Novice in need of advise, please help!!!

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by snowbuck, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Hello friends-  Need some help with my Brinkmann Trailmaster LE.  I have 4 smokes under my belt with this thing and I problem I am running into I can NOT keep the heat up.  Here is what I am doing.  Chimney starter full of Royal Oak burning good goes in a charcoal basket.  Heat starts to rise and I throw on a couple of 6 inch half splits of a hardwood.  I am lucky to get thing above 225 degrees with what I am doing.  Now if I take my handy propane torch and catch the logs on fire the heat sky rockets!  Do I want the logs in the side fire box to be on fire like a fireplace and then regulate the heat with the dampners?  Any help would be appreciated as I am losing hope on this new purchase.  Thanks- Snowbuck
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    The wood should be placed kinda off to the side so it doesn't catch fire. Can you post a pic of the charcoal pan that your using I suspect that may be where the problem lies
  3. I have the same smoker, had it about 3 or 4 weeks now. Are you using a charcoal basket? Oh ya just saw you are.I built one and it really helps. I made it 12" x 12" x 6". I put maybe 2 full chimneys of unlit charcoal in it, I then light about 3/4 of a chimney full of charcoal and put it on top as close to the smoking chamber as possible. I can get it up to 300, I get 4 or 5 hours of burn time this way at 250 degrees. If I use sticks I use 3/4 chimney of lit charcoal and get a good bed of hot coals then put on about 2 or 3 sticks of wood. I can get it up to 350, 400 easy, at 250 degrees I add 1 piece of wood, maybe 3" around by 6" long maybe every hour or so.

      I have both dampeners wide open tell I get to the temp I want then start shutting down the intake dampener on the fire box tell it burns steady. I have it open maybe 1/8 of an inch by the time I'm done farting around with it and she burns great. I leave the chimney one wide open.

     Does your fire go out or is it just not burning hot enough?

      I did about 6 trail burns before I smoked anything on mine, just to try n get the feel for it and see what worked the best for me. In fact, today was my first smoke on it and it went great. Did 2 chickens, didn't have any logs left so just used the little fist size pieces of wood and some kingsford I had laying around and I only had to add wood for smoke twice, 3 pieces each time in 3 and a half hours, heck it held at 230 for an hour and a half after I was done with the birds.

      Sorry such a long reply but hopes it helps.
  4. Sorry guys, I had to fall off the grid for a while and take care of some stuff.  Thanks for the replys!  Here is a picture of the charcoal box that I made the measurements are appx. 12x12x6.  The fire does not go out, I just can not for the life of me get this thing hot enough.  I will try you techniques Tallon and see if that help.  I am getting pretty disappointed with thing right now.  Thanks for the help, any other tips or suggestions are welcomed and appreciated!!  Buck

  5. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    It looks like you need to get the basket raised up off the grate about 3 inches.. better air flow and ashes can drop and not suffocate the fire
  6. JD- how would you recommend raising the basket off the grate and thanks for the help!
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    A couple of 3 hole Bricks would get the job done...JJ

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