but not new to the BBQ bunch.  I picked up a used SM-066 in an auction yesterday and am jazzed to get it cleaned up a little and smoke some meat. 
I grew up in Garfield County, Oklahoma back when Cookshack started up.  If I stood on top of my 49 F1 pickup, I could almost see Ponca City.  Heck, I could almost make out Kansas!

I worked at "The Hickory Hut" in Enid for the legendary Johnny O Horaney who was the first with patents on a Teflon rotisserie BBQ pit that he subsequently towed behind his El Camino which he used to cater the Grand National Quail Hunt (among other events) for many years.  He was a decidedly kind and talented chef.  

Original Post

Welcome! This forum used to have a large and active cadre of professional comp cooks and chefs, not so much anymore. We home cooks can use any advice and experience you care to share. In return, maybe some of us with years of experience with CS smokers, including your new-to-you SM066, can share some wisdom too. Looking forward to your contributions!

Thanks for the welcome and enthusiasm.  I was fortunate to find my Cookshack Amerique CS066 on a government surplus online auction.  The description was bare bones and some information was downright wrong but I played detective and deduced that what I was probably bidding on was the CS066.  I won the auction, drove four hours to a government installation 2  days after Christmas and (too late to make the long story short but I promise it's condensed) was rewarded with the cooker that looks like a stainless steel dorm refrigerator with a big wedge-shaped alarm clock on top.  
It cleaned up nicely with vinegar and water but required a new meat probe.  That came in the mail yesterday, today was a smoke test (it passed) and tomorrow is the first of many "Smokin'-my-Texas-heart-out" days.  There's bound to be a story in that, right?

Great story, and good find! A bit after I bought my AQ, I sprung for the stainless steel cart and larger casters, which have made the use of it (rolling it out of the garage to use and back in when done, and storage of all the wood chunks I use) just a joy, A bit pricey, but well worth it to me. I did a couple of racks of loin back ribs for Christmas for a small group. I've been experimenting with cooking them at 250 instead of 225, it takes about an hour less to finish but I think they turn out a bit dryer, even when the toothpick test is just marginal. I think I will go back to 225 and accept the extra hour or so of cooking for the juiciness.

Let us know how your first cook turns out!


I do believe you are going to enjoy your new toy and the food it produces.  Go light on the wood, maybe 2 or 3 ounces per smoke and work your way up from there. Better to little smoke flavor than too much.  Enjoy!

You will have fun with your new smoker.  There are some things that are different with the SM066. 

These units are very tight, and wood friendly.  I have smoked 4 packer briskets with 6 oz of wood.  Just remember that what ever you are cooking will only take smoke up to 140 degrees of internal temperature, after this the smoke just starts to make creosote, and the meat will have a bitter flavor.  Use Mesquite wood with caution.  This wood is great but a little goes a long way in these smokers.  There is a very fine line between good and bitter with it. 

They smoke on the moist side, so if you are doing things like jerkey, or summer sausage that you want on the dry side, you will have to open the door every so often to dump moisture. 

These units have a pre programed "Start up" cycle.  They run at max for 20 or 30 minutes when you first start them.  This is to get the smoke rolling sooner.  This might take your smoker over the temp that you set the smoker for.  This is normal.   

These smokers are subject to "The big Boom" when they are new, or after they are cleaned back to "like new".  This Boom is caused by what Firefighters call a "Back draft". or smoke explosion.  My first smoke was the Thanks Giving Turkey.  I loaded the bird and wood in the smoker, and fired up the smoker.  About 20 minutes into the smoke There was a Big Boom.  My Wife ran out an asked: What the heck was that?  I ran out to the patio expecting to see a round smoker where my 066 had been and turkey pieces parts on the inside.  All of the dogs in the neighborhood were going nuts.  The smoker was fine as well as well as the turkey. 

When you look into the smoker at the back wall you will see a probe sticking out.  This is what keeps the temperature in the smoke at the set temp.  Keep this probe clean, and make sure that it doesn't get stuck into whatever you are smoking.  This can really mess up your smoke.

Keep all of this in mind when you use your new toy, and enjoy. 

Thanks for the perspective.  The first run on "The '66" was chicken thighs and I tried using pellets for smoke.  Too much surface area ended up in an over-done smoky flavor on about 3 dozen thighs.  Edible but not incredible.   Next tried the Smokeshack recipe for 3-Meat Chili:  awesome!  Ordered two rib racks and filled them completely.  14 racks of pork ribs for a family event were spiced and rubbed then jammed into a dream machine with the intent of proving the concept.  End result was 12 family members completely enthralled by the results from my latest wild@$$ online purchase.  Vindication is sweet (and smoky).
Then came the Texas showdown:  B-R-I-S-K-E-T.  Have made some very respectable brisket on a pellet grill but had to go for the gold on "The 66."  Checked out the recipe on Cookshack.com and followed it exactly.  Time/Temp/basic Brisket 101. 
10 hours later l removed the meat and let it rest.  I cut the meat.  Chewy.  I cut at a different angle thinking maybe I had "offended" the grain with my cavalier cutlery handling.  Still tough.  The brisket, just shy of 9 pounds, was cut in half for further manipulation.  One plate; sliced thin and served with white bread, potato salad and dill pickle my dinner gave my jaws more exercise than I like to spend on chewing.   About half of the meat was plastic-wrapped and frozen.  The remainder was chopped and combined with Head Country BBQ sauce for three days of sam'iches.  Not a Big Win but a win nonetheless.  Live, learn and dine like you're hungry.  The other 4 pounds or so of brisket will be chopped and served as needed.  

My next brisket will either go into my pellet smoker or I'll modify the methodology to get the falling apart, melt in your mouth meat I always aspire to eat and serve.  

I do whole packers, prime from Costco. 225/230 till it hits an internal temp 195/200.  They typically hit the IT somewhere in the 12 to 15 hour range.  They get wrapped, rowelled, and placed in a cooler for a couple of hours.  I have not had a bad brisket except for the choice briskets I got locally.  Very tasty but not as tender as Prime. 

I agree with OldSarge on smoking briskets with temperture not time.  Read Smokie Oakie 101 on smoking briskets in front brisket topic.  

I plan for my brisket to about 20 to 24 hours to cook.  I get the rub on them the day before they go in the smoker, and put them in big ziplock bags in the fridge  I think the term for this is a dry brine.  The next morning I load the wood chunks, and briskets into the smoker, and then turn on the smoker.  I set the smoker temp to 200 degrees.  I want to get as much smoke on them as I can before the briskets hit an internal temp of 140 degrees.  Once the IT is 140 degrees, I bump the temp up to 250 degrees and do not add anymore wood.  The briskets are usually at 175 to 180 degrees IT when it is bed time.  I turn the smoker temp down to 200 degrees and get a night's sleep.  The next morning I turn the smoker temp up to 275, and wait for the IT to hit 195.  I then start doing the toothpick probe method.  Use a toothpick, or skewer to probe the brisket, and when the toothpick goes in like it would go into soft butter, the brisket is done  The brisket should almost wobble like Jello.  Some are done at 195 degrees, some at 200, and some at 205 or 210.  Take them out and wrap them first in foil, and then an old towel, and put them in an insulated camp cooler.  I also plan for the briskets to be in the cooler for up to 4 hours.  This way if the briskets finish a little or a little late, they may spend 4 and half hours in the cooler, or 3 and half hours.  I have done this method for about 15 years now, and even well sorted out choice grade briskets come out moist and melt in your mouth.  Brisket is strange.  When I see words like dry, or chewy, the brisket is usually under cooked.      

Great brisket notes, guys! JLMCCARTY - Just an idea; my favorite way to use leftover brisket is in chili. I use Wick Fowler's Two Alarm spice kit and fabulous smokey chili is only about an hour away.

JLMCCARTY:  If you haven't chopped that last piece of brisket, why not use it to hit a homerun with your smoker.  Do Burnt ends.  These are usually done from the point, but can be done with the flat.  There is a 101 on this somewhere in the forum.  You can also find other recipes in the forum.  Jay uses his left over brisket in chili, some like it to top baked potatoes.  I use it in baked beans.  My wife does a killer baked bean dish and simply doctors canned beans.  I am usually smoking something in the smoker to go along with them.  I slide the beans in the smoker under the meat I am doing so all of the drippings fall into the beans.  Good eats.

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