I've become the owner of a Meco water smoker. This is an older
model, 5000, but was only used once. I've used it twice so far and
have a few questions.
1) What is the best charcoal to use, lump vs brick, and brand and
where do you get some cheap? I cooked on it once with
Kingsford and once with Publix brand and could tell a world of
difference with the Kingsford.
2) How much wood do you generally use? I over smoked my shoulder
the second time around and didn't enjoy it at all. The wood I was
using, some pecan and some hickory, would stop smoking after just a
few minutes so I kept adding more... too much as it turned out.
3) I had a hard time keeping it up to temp after the 5-6 hour mark
when the existing coal burned down too much, another reason for the
over smoking, I added more wood to keep the temp up. I think I can
cure this by buying a charcoal chimney that holds more charcoal. I
was improvising with a smaller metal container that didn't hold very
much. Are there other suggestions? Would lump last longer or is
that just part of the job. I also noticed that the pan had a lot of
ash so I was running out of room for new charcoal.
4) Along with the smoky taste it also had too much of a
charcoal/lighter fluid taste... I know this is due to my not heating
the coals long enough before I reloaded and the cheap charcoal that I
used. I was wondering if I should use my old camping stove and a
butane tank to heat the coals vs. using lighter fluid. I heard a
couple of people mention that they never use lighter fluid because it
takes a long time to burn off. I have a one eye backpack style stove
so I should be able to put the chimney right on top of it.
5) Anyone have a smoker like the one I have that can give me some