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Original poster
Jul 17, 2007
Hi, I've been looking at the site for about a month and I really like it so I decided to join the fourm. I have been trying my hand at smoking for several years with hit or miss success and would really like to learn more about it. I started out with a brinkman vertical and now have a horizontial smoker with an offset fire box. I would like to know what the right amount of smoke is? How many wood chunks to use and how often to add them? I use lump coal as my base fire source is this the best way or should I use all wood? How do you know when you have enough smoke and not to much? It seem my cooking times go far beyond what is recomended to reach proper internal temp.

Pleasse help.
Welcome Scouden -

Glad you found us. First you might want to sign up for Jeff's 5 day smoking course - it's free. Also Jeff has a nice PDF file you can download to help get you going and it's pretty nice.

Now how much smoke is a good question. You don't want so much smoke that you have billowing clouds leaving your smoker. You want it light and thin almost unseeable. We cal it "thin Blue Smoke."

You didn't says which smoker you have, it could be a huge trailer mounted horizontal with a side firebox so I am going to asume it's a charbroil or chargriller or even a Brinkman horizonal. In that case I'd say Lump charcoal is fine. You don't need tons of wood just enough to get a light smoke going not a fire.

Should look something like this:
Debi hit it right on the head. Its as simple as that. Dont worry about throwing a ton of 'wood' on the coals because your lump charcoal, IS wood.

Welcome aboard the SMF!
Debi gave you some good info, sign up for Jeff's 5-day eCourse and read the
forum, there is great info here
First of all welcome to SMF. As a guideline you might want to start with 2 or 3 chunks of wood and see how much smoke that gives you. Depending on what you are smoking and how long will determine if you need to add additional chunks.
Welcome to SMF!! I have a horizontal w/ side fire box. and cook with charcoal and wood. I use max 3 chunks at a time, and get great smoke.
The 5-day e-course has alot of great info in it.

Welcome and smoke on!
Welcome to the forum. I'm the resident Knows-Nothing-About-Smoking-Meat. Feel free to ask me about anything else.
I won't promise to answer...or answer correctly.
hello and welcome to the SMF. You have questions, and they have answers. Just read around this place and you'll find plenty of answers, good and...
Welcome aboard SCOUDEN, glad you joined us.

Yup, Debi hit it on the head... thin blue smoke.

You will notice when you first throw timber in the coals, it will put out clouds of white smoke... don't get discouraged, that is normal. It will settle down to a thin blue. Mainly, I use a combination of lump charcoal and wood, using the lump as my coal base, then add wood as needed. I also add more lit charcoal as needed on longer smokes.

Read and absorb what's on these forums, but don't be afraid to experiment....

Good luck! is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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