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newbie questions

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello Everone,
I just found this site and it's great. I've been bbq'ing for years and decided to try smoking meat. I went out and bought brinkmann Gourmet, I know it's a less expensive model but wanted a cheaper model to start. I tried grilling baby back ribs this weekend and they were black when I was done ( not sure it they were burnt or smoked black I believe they were smoked black because the grill never got all that hot) Now I follow the instructions and put 10 lbs of charcoal ( used a charcoal chimney to start) 3 chunks of wood (which I soaked in water for 30 minutes and wrapped in foil) and water. now the first hour the thermometer was between warm and ideal but was smoking an awful lot and I checked one of the pieces of wood and it was all black and charred. I did but another piece of wood in and let it run for the next couple of hours and after about 3 1/2 hours the ribs were all black. what did i do that was incorrect. I was thinking maybe I did soak the wood enough because the meat seemed blacken with smoke and I dont think the smoker was hotter then ideal. I do plan to install my own thermometer.

Thanks Gus
post #2 of 13
Welcome to the site. First you need to do is get rid of the factory thermometer that is installed in the grill. They are known to be off and knowing your correct temp is one of the most important things. Also where you getting heavy white smoke? If so this is not what you want. You want a thin light blue smoke. As long as you can smell smoke you are going to have good smokey flavor. More smoke is not better in this case less is more. Also you should check out the 3-2-1 rib method on the left side of the page under the How To articles by Jeff. You smoke the ribs for three hours then wrap in foil for two hours then remove out of the foil for one last hour to firm them up a bit. If you are doing spares you use 3-2-1 if you are using baby backs you use 2-2-1. And these are not set times they are more of a guide some people do like 3- 2.5 - .5 Its all about what you like. Hope this helps a bit.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your quick reply, I will replace the thermometer and yes it was a heavy white smoke, whats the best way to get a thin blue smoke?

Thanks again Gus
post #4 of 13
Welcome to the SMF, We are glad to have you onboard
post #5 of 13
i use coals and wood chunks. you just want the chunks to smolder slowly.
another great way to get the thin blue smoke is to use the burn barrel method. I've used this with great success when I have the time. check out the sticky thread below; labor intensive, but works great!


Practice will help you learn your individual smoker for temp and smoke mgmt. keep at it!
post #6 of 13
First off Welcome to SMF. You now need to stop into Roll Call and introduce yourself and your equipment and we can hgive you the big welcome we like to give to new members. Now for your delimma first you need to get a couple of probe thermo-meters one for the smoker and one for the meat. Then I would sign up for the E-course here and it's free and it will give you the basics on smoking meat too. Then go grab something and smoke it and we will be here if you need to answer any questions you may have.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Now I soaked the wood for 30 minutes and wrapped them in foil, should I soak it for longer? and I will also go get a smoker box to but the wood in. It just seemed like I put the wood chunks on the burning coals and they started smoking heavy with in a few minutes.

Thanks for the warm welcome and will go to roll call (Meant too yestersday) , I did sign up for the 5 day course yesterday and received the first email. Thanks Gus
post #8 of 13
Gusto, When I use my ecb (same model as yours) I use about 3 chunks of wood tucked in amongst the unlit briquettes in the charcoal pan. Then I pour about a half chimneys worth of lit briquettes on top of that along with an additional wood chunk. You don't really need a lot of wood-unless you're a stick burner. biggrin.gif

If you don't see a thin blue smoke coming from your smoker but your still smell wood smoke-things are going good.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks Dutch is yours moded?
post #10 of 13
Well untill you've smoked meat you've never actually BBQ'ed. You have been grilling.PDT_Armataz_01_05.gif

Welcome to the site and I hope you find all the help you need. As far as getting down to Q. 10 lbs ofcharcoal seems like a lot. Di you put all of that in at once or did you add coal through out the smoke resulting in 10lbs used? What kind of wood did you use? As far as your ribs turning black. I am not sure how to explain it? You said they didnt burn but they "smoked" black. If you were getting a residue i had to be caused by somthing. Did you have water in the water pan? did the water ever dry up and the fat in the pan burn? Did you ever use lighter fluid during the smoke? those things can cause a black residue...

None the less, you have to monitor your temp, keeping between 225 and 250. You have keep the smoke in the Tbs range. Thick smoke means there is problem. Dont soak the wood, just place a couple chunks around the edge of the charcoal and let it smolder and most importantly: KEEP TRYING and youll be producing some BBQ before you know it!!!!!
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello GLGoodwin, Yeah I put about a little unlit charcoal in the bottom and a whole charcoal chimneys worth on top which from what I'm reading might have been too much. I put a lot more lit charcoal then unlit charcoal which seems to be a mistake and also put the wood directly on top on the lit charcoal think the smoke was good not realizing i need only the wood the smolder a little bit not burn. the water never dried up and no fat also I didn't use lighter fluid. I think it was just black from all the smoke I was producing. I think next time I will use a lot less charcoal and put more unlit in then lit and make sure the wood is close to the fire and not directly on it. I also plan on modifying my ECB a little with a new therm, make a few adjustments to the charcoal pan and put a few dampers on it.
post #12 of 13
Yes it is. I added an exhaust vent to the top of the lid and an additional intake vents on the sides of the ash pan. My ecb is the older version of the one you have. The charcoal pan sits in the ash pan and the smoker body fits over both.

My daughter currently has my ecb at her house, but if you do a seach on ecb mods you'll find a bunch of stuff that you can do to yours.

Here is a couple of links of mods that others here have done. My mods are similar to ones done in the first link:


post #13 of 13

1 lb of processed charcoal briquits will emit 9,700 btu's. Natural Real wood charcoal emits 13,000 btu's so 10 lbs 130,000 btu's that could be part of the problem. You get a A for effort. But try and back off the charcoal. Keep this scale in mind and it may help you out. Good Luck Chefrc

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