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First attempt with charcoal

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
So I had my first run with a offset charcoal smoker. I have been using a MES for the past two years. Here is a look at the smoker.



So as i said this was my first run on the charcoal. I do not own a chimney starter and think this was my first mistake.

So we got the coals burning, unfortunately with lighter fluid and threw on the brisket and shoulder.



I opened the intake damper and the chimney damper all the way. Temp inside the smoker would only get past 200 if we put a fan on the intake. So for the first 4 hours I messed and messed with the intake and the temps.

i was using apple branches from my parents farm, but they kept igniting.



The brisket got up to 140 fairly quick and stalled, which I am used to but this was a small brisket, i figured it would go. The shoulder was well ahead. So I wrapped in foil at 145 after 6 hours on and pour pineapple juice in. got to 195 and place in cooler at 8 hrs. rested for one hour. Slice against grain and here is what i got.


The brisket came out with lots of juice in the foil, but a little tougher and dryer than I was used to.

So my question for ya all
1) how the heck do you get the coals up to and maintain 200-250 better
2) what do you think I did wrong to dry the brisket out compared to when I go with my MES (generally can cook a brisket 12 hrs, moist, juicey, etc)
3) the wood shouldnt catch on fire, how do i resolve this?
post #2 of 7

First thing that comes to mind is get or make a charcoal basket that is suspended above the bottom of the firebox by approx. 3". Right now you fire is sitting in it's own ash and smothering to death. Also in the main cooking chamber put some tuning plates in to help distribute your heat better, and your water pan can go in the cooking chamber on top of the tuning plates at the firebox end.

 

I would read up on some of the mod's people are making to the Char-Grillers and/or Char-broil offsets and make the ones that seem appropriate to your smoker. But the hanging charcoal basket will make a big differance in heat generation.

post #3 of 7

It looks like you did a fine job to me.

post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwiens View Post

So my question for ya all
1) how the heck do you get the coals up to and maintain 200-250 better
2) what do you think I did wrong to dry the brisket out compared to when I go with my MES (generally can cook a brisket 12 hrs, moist, juicey, etc)
3) the wood shouldnt catch on fire, how do i resolve this?


1) how the heck do you get the coals up to and maintain 200-250 better A: Use more charcoal and use the Minion Method

2) what do you think I did wrong to dry the brisket out compared to when I go with my MES (generally can cook a brisket 12 hrs, moist, juicey, etc) A; Did you add anything to the brisket when you foiled it? I usually go with some low sodium beef broth.

3) the wood shouldnt catch on fire, how do i resolve this? A: Some will tell you to soak your wood, but then again I use a stickburner so the wood I use catches on fire anyways.
 

post #5 of 7

Dewiens

if your wood is catching on fire it is getting to much air, low and slow, make a fire basket.

post #6 of 7

I use a large foil pan under my briskies with broth and sometimes onion. Of course I'm usually smoking with a low dew point so I like to keep the humidity in the smoker up.

I don't foil briskets..

I just did my first smoke with pecan logs and they all caught fire. It seemed like my smoke got a little to thick if i had the damper closed all the way. Even after being in the firebox for a while, I could still see some flame licking up around the logs.

I use a cheap Char griller with a side box and two roof tiles in the chamber for mods...

 

If all else fails, send me that smoker and I'll op check it for ya..

post #7 of 7



 

Quote:




So as i said this was my first run on the charcoal. I do not own a chimney starter and think this was my first mistake.

So we got the coals burning, unfortunately with lighter fluid and threw on the brisket and shoulder.




Mixon uses lighter fluid???.And hes been crowned king. lol. So it all good!! Hes arragant lol...
 

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