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Hot smoker? - Newbie needs tips

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hello all!  I'm quite likely going to set up a small Weber BBQ as a hot smoker:




The question I have is if I'm going to use heat beads and (possibly) some red gum as a heat source, I want to know how much I should be adding.  Generating some hot smoke isn't the issue, it's keeping the heat level down so it doesn't turn into a smokey outdoor oven that simply cooks the meat - that's the issue.  I'm hoping that someone has had some experience with a hot smoker of this size, and can give me a good idea as to the quantity of fuel (for a heat source) I should use.  Please understand that just hearing: "Just add enough heat beads and charcoal to get a reasonable amount of heat going" doesn't tell me all the much (or any more than I already know).  By all means hit me with facts, but it's the figures I'm looking for.


If anyone is asking what sort of meat I intend to smoke, it will likely be some bought sausages, and/or some lean cuts of pork or beef, cut into long pieces, somewhat like long very very thick sausages.  I've got the curing all sorted.

Edited by gasbag - 2/25/12 at 12:40am
post #2 of 4

Keeping steady, low temps in that thing is gonna be tough; not much room for indirect heat, and not much thermal mass.  Does it have intake vent controls underneath?  If not, your job is potentially even tougher.


I bet 4-5 briquettes against one end of that thing will probably bring it into the 300* range.  8-10 briquettes heats my whole 22" Weber kettle to 250*+ for 2 hours -- even with the lower vents 2/3 closed.  


You might consider using an electric plate for your heat -- much easier to manage and keep steady.  An Amaz'n smoke generator from Todd Johnson might generate enough heat along with the smoke in a space that small.  It won't take much either way.  Experimentation will be the only way to know for sure...


Good luck!

post #3 of 4

Red gum makes great charcoal & I grew up in red gum country on the Murrumbidgee River before coming to Sydney. BUT I am not sure what you are trying to achieve here. If you just want low heat an even spread of heat beads will give you that.Todds AMZPS is a must if its just about the smoke. I havent tried it in a Weber but somebody here will have. Mistygully have them may be cheaper to buy direct here even with the shipping from USA.. Hope this helps. 

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies - much appreciated


I can understand what you're saying about the size of the BBQ being a problem, in regards to volume of fuel and indirect heat.  I also have a gas BBQ with a hood, along with an old, old, old casserole-type heating pot (that's on it's last legs) with an adjustable thermostat control -




That really isn't anything what it looks like, but that's the general idea.  Just a bit worried about having the whole unit under a hood, because of the plastic handles.  If want to cold smoke, that's easy, but I'm trying to find out about hot smoking.  Has anyone tried a unit like that in an enclosed space?  Or I think I might try just using about 5 - 10 heat beads in the small Weber, then go from there.


Any suggestions?


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