tips/tricks using unmodified SnP

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by tasunkawitko, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    howdy, folks -

    as most of you know, i recently purchased an SnP. because of time/money considerattions, i haven't yet had the time to do any mods, yet it looks like the weather will FINALLY be good enough to do some Q this weekend (mid-to-high 40s,), so i'll be doing a fattie for the springtime throwdown (2lb) and a bone-in picnic shoudler (7.5) lbs.

    so this will be my first smoke with a new smoker and also with a pork shoulder which i ahve never done before.

    since this is unmodified for now, i was hoping some folks would have some pointers that go beyond the owner's manual, such as placement on grates, recommended temps etc.

    thanks in advance!

  2. suprfast

    suprfast Meat Mopper

    I would get two digital thermometers. I have one on the left side of my grill and one on the right side when i did my burn in to find temps drastically different. I also found(which is basic science) the lower the temp probe in the cooking section, the lower the temperature. Heat rises, what do you know.

    subscribed to this thread so i can keep an eye on your adventure.
  3. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    makes sense, kris! i ahve one thermometer but can get another. my wife will not "let" me get the probe style, so i amke due with a plaine-jane round thermometer that sits on the grate. will have to work on that.....
  4. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You might want to take off the warming rack. I can't remember back when I started if it was in the way for a full picnic or not. It was for a turkey.

    In the cooking chamber, take off the meat grates, and raise your suspended charcoal pan/grate as high as it will go on the left, and leave the right side as low as it can go. This will help deflect some of the direct heat away from the meat and channel it down. Super helpful when you add fuel. There should be plenty of room left to replace the cooking grates back on their supports even after you do the next step:

    If you have a tin meatloaf pan you don't mind getting dirty, fill it 3/4 full of water and carefully put it on top the left side of your angled-up suspended charcoal pan/grate, butting right up to the opening between the firebox and cooking chamber as close as you can get it. This will also help in evening out the heat. No worries on too much moisture, you have a great draw with the stock chimney.

    There may be two (one on each left and right side of the cooking chamber lid) U-shaped openings that look like some sort of vents. Take metal dryer vent tape, and cover them up, a layer on both inside and outside. There is plenty of air circulation without these openings.

    Always leave your chimney cover wide open. Control your heat and smoke with the door and damper, and you'll be set for a great smoke.

    The most important thing- get a handheld probe thermometer if you don't already have one. You can stick the meat when you open the lid to spritz. Wally-World or grocery stores have good basic ones for around $5.00; round faced, dial type. You can calibrate it easily by putting it in a glass if ice water slush and adjusting the face with the nut in the back.

    Great success wishes to you and let us know how it turned out!
  5. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What Rivet said. ^^^

    He covered it very nicely.[​IMG]


    And don't get too frustrated. Cooking on an unmodded SnP is interesting Every mod you do -- baffle, chimney extension, tuning plates, charcoal basket, dual thermos at grate level etc -- will improve it and make it more enjoyable to use.

  6. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    thanks, guys -

    rivet, all of those make sense and are things i'll be able to do this weekend. i do ahve a probe thermomenter and will be suing it as described.

    the weather is most likely going to push this back to sunday, but no big deal - gives me all day tomorrow to prepare.

    thanks again!

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