keeping temp. in my smoker

Discussion in 'Side Fire Box' started by jason wymer, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. jason wymer

    jason wymer Newbie

    hi! guy and gals of  SMF. I have a char broil offset smoker that you buy from walmart. well i have done some mods i have gotten for here and other websites. i have lowered my stack to the grill, i have had a firebox built and i closed off half of the air damper for the firebox, and also i closed down the opening between the fire chamber and the smoking  chamber. next i buying a heat plate to go in the bottom of the smoking chamber when i get paid next to even out my temps. the problem i'm having right now is getting my temp. to get above 200 deg. in the smoking chamber without using a fan. this will be my second year using this smoker. last year i had to use a box fan to keep the temp between 225 and 250. anyone got any ideas?????? 
  2. i most likely have the same Grill/smoker as you do and ive noticed similar problems.  I tend to just work through it honestly.  Im not about to bust out a fan or burn my lips off blowing into the box.

    Ive noticed that poking the fire works well and can get the heat up.  Im still looking for that perfect combo of reliable coal and wood.  It's trial and error.

    From what Ive read, this is a problem for most horizontal smokers and when you think about it, it makes sense.  Its not really natural cooking sideways.  Vertical is probably much better.

    Anyway,  not attempting to derail your thread, just kind of piggy backing.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013
  3. raymo76

    raymo76 Smoking Fanatic

    Are you getting a good enough draft through there so the fire can burn hot? If you are try throwing an insulation blanket over it, the heat could just be radiating out through the thin metal.
  4. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The flow from the firebox to the smoking chamber shouldn't be restricted. You do want a deflector/baffle set up to move the heat along the lenght of the smoking chamber after it enters the smoking chamber, but you don't want to restrict the flow. Also I didn't see mention of you putting in an elevated charcoal basket. The volume of the charcoal basket gives you your long burn times, but you need to have it lifted/suspended in such a fashion that it has 3-4" min. of cleance underneath it. That gives the ash somewhere to go as the fuel burns, otherwise it just stays in the fire and eventually chokes it out.
  5. smokinclt

    smokinclt Meat Mopper

    I used to use the same rig and turned out some decent smokes. I would suggest ribs as a first go as they are way more forgiving than brisket. On the CG itself I would recommend the following as it really helped me a TON. The grate on the SFB is too small and way to close to the damper. So insert the grill grates and place your coals/wood on this. Pile em up nice and good and leave a small hole in the middle. Light about a 1/3 chimney and wait until the coals are completely ashed over and carefully add them into the hole. This will give you something close to the minion method and should give you a few good hours. After that I would light up full chimneys and pour onto the grates. That would be after almost all of the coals fall. On longer smokes you can pull out the "drawer" amd empty the ashes so the damper does not get clogged. I ran my damper almost fully closed to keep temp down as well. Keep the meat center/left of the SFB or it will burn up because there is no baffle. I also used the small foil serving pans and filled them up with water and placed on scharcoal grate below food grate at the furthest EDIT:right left  it would go. Kind of a baffle/water pan all in one. 

    Most importantly.... Have fun and post some pics. My CG DUO is still in service as a grill and a wood cooker (kind of like kiln drying wood).

  6. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I think he said he has a char broil... not the chargriller duo..

    I agree with everything JLRodriguez said.. charcoal basket will do wonders..
  7. smokinclt

    smokinclt Meat Mopper

    Oh sorry about that. Should be very similar in nature though but again sorry on the miss. 
  8. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Jason , hello. Johnny has you going correctly. Just remember to LEAVE the exhaust wide open and adjust the airflow into the Smoker with the intake at the FB. Not only were you choking the fire , you most likely had a bad taste on the meat , wait, with baffle closed down you had no flavor . . . and the heat could not get to the fuel.

    You need :

    1. a flow of Air

    2. fuel

    3. a starting heat source

    With these the fire will work for you. I suggest  making fires in the smoker and playing with it for a day. Find how it works best and try for the Thin Blue Smoke. It's not hard when you learn your unit .

    The best thing to practice on (after you learn the Smoker) is Chicken-cheap and no worry about cost as much as with anything else. You could then graduate to Butts , a very forgiving cut of PIG.

    Get a reliable thermometer then go forth and conquer .

    Have fun in your ventures and as always . . .
  9. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Ditto JR

    Jason have you tried splits or are you strictly using Charcoal?

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