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Help a NEWBIE !

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Assembled my Brinkman electric smoker last night and followed the curing process. I plan to smoke some ribs this Sunday. My questions:

1. Should I use the water bowl
2. If I do use the water bowl, should it be covered? I have seen posted pictures with it covered with foil
3. Wood chips - should just place them on the lava rock or in some type of container?
post #2 of 6
I'm sure someone more experienced will be over to correct any nonsense I suggest, but in my little experience (I use a vertical Brinkmann charcoal smoker, nothing at all fancy), I would answer your questions like this:

1: The water bowl I would normally fill. It adds a bit of moisure to the smoke, which can't be a bad thing. You can also fill it with beer or something else, mix with herbs to provide a little extra taste. I'm sure some thyme and beer would help do a great chicken.

2: Covering it up doesn't seem to make much sense if it's filled with something, because that would block the steam. A full water pan does help regulate temperature, though, so I would guess that if you didn't want the added moisture from steam, covering up a full pan would still provide some extra temperature stability.

3: I just place the wood over on my charcoal. Many people wrap a few pieces in foil and make plenty of holes in the foil, then place that on the charcoal. This would stop the wood burning, but allow the smoke out. I prefer placing naked wood directly on the coals, though - I just make sure that the wood has had a long soak in water first. It seems to generate more smoke that way.

Hope this helps, good luck!
post #3 of 6
1 - yes

2 - you can line the bottom with foil before adding water to help with clean up; as for covering it, i don't know how that would work.

3 - some people use a tuna can or foil pouch - once again, helps with clean-up.
post #4 of 6
I'd second what Papoo said. I'd leave the water bowl uncovered so the drippings can revert back to flavor. Soak the chips and right on the coals. And the foiling of the pan works, might as well foil the whole thing. Why have to wipe off the soot. Ps no peeking.wink.gif
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks -

Just to confirm, I do not have coals. Since it is electric I have the lava rock like you would find in a gas grill. Does this make a difference?
post #6 of 6
Yes, just toss the wood right in on top of the lava rocks. Doesn't matter if it touches the element or not. I used to have that same smoker and I never bothered with the foil pouch for my wood.
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