My first time using a charcoal smoker and I can't get the temp over 150F

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by mattnlinda82, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. mattnlinda82

    mattnlinda82 Newbie

    This is my first smoker I have ever used that I got for Father's Day gift and after reading al. The threads and posts i still can't get the smoker to reach a temp higher than 150F. WTF SONE ONE EDUCATE ME!! Please, what the hell am I doing wrong??!![​IMG]
  2. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Probably quite a bit wrong, but nothing that can't be fixed.

    More info and pics needed.

    For starters, how are you measuring the pit temps?  The stock therms are notoriously unreliable!  You need a verified therm like a wired therm to get a true reading.

    I see lots of ugly billowing white smoke, but that may just be the charcoal starting and not ready to use yet?  Is your chimney/ exhaust port fully open? It should be.

    More detail on what you are using and how you are making fire?

    Lots of helpful people here to get you started!  Stick with it!

    Good luck and good smoking.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2016
  3. mattnlinda82

    mattnlinda82 Newbie

    It is a masterbuilt 30" smoker.

    I'm using lump charcoal and mesquite chips that have been soaked for about 2 hours.

    I open up all my vents. there is no chimney. There are four vents. one on top and one on the bottom on both sides. I opened up all of them and it raised the temp a bit and I am using the stock gauge.

    I used a chimney coal starter. I started it in my pit and transferred over to my coal bowl after it was ready. The coals I know are ready.

    I have never used this kind of smoker just watched. I have always used my pit and side box and never had an issue. I checked with my temp probe and it stays at 150.

    I read through all the forums and tried all the fixes I don't know what is wrong.
  4. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    You put wet chips on the charcoal, this explains the white smoke and at least part of your temperature problem- the water in the chips is putting out the charcoal.

    Try again with a fully lit chimney full of lump and no wood, after the pit gets up to temperature add a small handful of dry chips and see if that works better.

    You also may want to drill a few 1/2 holes in the charcoal bowl to improve air flow to the charcoal.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
  5. mattnlinda82

    mattnlinda82 Newbie

    I'll give it a shot
  6. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    A grill wok, the square ones you can get at wal mart or target, will slide right into the slots where your charcoal bowl goes. Lose the bowl and use the wok instead. This will help a lot.
  7. icyhot

    icyhot Smoking Fanatic

    Did you have water in the pan. If so that could also be part of the problem
    mattnlinda82 likes this.
  8. mattnlinda82

    mattnlinda82 Newbie

    yes I had water in the pan @  icyhot

    I will give that a try as well thanks @ Mdboatbum

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