New vertical smoker

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by gnappi, Feb 28, 2016.

  1. gnappi

    gnappi Fire Starter

    This vertical smoker in my first of this type, I've used bullet types and had no issues like this.

    My first use was yesterday and it started off pretty OK at ~225. The top door as expected leaked. Anticipating this I have door seal on order but it won't arrive for a few days. I also ordered a small grate for the bottom of the pan to keep the coals out of the ash.

    So I stuffed the gap with some thick cotton which stopped the leaks fine, but after a while I had trouble keeping it at 160 while trying to vary the lower two vent openings, but the charcoal was burning pretty fast and I kept replacing it. The temperature didn't seem to change much regardless whether the vents were closed, or any other open position from 1/4 to fully open top and bottom.

    Anyway, after a few hours I pulled out the charcoal pan as most of the charcoal was spent even though I had been replacing it, but the ash was pretty thick smothering the live coals that were left.

    So I replaced the pan with another that was stoked full with fresh hot charcoal, and it got to ~ 200 and it stayed there for a ~4 hours hours until I pulled the meat. The meat on the chicken was still pink inside so I nuked it all finishing the job then refrigerated it. 

    I hope to get in the sealing gasket for the doors soon but I'm wondering about temperature control after I get the box sealed and charcoal brand going forward.

    I figure there's some tweaking to do while the smoker is going but I'm not sure if part of the problem was the Embers brand charcoal or is this just a case of sitting there monitoring the temperature until I get the nuances of the smoker down?
  2. I am in the process of building a vertical smoker. Any pictures of yours?
  3. gnappi

    gnappi Fire Starter

    Yeah, it's a Char Broil and after reading a couple of hundred feedback comments I went with it knowing full well its limitations. I'm just not sure about the charcoal brand and controlling the temperature with the four vents. Hopefully others here will have some ideas on my problems.

    The biggest issue I think is the charcoal pan, if the grate I bought for it is not enough to help the coal burn issue I'm going to get a WOK pan that many others use for the coal then use my OEM pan on the bottom of the cabinet for an ash catcher as was recommended.

    I have two welders here, once this one bites the dust, I may decide to make my own too with lessons learned on this one.

    I'll say this, having THREE trays installed rather than the two it came with made the effort more worthwhile as I increased the capacity by 50%

  4. I have concerns about my ability to control charcoal temps so I am firing mine with a pellet hopper.
  5. gnappi

    gnappi Fire Starter

    Well now that I have the doors sealed and the new charcoal pan / tray on the way, I'll see what happens. If the worst I experience is replacing the charcoal pan mid cook, I'll deal with it. Hopefully  those that recommended the WOK pan are right.
  6. gnappi

    gnappi Fire Starter

    The new charcoal pan came in, and it's a miracle. I had no trouble keeping it at 275, over 100 degrees difference without changing coals.

    Old Chicago style wood fired pizza? At home? In a smoker? Yup. Get a frozen Tombstone pizza, slather it with olive oil, garlic, basil, and grated cheese, 25-30 minutes and it's done! Whoda thunk it? After pulling the pizzas I put in a half dozen raw eggs into a small stainless bowl with some water in it, and left it alone. The temp climbed to 375, I pulled the eggs and they were delicious!

    OH... Last night I put the thermostat that came with it in a pot of boiling water and it came right between the 200 and 225 markers, I think I'll leave it alone.


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