Please help me out

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bernarc, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. bernarc

    bernarc Fire Starter

    New smoker here. I have a Napoleon Apollo vertical water smoker (very similar set up to the WSM).

    I have done a couple dry runs just to learn the nuances of my smoker. Today I smoked a small 6-ish pound pork butt using hickory.

    My problem was in controlling the heat. It seemed no matter what I did, the temp was always around 300. I had all three bottom vents barely open. I did not use a water pan. It was a very warm sunny day today.

    The butt turned out fine but because of the higher smoking temperature, it didn't take as long as I was expecting (about 5 hours).

    What can I do to get the temperature down further? Is it as simple as using the water lab?
  2. bkleinsmid

    bkleinsmid Smoking Fanatic

    On my old smoker, there was some many air leaks I had to shut all the lower vents.......but always left the top one open. I got it to where I could get by with it but after 3 years I went to a cookshack..

  3. bernarc

    bernarc Fire Starter

    Well that brings up another question...I had all three bottom vents open very slightly...could I have closed one or two of them altogether? Or would that suffocate the fire?
  4. bkleinsmid

    bkleinsmid Smoking Fanatic

    Not if air leaks is the problem. Try closing one at a time and see what the temp does.

  5. bernarc

    bernarc Fire Starter

    Would I be able to see air leaks? As in, would I see smoke billowing out from the leak?
  6. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It will be difficult to see leaks in your vertical type smoker. Get it hot and throw in some wet chips. When they start to smoke, close the exhaust and intake dampers. The smoke should start to back up and should show any air leaks. If you do have any air leaks, it will be hard to keep the temps down. You may try using a smaller amount of charcoal and doing a form of fire control. Good luck, Joe.
  7. I use a WSM and only leave a single lower vent open(25-66%) once I have brought the WSM up to my desired temperature. The lid vent, I leave 100% open. To make temperature adjustments, I make the adjustments with the lower vent(s) only.

    I did install a gasket kit before I fired my WSM up for the first time. With the gasket kit, I have been able to maintain temperatures from 175+ without difficulty.

    The only air leaks you will be able to see are those above the charcoal basket/grate. Smoke will be visible.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015

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