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"Hello all.  Am I glad I came across this forum.  I'm a long time griller from SE Michigan who has finally pulled the trigger on a smoker. I've smoked a few items on my gas grill with moderate success, but I've wanted to get into this hobby a little deeper, and finally pulled the trigger. After reading a lot of reviews on Amazon, I settled on a Smokey Joe Electric smoker, for both practical and economical reasons.  This weeknd will  be my first smoke, if it's decent weather (is 40 degrees outside too cold for smoking?). Since I'm a noob, I'm going to start with some babybacks and bone in chicken I had in the freezer, so if I screw it up, no big loss.  I make my own BBQ rub and like to make my own sauce so I will be checking out some good sauce recipies on this site...any suggestions?

Couple questions for you veterans.....sorry if they sound stupid....

1. My smoker has a water pan below the bottom rack.  I know a lot of people use apple juice, water, beer, etc in there. Some dont use any...is it then a drip pan?   It seems like that pan will act as a drip pan as well....sort of confusing.

2. Wood chips / cunks...do you soak yours first. I always assumed so, but after reading some of the posts here, it seems like a lot of you dont ( or just dont mention it in your posts)

3. How often do you add chips to the chip tray?  How much do you start with?


Well...hopefully I'll get some quick tips from you folks.  I look forward to learning much from this vast resource.  Thanks guys!



No question is ever stupid!  We are here to let you pick our brains, feel free to do so and thank you so much for joining our forum and please be welcomed here and have a ton of fun! 


Yes, your water pan can double for a drip pan.  One suggestion, if you wish to use it as such, cover it with foil, HD if possible so it is easy to clean!


I don't soak my chips or chunks 1st, like most.  Just takes longer for them to smoke.


A lot depends on what temp you're smoking at, but in my electric Cabela's vertical smoker I had and in my smokehouse,  I add 2 or 3 chunks about every 45 minutes and average 225° to 250° in temp.


Hope this helps and ask any questions needed, we are here to help!  Thanks again for joining us!

post #2 of 2

very helpful answers - thanks so much. I'll follow up with a critique of my first official smoke.....have a great weekend.

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