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The Idiot's Guide to Fire Building (The Idiot Would be Me!)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Okay...I fired up the old girl (Brinkman Gourmet Charcoal) today for a nice pork butt smoke. I had issues with the charcoal chimney due to some high winds...but after awhile I got 'er going. I put down a layer of unlit lump, which I assumed (probably incorrectly) that this was sort of the minion method. That worked as well as assuming, I'm thinking.

So anyway...can someone give me the idiots version to getting a good fire, then what to do after to keep it going at a good temp. I'll admit that the ol' Brink held temps really well until I forgot to tend to to and it dropped a lot. I've got the butt in the oven right now getting her up to 205. She is at 194 as I am writing this (I found a cool wireless thermo as Wally World today when I went to get some Made in the USA Royal Oak). I'm not sure this butt will turn out as there was some white smoke when I added some chunks of wood...probably too many! Ya live and learn. I'm still going to try out the finishing sauce and see how she rolls. Maybe it'll be good!

post #2 of 11
I am not sure how you are adding lump/charcoal to your lump/charcoal that is allready hot, but just in case I will say do not add unlit lump/charcoal; this will just cool down your temps. Always add lit and hot lump/charcoal from your chimney starter; this will keep your temps up.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
I was under the impression that most folks just add a bit here and there, then the hot coals spark that one up...see, this is why I need an Idiot's guide to firebuilding!
post #4 of 11
get it burning first than add
post #5 of 11
I throw a few unlit briquets in with no problem.
post #6 of 11
I'm not familiar with your smoker.... but this is how i set mine up at the start of a smoke... and i put a few chunks of my smoke wood thru the pile.....

post #7 of 11
you need to make mods to your gourmet.........it helps with temp maintence


and another one

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses, fellers.

I read about Walking Dude's mods the first night when I brought the smoker home. I should have just done them! They look great. I kept thinking to myself, "Self, there is no baffling on this thing, so you are at the mercy of the Brinkman manufacturing company...not so good."

I'll head over to Lowes tomorrow and get the needed parts.

One side note....I did get the butt all finished up. It wasn't great, but it wasn't the worst...def. try again after the mods. One question...does blood cook into like a mush? If so, I lost over half my butt to that. I'm pretty sure I'll never get a butt at Wally World again. I did rinse before rubbing, but who knows.

Again, I greatly appreciate the help!
post #9 of 11
fire..........one thing also you mite try, is brining your butts........really helps with the moistness of it
post #10 of 11
Wally World enhances their meat. They pump em up with who knows what. I get mine at Sam’s and they are better. I bought one at Wally World once and while pulling found a broke off needle in the meat. Thank god it was not one of my guests that ate it. That was the last butt I purchased from Wally World.
post #11 of 11
I don't like buying meat from Wally World either.

I won't buy meat from anywhere when it says "this has been enhanched with up to a 12% solution of......"

Ya mess with my meat.. your messing with me and my family.

I did get my packer brisket there tho... They had several different kinds.. I got the NON ENHANCED version.
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