Need Backup, firebox not working.

Discussion in 'Side Fire Box' started by ian warsaw, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. ian warsaw

    ian warsaw Newbie

    After seeing Franklin BBQ, I did not hesitate to have my own smoker. It was built by a blacksmith, following the instructions of the book and videos of Franklin.
    I know that the proportions are incorrect, (I've discovered after built), so Im having problems.
    First I tried wood, too much white smoke, so lately I've been using charcoal. I can not get over 200 C degrees (392 F), and Im gettin too strong smoke flavour.
    First modification, suggested by the blacksmith, was to cut the chimney.
    Second modification by me, was shrink the size of the firebox, I found it easier without modifying the structure, add bricks inside.

    Im open to any suggestions.

    Here are the photos:


    18 pounds of charcoal and the temperature is not rising.

    The flavour still strong.

    PS: Sry for my english =E
  2. mrsmoklestein

    mrsmoklestein Fire Starter

     "I can not get over 200 C degrees (392 F)"

    ....and you don't want to get over that temperature. I know for a FACT that Aaron keeps his smokers at around 300F (148C) on the hot end of the cook chamber and about 250F (121C) on the smoke stack side (cool end). 

    BBQ is NEVER done at temperatures as hot as 200C, at least in the US. You need much lower temperatures. I would say that 90% of people cook from 225-250F. Aaron actually cooks pretty hot compared to most people, but nowhere near 400F. That's an excellent way to ruin meat. 

    You need to re-read Aaron's book. You do not want temperatures over 300F (148C) anywhere inside your cook chamber. You want to put the smokestack back on. Then, leave the damper on the smokestack wide open. Then maintain your fire. The proportions of your cooker are actually not that bad. In the future you may want to get rid of the steel drums though, they're kind of thin. 
  3. ian warsaw

    ian warsaw Newbie

    With 18 pounds of charcoal I reach 200 C, too much I think (not?), otherwise is not over 100 C.
    Maybe Im loosing too much heat not only with the steel drums but also because we are here in winter.
    I'll do this week

    What I can do about the strong flavor?
  4. mrsmoklestein

    mrsmoklestein Fire Starter

    I'm not going to use Celsius temperature anymore as it's adding to the confusion.

    You want your temperatures in the cook chamber between 225 F and 275 F. NO MORE than 300F. . 

    I have a feeling that your problems are as follows:

    The drums that make up your smoker are far too thin. Combine this with winter weather and you're not going to hold steady temperatures as you would like. Look at the pictures of the small smoker Aaron builds in his book. The firebox wall material is at least.375 inches. The minimum would be .1875 inches. Good offset smokers are HEAVY, but this doesn't mean you can't get good results with what you have.

    Your smoke stack should be bigger and longer. It should be attached.

    The strong flavor you're experiencing most likely means that you are having smoke sit in your cook chamber for too long. This could be caused by a few things-but I think it's caused by not enough venting to your firebox. Are you cooking with the door cracked slightly? If you close the door you choke off the fire.

    Then, you should not just dump charcoal in the smoker and set it on fire. Any charcoal you add should be started in a seprate chimney and added to the firebox when it is just starting to ash over. 
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
  5. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Winter in July were are you located? You should update your profile it always helps to get better answers

  6. ian warsaw

    ian warsaw Newbie

    Im from Carlos Paz, Córdoba, Argentina.

    I will keep you update, thanks MrSmoklestein.
  7. ahumadora

    ahumadora Smoking Fanatic

    You could just buy one of my smokers and be done with it. 

    I am in Pilar Buenos Aires

  8. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    I think you should get in touch with Ahumadora, Ian.....
  9. ian warsaw

    ian warsaw Newbie

    Totally out of my budget right now, maybe in the future.

    Ya las había visto, son excelentes Ahumadora. [​IMG]
  10. sounds to me like your not getting enough air to the fire,. run your bottom dampers wide open if you have them or open the damper holes bigger. and your stack wide open, you can controll your heat with bottom dampers only. hope this will help you.

    rolling smoke BBQ
  11. ahumadora

    ahumadora Smoking Fanatic

    Well I have a bunch of recipes an info in Spanish on my site for you to read.


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