Charcoal Smoker Supplies?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by kellynh, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. I am new to smoking and have purchased a charcoal smoker for my boyfriend for Christmas.  We went to a party where his buddy smoked a bunch of meat for the guests and I could tell it was something my boyfriend would like to have.  Since we are brand new to this, I did not go out and buy the shiny Weber his friend has, but instead opted on a Brinkmann that had decent reviews on Amazon.  My question is: what supplies should I pick up to give him along with the charcoal smoker on Christmas Day?  I asked on Amazon, but the only answer I got said wood chips.  Do I need the charcoal? (seems kind of obvious that I do!) How about a charcoal chimney?  We have BBQ tools.  Some other Amazon reader suggested a flexible funnel to refill water too.  What else do I need to know before we get started? 
     
  2. crazzycajun

    crazzycajun Meat Mopper

    An accurate thermometer is must yes you need charcoal anything else is bonus
     
  3. Yes to the chimney. Set of welders gloves ($7-$10) come in real handy. Refillable long candle lighter for stocking stuffer would be nice. A middle of the road dual temp digital thermometer would be a sweet gift to get him started. Hope he enjoys it . Nice gift.
     
  4. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Chimney starter, an electric probe thermometer (wireless if you really love him [​IMG]), and a large industrial roll of heavy aluminum foil - the big wide one. Oh..... and some MEAT!
     
  5. Which Brinkmann did you get?
     
  6. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    How about a good old freebie! Jeff's E-course from this website.He also has a great book out of recipes and how to. If you got him the smoker I think you did he will need to do some modifications to it and this website right here will give him all the info he needs. My list goes... Maverick wireless temp. probes....charcoal chimney...charcoal.... seasoning..... meat....know how. Not necessarily in that order. What a great hobby this is. Yummy too.
     
  7. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    My first suggestion is.. DO NOT buy match light charcoal... Kingsford charcoal (blue bag) is what you want... yes to the charcoal chimney (but beware when buying).. I think the one with a wire bottom (instead of solid metal with holes) is better.... I too suggest a decent wireless thermometer (Maverick ET-732) ... I also suggest you get wood CHUNKS and not chips.... That should get him started ...

    Also... turn him onto the this, Smoking Meat Forums, website .... as this is the best place for knowledge and help....
     
  8. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Great advice! No match light and no lighter fluid....ever.
     
  9. Thank you all for your wonderful suggestions!  Where can I get the wood chunks as opposed to chips? I got him the Brinkmann 852-7080-V Gourmet Charcoal Smoker.  I realize it's probably not the greatest, and I will point him in this direction to make some modifications (temperature gauge?  what else?), but I felt it seemed a decent model to get started with.  I'm planning to buy Jeff Phillips' book.  Are there ideal temperature/weather conditions for smoking?  Again, thanks for all the input. 
     
  10. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The ideal weather is whatever it's doing outside when you decide to use the smoker! Wind is really the only thing that will cause issues, and that's usually dealt with pretty easily by placement of the smoker. Just put it behind something to block the wind if it's causing problems.
    You've gotten good advice as to what else to get, so I won't offer any more.
    I will, however, offer a little insight into the way things work inside the murky depths of a guy's head. You mentioned "his buddy" smoked a bunch of meat, has a Weber smoker and that your boyfriend seemed interested in the whole concept. Kudos to you for noticing, by the way! This, however, raises a couple red flags. My mother, rest her soul, had four sons. To say there was a competitive environment in the house would be the understatement of the year. On those rare Christmases when none of us had been expelled, arrested, implicated or otherwise put on the naughty list and actually qualified to receive presents, we all got the exact same things. It got to the point that when we'd go shopping the salespeople would automatically ask, "will you be needing four of these?".
    My rather long winded point is, guys mature to a certain point, roughly twelve years of age or so, and then stop. They see what another guy has, and if it interests them in the least, they want THAT. We don't grow out of this. Just ask my wife. We go visit a technophile friend of mine and she knows that within a day or two I'm going to start hinting that we need a new TV, stereo, computer or whatever new toy he has that I don't.
    Getting your guy a smoker is an incredibly sweet gesture. Getting your guy a smoker that's inferior to his friend's is a minefield of hurt feelings, bruised egos and potential resentment. I'm not saying it makes sense, I'm just saying that's how guys are wired.
    Now, what I would suggest, if at all possible, is that you return the smoker, get him the associated accessories (charcoal chimney, thermometer, gloves, tongs etc...) and a gift certificate towards the smoker of HIS choice. Bear in mind, it's probably going to lead to a larger cash outlay, but it's an investment in preserving, for just a little bit longer, the illusion that his opinion and feelings matter in the grand scheme of things.
     
    remmy700p likes this.
  11. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Yes and there is all of that. Hahahahaha......lol
     
  12. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I started on that smoker many years ago. Here on this site we refer to this as an ECB or el cheapo brinkman. I would not suggest this smoker to anyone I am afraid to say. If that is all you have you can make it work for sure. It takes many many modifications for this smoker to work halfway decently. I have made damn good food on that thing but you have to stand over it basically non stop for the whole time you are cooking on it. If you even look away something will go wrong and your many dollar meat will be ruined. Very frustrating.  I have flowers planted in mine now. I would really consider just letting him pick out what he wants. I will suggest however that you could consider A Weber 22 & 1/2 inch Kettle grill in the silver or gold models. I find myself smoking on mine more frequently than all my other smokers combined. Plus it is only just a little more money and doubles as a grill as well. I have the Performer model which is great and comes with lots of really useful accessories. If he got the bug from his buddy that has a Weber smokey mountain he may already be turned. Weber grills and smokers last for many many years and you can buy replacement parts for all of their grills they have ever made which is unbelievable this day and age. Please take mine and MD's advise. 
     
  13. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey now..... I resemble that comment! ..... I mean resent..... I think.... [​IMG]

    Yeah..... the thing that usually turns off most new comers to smoking meat is they buy a cheap smoker that doesn't work well. Then proceed to ruin the meat, constantly fighting the smoker to maintain temp. After two or three tries they give up and say it's all black magic and they don't have the time and/or patience.

    Smoking with a good smoker that runs well is a night and day difference, and the Weber smoker that his friend was using is a really nice smoker for the $$. It works great right out of the box with not mods, and is very easy to use.... but it does cost a lot more than the Brinkman.
     
  14. Agh!  Now I am really considering returning the smoker (hopefully it won't cost a mint to send back) and buying the Weber if the Brinkmann really doesn't work very well.  I just want to set it and forget it and play some cornhole & have some beer.  LOL  I don't think I can afford anything bigger than the 14.5 so that is a concern as we are, at maximum capacity, a family of 4.  And I certainly won't be able to provide all the extras; maybe some, but not all.  Does anyone know where I can get a deal?  Cabela's has a $20 off offer right now, but is there some secret buy out there that I'm not thinking of?
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  15. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well, there is a super secret, almost legendary way to get the benefits of the weber smokey mountain and actually more functionality, for less than you paid for the Brinkmann. You'll need to take the oath of allegiance and learn the secret handshake though. Look in the groups section on this forum (I'd give you a link but can't with this phone) for the mini wsm group. You'll find materials lists and build instructions for what many believe is the most versatile, functional, fun little smoker on the planet. And your boyfriend will have the added pleasure of spending a couple hours making it himself.
    Mine consists of a Weber smokey joe gold version, $40, and a 32 quart tamale steamerade by a company called Imusa, $20 at Target online. Plus about $5 worth of hardware.
     
  16. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Also check your local Craigslist, they do pop up sometimes and since the bodies never rust the worst you would run into is buying new grates (roughly $15-$20 each) from Home Depot or Lowe's. Could also show him the UDS (Ugly Drum Smoker - not actually ugly just a name) section on this site, if he is at all handy. You can build a UDS for less than $100, they have the 22.5" grates and work really well.
     
  17. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    the 14.5 would be enough to get started out and all you need is a chimney and maverick et 732 or 733 for a few more bucks. You can't beat A Weber for out of the box utility and almost set it and forget it  Please get the Maverick temp. probes. You will thank me for years to come. The most important aspect of reliably consistent Q. is knowing your chamber and meat temperature at all times. Next most important would be a good smoker. So there you have it.
     
  18. If you DO decide to keep it, you'll want to make sure he sees this link. An owner of the same smoker did a series of modifications to his. Looks like a fun little DIY project.

    http://home.comcast.net/~day_trippr/smoker_mods.htm

    If you can return it, I'd do that and pick up a Weber kettle. If you can find a store with any in stock (Home Depot, Lowes, Target, Walmart), you can probably get a great deal. I'd suggest the 22.5" One-Touch Gold kettle. You can smoke on it, grill on it, etc. And it'll last forever. $100 full retail price.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  19. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    If you get the kettle for him make sure you get the one touch gold. Has an ash catcher and cleanout device on it that is the best thing ever.
     

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