NASA Guy Here Needs Some Help

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Original poster
Jun 22, 2007
Just learning to Smoke, I have a Smoker with the Box on the Side. Do I just use wood, Or wood, and Charcoal? Some have said Lump coal, but I wouldn't even know where to get that. My name is James, and I work for NASA here in El Paso, TX. I love Smoked Meats, and want to be better at it. Thanks for any help you can give.
Welcome James -

Sounds like a horzontal smoker with an offset fire box but it could be a vertcal smoker with a side fire box.

You could use wood, charcoal or both depending on what smoker you have.

Lowes and Home Depot sell lump charcoal in most areas.
its a horzontal smoker, And I have looked at our Lowes, and Home Depot, but have only seen wood chips. I will look again tommorrow. Do you reccommend all wood, or a combination of both? James
James - First and foremost welcome to SMF. Glad to have you aboard.

Check out walmart, or any of the big home improvement centers for Royal Oak hardwood lump charcoal. It will be in the same area as Kingsford and all the other briquettes. It will look like pieces of wood that were put out after burning instead of pressed pieces. Any other questions just ask.

Keep Smokin
Do you reccommend smoking with all wood, or a mixture of both? Thanks again, James
Usually in a small offset lump w/ the bigger fist sized wood chunks works best, especially when first learning. Go ahead and get signed up for TulsaJeff's 5-day eCourse. Lot's of good info for starting you off on the right foot.
james, from another texas boy to you- if yer in el paso, ya should be getting mesquite 4 free. mesquite sticks or splits is all i'd use.o bet you can get it @ any ranch or garden nursery or just (if ya own a saw) volunteer to clear some brush or ranch land- mesquite is texas version of milkweed- to us q-ers it's gold but to ranchers it's just a pest.
welcome to SMF, from another texan.
my local lowes has lump charcoal. it is inside, by all the grill accessories. try wal-mart too, in the garden area. if there is an heb there, they have it too. i use kingsford briquets, and mostly mesquite.
Hi James!...Welcome to the SMF!...
It's a Great place to be!...I think you're gonna like it here!...

Great Folks, Great Food, Tons of info...and More Fun than you can shake a whole handful of rib bones at!...

Got questions?...Well...Ask away!...There's always someone around that'll provide the answer...You've already seen what happens when you ask...

Please do sign up for TulsaJeff's Free 5 Day eCourse...It will really help you!..I know it helped me!...and you cant beat the price!...

I agree with UltraMag...Lump Charcoal and Wood will make it easier in the beginning...and it works wonderfully...

For on down the road in the future, take a look at this thread: Burn Barrel for "True" Wood Smoking!

Just a thought for later...IF you've got a good supply of wood, that is!...

Anyway...Again...Welcome aboard the SMF James!...We're mighty glad to have you with us!...

Best of luck in ALL your smoking endeavors...

Until later...
Welcome to SMF James!

I have a horizontal smoker with the side fire box also. My method is to pour a chimney of unlit lump into the fire box, then pour a lit chimney full on top of that. Once I get a nice bed of coals going, I'll throw some timber of choice in there to keep it going.

Hardwood lump charcoal should be available at the big home stores as has been mentioned, or if you have a big hardware store in your area, such as True Value, they'll probably have it... that's where I get mine.

Good luck!

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