Complete Beginner

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Original poster
Apr 7, 2007
Fallbrook CA

I joined because this year I really want to get some results from my smoker. I bought it last year - Char-broil offset - and the first attempt at smoking ribs was a disaster. Way too much smoke and now I have a very shiny black inside to my smoker which I've been slowly scraping back over the winter. Nothing touched it but wirebrush and hand scrapers.

So now I have to get to know it ad how to maintain the heat without too much smoke.

Welcome to SMF David. Sign up for the 5 day eCourse. ask questions there are several Char-broil offset users around lots of information here
Welcome to the SMF rynd2it. Tons of information here and great folks too.
So jump right in. Glad you found us!!
Welcome, welcome! Glad you are here!

I wouldn't worry too much about the shiny black stuff, You should see the inside of my smoker! Not a problem.

Take care, have fun, and do good!


Welcome David -

The first trick is to learn to make small smoke. Unlike grilling we don't want lots of heat and smoke we want small smoke and little fire.

Smoldering I think is the word. Have you signed up for Jeffs free eCourse yet?
Hiya, David!

Happy to have you here! You have found the best darned site on the net for smoking meat and other things! Lots of info here too! From cuts of meat to equipment to seasonings. Speaking of seasonings.....don't be shy about "peppering" us with questions. We're here to help and happy to do so!

hey were all here to help and learn

on a side note you are only a little over an hour away from the best hot pastrami sandwich i have ever eaten... boy i miss (at least for the
I had some problems with mine when I first started as well. I found that I was losing too much heat out of the sides, and maintaining temps was a bear. I made a few modifications, and it works much better now. I work on the cheap, so don't worry about having to spend too much money on mods.

You're going to want to lower the smoke stack, but you've got the heating rack in the way. Don't get rid of the heating rack, you can get some extra meats in on it. Get to Lowe's and find some 4inch ducting. Attach it to the smoke stack and bend it down and toward the middle. This will force the heat to hang around the chamber a while longer, as well as to even out the temps. While you're at Lowe's, look in the gas/space heater section for some door seals. This will look like white nylon rope, but it is heat resistant, and used to replace the seal around gas heaters. This works great for sealing up those big old gaps around the lid.

Then I turned the drip/charcoal pan upside down and angled it upward from the firebox. I drilled a bunch of holes in it to help disperse the heat.

I found that the best way to prevent smoking out your neighbors is to start with hardwood briquets, mixed with lump charcoal. Use a small piece of hardwood only every now and then, but not directly on top of the coals. It will put a thick smoke initially, but quickly settles down to that thin blue smoke.

Take a look at my blogsite to see a few pictures.

One more thing. Get a few oven thermometers to place around on your cooking surface. Do NOT trust the one on the lid.

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