Being a retailer and an owner of Primo Smokers and Grills, we are often asked the question, “I just got a Primo Smoker and I want to use it to smoke something, what do I do?” Well you are certainly in for some fun! Having been an owner who faced the same daunting thought of ”How do I get started?” I wanted to share some tips with you on how I started learning to use my Primo as a Smoker and not just as the best charcoal grill I have ever used!
- Join the Primo Grill Forum (PGF): Sign Up. Read up and try a few of the processes that they give you. The thing about the Primo that I have learned is that it is easy to configure and can be configured in all sorts of ways. Many of the members of the PGF have thousands of hours and hundreds of successful cooks. So if you are looking for experience and processes to call your own, this a great way to get started. Do some research on what you want to cook first, learn how to configure your grill, start your fire and use your smoker. They helped me out a ton and ultimately I had to dry out a few briskets, undercook some pork butts and burn some babybacks to find my groove. Expect to do the same.
- Heat Control: If you are going to be slow smoking meats, save yourself a lot of time and get yourself a BBQ Guru, call them to help you configure it and no need to go with all the bells and whistles on your first go. Buy a BBQ Guru that makes sense for you. If you are a purest, this may not be for you , but I found my BBQ Guru to be the difference between sleepless BBQ Cooks and sleeping like a baby! It changed my success rate with smoking as I found it difficult to control and maintain the heat with out one.
- Make Sure You Have Proper Primo Accessories: Make sure that you have Ceramic D Plates and a set of Roaster Drip Pan Racks, I use a water pan on top of my D-Plates and have a lot of success with this method in conjunction with the BBQ Guru. Learned how to do this on the Primo Grill Forum, and there are many ways to do this, but having this system in place turns your Primo into a smoker or at least an indirect cooker, which makes all the difference.
- Anything but Brisket: As a beginner, all I wanted to do was cook a brisket, so I dried out a few before I did the research and was told that this was the toughest one too cook! So I started with Pork Butts and Babyback ribs, learned to rub them the right way, start a fire, and hold a temperature for long periods of time. Then after I got all those things working, I cooked a brisket and got better and better at it. So my advice is start with the basics and work your way up to the more challenging cuts.
- Have fun!: Manage your expectations. You are not going to be smoking Myron Mixon style on your first cook, so be willing to experiment and learn from your mistakes. I was told to always take good notes, from the start of the cook, to the end of the cook. This has helped me repeat my success and tweak for improvements when I cook. So if you remember to have fun, and that this is a learning process, your end results will only get better and better.