New Smoker

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Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Aug 11, 2007
Tampa Bay, FL
Hello from Tampa. I'm Ken, 40 years old, 20 year Army Master Sergeant(still active).

I absolutely love this site and Jeff's smoking meat site. I have been cooking with fire for over 20 years, and have wanted for some time now to try smoking.

I was able to smoke in my two-sided el-cheapo grill with some success, then a little more success with my Brinkman Professional charcoal grill - two sided also. Big pain in the butt though to keep rotating turkey legs away from the hot side.

Best jerkey I ever made was by accident. Was a Sunday before deploying to Afghanistan the next day. Marinaded the meat overnight, was going to get up at 0600, stick it in the dehydrator and go back to bed. got the trays loaded, plugged it in and the thing caught fire! So now I have a bunch of raw meat and no idea what to do about it. Figured I'd try the grill. A big oak tree in the front yard provided plenty of branches that I soaked and added to a charcoal fire. Just stayed up with it to keep the fire going and keeping it smoky. Lost a lot of desired sleep, but the jerky turned out the best I have ever tasted.

Have been wanting a smoker for a while, but convincing the approval authority to fork over the money for a nice one has been tough. Did a lot if internet research and, please don't laugh, found the plans for the trashcan smoker. Plans called for an electric hotplate for the heat source, but after a test run with no meat, could only get the inside up to 125 degrees. This is 3 July this year and I have 3 dozen turkey legs in brine.

4 July comes and I'm at WalMart at 0700 to see what I can buy to get this thing working. I get one of those ont time use table top grills to use as my charcoal pan. Got a metal pizza pan that left one inch around the edge as a heat shield. Got all that in place and tested again. Got the temp to maintain between 180-220 with charcoal and hickory chips. Got the racks in place and the turkey loaded and 5 hours later I had some AMAZING tasting legs!

Tried a pork shoulder two weeks ago while my wife, her two sisters and mom were out blowing money. Followed Jeff's recipe and pulled them off at 200. Wrapped them in foil to finish off in the oven. Ladies came home after the sweet smokey smell was all over the house and about lost thier minds! Couldn't keep thier fingers out of the pan as I was pulling the pork. I was extremely proud of the results and got great reviews from all that ate some.

So now that the wife has tasted the results of what the trach can can do, I may have her convinced that a more worthy smoker should make it to a birthday, father's day, or Christmas list!

I'm pleased with how the trash can turned out. It's kind of funny. I altered the plans I found online, and if anyone is curious, I can post some pictures (if someone can tell me how to do that in here).

My next effort will be whole chickens if anyone has any suggestions!

Welcome to SMF and THANKS for your military service!
Great trash can story. Hope the authorization comes through for a new smoker. Bet it does after the pulled pork!
Enjoy and smoke on!
Welcome to the SMF. it is a pleasure to have another active man amongst us. Do post some Q views on the chickens, we love to look at others accomplishments.
Hello Ken and Welcome -

Glad your trashcan adventure worked out for you! A few good smokes under your belt and Mama will be begging you to get a new smoker! I have here good reports about the trashcan smokers so you may not be in a hurry. Just be sure your not using a galvinized trashcan. They can be Poisonous!
Welcome, .
i say post some pix .. i want to see this trashcan smoker.. with mods..
posting easy .. you need a sight to host the pix .. i use flickr(it's tied to yahoo.if you have an yahoo account.) and my own site.. there are tons out there. they will give you a link copy and then in a new message or a reply go up to the yellow box with mountains and a stamp on it ..( scroll over it and it will say insert image..) new windows pops up (may have to allow pop up to sight.) then paste it in the line and hit ok..and. that it..
Hey Ken, I read about the trash can smoker too. After I bought a new trash can, grates, hot plate, etc, I read that you cant use a galvanized trash can, so now I have, a trash can. Darn darn darn.
I read a lot about the pros and cons of galvanized trashcans. Lots of opinions of galvanized cans can be poisionous... Finally faound sometning that said it takes like 600 degrees to melt the coating and it would be no problem. So mine is galvanized and my health hasn'e deteriorated!
welcome to smf, I'm new my self and this is a grate place. The people here are very helpful .

are you using old dry branches, or are they still green
That was long ago as a last resort, but they were dry branches.
Hi Ken!...Welcome to the SMF!...
...We're glad to have you aboard!!...

Sorry it took so long to welcome you, but I've been offline due to ISP/computer problems since July 2...

Until later...
Welcome to the forum. We're glad you're here!

I'd love to see pics of your smoker. If you need help posting them, please let me know.
Alright!! I think that makes 3 of us from Tampa on here now!

Glad to have you on the boards, and PM either me or FlaGriller if you have any local questions about where to buy stuff or whatnot. We're here to help!

Also as others have mentioned, thanks a ton for the job you do!
Hey do you have yard or garage sales around your area.Found my redbrinkman for $8.00 thought it was a mistake so I asked and that is what they wanted for it.Couldnt get my wallet out fast enough.After the first smoke the Wife even though it was a bargin what a deal.We also had a stray cat give birth to a kitten whose name is Smokey imagine that it was the wife's idea. Good Luck and Good Smoking

Welcome aboard!

First and foremost thank you for your service to our country.

Please be sure that the trash can is not galvanized

There are some inexpensive smokers out there that will work if you need on.

I have a little chief that would look good on base and for the cost of shipping will be there as early as tomorrow is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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