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New to Smoking


Fire Starter
Joined Feb 20, 2011
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?




Meat Mopper
Joined Aug 7, 2010
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! 


Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
Joined Jul 26, 2009
Welcome to SMF - glad to have you here I am a Watt burner so I donk know about charcoal


Master of the Pit
Joined Feb 10, 2009
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.


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Jun 22, 2009
Welcome aboard my friend. Great folks here, and like les said use the search tool.


Smoke Blower
Joined Jan 17, 2011


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!


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Mar 21, 2009
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.


Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jun 21, 2007
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.
Last edited:


Master of the Pit
Joined Mar 31, 2010
I have just recently switched from kingsford to RO lump USA. best move i have ever done...


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Jun 22, 2009
I agree on the RO lump, and wally World carries it.

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