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  #26  
Old 08-10-2010, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: Smoker Advice

Keltin, I do not use the Minion method.

I found that the best way to control the fire is to start a full ring of Kingsford with 2 parafin cubes. When the wax has melted and the surrounding briquets have started to burn, put on the middle section WITHOUT THE DOOR and all vents wide open, and put on the lid. Monitor the temp by putting a thermometer in one of the top vents. When the temp is about 150, put the door on, and start to close up the bottom vents.

Let the temp settle out and stabilize around 230-250, by playing with the top and bottom vents. When you have it solid, put the meat on and the wood chunks in.

Takes up to an hour to get up to temp this way, but it will cruise along for 8 to 10 hours without adding more charcoal, depending on weather conditions.

These WSM's are truly incredible cookers, once you get the hang of using them.

Lee
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  #27  
Old 08-11-2010, 12:15 AM
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Default Re: Smoker Advice

thanks for all the input definitely a bunch to mull over.

To answer a few of the questions asked

I had only really thought of charcoal because i prefer to grill with charcoal.

Keltin your suggestion is interesting but I am always wary of things that try to do to many things

Is there a reason I may be happier with gas?

I definitely have a space issue as my yard is pretty small.

I definitely have a $$$ issue.

I am gonna shop around... and fining one used would be awesome
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  #28  
Old 08-11-2010, 11:14 AM
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Default Re: Smoker Advice

Hey Pancho, I'll give you my Chargriller Pro. I decided on a vertical smoker like BuckyToms but wood fired. It's kind of a pain keeping good temps with a side fire box. Basically, the heat goes from the SFB diagnally through the cooking chamber and out the chimney. So 1/3 of the cooking chamber is hot and gradually cools off the further you get from the heat source. In 3-4 years since I've had it I've never been in a situation where I need that "safe zone". It's basically a waste of space.
I've tried redirecting the heat with a shield but still cannot get good temps throughout the chamber.

I like playing with fire but you need to tend to your smoker frequently. If that's not your thingthen look into an electric or propane job. Oh, about charchoal. The two main differences between lump and briquetts are: Lump burns hotter and faster and barely leaves any remaining ash, and can be added to the fire as needed. Briquettes burn slightly cooler, last longer, leave quite a bit of residue and need to be started seperately in a chimney starter. Personally, I like lump for long cooks and use briquettes for short cooks or direct grilling for flavor and less cleanup.

Last edited by High Cheese; 08-11-2010 at 11:22 AM.
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  #29  
Old 08-11-2010, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: Smoker Advice

panch, once you've gotten the wind issues solved, a gas smoker is unbelievably easy to control both the amount of smoke and the temp.

of course it's not as authentic as real wood and charcoal. it's just the convenience of it.
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  #30  
Old 08-11-2010, 02:07 PM
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Default Re: Smoker Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by High Cheese View Post
Personally, I like lump for long cooks and use briquettes for short cooks or direct grilling for flavor and less cleanup.
And I do exactly the opposite!

HC, briquettes do not need to be started separately in a chimney starter.

Lee
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  #31  
Old 08-11-2010, 02:54 PM
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Default Re: Smoker Advice

On a related note, I'm thinking about modding my electric ECB into a charcoal unit as the electrical element has gotten weaker over time and I have no desire to replace it.
I've seen charcoal ECB mods but don't know if anyone has converted their electric unit into charcoal.
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  #32  
Old 08-11-2010, 08:14 PM
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Default Re: Smoker Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by QSis View Post
And I do exactly the opposite!

HC, briquettes do not need to be started separately in a chimney starter.

Lee
I always did because of the lag time before they heat up, and my timing might be off because I smoulder the heat. I actually only start my SFB with lump, then I use straight wood. Starting with lump heats up the chamber faster than starting a fire from scratch and building up the coals & temps. When I'm out of lump I pick up twigs from the yard.
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  #33  
Old 08-13-2010, 11:31 PM
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Default Re: Smoker Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by High Cheese View Post
Hey Pancho, I'll give you my Chargriller Pro.

I like playing with fire but you need to tend to your smoker frequently. If that's not your thingthen look into an electric or propane job. Oh, about charchoal. The two main differences between lump and briquetts are: Lump burns hotter and faster and barely leaves any remaining ash, and can be added to the fire as needed. Briquettes burn slightly cooler, last longer, leave quite a bit of residue and need to be started seperately in a chimney starter. Personally, I like lump for long cooks and use briquettes for short cooks or direct grilling for flavor and less cleanup.
for real? That would be cool I just want something to mess around with

I like fire too never cooked with lump though just briquettes or regular wood if I use the fire pit thing which my neighbor seems to have co-opted anyway which is fine because I usually char everything to death with it.
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  #34  
Old 07-19-2011, 04:45 PM
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Default Re: Smoker Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by FooD View Post
On a related note, I'm thinking about modding my electric ECB into a charcoal unit as the electrical element has gotten weaker over time and I have no desire to replace it.
I've seen charcoal ECB mods but don't know if anyone has converted their electric unit into charcoal.
Well, it's been about a couple of months since I converted my electric ECB into a charcoal unit and it has turned into a better smoker overall with all the additional essential mods. It can hold 250-300F for over 10 hours using just a chimney worth of briquettes.

Also, on another related note I'm almost done with my UDS (ugly drum smoker) build and will be firing it up for a cook this weekend. Can't wait.
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