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Old 07-01-2008, 12:51 PM   #1
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Simple question (I hope!)

Hello,

I am new to this forum as I just got my first smoker (chargriller smokin' pro) for Father Day. I love to grill and have been since I was about 15, only I'm now starting to get more into it.

My question pertains to this weekend, 4th of July. I plan on grilling for 4 days straight and one of those days I want to try my smoker attachment for the first time. I have been checking out the posts on here about smoking ribs and it seems that it will take several hours (5-7?) start to finish. That brings me to my question.... In order to supply constant heat for that long, what is the best way to do it using charcoal and wood?

I've never tried smoking before but it seems that when I've used charcoal for direct cooking in the past, the coals only last 2.5 - 3 hours. I also understand you can use lump charcoal (I've never used it) but I didn't know it could last that long. Is there some special technique that I just don't know about? Do I just add more in the middle of cooking?

It seems to be a fairly simple question but I have no idea what to do....

Thanks in advance, and great forum!

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Old 07-01-2008, 01:05 PM   #2
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Yes, it is just a matter of adding more when you notice the temp going down. I find I get about 3 hours out of "one batch". You want to use a combination of hardwood briquettes and lump charcoal. Whatever wood you use just use it in the beginning as too much wood isn't so tasty! And "one batch" for me is two chimney's worth of a combo of briquettes and lump charcoal.

It's just a matter of doing it the first time. You'll be able to tell your ribs are done when the meat has pulled away from the ends of the bones maybe about an inch or so. 4 hours give or take.

My biggest suggestion is "just do it". It's easier than you think.

With the residual heat I usually add some sliced ciabatta or other bread - let that "smoke" for about an hour (or add a few slices around whatever it is you are smoking) - or I will add some tomatoes and make some smoked salsa. If the tomatoes end up too smoky tasting you can mix with non smoked tomatoes...or like the bread...add these to the free spots.

With the bread slices I then add a slice of havarti and stick on the grill with the lid closed (indirect heat or a cooler spot). This doesn't take long and is fabulous!
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Old 07-01-2008, 01:11 PM   #3
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I've never done it, myself, but do know not to plan on getting much sleep, keep the beer cold and coming, if you plan on a constant supply of smoked whatever.
Enjoy.
Oh, and welcome to the clan, starnz
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Old 07-01-2008, 01:28 PM   #4
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quicksilver - with just ribs in the smoker sleep shouldn't be a problem. He'll tackle that hunk of meat that keeps him up all night because he's already been bitten by the smoking bug!
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Old 07-02-2008, 02:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quicksilver View Post
I've never done it, myself, but do know not to plan on getting much sleep, keep the beer cold and coming, if you plan on a constant supply of smoked whatever.
Enjoy.
Oh, and welcome to the clan, starnz
The recipe process I use for smoking ribs says that it should take about a 6-pack.... I guess he drinks slower than I do.
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Old 07-02-2008, 06:37 AM   #6
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Thank you all for the feed back. So I gather from the responses that I need to get a chimney charcoal starter? Also, when you are using the wood chunks, do you soak them in water beforehand or not?

Thanks again!
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Old 07-02-2008, 07:16 AM   #7
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A chimney starter is a handy device...It allows you to start your charcoal with crumpled newspaper rather than fluid type lighters. If you use 100% lump charcoal you can add it directly to the existing fire to replenish it...If you use briquettes, or a combination of briquettes and lump you will need to run it through the chimney to properly light it before replenishing...So yes, it is good tool to have on hand.

Most people advise soaking your flavoring wood in water an hour or so prior to going to the fire to retard the burn rate of the wood. Others will argue it's really not
necessary... that the wood doesn't absorb that much water, and any that it does absorb is quickly "steamed' away. I have done it both ways, and prefer to soak it first!

Briefly...Buy a chimney starter, and soak your wood!

Have Fun!!
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Old 07-02-2008, 09:38 AM   #8
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You can soak the wood for 30 minutes or so - 1 hour is fine but I don't think absorbs anymore liquid. I, like Uncle Bob, prefer to soak it versus not.

Yes, while you're at it buy 2 chimney starters. I have a big charcoal grill so I actually have 4
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