Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by trykonxl, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. As Ive stated over and over again I am a complete newbie.  Using the advice of a few, I have been "seasoning" my smoker tonight.  Im have A BLAST!!!!  My wife thinks I'm NUTS!!!  She keeps saying "How can you be so JACKED UP over burning some wood and charcoal?"  I've learned a lot tonight.  I now realize that I don't need near as much charcoal as I used.  I also didnt follow advice and started trying to fine tune my temps at 500 degrees instead of 200 like I was advised.  (Took me a LONG time to get it back down to 250).  Im using apple to "season" the smoker and I had a great "thin blue smoke" at higher temps but it seems to have gone white @ 250.  Not sure what I'm doing wrong.  All I know is that I'm smoking some ribs on Sunday for the football games.  If they dont come out like I want.....Ill just try again.....any advice or input is greatly appreciated.  The biggest thing that I learned today is......THIS IS A LOT OF FUN!!!
  2. What kind of smoker do you have? Keep the top vent open all the way. Adjust the heat with the bottom vent.

    Happy smoken.


  3. Brinkman calls it a gas/charcoal grill and smoker.  I know its not really a smoker.  But, by golly, Ill make it one.....thanks for the advice.  Ive been holding at 250 for the last hour now.  Just opened the top vent all the way and adjusted the bottom.  I'll see what that does in the next 20 mins or so.

    Thanks for the advice
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2013
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome! What kind of smoker are you using? Photos and more info always helps!
  5. GREAT ADVICE!!!!...still holding at 250 with almost no smoke!!!! (until i peek under the hood)
  6. Just posted a photo.  Not sure what other info I can give.  I just know that I'm having a BLAST!!!  and I aint even cooked nuttin yet!!!....LOL
  7. Sounds like you have it going your way now. Remember your not cooking if the lid is open. Play with it and find out what it takes to hold a steady temp.

  8. temp jumped to 280ish....just closed the bottom vent ....this thing has more holes in it than a colander....Ill figure it out or mod it......LOL
  9. temp is coming back down....this is fun
  10. Even though you're having fun now just imagine how much fun you'll have when you're cranking out great smoked foods  [​IMG]    [​IMG]
  11. I can hardly wait for sunday!!!!!
  12. Compound bow's & Smokin' meat's are a good combo... once you have your temp's stabilized you will have free time which can be spent dialing in that sight!
  13. dburne

    dburne Meat Mopper

    Great to hear all the excitement Trykon !

    I have been doing this a couple of months or so now, and still get very excited when I am doing a smoke.

    One thing you might consider - I assume you are reading the temp on the thermometer attached to the lid of your setup.

    That is what I did at first with my horizontal offset smoker, but after reading around here found it would be wise to measure the temp at the cooking grate level instead. I picked up a couple of oven thermometers at the grocery store, and used them to check - and found my temp down at the cooking grate level was about 30-40 degrees cooler than what the thermometer on the lid was reading. I guess makes sense since heat rises. Below pic you can see the oven thermometers I used.

    Also I recently ordered a Maverick ET-732 wireless thermometer setup so I can easily see temps without opening lid, you can see it on the shelf below as well.

    My smoker had some leaks around the lids, first I used alum foil as a temp way to seal them ( you can see above), recently I have sealed them with a Nomex gasket for hopefully a more permanent solution.

    Best of luck on your first smoke, look forward to seeing the results!
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
  14. Thanks for the input dburne. Last night was a trial run just to season the smoker and to see how temps reacted when I adjusted the vents. Ill probably pick up a couple oven thermos like the ones youre using tonight. I also plan on pulling and testing the hood thermometer tonight. Im sure ill eventually get the 732 as well. Also, I plan on lining the bottom of the smoker with foil. I know this isnt a great fix but there are a few slots down there that i want to seal the best i can. Hopefully this will give me better temp control with the bottom vent. Planning on doing some ribs this weekend. Cant wait to see how they turn out. Once again, Thanks for the advice. Im like a sponge right now. Trying to absorb as much info as I can.
  15. dburne

    dburne Meat Mopper

    Hey two months ago I was in the same boat, I have learned so much from the folks here on the forums - and still have a lot to learn!

    Lining the bottom with foil also has another benefit - helps make cleanup a little easier!

    Best of luck!
  16. jeffed76

    jeffed76 Meat Mopper

    I hear you my friend. I started smoking this year and I can't get enough of it. Why fiddling with temps and making rubs is fun I'll never know, but it is!

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