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Beginner Smoker Needs Advice with old Brinkmann offset

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Never smoked before and was given a twenty year old Brinkmann offset smoker with no thermometer. A free smoker lets me try out smoking for minimal expense but I need advice on best way to monitor and maintain temperature. I'm going to try some ribs first time out. Suggestions on what do do about a thermometer, and anything else that will help me avoid typical rookie mistakes and come out with something edible at the end. Thanks.

post #2 of 9

welcome1.gif   Glad to have you with us!


A digital therm is a must. Any brand will do. Just check it in boiling water for accuracy. You really need 2 of them. One for the food & one for the chamber temp.

post #3 of 9

Get yourself a couple of decent thermometers (one for smoker temp, one for meat temps) and test them in boiling water to ensure accuracy.  They do not have to be expensive -- just accurate. 


You don't say whether they are beef or pork ribs, and whether spares, baby backs, country style, etc. -- all of which have differences in cooking methods.  Let me know what you plan to smoke, and we'll better be able to direct you toward your first success.


Please head on over to Roll Call and introduce yourself so we can all give you a proper hello!


Cheers, and congrats on the smoker score!

post #4 of 9

First thing is to maybe check in in "Roll Call" so we can give you a proper welcome. If your new to smoking check out the 5 day e-course offered here to get going.


As to the smoker, you could get a therm at Lowe's. Just make sure you calibrate it to 212 in boiling water. If not you could get an over therm from place's like walmart, but then you would have to open the lid ALOT.


As to the ribs. What are you making? Spares, Beef, Bay Backs? Depnding on what your making just type in into the WIKI above & it will give you all yours answer also.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

I just checked in at Roll Call. I'll go get a couple of digital thermometers. As for the meat, I went to Costco and got their Pork Loin Ribs. I really wasn't sure what to get - they also had spare ribs - but these looked somewhat meatier so I decided to go with them. I also picked up their pork shoulder, which is boneless and has both butt and picnic. I've been slow cooking pork shoulders in the oven and slow cooker for a long time. That's kind of what got me wanting to try smoking.

post #6 of 9
post #7 of 9

A little heads up based on a thermometer mistake I made. I found a cool wireless digital thermometer for $29.99 at Lowes under the name master forge that I have great success with. So great that when I saw the same thermometer at Wal Mart for $16 under a different brand name. I grabbed it so I could run two. The problem is they operate on the same frequency and will pick up eachothers temps and your therm screen will look possessed and keep giving you different temps. I called master forge and they confirmed that despite the different name brands and different prices, they were the same thermometer and all share the same frequency. This is what it looks like.


post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info. I'm definitely interested in a remote thermometer. I've read some postings about the Maverick with 2 displays. Is that something that you think is worth looking into?



post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the links. I've done the ecourse and that was a source of lots of great information. I'm in the middle of smoking my first ribs and looking forward to learning lots about smoking meat.



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