Quick, I'm having trouble maintaining temp!!!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by finsfree, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower

    I'm slow cooking a 9lb picnic on my Oaklahoma Joe Offset Smoker and I can't seem to maintain that 225 temp after about 3 1/2 hours.

    I am only using charcoal for fuel. I started out with 2 chimney fulls of charoal which lastest about 2 1/2-3hr, but now after adding another my temt is staying at 180-170 degrees.

    I cleaned out the old ash under the fireboxe basket and gave it a little shake to get more out, so I should be good right?

    What do you think....add another batch of charcoal?

    I'm fighting a slight breeze too!

  2. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Have you made a charcoal basket yet?  It sounds like you're not getting enough oxygen to the coals.    If you don't have a charcoal basket yet then to get you through the cook you could try lump charcoal.  The odd sizes of lump allow more oxygen to flow through and burns hotter than does briquettes. 
  3. millerk0486

    millerk0486 Meat Mopper

    I don't have an offset smoker, but I have a WSM. When I use charcoal, I normally put a ring of unburnt/fresh charcoals in first then pour in a lit chimney and that is usually good for a while. Maybe you could lay some fresh charcoal down in with the burning and try that. That could help in maintaining a longer burn. Might want to make sure you are getting enough air and that your charcoals aren't smothering themselves in the ash.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  4. If you are sure the ash isn't chokin tha air flow beneath the coals, quit fightin the breeze.  Open the vents and get those coals goin.  If the temp doesn't start to climb, add another chimney full.  Once the temp climbs you can shut 'er down to keep it where you want it.  Just my 2 cents.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

  5. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower

    Yeah, I think the old ash is smothering the new coals I'm putting in. Damn!

    I don't have wood that's old enough to use. No, no lump charcoal either. 

    Old ash is my problem!!!
  6. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower

    Ok, while I was on this forum talking about this issue, left the intake vent wide open and the temp climbed back up to 225-230 degrees.

    I also probed the meat and my picnic is about 150 degrees after 4hr of cooking.

    I guess i'm right on track?

    That ash is a mother and can really mess up your temp.

    I have been giving the charcoal grade a shake and pulling out what I can of the old ash.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  7. You seem to have found your problem.  Before your next smoke go but a cheap garden trowel.  Knock the wooden handle off and weld on a 2-2 1/2' piece of concrete reinforcing steel ( rebar ) onto the shovel.  Get yourself a metal ash can of some sort.  I use a galvanized planter box I found in the same place as the cheap trowel.  Now you can gently scoop out the ash without it flying all over your meat or burning yourself.  Cheap welding gloves are also a good investment.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

  8. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the tip!

    Here is what I got so far.


    After 5hrs

    Starting to see some bark!
  9. Lookin good.  Keep Smokin!

  10. backwoods bbq

    backwoods bbq Meat Mopper

    Use some oak. It will burn hit and fast or atleast Burn down some hardwoods or oak or combo to coals and place those in there.
  11. Looks good so far

  12. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower

    Finished product! Came out great...fall off the bone.

    Internal temp 195. Wrapped in tinfoil for about 30-45min
  13. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower


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