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Hi there, newbie smoker


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Hi there,

I am a smoking newbie, brought on by the fact I was given an old offset smoker to play with. It will be a cheap unbranded one from a main store undoubtedly. I expect it will leak and be poorly constructed but it will suit my intrigue and for free gotta be worth a go.

I have been reading up and looking at youtube, seems most people US side start off with coals/briquettes to begin with and then and large pieces of wood thru out. I did read it can make the meat too smoky and attention needed to id specific flavourings/woods etc. I also saw the users leaving the firebox door open whilst the new wood went on to exhaust the initial white puffy smoke and prevent off flavors on the meat.

If I were to use lumpcharcoal as the main fuel rather than large wood pieces, do I use a separate fire starter to get them going and then add as necessary ? Repeating the process in the Firestarter to avoid the white puffy smoke ?

Seems a lot of info out there, I will be doing a dry run initially to test the temp control out, but unsure if I should be going down the charcoal route or wood for main fuel.

Lots of questions, gotta start somewhere :)

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hi sotv, I had a trial run yesterday of the cheap unbranded one I acquired. It very hot very quick with a bag of bbq coals, and then I used oak logs a neighbour gave me to try.

It was a bit faffy but the temp kept within 200-250F and I decided last minute to add some chicken. It cooked and goto a temp of 130F internally so we finished off in our oven. Probably too much smoke flavour for me, not unpleasant, it burnt a thin blue smoke, and the oak was kiln dried, but needs more experimenting. Probably just continue with charcoal going forward and adding smaller wood chunks to get the flavour right. I guess chicken isn't as forgiving as red meats. All in all, nice day, fire, meat and friends, what could be better.

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