Right out of the box burnt 15 lbs of briquette charcoal trying to cure it. Manual says 250 f for 2 hrs then 400 f for 1 hour. No way can I get close to 400 f, 300 was next to impossible.
Tried cooking ribs and chicken. Not enough heat, holding above 200 on the built in thermometer was almost impossible.
Raised the charcoal grate. Now I could hit 225 to 250 but burned 20 lbs of charcoal and after 4 hrs or so put meat in the oven to finish.
Brisket. 7 hrs over 20 lbs of charcoal. Still had to go to the oven to finish. But it was good. From what I have now learned it might take this long for brisket but something like 30 lbs of charcoal???
Spent many hrs on this forum and others. I should have done my research FIRST!!! Bad choice of smokers, but I made the mods that seemed to be reasonable. Sealed cooking chamber door on 3 sides with stove rope, added deflector and baffels to distribute heat more evenly, build a charcoal basket out of 3/4 extended steel, added fire bricks to help hold heat.
Tried to do cure. It was difficult to hold 250 for 2 hrs like the manual says. Air inlet and chimney both wide open. I could close the chimney some but as soon as I closed the air inlet like 1/4 or even 1/8 the temp dropped. Now the charcoal basket is full, it's 10x12x10 as big as would fit in the fire box. Getting to 400 to finish the cure, a joke. Got close to 300 maybe a little over once.
I had 2 digital meat thermometers, one at each end of the cooking grill. By adjusting the baffels (or tuning plates as some call them) I got the temps pretty even left to right. However I burnt 20 lbs of Kingston Competition briquette . I kept the ashes from the bottom of the fire box, shook the charcoal box a couple times.
Sorry this is so long but I am trying to answer as many questions as possible so I don't waste your time. I AM FRUSTRATED AND DISAPPOINTED.
From what I have read I should smoke at about 225f. Is that right?
20lbs of charcoal to do ribs? Is that reasonable?
I started this issue on another thread and have dad some good input, like use chunk charcoal instead of briquettes. They are not at the usual stores here so I haven't been able to pick them up yet. I tried cowboy charcoal but wasn't impressed.
ANY HELP WOULD BE APPRECIATED. ONLY HAD THIS SMOKE N PIT 2 WEEKS, AND I AM REALLY DISAPPOINTED IN BRINKMANN ( I did call them, not helpful at all). I WOULD LIKE TO GET SOME GOOD FOOD WITH LESS CHARCOAL