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New to meat smoking, but not fire-based hobbies


Joined Nov 12, 2013
I just received two smokers from a friend who was moving to Texas and couldn't take them on the trailer. He gave me a vertical water smoker of unknown manufacturer and an offset cheapo from Char-Broiler. I took the last two weekends to do mods on both. The vertical did OK, but It still is hard to control the airflow even after sealing it. It also is harder to keep up temps. More work to do.

The offset got the usual mods of tuning plates, large charcoal basket, large brick heatsink, and baffle. I also sealed the side firedoor to keep cold air out with a welded door jam. I also sealed the stack, but did not make the extension on the inside, as it already is only four inches off the grate. The mods worked great during seasoning, keeping the temps at 250 on both sides always within 10 degrees, usually within 5 or less, with adjusting the fire or stoking it three times for six hours once the temp was set.

For my other smoking hobby, I build model trains that are fired with coal. They are working steam locomotives that you can ride, and I machine every part, including the model valves. You can probably guess that I will always be a charcoal or stick smoker, as I like the challenge of playing with fire to get it right, versus the set-it-and-forget-it style. 

Here is my diesel locomotive I built for the kids. It runs off a battery under the hood.

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Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Group Lead
Joined Feb 9, 2009
Welcome to the forums!  Glad you've joined our group.  You'll find there are lots of friendly and knowledgeable folks here who genuinely enjoy helping one another.  Looking forward to your input, and just ask when you need anything...someone here will surely have the answer.


gary s

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
Joined Jan 6, 2011
Hello and welcome from East Texas. This is a great site, lots of information and great people that are willing to throw in their two cents worth on about anything  ........   Pretty Neat !!  Choo  Choo
[/h1][h1]  [/h1][h1]Gary[/h1]


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Oct 31, 2012
Welcome from Canada.


I love the train!



Epic Pitmaster
Joined Oct 7, 2012
Glad you joined the group. The search bar at the top of any page is your best friend.
About anything you wanna know about smoking/grilling/curing/brining/cutting or slicing
and the list goes on has probably been posted. Remember to post a QVIEW of your smokes.
We are all smoke junkies here and we have to get our fix. If you have questions Post it
and you will probably get 10 replies with 11 different answers. That is because their
are so many different ways to make great Q We all have our own taste.

If you can make a train breath smoke. You have the smokers already tamed!

Happy smoken.


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