Another New Person

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Original poster
Nov 5, 2005
Hello All and Happy Holidays.
I wish I'd found the site and forum before I built this smoker, but now I have it finished. and I'm glad to have a place to ask some questions.

I'm wondering how much wood this thing is going to go thru if I keep it burning for 6-8 rhrs @ 250 degrees?

I did manage to pick up a load of hard wood, but it's not raw wood,(no bark) it's the blanks they use to create moulding inside a house. It's not treated and seems to work fine. But I did seem to go thru it pretty fast.

Any info would be appreciated. Thanks again
Steve G.




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Hey Steve,
First off, Welcome to the forum. Very nice smoker. I use a GOSM propane smoker myself so I can't answer your questions, but I'm sure you'll be hearing from a couple of folks that can soon.


Welcome to the forum.. I see you built a smoker from a couple of 55 gallon barrels. I hear those work pretty well and the only problem you will see is that because of the thinner gauge material they will not hold heat as well and it will require more wood to maintain temperature.

I can't tell from the picture if you lined the firebox with firebricks but that is something that helps tremendously.

Your smoker will use quite a bit of wood if you are just putting in raw wood.. I use split quarters from 18-20 inch logs and I usually start with about 6 pieces and add a piece every 45 minutes to an hour to maintain 225 degrees in my big trailer mounted smoker.

Be very careful using wood from a manufacturing process as it can accidentally have varnish spilled on it or some other chemical and that would totally ruin a good piece of meat.

Another good way to use the wood safely is to burn the wood down to coals in a separate burn barrel and then shovel smoking coals into the firebox.. this is actually the true way to smoke meat and many purist do it this way exclusively.

You willl notice that the smaller pieces will always burn up quicker.. if you are able to get ahold of some larger quartered logs of hardwood such as oak or pecan you will notice a big difference in usage.

Once again.. welcome to the forum.
Thanks for the warm welcome guys! I appreciate the help.

Boy, it does look like I'm going to have to find a better source of wood.
I guess I had expected to use a combination of charcoal and wood like a ECB, but it doesn't look like that will happen.

I did use fire brick inside the firebox and was hoping that would take up some of the room but it's not going to be enough to make a difference.

I like the idea of using the smoking coals, instead of trying to get a huge fire going in the firebox first.

If I have to, I can modify the firebox and build one smaller. How big of an area would be optimal? Just big enough for the logs?

Looks like I'll be cruising the steel yards for some different materials if that's the case.

Thanks again for all the help

Steve G.
Hey Steve,
Welcome to the best BBQ forum on the web! From the looks of those ribs, it looks like you have already attained a high level of succes. I do understand the need to improve the process and applaud your efforts. Happy smoking and please keep us posted at to your efforts.

Fl. Bill
Thank you Bill,

I'm going to try and cook a brisket for New Years Eve, so now I've got to go now and find a good rub for it! I'll keep in touch and let you know how it goes.

Have a good New Years!

Steve G.
Steve, I see you got it made. Good job. That rack of ribs sure looks good.

I saw a similar set up in L.V. a couple of months ago, the guy that built his used as 30 gal steel drum for his fire box and used the 55 gal drum for the food chamber. He said it worked great as he used split logs in the 18-24 in. length.
Thanks, we're trying to get ready to touch it off again tomorrow. I just got 20 more fire bricks and i'm going to attempt to fill up some of the space in the bottom barrel. I'm still going to have to look for a good source of wood though.

We do have lot's of Apple orchards fairly close by and I'm pretty sure I can come up with some of that wood, but I don't know how it will work with the other hardwoods when I mix them.

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