Not a new smoker but have a new smoker!

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by cprmom, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. cprmom

    cprmom Fire Starter

    My name is Stephanie and have been smoking on a gas master forge for almost a year and had great success. A friend bought us a charcoal brickmann smoke n pit with a side firebox.

    I have never used and type of charcoal grill in past. I have been reading about them and came up with few questions:
    1. How much charcoal do I need to put in firebox? And in the charcoal tray in cooking chamber?
    2. Do I need to make a chimney of charcoal?
    3. It came with grills for firebox, what would be cooked on there versus in the cooking chamber?
    4. Any additional info would be awesome!!!!!

    I love this forum!

  2. Hi Stephanie,

    I've been working gas on a dual fuel Master Forge with great results but recently starting going to all wood smokes, the difference is worth the effort.

    1) I would suggest lump charcoal or straight hardwoods. I've had better success with Frontier Brand from Lowes/Sams than Royal Oak but every smoker is different. Lump burns longer.

    2) Its easier to start and gets nice, hot coals faster. Plus no starter fluid, just a bit of paper

    3) Sounds like that is a grate for the coals and allows the ash to fall through

    4) There will be lots of additional info!
  3. Hi Stephanie, welcome to the forum.  Lot's of great information and very knowledgeable people here, don't be afraid to ask questions.

    I have a Brinkmann vertical offset, which is going to work a little different than yours.  Biggest thing I've found is to use a chimney to get charcoal burning and good and hot before you add it to the firebox, and give your smoker a chance to heat up good before you add food to it.  Watch the smoke, learn the difference between cool, white smoke (not good) and hot, thin, blue smoke (good).  Never put cold charcoal or wood directly on the fire (see white smoke above).  To answer some of your questions:

     1) depends, if I'm doing a butt for pulling I load it up, because it's going to be a long burn.  For chicken I'll use one chimney.  For ribs I'll start with a chimney, then switch to wood just as I need it.

    2) Yes

    3) Have never used mine to cook in the firebox

    4) Take some time to learn your smoker.  I thought I would get it right, right from the start, and the first few things I made were just barely edible.  Have patience and keep at it, my family says everything I cook now is so much better than the first things I did, and actually ask for stuff now.  Temperature and smoke control will be the biggest part of your success, and are the hardest to learn, but have patience and stick with it.  Relax, and have fun!
  4. cprmom

    cprmom Fire Starter

    Can you explain a chimney on how to make it? And do you put hot coals in cooking chamber or just fire box ?
  5. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    A chimney is something you buy to light charcoal.. its a steel column about 1 ft tal and 7 inches in dia with a grate on the bottom and a plastic or wood handle.

     The idea is you put charcoal in the top and take a wad of newspaper and stick it in the bottom. put it on the ground and light the paper and let the

    flame ignite the fuel.. Wait until most of the coals are white and the pour it into your side fire box..on top of the grate in the box...

      Of course you should have some unllit coals in the fire box first,

    You will get it
  6. Here is a picture so you can see what it looks like  Welcome to the forum

    Gary S

  7. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Welcome Stephanie, glad ya joined us..... Looks like your gettin some great advise there ! Any more questions just ask away and we will help ya out !
  8. cprmom

    cprmom Fire Starter

    Here's my smoker. I have it going. I started losing heat so I added more charcoal pieces. Do I need to relight them or can I just place and leave them?

    I can keep the temp steady just over 200.

    Any suggestions to keep heat steady?

    Side note I am swarmed with flies? Is this normal?
  9. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    How's your vents set ?
  10. cprmom

    cprmom Fire Starter

    falsetto top stack is open and the one on the fire box is closed
  11. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    As long as the top stack is opened, you should be able to control temp with the side vent..... Ya may have to kinda play with the vent to dial in the temp your lookin for as each smoker is a little different.... The new charcoal should lite from the others provided they are still going good !
  12. cprmom

    cprmom Fire Starter

    Thanks....the charcoal in there were hot but white. So I would of had to restart them outside to firebox and then added them right?

  13. I'll add one thought...from a beginner

    Your temp gauge could be off a little or a lot.  

    My old brinkman from 26+ years ago was just like that.

    It made cooking on it inconsistent and never done on time.  To soon or too late.

    buy a digital thermometer and and drop it thought the vent stack to check the internal temp of the cooking chamber.  I have had good luck with IKEA's $6.00.  Do a search to on how to calibrate a gauge with boiling water and ice water.  Altitude is a slight variable

  14. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Not necessarily as charcoal will turn white as it burns, if they are hot then they probably would have started the new ones up.... But yeah, ya can always light some up in your chimney or whatever ya use & pour em in ! What kind of temp gauge ya using ? Like a Mav or ya using another type ?
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
  15. cprmom

    cprmom Fire Starter

    After all the fighting I did tonight I ended up using my old one! Ugh. I posted a picture so the person who bought it for us could see it and here it is NOT the one he sent us! Lol this one is going back and I am getting the dual master built smoker on Thursday!!!!!

    Thanks for everyone's help!!!

    See you in a few weeks when I get my new smoker!!!
  16. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Don't gib up you will get it
  17. cprmom

    cprmom Fire Starter

    Dinner was amazing! May have fought with charcoal and finishing in gas smoker but it was yummy!!
  18. cprmom

    cprmom Fire Starter

  19. cprmom

    cprmom Fire Starter

    Pork butt... Smaller piece was smoked 2 hours and then wrapped in foil. Other was just smoked with no foil
  20. cprmom

    cprmom Fire Starter

    Ribs were salt n pepper 2 hours unwrapped, 2 hours wrapped then 2 hours unwrapped with BBQ sauce. Other is pepper beef stout. Google for recipe. Very easy and really good! It's a family favorite

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