Wood placement and water pan question for sNp

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by fire it up, May 13, 2009.

  1. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey everyone.
    I finally got a new smoker. After putting a lot of thought into it I decided to go with the Smoke N Pit.
    Got her all seasoned up yesterday and am getting ready to smoke but had 2 questions.
    I haven't made any mods to it yet but will in the future but for now I just gotta smoke something.

    So first questions is about adding wood.
    Do you add the wood besides the burning charcoals, use a fire box on top of the coals?

    Also the water pan, if adding a water pan where would you place it? In the body of the On the main charcoal grate? Or do most of you not bother with a water pan in it?

    I'm trying out Royal Oak real wood charcoal, I only have a 10lb bag and am worried that isn't going to be enough so should I run out to get more you think?

    I'm going to be smoking 2 slabs of beef ribs, a pork loin, some turkey legs and some ABT's. Would hate to run out of heat in the middle, but there is always the oven to finish in if I had to.

    Thanks for the help, I can always count of the fine folks of this site to help.
  2. grothe

    grothe Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Cant help ya with your questions (don't have a SnP),but wanted to congratulate ya on your new rig.
    Lookin forward to your first run!!
  3. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Pics, we need pics. Congrats on the new smoker.
  4. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Congratulations on your new smoker! You're gonna love it!

    You had some questions, so I'll just go down the list.
    1- When smoking with the SnP, place the charoal and wood on the grate in the firebox (the smaller grate, underneath the grilling grate). You probably know this but I'm just sayin' it cause others are reading this post too, and you can also grill on the SnP's smoke chamber if you want more space. I've added wood on top of the coals, sticks on the side of the coals, foil packs on top of the coals....whatever way you want. Just take off the firebox "grilling-grate" before you smoke. Never used a wood chips firebox, but there's no reason you can't.

    2-In an unmodded SnP, for a long smoke, you need a water pan. Short ones, depends (PM me for details offline). You should place the water pan in the smoke chamber. Take off the smoke-chamber grates. Lift the left hand side of the smoking-chamber charcoal pan (closest to the firebox) to the highest position you can. Leave the right-hand side of the same pan to it's lowest position.

    Take a sturdy metal pan (aluminum meatloaf pan is what I used) and butt it up against the left-hand side of the charcoal-pan / firebox heat entry. Place the pan directly on the charcoal-pan (that's higher on the left), right up to the firebox opening. Fill it with water. Since it is tilted it will only fill 2/3 of the way, but that's fine. You will have to refill it occasionally during the smoke. Do it when you mop.

    3- I would get another bag to be safe. Nothing stinks more than having to run out for more "stuff" during a smoke. If there is extra, you will use it on a later smoke anyway.

    Good luck on your smoke, you have a nice unit there. Just be aware that this isn't a super-tight gas/electric jobbie that you may be used to . There is a lot of draw, a lot of ventilation, and a lot of airspace in that chamber. Once you get used to it, you'll love it for it's capability!

    May the TBS follow you on your maiden smoke, and keep us posted! Remember, always here to help you out.
  5. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Congrats on the new smoker! Like Rick said we need pics! [​IMG]
  6. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    So I have to give a big thanks to Rivet for once again sending me in the right direction for proper smoke with a new smoker.
    In the middle of the smoke now, been having problems keeping the temp up even though yesterday I could hit 300. Pretty sure it is because to season her I used charcoal, today I used nothing but hardwood lump charcoal because it seemed like it would be better, even bag said it would burn longer and hotter than briquettes. Well, pretty sure they lied to me.
    Loaded up the chimney starter and by the time everything was hot enough to add to the fire box half of the wood had fallen through. Burns a lot quicker than charcoal seems to.
    Maybe it's just me since it is my first time smoking on a charcoal smoker but I dunno, I sure won't buy that stuff again.

    So here is a shot of my new toy and old faithful that has gotten me through so many smokes...

    And on the menu tonight we have 3 turkey legs, 2 in an apple wood apple juice brine and the other in a curry brine.

    2 slabs of beef ribs, one rubbed in paprika, garlic, salt and pepper and the other with a chili rub coated in a sweet and spicy chipotle sauce.

    Some ABT's done the normal way and some chili ABT's.

    Was supposed to have a pork loin on but when I opened it it was bad, and I bought it today. So instead I got a great deal on some little boneless pork ribs so one was seasoned with the spicy rib rub and the other in the chipotle sauce.

    So far everything is going ok after a bit of a rocky start, gotta go spritz and flip and pull ABT's off.

    Thanks again Rivet, wish I could send you a rib or leg through the screen.
  7. Rivet - very informative! I have the same smoker, but have not tried lifting the charchoal pan up on the left side. Can you post a pic of this setup?? I was thinking about trying the upside down thing.


  8. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    A picture is worth a thousand words, so give us a clue my friend with a pic. It's all good.
  9. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    that is some great looking q-FiU! you're going to love that SnP - i've had mine about a month and a half and the more i get to know it, the better i like it.

    rivet - thanks for the detailed post with some ideas and explanatxions. i've been putting my charcoal on the top grate! the whole setup makes a LOT more sense now that i know the correct grate to use! what i've been doing is lifting the left side of the charcoal pan up to the highest setting (leaving the right side down at the lowest) and then setting a water pan right in front of the firebox opening - using a watercan like you would find for watering flowers to refill it as needed. this has worked well, but i'd be interested in seeing a pic of your setup!
  10. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi FiU, glad to have been able to help you. No worries. Just another thing for you to consider: The chamber of the SnP is easily double the volume of your bullet smoker, as is the firbox vs. the charcoal pan. You're naturally going to use more charcoal / wood than you are accustomed to running the SnP. With my thick manifold mod in place, it takes 5 lbs just to bring it to intial temp. Don't be discouraged...think of it in terms of driving a Lincoln Town Car versus an Isuzu. Bigger heavier car is gonna use more gas to initially get it rolling, and since it's got a bigger engine (firebox) relatively more gas to keep it going. One reason when I smoke, I make a lot and freeze much of it. It takes as much fuel to smoke one chicken in an SnP as it does to smoke 4. You've got the best of both worlds now, your SnP for big feasts and your Bullet for littler feasts!Also, I will try to take and post pictures this afternoon on the angle-charcoal pan thing, with placement of the water pan too. If the major storm doesn't hit when when I get home I'll run out and take them. We've got a flash flood warning and rain/hail/wind storm coming.Good smokes everybody!
  11. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Okay, lets try this...Let's see how TasunkaWitko's control-vee turns out! Worked in the test area, so it should here. Thank you sir!

    The SnP has a suspended charcoal pan in the smoking chamber for you to use if you want to use the whole area as a grill. You put the coals in there and cook over the grates. You can adjust the heat by raising or lowering one or both sides of this pan. Here's a pic of the RH side pan in it's lowest position-

    To utilize this charcoal pan as a heat deflector on an Un-Modded SnP, keep the RH side lowered and raise the LH side up to almost its highest level as shown below:

    This will act as a manifold to deflect heat away from immediate contact with your food and channel it underneath a bit. Then, as an additional block, heat sink (to moderate temps), and to add moisture, place a metal meatloaf pan up against the LH firebox side like this and fill it with water:

    This is what it will look like when you get ready to cook. Of course you'll have the other 2 grates on the smoker:

    Here's a pic of the firebox with the factory grilling grates installed. Two-thirds of the way underneath them was another grate designed to hold the charcoal. SnP markets this as a secondary grill if you only want to do small or less items. I never bothered with it.

    The charcoal grate that came with it is not in the picture because in no time it looked as if a tank had rolled over it due to heat deformation. It was wide and it was a source of neverending frustration for me because of the ash buildup which would then begin to choke off the fire. The answer was a fire-basket! One inch angle iron and expanded metal. Sits higher than the grate to allow for a full draft under its entire area and won't choke up no matter how much ash is created. The basket can swallow up 20 lbs of charcoal so don't underestimate it's size. I designed it that way because I like to do wood-only smokes sometimes.-

    In order to stop fiddling around with the suspended charcoal grate in the smoking chamber, I designed a manifold to block excess heat, moderate it and allow smoke. 1/4 inch steel and 3 sets of holes do the trick. Once that plate heats up, it is smooth running and steady temps.

    Hope these helped explain my response to the thread. Sorry bout the delay......just about got the hang of this new way of loading pics!
  12. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Boy you said it. After just seasoning and one smoke my grate began to warp.

    Thanks for the help and great info Rivet, as always you gave some advice worth following and thanks to you my first smoke on my sNp was considered a success.
  13. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey FiU, you are very welcome, and I am happy enough knowing that your smoke was a success! Lots of folks helped me at first and I'm passing on the courtesy. This is a great site.

    I noticed you did an excellent job using the warming rack with your ABT's. If you want to smoke a turkey or a large Picnic, you're going to have to take it off. I did and it never came back on again, because I then put the chimney extension on.

    The extension blocks the warming rack from rotating into the cooking chamber. I wanted the extension more than the warming rack.-

    I know you'll be making plenty more feasts for us to drool over, and thanks for the offer to send a turkey leg or rib through the screen!
  14. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    good job with the pix, rivet - my charcoal tray/water pan picture is exactly like yours, except i put my pan below the tray up against the firebox opening - might have to try your way to see how it works.

    also will be trying my slightly-longer-than required exhaust extension. hopefully, i can push it up where the pipe was expanded enough to not bang into the grate. if it bangs, i'll need to have cut a little off on monday. should be no big deal!

    FiU - keep up the good work and be sure to take note of the mods! i copied rivet's detailed explanation and pix of his mods onto a word document and would be happy to email them to you - he's got a very good concept and they are very well-thought--out. PM your email addy if you want them!

    i'm outta here for now since i am at work, but glad to see your pix are working, rivet!
  15. dirtman775

    dirtman775 Smoking Fanatic

    great pics fire, welcome to the "coal burner's society"
  16. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Here's a few more pics that will help clarify some questions on the SnP...

    The plan is to grill some burgers and spring onions, but clean off the grates first.

    This pic shows the charcoal pan in place, with the LH side set low. When you are setting up the SnP to grill, the charcoal goes right onto the suspended pan.-

    Next pic shows the charcoal heating up, and the grates in place to begin to absorb as much heat as they can. On the RH side of the pan was yesterday's grill ash. -

    Once the charcoal and grates are good and hot, take a couple slices of fatty bacon and slap them on the grill. I keep my leftover bacon frozen, so here it is thawing under fire-

    Once thawed, take a set of tongs and rub that bacon up and down the grates, letting the grease coat them and burn off, taking the buildup with it.-

    I read here at SMF that some folks used a half-onion to clean grates. I tried that a while back and it works, so I use it for a finishing touch to the bacon and to detail the edges of the grates-

    Once done, grates back in place and ready for the burgers or whatever else your grilling. Grate cleaning doesn't take but a couple minutes-

    Here's the burgers and spring onions on the grill. Steak fries and fixin's inside the home....-

    Hope this helps out a bit!
  17. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    an excellent tutorial, rivet - thanks!
  18. nysmokes

    nysmokes Fire Starter

    Thanks Rivet - great pics and information. I dont have a true charcoal smoker like that, and always wondered about setups ect... I will be firing up my Weber Kettle soon for smoking, but someday I will have to get something like you guys have.

Share This Page