BRADLEY SMOKER | "Taste the Great Outdoors"

Smoking Techniques => Hot Smoking and Barbecuing => Topic started by: Truth Detector on December 27, 2006, 08:50:56 PM

Title: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: Truth Detector on December 27, 2006, 08:50:56 PM
Having been seduced elsewhere by owstritch & the good folks @ http://www.chezbubba.com (http://www.chezbubba.com) I finally got myself a Bradley Smoker.  Now, I'm no cook & I've never smoked anything (well, there was this cigarette back in 8th grade...) so I'm intimidated by this thing & don't know what to do first.  I've got the smoke & spice cookbook with lots of great recipes but its mainly over my head.  I've read this forum & its mainly over my head.  (I'm not a smart man...)

What should I start with?  Pork? (which kind?)  Chicken?  Beef?  I foam at the mouth at the thoughts of a rare prime rib but I'm not sure I want to take my first stab at it with a $60 cut of meat.

Rub or no rub?  If rub, what kind?  They all seem to have sugar & I prefer no sugar.

vent or no vent?  Or how much vent?

I see some cooked open on the racks & others wrapped in aluminum foil?  Which & why?

I suppose I should just dive in & give it a try but I'm skeered.

L'il help?

 :o
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: West Coast Kansan on December 27, 2006, 09:31:41 PM
Pork
Rubbed, just buy some to start
Vent open
dont wrap until finished (FTC)

Do this...

http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=4528.msg39301#msg39301

Have fun and enjoy.  Post your results.

Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: Gizmo on December 27, 2006, 10:08:10 PM
Here is a link to the Recipe site with the newbie first steps.  Seasoning your bradley Smoker and What to Smoke the First Time With the Bradley Unit.

http://susan.rminor.com/forums/showthread.php?t=160 (http://susan.rminor.com/forums/showthread.php?t=160)

I would agree with WCK about using a pork butt for the first attempt although the chicken is very simple, quick, and a good eat.

Nothin to be skeered about, lots of help here if you get stuck.
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: Truth Detector on December 28, 2006, 08:24:27 AM
What does FTC mean?   ???
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: iceman on December 28, 2006, 08:53:26 AM
Hey Chez; Could you or old's sticky the FTC explanation for these guys? Seems the question pops up numerous times a month and I keep forgetting where I posted the explination.
Thanks. :)
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: iceman on December 28, 2006, 08:58:17 AM
What does FTC mean?   ???
Note:
F = foil
T = towel
C = cooler
Lets say after smoking a pork butt for 4 hours or so then keep it cooking until it reaches the desired temperature 195f / 210f ? or there and about. It could take 10 or 12 hours. Just depends on the amount of meat you’re cooking.

You then take it out of the smoker and wrap it in aluminum Foil (maybe add some apple juice or whatever).

Then wrap it in a few layers of old Towels (like beach towels or old bath towels).

Next stick it in an old Cooler you have laying around (NO ICE! You’re trying to keep it warm).

Let it sit for a couple of hours so the passive heat can do its magic and you will end up with some VERY, VERY tender, juicy meat.

I like to use a combo of hickory / apple, or oak / apple for ribs.


ICEMAN / Patrick Gbur
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: Truth Detector on December 28, 2006, 01:41:05 PM
OK.  Thanks.

More questions:  Do I soak the bisquettes in water?  If so, for how long?

Do you have any recommendations for which flavor bisquette to use for different types of meat?

Thanks again.
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: LilSmoker on December 28, 2006, 01:57:35 PM
Hi there, and welcome  ;)

Don't soak the bisquettes at all, just put them in dry, straight out of the pack.

Here is some info on the various flavours:

http://susan.rminor.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26

Regards.............LilSmoker(http://www.emotipad.com/newemoticons/Tip-Hat.gif)
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: Truth Detector on December 28, 2006, 03:32:27 PM
Thanks.

I'm seasoning the smoker now & will attempt a Boston Butt (mainly because the rub looked easy & the meat was cheap) tomorrow.

Wish me luck.

 :o
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: Truth Detector on December 28, 2006, 06:52:09 PM
another question:

Is it necessary to rotate the beast every so often?


 ???
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: Truth Detector on December 28, 2006, 06:54:58 PM
Ooh.

Another question:  I've read references to using apple juice when FTCing. 

How?  Do I pour it over the beast?  How much do I use?

 ??? ??? ??? ???
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: West Coast Kansan on December 28, 2006, 07:30:32 PM
another question:

Is it necessary to rotate the beast every so often?


 ???
Rotation is only required (Front to back and top to bottom) when the meat load and cook times are large enough and long enough the bottom rack(s) are cooking faster than upper racks.

Ooh.

Another question:  I've read references to using apple juice when FTCing. 

How?  Do I pour it over the beast?  How much do I use?

 ??? ??? ??? ???

Apple juice is good to add moisture and a bit of sweet flavor. Many here on the forum will use a spray bottle and give the meat a couple of sprays when they have to open the door.  Others will do it every hour after smoke is done and your in the cook only mode.  When FTCing a splash will do to add some moisture.
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: owrstrich on December 28, 2006, 08:21:59 PM
santa brought td a bs...

td... if you are doing a butt for tomorrow you need to start it NOW...

td... low and slow is the way to go... generaly 200deg to 210deg... some things like pig arse and brisket take a long time... the 160deg to 180deg beast plateau can take hours... use the ftc as a time buffer as the beast will stay hot and juicy for hours... smoke... ftc... serve... no rushing the smoke this way...

seldom does any smoke take more than 4 hours of smoke... since you count money for a living i will do the math for you... that would be 12 smoke pucks... i think... after the smoke stops you just wait for a specific internal meat temp...

1 10lb pig arse or brisket can take 15 hours or more... i would do a pig arse 1st beacuse you cant screw it up... after you got some practice over your belt you can do anything you have seen posted at tf...

so its fetch the beast... wash and dry... rubb like he11... fridge it for at least 1 day... take it out of fridge a few hours before smoking... that lets the meat temp come up a few degrees before smoking... preheat... set box for 200deg to 210deg... load the beast...advance the 1st puck... change water out after last puck is burned... wait for your desired internal meat temp... perhaps 195deg beast temp on the pig arse... i use 200deg box till the beast hits approx 175deg then i bump it to 210deg box... 

after some practice we can show you how to make shapiros quality pastrami... he he he...

welcome td... these folks are here to help... here is my cell 317-432-6842... call anytime...

you gotta eat...

owrstrich
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: Truth Detector on December 29, 2006, 08:48:06 AM
Thanks for all the tips.

I rubbed the beast last night & have it in the fridge.  I'm going to start the smoker tonight around midnight with four hours of smoke & approximately 12 hours total cooking time.  I won't rotate it because I understand that to only be necessary for multi-rack cooking.  I'll get it out a couple hours before I start cooking to let it come to temperature.

I'll consider it done when the internal temperature is 190-195.  Then I'll FTC it for a couple of hours.

Oh, the only bisquettes I've found so far are Hickory & Alder.  Suggestions?

Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: owrstrich on December 29, 2006, 08:56:29 AM
td...

i would go with hickory for the pig arse...

adler is good for fish...

what does your pig arse weigh... what time do you want it on the plate...

you gotta eat...

owrstrich

Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: iceman on December 29, 2006, 10:25:28 AM
What O said. Hickory on the pork. ;) Alder on fish :)
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: Truth Detector on December 29, 2006, 04:28:35 PM
td...

i would go with hickory for the pig arse...

adler is good for fish...

what does your pig arse weigh... what time do you want it on the plate...

you gotta eat...

owrstrich



pig arse weighs 8 lbs.  I'd like to grub somewhere between noon & 3:00pm.   I'm thinking about bumping my start time to 10:00pm...
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: West Coast Kansan on December 29, 2006, 05:13:58 PM
Get started, asap, stay up until smoke is finished then change out the water (dump and refill to get rid of the spent pucks). Vent full or near full open. Go to bed and check in the morning.  You actually WANT to FTC a Butt.
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: Truth Detector on December 29, 2006, 06:10:22 PM
Thanks, WCK.

The beast is re-rubbed & waiting for the smoker to stabilize around 200-210.

Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: owrstrich on December 29, 2006, 07:51:48 PM
td... dump water bowl after pucks are spent... fill it back up with fresh water... put it back in and do not open the door until its done... not even for a quick look... you are looking at a minimum 12 hour smoke at 200deg box... everytime you open the door it will just add more time...

dont freak out... you will not screw it up... just wait till its done... it will be worth it...

1 question... 1 8lb arse... what is the little detector gonna eat... he he he...

good luck bro... im driving tomorrow so i will have to wait for tomorrow night for an update...

owrstrich

Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: Truth Detector on December 29, 2006, 08:11:08 PM
The bun is in the oven but I'm having fits getting the temperature to sit still.  I'm sure I'm over-reacting to temp changes but its staying between 200 - 215.  I just wish it would do so w/o me making adjustments.

Question:  If I open the vents wide open after the smoke phase is done will that cool the temp in the oven?

Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: Arcs_n_Sparks on December 29, 2006, 08:17:02 PM
TD,

Resist the urge to make quick adjustments. The time constant for temp changes is quite long. Yes, opening the vent will cool things off. So you have two knobs to turn: temp and vent. Uusually, the vent is adjusted to be sure smoke and moisture move out, and that no smoke backs up through the generator. After minor tweaks, the temperature usually settles in and should only require minor adjustments.

Arcs_n_Sparks
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: owrstrich on December 29, 2006, 08:44:09 PM
dang...

i didnt think about it... origonal or digi... humm...

like sparks said... small adjustments... just get it settled in about 200 to 205 average on the temp swing and get some sleep... it will be ok...

owrstrich
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: Truth Detector on December 29, 2006, 09:12:00 PM
I'm still a little too warm.

I don't have a digital BS.

Can't sleep yet.  Got another 90+ minutes of smoke left before I change the water.

Gotta admit...this is fun.

 ;D
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: owrstrich on December 29, 2006, 09:19:42 PM
that is cool td...

i like the nondigi because thats all i know...

we are going to have to set you up with either a pid or digi temp switch and a remote digi thermometer if you dont already have them...

with those two accessories it is truly set and forget...

so what you have now is the beast absorbing heat and smoke... once the smoke is over the box temp will settle down a bit... it takes some practice... i was up all night eyeballing my first few smokes...

its the fear of rejection and the anticipation of the best beast ever...

i know nothing about pids... however i did make a digi temp switch... i can make another and send it to you in a few weeks if you decide against making a pid on your own...

photos of the little detector and the pig arse when done posted here please...
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: Truth Detector on December 29, 2006, 10:11:42 PM
that is cool td...

i like the nondigi because thats all i know...

we are going to have to set you up with either a pid or digi temp switch and a remote digi thermometer if you dont already have them...

with those two accessories it is truly set and forget...

so what you have now is the beast absorbing heat and smoke... once the smoke is over the box temp will settle down a bit... it takes some practice... i was up all night eyeballing my first few smokes...

its the fear of rejection and the anticipation of the best beast ever...

i know nothing about pids... however i did make a digi temp switch... i can make another and send it to you in a few weeks if you decide against making a pid on your own...

photos of the little detector and the pig arse when done posted here please...


I'm not sure what a pid is but I'm at your mercy.  If you say I need one I believe you.  I don't think I'll sleep very well knowing the beast is cooking...LOL.

I took a photo of my rubbed butt pre-cook & will take post-cook photos.  I'll try to get the little detectors to cooperate but the girl has to cook longer than my Boston Butt before she'll allow pictures to be taken so it might just be the boy.  ;)

Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: Arcs_n_Sparks on December 30, 2006, 08:01:15 AM
I'm not sure what a pid is but I'm at your mercy.  If you say I need one I believe you.  I don't think I'll sleep very well knowing the beast is cooking...LOL.

PID is Pig Indicating Device..... :D

Actually, PID is Proportional Integral Derivative. A type of control scheme used to maintain a setpoint temperature.

In addition to what owrstrich mentioned, you will also need an adult beverage refrigerator in close proximity to the BS. Then tell the spouse you will be experimenting with the beast for the next 15-20 years.

Arcs_n_Sparks
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: Truth Detector on December 30, 2006, 03:31:37 PM
(http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b6cc11b3127cce80e126eedc1100000016101AaNGLlmzaMd)


Pretty good for a rookie.

 ;D
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: Gizmo on December 30, 2006, 03:43:54 PM
Looks like a big hole out of the middle.  Did you have a snack before taking the picture?  Looking good Rook.
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: Arcs_n_Sparks on December 30, 2006, 03:53:11 PM
Agree with Gizmo; looks like over half is gone.......  :D

Arcs_n_Sparks
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: Truth Detector on December 30, 2006, 04:06:07 PM
LOL.

I may have had a sample...

 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: Gizmo on December 30, 2006, 04:09:16 PM
On the floor laughing.
If that is a sample, I'd hate to try to make a sandwich with the leftover from a big bite. ;) ;) ;D
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: owrstrich on December 30, 2006, 07:50:08 PM
way to go td...

looks so good im gonna open this can of spam lite and eat it with a spoon...

you gotta eat...

owrstrich
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: pipsqueek on December 30, 2006, 11:33:36 PM
I have been using the Bradley for 4 months now and learned all I know from these guys.
From what I have learnt its extremely hard to bugger up pork as long as you cook it long and slow.
Also, you really only need the Bradley for the first 4 hour smoking period, you can finish off the beast in a standard oven overnight.
I tend to cold smoke my meats at my convenience, refrigerate and then cook overnight in the kitchen oven, it is not necessary in my experience to have the cooking phase at the same time as the smoking (open to discussion here)
I also dont think you can overcook pork if you forget its in the oven for a while, the temps are relatively low.
The FTC is a really important finishing step especially with cheaper cuts like brisket.
Try cold smoking cheddar for 2-3 hours with apple or cherry pucks, very easy and tastes wonderfull, use old white cheddar, I dont find the yellow stuff tastes so nice.

You will get more adventurous very quickly, dry curing and smoking bacon is also very easy for a beginner.

Definately get a digital thermocouple type thermometer, its a great buy, even for conventional oven roasts its handy as you dont have to worry about having the temperature set precisely as long as you get a final meat temperature reading.
Title: Re: Overwhelmed Newbie
Post by: iceman on January 02, 2007, 10:14:46 AM
Geez TD I leave more crumbs then that around my plate. You're supposed to take the picture FIRST then eat the beast. :o :D Just kidding. Looks great. ;)