How to Us a Smoker with a side Firebox?

Discussion in 'The Other Stuff' started by jnc, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. nomorecoop

    nomorecoop Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    google "smoker minion method" for the best way to use a smoker. Basically start a small amount appx 1/4 of the charcoal chimney and place in on top of a pile of unlit coals. Use the dampers to catch/control the temperatures.
    jnc likes this.
  2. Firehawk068

    Firehawk068 Active Member

    Mar 22, 2016
    I have two of those type of Smokers (offset)
    The main problem with them is the drastic difference in temperature between the firebox end and the chimney end.
    I had problems with this the first couple times I smoked anything in it.
    There are a few videos and web pages on how to mod them to work better. (Just google offset smoker mods)
    Basically what I did is reverse the main lid so the chimney is now on the firebox end (you’ll have to drill new holes for the hinges) then install a baffle (with a bunch of holes drilled in it) starting at the firebox, and running under the grilling surface to about 3/4 of the way to the other end.
    Now the hot air and smoke has to travel under the cooking surface, permeating up through the drilled holes all the way to the far end of the smoker, then returning toward the firebox end, and out the chimney.
    I now find it much easier to maintain a consistent temperature inside the smoker, and much less “babysitting” the fire.
    I start my fire with a good heap of charcoal, and them add applewood (or others) chunks on top of the coals. The pile of coals helps to keep a consistent fire temperature also. If you just try to burn wood only, you will have drastic swings in fire temp as the wood catches and then burns down.
    Get yourself a “rib-rack” and you can fit 3 or 4 full racks of ribs in there all at once ( stacked on edge)
    I always use the 3-2-1 method when doing ribs. Smoker temp around 225. 3 hours on the smoker, then wrap them. 2 hours wrapped, then unwrap them and smoke one final hour.
    I always use apple juice or coca-cola in the foil when I wrap them. Some people use beer? I find it helps the ribs to come out more moist in the end. I also prefer mine dry-rubbed (no sauce) but I like them sauced also.

    The main thing is to experiment with your smoker until you find out what it likes. Each one is different.
    Try some cheaper meats until you get the hang of it, and don’t be afraid or frustrated if you ruin the first couple.................
    Also. Get a good oven thermometer to put inside the smoker while you are cooking. I’ve found the ones that come pre-installed in the lid are rarely accurate.
    Most of all, have fun with it! I find it relaxing to spend a weekend afternoon with beer in hand, meat smoking away in the backyard :)
    jnc likes this.
  3. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    Thanks I will check out some videos.
  4. Lee's Alite

    Lee's Alite Member

    Apr 17, 2018
    Ocala Fl.
    I love my Oklahoma Joe Hilander

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