Please help

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Original poster
Jul 17, 2007
Hi I am new to this fourm and I need some help. I have tried smoking several times over the years with so so luck but was never really serious about it. I now have a horizontal smoker with an offset fire box and would like to learn more about this and the proper procedure. The question I have right now is lets say you have a 12lb pork shoulder, how many wood chunks would it take to smoke this with lump coal and do you add the chunks all at once or a few at a time and when do you stop adding wood chunks? The reason I ask this is alot of times what ever I am smoking comes out black. Is this normal or am I using to much smoke.

Thanks, Steve
First off, welcome to SMF. Second, you might want to introduce yourself in Roll Call Forum. Third, I use a gasser, so I'm not real familiar with charcoal but, there are MANY folks here that are. I can however answer some of your general questions.

As a general rule, or gauge if you will, is to add smoke until your meat is 140' cooking it at 225'. Wrap it at 160' in foil (Some don't..Personal preference) and pull it off at 190' for slicing and 205' for pulling. You should have a nice dark "bark" on the outside. I find this to be the tastiest part since it has the smoke flavoring and the rub.. Let it sit in a cooler for a couple hours wrapped in a towel. You should have really moist and tasty BBQ when you're done. I also spray my shoulders and stuff with apple juice every hour or so to keep it moist when it's in the smoker. Some folks here add booze for extra flavoring. I use straight apple juice and save the booze for drinking.

Hope this helps, and again, welcome to SMF. I'm sure other more experienced folks will chime in soon. I'm still a rookie and learned a lot here from these fine people.
hello. i use an offset, and the way i used do it is as follows. i get a good bed of coals from charcoal. with it still on fire, i add some wood. i use splits, but use chunks in a pinch. i put ONE split on, and when it is doing the TBS, and my smoker is up to temp, i add the food. when using chunks, i put in 3 or 4, instead of splits. every hour or so, i add a split. i keep it afire, so that it doesn't smolder. you want the thin blue smoke, not the billowing white smoke. if you can smell it, but not see it, that is good smoke. i quit adding wood when it is almost done cooking. you have to decide how much smoke flavor you want in your food. i like alot, some like just a bit. depends on the wood too. mesquite is an intense flavor. i use mostly mesquite. i also sometimes use oak, pecan, or silver maple.

now instead of charcoal, i use wood to get a fire going. once it burns down pretty good, i add a little wood. just enough to keep the temp around 225°, with the TBS flowing. i quit using charcoal, as i get my wood for free, so it costs me less this way.
what chris said. lump is wood btw. i just add a chunk here & there. remember it's all about the thin blue smoke. depending on your offset ( you never said), if it's a brinkman like mine- it's a fuel hog. it's more important to keep the heat than the smoke. if you have wood & heat- you have smoke. let us know what smoker you have to be of more help.and welcome to smf.
Most importantly - forget all about your past failures.

With our help you are going to make the best BBQ any of your friends and family have ever had.

Relax....take your time....and enjoy the smoke!!!
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