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Curing The New Smoker and old Charcoal removal on an offset smoker.

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I am curing my new smoker tonight ahead of it's first use tomorrow. Any advice? I was going to wipe the inside of the cooker with cooking spray, bring it up to around 225 for 2 hours then up to around 400 for an hour then let it cool over night. Any tips out there for getting getting the charcoal out of the fire box of an offset smoker after smoking? I have read that closing all the vents will smother the fire out so it will cool faster but I have also read not to do that, any advice there? Thanks for any help!

post #2 of 16


 If the coals are cool just use a tin can to remove the ash and pieces of unburnt charcoal.

 If it is hot coals you can still use a can , just grab the lip of the can w/ some pliers.

   Or just make you a charcal basket w/ handles so you can lift it in and out.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks eman, I posted this before I read the basket thread. I think I am going to use a wok basket that I have for the charcoal. Do you use a basket or a tin can?

post #4 of 16

I know that alot of folks here use baskets. So you can lift it out "carefully" so you don't send ashes all over the place. You can use the can trick also.

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

Seasoned my smoker tonight and used a basket(Grill Wok). Easy clean up but I might need a little bigger one if i want to do longer smokes.

post #6 of 16

The only time I know of that you don't want to close all of your vents, (The top one is the one we are really talking about here) is when you have product on the grill during your smoke.  I normally kill all my vents after I am done smoking to see if I can save any fuel for the next burn.  Good luck on your smoke tomorrow.

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

I am excited for the smoking today. I want to start now but unfortunately we aren't eating till 7 tonight, so I guess i will have to wait. I am ready to go though!!

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well that couldn't have gone much worse. I couldn't keep a temp in my smoker after the first hour ended up having chewy/tough ribs and finishing some of the chicken on the grill so it was safe to eat. I think it had to do with the wok as a coal basket. I had a grill wok sitting on the grilling grates in the fire box and I think that was my problem. I don't think there was enough fuel. After 3 hours I took the basket and grilling grates out and started a new fire on the original charcoal grates. After that temp took right off and finished the chicken left on the smoker in about 45 minutes. I guess thats what I get for geting cocky and inviting friends over for my first smoke on a new smoker.  

post #9 of 16

Never do that with a new smoker or a grill!! You need time to get use to it...find the hot spots and all that good stuff. Better luck on the next rack, we would like to see some pics!

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

I hear you there MelonHead. I am looking forward to this weekend to try again and see if I have properly identified my mistakes.  I think I am going to go with something simple like chicken, ohh who am I kidding I love me some ribs I have to try them again.

post #11 of 16

Well this post just took some wind out of my sail!! I just set the date for my first smoke and invited friends and family over . . . dun dun DUUUNNNNNN.

Well heres to hoping !!! I better go do some more research .

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

Good Luck With That.  If you have time do at least one cook even if it ends up being late on a weeknight when it is done.

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 

Ok going to try this smoker out again this weekend. I have run into a problem at the store though. Everything looks like it would be great in a smoker. I think i stood in the meat section for 15 minutes just thinking about what I could do. I ended up getting some chicken, a rack of ribs, some corn, and a little 2.5 lbs pork butt. I am going to save the pork butt for next weekend when I do a fatty as well. I will let you know if things go better this weekend.

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

Here is a q-view here.

Ribs on for about a half hour here.

Ribs on the Smoker


Threw on some corn. I have never done corn so we will see how it goes.

Ribs and Corn


Some of my rubbed chicken I am going to throw on in an hour or 2. I also have 4 more breasts brining in the fridge.


post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well still having some heat issues this last weekend. I can keep my fire hot for the first hour and a half or so then after that I can;t keep it hot. Had to transfer everything to the grill to finish it up. It all tasted good and had some good smoke flavor but still felt like a fail. I know my problem is ash and the answer is a charcoal basket. I built the fire on the provided grill grates this time and the small 1 inch gap filled with ash very fast choking off my fire and leaving me with a lot of unburnt charcoal in the fire box at the end. I am going to go back to the wok basket again this time and try emptying out the spent charcoals every hour to hour and a half and re filling it. Any better ideas out there? I want to make a bigger charcoal basket but I need some time to get out to my dads shop and have him help me out.

post #16 of 16

We have all been there. It took me at least 6 smokes to know that hell my chargriller wanted. You have to find out what the grill wants. Thats all lol. Its in charge. I have the WOK and I can hold temps pretty good. You have to go in and move the coals around so that the ash falls through. Then ill pull out the drawer thingy and dump the ashes leaving my coals to burn. I usually do that before I add more unlit coals. It took a while but I think ive got it down. Mine is a chrgiller so theres not much difference I dont think. I dont think id throw out the un spent coals. Thats money. Shake/rattle the coals around and let the ash fall through, then add more coals.   This works for me anyway..


Do a search on there for the mods made to that  smoker you have. Some of that wil make a difference. Tuning plates are almost a must have to control side to side temps along with a good temp gauge to replace factory one!!

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