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Can a propane smoker be used without propane?

 
pollinator
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Hey guys, I'm looking to get into preserving meats by smoking. I recently acquired a propane smoker. Not super looking to putting money into a propane tank, also kind of wanting to kick it old-school. Can I use it without the propane?
 
master gardener
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I mean... I wouldn't see why not?

You will need a basket for the fuel. Maybe do a little rearranging of how the air flows because it is probably close to the propane burner and not where your coals would be.

What kind of smoker do you have? That might help determine if it is a bear of a project or not.

Note - I haven't done this.
 
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I know who might know - Thomas Rubino!
 
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You can easily cold smoke with it. Google up the "A Maze N" tube smoker. You fill it up with wood pellets, light it, and let it smoke. Super simple. You're just using your smoker/grill/whatever as a box to contain the smoke. Cold smoking will work just fine for a whole lot of cured meats.
 
Almond Thompson
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Tim- It's a CharBroil Big Easy. Hope this isn't too dumb of a question-can I just use wood as a fuel or does it have to be charcoal?
James-Wood pellets just from a pellet stove?
 
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I would like to see how it. Is designed.  Maybe a photo or two?
 
James Bridger
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Almond Thompson wrote:Tim- It's a CharBroil Big Easy. Hope this isn't too dumb of a question-can I just use wood as a fuel or does it have to be charcoal?
James-Wood pellets just from a pellet stove?



Wood pellets made for smoking. I made bacon last weekend (smoked for 12 hrs) and used traeger pellets, because that's what the local hardware store sells.
 
Almond Thompson
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John:



 
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Hm, I have concerns with this particular model. It's more of a grill/turkey roaster with a smoker box.

I find that propane units require a pretty extensive reno to convert to pellets, and then it's unlikely that the metal can withstand the more intense heat without damage. Or the draft is all wrong and they don't burn worth a damn.

Personally I would sell this unit and scrounge a used smoker/grill that was designed for solid fuels. My 2c.
 
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I have the older model Big Easy and I have modded it to add smoke.
I'm not sure how these newer ones work, but the inner drum is probably made of stainless steel and should deal with th heat from a woodfire just fine.

For what it's worth, a big easy is basically an infrared cooker that produces amazingly juicy roasts and poultry.
Even with the model you have, smoking and grilling are not it's best features.
I have about 8 propane bottles,  and I've never paid for a single one of them.
Grab any free one that comes available, no matter how old and trade you can trade it in at dozens of places.

If you dont want to use propane at all, consider posting it up for a trade.
Many smoker enthusiasts have multiple smokers and will be down for a trade.
A wood or charcoal fired offset smoker might be more your speed.
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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Good info William. Cheers!
 
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