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Smoking questions

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Post Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:23 am
MrEd rare

Posts: 19
Location: Utah, Central
Thanks to the post regarding the $25 off a Weber smoker from Amazon my new Weber smoker arived last friday :) On Sunday I tested it out with a brisket and Elk roast. Both of which turn out really good. While tending over the smoker I had a few questions come to mind. I would like to know peoples opinions when it comes to mopping/basting.

Do you just mop the top of the brisket (which is likely all fat) or do you get better results by turning meat and mopping all sides? Pardon my being so naive I am new at this smoking stuff (and grilling at that matter).

My next question stems from my mind going wild with smoking different combinations of meat (might be all the hickory smoke I was snorting while tending the smoker). :) Pork and chicken, Beef and chicken. Beef and fish.....etc. Is there a good rule of thumb as to which should go on the upper grate and which on the lower grate. I have read somewhere not to put chicken on the top grate if beef is on the bottom but have seen pictures posted here where chicken is above beef.

Post Thu Jun 03, 2004 12:25 pm
Don Marco well done
well done

Posts: 826
Location: Germany


Chicken and fish should always go on the lower grate, even if they´d rather need a higher temperature (wich is at the upper grate).

If you have chicken or fish drippings falling onto other food, theres a high risk of cross-contamination.

I wouldnt even cook fish and other meat together at any time, because the smell might "carry over".
On the other side, nothing beats pork butt fat dripping onto ribs, chicken or brisket.

Don Marco

Post Thu Jun 03, 2004 1:14 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 13157
Location: Texas
MrEd, as many briskets and pork butts that I have smoked I've never even thought about mopping the bottom. That's a good question. I've talked with people that don't mop their briskets or pork butts at all. I usually let the rub crust in the smoker for a couple of hours and then mop/spray the top and sides hourly during the cook. Come to think of it, on occasion I have sprayed the underside through the grates if clearances allowed, but I've never really given it any consideration. Summary: I believe most don't but doesn't hurt to.

If you've looked at the pictures on my web site you'll see the turkey on top. Why? Well I don't think cross-contamination is an issue in the smoker. Cross-contamination is where cooked meets uncooked and picks up live bacteria. Everything in the smoker is cooking and all the nasties die. As to why the turkey is on top, my preference is for presentation. It doesn't pickup any dis-colorization from the mops, rubs and fats from other foods in the smoker.

Most recommend the fatty meats (especially pork) go on top so they will baste the less fatty meats below and keep them moist. This also imparts flavor from upper meats to the lower ones. So you should consider your tastes when positioning the meat in a vertical smoker. I wouldn’t put fish on the top shelf as fish could easily overpower the flavor of other foods below.

That’s just my 2 cents. Hope it helps.

Post Thu Jun 03, 2004 1:26 pm

Thanks for the detailed answers. It really helps us smokers still wet behind the ears.

I should add I sprayed my "mop" on both sides (better to be safe then sorry) of the brisket.

Post Thu Jun 03, 2004 1:49 pm
MrEd rare

Posts: 19
Location: Utah, Central
Oops looks like I got logged out. The last reply was mine.

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