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jthoward



Joined: 04 Jul 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04 06 10:23 pm    Post subject: Getting Started Reply with quote

So far im 0 for 2 on my smoking tries. Ive tried a whole chicken and boneless chicken breast but for some reason I cant get the internal temp high enough for the chicken. Im not sure what im doing wrong. Can anyone point me to a basic primer on smoking? Or any suggestions would be much appreciated?

Thanks,

Todd
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BBQMAN
BBQ Super All Star


Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 15474
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04 06 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Todd, there are TONS of tips here on smoking. Surf around and get some ideas!

What are you smoking on?

What temps are you cooking at?

I prefer to cook poultry a little hotter than pork- in the 250-275 range.
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allsmokenofire
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Joined: 26 Apr 2005
Posts: 5051
Location: Oklahoma

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04 06 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Todd, would help for sure if we knew what you're cooking on and what kind of fuel/heat source you're dealing with.
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jthoward



Joined: 04 Jul 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05 06 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooppss.. Sorry bout the lack information....

Im using a Brinkman Charcoal Smoker. It doesnt have an actual temperature dial with degrees, it reads low, ideal and hot. I cooked the whole chicken for approx. 6 hours and could only get it to 150 degrees. The chicken breasts were cooked for 4 hours and only got to 145 degrees. I using kingsford regular charcoal, no match light.

I hope this helps.
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Mark H
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Joined: 08 Apr 2006
Posts: 200

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05 06 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like you're just not hot enough. Alien has modifications for a Brinkmann smoker, also known as an ECB, on this forum. These should help you out quite a bit.

Just keep at it. Read the posts on this forum, and keep trying. Every smoke you will learn something and get better. You are right on starting out with chicken, although breasts might be a little dry. My family seems to go more for leg and thigh pieces for this reason.

Welcome to the family!
Mark H
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RICK_IN_LB
BBQ Fan


Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 105
Location: Long Beach California

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05 06 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Todd
Just stick at it. One thing I would recommend is getting a digital thermometer, the wireless kind is really neat! With a digital you will know where you are. Check out the mods for it. You will get it right, just keep the faith!
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Alien BBQ
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Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 5426
Location: Roswell, New Mexico

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05 06 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Making some general assumptions, I would say that the first thing I would check is my temperature gauge. If you donít have a digital probe, the next best thing is a instant read NSF thermometer that can be calibrated. To calibrate this ONLY use ice water. The hot boiling method does not work at different altitudes because water boils at different temperatures at different altitudes. However, water freezes at a rather constant temperature at any altitude. Get yourself a glass of ice and fill it with water and stir for about 1 min. Stick your thermometer in the glass. There is a nut on the back of the thermometer, secure it with a wrench and rotate the dial on the thermometer until it reaches 32 degrees. You are done.
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jthoward



Joined: 04 Jul 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05 06 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where do you purchase the wireless thermometers? Ive seen the regular digital ones in Pampered Chef, would that work?
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bbqblue
BBQ Fan


Joined: 07 Nov 2005
Posts: 135
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05 06 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Brinkmann gauge is misleading. Even a simple candy temperature gauge will give you a much better idea about what's actually going on inside heatwise. Here's one in the first smoker I built.

Gauge worked great - shame about the smoker Crying or Very sad
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RICK_IN_LB
BBQ Fan


Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 105
Location: Long Beach California

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05 06 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a wireless, you can get it at Home Depot or at
http://www.hawgeyesbbq.com/BBQ-Accessories.html
Good Luck in your search!
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roxy
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Joined: 29 May 2005
Posts: 9329
Location: Wasaga beach, Ontario

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05 06 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chicken should have been cooked almost to death in 6 hours. Sounds like you might not be getting enough air flow under your charcoal. No air circulation, no heat. Try using something to raise the height of your charcoal grate. You want a good 3 inches underneath.
Also how much charcoal were you using..?? If ya dont have enough light coals you wont get the heat level up as well.

Now if that brinkmann is a bullet... forget what I said. Wink
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jthoward



Joined: 04 Jul 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06 06 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the website Rick. Ill check it out.

Roxy- The night I smoked the whole chicken, I had the smoker setting ontop of some concrete blocks to create some additional space simply because I was afraid it would damage my porch (Wood). The last time, I let it set directly on my concrete porch. I completly filled the pan with charcoal. This is something im going to do different on my next smoke. I think I will use an old coffee can to start the charcoal then place it in the pan. Ill see what kind of temperature reading im getting before I add more charcoal. What do you think? Or should I start off with a full pan on each smoke?
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Alien BBQ
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Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 5426
Location: Roswell, New Mexico

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06 06 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are some pointers with an ECB
http://www1.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3994
http://www1.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2317&highlight=ecb
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jthoward



Joined: 04 Jul 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06 06 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awsome Mods Alien! If this rain lets up this evening, I think I will try them.

Thanks.
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roxy
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Joined: 29 May 2005
Posts: 9329
Location: Wasaga beach, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06 06 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alien is the man here for the ECB and what to do with it. I aint never used a bullet smoker. I had a 50 gallon drum a while back but I was BBQin in the "dark" back then.
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jthoward



Joined: 04 Jul 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri Jul 07 06 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.chaneyinstrument.com/pgs/kdig.htm Here is the digital thermometer that I purchased. What do you think? Do I run the end in a piece of cork and place it on the cooking surface?
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Alien BBQ
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Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 5426
Location: Roswell, New Mexico

PostPosted: Fri Jul 07 06 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Potato
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rich.langer
Newbie


Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 47
Location: St Louis, MO

PostPosted: Fri Jul 07 06 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the Maverick ET-73, which is $50 with free shipping at Amazon

This unit as two probes for measuring the food temp and the smoker temp, you can set it to any temp, it isn't pre-programed with specific temps (which I think is an advantage, pork at 195* ?? not according to USDA!)

And it is a wireless remote - so you can drink an adult beverage in an air-conditioned room while monitoring the temps[/url]
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