Fire & Smoke . . .a simple approach to get you smokin'

By Arlene Marshall (TwinLakesChef) on March 31, 2010

Over the last 30 years many who had previously used charcoal grills stepped away from them in favor of the gas grill for ease in use. Do you notice your meats missing something . . .a little boost of flavor that just isn’t there?


As a beginner, Please don't be intimidated by all you've heard from the experts:  choice of smokers, wood, rubs, mops, sauces,as well as geographical opinions.

Once you get the basics down you will develop your own opinions based on your taste...and that's the ONLY opinion that counts!

Here is a pork butt roast 4-5 lbs.  You don't have to rub spices into the meat but we are using a dry spice rub.


Once you have rubbed in the spices, wrap in plastic wrap.

We also have two racks of babyback pork ribs.  When going to the trouble of smoking meat, you may as well smoke a lot of different things.  So after digging in the freezer, we came up with 4 hamburger patties and some brats.



It is best to refrigerate for 24 hours before proceeding when a rub has been used.  If you can't wait, skip the rub and proceed to the next step.

There are many rubs available for purchase & you can find many recipes on the internet for making your own.  When I know my family is going to slather the end product with their favorite purchased sauce, I don't worry too much about rubs.


The Smoker. . .You simply need a source of low heat that will provide a lot of smoke.  We picked up a vertical bullet smoker for around $50 at a local big box store; it will work reasonably well for a beginner. We have no experience with electric smokers and don't use them.

Set out the lower body;insert the charcoal pan & add about 5 lbs. charcoal; use whatever method you wish to get the charcoal started.


Put the domed lid on and walk away for about an hour; when the flame is out and the coals are white you may proceed.  2010-03-30/TwinLakesChef/7b1c7b

Now you will removed the domed lid and add the upper body section.



Place the water bowl in the bottom of the upper body.


Pour about 6-8 cups of water into the water bowl.  Many people like to flavor the water with herbs & spices.


Place the rack directly on the water bowl.2010-03-30/TwinLakesChef/518c9e

Place the pork butt on the rack Place second rack on the hooks closer to the top.



Add the ribs to the second rack.



Now is the hard part ~ go read a book.  After about an hour, you'll start smelling the smoke.  DON'T! . . . lift the lid and peek!2010-03-30/TwinLakesChef/3e398b

For newbies, it's best to check the temperature gauge about every hour so you see a pattern in heat change.  It will steadily climb & then level off.  Once that happens it's time to check with a real thermometer.  You will need to open the little door and add more charcoal.  and  . . . Yes. . .Now you can peek!  Lift the dome and add more water.


Smoking time varies with smokers, but it can take around

12 hours.

In the last hour, we added 4 hamburgers & brats; this is a good time also to add fish.  You can test the pork butt with an instant read thermometer if you are not sure if it has reached the proper internal temperature.  When you remove the pork butt from the smoker you can immediately take two forks & shred if you want pulled pork.  We refrigerated it and thin sliced it on the meat slcer for us.



Pork Butt ready to serve with some baked beans & garlic bread



Baby Back Ribs with some barbeque sauce.



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Related articles:
, bacon, barbeque, beginner, brats, camping, charcoal, chef, chicken, cubit, curing, fire, fish, grilling, hamburger, hardwood, low, outdoor cooking, pit, pork, pork butt, pork chops, pork shoulder, ribs, seafood, searing, slow, smoke, smokers

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Comments and discussion:
Subject Thread Starter Last Reply Replies
Fantastic! I didn't know it was so easy! Jennifer Apr 18, 2010 6:50 PM 9
Now I want ribs Boopaints Mar 31, 2010 6:54 PM 0
Nice article Arlene Maridell Mar 31, 2010 5:13 PM 4
Ahhh smokers! threegardeners Mar 31, 2010 6:00 AM 0

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