I need help!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by nbednaz16, Jul 21, 2016.

  1. nbednaz16

    nbednaz16 Newbie

    Ok, so I'm new to this and this Sunday I'm going to be trying out my smoker for the first time (char-griller offset) and I'm a little scared haha
    I have a couple of questions

    1: do I put the wood directly on to the hot coals?
    2: how much would should I use? (I'm smoking a 4lb rack of pork ribs)
    3: Is it a pain keeping the temp regulated in this type of smoker?

    I appreciate the help in advance, just don't want to mess up my first smoke and honestly this smoker kind of intimidates me
  2. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes,enough to keep the temp you want,most likely. You should do a practice run to see what your in for! I don't own an offset maybe if I retire I'll have the time but you can always keep some charcoal going to help with temps as well.
  3. paul6

    paul6 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Do a practice run , I use a charcoal basket that is divided in the middle I fill 1 side with unlit  charcoal with a few wood chunks mixed in . Start about 10 to 15 coals on the gas grill and put them next to my divider ( which is not sealed perfectly) I do this an hour before I plan to start my smoke . All vents are wide open , when I get close to my desired temp I start closing the vent on the fire box by the time i get to temp the fire box vent is just a slit then start regulating with the top vent . This is usually good for about 3 Hrs then I start adding wood and charcoal to the empty side,  it takes practice but is very easy once you get the hang of it . Good Luck !
  4. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Relax.  Take a deep breath.  Smoking meat is suppose to be relaxing.  One of the best parts about smoking with a stick burner is the fiddling with things to ensure your temp and smoke is just right. 

    First, The folks above give good advice.  Get yourself a couple of links of inexpensive sausage and do a test run.  Using your charcoal, wood and the damper on the stack you'll want to maintain a temp of 225 degrees. 

    Leave your vent at the charcoal bin open all the way and adjust airflow with the plate on the smokestack to adjust your temps.  Don't add too much wood!!!  Allow its unit to slowly warm up. Take it easy. Open the stack... Close the stack.. Add a little wood... Close the stack a bit.  You'll get the hang of it after a 6 pack ...

    Look for a light smoke  also know as Thin Blue. TBS

    You'll do great!  B 
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016
  5. When getting started with a new smoker type, I have found YouTube to be a great resource. Good luck! Ribs are a good cut to start with! Even if they turn out "bad" they'll still be pretty good. Just relax, jump in with both feet. You learn something every time. You'll do fine!

    Here's a link to a guy with a char griller smoking ribs. Haven't watched all of it, just using it as an example of the kind of resource YouTube is.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2016
  6. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Welcome to the hobby and you'll have fun getting the hang of it.

    +1 on doing some test runs with inexpensive cuts to learn your rig.

    .Offsets tend to be fussy and they require attention, but they can produce good results.
  7. krex1010

    krex1010 Smoke Blower

    Offsets do better burning sticks not charcoal. General rule of thumb is to add a split about every 45 minutes to maintain your coal base and keep temps in range. Don't get too hung up on shooting for a particular temp, don't fight the pit. You can BBQ at 225....you can also BBQ at 325. I'd say try and shoot for holding 275 as the middle ground, temps may spike to 300 or so when you add a split.....and may drop to 250 by the time you need to throw another split on. It's all good. Don't put the meat on until you have an established coal base, don't restrict the airflow too much, try and learn to manage the temps through fire size not airflow, it's better to achieve your target temp range with a small hot fire than a big smoldering fire. Thin blue smoke is the goal not thick white smoke....good luck and have fun!
  8. I smoked with coals last weekend I started at 6 pm the shoulder was ready at 6:30 am went through a whole bag of charcoal them 18 pound bags
  9. I will use sticks next time but not sure on how to use them
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016
  11. jcbigler

    jcbigler Smoking Fanatic

    Hi Nbednaz, I use a Chargriller offset. Check out some of my threads and pics.

    I have started using mini splits lately after I get the fire running with lump charcoal. But I started out using wood chunks and charcoal.

    I start my fire with two charcoal chimneys full of the hardwood lump charcoal. When they chimneys are going good and fire if flowing out of the top of them and the charcoal has started to go grey and get ash on the edges, I dump them in the firebox. Then I will toss in a mini split and another one about every hour or so to keep a good flame going. When I used the wood chunks, I would use 2 or 3 wood chunks and a couple of big pieces of charcoal every hour or so. Just open up the lid to the firebox and toss them right on the fire or bed of coals. I usually leave the lid of the fire box open long enough to get some fresh air into the firebox until the new wood lights up.

    Don't be afraid to experiment. It will take you a couple of cooks to learn the process and how to work your smoker the best.

    Also, if you haven't done it yet, you need to season the smoker. Spray down the whole interior, everything including to cast iron cooking grates, with vegetable oil, Pam, or bacon grease and build a good hot fire, try to get it up to 350 or above for a couple of hours, it will seal the metal with the oil and start the flavor of the cooker. You can do this the day before, or even earlier in the day before your first smoke. It also gives you a chance to experiment with fuel amounts and air flow and see what it takes to get and hold certain temperatures.
  12. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I have a few questions for you as well.

    Do you have a charcoal basket? If not turn over the charcoal grate in the fire box so that it stands on the short "legs" at either end.

    Are you using charcoal briquettes, lump charcoal or are you planning on using small wood splits as the fuel?

    A 4 pound rack of ribs will take about 5-5.5 hours to pass the "bend test" if you cook at a range between 250°-275°, it will take less time if you foil.

    One hint- do not fight to keep the temp "low" as in "low and slow",  instead let it take the temp up, with all vents wide open, to 250° and then shut the intake on the firebox. The pit will settle in and maintain a steady temp until the fuel gets low, then add another lit chimney of charcoal. when I cook with charcoal I start with 2 fully lit chimneys of charcoal, this lasts about an hour and a half before I need to add more fuel.

    FWIW you do not need to season the CG, just start a fire in the fire box and leave the vents open, this will burn off any oil residue left from the manufacturing process. After that just start cooking.

    You can also join us over at the CharGriller Owners Group to get ideas and help-

  13. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

Share This Page