Originally Posted by vandaman85
Ok well i lit the cooker using the minion method and i seasoned it first for 2 hours, Then rather than waste the fuel i put the wings on and filled the water bowl with cold water. The vents were fully open and it crept up to just past 200 degrees so i closed the bottom vents and the temp just started dropping to about 170, so i opened them up again and added a bit more coal, it went back to 200 but wouldnt go any higher.
When i was seasoning the temp was between 200 and 250 for 2 hours, obviously it lost temp when i added the water and the wings but it wouldnt go above 200.
Am i making any sense?
How much charcoal did you use?
I always ramp the temp up 15-25 degrees above my target cook temp, then put the meat on to cook. The thermal mass of the cold meat will drop the temp. By going higher with your initial temp your recovery time will be less. Once meat is on and the smoker hits the temp you want start adjusting your lower vents to achieve your desired cooking temp. For chicken don't be afraid to take the smoker up to 325*. You'll still get great smoke flavor, and the skin will crisp up.
Couple other things always leave the top vent wide open, use the lower vents to control your temps. Make small adjustments and wait 15 minutes or so then adjust again if needed.
Along the lines of the water pan, fill it with sand and cover it with foil. The sand works as a better thermal mass and you will have better temp control. The water will only heat to 212*F then it will stop so it will actually work against you for higher temp cooks. There is no need for adding water to get moist meat in a smoker.