New Smoker - I may also be an idiot

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by bordy, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. bordy

    bordy Newbie

    Hey folks,

    First post here, be gentle.

    I finally pulled the trigger on the cheapo Master Forge Charcoal Smoker at Lowes, and I was super excited to use it. Got it home, put it together (not terrible), added charcoal, lit, and WHOOSH.

    Within a couple minutes the fire was way too big, and was peeking out through the seams in the smoker, the door, etc. Bubbled up the exterior of the can, I had to end up using a fire extinguisher and embarrassing myself. I am guessing I just had too damn much charcoal in there, but who knows?

    Anyway, I was wondering... in that sort of smoker (cheap bullet, obvi) how much charcoal are you using? 

    As a side note, for those do you recommend a smoker box, or can I just put soaked chips around the edge of my briquettes?

    Thanks folks!
  2. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    welcome to SMF Bordy... uummm.. how did you light the charcoal ? lighter fluid ? or was it matchlight charcoal ?... usually there is no flames from charcoal unless one of those 2 items was used... do some research on the "minion method" using the search feature at the top of the page.... good luck
  3. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It is all part of learning, no big deal at all. Sounds like you used lighter fluid which you will notice hardly anyone on the forums does, not just for the reason you described but it also leaves a fowl taste in quality charcoal that gets transfer to your grilling products.

    Get yourself a charcoal starter and add charcoal as needed to reach your desired grill temperature and remember it is much easier to increase temperature than bring it down.

  4. I have that smoker.
    Use a charcoal lighting chimney to light your charcoal.
    I know how much everybody hates to read directions and I know that the directions that come with that smoker look a bit overwhelming, but it is essential that you read them because that smoker doesn't operate like most others, so general advise isn't going to help you.
    It is important not to fill it past the max fill line and the direction emphasis that, the fill line is just below the holes on the side of the charcoal pan.
    I toss in a chuck or 2 or more every now than then for smoke, no big deal.

    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  5. bordy

    bordy Newbie

    I actually had read them, and didn't fill past the fill line (was pretty proud of it actually!). What I missed though was to not use matchlight charcoal. Thinking that's what did it, IMO.
  6. Yeah, never use Matchlight.

  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Smoke Good, Flames Bad! The temps you will be using are in the 225-250 range for most items  and 300-325 for Poultry. It does not take much to get there, 10-20 lit Briquettes can get the job done....JJ
  8. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    especially if you have to add more charcoal during the cook never use matchlight... throw it away and get ya some kignsford blue....
  9. bordy

    bordy Newbie

    Ahhh, exactly the type of answer I was looking for! Thanks buddy!
  10. bordy

    bordy Newbie

    I'd seen them used before, and saw one in the store today, but balked at the price.

    But now, ordered one on Amazon. Lesson learned lol.
  11. mr500

    mr500 Meat Mopper

    Thats a good starter rig. I started on the Brinkman (ECB) model. Then went to the Char griller pro w/ mods and now I am at the 22.5 WSM and never looked back lol.

    Still have all my cookers. I use the griller for nothing but grilling and not really for smoking anymore. I like the cast iron grates it has!!

    First "smoke" I did was ribs. I did not use the water pan, so I was grilling in the ECB with the lid on. OMGGG was a disaster!!!!!! Burnt up and blackened ribs ahahah

    Now people are fighting over my PP and BBQ. 97% Learned it  from here...Other 3% by just reading other sites.

    You might look into gettin on jeffs mailing list   and his 5 day smoking course. Its all FREE here hahah. Good stuff goin on here at SMF!!!!

  12. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

      Good advice in the previous posts. Keep trying, you will get better each time!

  13. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I don't have any experience with that particular smoker, but I'd assume the Minion Method would work. Look it up on Youtube. It's the best method for low and slow. For higher heat cooking like poultry, the chimney is the best bet to start a full load of coals. As pointed out already in earlier posts and your own experience, match light is not good. For anything. At all. I can't believe they keep selling the stuff. For what it's worth, I made the same mistake. All I could find at my neighborhood drugstore was matchlight and I thought "How bad could it be?". One ruined meal later I knew. Good luck and enjoy your new smoker!
  14. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Match light charcoal does have a purpose, I use it as a heat source when using the Orion Cooker. The charcoal is used for heat only and the Orion Cooker is a convection style outdoor oven that will add a smoke flavor to the meal if wood chips are used.

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