new smoker

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Original poster
May 15, 2007
Hello all. I am new to the art of smoking and am looking at buying the char-griller smokin pro. Please let me know if that is a pretty good one to start with as it is in the price range I am wanting to start with and if not some others that are charcoal and in the $200 price range. Also any help on how much charcoal to start with and good ways to maintain the temperature when smoking would be appreciated. I am a firefighter in SOuth Bend, Indiana and I am really looking forward to doing a lot of smoking this summer. Thanks
welcome to SMF...

be sure to check out Jeff's Free 5 day Ecourse...lots of good info

i am not familiar with the smoker you want but there will be someone along to help you right shortly...
Welcome sbfd0525, I am not familar with that smoker either, but it is nice to have you on the forum. Please feel free to share your adventures and to draw from the wisdom of the friendly folks on this forum.

good info here just keep checkin' back in from time to time and you will get good input............
I have a chargriller with the side firebox. I think this is a good starter smoker, at a good price. I do think however, it needs a couple easy mods right off the bat to make it even better:
1. A charcoal basket
2. Extending the smokestack down to grate level for more even temps.

Some people use the charcoal pan in the main chamber turned upside down to use as a baffle to also even out temps. I've never tried this, as I ususally use a water pan in the main chamber. Oh, and dont go by the thermometer in the hood, it is way off.
Welcome aboard! I'm fairly new here myself, you've found a great place to hang out.

I have the CG Smokin' Pro and love it! I have done some easy mods to it that made a big difference in temp control. Go to this link and scroll down to post #44... these are just a few that I have done... There are others on this board that have done more, I'm sure.

It will serve you well for many years if you take care of it.

Good luck!
I live in Columbus, OH now but grew up in LaPorte. Used to go to South Bend/Goshen/Mishiwaka all the time. Used to do inventory in the Martin's supermarkets in SB.

I have the CharGriller Pro. My first attempt at smoking for real was with the Chargriller. I have only had mine since December. Get a digital thermometer. The Maverick ET-73 is a nice Thermometer. Dual probes. One for the smoker, one for the meat.

What I do for fire is...
1.) Natural lump charcoal. (walmart Royal Oak, 10 lbs, $6)
2.) Hickory wood chunks (Walmart $4)
3.) I have three chimmney starters. Fill all three. with charcoal.
4.) Light one. Once it's nice and hot, dump it in the firebox.
5.) Dump the two unlit chimmney fulls on the hot coals.
6.) Close the lid, open the damper.
7.) Open the smoke stack all the way.
8.) Once you are up to temp (220), add one large chunk of hardwood, just outside the charcoal.
9.) You will have smoke in about 5 minutes.
10.) start smoking.

This starter will give you about 1.5 hours of heat. I start another chimmney at about the 1 hour mark and then add another chimmnet ever hour and hardwood as needed. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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