what do you smoke?

Blue Skys

Hi Mom!!
11 Years
Nov 25, 2008
I'm very excited about my new smoker. I need ideas and recipes for rubs or mop sauces. Also what is your favorite wood to use?

When I get home from work today I am going to smoke some chicken halves with hickory, I will probably just rub it with some salt, pepper, garlic and oil. Then I will either smother in bbq sauce or make somthing with the shredded smoked chicken... But what?

As for recipes...I recommend going to allrecipes.com. I can't stick to a recipe if my life depended on it, so nothing is made the same twice. As for wood...applewood! MMMMM! We also put sliced apples in the water. YUM!
We did a dry rub (of some sort) on those ribs and they were a big hit!
I thought I was the only person that couldn't follow a recipe. I try and try, I guess I just wing it too much... nothing is ever the same twice in my kitchen either, it always needs a little somthing else.

Thanks for the apple tip!!
I learned to smoke in Texas. We used pecan with an occasional piece of mesquite. Go easy on mesquite, it's a strong flavor.

I used the traditional Mr. Smokey cylinder at first, then went to the big grill with the firebox on one end. And when I moved to South Carolina my first purchase was another grill. I am addicted to smoking.

Go easy on the sauces- truly well smoked brisket, chicken and turkey don't really need a mop. I usually just had a dipping sauce in a squeeze bottle on the side for the barbarians that wanted it! Mopping and basting just make for a soggy skin, instead of the desired "bark".

BBQ sauce is for things like pork roast, (pork "butt" and shoulder are the same thing), anything you want in a sandwich. I do like to marinate brisket before I smoke it, so it gets more tender and stays juicy. Same with turkey and chicken. Marinate overnight, and they stay juicy. Ribs just need a rub.

Don't smother anything in sauce! Hides the real flavor. Smoke those chicken halves, with the rub, and eat as they are! BUT......... you have to smoke them long enough, or they will be raw next to the bone. Follow the directions that came with the smoker, and remember the Golden Rule of smoking-

Low and Slow!

Good luck, PM me if you want some rub recipes.
I smoke salmon every other week. I do about 2-3 pounds. my family of four loves it and will eat it all. I do a dry brine method, i found in Alaska. I smoke with mesquite (sp) chips four about 6-7 hours in my Little chef smoker. Gotta love smoked fish. I will only buy salmon when it is less than $5 lb. I am cheap. But that is about twice a month.
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I have marinated chicken in various liquids - beer, root beer, black cherry soda, lemon-lime soda are my favorites then take a can from the beer or soda, have about half full of liquid and add garlic onions..., put the can in the cavity and stand the chicken as it cooks. I smoke them that way, bake them that way, keeps the breast meat moist and flavors the meat through
I like to smoke with a variety of woods, but my favorite are mesquite, hickory, and the #1 best for me is applewood. It is SO aromatic and wonderful. I really suggest it. We have an old apple tree on the property and just cut off a few nice sticks when we need it. The green wood burns low and long and gives great smoke... but dry would work as well... just burns hotter and faster.

As for recipes... I develop my own, but I highly suggest brining chicken befrehand as it really infuses it with the flavors of the herbs and spices down to the bone. You can find great brine recipes online. My favorite basic site about it is called "the basics of brining" - google that term and you'll find it. You can use that brine and then jazz it up with things like juices, beers, wines, and herbs and spices.

Also, you should try homemade bacon! Buy some fresh pork belly, cut into slabs, look online for a great cure recipe... cure for a few days and applewood smoke. Amazing and way better than anything you'll get at any store, period.

Good luck with your new smoker!
Ranchhand, good point with the sauce... I have that rule with steak (no sauce needed with a good steak) - smoking will have the same rule!

Thanks everyone!!
dry rubbed boston butt and shoulders. you can use charcoal, firepit oak coals, add hickory, apple, mesquite or what ever you fancy. keep it low and slow.
Yep...I will try to follow a recipe, but I end up taking out something, adding something else, increasing some seasoning...it's always something. DH used to complain that the recipe was written for a reason...now he changes things too!

I have never used fresh applewood! Thanks for the tip, Lisa!

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