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Newbie with my first "real" smoker and refurb/mod questions

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

 

 

So I got fed up my my wally world split barrel non sealing char brand smoker. I scored a New Braunfels off craigslist for $125. No rust holes! I'm going to restore it to its former glory, here is what I do know:

 

1) Lower chimney to grate level

2) add bricks for heat retention

3) make firebox basket

4) remove the aftermarket propane install

 

And here are my questions if anyone would be so kind to answer:

 

1) Small angled heat baffle, tuned plate or reverse flow?

2) clean the inside "seasoning" or leave it?

 

Thanks

post #2 of 2
Baffle and plate it, and burn wood in it. Google making your own charcoal, and you probably will find its super easy to make a great cooking fire once you get past the idea that open flame logs are too much for small personal smokers. Just get a hot fire going where its burning about half the wood and close the vents. When the temp drops it is ready, open the vents and bring it up to cooking temp. You can season it like cast iron and clean it at the same time with some fatty oil mixed half with water in a spray bottle. The oil only works in when it is hot though.

Here I am about to tamp down the air after building enough heat to carbonize the hickory. High grade charcoal is made with much higher heat and though it has a higher temp from the higher carbon content, low temp charcoal retains some aeromatics of the wood you are using which is great for the mild wood flavor.
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