New To Smoking A few Questions

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Original poster
Jul 18, 2005
Lakeville (Northeast) Pa
I am pretty new to smoking and have a few questions. I bought a Brinkman Smoke & Pit Pro used though it is like brand new. I know alot of you guys just use wood, but I have been using charcoal with wood chunks that I am able to buy up here at the local farm store (they carry the full line of main Cooking Woods) My question is should I be using briquttes or hardwood lump charcoal and what is the best way to use it? I want to smoke a few racks of baby back on Sunday but want to make sure Im doing it right. I have a few good rubs and can get any kind of wood just not enough of it to use it alone. Just need to know whats the best charcoal to use and right way to use it. Thanks. I look forward to mreally learning here.

You definitely want to use lump charcoal... I do not own the Brinkann smoke & pit pro but there are several folks here who do and I am sure they can advise on what is the best way to use it for the best success.

Sounds like you have the right idea on the baby backs.. a good rub, some good wood like hickory, oak or mesquite and about 5 hours of your time.

Keep the temp about 225 and you will be in hog heaven soon enough.

Lump charcoal is definitely the way to go. I've tried a great variety of fire sources in my SNP Pro. Depending on what you're trying to accomplish you will want to stick mostly to hardwoods like oak and hickory but be careful how you use them or you can get too much smoke. I have a fire pit and use it to produce coals for cooking. There are some posts in the forums that explain how to produce your own coals with simple devices you can make easily. There are a few brands of bagged lump charcoal, though the names escape me. I've used them before but it's an expensive way to go. You can find pre-packaged firewood bundles at grocery stores and Menards/Lowes that are usually red oak (depending on where you are) or look in your local paper's classifieds for firewood suppliers and call them to see if they'll sell smaller quantities of oak or hickory. Quick and easy would be Kingsford with mesquite but, again, watch so you don't get too much smoke. I typically use charcoal briquettes to keep the heat up a little (I've found the cheaper the better because they have more lumps of chacoal in them) and well soaked chunks of hickory. I try not to use mesquite with charcoal because I get billowy smoke from it and it gets a little overpowering. Better to use mesquite with lump charcoal or oak and use it sparingly. Remember: Thin Blue Smoke. Long smokes are really easy with the SNP Pro as you can control the air flow so well. Just make sure to put a baffle that sticks out into the cooking area to help regulate the heat and smoke. I used simple sheet metal that hangs off of lengthened fire box mounting bolts. (Stay away from galvanized). I hope you have great successes, as I have, with your Brinkman, it's a great way to learn about proper smoking and a stepping stone to more advanced units and methods.
I almost always put a pan under the meat when cooking. You can put it in the bottom or on one of the coal grates, just keep water or juice or whatever you use in it. The baffle I use is a piece of bent sheet metal that I've drilled holes in and hang it on the bolts that hold the fire box to the cooking section. When I don't want it there, for cooking steaks and smaller cuts of meat, I move it out of the way. I'll try to post pics when I get a chance. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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