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A lesson for me is go easy on the cayenne pepper if the people you are feeding are new to BBQ. Most of these recipes come from southern boys who like it hot. It can overpower someone who new. I came from Georgia and like it hot myself, but alot of the yankies I feed like it sweet. Also a rub that might work good on a butt, can be to hot on ribs. Just to much rub for a little bit of meat.
Last edited by bigal 2
Tip 1:

For CS55, place wood as close to the front (side toward door) of the wood box as possible and make sure it stays there when loaded.

Much better burn with majority, if not all, wood reduced to white ash.

Credit to Floridave for this tip.

Tip 2:

If you have an extra rack, cover the bottom (grates on top) with foil and place on bottom of cooker then poke hole for drip drain. Much easier to get foil in just right. Just throw the rack in the dishwasher with your others.
Last edited by detroitq
I didn't read every post on this thread, so my apologies if this has been touched on already.

Several long-time users/posters on this forum regularly close the doors of their smokers on the temp prob leads with no ill effects.

I can't say that. I've come close to ruining smokes because a 'pinched' prob line gave me a false temp reading.

Down through the vent hole is the only way for me.
I just started yesterday, but already have two lessons learned.

First, don't get so excited about doing your first pork butt that you forget to put in your meat probe - now I gotta figure out the best time to open the door and put it in. I think I'll wait a couple hours for the smoke to clear, but any suggestions would be appreciated.

Second, besides training me on the cookshack, I have to train my dog Samson. I need to teach him not to steal the great smelling pan under the cookshack! I'll let you know how that goes. Guess it didn't help that I used a leftover pumpking pie pan from thanksgiving!
I'm not new to smoking or the CS SMO55, bought mine in 98 or 99 but I learn things all the time in this forum. One thing I would tell new smokers is go easy on the wood and buy cheese cloth. Smoking poultry especially can leave a bitter tasting skin, a cheese cloth soaked in oil or butter will stop this problem and meat will still have that great smoke flavor, 30 minutes in the oven after smoking gives a great color and crisp skin. On briskets I just roll them up tie them with cotton string and stick them in the smoker for 12 hours, After maybe 100 briskets using Pecan, Hickory, Mesquite and others I'v never had a bad bite of meat, people rave on it, It's so easy I feel guilty for taking the praise. We had a new home built in 2003 and I actually had an area in the garage built for my smoker with a 30" by 30" wash basin beside my 55. I buy a product called PBW (Pro Brewers Wash) that is harmless to Stainless. Everything that can come out of smoker goes in it for the night after the smoke even the pipe,jam nuts, and washers on the smoke hole, I learned this when foul drippings ruined part of a rack of ribs. The book that came with my smoker is my smoking bible and there are maybe 20 added pages of stuff I'v learned. Advice is just a phone call or key stroke away-long live SmokinOkie.
Just a couple of tips from a newbie who just finished setting up a SM008 and a stand.

1. They have changed the design on the base of the stand so it does not match the included instructions. the casters bolt into the bottom rail of the stand and the casters with the lock/unlock lever go in the front two holes.

2. Bolting the stand to the unit is difficult because there are no instructions or markers on the top of the stand. (Oh for an alignment mark on the top of the stand.) For the forward 2 bolts that go through the roof of the stand use the elliptical holes not the round holes. It is MUCH easier if you flatten the shipping boxes and use them as a workspace. If you put both the unit and the stand on their backs you can see the holes in the bottom of the Smokette and get the bolts in where they belong.

3. There will be parts left over. Customer Service says there are numerous extra parts sent just in case (I have an extra pair of casters and several tiny nuts and washers.)

I hope this saves someone some frustration and saves calls to the friendly folks at Customer Service
Last edited by bobfoster
All the tips so far are great and I've used many of them.

My favorite tip is to buy a set of yellow gloves from the cleaning aisle at the grocery store. I love these gloves. I use them to take meat out of the smoker and to hold the meat while slicing. The gloves have just enough insulation to protect from the meat but still leave you enough dexterity to use your fingers.
If you are going to cook poultry with any other meat, the poultry must be below the other meats in the smoker. This is to keep the poultry juices from dripping on other meats.

That being said, I frown on cooking poultry with other meats in the smoker. Just a cautious approach. Plus I tend to cook poultry at a higher temp than I would other meats. That's just me though.
These are some of the things I learned/noticed while doing a combination seasoning/first pork shoulder in my new Smokette 009.

1. Get a good dual thermometer which measures meat temp and inside smoker temp. I did that.
2. Get a scale. I didn't, and was essentially smoking in the blind
3. Get plenty of aluminum foil and paper towels.
4. Read these forums. When people say it is hard to screw up the meat - BELIEVE THEM.
5. No matter how burnt out you think the wood chunks are, don't put them into anything FLAMMABLE. I put them into a used plastic deli container to carry them to my burn can, and they immediately burnt a hole through the plastic.
6. It IS easy, and the results are well worth it.
7. A 3.35lb pork shoulder doesn't produce a lot of meat. Make it worth your while and put at least two butts in there. Then freeze like many others have stated.
8. Use one wide piece of aluminum foil on the bottom of the smoker. I used two narrower pieces, and a fair amount of grease leaked through to the bottom. Almost none at all went through the drain hole. I did poke a hole through the foil.
Last edited by captq
Tip for Assembly of the Smokette and the Smokette Cart.

The instructions say that you should get help when assembling these items, but help wasn't available so I had to make do.

I noticed that the boxes for the smokette and the cart were both the same height, so I removed the smokette and the carts from their boxes, closed the boxes back up and turned them upside down. Then I put the smokette on top of one box, lying on it's back. Did the same with the Cart. Then I just pushed the two together and the holes all aligned perfectly.

After I bolted them together, I removed the box from under the cart (the smokette is heavy enough to support this without falling over), then gently tipped the unit upright. Voila!

By the way, much happier with the new replacement unit than I was with the first. It's out on my back porch seasoning right now.
Last edited by arisar
Hi All,
I am new to this board, I have enjoyed reading all of the post so far. I am expecting my new smoker to arrive this Friday, sorry it is not a CookShack, and of course I am like a kid on Christmas and want to smoke something right away. I am thinking a brisquet(sp). Could someone please give me details on how to prepare the meat? What would be the best for the a 1st timer?
Here's a question for ya....Will the outside air temp affect the smoking of a butt? I am smoking my first butt tonight and the temp is suppose to be around 30 degrees. I am thinking of starting it around 8pm and I am hoping it is done tomorrow morning. After which I am planning on doing some venison summer sausage. Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated.

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