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Checking in from Los Gatos CA

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm on my third or fourth smoke now with a new smoker.
I got one of those cheap and small Char Broil things from Wally World. It's was a real piece of junk but I knew that just looking at it in the store. It did however provide a frame work to work with in order to build a nice small sized smoker.

I wanted a smallish one because there are just the two of us to cook for. I also wanted an offset smoker so I could use it as a grill from time to time. I have a very small yard and don't have the space for too many contraptions.

So far I've moved chimney, built a charcoal basket, added to the thickness of the sheet metal of both the fire box and cooking chamber, added a front shelf, redesigned the fire box to have a slide out ash try, sealed it up, built my own digitally controlled stoker and have got the thing pretty well tuned up using a sheet metal heat deflector and fire bricks.

It's now cooking without too much fuss and muss while not wasting so much fuel as to keep me hopping for all those hours of smoking. It's also no longer burning the paint off the outside, not even the top of the fire box, so I'm taking that as a good sign of decent heat retention.
post #2 of 10
Sounds like you have things figured out. PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm getting there. So far there have been no complaints from the table anyway. I have a small brisket on now.

At least I think my wife finally knows what Carolina BBQ is all about and what I was fussing about for so long. She's a native Los Angeleno so didn't have a clue what I was talking about.
They just don't know how to do it right in Virginia where my folks live now. I had to do up some Lexington style pulled pork with all the Lexington type fixings including hush puppies (I love hush puppies) and red slaw. I even broke down and did up a legitimate Lexington style finishing sauce with (gasp) catsup in it. I think she's hooked now so I'll be doing some more.

(Edit Update)

The brisket came out like poorly so I failed this time at bat.
I simply didn't cook it long enough and it was still tough. It was only about 2.5 lbs. so I was afraid of over doing it. I yanked it at 180 after 8 hours or so at 225. I should have let it get all the way to 195 internal. I felt I was jumping the gun but got rushed to get dinner done.
I've just gotta learn to exercise some patience because good things are worth waiting for. One slice from the end was tender like it all would have been if I had just let it cook all the way.
post #4 of 10
First off welcome Dick to SMF. You'll like it here cause there are abunch of good folks here that would just love to help you out with just about anything to do with smoking. We really like to have newbies here because they can bring in a new propective to how things are done. There's nothing like a new set of eyes to give and new way to make things that little differant to make things alittle better. So I hope you know about the Qview here.
Here's a link to photobucket it's free and easy to download pictures. Then if your really new to smoking Look up the E-course.
It's also free and it will give you the basics of smoking. So after all of that you just need to go grab something to smoke and if you have any question just post them here and we will answer it quickly so you don't have any mishaps with your smoke.
Welcome To Your New Addiction
post #5 of 10
Welcome to the SMF, We are glad to have you onboard
post #6 of 10
Welcome to the forum Dick and good luck with your smoker. I used to live and work in Los Gatos 19 yrs ago. I was there the year of the big quake.
post #7 of 10
Welcome to the SMF forum, You came to the right place. Good people and good info.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
It hasn't changed much since then. Almost all the car dealers that were along Los Gatos Blvd. are gone now though.

I did just discover Los Gatos Meats a couple of weeks ago myself. Imagine that, I've been here over 20 years now and I am just finding out about that place.
What to try your hand as smoking up some elk, buffalo or ostrich mybe, that's the place to pick some up. They have a little bit of everything it seems.

They also sell Trager pellet smokers and they serve all kinds of sandwiches made from meats that they smoke on site. Their tri tip sandwich is killer. I still can't believe I'm just now finding out about it.
post #9 of 10
Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview.
post #10 of 10
I think that is the place that I would buy my supplies for making jerky an sausage . I also smoked alot of fish I did alot of deep sea fishing had my own boat. Its great to have you here.
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