Although I've been grilling for years on coals (although I had to take a long break when I moved into an apartment a few years back), my fiancee and I just moved in together a couple of months back and now we have a nice yard. Too bad she only brought a propane grill (and not a very good one) to the party.
I've always wanted to do real barbecue and smoke my own meats, so I convinced her that we just HAD to get a grill that could be used as a smoker. I must admit, however, that I know almost NOTHING about smoking meats.
So... After looking at our options (and taking into consideration that propane just doesn't do it for me, but we can't afford a huge investment right now) we settled on getting a Char-Griller Wrangler (#2123) grill and a firebox for it. (I know that's small potatoes for many of you, but hey, it's my first!) I'll be putting the grill together this weekend, and I hope to pick up the firebox next week from my local Ace.
I hate to admit it, but I have a very short attention span, and although I've been digging through the threads on this forum and reading the articles, some of my questions (and I have soooo many!) are still looking for answers, and I hope you folks can assist, or at least point me in the right directions.
I know that I can grill directly over coals (or indirectly, or whatever) on the main grill, but once I add the firebox and I want to do some real smoking, I just build the fire in the firebox, not in the grill? I should get a good thermometer to help me keep the heat in the cooking chamber at a constant temp, yes?
Chips, chunks or logs? I live in a suburb of NYC and I don't know of any places I can pick up huge pieces of wood (logs) for smoking. Should I use chunks mixed with coals in the firebox? Soaked chunks? Somehow chips just don't seem right...
I know I have to season the grill before I use it, but I think I saw someone around here say that if I use the firebox to smoke, and then I cook on the grill, I'll have to re-season it? The grates are cast iron in this puppy, is that really necessary?
I don't even know the right questions to ask! But any advice would be welcome, believe me. I feel like I'm back in school, which I haven't been for over 30 years...
And don't get me started on WHAT I'll be smoking, I'll probably start with beef brisket or pork ribs, but chicken or turkey are not out of the question.
Well, I think I've rambled on long enough, for now. I'll be around and asking more questions (and hopefully thanking folks for their assistance) on a regular basis, I'm sure.
Andy (aka Drewster) from Westbury, LI, NY