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New Smoker Question??

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Post Mon Apr 12, 2004 10:57 am
RichD medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 280
Location: New Jersey
I just got a Charbroil Silver Smoker. It's a big horizontal smoker similar to the Brinkmann Pitmaster style smokers.
Has anyone ever placed a pan of water, beer, apple cider, etc. on the grate above the coals/wood in the firebox while smoking to add moisture to the cooking environment? I know this is how a water smoker would work and I was just wondering if you could get similar results in the horizontal smoker this way.
My thought process here is to do a modification of the beer can chicken. Cooking many birds at one time without standing them up, but still achieve a similar taste.

RichD

Post Mon Apr 12, 2004 11:34 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
I've heard of putting the water pan in the smoking chamber under the cooking grate near the firebox for similar effect to a bullet water smoker.
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Post Mon Apr 12, 2004 11:49 am
RichD medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 280
Location: New Jersey
My thought here was to be able to cook multiple items at one time. If I use the firebox I can fill the smoker to capacity. Filling to capacity would take away my ability to use the indirect cooking techique in a normal way. Using the firebox will allow me to generate the heat and smoke (for flavor). Since I can grill in my fire box I have a grate that I can put over the coals/wood. I am thinking that by doing this and putting a pan on the grate over the heat I will be able to create the moisture to help keep foods from drying out.
I will have to give it try, but if someone has tried it I would be itnerested in hearing thier results.
Thanks for your input Bob.

RichD

Post Mon Apr 12, 2004 12:01 pm
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5369
Location: Damascus, Maryland
I think the FAQ's on this site are a must read. Especially for a newbie. Smoker modifications are discussed at great length. Especially of the New Braunfels silver , Hondo and their clones. Which include the Brinkmann and Charbroil offset models.

www.bbq-porch.org/

Also

www.smokering.com/

is fun to play with as well.

YB

Post Mon Apr 12, 2004 12:34 pm
RichD medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 280
Location: New Jersey
Thanks for the links YB, I will check them out.
Let me just calrify this a little. I do not want to modify the smoker itself, just the cooking technique.
The steam generated by the beer in the can adds moisture and flavor to the chicken as you all know. We cook this in an indirect manner. If I fill the smoker body to capacity I can not cook indirectly as you would normally.
So I am thinking if I use the firebox on the side on the main body I can generate my heat and smoke. What I am wondering is if putting a pan of water or beer over the heat in the firebox will give me a similar result as if I cooked the chickens with the can in the over an indirect heat. I realize I will need to increase the cooking time this way though.
Hope that clears up my question.

RichD

Post Mon Apr 12, 2004 2:21 pm
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5369
Location: Damascus, Maryland
The modifications discussed are meant to help even out the temp and to make your results more predictable. Read them first before you make up your mind. The most logical one is to extend the bottom of the chimney to the same level as the food. Another helps sheild the food closest to the fire box from exposure to direct heat this increases the usable capacity of the smoke chamber.

YB

Post Mon Apr 12, 2004 2:23 pm
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5369
Location: Damascus, Maryland
Sorry, but this link is more reliable to the FAQ. I had trouble accessing it just now and think this will help.

www.eaglequest.com/~bbq/


YB
Last edited by YardBurner on Wed Apr 14, 2004 8:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

Post Mon Apr 12, 2004 4:22 pm
RichD medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 280
Location: New Jersey
Actually, I had the opportunity to look over the mods at lunch today. Looks like some good ideas. I will probably make the modifications this weekend.
I'm still curios about whether putting a water pan in the firebox will add any moisture or flavor to the food being cooked though.
If I fill the smoker body to capacity I will have to use the firebox as my source of heat instead of using the smoker and cooking indirectly.

RichD

Post Mon Apr 12, 2004 4:43 pm
PaulP well done
well done

Posts: 681
Location: Beautiful St. Mary's County, Maryland
Anything hyou cook in the firebox is by definition cooking over direct heat. I don't think a water pan changes that significantly. I would guess that any whole chicken cooked over direct heat runs the risk of burned skin and undercooked interior. The beer can helps avoid dry meat, but does nothing to allow the interiro to cook before the outside burns.

BTW, did you know that the original beer can chickens were done in the smoking chambefr of a competition smoker? The indirect-on-a-grill technique is an adaptation.
PaulP
If you don't like the food, have more wine

Post Mon Apr 12, 2004 4:59 pm
RichD medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 280
Location: New Jersey
I'm not cooking in the firebox. I'm cooking in the smoking chamber. I am only using the firebox as the source of heat. What I am questioning is if I do not put the beer cans in the chicken, but put a water pan in the firebox will I get a similar result for the chicken?
I am also questioning if by putting the water pan in the firebox will this add moisture to the smoking chamber in a similar manner as a water smoker?

RichD

Post Mon Apr 12, 2004 5:16 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
RichD, I've been thinking about your question. I don't have an offset to experiment with and we haven't heard from anyone yet who has.

If you put a pan of water on the shelf in your firebox, the water will boil and produce steam. Since the metal in the firebox will be too hot for the moisture to collect on, condense and form back into water, I can only surmise that it will travel with the hot air into the smoke chamber.

My suggestion before was to place the water pan in the smoke chamber, in the bottom, underneath you cooking grate near the firebox opening. There the water probably won't come to a full boil so you may not get as much steam in the air but it will also work there.

I'm just guessing at the above. One thing I do know...chicken is cooked in smokers all over the country without sitting on a can. So I say go for it! :D And let us know how yours turns out.
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Post Mon Apr 12, 2004 6:53 pm
ThrRoff well done
well done

Posts: 999
Location: Washington, DC

Rich,

While I haven’t tried setting the bowl of liquid directly over the fire in the fire box, I don’t think it would work very well in the long run. It is going to get very very hot directly over the fire and it will boil away very quickly. You will need to replenish it quite often. Opening and fire box to add the water or what ever will never allow the smoking chamber to maintain any kind of heat. I think you would be better served keeping the bowl of liquid in the smoking chamber.
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Post Mon Apr 12, 2004 7:38 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3039
Location: Atlanta-GA
RichD,
I always put a water pan in the firebox. I usually place it on the grate in the firebox near the opening of the main chamber. I try not to get any coals directly underneath the water pan. This way the water does not evaporate as fast. I think the water makes a great difference in the moistness of the meat; otherwise, I would have to mop more often. That means opening the main chamber often and loosing the heat, which prolong the cooking time. I also found if I split the chicken in a half it comes out real moist. The more surface exposed to smoke and steam the moister it will be.
Here is a link that would give you an idea on how to place the water pan. The site talks about conversion to gas (don’t mind that) just look at the part that refers to the water pan placement.
http://gassmoker.com/Afterburner_H.htm
Here is a link to how to split the chicken:
http://www.thesmokering.com/Chicken/chicken2.jsp

Post Mon Apr 12, 2004 10:31 pm
Wolfpackbbq well done
well done

Posts: 2621
Location: Valley Springs, CA
I tried the water pan in the firebox once. The mixture definetly evaporatate fast. To fast for me. I am in the process of modifying mine. I am going to install a four inch exhaust pipe below the cooking surface to extract the cooler air. I ahve noticed at least a 20* difference between the cooking surface and the temp gauge up high.

Good luck,
Eric

Post Tue Apr 13, 2004 9:35 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
Thanks for those links Z. There was some interesting stuff there. I had to spend a while browsing around.
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