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Get a Weber and get started! Try a chicken first, then a brisket, work your way up to a pork shoulder (pork butt).
Some helpful accessories:
Charcoal chimney (gets coals fired up quicker)
Food thermometer like this
I have a Meater, but the connection isn’t very reliable. My go to efficient workhorse that has never failed me is the ThermoPro TP20. ThermoPro TP20.
ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Remote Digital Cooking Food Meat Thermometer with Dual Probe for Smoker Grill BBQ Thermometer [link]
I bought the ThermoPro. I really like it. Sadly the probe clip that comes with it is pure nonsense, so I had to order a different one from Amazon but that's a small price.
ThermoPro TP 20. Here’s the Amazon link
It’s a thermpro tp20 - [link]
If you really want a good one with dual temp corded probes I can't recommend this one highly enough:
Here's the kicker though, you have to be careful with the probes. They can easily get damaged, especially if they get water in them where the cord goes into the probe. Replacement probes go for $18-20.
I use mine all the time cooking in the house as well as with my smoker... for chickens, turkeys, roasts, meatloaf, etc. I'll tell you, there's no better way to get a perfectly cooked turkey on Thanksgiving... you always pull the bird out at the exact right time!
Thermopro20, have used for over 2 years, leave the transmitter outside (Canada) year round, no issues. Free probe replacements, though I haven’t had to. Over 10000 reviews on Amazon 4.5 or better out of 5 rating. ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Remote Digital Meat Thermometer Cooking Food Thermometer with Dual Probe for Smoker Grill BBQ Thermometer [link]
Yep with the Smokey the minion method is the way to go - it can run a long time without needing any help - much longer than it takes to do a pork butt.
As far as temp, I would recommend getting something like this -- you just put the probes in and kick back inside and relax until it reads 200. I usually put the probes in when I foil it up a few hours in.
Ah, bummer... If you smoke regularly, I couldn't recommend enough getting a smoking thermometer similar to this. Makes it so easy to keep an eye on the temperature without constantly going outside/opening up the smoker.
The pen everyone has posted is great, I also really like this one, because I can walk away and forget it, come back when it hits target temp.
This was my first thermometer and it was perfect: ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Remote Digital Cooking Food Meat Thermometer with Dual Probe for Smoker Grill BBQ Thermometer [link]
I use a meater + now but the one I linked above is about half the price and is extremely sturdy/accurate/easy to use.
There is a little clip that fits in between the grill grates which you slide the end of the thermometer through. It keeps it from touching the grate while staying level with your food
I love bbq and think it's awesome you have started doing that as well.
Consider trying some stuff like slicing zucchini/squash into 1/4" or 1/2cm slices. Coat in olive oil, grind some salt/pepper over and grill over high heat. Watch closely as they can burn quickly but if you do it right you get some nice grill marks and a delicious semi crunchy veggie. I hate soggy veggies, this trick was one that made me realize these veggies could be delicious!
Egg plant actually grills up really nice too, but be warned it will soak up an entire bottle of olive oil, it's a sponge!
Finally, when grilling meat, especially larger pieces consider something like thermometer. You will always get perfect pieces of meat. It is possible after time to get a feel for bbq but this helps take the guess work out.
Inexpensive gift ideas: nice pit gloves to keep his fingers attached and unburned, Steven Raichlen makes some very approachable BBQ cookbooks that are pretty easy to find. Get that man a pork shoulder so he can get some real BBQ going!
Medium price: electronic grill/meat temperature probes: (this one is an OK model, there are probably better ones) Amazon.com: ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Remote Digital Cooking Food Meat Thermometer with Dual Probe for Smoker Grill BBQ Thermometer: Kitchen & Dining
Thermapen instant read thermometer, Soapstone/griddle, a nice carving knive, a nice wood cutting board with juice grooves.
Expensive but awesome gifts: Fireboard 2.0 with Drive fan (probably closer to $300), Joetisserie attachment, JoeDo pizza attachment
I just received the smoker as a gift two months ago. I've only done ribs and chicken to this point.
The most challenging thing is definitely fire management. I'm still working/learning to get it right. One thing that I did to help was buy this thermometer so I could track the temp at the grate after I walk away from the smoker.
There's lots of good information on YouTube for this as well.
Therm pro has a nice corded double probe setup with remote monitor. Recommended.
I have one of these
I also had a fireboard, which is a really fancy wifi thermometer that can even drive a fan to control the smoker heat on a charcoal / wood smoker. Amazing thermometer, but it got wet and died on me.
Reverse searing is my favorite:
You're going to need a probe thermometer at the very least, to monitor the internal temperature of your steak. If you're grilling it, which I highly recommend, you should have a probe thermometer for your grill as well. Something like this is perfect.
Anyway, season your steak however you like while you get your grill up to temperature. For best results, I suggest a charcoal grill or smoker and some mild wood chips for a subtle smoky flavor, although that isn't 100% necessary.
Set up your grill for indirect heat and let it get to about 225-250°F (107-121°C) before you begin. Make sure your thermometer probe that's in the steak is in the middle for accuracy, and put your steak on the grill.
Let your steak get to about 10°F below whatever doneness you like and then take it off the grill. Now we will sear the steak. You can do this however you like, depending on what equipment you have available to you. Ideally, you'll have a flat surface like a cast iron skillet or a flat-top griddle, but you can use your grill grates as well. Whichever you decide to use, get it as hot as you can. Like, screaming hot. When your cooking surface is sufficiently hot, throw your steak on there for 60-90 seconds per side. This is how you'll get the iconic "crust" on the steak.
When you're done searing, you're ready to eat! Bon appetit!
This one is what I have and it works well, there's also a single probe version that's a bit cheaper.
One note to add when I say preheat the pan to sear the steak in, it should be starting to smoke. Usually about 5 minutes on high for a cast iron skillet. A lot faster with a nice stainless steel pan. A good test is to get your hand wet and flick some water in the pan and if it sizzles and evaporates immediately then it should be hot enough.
And finally always let the steak rest for about 10 minutes before cutting into it.
It’s possible - it’s annoying as fuck to do and rarely worth it, but it is possible.
If you pull the trigger and ever have any questions hit me up. Get a good probe thermometer, makes a HUGE difference.
I use this for long smokes
ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Remote Digital Meat Thermometer Cooking Food Thermometer with Dual Probe for Smoker Grill BBQ Thermometer [link] Not sure about the Georgia heart, but have left it outside in the Canadian winter for 2 years, hasn’t skipped a beat. Super easy to use, has over 11000 reviews on Amazon, over 4.5 stars... best of luck.
this is the meat probe i have and i love it
he will also need an instant read thermometer as well. besides probes, the one thing i use all of the time are gloves. Get a box of black nitrile gloves and some cotton glove liners. If makes handling meat a piece of cake. I have no idea how i functioned before those.
This is the one I've got. If you can spend more Wirecutter prefers the Thermostat Smoke
yeah thats the one. thats a must have
this is the probe i have. [link]
i love the monitor you can take with you so you aren't constantly checking on the temperature.
Heres the deal with the weber smoker:
If you aren't filling up that top grate with 3 racks of ribs, or even filling the bottom grate there is honestly no point in using it unless you just want a fun hobby thing to do.
If you only want to do 1-2 racks of ribs, go grab a weber 22 inch kettle off craigslist. I got mine for 20 bucks.
It's ROI for charcoal use and time is very high compared to other smokers. Here are some tips that have gotten me lots of rave reviews on bbq using ONLY this smoker:
The weber is a great backyard cooker. Many people win LOTS of competitions with them. It will serve you for MANY, MANY years if maintained well.
Here you go!
more like this?
Yea, i am in love with this one: [link]
I'm really bad at taking notes. I started to when I first began smoking, but there were always so many variables that it seemed impossible to gather anything useful out of it.
Back then I had a propane vertical smoker and was constantly overcooking my meats. I originally had this thermoPro but I did find out it was broken after my second overdone meat. Then I got this Inkbird thermometer. And while I was having better success, it still just didn't seem like I was getting great meat.
The metal on that thing was so thin and smoke would leak out. I bought high temperature seals/gaskets and bought a new dial thermometer for the front. I even went so far as to try to put a fire retardant blanket over it to help keep in the heat. I didn't think I had a heat problem because my air temperature probes seemed to be ok, but everything I read was saying thin metal and heat loss were the major contributors for bad meats.
I can't tell you the science behind it, the why, the how, or anything, but all I know is, after I upgraded...all the trouble went away.
From what I've read about resting, once it's reached it's desired temp, pull it and let it air cool (counter top) to 180, then re-wrap it and rest. I just open the foil from the pan then cover it back up. Turn the oven on to 170 (the lowest it will go) and rest it that way. And you're right, It will just keep cooking and cooking and cooking if you just throw it into a cooler from the smoker.... I've done this before. Some say to pull it at 190-195 knowing it will still climb up some regardless, but I personally wait till it's 200-205.
As far as the water pan, honestly, I would need to do some better note taking and comparisons. I've read that the humidity will obviously help keep it moist, and some say it helps form a better bark. I've done it both ways but didn't think to notice if there was a difference. I couldn't imagine a big difference if you leave that fat cap on. Seems like there would be plenty of moisture in the air already. If you decide to experiment with that let me know your results.
I've personally always checked the thickest part first. At least what I think is the thickest. If that has reached to temp, I'll probe around to make sure there aren't any other cold spots, which has happened before.
Another point. Finishing in the oven after forming your bark is a unanimous "go for it" from everyone/everything I read. Smoke can only penetrate so far and after that, your just wasting charcoal. With that said, maybe you can try that: get a good bark going and throw it in the oven where you don't have to wonder about temperature. I would also still tightly wrap it, but remember to cool it down before rewrapping for the rest. Rewrapping it at 180 will give it a good amount of time to rest before it hits the dreaded 140 (bacteria).
Your plan of action looks like a good start. But be careful about over probing after it's wrapped, or in general really. 2 maybe 3 pricks into where you think the thickest portions are. Then just try to remember the lowest reading spot for when you check after you wrap it.
The one you bought looks like a ripoff of a thermopro. I'd recommend getting the real deal.
Haven't seen an app based one but this one works great on my RFH. Let's face it, if you are using a stick burner you aren't walking away too far from the smoker because you want to keep an eye on the wood and temperature. This isn't a Traeger set and forget.
I have the ThermaPro TP20 (https://www.amazon.com/ThermoPro-Wireless-Digital-Cooking-Thermometer/dp/B01GE77QT0/ref=sr_1_9?crid=1LAY6ELMQIMHQ&dchild=1&keywords=therma+pro+digital+thermometer&qid=1617496541&sprefix=therma+pro%2Caps%2C190&sr=8-9).
I like it but the one feature its missing is a min/max alarm setting for the probes, it only has an over temp alert. I'm going to be upgrading to one that has that feature at some point.
I use this. It's a little big for my instant pot and I have to shift stuff around but it gets the job done. I might buy some shorter replacement probes in the future.
I am looking at this one https://www.amazon.ca/ThermoPro-Wireless-Digital-Cooking-Thermometer/dp/B01GE77QT0/ref=sr_1_13?dchild=1&keywords=bbq%2Bthermometer&qid=1613512952&s=kitchen&sr=1-13&th=1
LPT: Amazon links only need the /dp/B01GE77QT0/ to be valid. For instance, your link can condense down to [link] and still link to the same product, as well as being readable by a human.
I was looking at this one on amazon...[link]
is that the one?
I use a thermopro tp-20. I really like it. Accurate and super easy to use. It’s on sale on amazon right now for $53.99! link to thermopro :)
Came with them.
Hey, I was still half asleep when I answered this. Lemme give you some better thoughts.
The thermometer on the done is unreliable at best, definitely get a set of remote probes. I have this: [link]
Another tip, A L W A Y S cover the water pan in foil before smoking. Makes cleanup so much easier.
I've had mine for 6 months. It's been great. I've done ribs, pork butts, briskets, whole chickens, and chicken wings. Everything has turned out awesome.
I use this, it's $60
It works fine.
Are you looking to manage the controls via your phone or portable device that comes with? Here's an option that's on sale today. Might be somewhat closer to what you're looking for and wont break the bank
It just takes a little practice and building up confidence... while getting to eat way better BBQ than you get at most restaurants and way more fresh.
If you don't already have one, you really need to get a digital thermometer like this one.
And I highly recommend this book for some great recipes - smoked meatloaf was really good. The mac n' cheese recipe is ridiculous.. family/coworkers know me for it. It has a lot of other great tips for the WSM too.
Welcome to the club, it's such a delicious hobby.
I agree with above comments on being able to smoke on these. I honestly use my Weber kettle more than my WSM. Pick up one of these bad boys and don’t worry about adding a thermometer to the grill itself (they aren’t as accurate anyways because they’re positioned at the top-where all the hot air is). ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Remote Digital Cooking Food Meat Thermometer with Dual Probe for Smoker Grill BBQ Thermometer [link]. You can put a probe in the meat and one on the grate and bob’s your uncle. Made many a fine Boston butt/rack of ribs on my kettle. You did good.
Forgot to mention-set it up indirect. I bought the Weber charcoal baskets to hold the charcoal. You’ll also want one of those grates where the edges lift up so you can add coals on a longer smoke. Weber Hinged Cooking Grate [link]
Tp20 for the win: [link]
Some simple mods that might help you, consider using larger wood chunks instead of chips. Buy a 2 probe thermometer so you can check grate temperature by the meat, i prefer the thermoworks smoke since every time i buy a cheaper one they tend to break or have issues.
How does this compare to ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Remote Digital Cooking Food Meat Thermometer with Dual Probe for Smoker Grill BBQ Thermometer [link]
I’ve had great luck with this ThermoPro, it’s definitely better than the old Maverick I had that everyone used to recommend.
looks like one of these. I use this one and it works well. I did have to replace the temp probes after first year though. Ymmv
I have this one:
ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Remote Digital Cooking Food Meat Thermometer with Dual Probe for Smoker Grill BBQ Thermometer
So far so good.
I usually split my briskets between the point and the flat.
You dont have to do that. However I always put the temp prob in the smallest cut of meat. When its done move the probe to the next largest.
Fat melts at a specific temperature. I get cooking steaks to a feel however unless you cook the same size and cut regularly getting it right isn’t going to happen.
I was a line cook for years. Cooking to feel is easy when you make 30 steaks a day. Really hard when you cook a few briskets a month. And if you are wrong, getting a brisket back to temp is a bitch.
Tp20 is a cheap remote probe available on amazon.
but almost any will do fine. Having multiples could help a lot. Alternatively if you are confident in your built in smoker thermometer you could use the second grill temp probe in another piece of meat.
As for trimming or separating aaron franklin from Austin, TX, an award winning bbqer, has shared quite a few of his processes on youtube and at bbq university. The audience in the second video is made up of bbq restaurant owners and competitive bbqers looking to up their game. Im sure there are a few hobbiest in the bunch but not a lot at the price of it.
Brisket Camp 2015
Best of luck! Im sure it will turn out great!
thermapen and/or one of these
I picked up some 6.7lb brisket from a local thriftway with a fair fat layer and then followed this after brushing it with salt, pepper and some random bbq seasoning. [link]
I just skipped the refrigerator part and took it to 196f. Slice and eat.
I used this wireless temp probe. [link]
I think I clocked in 5 on smoke, wrapped in foil then 3.5 more in foil at 225? I'll admit it looks overdone but everybody liked it. (I invited random friends over with the warning we might have to resort to hotdogs)
I just got a Daniel Boone non WiFi last weekend and am using this to monitor temps. Seems to work pretty well so far.
I am currently using this one: