1. This is the obvious answer to OP's question. If you've never used a cooker before, then starting out with something as forgivable as a pork butt is always a good idea.

  2. This is the way. Even if the cook goes south it’s a very forgiving piece of meat. Just give yourself plenty of extra time

  3. When I got a new cooker, I always make chicken. Its cheap and the thighs are forgiving, just take em off when they hit temp. You can tell a lot about the way temperatures rise / fall, smoke levels etc with a quick cook. I then do whole bird, and pork butt, steak, etc.

  4. Sure, but chicken is a short cook. I’d prefer to immediately start figuring out how the smoker and I perform on a long cook

  5. Bingo. Anytime I'm testing a new setup, I load the cooking surface with spatchcocked chickens. Gives a GREAT idea of hot spots, air flow, etc. Really a great diagnostic tool.

  6. Also, I should have added... if you do a whole chicken, you might want to spatchcock it (remove the spine so it lays flat. That way the breasts and thighs finish up at relatively the same time and you won't over cook or under cook either of them.

  7. Damn, I'd love to live where you are. You can get a whole chicken for 5-10$? That would give me one chicken breast, maybe two, if I'm lucky. And a $10-20 hunk of pork.... yeah, try $200 for a 13lbs Boston Butt.

  8. Second this. Offsets are tempermental and can change with the breeze. Best to get down the air flow and creating clean smoke. Wouldn't hurt to throw some biscuits on there in different spots to find your hot and cold zones.

  9. I always recommend starting with chicken thighs and then some ribs. Once you get your fire management down, then I would venture into the bigger meats.

  10. Boston Butt total game changer. Don’t pay full price they go on sale all the time for .99/ lb. New to smoking all together? Search the thread there is a lot of knowledge on this sub!

  11. The probe states 190 and the temp gauge on the smoker says 300. Also, is it normal for clouds of white some to be in the smoker? The some coming out is whisper-thin and white. I can barely see it. But when I open the hood, there is a lot of white smoke

  12. That’s normal, a properly “tuned” fire will produce thin bluish/white smoke. When you open the lid, the inrush of fresh air will throw off your tuning and you’ll get smoke.

  13. Something you aren't afraid to learn with. I would start with chicken wing pieces (flats and drums).

  14. Wings can be pricey and it’s hard to get the skin right. Not exactly a cook for “beginners”

  15. Pork butt or chicken just for inexpensive cuts that might not turn out great. And a butt is about an 8 hour cook so plenty of time to ay around

  16. Beef ribs are incredibly hard to mess up. They aren't overly expensive and the cook time will give you a good amount of practice on fire management

  17. Any new piece I get, fits test is a pork butt. If I mess up the temp, at least the bark will be good!

  18. I started the lump charcoal in my chimney. Popped it into the firebox when it was ready along with several chunks of hickory. When I did this the amome was insane and the temp gauge hit 400. Both dampers were just slightly opened. It stayed this way for a good 20 minutes. Having me er cooked on an offset, I have no idea what signs I'm looking for to even know when the smoker is ready for me to out food on it.

  19. Bacon. Lay out all the strips and see where it is hotter and cooler. Figure out the temps. Should only take ... 60-90 minutes and it is good.

  20. I always go with a whole chicken as a first test as they only cost $6. (in Alabama) and smoked chicken is delicious.

  21. Pork shoulder or smoked meatloaf. Both can be cooked in pans to catch juices and keep the meat from being dry. Shoulder is a very hard piece to dry out

  22. I always tell people the first thing you should do is ribs. Takes the least amount of time and you can fluctuate temps a bit and not ruin the cook. Helps you get used to maintaining 225.

  23. I am just picked up an 8-pound, bone-in pork butt. I am going to attempt to smoke this baby tomorrow. Wish me luck

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