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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 01-28-2010, 04:41 PM   #1
eclipse507
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Hello to all!!
I found this forum last night, and spent hours reading. I've learned a ton, and hope to learn more. I have been BBQ'in for a few years now, i started with a electric roaster/smoker, and last year moved up to a vertical water pan style smoker.........

Now for my questions...I think i want an off set style grill/smoker, but have never used one. Do you load the fire box with charcoal just like my vertical smoker, then add wood on top for the smoke???.......Or are they all wood fired. Also what would be a good starter off set for around $200-300?

My last question is, is it possible to BBQ when its 10 deg. out?? Living here in frozen MN i cat wait any longer!! I want some pulled pork!!

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by eclipse507; 01-28-2010 at 05:58 PM..
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Unread 01-28-2010, 04:44 PM   #2
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You need to go to the Cattle Call forum and introduce yourself to the Brethren. VVelcome!!
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Unread 01-28-2010, 04:47 PM   #3
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Welcome to the site. I live in Des Moines and have cooked through this entire winter so don't let the weather deter you. For that price range I would go with a 18" weber smokey mountain smoker. These things are cheap but produce consistanly good food. We have owned a bunch of different smokers and choose to use 2 22.5" WSMs and a xl BGE for comeptitions.
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Unread 01-28-2010, 05:22 PM   #4
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I'll shoot you a welcome in Cattle Call Eclipse, a tradition around here. Now, to your questions. A lot of how the fire box is fueled is going to have to do with the unit you use and your preferences. An offset in your price range is probably going to be a unit that will run best on charcoal with chunks of wood in the coals. That doesn't mean you have to though, you can run a lower cost off-set with all wood, just gonna use a lot of wood due to the lack of insulation and cooker mass.

Can't help you with cooking in 10F weather, I live in coastal CA.
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Unread 01-28-2010, 05:28 PM   #5
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Welcome. An offset in your price range will get you in the ballpark of a CharGriller with side fire box. You might need to do a few mods so it will hold steady temps, it'll work well for ya once you get the hang of it (google for the mods). The lower priced smokers are not that well insulated (thin metal) so they will require more fuel and tending for long cooks in the cold. Vertical cookers like WSM or drum smokers do a lot better in the cold. The possibilities are endless for what set up will suit you best so I wish you luck and hope whatever you choose that it serves you well.
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Unread 01-28-2010, 06:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse507 View Post
Hello to all!!

My last question is, is it possible to BBQ when its 10 deg. out?? Living here in frozen MN i cat wait any longer!! I want some pulled pork!!

Thanks in advance!
You're from Winona eh? Good to meet ya! I grew up in Worthington, MN on the other corner of the state.

As for cooking in cold temps, if you do not have an insulated smoker, you'll probably need a good welding blanket or something similar to insulate your cooker. I cook all the time out here in Colorado and it's usually in the 20s at night.

-Kev
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Unread 01-28-2010, 06:23 PM   #7
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You will learn the finer points of Fire Management using an offset. This is a good thing. There are certainly easier cookers to use than an offset, but the challenges of using one is an education in and of itself.
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Unread 01-28-2010, 06:51 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forum, Ecclipse.

There are several styles of offests in that price range... each with its own pros/cons.
The main learning curve is fire management/temp control/blue smoke.

Altho building a UDS is a cheaper and more efficient option.
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Unread 01-28-2010, 07:03 PM   #9
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Check out the uds thread.
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Unread 01-28-2010, 07:08 PM   #10
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I've got to say that a WSM or UDS will be a better investment in the long run than a $300 stick burner. I do have a Chargriller w/ the side fire box that has a few of the mods done to it, but I don't use it in the winter (it's 9* right now).
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Unread 01-28-2010, 07:21 PM   #11
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Offsets are good units and UDSs and WSMs are also good units. Its all in what you prefer and like to use. The down side is you always want something differant. As far as cooking in the cold I will be fireing my unit up Friday nite for a all nite cook. They weather gods say it will be -7 degrees. Yes cookin in the cold not only can be done but a few of us strange winter lovers even say it is fun. If you get a moving quilt and put over the smoke chamber that will help hold heat.
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Unread 01-28-2010, 07:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbagby64 View Post
Welcome to the site. For that price range I would go with a 18" weber smokey mountain smoker.
OR, you could save that money and build yourself a UDS...thats what im doing.
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Unread 01-28-2010, 07:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillbillie View Post
As far as cooking in the cold I will be fireing my unit up Friday nite for a all nite cook.
But you don't have a $200 to $300 offset . Unless you got one hell of a deal on that GoodOne .
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Unread 01-28-2010, 07:53 PM   #14
eclipse507
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Thanks to all for the responses!!

I have read about the UDS's, and i don't think that's what i want. I have been looking at the Chargriller Outlaw with the side box. I don't see what the purpose of buying a WSM, would be since i already have a smoker similar to that?? plus with the Chargriller, if i want to have a big grill to cook on, i could use it that way too. So how much modding is needed to make a chargriller any good?

Last edited by eclipse507; 01-28-2010 at 07:53 PM.. Reason: I cant spell.....lol
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Unread 01-28-2010, 08:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
I'll shoot you a welcome in Cattle Call Eclipse, a tradition around here. Now, to your questions. A lot of how the fire box is fueled is going to have to do with the unit you use and your preferences. An offset in your price range is probably going to be a unit that will run best on charcoal with chunks of wood in the coals. That doesn't mean you have to though, you can run a lower cost off-set with all wood, just gonna use a lot of wood due to the lack of insulation and cooker mass.

Can't help you with cooking in 10F weather, I live in coastal CA.
i thought the smaller smokers arent good for all wood like my silver smoker. cause the airflow isnt good enough and will produce soot? i dont know i may be wrong but i like my silver smoker. does what it has to.
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