Welcome!


This is a membership forum. As a guest, you can click around a bit. View 3 pages for free.

[ Lost Username or Password | Pitmaster Club Information, | Join 30 Days Free | Contact Us ]

There are 2 page views remaining.

Announcement

Collapse

Meat-Up in Memphis 2020

Join us in Memphis for our Meat-Up! Space is limited to 400, secure your spot by booking early! Click here for details. (https://amazingribs.com/memphis2020)
See more
See less

How to light a Backwoods Smoker

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts
  • wcpreston
    Club Member
    • Nov 2016
    • 157

    How to light a Backwoods Smoker

    There are so many different ways to light a Chubby. I have two from the included instructions alone. Then there are others on youtube. And, of course, jlazar's instructions from the previous post. So I thought I'd throw these out and we could all chat. (Discussion points at the end.)

    1. From the "Getting Started w/your Chubby" Doc
    Also the same as this official video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAwD36abEQ4

    a. Start 1/2 chimney of charcoal
    b. Fill water pan to 1/2 to 3/4 inch from the top
    c. Add lit charcoal to back left corner
    d. Fill unlit charcoal around it (making sure it touches) (doesn't say how much, but the video says to "fill" it)
    e. All dampers open
    f. When w/in 5-10 degrees of target temp, close side dampers to 1/4"
    g. Put your meat in
    h. NOW put your wood of choice on the coals (only one part touching the hot coals)

    2. From the "Start up the fire box" doc

    a .Put firepan on ground
    b. Fill pan to the top w/charcoal
    c. Spray a six inch cirlce w/lighter fluid
    d. Take out your water pan and bottom shelf
    e. Put fire pan back in once the flames are out and coals are white around the edges
    f. When w/in 20-25 degrees of target temp, replace water pan and bottom shelf
    g. Add wood to fire and water to bottom shelf

    3. From the "HowToBBQRight" video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrF0FRhxCjU :

    a. didn't discuss when to put water
    b. Filled fire pan w/brickets
    c. Filled back 6" w/a full chimney (screen cap below)
    d. He CLOSES his top vent and opens the bottom ones until he sees "smoke billowing out"
    e. Then he opens the top vent
    f. He closes his side vents to "two fingers wide"

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Screen Shot 2018-12-15 at 9.33.40 PM.png
Views:	95
Size:	353.7 KB
ID:	608156


    4. The jlazar method (reworded based on my conversations. John, tell me if I got anything wrong)

    a. Start w/water pan w/very hot water
    b. Single layer of charcoal w/wood chunks on top (now)
    c. Leave back left corner empty (so that 12-15 coals will more than cover the hole)
    d. Light 12-15 coals in a chimney, dump in fire pan, making sure they're touching other coals on all sides
    e. All vents open
    f. Close vents to 1/4" at 150 (75 degrees from target)
    g. Close vents to no visible gap at 215 (10 degrees from target)
    h. Will settle in at 225 or thereabouts
    i. Temp will drop when you add food

    Here's a reddit thread with some lighting tips:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/BBQ/comment...smoker_owners/

    And a bbq-brethren thread:
    https://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/s...d.php?t=138399

    There's even this video where a guy lit his whole basket with a flame thrower:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-3LPMaeRUY

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Screen Shot 2018-12-15 at 9.59.55 PM.png
Views:	84
Size:	470.8 KB
ID:	608157

    So.. discussion points:

    1. Full basket or single layer? I haven't had much luck w/John's single layer, but we all know I had air problems. He says he runs a single layer for 8 hours. Everyone else seems like they use a semi-full basket.

    2. Can we agree that method #2 above is way off? Not sure why they even include it in the docs, given that it contradicts w/the other doc and their video.

    3. Hot water or cold? I think the idea is that it speeds up the preheat.

    4. Wood on the coals in the beginning or after adding meat? The idea is that the earlier application of the wood gets rid of the initial ugly white smoke.

    5. Full chimney, half chimney, or 15 coals? I'm wondering if things would go a bit faster w/half a chimney, but I think John's worried it'll get too hot TOO quick.



  • jlazar
    Charter Member
    • Oct 2014
    • 582
    • San Antonio
    • Backwoods Chubby G2
      Weber 22" Master-Touch GBS Kettle
      Blackstone 36 Griddle
      SlowNSear (Original)
      Fireboard Extreme
      Maverick 732
      Super-Fast Thermapen
      Rapala 7 1/2
      Bear Paws
      Weber Rapidfire Chimney
      Grill Beast 304 Injector
      G&F Suede/Leather Gloves
      Foodsaver V4880

    #2
    1. I go a single layer for everything but a long cook like brisket or butts. But I don't place a single layer in. I just pour about that amount in the tray and spread it around. The key is not too have too many coals lit if you are cooking at 225-250. If I am doing chicken or a turkey at 325-350, I would bunch the coals up higher to allow more to light. It is just something you learn based on what you are cooking, the desired temp, and the length of the cook.
    2. Never ever use lighter fluid.
    3. Hot speeds. It doesn't have to be boiling but not cold tap water.
    4. I put the wood on when the hot coals are poured on. I try not to reopen the heating chamber after that point. You are letting a lot of oxygen in. The white smoke usually turns to blue within 20-30 min. That's when I put the meat on.
    5. For low and slow use 15. Easier to bring up to temp than back down. Of course you can make the process go faster, I just plan this in my timeline. I am usually doing the final meat prep while the heating up process is taking place.

    Bottom line. Everyone with a G2 will have their preferred approach. Try it and if you don't like it, change a step to what suits you. Good Luck.

    Comment


    • wcpreston
      wcpreston commented
      Editing a comment
      I think we're pretty solidly in agreement. And we're at similar altitudes, so your approach should work here, too!

      Maybe my reticence on the full basket thing comes from the fact that I MOSTLY cook briskets and butts.

    • jlazar
      jlazar commented
      Editing a comment
      As MattTheGR8 says below. If you are planning on using a fan and controller, then the amount of coals/depth is less critical. The controller should take care of things. I would still start with a smaller amount of coals in the starter.

      Keep in mind that Matt has a Party which has significantly more space to heat than the G2. That may be the reason he uses more coals to start and get up to temp.

    • wcpreston
      wcpreston commented
      Editing a comment
      Good point on the Party. Bigger house takes more heat!

      You'll be happy to know I am three hours into my first "real" cook. I went past 225 a bit but got it back down. It's hovering around 225 right now.

      Nice pork shoulder sitting in there covered in Kosher Salt and Memphis Dust. Very excited!

      Thanks so much for all your help!
  • MattTheGR8
    Charter Member
    • Dec 2014
    • 180
    • Backwoods Party
      22" WSM
      Napoleon Apollo
      Weber Performer
      Weber Kettle
      Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal grill (the rectangular one)

      Rock's Stoker
      BBQ Guru DigiQ II

      Thermoworks TW8060 plus a variety of probes
      Thermoworks Combo Thermapen

      Weber rotisserie
      Smokenator
      Pizza Grill Stone

    #3
    With my Party I always use a Stoker to control it, so my method may vary a bit from those using the vents to control temp. I typically use a full basket of coals, though for short cooks I might only have half of the basket filled (but that half will be full-depth with charcoal). Then, I hit the front right corner with my Looftlighter to get 8-10 coals going; that corner is closest to the Stoker's blower. From there the Stoker feeds it air to get it up to temp, with the top vent only cracked per Stoker instructions. I'll pour boiling water into the water pan, I figure there is no need for the heat of the fire to be wasted on heating water when I can do that simultaneously on the stove top. As you noted, hot water should help bring the cooker up to temp faster. The wood chunks go on once the cooker is up to temp, perhaps 15-20 minutes before the meat goes on so that the smoke can clear up once the wood is going. For longer cooks I'll have to add more wood later in the cook, so the meat does still get a bit of dirty smoke. If anyone knows of a workaround for this, please let me know.

    Regarding your points:
    1. Full basket, but depending on the length of the cook maybe only part of the basket will be filled.
    2. Lighter fluid in or even near my cooker? HELL NO!
    3. Boiling water, it adds heat to the cooker getting it to temp quicker.
    4. Before the meat goes on, but not right at the start since it would be consumed by the time the cooker is up to temp.
    5. Chimney? The Looftlighter works fine for me but a starter cube in the corner of the basket would work great too.

    Comment


    • wcpreston
      wcpreston commented
      Editing a comment
      Looflighter looks awesome. I switched to the smaller chimney I got with my PBC and it's all good for now.
  • MattTheGR8
    Charter Member
    • Dec 2014
    • 180
    • Backwoods Party
      22" WSM
      Napoleon Apollo
      Weber Performer
      Weber Kettle
      Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal grill (the rectangular one)

      Rock's Stoker
      BBQ Guru DigiQ II

      Thermoworks TW8060 plus a variety of probes
      Thermoworks Combo Thermapen

      Weber rotisserie
      Smokenator
      Pizza Grill Stone

    #4
    Yeah, the Looftlighter is fun; but honestly it's an MCS related splurge. A good chimney is much more all-purpose and economical.

    Comment

    • FireMan
      Charter Member
      • Jul 2015
      • 6756
      • Bottom of Winnebago

      #5
      I don’t have a chubby, but I like readin everything, most always interested. After watching that video, I can’t hep but to read everything with a drawl. Good thread, smoke on ya’ll.

      Comment

      Announcement

      Collapse

      Meat-Up in Memphis 2020

      Join us in Memphis for our Meat-Up! Space is limited to 400, secure your spot by booking early! Click here for details. (https://amazingribs.com/memphis2020)
      See more
      See less
      Working...
      X
      Meat-Up in Memphis

      T-Shirts & More T-Shirts & More
      Order men's and women's T-Shirts, Sweatshirts, Aprons, Mugs, Caps, Tote Bags, Flasks, and more, all imprinted with the Pitmaster Club logo. There's even a spiral bound journal where you can make notes on your cooks.

      Cool Embroidered Shirt Cool Embroidered Shirt
      This beautifully embroidered shirt is the same one Meathead wears in public and on TV. It's wash and wear and doesn't need ironing (really!), but it is a soft cottonlike feel. Choice of four colors and both men's and women's.

      Click here for more info.

      Support ARC

      Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our links and purchase from them. On Amazon it works on everything from grills to diapers, they never tell us what you bought, and it has zero impact on the price you pay, but has a major impact on our ability to improve this site! And remember, we only recommend products we love. If you like AmazingRibs.com, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazon.

      https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs

      BBQ Stars

      Spotlight

      These are not ads or paid placements. These Are Some Of Our Favorite Tools And Toys.

      These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

      Use our links when you buy things

      Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our links and purchase from them. On Amazon it works on everything from grills to diapers, they never tell us what you bought, it has zero impact on the price you pay, but has a major impact on our ability to improve this site! If you like AmazingRibs.com, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazon

      https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs

       


      Placeholder

      Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

      Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts


      Digital Thermometers Are Your Most Valuable Tool And Here's A Great Buy!

      maverick PT55 thermometer

      A good digital thermometer keeps you from serving dry overcooked food or dangerously undercooked food. They are much faster and much more accurate than dial thermometers. YOU NEED ONE!

      Click here for more info on the Maverick PT-55 Waterproof Instant-Read Thermometer Review shown above. It may be the best value in a thermometer out there


      If you have a Weber Kettle, you need the Slow 'N' Sear

      slow n sear

      The Slow 'N' Sear turns your grill into a first class smoker and also creates an extremely hot sear zone you can use to create steakhouse steaks.

      Click here for our article on this breakthrough tool


      Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet's Dual Tube Burners

      the good one grill

      The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King's proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

      Click here to read our complete review


      The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One

      the good one grill

      The Good-One Open Range is a charcoal grill with an offset smoke chamber attached. It is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. The grill sits low in front and doubles as a firebox for the smoke chamber which is spliced on above and behind so it can work like a horizontal offset smoker only better. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.

      Click here to read our complete review


      Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

      Griddle And Deep Fryer All In One

      The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, and home fries. Or pancakes, fajitas, grilled cheese, you name it. Why stink up the house deep frying and spatter all over? Do your fried chicken and calamari outside. Blackstone's Rangetop Combo With Deep Fryer does it all. Plus it has a built in cutting board, garbage bag holder, and paper towel holder. An additional work table on the left side provides plenty of counter space.

      Click here to read our detailed review and to order


      Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

      The Pit Barrel Cooker May Be Too Easy

      The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers in the hardware stores because temperature control is so much easier. Best of all, it is only $299 delivered to your door!

      Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them


      The Undisputed Champion!

      thermapen

      The Thermoworks Thermapen MK4 is considered by the pros, and our team, to be the single best instant read thermometer. Don't accept cheap substitutes.  Click here to read our test results and comprehensive review and why it won our Platinum Medal .


      Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater

      Placeholder

      Char-Broil's Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you're off to the party! Char-Broil's TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

      Click here to read our detailed review and to order


      The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted

      NK-22-Ck Grill

      Their NK22CK-C Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It's hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the NK22CK-C a viable alternative.

      Click here for more about what makes this grill special


      Placeholder

      G&F Suede Welder's Gloves

      Heat Resistant Gloves With Extra Long Sleeves Hold The Hot Stuff

      If you're using oven mitts at the grill, it's time to trade up. Say hello to these suede welder's gloves. They're heat resistant enough to handle hot grill grates, and flexible enough to handle tongs. The extra long sleeves even let you reach deep into the firebox to move hot logs without getting burned. Our Fave.

      Click here to read our detailed review

      Click here to order from Amazon


      GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone

      grill grates

      GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, keep small foods from committing suicide, kill hotspots, are easier to clean, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily removed and moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke to whatever is above. Every gas grill needs them.

      Click here for more about what makes these grates so special


      kareubequ bbq smoker

      Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

      The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.

      Click here for our review of this superb smoker


      Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker

      masterbuilt gas smoker

      The First Propane Smoker With A Thermostat Makes This Baby Foolproof

      Set ThermoTemp's dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin'.

      Click here to read our detailed review


      Professional Steakhouse Knife Set

      masterbuilt gas smoker

      Our founder, Meathead, wanted the same steak knives used by steakhouses such as Peter Luger, Smith & Wollensky, Morton's, Kobe Club, Palm, and many others. So he located the manufacturer and had them stamp our name on some. They boast pointed, temper-ground, serrated, high-carbon stainless-steel, half-tang blades with excellent cutting edge ability. The beefy hardwood handle provides a comfortable grip secured by three hefty rivets. He has machine washed his more than 100 times. They have never rusted and they stay shiny without polishing. Please note that we do not make, sell, or distribute these knives, they just engrave them with our name.

      Click here to read our detailed review and to order


      PK 360 grill

      Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?

      The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it's easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado. Beautifully designed and completely portable. Meathead says it is his preferrred grill.

      Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

      Click here to order it direct from PK and get a special deal for AmazingRibs.com readers only


      Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

      fireboard bbq thermometer

      With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.

      Click here to read our detailed review


      Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

      Green Mountain Davey Crockett Grill

      Green Mountain's portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

      Click here to read our detailed review and to order