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Newbie - Chuckwagon Cooker New Brans Smoker

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hi all!!

I'm new to the forum and my father in law just gave me this smoker this weekend and I have been trying to do some research without much luck. Looks like these smokers are pretty old and not made any more but very well built. I fired it up yesterday and put some beef short ribs on that turned out really well I feel like, temp stayed fairly even at 225 for about 9 hours on the beef ribs but I used a ton of charcoal to keep it that way. So I got a few questions for any of you that might have any best practices or experience with one of these smokers. This particular smoker is pretty small as compared to what is out there today just want to be able to get it perfected with any help.

Any mods anyone would suggest for it? Built a charcoal basket today to help with the fuel consumption but curious if any one else has any ideas?

Any best practices for a smoker this small??

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post #2 of 3

BBQ is completely 100% subjective but here's my take on the particular setup you have. Use charcoal to start your fire only, after that, burn small wood splits or moderate sized chunks. I'm a believer that 90% of your heat should be coming from wood during the whole process. This will save you a lot of money along the way as well. Some people will in fact run charcoal from start to finish on a cook like this, but I usually only recommend that when you have a very poorly built, thin walled smoker that needs charcoal to maintain temps.

 

That new brans you have is actually a very well built unit that should hold consistent temperatures on wood only. Open the stack 100% of the way and do not damper it off. This is crucial. These units are very long and narrow and need a good draw (pull of airflow towards the smokestack).

 

If there were to be a modification on this unit, it would probably be to extend the smokestack down to grate level (helps making cook chamber temperature more even). Then there are probably a few guys who would tell you to increase the length of the stack, then there are a few who would tell you to increase diameter and length of the stack. Increasing volume of the stack will increase draw. 

 

It's all about convection, a good draw, and feeling like you have great airflow from the firebox to the chimney. I'm a fan of a large size stack (no less than about 4" and anywhere from 3-4 feet). Ignore the argument that a big chimney is a bad thing, that's why they invented dampers. I still don't use my damper with a 5" stack 36 inches long. 

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
You are the man!!!! I will try all of this next weekend and I appreciate your reply!


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