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New to the site and to offset smoker grilling...

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hello all. First of all, thank you each for having me on the forum. A great buddy of mine, who recently moved to Dallas, is a top notch bbq man, and his foods inspired me to "attempt" to follow in his footsteps.


I am 35 y.o old guy, a father to a 5 y.o boy and a husband. My home is in Rosenberg Texas, where I also work and play. I went and bought a heavy duty offset pit and am dying to try it out. Just yesterday, I ate BBQ in Lockhart, Texas, which many consider it the bbq capital of Texas. This was my second trip to Lockhart (Smitty's, Kreuz and Black's) and I managed to take in three of the best.


So, now I'd like to try my hand at this grilling/ smoking meat thing, which is why I am here. Because sadly, I don't know the first thing about it.


This is my pit... I have a havey duty pro thermo en route for it. Thoughts?


Ariel S.




Edited by arutlosjr11 - 11/4/13 at 2:29pm
post #2 of 17

Hi Ariel!

Welcome to SMF!!


Your pics don't load from Photobucket

Use the "Insert Image" button in the menu

No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Ok, thank you... I think the pics are fixed.

post #4 of 17

Hello arutlosjr and welcome to the fun.  Many good folk here with a load of experience that they are more than willing to share.  If you have specific questions just start a thread and someone with experience will be along soon to offer advice.  Spend some time doing some research on the forums, tons of advice and recipes already available there.  We look forward to your contributions.  Have you done a burn out, checked for smoke leaks, and seasoned your smoker?  That's where you need to start.  Have fun.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!


post #5 of 17

Hey Ariel

Welcome to the forum.  Tons of great info here and everyone is more than happy to answer any questions you have


post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

I don't believe I have done any of that since I don't even have the first clue of what any of that means... yet! I literally had it delivered  5 days ago and went camping the next few days. Now, I am on the forums trying to understand enough to cook some meat.

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

TU GaryHibbert... My biggest question is how the hell do I get started, which is why I am on here. There's a ton of info; too much it seems but I will learn non the less.

post #8 of 17

Without a specific question, it is hard.


First step, though is to move that puppy to the part of the grass you like the least and give it a good seasoning.  See:




Horizontal offsets can drip grease during the seasoning process and for a smoke or two after that.  Don't need that stuff on your patio.


From there, give us more specific info you need.  Folks here are qualified and ready to help you!


Good luck and good smoking.

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

Looks like I will be seasoning it First. What is the best meat to start off with? Brisket?

post #10 of 17

Hello Ariel.  Here is my opinion for what it is worth.  Others may have different advice.  This is only my opinion.  Move it as Venture said.  No meat.  I would build a fire in the firebox and the cook chamber and burn off any oil or nasty stuff left from construction.  Don't use anything toxic,  Buy some CHEAP briquettes. Get a good fire going, as hot as you can  Try to keep it really hot for a couple hrs.  Now, You may need to do a few modifications to that smoker to help with temp control.  Without meat, create smoke.  BIG smoke!  You can even spray a little water on the coals to create BIG white smoke.  What you want to do is see where the smoke leaks are.  Mark the leaks and when the smoker cools seal every leak you can using stove rope, high temp silicone and such.  Next, is go buy a cheap garden trowel.  Knock the wooden handle off and weld a 2-2 1/2' piece of rebar to the shovel.  Now you can gently scoop out the ash without them blowing all over your meat and you won't burn your hands.  If ash builds up to the bottom of the fire grate you have no air flow.  No air flow no heat.  Now you are ready to season.  See link above.  First meat.  I will assume you have seasoned your smoker and sealed every leak you can by now.  I always advise the same with this question.  Chicken leg quarters and maybe some burgers.  I know!  I know!  You have been reading for weeks, now have your smoker, you are ready to get started.  The neighbours’ cat is in danger of being smoked and this idiot says chicken legs and burgers??  WHAT??  The first few smokes are about learning to control temps in YOUR smoker.  Each one can be different.  If that first smoke burns, the dog gets a good meal.  If it ain’t done, finish it in the oven.  Little money lost and with luck you still get a good meal.  TEMP CONTROL!! IS THE KEY!!  Last tip leave that exhaust fully open and use the intake vent to control the heat.  Hopefully that will get you started.  Have fun.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!


post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Wow, what a great reply. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it down.

Any pics of the trowel will help. Also, another question is... Do I smoke burgers or do I put coal in the main chamber and use it as a regular pit?
post #12 of 17
Take a look at the 5day encourse listed on the main forums page. You'll get some good basic tips out of it. Also look a thread started by bama BBQ Observations for beginners is the title. Some good tips in there

post #13 of 17

Hello.  That ecourse miamirick mentioned is a good idea.  Smoke the burgers by building a fire in the firebox.  When cooking; fire in the cook chamber is grilling, or indirect heat smoking/grilling.  After the burn and season, smoke those burgers around 225-250.  Hold those temps.  This is about where you will hot smoke most of your food.  So you have a couple days of stuff to do.  Garden Trowel below.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!




post #14 of 17

5 day E course would be a must for you.


Also much time on the forum.  Don't be afraid to ask questions!


I see big sticks of wood under the pit.  Making a unit like that into a stick burner is going to be somewhere between tricky and impossible.  I see a burn barrel in your future if you go that way.


Stick with the forum.  Lots of people here to get you started!


Good luck and good smoking.

post #15 of 17

Welcome to the forums Ariel!  This is the best place I know for sharing ideas on smoking, grilling, curing, etc.  There are plenty of friendly, knowledgeable folks who really enjoy helping one another.  Looking forward to your input here, and just ask when you need anything...someone here will surely have the answer.  Whatever you decide to smoke first, don't forget to show it off with some qview! 



post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Venture - can you clarify the comment "making a unity like that into a stick burner is going to be somewhere between tricky and impossible"
post #17 of 17

Good advice about burning it out initially. You can season with a verity of things from spray oils like pam to rubbing it down with cooking oil kind of whatever  suits you. I use a mixture of some bacon grease and cooking oil in a spray bottle. Spray everything inside the cook chamber down bring it up to temp and let it go for a while. Works pretty well for me. The easiest and most forgiving meats are chicken and pork shoulder. ( Sorry for the delay Wife had a paper shredder malfunction ).  Start out with these if you are pretty new and not accustomed to your new smoker. It takes a few smokes to get familiar with how your smoker cooks.



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