new to this

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by dewberry, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. dewberry

    dewberry Fire Starter

    i know nothing about smoking
    please suggest how to build and maintain fire
    and what to burn
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to SMF glad you joined us. What kind of smoker are you using?
  3. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Welcome to the SMF friend. Best bet is to sign up for the free smoking eCourse. That will get you well on your way.
  4. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey dewberry.
    Rivet is right, the ecourse is well worth the read.
    Also, to better help you with smoke and fire/heat we need to know what you are working with, then someone more familiar with your piece of equipment can help you.
    I suggest using hickory, but everyone has their own preference and that is just mine.
    The more questions you ask the more help you will get.
  5. fired up

    fired up Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Welcome aboard!
  6. uncle_lar

    uncle_lar Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    welcome ! do tell us a little aobut yourself.
    you will find all the help you need here for sure
  7. dewberry

    dewberry Fire Starter

    i am 17, texas born and raised
    love football, wrestling(the real kind, not WWE), and old cars. I drive a 1072 Chevy truck. i am just starting to get into bow hunting, and love everything outdoors or handds on.

    i am using a basic smoker. with a drum cooking area and a round toped square bottom fire bow that is attached to the left side. the top of the fire box is about halfway up the side of the cooking drum.
  8. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Many members here have offsets like you described and use charcoal primarily by using a charcoal starter to light briquettes, get them burning hot before adding to the firebox of the smoker.
    Others that stick burn I have read many pre-burn their wood to aleave the harsh smoke wood gives off when it is first starting to burn, then adding it to the firebox when it is smoking but not flaming.
    Hopefully more experienced offset owners will chime in. I own one, but do not feel I have enough experience with an offset to give you strong, valuable advice,

    Have any pics of your smoker?
    It may give us an idea of what you are trying to work with.

    Wrestling !!! What weight you wrestle?
  9. roksmith

    roksmith Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    If you are just getting started, here are a few suggestions to keep things easy for you.

    1. Never use any sort of fluid to start your fire no matter what you are burning. Easiest way to start a fire is with a charcoal chimney. A wad of newspaper in the bottom..fill the chimney with whatever you are burning..(Charcoal, lump, wood chunks) Light the paper and let it go until the chimney is like a jet engine with everything inside burning nicely...then dump in your firebox (quickly and carefully)

    2. Choice of burning material...
    You can realistically cook with anything in your offset once you gain experience.. I would suggest you start simple, then move to more difficult materials as you feel comfortable...or begin looking for a new challenge.

    The easiest thing to cook with in an offset is plain old charcoal... do not use any that is enriched with starter matchlight.. Stubs is a good natural brand...and the higher end kingsford. If it smells like lighter fluid..pass on it..You can add a few chunks of wood for flavor, but even'll get some smoke flavor and a nice smoke ring.

    Next thing to move to would be lump charcoal. The advantage of lump is that is is pure pre-burned wood. Most brands I've seen are a nice mix of Oak, Maple, and Hickory. You won't really even need to add any thing else for flavoring..the wood flavor is built in. The disadvantage of lump is that some find it difficult to control the temp. But once you master controlling the heat with lump, you'll never go back to briquettes.

    Next would be stick burning..which is not exceptionally easy in a smaller offset. The advantages are are cooking with true wood and there is no substitute for wood. The downside is that if you thought lump was tough, wood is even tougher for a beginner. Two is preburning you wood in another container which makes maintaining temp easier, but adds a whole new process and you really have to be on top of it so you have your wood pre-burned and ready when you need it. .. The other option is just burning the wood directly in the firebox..while this is one process, keeping wood burning clean in a small firebox without driving your temps too high can be tough for experienced smokers. summarize:

    Use a charcoal chimney to start for fire.
    Start with charcoal briquettes and work you way up as you go.
    The higher up the fuel chain you go, the better tasting and more satisfying your smokes will become.
  10. dewberry

    dewberry Fire Starter

    i am currently rebuilding smoker
    it was given to me for FREE because of rusted out fire box. no problem though i am good with metal work and will have a new bottom on it this weekend hopefully

    i wrestle 189 for clear creek high school, and love every second of it
  11. dewberry

    dewberry Fire Starter

    thanks thats just what i was looking for

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