New to smoking

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Original poster
Apr 22, 2014
Cincinnati, Ohio
Hey Everybody,

My username is RawDog. I am new to smoking but I have been cooking in commercial kitchens for a couple of years. I am interested in making my own sausages and smoking. Still researching on the best grill/smoker combo to get so any advice would be appreciated! I am from Cincinnati and great sausages have been pretty established here because of the huge german population. Looking forward to learning and sharing on this site.

Welcome to SMF, RawDog. We can help you find that perfect smoker but we'll need a little more information

Such as:
How much do you want to be able to smoke at a time?
What do you want your fuel souce to be: (Wood, Charcoal, Electric, Propane, Pellets)?
What kind of budget do you have?
Is this going to be a stationary unit or are you wanting a trailer model where you can tow it to different venues?

Let us know~

Enjoy the Smoke!
I was thinking I wanted to smoke between 7-10 pounds ultimately but will of course try with smaller amounts first.

I would like to use wood or charcoal as the fuel source.

I was looking at grills/smokers between $100-$200.

This will be predominantly a stationary unit to keep in my back yard.

Last edited:
Good afternoon and welcome to the forum. You might look at Home Depot, Lowe's, Costco, or Sam's maybe Walmart. Most combo units I see in that price range are pretty thin and usually don't last a super long time, depends on usage and care. Probably have to do a few tweaks to get if operating more efficiently, but there is a lot of information here to help you with that. I started with an El-Cheep-O-Brinkman and turned out some great BBQ for years. It's no the smoker but the person doing the smoking. Look around see what you think fits your needs best. Keep us posted.

Gary S
Thanks a lot Gary. I have been scoping out Lowes and Home Depot ( mostly because I can get 10% off with a military discount).

The chargriller grill/smoker combo keeps catching my eye because of the cost but the Kamado cooker looks pretty neat too.
Okay, so I bought a Brinkmann mini offset smoker. I will try to assemble this tonight or tomorrow after work.
i just bought a brinkman dual function gas and charcoal unit at home depot for $199.00. like you this is my first smoker so i didn't want to go crazy until i find out if a can do it and enjoy doing it. 3 burner gas side works great for burgers and dogs for those who don't want to wait. I'm still figuring out how much charcoal to maintain temp, but I'm sure ill get it now. after smoking chickens the other night i am officially hooked! best damn chicken i ever cooked
Thanks! I think I will try to do beer can chicken this weekend. Does the type of liquid really affect the flavor of the chicken?
Looks good, I like coffee and coffee flavors, I wouldn't mind giving your a try, If you would share your recipe. I do Beer can chicken all the time ( I have some special holders out of SS that hold Liquid) I have tried all sorts of stuff can't really tell a big difference. I always brine my chicken first 5 to 6 hours sometimes longer. The brine will allow the chicken to absorb some of the flavors in the brine.

Gary S
Beer can chicken is a real good way to do chicken.... I rub mine down with peanut oil or EVOO....apply rub to chicken....get a 24 oz'er & drink between 1/2 & 3/4 put a tsp. or two of rub in it & about 1/2 of stick of butter cubed up....Put the chicken on the can & smoke to desired it.... At least 165* IT in the breast ! Hope this helps !
  • 1 Cup Ground Coffee
  • ½ Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/3 Cup Chili Powder
  • 1/3 Cup Oregano
  • 3 Table spoons Cinnamon
  • 3 Table spoons Cumin
  • 3 Table spoons Kosher Salt
  • 3 Table spoons Garlic Powder
I start with this and adjust to how I am feeling or who I am serving. I don't make the rub with a lot of salt because to me salt is a very personal thing just like the chewiness/ crunchiness of bacon is a very personal thing. So I would just adjust it to your own tastes.

Then I put everything on a sheet pan or a skillet and toast it until you see steam come up or until it becomes aromatic.
Thank's for the recipe. I will give it a try.     One question, when you are toasting everything, does the Brown not melt ?

Gary S
I've read about a tea brine somewhere that adds another smokey taste to the chicken so I might try that with some lemon shandy in the cavity. What temp and for how long should it be? I can consistently keep the smoker between 275 and 300 without much effort.
Gary S,

When I toast it, it is never for a very long time. I just do it just to get the smell. I have never done it long enough to see the sugar melt though.
Gave it a try this evening, loved the flavor, wife did too. She said this taste different, What did you do ?  I said you like it or not like it ? she said No I really like the flavor.   Big hit Thanks  One note I did it on the grill instead of the smoker, pressed for time.

Gary S

Welcome to the Smoking  forum.   You’ll find great , friendly people here, all more than willing to answer any question you may have.  Just ask and you’ll get about 10 different answers—all right.  LOL.   Don’t forget to post qviews.  And no, I get absolutely no flavor from the beer--just nice moist bird

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