Newbie with questions

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Original poster
Jun 25, 2006
I recently purchased a Brinkmann Smoke'n Pit horizontal smoker ($200 variety) with an offset firebox. This is my first smoker and I have no past experience smoking meat. I broke it in yesterday on a small pork butt and a slab of spare ribs. For fuel I used aged hedge (osage orange) and kingsford charcoal. I also used soaked hickory chips for flavor. The meat came out tasting good but I'm sure I could use some tips as I was basically winging it. I'm not sure if I should be using this wood for fuel in this type of smoker. Also is it alright to use hedge wood for fuel? On a couple of occasions I had thick white smoke coming from the stack. I thought this was good but after doing some reading, maybe it's not?? I have plentify black walnut and hedge available. Other than that I would need to purchase it. So, any tips on the fuel for smokeing with this type of smoker would be great. Also, what should the smoke look like while smoking (white, blue, black, clear)?? Thanks.
Thin blue smoke is the holy grail of smokers. As for your other questions take a bit of time to read through the threads under Wood Smokers. Then if you still have questions come back and ask them in the wood smoker section. Just as a general guideline hardwoods are THE preferred fuel and just about any fruitwood is a good flavor wood. The one big NO NO is softwoods. All conifers like pine, spruce and cedar are not suitable. You will also find a post in there which actually defines several woods a poisonous, such as elm.

So check through the site and if you have other questions let'm fly!
Hi Batman. glad you had a good meal with your 1st attempt. now the more you use the smoker, the better the two of you will work together. Since I don't have an offset, I can not anser as to wood for fuel, but I never use wood chips unless I am grilling. Purchase only wood CHUNKS in the future.

Remember -
White smoke = bad
Blue smoke = SWEET/GOOD
Hey Gary! I'm wondering how you might obtain"blue smoke" I guess i've not done enough smokin'to know the difference?
Hey guys, the "blue smoke" comes from smoldering coals. If you have open flames burning you get grey, white or at worst black smoke. You don't want flames.

Since you don't want flames, you don't want to burn wood in your firebox. Florida Jeff has a thread about a burn barrell where he burns hardwood and shovels the coals into the firebox of his smoker. This is the best of both worlds but looks like a lot of work. I personaly like to be kicked back drinking a cold one when I'm smoking 8) NOT shoveling hot coals :evil: .
Well stated Cajun, since I have always used verticals, I just add a few chunks to my coal bed, and go grab a cold one or 2,3,4,best a 6 pack for the brisket.
Are ya telling me I shouldn't be throw'n chucks of wood in the fire box? I've seen lots of chunk wood at my butchers shop. Oak, Pecan, Hickory, ect.....? How do you use these then?
Thanks for all the tips. But I'm a little confused. Are you suggesting the easiest and best way to fuel this smoker is with charcoal and add small amounts of wood chucks for flavoring?? I guess I though using wood for fuel was the norm for this style of smoker. If the wood chuncks are for flavoring only, about how much do you typically use per smoke (5, 10, 15 lbs)??
You can do both, or either. I have a charcoal basket for smokes in my BSKD for when I want extended burns without a lot of work. I use chunks, or small splits for flavor, but I usually warm them on the top of the firebox to aid in cleaner combustion. The key to sweet blue is to start with a good bed of coals and maintain them. Most people will start with charcoal, or burned down splits to achieve this. With your smoker, 5lbs should be more than enough when added to charcoal. In my oppinion, the tending of the fire is almost as rewarding as the actual cooking. Both of which are almost as rewarding as a bottle of Jim Beam!
Batman, Welcome to SMF. Check out the Charcoal smoker forum in the Smokers and Equipment Section.
You might also be interested in signing up for tulsajeff's 5 day Basic eCourse. There is a wealth of info there that will help you.

Also please stop in at "Roll Call" and introduce your self.

Thanks and Enjoy!
cajunsmoker smoldering coals won't run the bigger smokers:

When you first add a cold seasoned log you'll get a momentary puff of white smoke out the stacks, not enough to be concerned about, but once the log is burning it gives off a clean thin-blue smoke. If the wood is not properly seasoned then you'll get bad smoke if it's burning or smoldering.

I didn't keep the fire this high thru the cook, this was to warm all the steel up to temperature, afterwards I added 1 or 2 sticks at a time (they were sort of small). I have flames through most of the of the cook because a bed of coals would not be enough to keep my smoker warm. So the size and type of fire with be determined by the size & type of equipment you have.
OK Bob,

Could you please put your .02 worth in on the thread about seasoning my Klose. Tommy C has a bigger smoker and I may have inadvertently led him down the wrong path. Just that all I ever dealt with had to be coals. I spent some time cooking over open pits and even on open pits we burned down to a huge bed of coals before we ever put on meat. After that we would add a few pieces along through the day/night to maintain our coal bed, but flame broiled was not what we were looking for.
Hey guys,
I've updated my signature, to make it more clear as to what Klose smoker I have. It's the 20x36 backyard offset. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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