I'm a new member, but have been perusing the forums for information for a while now... As you can see in the title, I am located in Reno, Nevada.
I have an El Cheapo (char-griller) offset smoker that I have modified enough to get consistent temps over the last couple years. I started with making a fire basket out of expanded steel to hold the coals better.. then I put in a dryer vent on the inside to extend the chimney down to the cooking level.. then I used some angle iron and gasket rope to give the lid a better seal.. and finally used some high heat silicone to seal up any holes that I could find. I also put in a water pan against the firebox to absorb some heat and force the heat under it to the middle of the smoker. I tossed in a few bricks on the left side to absorb some heat also, but dont feel like they are doing anything =)
With the cheap, thin metal I lose a lot of heat and blow through the lump coal on each smoke. I typically go through about three full chimneys of coal for a 2-3 hour smoke. All I have been smoking is tri tips and veggies with the occasional roast or some other cheap cut that I find at the store. So most of the time my smoke times are under 3 hours.
Here is a couple pics of the smoker =)
I recently tore down my brick fireplace inside my living room and have the brick just begging me to build a permanent smoker on the patio. I have been spending my extra time planning out how I should build it, but am curious as to how much coal I will need to heat a big brick smoker up to temp...
Anywho... Hi everyone, I'll probably be a regular here since it's so fun tinkering with the smoker and cooking great tasting food =)