Well got a chicken and a brisket under the belt. It was my first time with the smoker and had to figure out how to use. Started friday evening by burning the smoker out with some briquette charcoal. Some over on the smoked meat forum saw the paint on the inside and said I should burn it really hot to make sure no fumes would taint future meals. After the coals died down I set out to smoke some salt and a chicken.
The chicken took a long time and I ended up falling asleep on the couch. Woke up at 5:30 AM and wrapped it up and put it in the fridge. I carved it up sat morning and oh man was that good. Bagged it all up and it will make awesome lunch sammiches.
Got the brisket going around 11:00 AM sat morning. I had picked up some lump charcoal and apple wood chips. I had rubbed the 6 pound brisket with a rub I threw together the night before and wrapped it up with cling wrap. Got the smoker going and it was right at 225 degrees where I wanted it and threw the brought to room temp hunk of meat on there.
Then the fight started. I could not keep the temp up in that smoker since I was being to much of a wussie when it came to adding more charcoal. I would check on it every hour or two and it would be in the 160 degree range and I would freak out and try to get it hot again. After a while I realized I could just add the lump charcoal right on the hot coals with no need to use the chimney starter. I added lots of chips, but tried to not make it too smoky. 13 hours later I pulled it off, wrapped it up, and went to bed.
The thing looks evil, but was not too smoky at all. Hardly any smoke ring and was a bit tough the next day. I sliced up some for dinner and reheated the slices in a foil container for our dinner. Was pretty much like roast beef. Sliced it all up and baggied it for lunches.
Theresa is not that big of a smoked meat fan, but I love it. We do lunch at home every work day and I think that will involve a smoked meat for a long time to come. I have a better grasp on how to use the smoker now and really enjoy spending a whole day messing with it. Ribs are next.