Help me smoke!

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Original poster
Mar 13, 2011
New to smoking, Recently bought a small verticle charcole smoker, It has 2 racks for cooking. I Live in MA were were I tryed cooking for the first time in the winter one sunday when it was snowing outside. I could not get my temp to 225 deg to put the meet on. I was told the more charcole you add the hotter the fire becomes.......I had the charcole tray PACKED! so basically my problem is temp ? ANy help im hungree.........:/
Well - if your charcoal was packed too tight then you may not have had enough air flow. Also - is the charcoal raised up off the floor of the firebox - you need a place to let the ash fall and air circulate - give it another go and let us know how how you make out.
I feel this type of cooking is popular down south, were there is not to many stores around me that may cary lump coal?? I can try to look around or maybe order it. Maybe i will try the grille one more time then buy a electric smoker if not? How are thoes? do you still get the same flavor...... Also i beileve I just put the coles in the bottom of the bowl and filled it,, how to i lift them to get air under neith? Thanks
Patrick check your local Home depot or Lowes, I'm in NY and can get lump coal in those stores also Wal-Mart carries it during the spring and early summer.  When you see it buy a few bags because some places don't carry a big stock and runs out fast.

How did you have the dampers set?  How many on your smoker and location..  Bowl?  is that the water bowl? Can you take some pics and post what smoker is it?
Pictures would help. Normally you make a charcoal basket which will lift the lump/charcoal up a bit and let room for airflow and ashes to drop. The bowl you are talking about might be your water pan but without pictures I'm not sure.
I did find lump Coal at a hardware store so thats good. I have a pan for coal and a pan for water. I will try to find a picture online or take one my self, thanks for all the help. If all fails on my second attempt ill get a electric one haha

This is not mine exactly but is the same style. At the bottom there is a bowl for coals, up one level is  water/chip bowl, then two racks. If you guys would/need to see the inside I can take pictures of mine exactly. Do i need one of thoes charcoal baskets to really get them hot? I just though them on the bowl...soaked them in lighter fluid but was playing with it for hours opening the doors, adding coals, and when the flames were out i never had a tem anything near 215-225
That the Brinkmann. Lovingly refered to hear as the ECB ( El Cheapo Brinkmann) First thing I would suggest is getting rid of the temp. gauage that came with it. They're seldom right. Get a new one on line OR Lowes & check it in boiling water for accuracy. Then insert it back into the Brinkmann. Then  give it another go. Let us know we'll walk you through the whole process friend! is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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