We are self-taught smokers. I am just now learning this art but Josh has been smoking meat for the better part of 10 years now. Here is how he does it:
- We use a chimney starter when igniting the charcoal. Josh rips pieces of the charcoal bag off for kindling. Add the charcoal up to the top of the starter. Then stuff the crumbled kindling underneath and light it. Some people use lighter fluid but we don’t.
- Allow the charcoal to burn down in a safe place such as a fire pit. Let it burn until it looks as pictured (about 15 minutes).
- Add the charcoal to the smoker box.
- Add wood on top of the charcoal. You can use any wood that you want for flavoring. If you are using chips instead of chunks it is best to soak them in water before tossing them on the coals.
*Most of the time we like to keep the temp on the smoker between 225 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit. This will allow for a low, slow, and steady cooking. However, there have been times where we have kept the temp between 275 and 350. It depends on the cut of meat being cooked. Always use a thermometer when checking that your meat is done.
***Every 30 minutes it is best to add 2-3 more coals and 2-3 wood chunks. If you are using chips then just toss in a handful.
These are very basic instructions as we are still learning ourselves. Try Big J’s Smoked Beer Can Chicken on the smoker!