What type of charcoal do you use in your smoker?
I bought a Brinkman Smoke N Grill a couple of weeks ago and am on the uphill side of the learning curve. First attempt was a flank steak for two hours which was pretty decent.
Next was a four pound Brisket using the same Kingsford Mesquite Briquets. They didn't last more than a couple of hours at most but I may have not used enough charcoal, just what I could heat up in the charcoal chimney I have.
Today I am doing about a 5 pound Pork Butt I seasoned on Saturday. This time I am using Royal Oak lump charcoal and after putting in a full chimney of coals it only lasted a little more than an hour before the heat dropped off.
I added more coals using the chimney as a measure to what was left of the coals and put some more into the chimney until they were glowing halfway and added that also to the smoker and a couple of pieces of mesquite I soaked overnight.
So now after 1 1/2 hours it is still pretty hot and doing OK. I think I just was not adding enough charcoal to begin with. Any hints as to a newbie could do to improve this would be appreciated.
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for grilling i always use lump. it starts easy, it has much better flavor, it is ready alot faster and it's cheaper. i will use briquets for my smoker. the only reason i even use it is to help light the wood and it adds a bed of coals fast. my smoker is a 500 gallon lp "torpedo" tank. it takes alot to get it started and warmed up so the charcoal helps. i use it mostly at my restarant in the summer for pulled pork and chickens. this year i am adding rib eye. i want to do ribs but it's hard to sell them when they cost an arm and a leg.
Practice. You'll figure it out. Remember, your cut of meat will only accept smoke for about an hour. I have a Brinkman propane smoker with a similar look to yours. What works for me best with a pork butt is smoke for an hour, then wrap it in foil and finish it off in the oven. It's much easier to hold a constant temp. Ribs, either beef or pork, back or spare, I'll do complete in the smoker because they don't take too long.
The problem is the smokers are not insulated and they need to be babysat. My bro in law has a big green egg and it holds temp really well.
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if you have a smoker that is set up right not alot of babysitting is needed. my biggest smoker has no insulation. it takes abou45 minutes to come up to temp. this works out well because i pour the smoke right to it at this time. once it is up to temp i can go 4-5 hours without adding more wood.
Originally Posted by 2sac
+1 for Royal Oak and +1 for practice. You'll get the hang of it!
My smokers are both Great Outdoor Smokey Mountain smokers, they run off propane and I just add fist sized pecan chunks as needed throughout the smoke. Remember there is no shame in smoking for a few hours then wrapping and finishing in the oven!