[email protected]*! of a smoke

Discussion in 'Messages for All Guests and Members' started by djb, Oct 21, 2007.

  1. I know it's only a cuppla times withg my smoker, but today was just not fun at all!

    The plan was to smoke a rack of ribs (3-2-1) along with my first fatty, plus a few pieces of chicken, breats and drums.

    It was a windy day here, and I could not get enough heat outta my Charcoal/H2O smoker to take the chill out of the meat. The best I could muster was about [email protected]*. Hard to get food up to 180* when the smoker is that cool! I guess the wind just sucked the heat out of the system. BTW, there is a pic of my cheapo smoker on my profile.

    I finally gave up after an hour or more and finished thigs up in my oven (without smoke, of course). I had a lack-of-heat problem a couple of weeks ago, but I attributed that to being chintzy wity the charcoal, so I used lots this time. But still no heat.

    I'm, thinkin' next time (unless I go and get an electric smoker), I will forget about the water pan that sits between charcoal and meat, and just put a smaller container on the rack. That water pan pretty much blocks off the heat, and with the wind...

    Oh yeah, the fatty. Couldn't keep it from falling apart (espo when a grill support got loose, but that's another story), but it tasted OK, as did the ribs and chicken.

    Any suggestions?

    Not quite daunted yet.
  2. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wind will blow the heat right off of smokers more so if you have a stong wind blowing. Build a three-sided wind brake that will prevent that from happening again. Make sure that it's taller than the smoker. Do a search on wind brakes, someone posted plans in which they used rigid foam insulation.
  3. wilson

    wilson Meat Mopper

    Ah Young Grasshopper, the road to smoke is a patient one.
    Not keeping temps up? Been there, done that and I got the souvenir mug.
    I started on an a little Red H2O Brinkman knock off, it was a pain in the wind. Just for giggles what kind of a thermometer are you using? Also you may want to fabricate a wind break, 2 sheets of plywood and a piano hinge can do wonders.
  4. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    DJB -

    I had the same problem with my ECB last winter I am on the top of a hill about 100 feet above the river and it gets very windy. I tried cardboard and that didn't help alot then I switched to 4" thick styrofoam board and it not only blocked the wind but saved me a fortune on fuel! I used a 4 sided box and it really helps alot. I kep the front open so I can get at it and block three sides and the top.
  5. homebrewru

    homebrewru Fire Starter

    Build the wind break and look into getting an insulation jacket for you smoker. Back when I used a bullet smoker I had one and it helps.
  6. starsfaninco

    starsfaninco Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    In addition to the wind break, you'll want to keep the water pan unless you plan on grilling. The water pan works as a thermal moderator in that once the water heats up, it will help maintain temp should the fire die down. Also, on the other side of it, it will keep the temp spikes attenuated as the water will boil and cool the temps somewhat.
  7. kew_el_steve

    kew_el_steve Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Keep the water pan. Patience...
  8. squeezy

    squeezy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You could also convert to propane as I did, which will give you a wide range of temps to work with.
    Check out this site http://www.gassmoker.com/
  9. pescadero

    pescadero Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member


    This is a great, simple explanation! Short, sweet and to the point. Best I have ever seen in writing.

    I think a lot of new cooks miss the point, and this really clears it up.

    Should be made a Stickie, for future reference.

  10. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    There's also the sand mod. I have not tried it, but thermally, it makes sense. Water, of course, remains so only until the low 200's. Then, every gram that turns to steam removes 540 calories of heat from the environment <Sorry bout the metric stuff> Sand, OTOH, does not do this, but is a "heat capacitor" - once hot, will help maintain a temp, regardless of that temp. Some fire bricks or such would work too.

    Conclusion: Perhaps sand is a better way in cold conditions, water in hot ones.
  11. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Correct without a water pan you are grilling. The sand mod does work and will help you maintain a higher and more constant temp. You want moist sand though. I use playbox sand from Wal-mart. Remember to place a sheet of aluminum foil over the sand to catch the drips. The sand can be used several times also, buy adding more water to the sand and stirring it up to mix it. Give it a try [​IMG]
  12. jocosa

    jocosa Meat Mopper

    Squeezy - thanks for that link, I'm always willing to give folks in my home state the biz... just ordered some wood from these people - should arrive in time for the weekend smoke. Bookmarked them for future burner reference, too.

  13. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If this has already been mentioned, I'm sorry I missed it. Another thing that will help you is good lump charcoal. It burns much hotter than little brickies. Of course, you still have to tackle that wind issue, or the lump will burn up pretty quick.
  14. squeezy

    squeezy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Glad I could be of some help ... [​IMG]
  15. coleysmokinbbq

    coleysmokinbbq Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Just a thought...

    One thing that hasn't been touched on by other folks here is the fact that the ECB 's 'fire pan' is of larger diameter than the 'water pan'...

    I would tend to think that this would hold true for the ECB knock-offs and clones as well...

    If the 'fire pan' is inadvertantly used as a 'water pan', the larger diameter of it will almost completely block the heat/smoke from the cooking chamber...

    The larger diameter pan MUST be used as the 'fire pan', and the smaller diameter pan MUST be used as the 'water pan'!...

    Hope this will help!...[​IMG]

    Until later...

Share This Page