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Assistant Cook
Jan 27, 2004
Long Island, NY
I just bought a new electric smoker. I wanted to make some Brisket this weekend in honor of the Big Game being in Texas.

I am no slouch around a grill, but the smokey world is a bit different.

I have some questions, and turn to you for help:

1) Can I put a Brisket on the bottom rack and stack some ribs on the top rack? Or is it best to line the ribs up vertically?

2) Is it cool to put some beer in the water pan?

3) Should I place the woodchips in my grill's smoker box next to the heating element or just scatter them across the bottom?

Please feel free to leave your suggestions and tips...
hi tommymat,
just some personal preferences:
1) i have no problem with different meats being stacked in the racks. Whatever juices drip down from the meats are all going to be good, and a little pork juice or grease isn't going to harm your brisket at all--it will make it better. i usually just do whatever fits best--it's all good :D
2) i still maintain that if you're putting a bbq rub on your meat, most liquids you put in your drip pan will not have a noticable impact on the meats' flavor. Plus i've cried a little inside everytime i've poured beer into a water pan :cry:
But there are many people who disagree with me, and i do not have the best taste buds in the world, so i say try it--worst thing that could happen is you'll waste some beer :cry: :cry:
3) this one i don't know about--i've never used an electric smoker before--i only use charcoal. but i would just follow the manual's instructions as to the best placing of the wood chips.

lastly, the most important element to BBQ is experiment! never take what someone else says as the gospel truth. everyone has a different grilling/smoking setup, different climate conditions, different tastebuds, ect., ect., ect. i've learned more by doing precisely the opposite of what's considered "OK" in the bbq world than if i would have just accepted other people's 'rules'. And it's pretty hard to mess up bbq to the point of inedibility.
Have fun :D 2 cents worth. As far as I am concerned it is VERY cool to put beer in the watrer pan. As a former water smoker (I use an offset smoker now) I used to put nothing but flavorful liquids in my water pan. I believe that it does make a difference in flavor.
This is a very interesting dicussion. And I am getting some very goods ideas we have an out side propaine smoker and this summer I want to have a "New Garage party" and invite the Contractor & workers and their family and some friends.

I won a turkey at thanksgiving it is in the freezer, maybe I'll have hubby add some pork spare ribs too. 8)

Any more ideas :?:
I was thinking a real good beer, not a mass produced american light beer.

Maybe I should look in my liquor cabinet? Maybe some wine or bourbon?
tommymat said:
I was thinking a real good beer, not a mass produced american light beer.

Maybe I should look in my liquor cabinet? Maybe some wine or bourbon?

Sorry, but the thought of putting Guinnes in the smoker brings tears to my eyes :cry:
carnivore (slap, slap) carnivore, good buddy, come too ok? (slap slap) tommycat won't put the bourbon in the drip pan, I promise - there you go..... color is looking much better now...... :mrgreen:

I have an electric smoker too and the manufacturer's directions (along with the person I talked to on the phone) said DO NOT put the chips on the burner. And, by the way, I use nothing but the big hunks of Hickory, I don't get good results with the chips.

Well, I took that advice about twice and a friend, who also has an electric smoker, said just soak them and throw them on - being on the electric element won't hurt. And, he was right.

I am also one of those that can taste the difference when water versus say apple juice (my favorite) is used in the drip pan. As a matter of fact, I can tell a huge difference. I have tried wine but my favorite is the apple have to START with a lot of flavor to END with a lot of flavor IMHO of course.
thanks Kelf, i needed that! i did get a little weak in the knees and briefly passed out after reading about the bourbon. I managed to survive the fall thanks only to my extreme hardheadedness ;) :D
No worries guys, there will be enough bourbon to go around. Guinness is good, but I think we are going to go with some Magic Hat #9 this weekend.

Besides, I want my food to know the wonders of alchol before it's plated.
I do not recoommend a good beer in the water pan. Use something drinkable...but barely. Like Bud or Icehouse. Then sip the good stuff while it cooks.
I do the beer butt chickens with Budweiser - it has some flavor and no one seems to care when I pour half of it out. ;) Be sure and fill that bowl up though (well, within reason) so you don't have to refill. Now THAT is a pain! :roll:
Magic Hat #9 is a microbrew from Vermont. It's pretty good. If you can find it, give it a shot. In NY we have to go to beer distributers to get it. Outside NY, check ABC stores.

I think I will go with Apple Juice in the pan. I will leave the booze for the party goers.
My husband loves microbrewery beer - I'll have to check it out and surprise him. Around here our grocery stores carry beer. But I'll have to check online I'm sure. Thanks for the link!!!!

(my husband loves beer is a more accurate statement!!!!) :roll:
I would like thank everyone for all their help... For a first time smoke, everything turned out excellent!!!

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