How to use a Charcoal Smoker – Easy Guide for Beginners

Grilling and smoking are more famous nowadays because a survey from Statista tells us that there are over 1.36 billion U.S. dollars spent in 2019 by Americans for buying grills and smokers. Yeah! It’s insane, So, let’s move towards how to use a charcoal smoker for smoking your meat.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced pitmaster after reading this guide you will be able to properly execute your best charcoal smoker for getting a delicious smoky flavor and tender meat that dissolves in your mouth like any soluble substance which is no doubt a mouthwatering experience for foodies.

What is a Charcoal Smoker

A charcoal smoker is an upright device in which we use charcoal, wood pellets, and wood chips with the help of a charcoal chimney starter to burn it up and cook food or meat for a long period (almost 4to 10 hours) by providing it low and indirect heat through charcoal and wood-burning which collagen the muscle fibers and meat falls off the bones. 

Oklahoma Joe's Highland Reverse Flow Smoker best charcoal wood smoker

For smoking a large turkey you need almost 17 to 18 hours but for getting a char-broiled taste and tenderness this is worth it. You also have the option to grill within minutes with burning flames lapping the meat in a charcoal smoker grill offering both processes but my favorite topic is only smocking.

Components of a Charcoal Smoker

  • Firebox:  Found mostly on the right side of a smoker filled with coal or wood chips to generate heat using a charcoal chimney starter. With one pound of good charcoal, you can burn a smoker for almost an hour.
  • Water Pan: Fill almost 3 quarters of this pan and put this on the lower grill grates and put the chicken over it on the upper grill grates. Used to lower the effect of direct heat coming from the firebox.
  • Lower & Upper Damper: By taking care of airflow you can adjust the temperature up and down, by opening the lower damper air flows in with oxygen and helps to increase burnout of wood in charcoal smokers. While using an upper damper which is a pipe-like old days tractor used to throw engine smoke out you can lower the temperature inside the smoker.
  • Lid: The cover of your charcoal smoker is known as the lid used to control temperature by letting smoke and steam escape or to keep in the smoker.
  • Cooking Chamber: The place where you place food or meat for smoking there are grills where you can place anything easily.

How to use a Charcoal Smoker

Cooking process right and produces brilliant results when you keep these simple steps right:

  • Step no.1: Fuel is the most necessary item for a charcoal smoker and smoky taste so choose best wood pellets, famous choices are  cherry, apple, Hickory, mesquite,and alder wood charcoal briquettes like lump charcoal are also a viable choice depending upon circumstances.
  • Step no.2: Fill three quarters of water pan and also get the heat resistant gloves for opening vent from the lower side for air rush to increase the fire up and boosting smoker temperature. Top vents of lids are used to escape the smoke for maintaining temperature to a level of 220 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Use meat thermometer for checking temperature, charcoal smokers also have built in thermometers but they are not accurate.
  • Step no 3: Use lighter or propane torch to fire up and do not forget to soak wood chips and coal in water for slow burning, after that add meat to upper grill grates to protect it from direct heat.

Some Tips to Use Stand up Charcoal Smoker

  • For added flavor put mix herbs and spices into water pan and place the meat over the water pan so the dripping fall in.
  • Keeping the constant temperature is the key for successful smoking.
  • Check the food after every hour and also check its internal temperature and verify that it cooked to the proper internal temperature.
  • .Refill the water pan if needed after every temperature checkup.
  • After cooking is finished, clean your grill with a steal brush while it is still warm to remove all substances from its surface for next healthy cook ride.
how to use a charcoal smoker

Frequently Asked Questions

Smoking and grilling are two different things but the charcoal smoker grill gives us the opportunity to do both on the same equipped device this is the simple difference between a charcoal smoker and a charcoal grill.

Yes! We can use woods to burn up the fire in the charcoal smoker, there are many tastes available in the market like apple, cherry, and mesquite to get a distinct flavor in your meat.

Read out the full guide and after that do some practice while keeping yourself with all safety measures and will no longer be an amateur cook.

Preparing a charcoal grill is time-consuming but it’s easy. You need some charcoal with a lighter to light them up in a charcoal chimney for transferring heat towards the cooking space.

Soak the wood chips in water and put them on burning coals. Wood boards will also start to burn up and produce heat.

The charcoal models take a little longer time to light but they add a char-broiled taste to your food which is worthless for a hungry man.

In my opinion the best source is and after that it is YouTube but you can also send your queries about anything by using our contact us page.

Final Words

A Good rule every expert pit-master knows is that you need one and a half-hour of smoking for each pound of meat. Cooking time varies according to temperature, type of meat, and smoker type you are using.

In particular, gas smokers are most reluctant in maintaining a consistent temperature than charcoal or wood pellet smokers but the flavor of natural fuels make a unique taste that is unforgettable and can not be achieved by another type of smoker.

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