Hello from Western Mass.

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by bughillbilly, Oct 12, 2014.

  1. Hi:

    I've been turning out some good food with cheap horizontal water smokers for years now.  But the grill space with them is very small and I've been wanting to learn 'true' bbq, so I bought Charbroil's version of an Oklahoma Joe this summer. 

    I have to admit: I'm finding temperature/fire box control very, very challenging.  For a while there I thought I'd thrown away good money I should have spent on two or three more water smokers. But I've stuck it out and I think I'm getting a little bit better at it each time.  Still- I would very much appreciate some help getting up to speed faster.  Thanks!
  2. [​IMG]   Good morning and welcome to the forum, from a still rainy and cool East Texas. Lots of great people with tons of information on just about  everything.

  3. Glad you joined the group. The search bar at the top of any page is your best friend.
    About anything you wanna know about smoking/grilling/curing/brining/cutting or slicing
    and the list goes on has probably been posted. Remember to post a QVIEW of your smokes.
    We are all smoke junkies here and we have to get our fix. If you have questions
    Post it and you will probably get 10 replies with 11 different answers. That is
    because their are so many different ways to make great Q...
    Happy smoken.
  4. wolfman1955

    wolfman1955 Master of the Pit

    Welcome, from southern Ohio, to the best forum on the internet if you are looking to learn how to BBQ/smoke/brine/cure/inject. Well you get the picture if you can do it to to something you put on a plate to eat then someone here has probably done it. Use the search bar at the top of the page and you will be led to the answer to most every question you can think of. If you don't find the answer there then just post it and someone will chime in with there opinion on the subject.
    From what I've read hear the main thing with your pit is getting the thing sealed up so you can control air to the firebox, thus controling temp. Good luck and keep smokin!!
  5. Thanks for the welcome, guys.  I've already found several posts that give me hope I can figure out the trick to sustaining the right temperature.
  6. Hey bughillbilly  if you need help on anything just ask. If you are having difficulty maintaining your temp, walk us through your procedure also pictures of your smoker

  7. Going to fire it up this weekend with renewed confidence, or at least renewed patience.  I'll try to get some pictures up if I'm still having trouble.  Appreciate the support!
  8. wolfman1955

    wolfman1955 Master of the Pit

    never mind wron forumLOL
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2014
  9. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★


    Welcome to the Smoking forum. You’ll find great , friendly people here, all more than willing to answer any question you may have. Just ask and you’ll get about 10 different answers—all right. LOL. Don’t forget to post qviews.

  10. Alright.... I know you guys have been checking in every hour on the edges of your seats, so here's my report.

    It actually turned out to be one of my best outings with this smoker yet- got some decent ribs and pulled chicken out of it using that 321 technique out of Jeff's cookbook- but it was a fight in the beginning.

    It was a pretty chilly and blustery day, 40s and continual gusts of up to 30 mph, which I'm sure didn't help with the temperature war.  As background, I have what Charbroil passes for an Oklahoma Joe these days, about 1/32 inch steel I think.  I've sealed up most of the leaks with high temp silicone and have that stick-on gasketing around the smoke box door; still leaks some from that door, but I don't think too badly.  I added an elbow joint to the exhaust port that comes down a few inches over the meat rack.  I was going to put in some heat bricks until I saw a lot of you saying it's a waste of time.

    I tried the Minion Method by filling a homemade coal box with lump charcoal and several pieces of hickory chunks and then pouring half a chimney of ashed over coals into the center.  For the first couple hours I had to kick and claw with the fire box just to keep it over 200 with the exhaust draft wide open.  Finally I just threw open the little ash access door on which the damper is mounted and that finally got my temperature up into the 230s (I was aiming for between 224-240).  Oddly enough (for me- maybe you guys know this already) I found the fire burned at a more ideal temperature, and more steadily, as that big pile of coals reduced down.  With a relatively small base of coals I would add a layer of lump on top and was pretty much able to keep temperature, although still with that door wide open.

    I don't know how much more of a smoking season I have left with the cold and blowing wind settling in here, but I'm eager to get back at it and keep practicing.  I did use a digital thermometer this

    time and now see why you guys say the mechanical ones are useless.  Still would love input from the old salts........ bughillbilly.


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