How to use an Offset Smoker exhaust vent?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by finsfree, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower


    I have an Oaklahoma Joe Longhorn Offset Smoker.

    I had issues with creosote in the past, only because I didn't know what I was doing, but now that I have resolved my issue by keeping the exhaust vent lid fully open what is the purpose? If I have to leave it open all the time why ever close it?

    Is there a style of cooking that requires you to adjust this exhaust lid?

    What I'm I missing out on?

  2. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower

    My buddy tells me it holds in more moisture if the lid is not open all the way.

    He's never used an offset anyways so I took his suggestion with a grain of salt.
  3. I am still figuring out my offset chargriller HOWEVER, if I want to build temperature I close the chimney but only for a few minutes.
  4. Practice with your pit. Learn to keep the lid shut.

    Happy smoken.

  5. I have a Pitts and Spitts offset smoker that also has a vent on the exhaust.  I've never found a use for it.  I always keep it open and control my temps with the air inlet on the fire box.  I never close mine - and now, it is pretty much stuck in the open position!
  6. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower

    Why keep the lid shut?
  7. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    linehand likes this.
  8. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    If you're lookin you're not cookin! When you get good temps going the last thing you want is to open the door to look. Trust your therms, let that be your eyes.
  9. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    AND, in MHO , you WANT a little moisture in the Smoke... otherwise , Leather and Lace-(the Wife(dressed in Lace) will lay the Leather to you if you dry it out).[​IMG]

    Don't understand the moisture thingy, P.M. me and I send my lecture to you. [​IMG]

    Have fun and . . .
  10. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    when you close your intake vents till there is only a sliver open (basically any more and it's closed) and it is still too hot, then you start to close down the exhaust till you can regulate temp. also it is there for shutting down. when you are done with your cook you fully close both intake and exhaust vents and the fire goes out. 
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  11. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I really hate to disagree with you Drew  , but the exhaust must be left open fully the whole cook. I do however agree to the shut down  , that and the ability to keep Rain/Water out of the inside of the Smoker (which may damage it) .

    The beginning of a cook should include a patient wait for the fuel to get settled in the unit (to temp. ,steady) then add the food. ( read my Stickburning101) and as mentioned... Practice [​IMG]

    Take a Weekend or two to learn your Smoker , the process of lighting , getting to heat, maintaining heat , temp. fluctuations and hot spots , color of the Smoke produced , time for each process to occur , etc.  A BBQ Log is a great tool for learning and keeping all your BBQ cooks and how they went , processes for correcting you mistakes , how you did "the good job " cook , recipes , and any other info. you might want for posterity.[​IMG]

    Have fun and . . .
  12. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    It sounds like you have figured it out, always keep the exhaust open to help prevent particulates from building up inside the cook chamber and contaminating your food.

    I also recommend that you do not close the exhaust vent as part of the shut down process as it will have the same result.

    You will also find that you need to clean the cooking chamber periodically. I do this by dumping a chimney full of lit charcoal into the cook chamber and leaving the fire box door open. After the cook chamber cools down I scrape off as much of the loose material as I can.

    Again, always leave the exhaust open.

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