Originally Posted by tomfrazier
What he said ^^^ But I would make sure you have a 90* elbow on your stack or you'll let out too much smoke and heat I think... Even with my elbow, I usually keep my stack half open but yea control heat with the fire box... Make sure your drawer is all the way closed too...
Couple of other things. Try to use natural lump charcoal instead of the processed stuff from Kingsford and the like. If you do use the Kingsford like I used to, get yourself a charcoal chimney and pre-light the charcoal. Once they are nice and white add them to your firebox. The processed charcoal gives off a rancid odor when it is first lighting up for some reason.
Looks like I'm gonna have to tear the whole thing apart and start over.....maybe this spring. I gotta get some RTV, gaskets, tuning plates and seal this thing up!! I'm very anal about customizing everything I own to make it mine.
Tom, I'm using mesquite lump today, and when I got it started this morning, it took over an hour to get the temps down!!! I think I started with too much. It was around 575 forever; I thought this stuff was supposed to hold a fairly constant temp and I'm still babysitting. Definitely got an air leak around my ash drawer, vent's completely closed, and it's still running hotter than I'd like. I will say, though, that it seems to last a little longer than I expected. This is my third brisket, so I'll just sit in class, learn what I can, and study.
Lined bottom with foil and oiled all grates.
Today's stats so far:
San Antonio, TX 46*
- Ambient temp 46*, vent closed
- Avg grate temp (Front to back with dual digital probes) 275*
- Meat temp 52*
- Ambient temp 46*, vent closed add 2 fist sized lumps and 2 fist sized mesquite smoking chunks
- Avg grate temp 275*
- Meat temp 113*
-Ambient temp 47*
-Avg grate temp 289*
-Meat temp 122