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Come to the conclusion - Page 2

post #21 of 33
aussie, we all stumble and at times take a fall. It is part of the growing process we go thru. I am almost ashamed to think about the meat I have ruined. But the key word is almost. You fell off your horse so to speak. Sooo....get back on your horse (smoker) and ride again. You know sometimes the learning process is also low and slow. You are encircled with help here. Good Luck!!
post #22 of 33
Allright.. enough words of encouragement..

Lets get this man a hotter fire.

How many times have you smoked with it? What happened then?
How much and what kind of charcoal are you starting off with?

As mentioned earlier.. take a test run and show us some q-views. Just do your normal thing.. and show a pic of the fire you got started.
post #23 of 33
Thats right, the kind of charcoal is a great start, and could be part of the problem. Get some Lump, hopefully something other than cowboy brand!
post #24 of 33

Sometimes after work, I will fire up the smoker and do trial runs if I am testing new ideas or baffle shape, placement fire management etc. I pay attention to temps using my Taylor digitals. Gives me a chance to get to know how the smoker runs without being pressured about finishing in time for a meal.

Of course tending the smoker for a couple of hours without having food to eat at the end is kind of a pain so sometimes I will throw something on that just needs to be warmed up but may benefit from the smoke -- like hot dogs.

post #25 of 33
From what I've read, the Brinkman smokers need some Mods done to the firepan. I have an ECB, that I had the same problem (could not get enough heat). It has no air holes in the firepan. that may part of your part of your problem as well.
post #26 of 33
I agree with everyone and I think jsieber may be on the right track.I have a friend who got the smoking bug and went and bought a vertical charcoal brinkman(I assume your talking about the square one.)Well I got a call about 9pm one night that sounded alot like your thread.Next day I went over and we took a look.That little fire box just sittin in the bottom was his problem.We talked about how he could fix it and just for some confidence I went and bought one of those little disposable grills(basicaly a foil pan with a grate)Well I put the charcoal on top of the grate and we lit her off,low and behold about 2 beers later he was at 350 degrees and climbin!He has since built him a little box with a grate in the bottom and I often look forward to his Q.Maybe something this simple is what's going on with yours and remember when your friends are praising those sweet tender ribs you'll know I didn't give up!
post #27 of 33

Curly Howard said it best. "If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking til you do succeed".

My fist smoker was an ECB. I gave up on it but not on smoking meat. Was hard to keep hot enough and used a rediculous amount of charcoal. I got better results on my Weber Kettle. But many on here do well with them with some mods so it can be a good piece of equipment.

Keep the faith baby!

post #28 of 33
Keep your chin up, Aussie. Ribs are generally thought of as a difficult meat for the beginner to start with. Most of us here reccommend trying a shoulder picnic or Boston Butt for your first couple of tries, as they have more fat content and are much more forgiving cuts. As for myself, I'd say it took me the best part of a year before I got to the point that I felt I had "mastered" the baby backs and spares. (And, quite frankly, I still learn things from other members). The point is... the veterans of this group are here to help coach you through the difficult times whenever you need us. I believe that we all, veteran and newbie alike, share a common goal to perpetuate this wonderful craft, and you'd be hard pressed to find a friendlier and more willing group than right here in this forum.

Best of luck!

post #29 of 33

You have been given some good advice here. The people here will help you if you let them. This isn't a race and this is something you can take your time with.

Ribs are a tough act to master. Just because you read all these posts here from people who have success, don't let that fool you into thinking it is easy. If it was, everyone would do it. But there is hope.

Let's go thru the issues you are having step by step. Let's talk you through something simple like a smoked meatloaf. Something basic but very tasty.

This is a hobby where you will eventually be rewarded for your efforts with some great Q!

Don't give up.
post #30 of 33
A couple of weeks ago, my wife brought some spare ribs home from the grocery store. Since I had only been smoking for about a month, I had not planned on trying ribs for quite some time as I wanted to get more experience with other cuts/items first and then I had intended to do baby backs because I wouldn't have to do all the trimming to St. Louis style. But I figured, oh well, what the hell, I will give it a try. I viewed a couple of "how to trim spares to St. Louis style" videos (thanks WD for the links) and went after it.

The trimming went well, or so I thought until I was eating them and realized I had missed a good portion of the cartilage. I could not for the life of me get the membrane to come off properly. I doubt I got over 10% of it off. I had WAY TOO much smoke going. When I opened the lid to spritz, I had to stand off to the side and let the smoke clear before I could get close enough the see what was going on. Not exactly the experience I was expecting.

For better or worse, I had the whole rack to myself over the next couple of days, and, membrane and all, I thought they were pretty damn tasty. Even when things go bad, the food can turn out good. I am definitely looking forward to next time.

Hang in there.

post #31 of 33
Northeast Oklahoma eh... as GT2003 asked, what town are you in... just curious. If you have a Warehouse Market grocery near you, head over and pick up a bag or two of Ozark Oak Lump. I'm getting 10# bags for $4 in Claremore and Tulsa stores. Got 8 bags on hand and plan to keep buying it. Love that stuff... burns nice and hot. I don't have an ECB, but I know they are popular for a reason. Check out the mods and get back out there.

You know how much fun this stuff is once you get it down? It is Monday and many of us are day dreaming about what we are going to cook next weekend. biggrin.gif
post #32 of 33
Thread Starter 
I live in Vinita about 40 minutes north of claremore. No one round here sells lump charcoal so I may end up in claremore to buy some. I think my main prob is the basket for heat source.
post #33 of 33

I have the Home Depot version of the Brinkmann Vertical (2 doors).

If you do not want to deal with making your own basket, buy one of these from either Lowe's or Home Depot. It will be in the grill area and they call it a Wok basket.

I did a 6+ hour smoke the other day and had no problem getting about 200...or 220...or 250....or 300.... icon_smile.gif All you have to do is shake the tray every now and then and add more feed more fuel as needed.

I did trim the "handles" to make it slide easier on the rails but that is not required.

You may want to line the bottom of the unit will foil to make the ash cleanup easier.

Keep the faith....if I can do this...anyone can.
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