Needing a confidence builder.
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Needing a confidence builder.
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Thread: Needing a confidence builder.

  1. #1

    Needing a confidence builder.

    My 2 Star General should be arriving soon and Id like some input on what to cook first.

    I know I can grill or smoke on it and since Ive never run a smoker Id like to try smokin first.

    So whats easy?
    I could use a little confidence boost to start things up.

    I have some rubs from Big Poppas Id like to try. Little Louies seasoned garlic salt,Desert Gold,Big Poppas double secret steak rub and Money. The rubs all came with the special package with the grill.


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Congrats on the 2 Star, you're going to love it! My suggestion would be a pork butt. Butts are the most forgiving. Remember to season the MAK first. Here is a recipe I normally suggest for the first time butt smoker. It never fails.

    Good Luck,

    Smoked Pork Butt
    Recipe: modified by Matt, ORG: Alton Brown
    Serving Size: 12


    9 pounds Boston butt, bone in, prefer non-moisture enhanced
    Canola spray
    apple juice, in spray bottle
    - - -
    8 ounces molasses grandma's
    2/3 cup pickling salt , use only 1/2 cup if meat is "moisture enhanced"
    2 quarts bottled water
    2 1/2 gal. zip-lok bag
    - - -
    Rub: this makes more than what a usual butt requires
    2 tsp whole cumin seed
    2 tsp whole fennel seed
    2 tsp whole coriander
    2 tablespoon chili powder
    2 tablespoon onion powder
    2 tablespoon paprika, not smoked


    1. Brine the Butt for 15 hours Combine molasses, pickling salt, and water in a 2-1/2 gallon zip-lok bag, dissolve completely. Completely submerge the Boston butt in brine by squeezing out the air and sliding the zip-lok. Place the bag with meat into a very large mixing bowl and weigh the top down with 2 cans of beans from the pantry to keep everything submerged for marinating. Let sit in refrigerator for a minimum of 12 hours. 15 hours is ideal.

    2. Prepare the RUB Place cumin seed, fennel seed, and coriander in food grinder and grind fine. Transfer to a small mixing bowl and stir in chili powder, onion powder, and paprika.

    3. Wearing latex gloves: Remove Boston butt from brine and pat dry. Lightly spay the butt with canola oil. Sift the rub evenly over the meat and then lightly pat down to help the rub adhere. I use a small 2” dia mesh strainer for this, tapping it on the side to sift the rub onto the meat. It gives a very even coating. More rub will adhere to the meat if you are wearing gloves during the application. Cover every inch of the meat.

    4. SMOKE: I use the smoke setting of 185 for 1-2 hr, then @245-250 until IT reaches 160 (155-165 is fine), usually takes 5-6 hours. SPRAY w/APPLE JUICE every hour starting after hour 2. If wanting stronger smoke flavor, add the tube smoker.

    5. SMOKER FINISH: your choice - either place butt in pan and cover with foil OR, leave as is. Pan & foil will get done quicker and if doing so I raise the heat to 300. Bark will be soft but plenty of juice *. Note, a straight smoke at 225 should take 10-12 hours, but less at 245 or higher. Begin checking meat for doneness after 10 hours or an IT of 195, whichever comes first. Be aware though it could take longer i.e. 13-16 hours or so. Meat can’t tell time, it’s done when it wants to be.

    * If the butt is unwrapped in a covered pan be careful when attempting to remove. Last one I did this way was full to the top with juice due to the brining and you’ll need to syphon some of it out before moving.

    6. OVEN FINISH - faster @ IT 160’ish: Remove, insert an electronic meat thermometer making sure it’s not touching the bone, tightly double wrap in alum foil. Note: after 5-6 hours of smoke, the meat won't absorb much more, so you are essentially cooking it until done at this point. Put wrapped butt into a large tin foil container (11.5 x 9.25 internal), and place in oven at 300 F. Continue the cook until 200-205F. Meat is unpredictable, make sure to set your thermometer alarm to go off when it hits 203. Can be anywhere from 2 to 4 hours in the oven but usually close to 2.

    7. So which finishing method do I use? Depends on the time available, when there’s plenty, leave it in the smoker. We do not mind the softer bark and the total time is less using the oven method.

    8. Pull Butt when IT is 203-205 & REST. Remove from oven/smoker. The meat still needs to rest for at least 2 hours. Place the panned butt in a large sealed cooler surrounded with a couple of bath towels to help maintain warmth. REMEMBER: to be safe, meat should be kept above 150, so I leave the thermo probe in the meat and monitor it while it sits.

    9. Pull meat apart with forks. You should be able to grab the bone and easily pull it out clean. Can be served plain, or in sandwiches with maybe a side of coleslaw. I suggest a good barbecue dipping sauce.
    MAK 2 Star #3623
    MAK 2 Star #1915 now w/another smoker
    Twin Eagles Gasser

  3. #3
    If you're seasoning it on the weekend, when you can start early in the morning, then a pork shoulder (butt or picnic) is a good choice.

    If you're planning to start this on an evening after work, then get her seasoned and do something easy like hot dogs, sausages, etc. This will let you get to know the grill first.

    If you've never done a pork shoulder, then my recommendation is to hold off until you do a couple of simple cooks to get to know your grill. Once you're comfortable with how the settings work, then tackle a pork shoulder.

    P.S. I never let pork shoulders rest unless they are done way early before I need them. Then it's into a cooler to hold them. Otherwise, if the connective tissues have all broken down, then there's literally nothing to rest.

    Just my 2, and you can keep the change!
    MAK 1 Star General #651 - 2014 Model
    former owner - MAK 1 Star General #171
    22.5" Weber Performer with Stoven Pellet Grill attachment
    27 + year old 22.5" Weber Kettle (still works fine)
    Modified Horizontal Offset Smoker - used mainly for cold smoking.

  4. #4
    2 Star #3949 is up and running on a Wednesday so goin with the grilling option.
    Thanks for the butt how to mcschlotz I'll give that a shot soon.

    Had some pics but can't figure out how to get them downloadedso you'll have to use your imagination.
    Since I had to season it I thought I'd see how hot it would go.

    First pic is the pellet boss set to grill and the temp showing 605
    605!!! I thought pellet grills can't get that hot. This was with the front flame zone cover off.
    Pic #2 is 2 Ahi tuna steaks lightly dusted in Big Poppa's Desert Gold seasoning laying lovingly on the grill grates.
    #3 is the tuna flipped to expose the sear marks.
    #4 is the perfectly grilled tuna plated and sliced about1/4" thin exposing the rare center of the fish. Beautiful.
    The last pic(finally) is the Ahi plated next to a serving of green beans.beans we're straight out of the can. Gotta work on my sides.

    That's it my first cook. Hope you enjoyed the playby play as much as I did.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Glad to hear you're up and running. With each use your love of the MAK will increase!

    MAK 2 Star #3623
    MAK 2 Star #1915 now w/another smoker
    Twin Eagles Gasser

  6. #6
    Moderator scooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Don't forget to take pictures!!!
    - MAK owner for life! -
    2015 2 Star General prototype #0 with WiFi and beta FlashFire Ignition System
    2009 2 Star General #28
    2 BPS Engineered Drum Smokers, steel & stainless steel
    Smokin' Yankee's Competition BBQ Team

  7. #7
    The MAK is a great chicken cooker too
    MAK Grills ,BPS Drum Smoker, Ole Hickory Pits Ace BP, Hasty Bake Legacy KCBS CBJ

  8. #8
    Senior Member NorCal Smoker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Northern California
    Great to see the MAK up and running. Pork Butt, ribs, Tri tip are all great things to try early as they are a bit forgiving. Just read examples of how to cook on this website as a starting point.
    MAK 2 Star #500
    Weber Genesis Gasser
    Weber Kettle


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