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New to Smoking

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Greetings, I received an Outdoor Gourmet Side Smoker for Christmas and am new to smoking. I have read through several forums but still am not getting a good result. I am using lump charcoal and chink hickory, I also purchased a temp gauge that reads the smoker temp and meat temp and that seems to work ok but the ribs tasted super strong almost like fuel. Once the lump burned down I used chunk hickory to maintain the temp between 225 and 250. Am I using too much wood? Or should I only use lump charcoal and hickory chips? Also my ribs got a little burnt as the thickest part was near the heat vent should I wrap them in foil or use a rib rack, the taste is whats really bothering me.


Thanks in Advance for any advice.

post #2 of 7

Hickory is strong wood you may want to try a fruit wood like apple or cherry . You may also want to use a good charcoal instead of lump you will get a longer burn

post #3 of 7

Use charcoal for the heat, and wood just for flavor. Too much wood smoke will ruin the meat (thin, blue smoke, remember?).  It doesn't take that much wood, particularly hickory. I use more fruit wood than the stronger flavored hickory.


I don't know your exact model, but I assume it is a horizontal off set firebox. There are several mods that could be made. In particular, most of these types need a baffle between the cooking chamber and the fire box....this would prevent the radiant heat from over cooking the meat closest to the firebox, as you experienced. Also extending the smoke stack down to the level of the grates will help. I'm new to this forum, but I'm sure there are modification threads that will help you.

post #4 of 7

Welcome to SMF!


Glad to have you with us.


If your getting billowing white smoke that's bad.


You don't need a lot of smoke. If you can smell smoke, so can your meat.



post #5 of 7
Welcome, you're in the right place. I agree with everyone on the wood, I use Apple and/or cherry.
post #6 of 7

The wood used is the most important part of smoking. And the meat, fish, chicken all take a different type of smoke. You really can't go wrong with a light smoke. Alder and fruit woods are almost fool proof. As a new smoker, start with light woods and work you way up. It takes more skill to use stronger woods. 

Good luck and welcome to smoking.   

post #7 of 7

:welcome1:  To SMF glad to have you on board to help you get around this wonderful sight here is some info that will help you. On Home page read the article Initial Greeting and also on the top right hand side of Home page the is a spyglass this is a search engine. The advice you have already received is good just adjust to our liking.

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