New to Smoking

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Feb 20, 2011
Lubbock Texas
Hello All,

I bought a New Branufels smoker (at Academy no less) last year and have really enjoyed. One thing that I noticed is for what I paid $150.00, it does pretty good. Invested in a good thermoter, seasoned it right, and have had good luck with picnic roasts. My questions is this:

1. I have been using Kingsford charcoal, is there better? Lump or otherwise

2. I need to seal it up I have some heat and smoke leaking, is there a seal that I could buy locally? or any other suggestions

3. What are some good meats to smoke?


Hello. Welcome aboard.

To answer your questions,

1. I prefer lump over briquettes. Burns hotter and longer. Get way less ash.

2. If you have a Westlake Ace hardware, you can get wood stove rope. They have a food safe high temp silicone you glue it on with.

3. Any kind of meat can be smoked. Ribs and chicken are some of the easiest to learn with. Pork butt and brisket are great in the smoker but require several hours, up to twenty on good sized ones.

Stop in at the roll call section of the forum and introduce yourself.

A great way to learn more is to sign up for the ecourse.

Just keep asking questions and the great members here will guide you to perfect smokes.

Happy smoking! 
Welcome to SMF - glad to have you here I am a Watt burner so I donk know about charcoal
Welcome to smf glad to have ya!! Tons of info here and great members too. Use the handy search tool and the wiki section to look for info,just type in what your looking for and you'll get loads of info.


Like others, I prefer "lump hardwood charcoal" to briquettes.  They do burn hotter so if you are set in the method you use to keep a consistent temperature with briquettes, there may be some learning curve to change over.  But in the long run it's probably worth it.


Be careful about what you consider "smoke leaking."  You need ventilation and smoke should be escaping after it surrounds your food.  You don't want it sealed so tight that you get creosote buildup.  Nasty tasting and dangerous.  


The smoke adds flavor, but the heat cooks.  Low heat ( < 250º F ) and just a light stream of smoke (Thin Blue Smoke or TBS as it is known around here)  is usually best.  If your meat is exposed for hours, it doesn't take a lot of smoke over the course of the cook to flavor your food perfectly.   The biggest mistake I see from people just starting out is "over-smoking" their food.  It happens to everyone. 


Hope to see lots of successful smokes from you.  And remember, we love Q-view!
Welcome to the party Brad,

I use Royal Oak lump. I find there is a light smokyness to anything I cook with it - which is what I am looking for mose times. It's great for pizzas.

You should leave your exhaust wide open, but if you have smoke leaking from around your doors etc you should seal them up - because these leaks will make it harder to control your temps.

As for what to smoke??? Your only limit is your imagination. Butts are very forgiving, chicken is relatively quick. Chuck roasts, sausage chubs, ribs (beef and pork), brisket, meat balls, meat loaf, cheese, ABTs, lamb, if you can eat it, you ca smoke it.
I highly suggest using RO lump (USA), it's very stable. About meats, well that's a taste thing. It's all good my friend.
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