How to Use Char Broil Smokers

Updated February 21, 2017

A char broil smoker can be used to slow cook meat, giving the meat a smoky or hickory flavour. his is done by cooking with indirect heat. Some char broil smokers can also be used like a traditional charcoal barbecue, by placing the coals directly under the grill. If you are planning to smoke your meat, prepare for a lengthy process. A brisket can take all day, whereas chicken may take just a few hours.

Locate your firebox. Not all char broil smokers are designed in the same way. Some, such as the smoker pictured in the image, have a side firebox. Others may have a firebox at the bottom of the smoker with a barrier that redirects the heat around the grill of meat.

Light a fire in the firebox. You can use charcoal, firewood or a combination. If you are using wood, use wood designed for smoking, as some types of wood are not safe to cook with. Wood chips add flavour to the meat. Lighter fluid can be used if necessary.

Add a pan of water to the smoker. Some smokers include pans where the water will be added. The smoker in this picture does not include a pan. To add water, a pan of water was placed on the grill side of the smoker. You can place the pan of water below the meat so it can also catch the meat drippings.

Add the meat when the temperature of the barbecue is around 107 degrees C. If it is much hotter than that, allow it to cool a bit before adding the meat. It is natural for the smoker to initially get very hot before stabilising at a lower temperature.

Continue to add a handful of wood chips or charcoal to the fire, every hour or so, to keep the fire going while cooking. To increase the smoky flavour, use more wood chips than charcoal.

Keep the lid closed on the smoker throughout the cooking process.

Things You'll Need

  • Charcoal
  • Wood chips
  • Pan for water
  • Matches or lighter
  • Lighter fluid
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About the Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.