deer and wild hog summer sausages smoking.

All this done in a very unscientific manner.

And how many people are you feeding? Because all of that sounds amazing.


This is going to be great for the ACC.

Any leftovers? I'll be by around 2.

I got a rotisserie attachment for the egg. So far only used it for thin sliced pork, marinated in mole, spitted with with pineapple, smoked over applewood chips, at 225 for several hours, for tacos. Any other good ideas?

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Well chicken & turkey are pretty obvious here, as is a prime rib roast. Higher heat of course. And take that same recipe you've done, subtract mole, use al pastor (achiote) marinade instead.

Example here: All Things BBQ - YouTube

Not smoking meat, but have recently gotten into smoking vegetables and grilling fruit. Peppers and summer squash work well, Brazilian pineapple and fresh peaches are a hit. Any tips?

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Grill asparagus and okra. Cover with some olive oil. Sprinkle with Cajun seasoning. Cook until limp.

Any tips?

Try smoking meat ;)

"It's always great to beat UVA, that makes us all smarter and better looking for a couple days".

HokieEnginerd makes amazing smoked salsa. Cut Roma tomatoes, 1 purple onion, 1 poblano, 1 jalepeno, 1 serrano in half. Put on the grill and smoke with fruit wood until the veggies are soft. Throw veggies in food processor with cumin, garlic, lime juice, salt, pepper.

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

I smoke the veggies for about an hour and a half for this. So not too soft. Mostly until everything has a soft brown color to it and I use cherry wood for this.

I swear by the Pit Barrel Cooker. I absolutely love it and the customer service is tremendous. The guy who sells them stamps his cell phone number in the side of the grill in case you have questions during a cook. Made in the USA out of an oil drum and horseshoes.


I really like my Pit Barrel Cooker as well. Got it mostly for smoking pork shoulder but have been amazed at the results I get with a whole chicken. I've thrown in some apple wood a few times, but the flavor just cooking over charcoal is pretty amazing.

What's your process for pork shoulder? Do you take it off at the stall and wrap it like he recommends in the video? I like taking it off the hooks and leaving it on the grate to finish but without wrapping it to get a crisper bark, but usually need to add charcoal at that point. I'm insecure also about it only taking 60-75 min per pound, but the results are still delicious.

Any tips for brisket from your experience?

Class of '02. GO HOKIES!

It's funny - I do exactly what you do. I transfer to the grate without wrapping and I add charcoal. My go to cook is ribs on the Pit Barrel, and I love that I can do many more racks than on the Green Egg.


Brisket on the PBC is amazing - just did two 4.5 lb flats this past Thursday for a church potluck event.

I trim the cap to about 1/4 inch, and rub generously with morton's salt and coarse ground black pepper the night before, and wrap tightly with saran wrap. bring up to room temp while you're getting your coals set. I like a combination of cherry and pecan for the wood. Oak works great. This most recent time, i used a bunch of cherry chips and a chunk of mesquite.

the PBC cooks it pretty quickly - you'll wanna keep the temp in the 280-290 range. Much lower than that and it'll take a while and I've found that it's a pain to try to get the PBC regulated in the 225-250 range like everyone suggests.

If only one flat, i just put it on the grate cap-up and jet it go. For multiple flats, i've found that it's better to do the double-meathooks method and hang.

If you're at 280-290, the internal temp will stall out around 165-170, some people will pull and wrap in foil, but i think that ruins the bark. If you have to, use pink butcher paper like someone mentioned above. I've done this and it's not bad, but i generally plan to wait out the stall -- with smaller flats (< 5 lb, like you'd find in a standard grocery store) the stall will be under an hour before it starts climbing again.

You'll see people swear by final internal temperatures anywhere from 190-205 F. I aim for 195 ish. Pull from the smoker, wrap in pink butcher paper and then in an old towel and put it in a cooler for at least an hour, then slice against the grain.

Time from uncovering the PBC to wrapping the done meat to rest is about 4-5 hours, but will depend on size of cut, etc.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I'll share a secret recipe of my own for an amazing rib glaze:

2 Sweet onions halved vertically
5-6 bulbs peeled garlic cloves (depending how much garlic you like)

Put in grill pan or something with holes on the bottom. Drizzle of olive oil and pinch of cracked black pepper

Applewood chunks - full smoke
Smoke at 200* for 50-60 min. You will know as they will get a beautiful golden color all the way around

When done, put in a non reactive container and submerge fully in apple cider vinegar in the fridge overnight

Blend all ingredients in sauce pot, add 1.5 cups brown sugar. Medium heat, stir till sugar dissolves and reduces to glaze consistency

Apply at your pleasure

Has anyone used a smoker box on a propane grill? I don't have room for a smoker in the place I currently live but just got a smoker box for the grill

You can smoke in that propane grill!! Easy. I used to use an aluminum pie pan...poke a few holes in bottom and put the pie pan directly over your burners (under the grill). Just run one burner on the far left of right, and put your meat on the opposite side. Works!! I bet the smoker box your talking about does pretty much the same thing.


I tried it for "cold" smoking and it works decently well. You definitely get a smoke flavor that's much better than liquid smoke.

What you cold smokin? Cheese?


pro tip: cold smoke chicken and then bread and fry it

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

It was a bizarre sous vide pastrami recipe before I had a real smoker. Turned out really good, but it was quite the process.

I use a big green egg, and I swear by it. the consistency, the fact that it burns real wood, the versatility, and the smoke flavor you can get out of it is tremendous once you know what you are doing. I use it primarily as a "smoker" meaning, I don't use it much for hamburgers, pizza, etc. - I do on occasion, but I have a propane weber for such cooks. I firmly believe that smoking meat is just that- you need 4-5 hours to get good smoke flavor penetration, and most meats I cook are large and I cook them slow. Pork shoulder, Brisket, Whole chicken, Turkey breats, Ribs are primarily what I smoke. Preparation, rubs, brines are very important for good tasting meat- which should be the goal. You need to learn how to trim and prepare meat properly when cooking it for 8-10-12 hours potentially. I use a basic bbq rub for pork and chicken. Slightly different for ribs, and for a brisket- salt and pepper only. I am a huge proponent of texas style brisket- salt pepper, good bark, good smoke flavor, cook until you can probe a toothpick effortlessly- then its done. the only reason I would not use a BGE is do do a whole hog- the holy grail of BBQ- which I plan to do next spring on a cinder block Pit I build myself in my yard. If you can cook a whole hog properly and use all of the typical cuts, you can smoke BBQ- period. I'm also typically a "low and slow" guy. I cook brisket and shoulder around 225 grate temp. Ribs around 275.. Chicken/turkey a little hotter so the skin is edible. There is no true right/wrong way to smoke meat if your stuff tastes good. I've had my share of shitty "321 ribs" -trust me. I've also had competition brisket cooked at 375 degrees that was delicious. Fire the smoker up, pop a beer and cook good meat! That's what is all about.

There is no true right/wrong way to smoke meat if your stuff tastes good.

I have never agreed more with anything you've ever said. The process informs the product, but you can arrive at a great product with wildly different processes. I spent way too much time trying to dial in a long smoke at low temp on the PBC and turns out you just don't need it for some things.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I'm going to buy a PBC one day. Hokietrax in this thread tuned me into those a few years ago. Seems like a very cool toy/smoker. Would love to cook with one and experiment.

The cautionary tale is the PBC is "set it and forget it"...after BGE-ing for so long you could go berzerk watching temps fluctuate. Folks who want to dial in temps seem to like the BBQ Guru & things that control airflow. I *do* like the idea of hovering around 275 for most things.

I have a 20" WSM (or whatever the middle size is). I use Royal lump charcoal typically and "flavor" with apple or some other chunk wood depending on what I am smoking.

I am primarily a pork shoulder/butt and pork rib guy. I also have done beef short ribs (the kind that are 1.5" - 2" thick, not "baby back"). These are what I like to call a "poor man's brisket". My next smoke will be my first flat brisket (about 4.5 lbs).

I tend to inject my pork butts with apple juice and rub with a commercial rub. I did make my own version of Memphis Dust from a recipe on the internet but I found it didn't have a lot of flavor and was overly sweet. Otherwise, I use a pre-made rub (Billy Bones) for pork and the local butcher shop's signature Beef rub for my beef ribs.

I typically smoke between 215 and 250, although temp control on my smoker sometimes leaves something to be desired. I typically run all 3 of my lower vents half open and then try to control temp with the top vent. I will try the other recommendations up thread for my next smoke. I did recently purchase a 4 channel wifi thermometer (one smoke probe, 3 meat probes) from Thermoworks.

My smokes tend to take *all* day, usually with meat going on at 6am or earlier and getting pulled off around 10pm, sometimes even going into the oven to finish if I don't feel like staying up. I think this is due to not having the meat to room temp when I put it on (and having 8-9 lb shoulders.) I am probably going to go back to 4-5 lb butts to make that a little more bearable. I also don't wrap shoulder to get through the stall which sometimes takes several hours.

For pork ribs I usually do a variation of the 3-2-1 method, although its more like 2-2-1. I add apple juice to the foil when I wrap. Sometimes I finish them on the grill (like 90 seconds meat side down) to firm up the bark. I think the next batch I do will be a straight 5 hour smoke without wrapping to see how that works.

Those ribs are called "plate" ribs. FYI

FYI, cook temp is why your smokes take all day, not the starting temp of the meat. Letting your meat warm to room temp does little to impact cook time, especially for "low and slow" cooks.

Also, in order for a 9lb butt to fully come up to room temp, it would take many hours, which puts the meat in the danger zone for far too long.

  • I smoke pretty much all the meats. Brisket, butts, ribs, chickens, chuckies, bacon, canadian bacon
  • I have a unconventional smoker, but it's essentially a reverse flow horizontal offset from M Grills in Texas. It's a small footprint, but I've smoked a brisket 2 butts and several racks of ribs at the same time with room to spare. It doubles as a santa maria style charcoal grill, which I love.
  • My smoking temp is typically whatever the smoker feels like when adding a split every 45 minutes or so. Unless I'm smoking poultry and want it 300+, I just let the smoker dictate to me where it wants to sit and adjust my plan accordingly. For my smoker, this is typically 250 to 275.
  • I keep my rubs simple. Typically something like memphis dust for pork and poultry. Salt and pepper for beef. I spray if the bark is getting dark and/or dry and I wrap if things are slowing down or the bark is getting too dark even with the spray. For brisket, I like to have a water pan as well to keep things moist in the cooker.
  • Brisket fat cap gets trimmed to 1/8 to 1/4". Pork butt depends on how lazy I am. Sometimes I leave it on full, sometimes I trim to ~1/8". If I leave it on full, I don't bother putting rub (other than salt) on the fat cap since it will just slough off when pulling. Fat cap goes wherever the heat comes from. My smoker is reverse flow, so it's hotter on top and that's where the fat cap goes.
  • I smoke with whatever wood I have around, but try to keep it milder for pork and poultry. Hickory and mesquite are saved for beef. I've been smoking with a lot of mulberry lately, which I really like.

The biggest thing I've learned is that if someone says there's one way to do something, they're probably wrong and shouldn't be listened to. There are tons of ways to arrive at great BBQ.


Your mom's got plenty of knowledge

*runs away giggling*

Dad, that you?


Grill: Sidebox smoker (I have a Chargriller dual gas and charcoal grill and added a sidebox to the charcoal grill). I always keep a pan of water in smoke chamber to help keep temperature relatively constant and meat moist. At start of smoke session, I put in boiling water to get the temperature up more quickly.

Meats: Turkey every Thanksgiving. Wings all the time (1 hour smoke, so can be done on a spur of the moment). Ribs are relatively simple afternoon while working in lawn. Pork butt on bigger occasions (too much work for a casual occasion with charcoal sidebox, imo).

Temp: 225 for anything not poultry. 250 for poultry. I use temp probes to keep a measure on smoker temp and meat temp.

Keep fat on top. Rubs and sauces dependent on meat and my desire for the day.

For T-day turkey: Select a 12 lb bird. I always make a sage butter rub and put it in between the skin and meat, within the cavity, and also layer it on top. I also cook the turkey breast side down, which ruins its presentation (the bird will have grill-like marks indented) but dramatically increases the taste of the breast meat (as the sage butter soaks in). Alternatively, if you want it to look prettier on the table and willing to sacrifice taste of the breast meat, cook it breast side up (looks nice golden brown with crispy skin). Cook the turkey until it reaches 165 or so, about 30-45 mins per pound. And always cut the breast meat correctly for best taste (cut out the entire side of a breast, then slice against the grain).

Sage butter rub: put lots of sage into food processor, and run processor to make into gritty green paste. Add lots of salted butter, run food processor so it's a softened butter with the sage throughout.

馃 馃 馃

Ahhh, my favorite hobby outside of CFB season.
Thighs, shoulder, pork ribs, beef ribs, turkey, chicken, bacon, anything besides brisket. I've ruined more $60 briskets than I care to remember, and I don't even really like it that much. Unless it's La BBQ in Austin. That's meat candy right there.
WSM 22.5. Kingsford for consistency.

My rub (as close as I could get to St Louis Super Smokers' version who won a bunch of Memphis in May competitions in the late 90's to mid-2ks) is as follows:
2 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup kosher coarse salt
1/4cup black pepper
1/8 cup black pepper
1/8 whatever the hell other kind of pepper you want

It's strictly for pork products. Cross between Memphis and KC style (which geographically makes sense).

Also recommended the chicken thigh recipe in Wicked Good Barbecue book. Involves homemade sauce plus a white bbq rub heavy on the powdered citric acid but holy Shane Beamer is it good. Like, run through a glove on a stick hahaha now I'm at OU good.

Oh yeah, get a ThermPro or something that monitors your meat and ambient air temp. Those thermometers on the grill are useless. Instant read thermometer also very helpful.

Gonna show my old man pants here, but if it ain't wood/charcoal, it ain't smoking. It just isn't. Your neighbors might waive and smile but at least one dude on your block is going to almost imperceptibly shake his head at you if you go electric.

Not funny. Not funny. And now the baby is upset.

1st Butt of football season is dry brining as I type. I'm also attempting some turkey legs for the 1st time.

I'm using my BGE at 225 for the 7.5 lb butt. I'll probably start it around 10:00 or 11:00 pm Friday for a ~ 12 hour smoke. My question to the Turkey Leg experts out there is can I sneak the legs on at that low of a temperature for a couple of hours and then do a reverse sear to crisp up the skin or should I just break down and jury-rig the oven to do them at 325 or so?

It's an unwritten law that it's my lunch pail. I've issued the challenge. If someone outworks me, they can get it.
Darryl Tapp

I have done the turkey legs just like you are describing. They turn out fine. It doesn't take long to crisp up the skin.

Same here, though I recommend letting them sit in a breathable environment in the fridge overnight with some salt or salted seasoning on it before you smoke it. Pulling that little bit of moisture out first seems to help it crisp better, and the flavor absorbs better.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Thanks for the quick replies. I've got the legs in a wet brine/cure overnight tonight and I'll dump them out tomorrow and do and overnight season Friday night while the butt is smoking.

It's an unwritten law that it's my lunch pail. I've issued the challenge. If someone outworks me, they can get it.
Darryl Tapp

I'm doing a butt on a Weber kettle tomorrow for the first time, any advice? My old offset smoker finally died and I bought the kettle to serve as a 2 for 1

"We were at the pinnacle, and we did it for years," Foster says. He pauses, nods, takes a deep breath. "And I did it with the best guy in the business."

Brine it overnight tonight in brown sugar, kosher salt, some bbq rub and bay leafs... helps keep moisture in and adds that classic bbq flavor.

Just make sure it doesn't start out too hot! Put some pieces of smoke wood into the unlit part so it doesn't get too much smoke all at once.

Doing both spareribs and baby backs tomorrow. I've done baby backs once before and they came out great, but any advice on the spares?

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

Reviving this thread because I'm looking at getting a Big Green Egg for Christmas. Anyone got any tips for not paying full retail? I know it's a local dealer thing (a la Stihl) but figured I'd ask.

Anyone have any tips for beginners? I've been on r/smoking and they have a great resource for beginners too.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Personally I've always used masterbuilt electric ones and traegar smokers but the easiest stuff to recommend are things like the 3, 2, 1 rib recipes and stuff like salmon fillets as well since they are simpler. I started out on ribs and that really helped me come to grips on how it all works and a good long smoke can help make it stress free and give you plenty of time to drink in between. Pro tip if you do the ribs in the 3, 2, 1 method use a good beer of your choosing in the wrap stage and then the ribs will have a nice touch to them.


Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Thanks for the link! I had read on reddit that butts and pulled pork are easy to start out on as well but I will definitely look into some ribs. What do you look for in your beers for your wrap?

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Re-reviving this thread to report on my Big Green Egg endeavors since my last post.

First off, this thing is incredible. I love that I can smoke meats, grill burgers and steaks, bake pies, etc on one grill. Here's a few of the cooks I've done over the last few weeks:

My wife has a killer Mac and cheese recipe that she developed. It's fantastic. We threw it in a cast iron ditch oven and I'm not sure I'll ever make it another way.

Made a pork shoulder that I took off a hair too early for easy shredding but it still tasted amazing. Actually made this for a friend's meal train for a newborn.

Here's a pie we made in it the other day. Didn't like the crust recipe I used. Other than that it was delicious.

And finally here is a link to a few other things including the plate of that Mac and cheese with some ribs, those same ribs before my glaze carmelized, some jalape帽o three cheese cornbread, and a bonus picture of the cutting boards my Dad made for me as a Christmas present.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Smoked pie you say?

What if you smoked a mince pie or some form of a meat pie for added benefits?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Smoke meat, then insert said meat into a pie, which you promptly smoke

Didn't have hardly any smokiness to it since I'd burned all my wood chunks during the ribs and Mac and cheese haha. But it was still as good as the gif imagines.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Sounds like you are ready to pick up the Joe-tisserie attachment to expand your eggsperience.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

I've seen a ton of people recommend that. Does it provide that much benefit over a slow cooked meat with the plate setter? Honest question. I know BGE says no.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Those who have eaten something I've made with and without the rotisserie say it takes better, its juicier, and has even browning, bark or skin crisping on all the exterior. If that is enough benefit to outweigh the cost depends on the buyer. Plus, some things just need or are more fun to turn on a stick.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Do you have a tumble basket? I am really liking wings done this way.

I don't, and had not thought of it before, but I have a grill basket I use for fish I think I can mount on the rotisserie. I'll have to see if I can mount in tightly this weekend and try it. I have some wings, so homemade tabasco sauce ready to pull from the fermenter, and some home made mango habanero sauce, so was planning on making wings already.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

I like the tumble basket as they get done more evenly than a flat grill basket. If you are doing poultry at 325+ then you probably can go direct (little flare up at higher temps) but I have been using a disposable pan under.

You have to keep an eye on them, pull them as soon as the color gets too rich mahogany. Easy to overcook as it goes pretty quick.

Supposedly KamadoJoe is having their warehouse sale in Columbus, GA at the end of the month with Joetisseries for $50. I'll have to find a connection to grab one lol.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

link is bork. i think you might have flipped the URL and the Text

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

ugh... twice in 2 days... i swear i linked it correctly...

Anyone have a good website or resource they used when first starting? Just got a major upgrade for Xmas. Has a electric smoker and a offset smoker in addition to a charcoal and gas grill. Want to know how to do NC style chopped bbq for starters.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

HowToBBQRight on YouTube. He's awesome.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

HokieEnginerd goes here all the time. Malcom (the dude on YouTube) has some AH-MAZING recipes! The steakhouse pork chops are one of our favorites...

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

I usually watch a recipe or two before I go to bed every night lol. So much good stuff.

"Let's get to cookin"

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Watching before bed could lead to sweet meat dreams...

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

I check into smokingmeatforums quite a bit. Don't have an account. But steal things all the time.

I watched an unusual amount of Pitmasters... because of that show I always have to make a stop at Q BBQ in Chesterfield.

I think for starters on the NC style chopped bbq, you just make a vinegary type sauce and smoke the meat.

Make sure you're doing Eastern NC bbq style in lieu of that Western NC style bull shit.

鈥o, I have a very broad range of stuff I've smoked: bought half a pig and cured and smoked hams, cured and smoked turkeys, chicken wrapped in bacon, lots of salmon (better than any store bought), snack sticks, have some pork belly to cure and smoke to make bacon, and even cheese (that was interesting and didn't work like I'd expected between hard and soft cheeses)
鈥 have an upright Masterbuilt 30" electric smoker
All the other questions depend on what I'm smoking. I've had great results with everything. I'm happy to discuss anything related to using my smoker!

Oh good this thread came up just in time. About to do a bone in venison hind quarter on the pellet grill.

Any advice? Pellet flavors? Seasonings?

(add if applicable) /s

Anyone make anything good for the Super Bowl?

Here was our spread of two 8lb shoulders, 36 wings, buffalo chicken dip, and nachos to serve as a vessel for some of the pulled pork:

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

whew that looks delicious.

I did make that venison hindquarter mentioned above for the SB. I'll throw a picture up but I was super happy with it for my first time using this pellet grill, super tender, super juicy. Gotta work on my timing ended up taking nearly twice as long as stated to get to the right internal temp.

(add if applicable) /s

Did it stall? These pork shoulders ended up stalling at 178 and 169 degrees. The one didn't stall as early as other since I had it in the back of the egg.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Yes at about 140 it just sat there for ever. I bumped the smoker temp up a few degrees and it eventually knocked into 150.

(add if applicable) /s

Looks like it turned out great. What did you smoke it at and what IT were you looking for? I've never cooked Venison if any kind.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

225 smoke temp and then like to get the internal heat to touch 150. It's probably safe at 130 but I know I'm not loosing a lot of juice in the smoker. My grill would hold 225 then I 'd go in come out and check it half an hour later and itd be down to 195, not sure if its still breaking in or what but it eventually leveled off good.

Most game meats you want to cook just at or just below rare-mid rare beef temp they'll dry out much easier at higher temps because of the lack of fat content. This is the exact thing I followed except I used my own rub https://www.cabelas.com/category/Cabelas-Cooking-Smoked-Whole-Venison-Re...

(add if applicable) /s

My wife and I are closing on our first house tomorrow (so glad to not be renting anymore) and I'm already looking at a smoker.

Does anyone have any experience and/or recommendations for a propane/wood smoker combo? I'm seeing a lot for $1k+, but I'm looking at more of the $500 range if possible.

I'm been super impressed with my ZGrill pellet smoker for the price. It holds the temp I set it on and produces a great smoke ring. I had a Masterbilt propane before and just wasn't impressed.

Congrats!!! Love my egg, but don't have much experience with anything else. If saving $ is more important to you than time or staying clean, there are some great deals on good used equipment where someone just needs to order $25-50 of parts and take the time to clean and install. Seems like there are some people out there with enough money to get a new toy rather than try to clean and fix an older one.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

A couple months ago I culled some roosters and brined them overnight. Here are two of them after being smoked on the pellet smoker.

Alright fellas, moved into new home need a new grill/smoker and right now I'm between the lower end Traeger or Green mountain grills. Anyone have any thoughts on either brand? Bang for the buck is key though I dont mind investing in a decent one to last. Have used a Traeger multiple times and like them but always like to do my research before fleshing out alot of dough.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I love traegers but if you live somewhere with a lot of humidity the pellets will expand and mold if you don't clean it out or use it right away. If I lived in Arizona I'd own one but I live in Washington.

My neighbor has one and loves it but since we live in VA he empties the hopper and tries to burn off any excessive pellets when hes done to prevent this. Right now I'm leaning towards this model. Fronting the money for a traeger isnt financially in the realm of reality so this seems to fit the bill better.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I live in VA and have a pit boss. I store it in my garage and never remove the pellets. I haven't had a swelling problem yet, but have seen it reported enough to be cautious. I don't let it stay out in the rain. Just won't smoke on those days.

Also, the people who say you can't get grill marks on one are full of it.

You like your pit boss? Traeger has priced themselves out of my window but both GMG and pit boss are in range for what I'm willing to spend. I kind of like how all the parts for GMG's are replaceable and easy to get as well.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

The method for opening the grate cover sucks. It needs to have an outside control that doesn't require opening the grill. I think the bigger ones have it. It took some time to learn how to control it. But, I've had good results since. Made some killer ribs the other day.

Thanks for the suggestion I'll definetly look into them. Luckily where I was to put it is under roof on a screened in porch so it should be well protected but I'm going to keep researching to see what I can find.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I think I have the 820 Pro series.
The temp control Goes down to 200 degrees. If you want to smoke lower than that, you go into smoke mode which has 8 settings. They aren't temperature specific. They just dump pellets at a specified rate. That was the biggest part of the learning curve for me. And, it really still is. Weather totally changes what each setting does. I have done a 150 degree smoke on it before. Much below that and it has trouble staying lit because it doesn't feed often enough. Required cold weather too.
If you have any way to sign up for a Lowe's for pros account, they used to give a 10% off coupon when you signed up. I caught my grill on sale and then used a coupon.

Big Green Egg.. The only caveat is grill space. If you are doing 15 racks of ribs, it's not the smoker for you. The Egg is pricey by comparison, but will hold a 225-250 heat for 16 hours without issue if needed. Can also cook Pizza at 600 degrees. Gives a great smoke flavor, smoke ring, etc as it burns real wood. Highly recommended for home/weekend use. It can be "idiot" proof if you want, yet as complex as you want as well.

It may be the next one I get a few years down the line but the initial cost is a bit too much right now. My friend has one and its amazing though we use it all the time and it can do some awesome stuff.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I have a Vision Classic B that's the same exact size as a large BGE and while the build quality is probably a smidge lower tier, it does the job just as well as far as I can tell, for a little over half the price.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Gonna look into that one it looks pretty nice! it takes real wood right?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Yep pretty much exact same functionality as a BGE in every way. I even have some BGE branded accessories for it since the size is the same.

The major complaint I have on mine is that it's a PITA to remove the ash, but it looks like they've updated the Classic B since I bought mine 4-5 years ago and now it comes with an ash drawer. Looks like the stock side tables (I had to refinish mine) and both vents are maybe also improved. So if the rest of the features have remained consistent or better, I'd highly recommend it.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

IDK what price ranges you're looking at but I've got a Pitt Boss and have used the hell out of it, they're considerably cheaper than traegers and seem to work just as well. I have the 1100 and it was like $180 on an end of season sale. Plenty of room for pork butts and briskets. Gets a little cramped when grilling for a crowd but the smaller grill is more efficient on pellets.

As far as leaving your pellets in the grill/humidity idk where people are getting that from. The pellets are stored in bags that aren't exactly perfect and constantly exposed to normal humidity. I live on the water in SC and have never once had an issue with my pellets and mine stays covered up outside.

BGE vs Pellet...You can't go wrong with either. I cooked on a BGE for years and I would say its easier to learn smoking and cooking on a pellet grill because you just turn the dial. Eggs produce more smoke but that really doesn't matter as a smokey flavor is going to come from time of smoke exposure not amount of smoke produced. Cleaning and Maintenance is more important and more of a pain in pellet grills. Vacuum out the burn pot, clear the heat shield of grease, cleaning the temp probes etc.

(add if applicable) /s

Ended up with a Green Mountain Grill Daniel Boone model and I like it. Easy setup takes between 20-30 minutes to start up and hit 150 then can hit 350 pretty quickly after that. Havent done a long smoke yet probably going to do that this weekend on some ribs. Got turkey thighs, burgers and brats to test on this week to prep for a longer smoke. Ended up getting it for $500 with pellets thrown in, in future the dealer had GMG pellets for $19 for 28 lbs which is better than the traeger pellet price. Which pellets do you use on the pit boss?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

90% of the time I use Pitt Boss Competition Pellets. I dabble mixing some stronger flavor pellets in occasionally but I just don't want to keep changing out my hopper and I've cooked everything from redfish to full briskets to steak sears with the Comp blend and it all tastes great very neutral wood smoke flavor.

I've never read anything bad about any pellets on the market though as far as burn or quality so afaik its just a taste preference.

I'll just throw this in here too. If you're like me suddenly you're going to want to cook everything on this. 2 things that makes that easier. 1) a smoke tube. They can add a bit more smoke to meats if you want a smokier flavor. You can also cold smoke with them (cold smoked cheese is delicious) 2) a pizza stone. Game changer on frozen and home made pizzas. pretty much follow the oven instructions and rotate half way through. 3) If you're on facebook the pellet smoking grill groups on there are useful for recipes and crazy things you'd never think to smoke.

(add if applicable) /s

Whats the price on the PB pellets? Personally I like the cost of the GMG ones so I'll probably stick with that one just need to get some cans for the pellets to make storage easier as well as emptying the hopper if I know I ownt use it for a week or so.
Will need to do some long smokes before I get a smoke tube on reading through the GMG facebook group most people like the amount of smoke I get on it. GMG makes a pizza oven attachment that funnels the heat to a stone I really wanna snag it but for $130 I'm waiting a little would just a regular pizza stone work without the attachment to the heat shield? https://greenmountaingrills.com/products/new-parts/accessories/wood-fire...

The facebook group just makes me hungry seeing all the amazing cuts of meat some people do on them but super helpful resource for recipes. Only thing I need on the grill is two lid thermometers to help monitor the temps on either side of the window and a quick read thermometer to check temps quickly and test the accuracy of my two probes I can run off the main board.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I use the lumberjack pellets from rural king. I have seen them elsewhere. $8.88 for 20lbs. They put them on sale from time to time for $6 or $7. I just stock up when they are on sale and haven't had a humidity issue storing them. Don't have them in a container, just on a shelf.
They have pecan, apple blend, cherry blend, oak, hickory, competition blend, mesquite blend, and maybe a few others. Can't quite remember. I generally run apple, pecan, and competition blend.

That pizza attachment would probably fire up your pizza quite a bit quicker than throwing a pizza stone on top of the grill grates but I don't have any special attachment like that and my pizza's cook great

(add if applicable) /s

Check your local kroger if you are in SW Virginia. The one near me had nice pork shoulder for $1.09/lb all this week.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Thanks. Just picked up 2 at Christiansburg. They're running low, don't know if they're going to restock.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Anybody have a line on dried fruit tree wood. Drop me a line.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Talk to HokieEnginerd..... send us your info...

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

Unfortunately all of the wood she is talking about is at my parent's house with no way of getting it at the moment. Last year, one of my dad's coworkers said he had a "bit" of apple wood from a tree that fell near his house and if my dad wanted it since apparently my dad had been talking about how much I smoke food. Well this guy brought it and this guy's definition of "a bit" was an entire truck load. Some of the pieces were 3+ foot across.


I got enough to get me through this weekend. Some Cherry that looks like its at least partialy dried.

With the sale on the pork shoulder, have 2. A 8 lb and a 10 lb.
I'm going to cut the 10 lb into cubes and do burnt ends with it.

I also got 5 lb of wings so I'll do NC style pulled pork, burnt ends and smoked chicken wings.

Weather Satyrday calls for sunny and 70F so I'm thinking cole slaw and pickled carrots, etc.
I'm thinking

This is going to be great for the ACC.

I've got ~1/4 cord (maybe a bit less) of apple wood in ~ 15" long pieces that has been sitting for 2 years. I live in Cburg. If you can come get it (in the future), it's yours. It's reasonably dry (as long as you don't get it right after a rain). I don't know the type of apple trees we have in our back yard, but they're green - perhaps Granny Smith like - I've tasted them and they are a bit sour.

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

Oh yeah.

As soon as I can break free.
Do me a favor and remind me in a few weeks and I'll come and load it up.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Will do. Be safe out there.
We can share a beer while loading it.
I'll reach out through this thread when our current situation abates.

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

If you can find any oak around, use that on the pork. Oak has a nice medium smoke that I have found works well on chicken, pork, and beef. It is my go to any more.

I've got oak I can grab at the brewery . I use it quite a bit too.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

I have found that apple and hickory make a great combo for pork and chicken!

I have a 5 gallon bucket fill of hickory chips where a friend had a dead one taken down and the tree guy ran the whole tree through a chipper. Left pile like 8 ft tall.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Making my first attempt at smoked bluefish dip tonight

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

That's interesting. I've never tried that.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Fresh smoked Salmon dip is the bomb.

It's delicious. Spanish mackerel works as well.

Mine turned out pretty well, but I need to get the proportions correct, something that has never been my strong suit

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Any of the BGE users out here have a preferred temperature controller? My DigiQ quit the bed in the middle of set-up this past weekend and forced a change to the menu. I've been looking at the CyberQ (or the new UltraQ) and the Flameboss but can't decide which toy to get.

It's an unwritten law that it's my lunch pail. I've issued the challenge. If someone outworks me, they can get it.
Darryl Tapp

I've been looking at maybe switching to thermoworks Smoke X with a Billows control fan

I went through the various models about 5 years ago and ended up going with a Stoker. It has been a good unit, still going strong. Temperature control is excellent, only downside are the menus are a bit clunky.

Funny you mention Thermoworks, I have one of their "Signals" and recently discovered the/ordered a Billows fan. It should arrive next week, I am hoping it is as well designed/executed as their other products.

I don't see how ThermoWorks could be better at the actual temperature control, but the interface is easier and I like seeing the multiple channels at a glance. The Billows is much stronger than the stoker fan, I am hoping this doesn't cause control problems. I always felt the stoker fan was perfectly sized for my large egg.

Let me know how the billows works for you

will do.

edit: the Billows arrived. It is a lot bigger than I expected. Plan to put it to use this weekend.

I am using the billows for the first time today. The experiment is a bacon wrapped stuffed pork loin, cooked at 275*.

What I normally do is get the fire going near the target temp, then install the control fan and let it take over. I did this by opening the inlet about and inch and opening the exhaust port by about the same amount.

The initial temp was a little high when I installed the fan (285*), so it was several minutes before the fan started cycling. Once it did, it held 275* for about 5 minutes. However, the temp then started ramping uncontrollably (with the fan off and the exhaust port partly open). I have a 1 month old egg seal, and where the fan secures at the inlet is tight. All I could do was close the exhaust port and wait for it to come back down. The temp peaked around 350*.

The only thing that I can figure is that the air that leaks by the fan is enough to support a lot of fire. If the fire "asks" for air, it gets it by leaking past the fan. My other controller (Stoker II) has a "one way flap" after the fan that closes when the fan is off. When the fan stops, air movement through the egg/fire stops. With the Stoker I usually leave the exhaust wide open.

I let the temp come back down, and in an effort to overcome the runaway condition I left the exhaust port on the egg completely closed. Without a "one way flap", this is the only way I can see to stop airflow when the fan is off.

Basically, with the exhaust closed the inlet leak around the fan doesn't matter. When the fan is blowing, it overcomes the closed exhaust port by pushing through the gaps.

The control has been holding 275* within 2* for about 90 minutes now. With the exhaust port closed it seems a viable control... although this will mean I will have to clean the lid more often. Running closed will end up in a lot of buildup.

So in summary, somewhat of a success! (Initially at least)


** UPDATE ** One problem with this approach is that with the exhaust closed the smoke tends to come out of the fan inlet (when the fan isn't on). This will cause problems over time, as the soot will build up on the fan.

I cracked the exhaust just a hair and it stopped backing up through the inlet, but the temperature isn't holding target as closely. Now it is swinging +5* or so (instead of varying around the target, it is overshooting and slowly coming back down. Looks like it is wanting to runaway with the exhaust barely cracked.

Interesting. I have been looking at a Fireboard, FlameBoss, or Egg Genius the last week or so. They along with Smobot seem to be the favorite of the Big Green Egg BBQers fb group.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

For my money only the SMOBOT attempts to stop air flow when the target temperature is met... the others use fans on the inlet without any sort of damper (at least that I can see).

Let us know what you find!

While this isn't exactly on topic (smoking meats), I am having fun with this new backyard cooking device.


My need for this is way out of line with the cost to likely use ratio. Do you make your own crust?

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

yes I do make the crust. Not hard to do with a mixer. Takes a little time as you need to let it rise a few times.

Hardest thing is that I will run out of the good flour before long.

Nice! I've actually gotten into grilling pizza during the pandemic.

ever since you posted this, i have been getting targeted ads for the ooni

it is NOT helping with apartment-quarantine life

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

That looks bad ass!

Another recently added backyard smoking device, which will eventually cook meats. This firepit is an old crab cooking basket from the Northern Neck of Virginia. Planning to build an Argentinean style grill where the food is raised and lowered over the fire by crank/cables.


That Argentinian grill idea sounds so good would love updates once its built.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

You could get a Cowboy Wok to set over it to cook in also. You get that straight from the crabhouse?

It came from the crab house that was across the creek from my cabin. I grabbed it when they went out of business maybe 30 years ago? Heck, it might be longer than that. It is made from good steel, still solid.

Which creek?

Beach Creek

I don't remember ever having been down to that part of Lancaster Co. Used to go to a seafood buffet at a place in Simonson but usually was cruising past to head to Irvington/Kilmarnock area.

Kilmarnock is the closest town to our place... unless you count Lively.

If you are ever travelling route 3 through Lively (and hungry), give "the corner" a try. Great sandwiches, the crab cake and sailor are my favorites.

Lively, the crossroads that is anything but lively. Been a long time since I cruised through there. Last three times I have been to the Neck was for family and friend funerals. The fun times of water skiiing all day are missed.

I smoke quite a bit anyways but since this whole lock down deal happened, I've really been honing on my craft. I had a lot of friends try their first brisket too.
If you haven't tried a brisket yet and would like to I just wrote this blog with some basic tips.
Brisket In The Time Of Corona

I have been picking up some bigger "Corona cuts" lately. Just separated a full brisket, smoked the flat last weekend and turned the point into Corned Beef for today. Grabbed a 10lb butt for pulled pork sandwiches about mid week and am thinking of doing some Maryland style pit beef next weekend.

Going to start a new term for the soon to be "quarantine fifteen"

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

You got some pit beef tips? I've been thinking about trying it out

Going to be my first attempt

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

pls report your findings

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

For science.

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

Here's how I do pit beef.

Bottom round.
Salt pepper paprika

Relatively cool fire and raise the beef as far above it as I can.
Once a built a pit one day of just cinder blocks, put the grate 2 cinder blocks above the fire.

Get your fire going. Put on the beef, every 15minutes turn the beef until the inside is cooked as you like, normally about 2-3 hours.

Let stand for a few minutes then slice against the grain as thin as possible.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Not having a pit, I rub a bottom round with salt, ground dried peppers, coriander, garlic powder and brown sugar, let sit overnight, and put on the GBE with a Joetisserie attachment over indirect 225 heat for most of the day until at 130. Can't say it tastes very "authentic", but it does taste pretty damn good.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Going to pick up my new GMG Daniel Boone pellet grill today hoping to get some smoking in this weekend or next week. Excited like its xmas morning to go get it.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Anyone know where I can find some smaller briskets? Really don't want to pay $40-$50 to try my first brisket plus it's just me and my wife.

On another note, I reverse seared this ribeye weekend before last. Easily the best steak I've ever had. Cooked it indirect on the egg around 250 until it got to 115 then pulled it and wrapped it. Put the cast iron grates on the egg then opened it up to about 500 degrees to finish it off. It was perfect, even for a choice cut.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

You can order a flat online from Omaha or other retailers for a reasonable price.

Is there a bigger advantage to reverse searing than doing it first? I always thought sear first then slow roll it till its where you want it internally?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Yes, I think so. I have never cooked a steak this good. This article explains it very well.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Well, from a big green egg perspective, it is much easier and faster to get it hot than cool it down, so if you sear it first at 600 degrees, it will take much longer to get it back down to smoking temp.

I have had good luck with the traditional sear on the BGE, starting with a thick steak, getting it up to temp, but completely sealing after it is flipped once. Every time you open and flip, it lets out heat and the temps drop a bunch. Gets down to about 350 or so by the time I have flipped and seared for cross grill marks, and every time I open after that it cools off more. Steak is usually done to my preference about the time the grill drops to under 250. Curious about the flavor difference of doing smoking/roasting part first though - is it worth pulling the steak and plate, heating and finishing? Will have to try it and see.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

is it worth pulling the steak and plate, heating and finishing?

Yes, 100%.

Be warned, it's a little tricky to get the timing right. The first time I tried it I overcooked it a bit. This time I got the IT of the steak to 115 then seared it about 45 seconds, rotated it 90 degrees, did another 45 seconds. Then flipped it for 45 seconds, then rotated it 90 degrees, then for another 45 seconds and it was a perfect medium steak.

Personally, I think reverse searing is the perfect blend of slow cooking the inside but still getting a nice outside that is crisp and flavorful.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Did you leave the ceramic plate in at first for an indirect heat and then pull it, or did you cook it direct for both steps?

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

Not necessarily smoker related, but does anyone have any experience with Broil-King grills? I wanted a dual fuel/smoker combo, but all of the ones in my price range have horrible ratings. I'm a lot more comfortable cooking on gas than on coal, so i'm looking at a 3 or 4 burner under the $400-450 mark and this Broil-King 320 GEM keeps popping up with pretty good reviews but I don't know anyone with any firsthand experience with the brand.

I was dead set on buying one until the pellet grill option came my way.
I was going to get the Baron, and use a 10% coupon through Lowe's to knock a little off the price.

Yea, now that i'm looking more into them, the Baron or Monarch look like the way to go. I could get a Monarch with a side burner for about the same price as the Baron, but the Baron is higher quality. Still another $150 more than the Gem line, but it seems like it'd be worth it and still in my budget.

I had never heard of them before, but the reviews on both home depot and lowes websites seem to be solid.

My girlfriend bought me a gas grill smoker box as a gift and gave it a whirl today. Filled it with cherry wood chips, spent about 20 minutes preheating and getting the smoke going. I cooked some rubbed chicken wings between 225 and 250 (best I could). I used the burner (i have a 2 burner weber) under the smoke box primarily to keep it at temperature. Cooked for a little under 2 hours.

I really didn't see much in the way of smoke (including the fabled thin blue smoke) and in the end, the wings nearest to the box were a little charred, the ones on the far side of the grill were perfect, and I didn't notice a ton of smoke flavor. The good news is, the wings are still tasty (especially with the side of Alabama White "BBQ" sauce.

I have a couple theories that the wings cooked quickly and didn't have enough time to get the smoke flavor. I also think maybe cherry wood was too mild.

Anyway, I was hoping the greater community could give me their thoughts. I've very new to this smoking thing. What do you think when wrong?

Most likely because you used wood chips. They burn up VERY quickly. I have never seen getting more than 30 minutes of smoke out of them unless you get a wood chip box or something. You will probably have better luck with chunks. Also, you will need to learn the smoker. If the wings on one side got too dark then you have a hot spot. Next time plan to rotate the meat to get an even cook.

I used wood chips IN a smoker box (if that makes any difference).

I attempted using indirect heat by only keeping the burner under the box on.

Agreed, need to learn the grill a little better. Is a probe thermometer worth an investment?

A probe thermometer is an absolute requirement. The metal dial thermometers that they put on the front or side of smokers can easily be off 30 degrees or more especially if it is in the sun. In the sun, I have seen these things be off 50-70 degrees. Get a probe with a clip and put it on the cooking surface or grate. That will give you the real cooking temp. If it is vertical style smoker like mine, the top and bottom shelves can be off by 30 degrees as well.

Yes and yes and yes on probe thermometer.

I smoke primarily with a pit barrel cooker (basically an ugly drum smoker) and i use a ThermoWorks ThermoPro TP20 (amazon link) -- dual probe is most useful because you can see the internal temp of the meat and also your actual cook temp. it also has a remote unit that means you could be in house or doing something else and still keep an eye on your temps, which is useful for longer cooks

If you do wings again, you could set up both probes as "oven" probes and see if you have a temperature gradient in the grill as you are closer to the lit burner, or if you actually have a hot spot in a place that isn't intuitive

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I second this. I have the much less sophisticated Thermoworks Smoke unit and it does all I need. The only issue I have is when I have a full brisket in my large BGE, the grill temp probe ends up too far toward the edge of the grill and reads hotter, so I adjust the dampers so the average of the Smoke and gauge on the BGE are where I want to be.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

Where do you put your probe? Does it touch the grate or suspended/clipped a bit above?

Would a meat/candy thermometer with a long stem through the rotisserie hole in the grill work for a test?

It's clipped about a half inch above and between two rods of the grate. It just ends up outside the indirect heating plate because the brisket covers 90% of the grate.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

Thank you. I'll give the candy thermometer a try and see if I can get it rigged correctly and do some tests.

And legs to all of you for helping a novice out. Hope to have the space to setup a real smoker one day.

can't speak to a BGE, but I have both the ThermoPro TP20 and the ThermoWorks Smoke and the Smoke is better than the TP20 easily. The low/high alarm function is clutch.

also, it seems your issue is probe placement and I'm not sure which probe thermometer is going to overcome that.

I know, it works great for everything except the brisket because I can't get it out of the direct heat lines. I love the Smoke, just wish it had about 10 more feet of range on the bluetooth receiver.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

yeah, ThermoWorks is having a site wide sale and the Smoke Gateway WiFi bridge is $73 (normally $89) and it is just sitting in my cart tempting me...

Did you soak the wood chips?

Soaking chips does almost nothing to help. Amazing Ribs covers this quite well.

Got a wild turkey over the weekend. Got an inner loin and two big thighs whats a good way to smoke/cook thighs?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Smoking jerky for the first time today gonna go low and slow and see how it turns out.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Smoked first set of ribs on the GMG pellet grill for a 3,2,1 it was easy enough spent most of the first three hours really evening out the temps inside the grill and after that smooth sailing. Really need to get a quick temp probe to use along with the two probes the grill comes with. Got them to 203 and pulled em off and housed them that night.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Most importantly. BUSCHHHHHHH

(add if applicable) /s

Picked up a brisket from Walmart the other day. A 13lb packer. This will be my first one. Any tips? Going to just use a simple salt and pepper rub I think. I am planning to wrap through the stall. Any big green egg users use a water pan for briskets?

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

I have found that if I am willing to go low enough (under 225) for long enough I don't need a drip pan or to wrap it to get one that is pull apart tender. I put fat side down over a drip pan over the plate (I use a few large washers between the drip pan and the plate to limit the heat coming through by conduction). It will slowly tighten up as it reaches a stall temp, which is when I flip it, and then it will collapse after getting through the stall.. I have flipped and wrapped through the stall as well - and think you need to if you are cooking at higher temperature. I have tried with and without the water pan, and tried using other liquids as well, and cannot tell the difference.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Awesome. Thanks for that. My egg sits really well in the 235-245 range. That seems to be the sweet spot for holding temp. Do you always flip when you wrap? What advantage is there to flipping when you wrap?

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

As mentioned below, starting with the fat down insulated the meat when cooking on the grill, and I think helps it cook even, but if you wrap it, you are going to a bit of a braise (and I do add a bit of liquid to the bottom of the foil if wrapping) which protects the meat enough you can put the fat on top where it melts into the meat, at least in theory. If I am pulling the meat to wrap, its just as easy to flip as not, and to be honest the first recipe I had looked for called for it, and it came out great, so I have not tried it without flipping. I have also found that my BGE will hold steady at a lower temperature if it has a lot of ash in the bottom (has not been cleaned out recently) and it is humid outside than when the bottom has just been de-ashed or the air is dry. Type of lump charcoal also seems to matter, but I am not sure how much of that is the size of the pieces vs the brand, as some brands have much larger lumps.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

My brisket process:

- Trim
- Inject with Prime Brisket Injection from Butcher BBQ.
- Season liberally.
- Cook at 235 indirect until the brisket hits 170.
- Wrap, adding half a cup of coffee or beef stock. ETA: I do not flip it; I've found that by wrapping and adding liquid I don't have an issue with the bottom getting too crispy.
- Start checking tenderness once it gets above 185. "Done" is determined by feel, not temp.
- Rest in a cooler for an hour or two before serving

I don't use a water pan, but I do put down a drip pan.

Good luck!

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."

Fat side up or down?

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

Down, to help keep the flat from drying out 鈥 I cook on a BGE so the heat is coming from below.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."

Yeah, I have a side firebox so I let the fat side be up, as that's hotter from air moving through to the chimney.

I wrap, don't do an injection but add 1/2 stick of butter and scant fluid to facilitate the wrap.
When the fuel starts to run out after the wrap, I put it in the oven. Saves wood that way.

I start the fire with briquets, easy and cheap. then add wood and chunk charcoal.

Don't put your brisket in until the smoke out of your chimney is a clean smoke, not black and your equipment is hot.

Do not be alarmed if your temperature of your meat rises to 200F+

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Don't put your brisket in until the smoke out of your chimney is a clean smoke, not black and your equipment is hot.

Do not be alarmed if your temperature of your meat rises to 200F+

+1 to both of those suggestions. The final temp also has a lot to do with your cooking style. If you don't wrap, for example, it may take longer but will likely finish at a lower temp. If you wrap or cook at a higher temp, you might not pull it until it's as high as 210 or so. Like I said, "done" is determined by feel more than a specific temperature.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."

- Start checking tenderness once it gets above 185. "Done" is determined by feel, not temp.

This. Most of the people I know who had a problem cooking a brisket either pulled it before it "fell", or used too high of a heat and dried it out. If you are at a low heat, it is done when it is noticeably softer to the touch, no matter what the time or temperature.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Wrap it after 4 hours... it won't absorb any smoke after that anyway. If it is still 140, that's fine. Don't wait for the stall to break to wrap it.

Well I was up at 2:30 AM to start the brisket. Things have gone poorly. Somehow choked out the fire when the brisket started to stall. Got it going again, then about an hour and a half later I wrapped. Suddenly, the temp starts approaching 275 and blows past it. Spikes at 389 according to my ambient probe. Dome temp around 350+. My best guess is when wrapping and trying to find the same spot for my probe the fire got too much oxygen. The brisket is at 185 right now but who knows how accurate that is. I'll wait till it reads 195 and start probing I guess. I've cooked the best ribs, wings, steak, pork butt etc but geez this brisket has made me feel so dumb.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

I have always applauded/revered Enginerd and those of you that control temps manually. However, the convenience of temperature control for low and slow is worth a lot to me. When done right you just dial in a temp and walk away. My Stoker will maintain that temp +/-2 until you run out of fuel.

Unfortunately the Stoker product is no longer offered, or I would recommend it. I have recently acquired the Thermoworks Billows, but have not yet tried it. My concern is that the fan is too big and the control will swing as a result. The Stoker has a small fan that runs a decent amount when maintaining temps in the low range. A good control is adaptive enough to deal with lid opening spikes quickly.

Maybe this weekend on the billows. Been having too much fun doing rotisserie stuff, and I find no need for control assistance at the higher temps (3-400 range).

In addition to the obvious temperature control, I use *way* less fuel when it is under control. I have gotten 30+ hours out of one charge on the large BGE @225.

edits: for clarity

I honestly don't get it. I haven't had this much trouble maintaining temp since my first cook. I have been looking at a Fireboard/Egg Genius/Flame Boss. Maybe it's time to pull the trigger.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

My egg is usually very easy to maintain temp manually. Once you get it dialed in, very little adjusting. I do replace the felt ring every other season, and I try to use larger pieces of lump. That helps.

This has been my experience well. And through a couple hour segments mine has held well today. But it got a little too hot and I guess I closed the vents down. Then I guess I left the lid open when trying to find a spot for my probe so it got too much oxygen.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

I am interested in your experience with the Billows. I have the Thermoworks 4 probe wifi unit (forget what its called at the moment) and that is the next upgrade. I have a WSM (the middle size) so too much air flow may be a problem.

Okay, here are my results:

The flat was really dry except for under the point. The point and the flat under the point were nice and tender. It ended up stalling at 195 and just wouldn't get tender in the flat. I probed all around and it was buttery soft in the point though. I was scared to leave it on any longer since I had some tender parts. Overall, I'm pleased considering it was my first. Where did I go wrong?

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

What grade was the brisket? Typically if brisket is dry that means it was undercooked. Your moisture comes from the collagen breaking down. In that bottom picture, the piece on the left doesn't look like it has the fat rendered properly out so that makes me feel like it should have been left on longer. Was the flat dry but tender?

I always take mine up to 203 in the point. I never wrap my briskets. When take it off I wrap it in some foil or butcher paper, wrap it in towels, and put it in an old cooler to rest for an hour or so.

It was slightly tender, but tough to slice. Since you don't wrap, have you ever seen one stall at 195? This thing wouldn't budge past 194-195.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

I have had briskets stall at every temp you can think of. Typically they stall at 160-170 but I have also had them stall at 190 too. It depends on the meat and weather conditions. I have had multiple stalls in the same cook too. I never plan on when I will see the stall(s).

If it was tough, you probably pulled it too soon. Other possibilities - Did you buy a pre-brined brisket with a high % of added water weight? That always seems to cause me issues with long stalls followed a rapid rise in temp. Did it say anywhere what grade of meat it was? Did you add a liquid and wrap for a braise finish? If so was the liquid cold when you added it, and how much did you use? Did you let it rest for a long time, either wrapped or in something with a lid, before slicing?

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Your question was "Where did I go wrong?" You went wrong by not telling us where to come eat! I can't cook a lick, but I sure can EAT! I think it looks delicious! Pass the taters maw!

Go Hokies

First of all don't feel bad, brisket can be tough to get dialed in and we've all been there. Some thoughts:

- I can't imagine doing long cooks without my DigiQ (same idea as the Egg Genius you mentioned). I highly recommend one, even if they're pricey.

- You probably already know this but try to work on stuff as best you can without leaving the lid open. For example, when I smoke wings I learned the hard way to pull the whole three-tiered rack out, flip/move everything, then put it back in. The first couple times I had the lid open for 5+ minutes while I was flipping/repositioning them and the fire was way over temp by the time I was done.

- How much fat did you leave when you trimmed it, and which way did you cook it? I think you're cooking on an egg, so I assume fat side down? If so, IMO you want to leave a healthy layer of fat under the flat to help keep it from drying out.

If you've got 30 minutes to kill on YouTube, here are a couple of videos are worth watching:

Aaron Franklin on how he preps his briskets .
Tom Jackson from ATBBQ shows you how he does it.

- Some folks swear by using a water pan. I don't, but I do inject mine. As mentioned above I prefer Butcher BBQ Prime Brisket Injection, but google will give you lots of ideas. Franklin recommends spritzing regularly, something else to consider.

TBH from your pics it doesn't look bad at all. I've definitely done worse. :-). Last piece of advice I'd give is to limit the number of things you change at once. If you go from foil to butcher paper, add an injection and/or water pan, then cook at a different temp, you won't know which change helped (or hurt). My $.02, next time do everything exactly the same except fix the fire issues, and see how it goes. Then start tweaking those other things one by one until you get it just how you like it.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."

Did my second round of smoked bluefish /spanish mackerel dip. This was better. I kept the fish further away from the flame this time (smoking using a propane grill) and let it go longer. Ended up with flakier fish. I used 8 filets as I've got a shitload of it in my freezer. Ended up putting bacon bits in the dip as well. Super good.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Does anyone here use the Louisiana Grills kamado from Costco? How is it?

Thinking about picking up a kamado and the price seems good. The Kamado Joe Classic 2 seems great but it's quite a bit more. If I don't go the Kamado route, I'll end up getting a Weber kettle master touch.

This weekend's results.

pls link nsfw images goodness gracious

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

We're all at home without pants on anyway right now though, am I right?

That is beautiful. Did you score it first because it was skin on, or do you do that to help the rub penetrate the fat?

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

the latter. it seemed like the right thing to do? Otherwise the rub wouldn't get to the meet underneath. It was my most successful smoke thus far. Finally figured out how to keep my wood chunks smoking without them catching fire.

But yeah, I'm just learning as I go.

I've been really trimming fat way more than most people when smoking butts, get it to the stall and than wrap in peach paper for finish. I've found that the meat isn't as greasy as it was typically when I didn't trim the majority of the fat off of the butt. No difference in moisture for me.

I remove any actual skin before brining and rubbing. I've always found the skin to be tough and inedible after smoking.

Where's the beef?

Quick question for the meat savy fellas. Wanna keep working torwards a brisket and finer cuts but was thinking of smoking either a tri-tip or a tenderloin this weekend which would people reccomend as more worth the effort and not going to kill the wallet?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Either is fine but I can never find a tri-tip in Virginia but don't smoke either like you would a pork butt or a brisket. There isn't any connective tissue to break down in them so you will not smoke them long. I cooked a stuffed smoked pork loin on Saturday and I took it off when it hit 144. Any more than that and it will dry out.

I think I saw Fresh Market had a tri-tip last time I was in there. This was in Lynchburg.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Update: Picked up a tri tip and a 32 oz fifth of rib from Seven Hills yesterday. Super excited to cook these.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Smoking a fatty this afternoon. First one I've done. It'll be one pound of burger, one pound of deer burger, one pound of pork sausage. Onions, bbq sauce, bell pepper, sharp cheddar, mozzarella, and bread and butter jalape帽o slices for the filling. Wrapped in bacon, Kansas City rub, and then will get sauced part way through. I'm a little concerned about it cooking through, it's pretty big. But, I rolled it the length of a cookie sheet. So, I'm hoping that thinned it out a little.

Try doing that with jalapeno mac and cheese stuffed in the middle. It will change your world. I did one for a tailgate last season and it was amazing.

This may have to happen for round two. I've already rolled it and put it in the fridge.

I need some sort of picture to help me understand. Is this a 'homemade' meatloaf? Sounds amazing - What' the typical temp and smoke time on this?

It's an unwritten law that it's my lunch pail. I've issued the challenge. If someone outworks me, they can get it.
Darryl Tapp

I pressed all the meat out in a sheet. Covered it with the fillings, and then rolled it like a Yule log. Pinched the ends to limit fillings escaping. Then wrapped the exterior with bacon, covering the seam.
Sort of like a fancy meatloaf, but with layering instead of integral mixing.

I'm going to run 225 or 250 on a pellet grill. I don't have any pictures, yet.

Here is how I did mine for a tailgate last year. I laid down a piece of parchment paper and wove a pound of bacon into a sheet. Then I put a pound of sausage into a gallon ziploc bag and cut off the lower corners to get the air out and got it flat. Then I cut the bag along the edges and laid the sausage directly onto the bacon weave. Then I filled it with whatever stuffing. The one of the left was jalapeno mac and cheese and the one of the right was jalapeno, mushrooms, onions, and pepperjack cheese. I smoked them with either oak or hickory (I can't remember) at 250 until 160 internal. The general consensus was the jalapeno mac and cheese was the better of the two.

The mac and cheese fatty was sooooo good.

I really should know better than clicking on this thread because now I am really hungry.

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

Very interested to see how this turns out sounds like something that would go great with some good dutch oven cooked rolls cooked in a cast iron skillet. Wonder what else you could stuff in something like that.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

The neighborhood just started planning a quarantine house cured bacon. Anybody got any home recipes to share.

It's an unwritten law that it's my lunch pail. I've issued the challenge. If someone outworks me, they can get it.
Darryl Tapp

Here is all you need to know. The maple syrup bacon will ruin you on normal bacon forever.

Amazingribs bacon

We ended up with 6 ~10 lb belly's and 3 different cures 2 spicy, 2 maple, 2 'regular'. Here is the spicy on day 1 of curing. Each belly will get a daily flip for the next week and then we will smoke for a couple hours @ 250.

It's an unwritten law that it's my lunch pail. I've issued the challenge. If someone outworks me, they can get it.
Darryl Tapp

Got a 8.5 lb bone in pork shoulder brining at the moment. Not looking forward to the 4am alarm tomorrow but well worth it. #buttstuff

Where's the beef?

I'm doing one tomorrow as well. I don't brine before a smoke but periodically put a rub on the night before.

We are going to eat it on Sunday so I get up at a sane time and cook it all Saturday then cool it and pull it. Reheat on Sunday for the meal.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Anyone ever do a beer can chicken on a grill or smoker? Curious if theres a can of soda or beer that works best?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I did some chickens on 16oz Budweiser headknockers a couple of years back and they were delicious. Of course I was pretty drunk by the time they were done, but they were good and the size of the can seemed to work well. I cooked them over a wood fire that was burned down to good even coals with a little fresh wood for smoke and temp control. Put a deep pan over them to keep in the heat. Somehow it worked.

It's whatever your preference, I've used all different kinds of beer and white wines. The key is to stuff a lemon or orange slice into the neck to close that off and keep the moisture in

Any decent beer will do.
I also stuff herbs and citrus peel into the beer.
The point is to have something that steams into the cavity and cooks it and keeps it moist.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

The lemon sounds like a good idea I'll have to try that, thats a different idea I hadnt seen anywhere yet thanks guys.
Gonna just use a generic seasoning and give it 2-3 hours till shes cooked through.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

My daughters have a strong mandarin orange habit.
I save some of the peels and freeze them, pull them out for sauces and stuff like this.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

A can of Foster's works well with a small turkey. I have used a 12 oz Bud-light Lime, Miller Lite, and a Dale's Pale on a 5-7 lb chickens, and thought they worked out well. I typically chug half the beer and put seasoning into the can - whatever I am rubbing the bird with, a half lemon, and whatever herbs I have around, and enough salt to jack up the boiling point. I usually use the neck skin flap and a toothpick to seal the top instead of the lemon, but as long you seal to keep in the pressure you are good. Very forgiving on the temp - anywhere from 275 to 375 depending on how long you want to let it go. Love what pecan chips do for the skin.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Gonna roll it low and slow for 3-4 hours so probably 225-250 then bump it up for last 30.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I put butter and herbs under the skin, help flavor and crisp it up.

I've also made a mop and just before being done, brushed this on, containing honey to brown the skin.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Pecan chips do great for browning the skin, but the sugars in the honey likely make it crisper?

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Spot on, you get a bit of caramelization

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Let me know what you think. My family could not tell the difference between one done very slow and one done pretty quickly, except the skin was not as crisp on the slow (I did not finish hot). I think the steam coming from the beer can, the pressure, and lack of cavity access may limit the penetration of the smoke, but does keep it very juicy. Of course it was not a side by side comparison, but remembering something you had a few weeks ago, so I would be interested to know if others feel the same way.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

I'm making a bacon blue cheese burger explosion today. I've done bacon explosion in the past with traditional methods. This is the first time using ground beef. i am gonna cook to "well" and then let it rest for 30 minutes to ensure the cheese settles. We'll slice it and put it on burger buns. I'll see if I can figure out how to upload some photos.

Where's the beef?

photos pls...

"It's always great to beat UVA, that makes us all smarter and better looking for a couple days".


"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Here you go.

It was delicious. In hindsight, I wish I had used regular cut bacon instead of thick cut so it crisped up a little more.

Where's the beef?

I like the idea of serving a fatty as a burger

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

Yeah I usually eat my burger medium so I was little wary but this was still plenty juicy with all bacon and blue cheese fat. Would definitely do it again.

When I've done the traditional BE/fatty with sausage and bbq we always slice and put it on biscuits. Hence the burger idea.

Where's the beef?

Now to convince HokieEnginerd to do something similar the next time he does burgers...

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

Brisket round 2 is tonight into tomorrow. Taking a lot of what everyone suggested and trying some new things. Mainly using the egg genius to do an overnight cook. I trimmed it a couple hours ago and don't think I did a good job but we will see!

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

The worst case with bad trimming is you have a little too much fat and the bark in those sections won't be a nice. But the brisket will still be good as long as you keep a good clean smoke, don't take it off before 200 internal, and you let it rest for an hour or so.

Just pulled it about an hour ago. My concern with trimming was that there was a huge wedge of rock hard fat in the point. Here's a before and after pic -

Not sure if I can point it out with words but that big fat ridge on the right led into a trough of fat to the top left of the point.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Throwing a brisket on tonight and wanted to try the Franklin butcher paper method instead of foil. I know I'm late trying to secure some of the butcher paper as it doesn't look like any of the big stores (Walmart, Lowe's, ACE, Home Depot, Sam's) has any in stock. Anybody know where a guy can get some last minute? If not, how do I need to adjust my cook time if I don't wrap at all? Thanks in advance!
Edit; found some!

I never wrap my briskets because I like the dark bark and I always plan for 1.5 hours per pound. I bought a 12 lb brisket Thursday, trimmed probably 2-3 pounds of fat off (there wasn't a great selection), and I put it on last night at 10:15. It is about to hit 200 here in 10-15 minutes so it went just under 16 hours. A little longer than I expected but in the ballpark.

I typically wrap with foil but don't like the "pot roast" appearance and bark texture when it finishes. Good to know it doesn't affect cook time too drastically. I went to Sam's this morning as they usually have decent choice grade briskets but all they had was prime grade so got stuck dropping too much money on a 14lb brisket. Thanks for the info!

Yeah, the pandemic has definitely jacked up meat prices. I paid $6.30 a lb for choice at Restaurant Depot and it is usually around $3.25. The higher grades were even more expensive and they were huge. There was a prime there that was over 22 lbs and I was afraid to look at the price tag. I think it was approaching $200. That was too rich for my blood for a weekend smoke.

Yup. I like a big flat as much as the next guy but if I have to choose between 14 and 20 pounds to feed 5 people and some left overs I'm choosing 14 pounds every time, especially at prime prices. Hope your brisket turns out good!

I typically wrap in butcher paper. Speeds through the stall faster than not wrapping, but also helps it breathe a little bit and not get stewy/pot roasty. Whole Foods/Wegmans would probably have some. I ordered mine online

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

You can also get peach butcher paper on line via Amazon.

yup that's where I got mine!

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Found some online at Lowe's after the lady told me on the phone they didn't have any in stock. Gonna order a bigger roll for future use if I like the product for sure though. Thanks guys!

I'm a pretty big wrap guy. I have the small Primo so I wrap at the stall of shoulders and brisket with butchers paper primarily so o don't have to break everything down to add fuel.