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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 04-27-2015, 11:01 AM   #1
PuJo
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Hello Gang.
I have no experience smoking meat, but do cook whole hog 3 times a year. So not exactly new to BBQing.

My wife gave me a gift of a new "Offset Smoker" and I don't have a clue how to use it properly for smoking. It's a FarmersGrille if that tells you anything.
She purchased it from Home Depot.

From watching a few YouTube video's, I can already see that I need to make a few mods.

First, I would like to stop the smoke from leaking out from the cooking door. I saw someone was using some kind of gasket material for BBQ pits. I haven't found this on the net. Please post link if you know where I can find some.

Second, I saw a piece of sheet metal with holes in it to even out the heat.
Is this necessary? Is there a good benefit to using this?

Third, should I plum the exhaust down to the grating?

I tried cooking on it once, and it didn't come out too good.
I had a hard time keeping the temp where I wanted it, I used so much wood, I can smell the creosote in the pit now, and the meat was too smokey. I also tried the YouTube thing for managing the fire, but that didn't work out either. I used 20 pieces of charcoal just to get the wood burning, then used all pecan wood after that. Cooked for about 6 hrs. Should I have used charcoal instead of split wood? I have wood coming out of my ears here and it is all extra dry wood. Should I use green wood?

I know its a lot of questions, and I have more!
Hope you guys can help me out.

Thanks,
Pujo
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:29 AM   #2
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The sticky "Bandera 101" document on this site is a good place to start. You'll also find many answers to your questions with some searching through Q-talk. But the first suggest I'd offer is to wrap the meat once it's had enough smoking time. On an unmodified COS, it's very easy to get way too much smoke and creosote. When I was cooking briskets on my old Hondo, I'd let them go from 4 to no more than 5 hours over oak with enough hickory added for flavor, then wrap them to continue cooking. With some of the modifications commonly made to COS, you can reduce the need to wrap, and even eliminate it with luck.

As far as the diffusion plates and such go, a diverter where the firebox enters the cooking chamber is probably the most important one. Beyond that, you're mostly trying to even out temperatures across the cooking surface. That's never been as important to me as knowing where the hot spots are, as long as there's plenty of cooking area to choose from. Leaky doors are a nuisance, but not as important as getting the amount of smoke right.
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:33 AM   #3
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The goal is to have a small hot fire. In order to light splits fast you need a nice bed of embers.

This will get you started

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7112

Lose the foil with holes, youll probably want a proper baffle instead.
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:46 AM   #4
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http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=143736

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=172050
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Old 04-27-2015, 01:11 PM   #5
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For gaskets try http://www.bbqgaskets.com/
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Old 04-27-2015, 01:57 PM   #6
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I don't cook on an offset, never have, so I have no advice. Just wanted to welcome you to the site, this is a great bunch of folks and you'll get the answers you need here for sure.

KC
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Old 04-27-2015, 03:56 PM   #7
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Your Wife has good taste. I've seen that pit at most all it needs is a Horizion style baffle plate. It is better built that an OK Joe I may get one myself. I suggest you cook on it for awhile the leaks will seal themselves all pits leak a little.
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Old 04-27-2015, 05:50 PM   #8
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Thanks guys for all the comments and references.
I will be getting some gasket material for the cooking chamber door,
And maybe for the fire box door as well.

I have a mig welder here at home and I'm thinking about making a fire box/rack or what ever it was called so that I can try the minion method.
With lump coal.

This looks like the easiest method to use while learning the pit.
I will also chop my pecan wood into gist size pieces for the smoke only using a little at the time and preheating prior to using.

Does this sound like a decent plan?

Thanks,
-PuJo
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Old 04-27-2015, 06:55 PM   #9
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Burn Sticks - FireWood- Splits

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Old 04-27-2015, 07:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmittyJonz View Post
Burn Sticks - FireWood- Splits
I tried it once, and it turned out like creosote. Guess I used too much.

I really had a hard time getting the temp to 250, then once it got there I couldn't hold it. I didn't want to use too much wood then the temp would be out of control on the high side.

I am burning 5 year old split pecan from my farm.
Is there such a thing as wood being too dry?

-Pujo
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:40 PM   #11
SmittyJonz
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Have you not watched the video linked above or read any of the links?


Too Old of Wood might be some of it- I've never burned wood that old - most like 6 months to 1 year season on wood.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=207672
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:44 PM   #12
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Common error ,you will go broke feeding the thing Charcoal. ou get more bang for the buck with wood for less. Start with a chimney of hot charcoal and drop a split on top of it once it catches set you intake to 1/2 open and let the pit come up to temp. Put on the meat and put a split on top of the fire box to pre heat. when your temp drops about 25 deg add the hot split and preheat another. Don't worry about the temp running up when you add wood\, just roll with it it will drop.
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:48 PM   #13
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:08 PM   #14
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Thanks for the videos.
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Old 04-28-2015, 07:11 AM   #15
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No gaskets
No welding
No baskets
No lower chimney
Do burn wood
Do open chimney all the way
Do level cooker
Do control temp with intake vent
Do have fun

Later,
Doug
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