Just got a used Coleman Charcoal Smoker...now what?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by sgtpeppr56, Apr 24, 2016.

  1. Hey everybody,

    I have been looking around site for a few months, trying to get an idea of what kind of smoker I wanted to buy. While cleaning out a rental property, a family member found and gave this smoker to me. They said I could get rid of it if it was not functional.

    A charcoal smoker was not the type of smoker that I was going to buy, but for free (I assume that I will have to get a few parts) I figured that it was worth a shot.

    As you can see from the picture below, its pretty old and used. I tried searching "Coleman Charcoal Smoker Grill" and did not see many results or pictures this this one. What I do know...

    - Coleman Charcoal Smoker Grill, 14 inch

    Are there other smokers like this that are more current that I can search to get information on how I should use this? I just started browsing charcoal smokers. So anything I ask about is just from these quick searches. Sorry, if I am way off.

    - Are there any parts that I am missing? I do not see a water pan, can I buy those online?

    - Not sure what the silver bowl or cast iron pan is for.

    - There is only that one vent on the bottom. Is that enough?

    - Would I just place the charcoal on that bottom grate? Or do I need a ring or bowl?

    - That thermometer looks pretty vague...low, ideal, high. Should I get a new one?

    - Would I need to clean the inside at all?

    - Is this smoker going to be worth my time, or should I forget it?

    Thanks for all your time and patience. Any advice you have about this smoker or where I should start reading up would be great.

    Take care, Scott

  2. First off I've never seen one of these, so I can't be 100% on any of this.  I'm pretty sure the grate with the double bars is for charcoal.  The silver bowl might be for water.  I'm not sure about that grate with 6 bars on it, perhaps the water bowl sits on it above the charcoal?  Does that cast iron pan have holes in it, I couldn't tell from the picture.  If it does then it could be for wood chips.  As far as the vents go the best way to find out is get some charcoal and try firing it up.  Good luck with your project, its worth investing some time in anyway.
  3. Thanks for the reply Jasper7.

    Its all guess, I appreciate your time....nothing when I "google" it. So I guess using a WSM style to base things on. I know its the one I have.

    The cast iron does have 8 holes in it. Would I put the coals and wood in the pan? Or just load up the charcoal on the bottom grate?

    How big (diameter-wise) does the water pan have to be? Looks like new WSM styles like this the water pan is almost as wide as the smoker. Does it matter if that silver pan is just 8 inches across? The smoker is 14. Is there supposed to be a small amount of space between pan and smoker? Of is any pan of water (no matter the diameter) going to even out the heat?

    I can't wait to fire it up, I need a few supplies first.

    Since I got it used and not sure who it was from, should I power wash it?

    Thanks again for your time

  4. hope this helps any. i would clean the thing out cant hurt! the dampener on top and bottom help control the cooking temp inside the smoker.
  5. Thanks KiwiDemon for the captions! Looks like I have everything here. Gonna be eating BBQ soon!

    Is that cast iron pan and holes good enough to get a good temp? Are the holes big enough to get air to the heat/ash out of the way? I guess...there is no ring for the charcoal.

    Is that water pan big enough? Or will i have to refill?

    This community rocks! You are the best!
  6. Hi sgtpeppr56

        Just saw this, I have been looking for some of the Coleman smoker/grills first real pics I have seen, anyway I did come across this in my web search's and figured you would like it, Coleman made 6 different model's 3 of which were charcoal and 3 were propane.

  7. huntfishdude

    huntfishdude Newbie

    I too was given an old Coleman. Used it a few times and then made an interesting modification that worked very well. See pic. This addition sure helped with heat and smoke control.
    The top of the lower burning chamber is hard wired to the Coleman so I can lift the lid off the burning chamber without losing heat or smoke in the upper chamber. Wood/charcoal capacity is also much higher so I get longer burn cycles.

    Also received a Christmas gift of an electric smoker this year but I won't be tossing my trusty Coleman anytime soon.
  8. That is a great diagram Ole..thats what I have for sure.

    Sweet mod Hunt. Great idea!

    Funny this old thread came up today. I was just thinking about smoking something tomorrow. Fall got busy with moving houses and now its in the middle of the Minnesota winter. 0 here today...yikes.

    The reason that I might not do it is that the main issue I had with this "Old Minion," as my kids call it because I put another temp gauge on it, was that the temperature control needed a lot of monitoring. Not the weather to sit out there with a beverage and watch the gauge.

    I also wanna get a newer smoker too. Being that we have 2 kids under 5, I would love for of a set it and forget it type of smoker for now. Like a propane one.
  9. huntfishdude

    huntfishdude Newbie

    I know what you mean about the cold. I'm in MN too. Got a venny roast sitting in brine right now to smoke tomorrow in my electric smoker. I'm planning on cooking the meat for two hrs in the smoker and then adding smoke for the last hour or until done. Haven't tried the brine-venny-first trick so I'm looking forward to this adventure.
  10. Yeah, the MN winters make me wanna get an "easy" smoker...otherwise I will be staring out the window all day. How do you like the elec. smoker? I figure my two affordable options (my kids play hockey) are elec and propane.

    So what are you doing do with roast? We get a half of a cow every year and get like 20 roasts...So a non-crockpot recipe/idea would be nice.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
  11. huntfishdude

    huntfishdude Newbie

    Just starting to use the electric. I'm liking that it has an internal temp probe and the temp is highly controllable along with more room for meat. I'll just have to do more smoking to find out. Ain't that a bugger of a problem to work out. LOL!
  12. Which one did you get? Can you get a decent smoke on that one?

    Yes...this is all such a burden. ha

  13. Is this lazy enough for me? tempted to buy it today!
  14. huntfishdude

    huntfishdude Newbie

    That looks like the one I just got. Go for it! Keep an eye on the chip tube when breaking in. Mine had a blow out and shot across my cement landing pad when the chips caught fire. The fire will go out when the tube is put back in but I was glad I was watching when it happened.

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