Char-Broil Offset Smoker

Discussion in 'Side Fire Box' started by daniel9mm, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. Hi, I'm fairly new to the concept of having a smoke box, I'm used to indirect smoking on a grill w/chips & blocks. When I put this together over the weekend & smoked some pork, my firebox basically got too hot & the paint melted off, etc. I'm curious what a good amount of wood is to use on a firebox this size. I had 3 sticks of 16" wood in there & it seemed to burn way too hot. Should I take it down to 1 piece of wood & maybe accompany that w/a pound or 2 of charcoal for heat? The meat turned out good, but I know I can do better. 

    Thanks ya'll!

  2. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    First off [​IMG]  to SMF. You have come to the right place for smoking info. This site is loaded with great info just use the search bar at top of page to find what you are looking for. If you can't locate the answer just ask folks here are willing to share there knowledge. I suggest you check out the 5 day e-course on smoking its chuck full of great info. Smoking Basics 5-Day eCourse

    I'm not allot of help on your heat issue. I run 2 Gasser's and a WSM, and from the sounds of it you have a stick burner. Some more info would help determine you issue, even for the stick burner crowd. You made no mention of make or model smoker, and how you went about this; damper position, wood type, what temp the smoker was running at etc. The more info we have the better we can target the reasons why. 
  3. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I use lump charcoal in my offset fire box and add 1 soaked wood chunk every hr for smoke and add more lump as needed. Just looking fer the thin blue smoke. With such a small thin walled firebox the paint is burning off from the hot wood fire ......Just a thought

    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  4. THanks boykjo & thanks sprky. I'm using a Char-Broil 10201571 American Gourmet Deluxe Offset Smoker. I used 3 16" Logs of Oak in the firebox. I don't know what a damper position is yet & my temp gauge only says "Cold / Ideal / Hot" so that was of no help to me. I'm looking to either modify it w/a couple of new gauges or use a digital gauge to monitor my heat levels. 

    I like your suggestion boykjo, after my 1st experiment yesterday, that was the first thing that came to my mind. Maybe the firebox is too small to be burning 3 logs. Since it was a Pork Loin, it cooked fine at the high temp & came out just fine, but when I do a long smoke, I'd rather have a more easily controlled heat. So yeah, 1 log an hour w/a start up of charcoal sounds like a good start. 

    Thanks ya'll.
  5. tom c

    tom c Smoking Fanatic

    Your smoker is design for charcoal, with w/chips & chunks. If you do a search here and on You Tube you will find some great mods to improve your smoker.

    With your smoker you control the heat with the intake vent. Always have the exhaust open all the way and start with the intake open as the smoker heats up start closing the intake. When my smoker is up to temp my intake is almost close.
  6. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the forum!

    If you look here:  you will find many of the helpfull mods you can make to your smoker (fairly cheap), that will make your overall experience much more enjoyable. The Lowes/Home Depot offsets are generally a good place to get your feet wet, but they do need to be modified a bit to work well. Now for heat, the first thing you want to do is make a charcoal basket, you fill the basket about 3/4 full with unlit charcoal, then you dump about 1/2 a chimney of lit charcoal ontop of that. This is called the minion method, and it will provided long steady heat for several hours. For the wood smoke (flavor wood), use either a small stick or fist sized chunk of flavor wood (hickory, mesquite, cherry, apple, ect.) and put it just to the side of your lit charcoal - add a chunk of wood about 1x per hour or so depending on how strong of a smokey flavor you want.

    Make sure any wood you use is dry and well seasoned, if your wood is green it will create creasote, which will ruin the meat and you will have to scrub out your smoker and re-season it. Spend some time poking around the charcoal smokers forum and read up on what folks are doing with their horizontal offset smokers and you will get some great advice.


  7. tom c

    tom c Smoking Fanatic

    One of the best mods is a charcoal basket. I fill the basket with unlit charcoal and a few chunks of wood. I then I start ten to fifteen charcoal briquets and add them nearest to the cooking chamber.

    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  8. Nice! Thanks guys! Look fwd to trying some of these techniques out.
  9. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    First off welcome to SMF there Danial. What part of Florida cause there are alot of Fla folks here. I'm in Jacksonville and there's maybe 5 more from jax. You'll really like this place for there are a bunch of really good folks here that would just love to help you with just about anything to do with smoking meat. Then if you have any questions you just post them here or yu can try in chat for a faster answer. If you are really new to all of this I would recommend that you look up and take the e-course. It is free and it will also give you the basics on smoking. So with all that said now go and get something to smoke.

    Welcome To Your New Addiction
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  10. I too am in Jacksonville actually! Thanks for the nice words my friend.

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