Am I missing something?

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by themagicone, May 20, 2010.

  1. themagicone

    themagicone Newbie

    Hi! I have had a 16" Horizon smoker for about 2 years now. I've tried numerous types of getting smoke and now I'm just confuzled. Not having any access to any logs, I've been using lump charcoal as the fuel since I've gotten it. First I tried wood chips soaked in water but they burned up in a heart beat. Then I put a foil tray above the coal and put dry chips on it, that seems to work somewhat to get some smoke. After that I found some hardwood chunks at the store, but ether dry or wet they seems to just burn up to ash in less than 30 mins. I can keep the temp constant at 225-230 but once the wood chunks start burning the temp always spikes on me.
    I'm lost to what the exact thing I should be doing, my food I smoke turns out most of the time but other times there is no smoke flavor. When I put the chunks I usually just put them right on the hot coals, is that wrong? Should I forgo the lump and try to get some oak or something? Just some advice would great! Thanks.
  2. ozark rt

    ozark rt Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    In my horizontal I use lump in a charcoal basket as my fuel source. Then I will wrap 2 to 4 fist size chunks of hardwood, usually hickory, in heavy duty aluminum foil and poke a few holes in it. Then just throw it right on top of the burning lump. The smoke from each packet usually lasts for 30 to 45 minutes so I will do this whenever I spritz. I will usually go through 3 or 4 of these "packets" per 6 hour smoke. I'm sure there is a better way to handle the hardwood chunks than aluminum foil but this works for me
  3. coacher72

    coacher72 Smoking Fanatic

    This is just my 2 cents. I purchased a Yoder offset early spring and was having some of the same questions. The Yoder is very similar to the Horizon. From this forum I modified what I was doing and it helped a lot. What I do now is prepare a pile of lump charcoal using the minion method. While the smoker is heating up I place a wood split on top of firebox to warm it up. When the smoker reaches cooking temperature I place the warmed spilt next to the pile of lump and not directly on it. This has produced the thin blue smoke that is desired. Occasionally the smoke will start out white but will settle down a little quicker than what I experienced before. The splits seem to last a lot longer. For a 6 hour smoke I may use only 1-2 splits. I've used large chunks as well. And I placed them close to the burning lump. The person I got this idea from uses a charcoal basket and then wedges the wood split between the basket and the wall of the firebox. I'm looking at making or purchasing a charcoal basket this summer. I maintain temp. by adding a chimney of lit or partially lit lump charcoal to the firebox. Like I said I've had a lot better luck with this method then what I was doing earlier. Hope this helps.
  4. hdsmoke

    hdsmoke Smoking Fanatic

    Just because you dont see smoke doesnt mean its not doing its job...
  5. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have a 20" Horizon in which I use all wood. Tried the Minion method in it but I can't say I liked it. I prefer an all wood smoke in the Horizon.

    When using the Horizon I use something similar to this method . It's more work and the fire needs tending but the end results are worth it.
  6. jdt

    jdt Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    watch craigslist Minneapolis and score some real splits/logs, you can easily start the smoker with one chimney of lump and then just add a split or small log every once in a while and cook with just wood. Try this guy, he is somewhere in SE MN but willing to deliver.

    Smoking wood and firewood for sale. Any qty small or large available. Pricing is dependant on volume and species of wood. We have apple, hickory, sugar maple, cherry and many other hardwood species available.

    This wood is split to different sizes and can be split to the size of your preference for your specific needs and use.

    Delivery available for an additional charge.

    Let me know if you have questions on pricing/availability of the firewood and smoking wood.

    We also have hardwood flooring, paneling, lumber, sawdust available for sale.


  7. husker-q

    husker-q Smoke Blower

    In my horizontal - I keep my coal on one side of the firebox and place wood chunks on the other side of the firebox - closest to the smoker seperated by about 4 inches.

    I find keeping the chucks away from the coals by that distance lets them smoke, without the flame up.

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