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I need help!


Joined Jul 10, 2016
Ok, so I'm new to this and this Sunday I'm going to be trying out my smoker for the first time (char-griller offset) and I'm a little scared haha
I have a couple of questions

1: do I put the wood directly on to the hot coals?
2: how much would should I use? (I'm smoking a 4lb rack of pork ribs)
3: Is it a pain keeping the temp regulated in this type of smoker?

I appreciate the help in advance, just don't want to mess up my first smoke and honestly this smoker kind of intimidates me


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Mar 14, 2013
As far as question #1, put the wood directly on the fire.  Secondly, add wood as needed.  When one chunk burns up, add another.  I'd say you'll need about 3 or 4 chunks, depending on size.  I've never used your smoker, but I think I've read that they take a little babysitting to keep an even temp.  Good luck, have fun, and stay hydrated.


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Group Lead
Joined Feb 9, 2009
Hello Nbednaz16...Jasper has given you good advice.  It will take some experimenting/trial-and-error on your part to figure out how much wood and smoke to apply to your cooks.  Everyone's tastes are different...some like heavy smoke flavor, while others like more subtle and mild smoke.  The best advice is to get a hot bed of coals going first...you can do that by starting with charcoal, or by burning a few splits of wood until they burn down to hot coals.  Then just add a chunk or split of wood to the coals as needed.

The biggest challenge with your rig will be temperature control...especially if its your first try.  All offset smokers, even the high end ones, require some tending and some experience to really dial in the desired cooking temp range.  If you haven't made any modifications to that Char Griller, they have a bit of a reputation for being less than air tight...and controlling airflow is the key to controlling temps.  Many guys will seal up leaky seams with gaskets or with food-safe high temp caulk.  The goal is to get your pit where the only places where air can enter and leave the smoker are through the dampers and vents.  Then, with some experimenting with adjustments to the dampers, you'll soon have a good grasp on controlling your pit temps with air flow.  Every pit is different, so it just takes some time and a few cooks to figure your's out.  

One thing that might help, if you haven't already tried it, is to build a fire in it and run it empty for a few hours.  This will allow you to play around with damper control...getting some idea of how well you can control the chamber temps without worrying about ruining an expensive slab of meat.

Hope that helps...good luck!  And be sure to let us know how that first rack of ribs turns out!  


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