Young Smoker looking to enjoy meats in a new way!

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Original poster
Aug 13, 2006
I just bought a vertical Charcoal/Wood Smoker from Walmart and will be smoking some Beef Ribs tommorrow. I'm learning about how long to soak my chips (I'm using Mesquite) and what tempatures to use. I just moved to Colorado from Washington State. Wish I had started smoking there as I used to do well during Salmon season. Better late than never is a hard thing to swallow especially when you like to swallow smoked salmon!

Anyway looking forward to learning alot and eventually being helpful here! Thank you in advance for all the information you've taken your time to share with newbies like me.
welcome and glad you finally made it here!!!!

if your new i would suggest the 5 day free smoking course. there is a section that has every type of smoker broken down in sections and im sure if you click on your type there is all sorts of good information.

i was thinking of getting a vertical smoker like yours, let me know how it goes.

also i am interested in reading how you smoke your salmon. i am getting into this health thing and fish is good, and will be eating a lot more fish. smoking it was on my list. pm me with some info.
Welcome Sapper. Grab a cold one and jump right in. I personaly do not use wood chips in my smoker, I prefer to use wood chunks. I do not soak them, wet chips have to smolder to dry out before they can smoke....the difference between good thin blue smoke and the hated/dreaded white smoke.

Can you give us a little more information on the type of smoker you have in that there are lots of vertical smokers on the market.

Look around on the site, and research Beef Ribs. You will find some good information, and if you have a question feel free to post it. There is a good chance somebody will be online looking to help you out of a jam.
Hello, Sapper-it's nice to have you drop by. Since you're willing to learn, this is the place to be. Lots of knowledgeable folks just waiting to share what they know.

As to your smoker, get your chamber temps between 220 and 235 and put your ribs in. You state that you have a charcoal smoker, check out the Charcoal forum and read about the Minion Method or enter Minion Method in the search bar on your browser. It's a good technique to know when useing charcoal.

Looking forward to involvement here at SMF.
Welcome aboard Sapper. I also live in Colorado, love it here. Can't imagine being anywhere else. I also use a wood/charcoal smoker. I use Royal Oak Natural Wood Charcoal and Hickory/Mesquite CHUNKS for my smokes. I get both at Wal-Mart. I have not yet found a place to buy any other types of wood here. Home Depot sells chips and chunks, but I like the stuff at Wal-Mart, seems to be better (for me). HD doesn't sell natural wood charcoal (sometimes called lump charcoal) either. Glad you're here! Let us know when you begin the smoke of your ribs; we also like to see pretty color pictures... Good luck, and enjoy!
I smoked the ribs and they turned out alright. I had a hard time with the heat getting up to par so I finally checked my thermometer and brand new Brinkman had a thermometer that didn't work. It goes up in heat with a lighter touched to it but other than that showed much lower temps. I think it is the placement on the door. I will put a hanging one in from now on. I also saw there are replacements. Anyone know a good one I'm listening as mine doesn't make weight.

Anyway at 8:30 I got tired of waiting after 6 hours of cooking at 160 - 170 so I pulled my water out and raised my coals and dropped my meat and finished it off by grilling them. Turned out alright although a little burnt. I will try to get a hotter heat next time. Hopefully that minion method works out for me. Thanks for all the replies.

SmokeMac, I got my mesquite chunks from Walmart too.

Dutch, I'll make sure I check out the Minion method I think I might need some help with the charcoal.

Icemn62, I won't soak my chunks again either. Tell me more on the white smoke versus blue.

Buzzard, I'll call some friends and ask them about their Brines and rubs. I never smoked Salmon I just wish I had. I did have some friends that did though so I will get it and post, although give me time I am not very prompt when dealing with them as we have different schedules and I start my new job tommorrow.

Sapper Out

welcome to the forum, you'll find plenty of info on all that stuff, but I think I can talk about the blue smoke for a second. And I could be wrong about this, but basically when hardwoods have been burned in a low oxygen enviroment long enough they turn to charcoal esstentially. The low oxygen enviroment keeps them from flaming up into a camp fire sort of situation, in which the hardwood would simply become ash. So basically what I saying is that you want to smoke with hardwood charcoal and while you're doing that make sure you have a decent amount of air flow going through the smoker. If you choke off the air intake valve to much you'll get a sort of incomplete combustion occurring again causing white smoke. But whatever you have to do to eat smoke food is pretty much worth it. so just practice and keep the goal of blue smoke in mind. With just a little practice you'll be turning out the best food your friends and family ever had.

good luck and keep on smoking
Is this the smoker you have?


Nothing personal, but the therm in the door SUCKS. Not just this model It is that way for most off the shelf smokers. They are good to get you started, but you need to know the temp at the level of the meat.

I used to use remotes, and I also use some cheappies I bought in the local grocery store.

Have you made any modifications to the charcoal bowl? You may be having temp problems, because you fire is choking itself out. can you take pics? of the inside
Thanks for the info on the smoke riz9 I will open it more next time and see. I put a thermastat in the grill between the shelves and it works much better, only I have to open it to read it but I don't have to do that unless i'm adding water, charcoal or wood so it hasn't really hurt.

Icemn62, I don't know how to modify my bowl so it is stock.

I will be trying something new next week in preperation for my family coming over. Any suggestions on something for about 10 adults?
A couple of weeks ago I got a 9.5lb pork butt from Walmart and with some good sides, I think that would be a great idea. The pork butt is kind of a "set it and forget it" type of smoke. I mean, you still have to tend to the normal smoker duties and an occasional mop if you want. It's a very forgiving piece of meat (it was cheap too, 98 cents per pound). Jump into the Pork Forum and look around at the rubs and temperatures. It took me about 16 hours to smoke and to rest (follow the resting directions, it's WORTH the time) so plan accordingly. If you have any questions, or need any other help, start a thread in the Pork Forum so that we can all pitch in. Have a good day! is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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