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Better late than never...

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I thought I had posted here in Roll Call but apparently not, so here goes!


I live in Washington DC and have been smoking for about 10 years, but always with less than ideal equipment...from Weber gas grills to small cheap charcoal grills and even in my kitchen oven. Mostly ribs, butts, various other cuts of pork, an occasional brisket, and a fair amount of chicken and LOTS of fish.


My two hobbies are cooking and fly fishing, and I just love it when they come together. Most of my fishing is saltwater fly fishing here on the Chesapeake for striped bass (or rockfish as we call them here), blues, and saltwater "trout", for salmon and steelhead up in the great lakes in the fall and spring, and smallmouth bass on the Potomac and Susquehanna rivers all summer long.


I just finally sprang for a Brinkmann Trailmaster LE that I haggled off Home Depot for a hefty discount. It was the last one in stock and I pointed out the 56 ways it was put together wrong (it was comical how screwed up it was. The manager actually burst out laughing at one point). This weekend I'll be tearing it down and rebuilding it with high temp sealant to make her as tight as possible. I was going to go for the 22" WSM there was something about the romance of SFB that kept calling to me. Plus I am so used to having to hover over my jury-rigged contraptions, tinkering with vents and fule that I now consider it part of he whole experience!


Looking forward to picking everyone's brains here.

post #2 of 14

Welcome from a MoCo smoker! This is a great site with a lot of wonderful people and tons of knowledge to share. I almost bought a cheap SFB but I grew up smoking on a huge custom horizontal offset and the metal quality I just couldn't bring myself to deal with so instead of tinkering I went with a WSM until I build a giant so I understand what you mean because I still miss the firebox. I am seeing a lot of DMV area people on this site as of late. Might have to plan a gathering in the future.


Keep on smoking!

post #3 of 14

welcome1.gif  Glad to have you with us!

post #4 of 14

hello and welcome to SMF, and I like seeing other peoples "jury-rigged contraptions" thumb1.gif

post #5 of 14
Hey there from the MD area. Nice to have a new member in the area.

Having owned two SFB smokers (el' Cheap o's) I will give you a quick heads up...

1. Your going to want to make your own basket for your heat and smoke source...Scroll down to post 7 of 9 for a good example. I did the same thing but put some legs on them.

Another basket mod...

Another basket...

2. Your probably going to want some baffle and tuning plates:

3. Extend the smoke exit pipe down to the grill.



Have fun!
post #6 of 14


Welcome to SMF, Glad to have you with us.

This is the place to learn, lots of good info and helpful friendly Members.

Many of our members have years of experience in smoking meat.  They are more than happy helping Newbies learn the art.

We have members who cure there own Bacon, Hams, Jerky, Snack Sticks, Make Their own Sausage, etc. if you want to learn,
this is the place. 

Don't be afraid to ask questions of them and follow their advice. You won't be sorry, you will be making great Q in no time at all...

Just remember, when curing your own meats follow the instructions included with the cure to the letter, this is not something to experiment with.  

Never use more cure no mater if it is Tender Quick or Cure #1 or Cure #2 than the manufacturer says to use, this can be very dangerous.

Tender Quick and Cure#1 or Cure #2 are not interchangeable, neither Cure #1 interchangeable with Cure #2 or vise versa

Sign up for Jeff's 5-Day eCourse.  Click Here


Tips For New Members.

  1. Go into your profile and Under Location put where you are.
  2. City & State or Area & State will do. This will help members when answering your questions.
  3. Go to ROLL CALL thread and tell us a little about Yourself (A Name We Can Call You) and Experience & Equipment.
  4. Do Not Post  your other questions and smokes in the Roll Call Forum.
  5. Post your questions and smokes in the Proper Forum, Beef, Pork, Sausage, Electric Smoker, Charcoal Smoker etc.
  6. Use the Wiki Section, many of our members have posted great tutorials and instructional threads so take advantage of them.
  7. When you can't find an answer ask plenty of questions, we have some highly experienced members willing to help you.
  8. When posting about your smokes be sure to post plenty of Qview (Pictures) Our Moto, "No Pics, Didn't Happen".
  9. Get a good Probe Thermometer, Don't Depend on the Built in Thermometer in your Smoker (They are notorious for being off).
  10. A good choice for a remote dual probe thermometer is the Maverick ET-732
  11. Remember, We Always Cook by Temperature and NOT BY TIME...
  12. Don't Take Chances, Always Follow USDA Safety Guidelines When Handling Meat.
  13. If you are wanting to get into curing meat, there are many members here more than happy to help and give good advice.

  14. If you are unsure of a procedure ASK, don't ASSUME, It will make your Smoking experience much more pleasant...

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys. A "DC area" gathering sounds like a fabulous idea. Could maybe even take over part of Fletcher's Boathouse (http://www.fletchersboathouse.com/) area for a day :)


Ohm, I'm already eyeing all of those mods. I'm going to start by seeing if I can grab some ready-made basket that is a good fit for my firebox. If there is no viable solution then I'll wrangle some expanded metal. For the plates I'm going to start by experimenting with various combinations of flashing and when I have some idea of what will work best, execute it in steel plate. And the smoke stack mod is pretty much a gimme. I already have the parts for it.


All that said I'm going to cook on it unmodified for a bit just to know what I'm dealing with. Fortunately it is thicker steel (1/8") than most of the inexpensive SFB units and reports are that it holds temps and heat fairly well. That is as thick as I'd want for the time being as it's 200 lbs and anything thicker would be double the weight or more and a bear to move.

post #8 of 14

welcome1.gif to SMF

post #9 of 14

welcome1.gif Lots of great info on SFB smoker mods you can do.

post #10 of 14
I used these for plates...well kinda the ones they sell at Home Depot were a bit different but I think you get the picture.

post #11 of 14

Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to  your first qview. icon14.gif

post #12 of 14
post #13 of 14

welcome-smiley.gif to SMF I am glad you joint us  

post #14 of 14


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