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metrojoe

Charcoal Smoker

18 posts in this topic

How difficult is it to maintain the cooking temperature in a charcoal smoker?

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If you are trying to maintain a low temp while smoking it can be a pain. I use a coffee can full to try and keep a consistent amount of charcoal so my temp will stay the same but it is still too hot sometimes but I like the flavor it gives the meat because now you have charcoal and hickory flavor. If you have one of the side cookers I am sure it is easier to maintain a lower temp.For slow smoking I like my gas smoker best.

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Mine rarely gets hot enough. I had to put some oversize holes in the charcoal tray to get some air to the bottom of the coals.

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It takes a while to get use to it. What I do is start the fire with coals in the fire box. get them buring hot (white). Put wood chips or wood chunks on to get the smoke rolling, Put the meat on the grill side and watch so the temp never gets above 300 for the 1st hour. I think this heat opens up the pores and lets more flavor in. I put all the meat as far away from the heat as I can. Use the dampers to control the heat but always leave the smoke stack wide open. After an hour or so I let it start to cool down abit = less coals/ chunks/damper to about 225 and let it cook another 2-3 hours (ribs) then wrap the ribs in tin foil add some BBQ sauce. and let sit cooking for a few more hours. It's tempting to open-er up and take a looksie while smoking but leave the lid down and watch the temp. It takes a few tries because all smokers are different, wind temps etc.

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Thanks for the info guys. I have the opportunity to get a previously owned, but never used charcoal smoker. I like the idea of charcoal over gas or electric, but I was concerned with how much time I would need to spend on trial and error.

Mine rarely gets hot enough. I had to put some oversize holes in the charcoal tray to get some air to the bottom of the coals.

Actually that sounds like a good smoker. I want to keep the temp low and slow smoke. How much charcoal are you putting in to start?

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The style I own is a Brinkman so the charcoal is right below the meat and it will cook it instead of a slow smoke if I am not careful. Ruined some very nice salmon that way because it got windy and heated up the charcoal and burnt the salmon.

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Thanks for the info guys. I have the opportunity to get a previously owned, but never used charcoal smoker. I like the idea of charcoal over gas or electric, but I was concerned with how much time I would need to spend on trial and error.

Originally Posted By: DonBo
Mine rarely gets hot enough. I had to put some oversize holes in the charcoal tray to get some air to the bottom of the coals.

Actually that sounds like a good smoker. I want to keep the temp low and slow smoke. How much charcoal are you putting in to start?

I fill the pan, it's a Brinkman like jimalm's, but I've never had the burning issues he's got.

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The style I own is a Brinkman so the charcoal is right below the meat and it will cook it instead of a slow smoke if I am not careful. Ruined some very nice salmon that way because it got windy and heated up the charcoal and burnt the salmon.

Mine's a Brinkman as well. There's a water pan between the charcoal and the meat. It's very important to keep water (or some type of liquid) in the pan at all times.

I've never had issues with it getting too hot.

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Easy if it is a weber smoky mountain. mmmmm pork butt.

I'll second that. Excellent temp control with a smokey mountain. I need to get a couple pork butts again. It has been awhile.

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In a UDS is a piece of cake! I started the year using a brinkman gas smoker, but man, did it use the propane. I then got a free Offset smoker, but it went through the charcoal and was a pain to keep the temp. Then I found out about UDS (Ugly Drum Smoker), Built one and will never look back! I've done 22 hour cooks on it withough adding charcoal. Search UDS and I'm sure you'll find alot of info.

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In a UDS is a piece of cake! I started the year using a brinkman gas smoker, but man, did it use the propane. I then got a free Offset smoker, but it went through the charcoal and was a pain to keep the temp. Then I found out about UDS (Ugly Drum Smoker), Built one and will never look back! I've done 22 hour cooks on it withough adding charcoal. Search UDS and I'm sure you'll find alot of info.

I was wondering how your UDS was doing. I have been trying to find a GOOD barrel to build one myself all summer.

I do smoke chicken parts on my generic weber kettle type grill every time we go camping though. I usually can maintain a temp of about 250 for 3 hours in that thing and it is a cheap piece of carp!

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I love it! I've taken it to partys and made Atomic Buffalo Turnds, taken it up to lake vermilion to cook ribs for 12 guys. It works great!

I got my barrel at, I think consoldated barrel in minneapolis. It's a place that refurbishes barrels and I believe I paid $30 for mine. Prolly have a total of just over $50 into the smoker.

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Do you have any more info on this barrel place? I tried doing a google search but nothing came up.

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Remember, get an unlined one with removable lid.

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Yep, that been the problem so far. Finding one that is clean but unlined.

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