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Big Hey from Razorback Country

ikinya6

Smoke Blower
90
11
Joined Dec 25, 2006
I am a law student at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, and excitedly purchased a barrel grill a few years ago. I insisted to my wife that I wanted the firebox attachment, as I was fixing to become the greatest smoker the world has ever known.
Well, I got the firebox, but never actually used it until just a few weeks ago. My first ribs ended up more like jerky, and my second ribs looked nice, but were tough as leather. I figured a little humility and some tips from some more experienced folks might help me become the greatest smoker my family (at least) and maybe a few friends have ever known.
I do pretty well on the grill. My burgers get pretty good reviews, and I have figured out how to get flavorful, juicy chicken breasts, but I really want to progress on the smoker.
This seems like a pretty informative website set up by someone with a passion for smoked meats, yet appreciates what it is like to have no clue.
 

msmith

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,227
13
Joined Nov 22, 2006
Welcome aboard ikinya6 you will find plenty of help here. Tell us a little more about your smoker, a pic would help. Do you have a deflector plate in the barrel and what temps are you running . I soak my ribs in apple juice for 3 hrs then rub them down with my favorite rub. I use the 3-2-1 method myself. Theres a post under pork that will explain the method and the temps.

I suggest you sign up for jeffs 5 day e-course its free and has a lot of good info.
 

cajun_1

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,890
10
Joined Sep 16, 2006
I agree with msmith on 5-day e-course, we have learned alot. Welcome to the SMF.
 

gunslinger

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
959
11
Joined Sep 24, 2006
Welcome to SMF. Did you use the 3-2-1 method for those ribs? There are a lot of variations here and they all seem to work. So prepare to do some research. This is the place to start on you road to stardom.
 

pigcicles

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
2,533
14
Joined Nov 25, 2006
ikinya6, as a law student you should be used to required reading.. well sit back, when you get the time, and read, read, read.

If you will let these guys know what equipment you are using, you will definitely be on your way to becoming the greatest smoker your family and friends have ever seen.

Keep Smokin
 

ultramag

SMF Events Planning Committee
2,112
13
Joined Apr 17, 2006
Welcome to SMF ikinya6!!!

"This seems like a pretty informative website set up by someone with a passion for smoked meats, yet appreciates what it is like to have no clue."

I don't think I could come up with a sentence to describe this forum any better. I'm glad you found us, just stick around and these guys will have you smokin' ribs like a pro in no time. Look forward to hearing about and seeing your succes in the forum.
 

larry maddock

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,070
10
Joined Sep 27, 2005
glad to meet you----

a coincidence happened today..

i meet you---from razorback country
and i recieved 2 lbs of wild hog sausage
from the mountain home ark. area--
taken with a bow..

first time for both
 

ikinya6

Smoke Blower
90
11
Joined Dec 25, 2006
Hey Guys! Thanks for the big welcome. I have been perusing the site, and I gotta say, I LOVE IT!

I have a Char-Griller with a firebox. I see where part of my problem is that it has too many leaks. I found the forum on modifications, and am going to implement a few of them. I especially like the idea of extending the smoke stack down to grill level, and modifying the fire box a little. (It seemed to be losing an inordinate amount of heat with little real effect on the meat.) And someone suggested plugging some of the holes with bolts.

My biggest question when it comes to smoking is what heating sources to use. Like what mixture, if any, of charcoal and wood.

I looked into the 3-2-1 method, and it makes a lot of sense. Sounds like some goooooooood ribs. I'll try it.

Also, I live in an apartment, so I am wondering if there is such a thing as maximizing the effect of the smoke without putting so much out that my neighbors have to shower after I'm done.

I'll have to sign up for those ecourses real soon. That may get me past some of the noobie anxieties.

Thanks guys! I look forward to your input.

Happy smokin'!
 

soflaquer

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
532
88
Joined Jul 3, 2005
Welcome, Couselor!

I'm sure the Mods will improve your performance tremendously. Living in an apartment - having a Charcoal Box fabricated for you will help quite a bit.

Feel free to ask an question you may have.

Jeff
 

ikinya6

Smoke Blower
90
11
Joined Dec 25, 2006
Thanks,

What is a charcoal box? I've seen it talked about, but have been assuming it was just another term for the fire box.
 

soflaquer

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
532
88
Joined Jul 3, 2005
Let me see fi I can find any photos of the one a friend of mine in KC, MO. made for me.

Basically, it's an iron box made from expanded metal, angle iron and rebar. Mine also has 2 separated double walled inserts that keep the charcoal separated in 3rd's so only one section burns at a time. Once it gets going, you add wood splits or chunks as needed for your "thin blue smoke". I only use mine when I don't feel like using my Burn Barrel - which would not be feasible for you in an apartment.

Jeff
 

ikinya6

Smoke Blower
90
11
Joined Dec 25, 2006
Hey, Guys. Thanks for the feedback. Will the charcoal box help to cut down on the excess smoke?

I've got another question on the equipment/charcoal smokers/char-griller forum about extending the smoke stack down to the grill. (I'm not used to forums, so I don't quite know how to add links and all that, sorry.) Anyway, my warming rack gets in the way, and I was just wondering if there were any suggestions, short of removing the rack (which is not really a problem) to get the pipe around the rack. GoFish had suggested the possibility of using swivel joints, but wasn't sure about the effect it would have on draft. It seems it would interfere quite a bit.

I'll play around a little and see what I can come up with.

Sam
 

soflaquer

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
532
88
Joined Jul 3, 2005
Only trial and error/time and experience will cut down on excess smoke. The one thing you don't want is for smoke to be "Billowing" out of your smoker. You eventually want light wisps of "Thin Blue Smoke" coming from your stack. That can be explained later if needed.

Please go to the appropriate topic index for anymore questions you may have, OK? This is "Roll Call".

Mack, My basket looks nothing like the one in your link. Mine is much more "Heavy Duty" and has dividers.

Jeff
 

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