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Charcoal grill w/ smoke stack - Newbie attempting to smoke...

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, second try at posting this.  Appears I put it in the wrong forum yesterday.  If you can take the time to read it and give me some input I would GREATLY appreciate it!  I'm a newb at this but am looking to give it a whirl - this might be sort of a...uhh...long read :)


Hey everyone!


I'm a new guy to the forum, love food and wish I had a spot to put a smoker - darned apartment living anyways.  This might be a little long winded, but hopefully someone will take the time to read it and give me an idea!  Thanks in advance ;)


Alright, got a question for all you knowledgable folks! I have a Masterbuilt charcoal grill, it has two bottom vents and a smoke stack. There is plenty of room inside the grill for a Boston Butt or a pork loin, but I'm curious on how I should go about smoking/grilling it, all while keeping it at a low enough temp to stay moist.

I have read that I should soak some wood chips in water before use, I've read a day worth of soaking and i've read that they only need to be in the water for 30 minutes. Input? Anyways, I read that I should do a small pyriamid of coals on one side of the grill, once they get white, add the wood chips and the tray of water/apple juice/whatever liquid desired and place the grate back on.

Wondering where the water tray should go...under the mean beside the coals or on top of the grate next to the meat? I understand smoking is about, well, smoke, and temperature control. I have a theromometer(sp?) on my grill, however I don't think it's the most accurate thing in the world. Any recommendations?

Also, I will probably be using a spray bottle filled with apple juice/beer - so every time I come out to add more chips/make sure it's working, I can spray it down to keep it moist.

Sorry for the book, hopefully you'll have some good input for me!



Oh, go Hawks! (Iowa Hawkeyes that is)

post #2 of 10

i'm not familiar with that grill, but a rule of thumb with a shoulder is 1 1/2 hours per lb at 225 degrees.  make sure you have a good digital thermometer, take the shoulder to 160 degrees internal temp, double wrap with foil (add some beer or apple juice if you want..dont need to much) and put back in the smoker and take to internal temp of 205 degrees.  pull the shoulder out of the smoker and wrap in a towel and place in a cooler for an hour or longer and you should  be able to pull the meat very easy. save the juice from the foil and pour in with your pulled pork.   the main thing with smoking meat...go by temp...not time...always allow your self a few hours of extra time.

as for soaking wood chips...some say yes some say no...if you toss wet wood chips on the coals you take more time to get them to temp to actually smoke...with coals or lump coal your best wood is chunks not chips. as for your other questions about how to lay the coal out...some of the other members should be along shortly to help out.

post #3 of 10

Well I'm no genius at this by any means but here's my 2cents


First if your in an apartment how will you vent it?


Soaking the chips may help, the whole day is probably not necessary. Try putting them in some foil pouches with holes pricked in it.


I would put the charcoals off to one side & the butt on the other. Otherwise your more grilling than smoking.


MOST important! You need to measure the temperature your Masterbuilt is at. I'm not familiar with your set up so IF it doesn't have a temperature gaugae your going to need a good one. THEN you need a probe for the butt. We go by temp. NOT time here.


Good luck & let us know how it all came out & don't forget some pics!!

post #4 of 10


Type of Meat Smoking Temp Time to Complete Finished Temp
Brisket (Sliced) 225°F 1.5 hours/pound 180 degrees
Brisket (Pulled) 225°F 1.5 hours/pound 195 degrees
Beef Ribs 225°F 3 hours 175 degrees
Pork Butt (Sliced) 225°F 1.5 hours/pound 175 degrees
Pork Butt (Pulled) 225°F 1.5 hours/pound 190-205
Whole Chicken 250°F 4 hours 167 degrees
Chicken Thighs 250°F 1.5 hours 167 degrees
Chicken Quarters 250°F 3 hours 167 degrees
Whole Turkey 12# 240°F 6.5 hours 170 degrees
Turkey Leg 250°F 4 hours 165 degrees
Turkey Wings 225°F 2.5 hours 165 degrees
Boudin 230°F 2.5 hours 165 degrees
Breakfast Sausage 230°F 3 hours 160 degrees
Fatties 225°F 3 hours 165 degrees
Meat Loaf 250 -300°F 3 hours 160 degrees
Meatballs (2 inch) 225°F 1 hour 165 degrees
Spare Ribs 225-240°F 6 hours 172 degrees
Baby Back Ribs 225-240°F 5 hours 168 degrees
Smoked Corn 225°F 1.5 – 2 hours N/A
Smoked Potatoes 225°F 2 – 2.5 Hours N/A


post #5 of 10

Welcome to SMF. You can learn a lot here. Someone will come along with the answers you need. I used to live in Milw. East side near Brady St.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Okay, thanks for the information this far. Let me note, I live in the apartment, I will be smoking by my garage. Also, I will be picking up a good probe to check meat temp, just wondering what will work best to check interior temp of the grill?
post #7 of 10

Does the cover/lid have one? If so check it in boiling water for accuracy. If not you could use a probe much like the one for meat ( even check the new ones for accuracy) then put it through some wood or a potato. Set it grate level & it will tell you how your doing!!   Make sure also you have the top stack opened to vent the smoke out of the chamber. otherwise it will be too smokey & become bitter!

post #8 of 10

First off welcome to SMF! We need to know exactly what you are planning to smoke. The procedure for a pork loin & a pork butt are very different. We can help, but need more info.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
I am going to do a pork butt. Planning to dry rub it prior to giving this a whirl. An input is always appreciated and I understnd that what im using to cook it on probably isn't the most ideal, but at this moment it is all I have towork with
post #10 of 10




You picked a good choice of meat to start with. A pork butt is very forgiving. If you can keep the smoker temp between 210 & 250. You will be fine. The default way for pork butt is to smoke until the internal temp is 165 ( get a good therm ) then foil with some liquid ( I use dark beer ) & out back on the smoker or in the oven until it reaches 205 IT. Then wrap the foiled butt in towels & put in a dry cooler for a couple of hours. Then pull it. This is Jeff's finishing sauce, I urge you to use it. Just toss the PP in it before serving.

1 Cup Cider Vinegar 
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar 
1 Teaspoon Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning 
1 Teaspoon Course Black Pepper 
1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes 

Warm the Vinegar up enough so that it disolves the Sugar well. Then add the remaining ingredients. 

I use it in one of those clear Ketchup bottles you can get from Wally World for about $0.99. Snip a little bit larger hole out of the spout with a pair of scissors. Once all your ingredients are mixed together, put your finger over the top, and shake vigorously. 

Randomly squirt this over warm freshly pulled Pork, then kind of mix it up with gloved hands. This adds very little heat (despite the Red Pepper) and mellows out the stronger, gamier parts of the Shoulder. The Vinegar also helps break it down even more for some REAL juiicy pork. 

Personally, I eat it just like that, but your guests can add whatever "Q sauce they prefer once it's on their plates or bun! 

If you've never done Pulled Pork with a "Finishing Sauce" before, you're in for a real treat!!!! It's the secret ingredient that alot of Quer's don't know about, and part of the reason people at my 'Q Parties say "they've never had Pulled Pork that tasted this good, before!". 

Good Luck!!

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