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Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by johnseverin, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. johnseverin

    johnseverin Newbie

    What's the difference between a grill and a smoker? How will the food's taste and texture differ when I smoke it? how about if I grill it? I'm a long time lurker of this forum and I've read that Weber is a pretty good brand and I want to buy a grill for my barbecues (please check the link). I'm having some second thoughts though because I'm pretty much considering a smoker. which is which? a little help anyone? thanks!
  2. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Grilling is fast cooking over High Direct Heat 

    Smoking is slower cooking (hours or even days) over Low Indirect Heat using either Saw Dust, Chips, Chunks or Sticks as a source of smoke.

    Grilling is not Barbecue, it is Grilling.  Smoking is Barbecue.
  3. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yep, what Beer B Q said.
    johnseverin likes this.
  4. johnseverin

    johnseverin Newbie

    Thanks for the info and I would like to ask more questions if it's fine with you guys.. What types of wood chips are used and can be used for smoking? And, can you improvise a meat smoker? What's the best flavoring for let's say pork for example for smoking? any replies would be greatly appreciated.
  5. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Hello John and welcome to SMF, I take it you're from across the pond, me too but only in the other direction.

    No we don't mind questions, we all have them, I'll try to give you some ideas on the ones you've asked.

    Like has already been said, grilling and smoking are different so you will need to decide what style you want to use. Each one has their benefits, grilling is usually done in a short amount of time, whereas smoking can take hours.  You can smoke on a Weber Grill, I'd suggest a large grate model, so yes you could conceivably do both on one grill, another possibility would be to buy a grill and a smoker, Weber's Smokey Mountain smoker is used by a lot of people here, myself included with fantastic results, I also have a Weber Genesis E-310 that I use for grilling.  You might try looking for a Frontier Pro, I think that's the name, they are sold from the UK and are an upright smoker like the WSM.

    For improvising a smoker you could look at the UDS thread here to get some ideas, they are simple to build, made from 55 gallon drums and don't require any welding.

    The general rule for smoking wood is is any tree that bears fruit or nuts is good to smoke with, as to which one to recommend I'd be out in left field because we don't have any of your kind of trees here, may I suggest just trying different types and then you decide which you like the best.

    I hope that helps a little,

  6. johnseverin

    johnseverin Newbie

    Hey Gene, keep the good information coming, I'm learning a lot! Aside from using steel drums as smokers, what are your thoughts about building a smoke house? How much do you think would it cost? Also, the types of meat I should smoke.. and how long will it take to smoke let's say... 4 pounds of meat. is there such a thing as x lbs of meat = y hours of smoking?
  7. chainsaw

    chainsaw Smoking Fanatic

    Welcome John,

    As you explore the site you will find many of your questions are answered already in the forum section. I bet there are a lot of great woods laying around where you are too.

    The questions you are asking are broad based and many faceted. Generally, internal temperatures are the yardstick to determine meat being done vs. cook time, but not always.

    Also, meat is a very broad subject. Shoulders vary considerably from ribs. Poultry has it's own guidelines, especially regarding sanitation & food safety.

    The administrators will welcome you and suggest you take the free 5 day course on smoking. But never stop asking questions, as there are decades of experience here. No such thing as a dumb question.

    When you do get going remember to take pictures to share (q-view) we all live for the view.

    Good luck and welcome aboard! You will like it here.

  8. mudduck

    mudduck Smoking Fanatic

    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  9. northern greenhorn

    northern greenhorn Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Hello John, welcome to smf, be sure to check out the 5 day eCourse, this will help you out a bunch. As far as choosing between a smoker and a grill, decide on what you're gonna do more of, and spend a little more money on that equipment. You can get an ecb ( el cheapo Brinkman ) for around $50.00 U.S., that's an inexpensive way to get started, you can also look on ebay, or craigslist, for used ones. Either way, you're gonna find out that you're gonna love the art of smoking foods, and the happiness you see on the faces of the people you're feeding is indescribable. Good luck, and once you find out that you like smoking foods, you can always upgrade to a different smoker.
  10. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    John welcome to the forum. You had asked about a smoke house - a smoke house is generally used for cold smoking (temperatures under 100°), things like cheese, smoked salmon, and a few other things. A smoke house is basically a small shed or and old refigerator with a tube running to it, the tube is connected to your smoke generator (small smoker, or just a chip/dust burner). The idea is to get just the smoke and not the heat.

    For things like pulled pork, brisket, chicken, ect. you would want what most people call a smoker - one that actually cooks the meat with temps running between 200° and 300°. Like JustPassing said, you can build a UDS (Ugly Drum Smoker) for fairly cheap, and they are great smokers. I suggest you look take Jeff's free e-course then spend some time looking at the various forums dedicated to each type of smoker - charcoal, electric, gas, wood.

    Definately feel free to ask any and all questions, there is a lot of collective knowladge to be found on this site.