New smoker in the TX Hill Country

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BuddHound

Newbie
Original poster
Jan 5, 2024
11
22
Texas Hill Country
Howdy, y'all!

Been telling my wife for years that I want a smoker, and been a lurker on this forum for a long while as well. Well, this Christmas she went and bought me an offset!

I'm excited as hell to get into smoking, especially with an oldschool stickburner like the one she got (everbody loves pokin' a fire!). Char-Broil American Gourmet 1280. Metal is a bit thin (planning to pickup a welding blanket from Harbor Freight), but I know it will serve me well as a learning tool before I have to figure out a way to tell her why I NEED a 250 gallon offset lol. Excited to finally get to be a part of the forum!

Already got me a ThermaPen and some remote probes, a chimney, and a bag of B&B lump charcoal with a chimney. Snagged some Meat Church Honey Hog as well to try, as I've been wanting to try that on a butt for a while now. Picked up some cheap (questionable, wet, and musty...) wood cutoffs from a local woodworker, but ill save my questions on that for a seperate post. Feel free to drop any knowledge-bombs and suggestions on me in the replies!

Don't mind the uncut grass in the pic! It's January, but TX weather refuses to let my grass just die already.
 

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Welcome from Mississippi! Look forward to your post and pics. Feel free to ask any questions you may have. For the most part we are a pretty good group here and willing to help!

Jim
 
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Welcome to the madness of meat smoking! You'll love what you create and there is a LOT of knowledge here to leverage off of.

I'm in North Texas up by the Red River and we get COLD for Texas, but I've never had much need for the blankets other than to place one adjacent to the pit to block the wind, or when it's raining.

Keep in touch and let us know when that first smoke happens!
 
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Welcome to the madness of meat smoking! You'll love what you create and there is a LOT of knowledge here to leverage off of.

I'm in North Texas up by the Red River and we get COLD for Texas, but I've never had much need for the blankets other than to place one adjacent to the pit to block the wind, or when it's raining.

Keep in touch and let us know when that first smoke happens!
What are your thoughts on firebricks to help it maintain temps better? I have yet to run my seasoning fire in it, but I expect that I'm gonna find it hard to keep it at a steady temp without burning through way too much wood. Then again, what's a stickburner for if not burnin' sticks!
 
What are your thoughts on firebricks to help it maintain temps better? I have yet to run my seasoning fire in it, but I expect that I'm gonna find it hard to keep it at a steady temp without burning through way too much wood. Then again, what's a stickburner for if not burnin' sticks!
Shoot a few pictures of the inside of the smoker, mainly where the smoke stack is. My son bought one like this a few years ago and we made some mods to it to make it a bit more efficient.

We used aluminum flashing coiled up to bring the smoke stack down to almost grate level, and then added some tiles in the bottom of the smoker that rested just above the firebox opening to help evenly distribute the heat. Those simple, and cheap, modifications helped a lot for heat distribution.

Let me look, I may have posted what we did here...

I found the link. This should help

 
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Welcome to SMF from SE GA and looks like the start of your journey 🤣.
Don't have a stickburner but love the Meat Church products! That Honey Hog is hard to beat....unless it's Hot HH 😁
Let the fun begin and we still get to eat our mistakes!

Keith
 
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Welcome from Nova Scotia

Lots of folks here that will be glad to help with most questions .
Love a wife that helps you with picking up smoking products for us, she sounds like a keeper.

Like said above enjoy the smoking and post up your how you did and pics.

Our grass is green so far today, But storm with high winds and up to 25 cm ( 9+ inches ) coming tonight until Monday.

David
 
Shoot a few pictures of the inside of the smoker, mainly where the smoke stack is. My son bought one like this a few years ago and we made some mods to it to make it a bit more efficient.

We used aluminum flashing coiled up to bring the smoke stack down to almost grate level, and then added some tiles in the bottom of the smoker that rested just above the firebox opening to help evenly distribute the heat. Those simple, and cheap, modifications helped a lot for heat distribution.

Let me look, I may have posted what we did here...

I found the link. This should help

Read through your post, and it makes me excited that my son is out here happily helping me season mine! He's only 9, so not quite 16 yet, but he has been talking about wanting to help with my first smoke.

Seems they changed the design on this smoker cause my stack is built into the lid of the smoker instead of set off on the back like your son's was. Pics included, just took em while my seasoning fire dies down. Seems like it seasoned great though and I'm hyped to make some ribs for my wife's birthday on Tuesday!

Also, debating just removing the top rack so i can extend the stack down. How often do you find yourself using the top rack in an offset?
 

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Also, debating just removing the top rack so i can extend the stack down. How often do you find yourself using the top rack in an offset?
I seldom ever used the top rack in the offsets I had. Now and then I'd put eggs up there, or something that needed to stay warm, but didn't use it to cook/smoke. Take it out and see how the extension helps.

Also, the ceramic tiles we used as "tuning" plates really made the difference. Took a while to get the spacing right, but placing a whole one right over the heat inlet made a huge difference right away at lowering the hot spot temp. I think I mentioned the ceramic plates in that write up, if not, let me know and I'll get back with you on what we did. May have to ask the kiddo though, his brain is sharper than mine these days.
 
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Welcome to the forum and to burning wood! When it's time to upgrade remember to build your case for a 500 gallon and "settle" for a 250 haha
 
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