Yet another Iowan!!

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Original poster
Feb 13, 2011
Hello from Eastern Iowa, along the bank of the Mississippi River, where we are having a heat wave, expected to get up to 48 today and melt some of our snow!! 

New to the forum but signed up several months ago for the news letter/recipes, which I have been enjoying.  This web site is great!

I have a "Great Outdoors", Smokey Mountain Series smoker....square vertical type with large rectangular door on the front.  Bought it at WalMart several years ago and really enjoy using it.  I did make a modification to my smoker concerning the fire box.  The fire box was basically just a heavy gauge steel square shaped pan with about 3" tall walls.  Problem had always been there was no place for the ash to fall to and the lower coals would get buried in ash, causing them to become insulated and not burn completely.  I modified it by bolting on some heavy gauge pieces of steel on all 4 sides, extending the walls up higher by about 2".  I then placed some brackets about an inch above the bottom on all 4 corners that would hold in place a square piece of expanded (heavy gauge) metal grate to place my charcoal/wood chunks on.  I also drilled some 3/8" holes on the lower sides of the box to allow air flow.  This allows air flow under the fire and allows the ash to fall through the grate, giving better, more even combustion, which allows for a longer more consistent fire.  It actually allowed me to cut back on the amount of charcoal and wood chunks used.  Also, I no longer have hot coals in the ash the next day when I clean up as I did before.

This minion method that was featured in this months news letter, is the method I have always used (actually, I read the directions...LOL). After and initial warm up, I cut the dampers back to about 25% open.  Then I adjust as needed, especially after adding fuel/water.  On windy days, I cut back to almost closed on the side damper that is facing the wind and open more on the damper that is shielded away from the wind.  If it begins to rain, I just use a brick and a metal pan, positioning the pan upside down so one end is resting on the brick, with the body of the pan over the top damper, to keep the rain off the food. 

I am a fair weather smoker and can't wait for spring to get back out there.  I enjoy cooking our entire dinner on the smoker.  Along with what ever meat I am smoking, sometimes I will place a dutch oven cooker type pot on the top rack filled with baked beans about 2 hours before the meat is expected to be done.  I also at times will place some small, red potatoes in the water bowl to boil for a while towards the end.  Makes great mashed potatoes!  I have also cooked acorn squash on the top rack as well.  Plus, whole fresh mushrooms and a stick of butter in a small bread pan during the last hour of smoking works great!!

Have a great day all.
Welcome to SMF. There are a lot of very friendly & knowledgeable folks here to help you. I urge you to sign up for the free E-course. It will give you the basics, & even if you are an experienced smoker you may learn something new. Then start asking questions. Good luck & glad to have you aboard. Don't forget we all love Qview!
Welcome to SMF. Glad to have you here with us. 
Welcome to SMF - looks like your are off to a great start
Easternlowan, glad to have you here at SMF, may I also highly suggest that you sign up for the FREE E-Course Jeff has to offer.  Even though I have been smoking for some time it taught me things that I did not know and really improved my smoking abilities. It's a 5 day course and easy to follow.  Then may I suggest that you go on the WIKI home page, select topics in A, and make yourself a copy of the Acronyms so you will know what people are talking about.  The WIKI section has all kinds of articles, recipes, methods etc. for days of reading the Search Bar at the top of the page is a big help on anything you are trying to find information on. Remember one thing, the only dumb question you can ask the question that you don't ask!  Hope this is a little bit of help to you as it was for me a few years ago!  Keep smoking and enjoy the SMF family!

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Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview.

Welcome to SMF, Glad to have you with us.

This is the place to learn, lots of good info and helpful friendly Members.

For those of you new to Smoking, be sure to check out Jeff's 5 Day Smoking Basics eCourse.

Click Here it's "FREE" ... 5 Day eCourseE
Welcome to the SMF, and thanks for the introduction. It's all good my friend.

First off welcome to SMF. You'll like it here cause there are alot of really good folks that would just love to help you with anything to do with smoking. Now we like having new folks here to give a new prospective on some of the ways we do things around here. Now if you are really new then I would suggest that you sign up fir the 5-day E-course it free and it will give you the basics on smoking and a few recipes too. Here's a link to it:

then you will have a method to your newly found madness and believe me it will be a madness. Then when you start smoking things you will have to learn how to post the pictures / Qview 

here. So here's a link to a tutorial on how to post your Qview so we can see what your doing.

Now the next thing you have to do is run out and get something to smoke. Then just smoke it and if you have any questions just post  them here and we will answer all your questions that you might have. Oh yea there's no stupid questions we were all there in the beginning and we just really like to help others enjoy the fabulous smoked foods that we do. So again

Welcome to Your New Addiction  

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