A few questions after my first smoke

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bigterp, May 2, 2013.

  1. bigterp

    bigterp Newbie

    So I successfully completed my first smoke over the weekend. I have a Smoke Hollow 4in1 and smoked a turkey breast this past Sunday. Turned out pretty good, but my rub was way to salty. I picked the worse day for my first smoke. Rain, wind and chilly temps all afternoon so it took me a little while to get my temp. control dialed in. But once I did things went pretty well. I ended up using over a half bag of charcoal for a 3 hour smoke. Also used almost 2 small bags of hickory chips. Here is where the questions come in.

    How do I go about keeping my wood chips from burning up so quickly? I tried placing them away from the charcoal in the firebox, but they would still end up in flames in short order and would shoot up my pit temp. I also tried soaking some which seemed to work ok, but that ended up lowering my pit temp. I'm not sure if I should have wood in the fire box constantly creating smoke? Or if I should just be throwing a handfull in every half-hour or so to create some smoke? I have an unused "smoke box" that my wife picked up a year or so ago. Would something like that work better than just throwing my wood chips in the fire box?

    I also need to seal up my smoker a bit. My pit lid seals well from the back to about half way up the sides but the rest has a good 1/4"-1/2" gap. My hinges don't have any adjustments so I'm not sure what the best way is to go about sealing up my lid. Any suggestions? The fire box cleanout door, which also houses the damper, seals worse than my lid. Any suggestions to get this sealed up?

    I'm planning on doing a boston butt next. So I'd like to try and fine tune some things before I tackle that.

  2. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I am not familiar with your smoker....but I would use wood chunks and not chips...they do tend to last longer.  So far as the other issues....some of the guys will chime in later today I am sure.

  3. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you are throwing your chips directly on a charcoal fire, there isn't much chance of keeping them from burning up pretty quickly.  As Kat suggested, I would try some large chunks of seasoned smoke wood thrown directly on the charcoal.  They will still burn, but much more slowly.  With the chips, one way to slow down how fast they burn is to make a foil pouch with a couple handfuls of chips in it.  Seal it up real good then poke 2 or 3 holes in the top and throw it on the coals.  They will still put out smoke without burning up so fast.  Your chip box could work similarly by doing it the same way, depending on its design.

    Many members have sealed up leaky doors and seams with stove rope gasket or high temp silicone caulk:



    Hope this helps.  Good luck, and let us know how it goes...

    bigterp likes this.
  4. bigterp

    bigterp Newbie

  5. bigterp

    bigterp Newbie

    I understand the idea of using stove rope. Should work well for the larger gaps I have between my lids. But how exactly do you use the RTV silicone? My fire box door leaks, but doesn't have a huge gap. Would I just apply some of the silicone around where the door seals to add a short of shim so the door seals against the silicone when I close it?
  6. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    They make flat fire place gaskets as well. Meaning it is in a thin rectangle shape instead of a round shape. Those work well in thinner areas, or around doors/lids. If you do use RTV in an area apply a bead to either fill the gap like caulking - or if it is around a lid, you apply the bead around the opening, cover with plastic wrap, close lid and genlty press it to form the RTV. Then let it sit overnight to cure, open lid, remove plastic wrap, check that RTV has set fully, and you are good to go. Kinda like moulding Play-Dough.
    bigterp likes this.
  7. bigterp

    bigterp Newbie

    Thanks again!! That makes sense. Will probably give both a try. The rope for my larger gaps around lids, and the RTV for my firebox lid and other leaky seams.
  8. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Sounds like a good plan...let us know how it goes...


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