Nick Bailey

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Apr 29, 2006
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Ok. I'm brand new to meat smoking and eager to get learning. Like I said I live in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. At the moment I use an old barbeque with all the guts stripped out of it (could deffinitly use some tips on how to use that sort of thing for smoking). Although I did manage to come up with one of those remote meat prope thermometers, so i'm eager to use that aswell. So offer any tips that you may have.
Welcome Nick, this is a great place both to learn and to share. Ask any question that you need to and you will get a plethora of answers. Everyone here seems to want to share their knowledge and experience. What type of barbeque do you have?

Howdy Nick and welcome to SMF. This is a great place to learn and all of the folks are very freindly. If you can post a picture of the barbeque your using and I'm sure you'll get the answers your looking for (sometimes it's earsier to answer if you have a reference to look at.)
Ok, heres my BBQ. It's alittle old, but is stil barely working. The Burner on i is about to die, so I was thinkin of tearing that out, which would make the tank redundant so I was going to remove that aswell. Also I was going to remove the side burner aswell.

Also theres alot of rust in general which I was goi to scrape away. I was also going to replace the grill and get an internal thermometer for it. Also I think airflow could be an issue for me, as it is alitle hard to regulate it. I did get a rib rack an a remote meat thermometer. Plus I have about 10 kilos of ribs in the freezer just dieing to be smoked. So with alittle work I figure I could get it up and runing to a decent smoker.

P.S. My keyboard is alittle broken so there may be a few typos.
Welcome Nick! Glad to have you here at SMF. Check out tulsajeff's Smoking Basics eCourse-it's a great read to get you heading in the right direction and it will answer some of the basic questions.
Sorry in advance for the double post.

I'm certainly looking to buy a new smoker, as the burner in that old barbeque died tonight as I was cooking up some chicken pucks.

I need help figuring out what kind of smoker to buy, whether it's offset or the cylindrical type? Whether I sould use pure wood in that or go with wood and charcoal, then how much wood should I use and how much charcoal? Best way to maintain heat? Essentially i'm fine with picking and chosing meats and comming up with recipies, it's just the actual smoking I need help with. Basically how to start it up and maintain a fairly low amount of heat but making sure that the smoke is fresh, for about 6 hours.

I could certainly use help, or directions to where could get said help. Thanks [you]
Nick, after looking at the picture, your right on about buying a new smoker. That one probably could have been converted but not without alot of work and money. Your better off just getting a new one.

As far as what type to get it sounds like your leaning toward a charcoal/wood smoker. In that case look at either the ECB (Brinkman bullet type smoker) or the Brinkman Smoke 'N Pit (this is an offset charcoal smoker that will double as a grill). This is what we use and both were affordable. From what I hear the whole Brinkman line is pretty good. The type you chose will really depend on how much you plan to smoke and how often. Most will advise to buy bigger than you think you need as you'll be able to "grow into it". These are just my thoughts so make sure and do your homework before buying so you get what will work for you.

As far as wood and charcoal go, we use charcoal for heat and chunks of wood for the smoke. I'm going to let some of the more knowlagable users advise you on the details of how to effectivly use that combo though (in my smoking partnership I just take care of the meat and recipes, Ben takes care of the pyrotechnics). Hope this helps in some way.
Thank you for the input. I lik the offset me it just seems like it could grill/smoke more meat. I've been looking at buying one of these, let me know what you think:

Smoker/Grill from Canadian Tire

Grill/Smoker from The Home Depot

I plan on going out to take a look at these sometime soon (preferably before the weekend). Any input would be wonderful, or if yo know of a far better one, let meknow. I'll certainly look into this Brinkman line aswell.
Nick, I really like the size and cast iron cooking grates in the CharGriller. It also has an adjustable charcoal rack in the main chamber. One thing I don't like is the price. I've seen it for much cheaper, but I don't know if there's a different exchange rate or cost of living in Canada.
Yeah. I tough it would be the best. Mind you theres also 15% added onto thsoe prices(Woohoo for Canadian tax!) so yeah....most thins are more expensive up here as our dollar is only about 80 cents to you guys.
Ok. So tonight I tried my hand at smoking again tonight. The original ribs I was going to use were spoiled :S so I had to get so more. I started them at about 2:30. About 1h before, I started the charcoal and then I went and preped my ribs. I put them on the smoker..
This is my smoker:

The temperature was steadily rising. After about 1h or so on they were up to about 108 degrees F and then looked like this:

This is also roughly the setup of my charcoal and chips, which i'll talk about more at the end:

So I continued smoking and occasionally put more chips on the pan and add more charcoal underneath. At about 7pm the temp of the meat peaked at about 162 F and then after that they averaged at about 150F. For the love of me I could not get the dam meat temp to 170F, I tried but no dice. At roughly 9pm I pulled them off. I could not get the temp high enough, where last time my problem was that the temp was too high. I ended up nuking them for a few minutes (I know, sad eh). This was the final product:

I feel my problem was that they were not cooked enough, because A) they were only in for about 6hs, and B) The temp peaked at about 162F. I think I could resolve this by not overstoking the charcoal (I think I suffocated it), possibly putting a few bricketes in the main chamber just for a bit of added heat. Maybe facing the smoker so that the intake is facing the wind direction. Any other suggestions would be appreciated, also where I should maybe post this to get more help with it? Maybe in the pork section?

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