I Miss Smoking Meat with Charcoal and Wood

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by gretscher, May 24, 2015.

  1. Not sure if this should be in the Charcoal Smokers forum or in the Propane Smokers forum but I thought it should be here.

    I don't post here much. Probably last time was 4 years ago or so, so here it goes. 

    I have a cheap offset smoker.  I got it about 10 years ago and it's a Charbroil.  Using it for grilling steaks is a breeze.  Doing ribs isn't too hard either, but long haul smokes like pulled pork and brisket is very challenging due to it being cheapo and not being well insulated and holding heat, therefore you have to tend to it a lot and add charcoal more often than on a better unit.  So I got a Smoke Hollow propane smoker an love it. Would not trade it in for the world!!! Okay, so I am enjoying doing brisket and pulled pork. The quality and taste is like a champ and easy as ABC.  I noticed tho for ribs, propane smokes are lacking.  I feel for sure that smoking with charcoal is the way to go for ribs. I am talking pork ribs. Have not done beef ribs on the Smoke Hollow yet.  I still have the cheapo offset, so from no on I will continue with my ribs on the offset. It's not too hard because it's only like 5 or so hours unlike pulled pork and brisket which is many times more time, therefore having to add charcoal is a pain in the "some place". 

    I did have a Kamado.  An authentic vintage early '60s Japan model but it needed serious work. I got it free, long story for another time.  I eventually gave it to my brother. Had it worked properly without having to fix up and put time and money, I would have kept it and smoked ribs and maybe some long haul smokes like brisket and pulled pork because my understanding is that it retains heat due to good insulation and it's easy so you don't add wood and charcoal too often like my cheapy offset. The Japanese sure engineered a great smoking device such as the Kamado. Actually the Japanese made these famous but I hear the Chinese invented them but apparently the Chinese don't care about that stuff so the Japanese are known for these. 

    I'll keep on using my cheapo offset for grilling and smoking pork ribs but eventually when money is better I'll get a Kamado. Doesn't have to be an authentic Japanese one. Maybe Grill Dome or Vision or even a Keg or something.

    Any of you ever go from charcoal to propane and miss the charcoal?  Like I say I'm so happy with the propane for long hauls like pulled pork and brisket.  I love the results but for ribs it's charcoal all the way.

    Thanks ...
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    You can always add a piece of charcoal in the propane for the taste factor
  3. Thanks for the suggestion. I will try that.  I think that would add a dimension that it's missing. 
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well let me tell you my story. Okay it's too long, but similar to yours. I smoked for many years on and still do with a gas smoker but missed that charcoal and wood flavor. So I built a Mini-WSM. First be years later I have 5 of them! Great little smokers. I recently bought a 18.5 " WSM of Craigslist. It's easy to control, but not as efficient as my mini's. So I'd say but a WSM, or build a mini.
  5. delbbq

    delbbq Fire Starter

    I put my pork in a slow cooker on a bed of sweet onion with some pineapple and BBQ sauce on top.Cook on low overnight(try for about 6 hrs)

    put it in a alum.pan pulled and then smoke for about 3-4hrs. stirring to keep moist.Turns out nice and is pretty quick and easy.
  6. Stick burner - R F Smoker, Gas Grill and an ECB I use to charcoal in

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