Improv Smoker

Joined May 16, 2011
Mr. Raichlen,

  Thanks for taking time to answer our questions.   

  I have been eager to smoke my own meats, particularly pork belly to make bacon.   However, I only have a kettle style charcoal grill and a 3 burner (front to back configuration) gas grill.  Is there any way to use either of these to smoke meats at a reliable low temperature, or should I bit the bullet (all puns intended) and purchase a third box?

Thank you.
Joined May 5, 2011
Mr. Morris, one of the reasons I an a strong advocate of kettle-style charcoal grills is that they are multi-talented. You can definitely smoke pork belly on one. The bullet is a great water smoker, and not too expensive. But you have the tools, either way.


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
For years, I did most of my smoking and barbecuing on a Weber kettle style grill. It's not the optimum, but it sure makes you work at getting your craft right.  I've found after using that, smoking in my Bradley smoker is a breeze!
Joined Jan 2, 2011
I am also a Weber user.  I recently got a char-griller and I am finding the barrel style a bit of a challenge.  I used two webers a big one and small 17" one when my family came over.  Over the years I cooked everything from turkeys to apple pie on the weber.  People coming this weekend and I'm going to play with the Char-griller again to do ribs. What is the bullet?
Joined Apr 2, 2006
I too have the indispensable Weber charcoal kettle, which is incomparable for char grilling, but for weekday dinners, I also have a Weber Baby-Q gas grill.  With only two of us, the Q is a lifesaver. 

For smoke flavoring, I prefer to use a cool smoker.  A very affordable electric cool smoker is the Luhr-Jensen Chief.  It is basically a mini smokehouse that is very effective for smoking sausage or delicate foods like fish and even mozzarella cheese.  Most foods (cheese) will need to be cooked after they are smoke flavored, but smokiness and doneness can be controlled almost independently. 

/img/vbsmilies/smilies/licklips.gif  One of our favorites is smoked prime rib, which is smoke flavored with mesquite wood in the smoker, then roasted in an oven with a rock salt crust until it is medium rare.


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
The bullet style smoker is epitomized by the Weber Smoky Mountain. Fairly compact and cook well.

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