Originally Posted by mintee
I have 1 vent from the smoke box to the main chamber wide open at all times. I feel maybe I'm losing heat between the two, but I haven't read anything about insulating the seam. I can provide any extra info needed, but I need help!
What could I be doing wrong?
Forgive me if this has been covered, but when you say that you have a vent wide open, I'm thinking that I don't have a vent. Just a football shaped hole in both pieces. I guess, you could technically call that a vent, but it's not adjustable. There's nothing there.
With that said, here is what I do. Compared to folks around here, I'm wet around the ears, but I've got that smoker setup and I've been really happy with how it holds temperature.
I have a few very simple temp mods (if you can call them a mod). The first is that I have inverted the charcoal tray. The second is I put a piece of foil that acts like an extension of the tray over to the hole of the firebox. So rising hot air and smoke all collect in that inverted charcoal pan. The other thing I do, and I think this is the most important, is I took a piece of foil and folded it to make a long strip with a little bit of thickness. Then I put two of these around the door to the smoker box. A little air gap here or there isn't going to do anything except waste charcoal (which won't kill me). But until I plugged a pretty reasonable sized gap in the door itself, I hot air was just taking the path of least resistance and all the smoke and heat were pouring out the firebox door.
On Saturday, I cooked a butt for 10-1/2 hours, with no mods to the firebox other than what I just described. What I do is start 1/2 of a chimney of Kingsford. Once it's all red, starting to ash over, I dump it in the firebox, and immediately cover it with a load of lump. My "load" happens to be an empty flower pot. I'd estimate that it's about 2 quarts. The lump, when dumped on top of those hot coals actually cools it down at first, otherwise just that half chimney will take the smoker up to 240 at least. From there I leave the vent on the firebox open a little, and close it all the way when the smoker hits temp. Then as it goes down, I'll open the vent to keep the temp up. Once it needs to be fully open, I dump another load of lump on, wait for it to get hot with the vent open, and repeat the process.
I hope this helps. I'm really happy with the smoker. I know there are better, but barbecue is one of a number of my hobbies, and I think the CG Pro is a good value. I can see where it isn't going to be the smoker for everyone, but you should be able to get it up to temperature to really give it a fair shake.