Hello and thanks, from Austin, Texas

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by austinsmoker, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. austinsmoker

    austinsmoker Newbie

    I've been lurking on this site for quite a while and figured it was finally time to register and post.

    I've always enjoyed grilling, but in the past few months I've become more interested in smoking.

    Being in Texas, it's hard not to want to smoke a brisket now and again.

    Long story short - this site has helped me out a lot.

    I started out doing some smokes on my gas grill.

    Believe it or not I even did a full brisket on my gas grill a few months ago.

    It actually started pouring rain that day.  My wife has a great photo of me standing over the grill with a giant golf umbrella.

    Not the best idea, but that might at least show my ridiculous dedication to meat.

    After looking high and low for a smoker, and reading so many reviews here, I wound up building my own.

    I like to tinker (and I quickly realized I couldn't afford what I wanted).

    Before anyone gets too excited, I'll tell you right now it's electric, not charcoal.

    (pausing for groans from the die-hards)

    Thanks to this site I think I finally have it working the way it should.

    To give you an idea of how much reading I've been doing on here I can tell you this.

    I just finished rolling up my first Fattie which will be smoked tomorrow using the AMNPS that is arriving tonight via UPS.

    I've been taking pics as I assembled it, and assuming it isn't a complete disaster, I'll be posting pics when it's done tomorrow night.

    Regardless, thanks to everyone who has shared their experience on this site.

    You've helped me quite a bit, and I hope in the future to be able to help others just as much.
  2. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Welcome, glad ya joined us ! Post a pic or two of your smoker, would like to see it !
  3. austinsmoker

    austinsmoker Newbie

    Well this is a surprise.
    No one told me this site had superpowers.

    About 5 minutes after posting this UPS delivered my AMNPS and pellets.

    They never delivery at my house until 7 or 8pm (which is why I was planning on smoking it tomorrow).

    Hm.... wonder if there is still time?
    marauder likes this.
  4. caribou89

    caribou89 Smoke Blower

    Yes there is. Couple hours at 275 and that fattie will be delicious.
  5. austinsmoker

    austinsmoker Newbie

    The AMNPS is now in the smoker at 275 degrees.
    No pellets in there, just following the direction to burn off any excess oil.

    But, since I had to go pull the cover off it and hook it up, figured I may as well take some pictures.

    It's not really working rock-solid yet, but it's getting there.

    Once I stabilize it at the temp I want I've found that I can keep it within 1 degree for at least an hour without having to mess with it.

    The issue I've been battling right now is air flow and smoke generation (which is why I got the AMNPS).

    I guess I'll find out tonight whether or not air flow is really a problem or not.

    Anyhow - here are some pics.
    It's essentially an electric ceramic smoker.
    My wife refers to it as the Big Beige Egg.

    it is actually just a tiny bit smaller than a big green egg.

    The bottom portion was bought at a local landscaping shop on a clearance sale.

    The top portion was found on a road trip after much searching for a top that would fit.

    They seem as if they were made for each other.

    I added some gasket material to seal them better.

    And don't worry, both were tested for lead before I tried cooking in them at all.

    It is roughly 22" in diameter (I think, been a while since I had to measure it).

    I found some weber replacement grills that fit in there perfectly.

    There are 3 racks total stacked up inside (they just sit on top of each other with some hardware I added).

    The heat is generated by a 15" Brinkman heating element that I found on Amazon.

    Fits like it was made for it.

    Temp is controlled via a cheapo 'router speed controller' that I've used for years on high wattage bulbs.

    I'll eventually build a stand for it, assuming I can get the smoker dialed in as I'd like.

    Once I know it's solid it will find a permanent home (instead of sitting on bricks, which is what it's doing now).

    The whole thing cost me around $200.

    Here are the pics.

  6. caribou89

    caribou89 Smoke Blower

    Man, that's really cool!
  7. austinsmoker

    austinsmoker Newbie


    I'm pretty happy with it so far (like I said, I like to tinker).

    But, It's only cool if it can consistently turn out great food.

    I've got the AMNPS burning in as I type this, so I'm about to give it a test run to see if I have enough air flow to keep it smoking.
    I'm a little worried it's going to go out on me (in which case I'll have to add more ventilation to the bottom).

    I'm hoping that's not the case, as it is the one hole I had to drill through that ceramic took about 20 minutes to get done.
  8. austinsmoker

    austinsmoker Newbie


    I should have known since I read the same thing over and over again on this site, but the AMNPS is fantastic.

    (I guess I should have said amazing?).

    I had a problem getting consistent smoke.

    In my first few test runs on this smoker I tried all sorts of things:  chunks, chips, adding a piece of lump, etc.

    No matter what I did, I couldn't get more than 30 minutes of smoke at the most.

    I was certain if it was a problem of airflow, or an issue with the heat generation (because the ceramic holds the heat so well, once it gets up to temp I can turn the element way down and it will maintain).

    Point is, I put the AMNPS in there an hour ago, and it's still going strong, with no signs of slowing down.

    Beautiful thin blue smoke.

    This fattie may go on there tonight after all.
  9. Hello and welcome from East Texas, Cool smoker, congrats on the build, be looking forward to seeing that Fatty

    Gary S
  10. austinsmoker

    austinsmoker Newbie

    Well, I know you guys have seen them all already... but here is one more fatty for you.

    Ground beef.

    Roasted some red pepper on the grill.
    Sauteed onions


    Provolone (which unfortunately didn't get photographed)

    I'll post some shots of the finished product once it's ready.

  11. caribou89

    caribou89 Smoke Blower

    Oh that just looks fantastic!
  12. austinsmoker

    austinsmoker Newbie

    Well, dinner took a bit longer that expected (doesn't it always).

    I knew I was pushing it by trying to do it tonight, but couldn't resist.

    I think the probe may have been in an air pocket instead of in the meat.

    Pulled it at 165 but when I checked it with the thermapen it was registering much higher.

    And, suspicions were confirmed when I sliced it open and saw it was a bit dried out.

    But, overall it was a hit.

    I mean, bacon.  Can you really go wrong?

    Served it up with some grilled potatoes.

  13. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks like it was worth the wait for sure ! Great job ! :banana_smiley:
  14. Really looks good !!!   Great job.  I'll bet it tasted even better than it looked

    Gary S 

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