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confused noob

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

So my wife got me a Charbroil american gourmet charcoal smoker for our 2 year anniversary. I've been poking around on here to learn what I can before curing the smoker and i have what is probably a stupid question. What do I need for for fuel and what do I need for smoking and is there a difference? If I am understanding what I read correctly I probably need charcoal for fuel and wood chunks for smoke??? I got a bag of Charcoal Companion hickory chunks... do I add these after I get started with charcoal? I think i'm going to invest in a chimney starter. Do I just need one chimney full of charcoal? Will one bag of hickory chunks be enough to smoke for a few hours??


Sorry, one question turned into many. Am I on the right path? I couldn't find a "how to" step by step. Thanks in advance!!



post #2 of 13


This site has tons of info.

I would suggest you spend some time reading all the different forums and the WIKIs.

Then use the handy dandy search tool for specific interests!!


Have a great day!!!




Also ..sign up for the e-course... 

post #3 of 13

Just a few chunks at a time on top the coals will give you plenty of smoke.

post #4 of 13


Welcome to SMF. There are a lot of very friendly & knowledgeable folks here to help you. I urge you to sign up for the free E-course. It will give you the basics, & even if you are an experienced smoker you may learn something new. Then start asking questions. Good luck & glad to have you aboard. Don't forget we all love Qview!   

post #5 of 13

welcome to SMF..... I assume you have the offset smoke box with the unit. First I will soak my wood chunks a day before my smoke. Depending on what your smoking will determine how much to soak. One large chunk will last about an hr or more. I fill a chimney starter with briquette charcoal, light and get them red hot. I then place them in the fire box and then I fill the chimney up about half full with lump charcoal and don't light and poor them over the hot briquettes. I then will place 1 large wood chunk or 2 small chunks into the red coals and set damper and stack plates to regulate temp. I just keep an eye out when the smoke starts to diminish and add wood accordingly...This is what I do...........


Happy smoking and don't forget to fill out your profile....

post #6 of 13


I would also recommend that you use charcoal for it will burn at a lower temp then wood. It will also burn more even then wood. But welcome and you'll like it here.

post #7 of 13

To answer your question hopefully, there are several ways to go about this. You can use all charcoal or lump or both, you can use all wood also. If it were me, I'd start with lump and see how the smoker maintains temps, then go from there. The wood chunks are for flavor and just add accordingly. And welcome by the way!

post #8 of 13

Welcome !!!!!!! 

post #9 of 13

Welcome to the party - do a search on the minion method - it's a good way to set up your fire. I use lump charcoal and wood chunks. I would say go light on the wood till you get a feel for what you like. I don't like a really heavy smoke flavor, but it's to each his own.


As far as curing the cooker - oil it down and just light a fire and let it go a couple hours.


Good luck - keep reading there is a ton of info here.

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

thanks guys!!

post #11 of 13

welcome1.gif,have fun and...

post #12 of 13

One thing I have learned is there is many different "right ways".


I have known people that love cooking with just gas to people that like just wood.


I have been using a mix of charcoal and wood as the charcoal is easier and the wood gives the smoke. 

I eventually plan on trying to go to nothing but wood, but just to save money (wood is free when you live on 14 acres covered in trees lol)







post #13 of 13

Your smoker is similar to the Char-griller smokers as well. If you look under the forum for charcoal smokers you will run across a lot of thread that talk about modding the Char-broil or Char-griller smokers. You will need to make some of the basic mods to get a good smoke out of that smoker - they are easy to do and generally cost $30 or less. Once your mods are done, then use the minion method to get your smoker going and add flavor wood once per hr. for the first 4-5 hrs. of the smoke.

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