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Misc SNP/Smoking Questions/Profound Thoughts

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
So i have had my snp for... lets see here.... 4 days?

And as usual, i got some questions.

1. Why are there cooking racks in the firebox? What would anyone want to cook at like 600*? and RIGHT above the fire? drying out wet socks? Multilevel fire?

2. Charcoal Basket. What is the benefit of a charcoal basket? Im a noob. Im ignorant. But, i think the grates work just fine. Im not too concerned with it touching the sides. its a bbq, paint peels. On my inagural smoke, i had no problems with inconsistent temp after the first 25 minutes (just trying to find out how much she wants to eat). So why should i go out and make a charcoal basket? I have one laying around, but mainly, whats the benefit?

3. Deflector. So does all the deflector do is basically diffuse the smoke? Cant i just put the barrel charcoal grate up higher, and use that as a deflector to make it go out the sides of the grate? Im at my moms house, so i cant study it. Just going by memory.

4. Stack. Coffee Time. Hold On. Ok back. The stack. When you extend it to the grate, what does that do? Just hold more smoke in the top of the barrel? Even out temps? From what it looks like, people have made there stacks to like 2" above the grate.. so about the top of the meat. BUT. thinking about it, that makes sense. Because when the smoke enters the barrel, its hot. Hot air rises. Then it cools down and calls. Convection. In a sense.... But that makes that much of a difference?

5. Anyone elses SNP burn madly with the damper on the firebox all the way shut?? I had a relatively large fire going, and wanted to snuff it, so i closed the damper. Still raging. 5 minutes later,still raging... My guess is it leaks from everywhere, and gets enough air to sustain fire? BLACK RTV HERE I COME!!

6. To soak or not to soak? I have read that this, along with many others, are the age old questions. Just like water, greenery, gas, charcoal, and all of the other ones i just dont know yet! PDT_Armataz_01_25.gif But anyways, back on track. I was thinking about the whole soaking thing. Some people prefer to use water to regulate temps, correct?? Now if you soaked your wood for say, 2 days, it would be pretty wet! When you put it on the fire, it would release a lot of... STEAM! So, why WOULDNT you soak your chunks??

Well thats it for now! Im sure ill think of more later!
And im sure i look like an idiot!
post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
Bump bump?
post #3 of 7
I'll try and answer your questions as best I can.

I have not used it for this but it would work great for searing a steak. biggrin.gif
Plus you could do burgers if you didn't need much room and didn't use too much charcoal.

A charcoal basket will increase the life of your firebox. Yeah it can be repainted but it will last longer if you keep the hot coals off of it. Also if you want to try the Minion Method, you will need a charcoal basket.

Read these two threads and they will answer a lot of your questions.



You can't snuff a fire in an SnP by closing the dampers. biggrin.gif Best bet is to not let it get out of control. If you sealed it up tight enough that you could snuff it by closing the dampers it is highly likely that you will have draft problems when you are trying to use it.

Soaking wood chunks only prolongs the onset of smoke. If they are too close to the heat source they will burst into flame. Don't put wood chunks on the fire, put them near the fire. You want them to smolder, not burn.

Some folks use smokers that use a small chip tray and do not have a lot of options regarding distance of the wood from the heat source. In that case it probably makes sense to soak chips. Chunks however do not have enough surface area and won't take on moisture as much as chips would.

Hope this helps.

If you have anymore questions, ask away. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

post #4 of 7
The only thing I use the grates in the firebox is for putting the wood chunks to rest as to let them smolder instead of burning up on the charcoal/ lump.

You will need to fabricate a basket or a charcoal grate as wih the stock grate any long smoke (constant heat) will bend your stock grate down to the ashes and then you will have issues keeping temps up.

I also glued a stove gasket (from Menards) with a high heat automotive RTV type glue around the base of where the two halves meet. If you close your smoker you can see a gap about a 1/4" all the way around where the two halves meet. A LOT OF HEAT LOSS, especially if you have any kind of wind.

I brought down the stack to grate level. I also installed two L shaped brackets inside the barrel to run the entire width of the smoker, trimmed two stainless steel sheets to act as a baffle/ tuning plate.

These mods didn't take much time. Less than one afternoon including the trip to the stores and it has made a world of difference, but you still need to baby it.

Good Luck
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
The world of difference is in flavor? Or ease of maintaing temp?
post #6 of 7
I've noticed a huge difference in maintaining temps. If I get some time later tonight I'll snap some pics of the mods so far.
post #7 of 7
I had a SNP and used it for about 2 yrs it was my first smoker and man was it tricky keeping my temps down around 225-230 range. What I had to do with the rack in the fire box is I split a brick in half to hold my rack up so I could get air to my coal's and wood b/c the heat will bend it over time. A charcoal basket is the only mod I did not have for mine. I did make me a thicker door for the fire box the one that came with the smoker started bending aswell. I welded a pipe on the inside smoke stack down to the cooking rack. well it was about an inch from the rack that way the heat and smoke would cover all of my meat and It worked out really good. I got all of my help and mod Ideas from people here on SMF..I am sure there are alot of people that can help you out. The person who helped me out was RIVET you can go to the members list and find him he has the same smoker and he has pics on all the mods and can tell you why he done it that way and what it dose for the smoker. After I done all of what he told me it helped out and my food turned out good..Wish you the best.
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