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Central IL Newbie


Smoke Blower
Joined Oct 4, 2016
Hello.  Name is Michael.  I live in Central Illinois and am currently learning and teaching myself how to smoke on my grill I own.  I have looked through the forums for a long time, but am just now choosing to register.

I don't currently use an actual smoker but I have a Kingsford 32" charcoal grill that I use quite a bit and I recently (within the past month) "inherited" from a friend through his Dad's estate a Char-Broil Gas grill and a Masterbuilt 30" digital electric smoker.  I believe it is the Generation 1, but I am not sure.  There is some work I need to do on it as it was rusted on the top and sides that I scraped and sanded down and then painted the entire unit as well as cleaned it inside and out.  I found out that I get power to the control box, but the LCD display is out.  So, I contacted Masterbuilt and got instructions on how to make sure it actually heats up and works before I buy a new digital control box for $30.

Eventually, I would like to upgrade and purchase an actual smoker.  I was thinking at one time about a pellet smoker, but after giving it more thought about how much I would really use it (I am single, no kids, and work 3 jobs as well as a volunteer FF'er, so I am not home much plus on a pretty tight budget due to overspending when younger and paying it back now), I have started thinking about possibly a propane smoker and eventually upgrading to the pellet smoker.  If I went with the propane smoker...my budget would be between $200 and $300.  I have looked at a few models, and have read so many reviews I don't really know what to do.  I liked the Camp Chef Smoke Vault, as well as the Masterbuilt model.  

I have yet to figure out how to use wood chunks on my charcoal grill.  I use a chimney to start my grill...NO petroleum products.  I burn kingsford charcoal.  I have used all types of wood chips except mesquite.

I could use and welcome any tips or advice.


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Jun 22, 2009
Hi Michael!

Welcome to the forum!

Glad to have you with us!



Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Feb 7, 2015
Welcome to the forum Michael!  I love my Weber Smokey Mountain, charcoal and chunks, no petroleum products!  Long smokes are not a problem and it costs about $300 for an 18.5".  I eventually want a stick burner, but for now the WSM suits me to a tee!


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