Hot smoker? - Newbie needs tips

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by gasbag, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Hello all!  I'm quite likely going to set up a small Weber BBQ as a hot smoker:

    The question I have is if I'm going to use heat beads and (possibly) some red gum as a heat source, I want to know how much I should be adding.  Generating some hot smoke isn't the issue, it's keeping the heat level down so it doesn't turn into a smokey outdoor oven that simply cooks the meat - that's the issue.  I'm hoping that someone has had some experience with a hot smoker of this size, and can give me a good idea as to the quantity of fuel (for a heat source) I should use.  Please understand that just hearing: "Just add enough heat beads and charcoal to get a reasonable amount of heat going" doesn't tell me all the much (or any more than I already know).  By all means hit me with facts, but it's the figures I'm looking for.

    If anyone is asking what sort of meat I intend to smoke, it will likely be some bought sausages, and/or some lean cuts of pork or beef, cut into long pieces, somewhat like long very very thick sausages.  I've got the curing all sorted.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  2. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Keeping steady, low temps in that thing is gonna be tough; not much room for indirect heat, and not much thermal mass.  Does it have intake vent controls underneath?  If not, your job is potentially even tougher.

    I bet 4-5 briquettes against one end of that thing will probably bring it into the 300* range.  8-10 briquettes heats my whole 22" Weber kettle to 250*+ for 2 hours -- even with the lower vents 2/3 closed.  

    You might consider using an electric plate for your heat -- much easier to manage and keep steady.  An Amaz'n smoke generator from Todd Johnson might generate enough heat along with the smoke in a space that small.  It won't take much either way.  Experimentation will be the only way to know for sure...

    Good luck!
  3. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Red gum makes great charcoal & I grew up in red gum country on the Murrumbidgee River before coming to Sydney. BUT I am not sure what you are trying to achieve here. If you just want low heat an even spread of heat beads will give you that.Todds AMZPS is a must if its just about the smoke. I havent tried it in a Weber but somebody here will have. Mistygully have them may be cheaper to buy direct here even with the shipping from USA.. Hope this helps. 
  4. Thanks for the replies - much appreciated

    I can understand what you're saying about the size of the BBQ being a problem, in regards to volume of fuel and indirect heat.  I also have a gas BBQ with a hood, along with an old, old, old casserole-type heating pot (that's on it's last legs) with an adjustable thermostat control -

    That really isn't anything what it looks like, but that's the general idea.  Just a bit worried about having the whole unit under a hood, because of the plastic handles.  If want to cold smoke, that's easy, but I'm trying to find out about hot smoking.  Has anyone tried a unit like that in an enclosed space?  Or I think I might try just using about 5 - 10 heat beads in the small Weber, then go from there.

    Any suggestions?

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