Why so hot?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dburne, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. dburne

    dburne Meat Mopper

    Hey gang, currently getting ready for my second smoke - 3 racks of spare ribs.

    I think I may be putting too much charcoal in? I used the minion method, the chimney starter a filled about 1/3 full of coals and got them going and turning to ash gray. I had sat the chimney down in middle of the fire pit in my OK Joe smoker, and built up charcoal around it - probably around 5 lbs. I also put a couple chucks of hickory wood on top.

    It has been burning about 30 - 40 minutes, and the temp keeps rising - inside down at the grate, around 350 on one side, around 300 on the far side. My new smoker has some leaks around where the lid lowers down.

    I have fully closed the damper to the firebox now ( there is a gap there as well , not sure what I can do about that).

    I will wait another 20 minutes or so and see if the temp is coming down.

    Am I simply starting out with too much charcoal? I though the minion method, was so you could start with more and have it burn down gradually? To get it started good, I left the damper fully open for the first 20 minutes or so...

    Thanks for any tips for this newbie!

  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Don, morning....  Sounds like too many lit coals to start, and air leaks are killing your temp control....  

  3. dburne

    dburne Meat Mopper

    Ok that makes sense, thanks Dave. Next time I will start with just a few lit coals. I just checked the temps, it is slowly coming down after I fully closed the damper - very slowly, starting to drop below 300 now.

    I know how I can seal the leaks around the doors over the cooking barrel and the fire pit, but that side plate where the damper is, has a pretty good gap between the plate and the fire pit, not sure what I can do about that one.

    I do have a convection plate, and charcoal basket on order with Horizon ( custom for the OK Joe), will be a few weeks before I get them.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

      Got a picture ???    someone will help figure it out.......     
  5. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

    Dburne, Dave has got you covered! [​IMG]   If he can't help, the rest of us are in trouble!!!

    Send a photo if possible, it will help.

    Good luck!

    Happy Independence Day!!!  [​IMG]
  6. Hey D! I'm not a pro or anything but I found that putting 30 unlit coals into my 22" Weber kettle with 8 lit charcoal does the trick. I've been able to maintain a temp of 225-235 for 4 hours straight without having to replenish the coals. It took me a few trial runs but I think I have it down.
  7. dburne

    dburne Meat Mopper

    Thanks Dave and Frosty!

    I have now got it down to around 230-240 or so, so I think I am ok. Just put the ribs on.

    Regarding the gap on the damper plate to fire pit, I will take a pic later on when I can get a better shot, and see what you guys think,

    Thanks so much,

  8. dburne

    dburne Meat Mopper

    Thanks Albert, I am sure I had at least that many unlit coals, but certainly much more on the lit side, about a third of a chimney - I think that may be where I went wrong, got too hot at the outset.

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