What's up with my off-set smoker?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by gitaryzt1985, May 17, 2016.

  1. gitaryzt1985

    gitaryzt1985 Fire Starter

    I've had an off-set stick/charcoal Char Broil smoker for over a year now.  I've about had it with the thing.  My temps will hold at 225 for about 10 minutes and then it's up to over 300 in no time.  I have to put water on the fire to cool back down to 225, but then I'm either losing heat or gaining heat in no time again.  

    It's become a battle every time I smoke, and I am really sick of the babysitting.  I have a hunch that the thing just isn't insulated well and it let's in too much air even with the vents closed and the stack open.  I'm really thinking about picking up a new smoker, but before I blow another $300-500 on a smoker, are there any mods I can do to help with my smoker?
  2. phatbac

    phatbac Smoking Fanatic

    I have had one of those smokers in the past. one thing i did that helped was put in a heat shield  next to the firebox in the Cook Chamber. take 3 to 4 loaf foil pans and fill them with playground sand. also you can build a smaller fire and add wood chunks slowly to the fire to keep a more even temperature. Search the forums here for other mods. i didnt like to mod my smoker much so i bought a Weber smokey Mountain vertical smoker....ready right out of the box!

    Happy Smoking,

    phatbac (Aaron)
  3. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Are you using charcoal or wood or both? Offsets tend to swing in temps but that's a big one. Sounds like too much air.,..
  4. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    Could be a couple different problems. Sounds more like a fire management problem.
    What for wood are you burning?
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
  5. elwood68

    elwood68 Newbie

    I'm working on mods on my new offset.
    I'm making a heat shield base on this one,except I'm putting it just above the opening from the fire box instead of the bend. That puts it about a 1.5 inches away from the cooking grate. Do you think that's to close?

    PS anybody use a fire controler on a offset? Like a iq110
  6. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I have to close my exhaust vent down to about 1/4" open to get temps to stay down.. and that's with the intake closed completely... yea yea yea I know .. exhaust is suppose to be wide open.. but with so many air leaks that's the only way I can control it... try closing exhaust down next time starting at half way.. if temps still climb close it down more... try it and let us know ...

    these will only work if the FB is sealed tight with NO (or close to it) air leaks... but yes.. A lot of people use them on off sets...
  7. elwood68

    elwood68 Newbie

    Here is the picture of the heat shield base, I hope
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Can you take pictures of doors, air inlets, opening between the FB/CC.....   That will get us started.....
  9. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Assuming its not your gauges and your fire management is up to snuff, I would try the easiest, least intrusive method first before permanent mods,Phatbac has a great idea. What I do on my pit is use water pans to help stabilize temps, I keep temps pretty good without the water pans but it does reduce the temp swings and reduces fiddle factor.


    Add Thermal mass and baffling. I have added lots of extra metal to my pit, like plate steel, old weber cast iron grates at one time I had a 25 lb piece of granite in there but it restricted flow a bit.

    Increase Thermal Mass and add baffling in addition to what Phatbac said, try sand and then water, I prefer water because it will not go over 212°


    I can have a tiny coal bed and a fire like this and keep the temps between 250 - 275 ° But I have a lot of thermal mass, I may even add another 50 pounds of plate steel. Thermal mass will help retain heat so you can control it better (reduce dramatic temp swings), I have already opened the firebox with 0 wood left and a few coals and the pit was barely dropping below 250°


    Anyhow, this has worked for me but YMMV. Goodluck and keep us posted on your progress.

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