Advice for my first smoke

Started by billman1167, December 20, 2009, 05:52:01 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Hello!  I am supposed to receive my 6 rack BDS on Christmas Eve.  It will be a present from Santa.  I am looking for some help from all of you who have been smoking on a Bradley for some time.  If you had the chance for a do-over, what type of meat and recipe would you choose for your very first smoke.
Thanks in advance for any help you can give!!!


I like practicing on chickens, they're cheap so if you mess up it's not a big deal. Whatever you choose, do it in small batches until you get the hang of what you're doing. It seems no matter how much you read and follow the instructions, something turns up that you didn't expect. We're all here to help if you get into trouble. Good luck and don't forget to break that baby in before you start.
Rodney Dangerfield got his material from watching me.
Learn to hunt deer


I agree with KevinG.

My first smoke on a Bradley was 4....5 pound chickens that took about 13 hours with outside temps in the 20's.

I thought I screwed the whole thing up taking so long, but remember---slow and long! Something I'm not use to.

Keep it small and simple and happy smoking ;D
If your so cool....where's your Tattoo.


If you decide to do chickens, make sure the vent is 100% open as chickens hold a lot of moisture.

Another choice for your first smoke could be pork butts.  They are extremely forgiving.. You really have to work at messing up pork butts with a Bradley.  I'm sure you already know that smoking pork butts is a lengthy process where chickens will be ready much quicker and you get to eat sooner!

Enjoy your new smoker!



I'm with KyNola - Chicken or pork butt are very forgiving items.

Ribs on the other hand can be a bit tricky.
Click on the Ribs for Our Time tested and Proven Recipes!

Original Bradley Smoker with Dual probe PID
2 x Bradley Propane Smokers
MAK 2 Star General
BBQ Evangelist!


I'd experiment with chicken.  I like to split a 5 pounder in half for the Bradley.  Two hours or so of apple.  Cook to an IT of 145-150 then transfer to the grill or an oven (350-375) to finish it.  Apply some of your favorite Q sauce or a glaze.  Roast to 160-165 IT, then let it rest 15 minutes or so.  Comes out good.

Everything gets easier as you get the hang of it.  :D
-- Arnie

Where there's smoke, there's food.


I'd agree, chicken or pork butt.
Simple is good on the first smokes, then gradate from there as you learn. 
I'd do one chicken or a small cut of butt (not a whole butt) to keep the cook time short for your first.
For pork butt, I'd suggest 230 deg until the butt reaches about 185-190 deg.   I generally do a small 3 lb piece of butt.  It goes on the smoker at 730 am, and will hit 190 deg at about 530 pm. 
Do you have a Maverick thermometer yet?  They are highly recommended here to monitor the cabinet and meat temp. 

get smokin


Thanks for the advice.  I probably will start with a smaller piece of pork butt.  Unfortunately the shipping was delayed  >:( , so instead of smoking for Christmas it will be for New Years.  I do not have a maverick, but have read a lot of posts referencing it.  I will definetly consider it.


Dang Billman,
I know the shipment delay really sucks.  Look on the bright side, gives you plenty of time to figure out how you're going to smoke that butt.  Recipe website is  Tons of great recipes for lots of things.



Thanks for all the advice everyone gave.  Finally got my smoker / seasoned it / and smoked a 5lb pork butt last Saturday and 2 chickens Sunday.  Everything was awesome!  Even the picky child asked for seconds.  Only problem though, I had to go out of town for the week and missed leftovers. :'(
I am smoking another butt this morning.  Went for a 4lb since it is 19 degrees outside (not used to that in NOLA) and I'm not sure how that is going to effect time.


Congrats on your first smoke being a success.  I know you guys are freezing in NOLA.  The 19 degree temp is not as detrimental as wind.  If you don't have a lot of wind, you should be just fine.  If you have a lot of wind, it has a tendency to suck the heat right out of the smoker.  Try to place your Bradley where it will receive as little wind as possible or build some type of wind block for it.

have fun buddy and stay warm.

Geaux Saints!