My first smoke is this weekend and I can use some advise!

Discussion in 'Pork' started by gators2000, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. Just introduced myself last night in the role call last night and already have questions.  I was planning to start fairly simple and just do  some Chicken on Sunday.  But, much requests were made for Ribs as well so I'm doing both.  So, the plan is to do 2-3 nice slabs of baby backs and 2 whole chickens that as quartered.  I've read lots of past threads on how long to smoke them and the 2-2-1 method and think I have that all down pat.  My questions are a little more specific.  

    First - This may seam very simple to some of you but it's my first time using this smoker.  How much Charcoal should I use to keep the grill at temp for 5+ hours?  Also, how much should be lit and burning and how much should be not lit when I get started?  Should I add more as the day goes?   

    Second - I'm going to use wood chunks.  When I've smokes in the past on my little Weber kettle, I've just used chips and added more when it stopped smoking.  How much to start and how often should I add more?  Also, do you soak chunks like you do chips? 

    FYI - My smoker is a Char Griller Smoken Pro with the side fire box.

    Thanks in advance!  

  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome Gators!!!

    I can't help you with your question, as I am a "Watt-Burner", but Some guys will be along to help you soon!!

  3. I usually start with a full chimney of lump and a couple of handfulls of unlit in the charcoal basket. Then add some chunks of wood when I put the meat on. I add new lump every so often if the temp starts dropping to keep the temp up and a chunk of wood about every 30 - 45 minutes to keep the TBS going. Have you done any mods to your smoker to make it work better? I can point you in the right direction if you need. Hope this helps.



  4. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Good Luck !!!!!!   I am a watt burner also...
  5. big sexy

    big sexy Smoke Blower

    I have a chargriller duo with the side fire box.  I haven't done any mods too it.  To keep at 200-225 I only use about 2/3 of a charchoal chimney to get mine going.  Once the cooking chamber is up to temp I will then set in a chunk of wood for the smoke.  I set the wood next to the charcoal so it smolders and doesn't catch on fire.  You do have to keep an eye on it, but I just add a handful of charcoal every 45 min or so to keep the temp where you want it.  Shouldn't be too hard for a relativly quick smoke of ribs and chicken.  Much more labor intensive on the long smokes.  I can't use the minion method because I have too much air flow in the fire box.     
  6. Why is there too much airflow. Even with the vent closed?
  7. I haven't made any mods and don't have a clue what mods to make.  This is my first smoker and I'm a total neb...  Any advice would be awesome!!!
  8. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Sounds like you have plenty of good advice, so just fire it up & see what happens.

    Experience is the best teacher.

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