Originally Posted by Fisher6688
i do what you do but my temps rise up to however big a split i put usually up to 270 and slow decline down. this is for about 40 mins max. i start with half chimney of charcoal and use oak. damper open half or less than that. so i dont understand why mine is not steady steady. it goes up a "hill" and down. slowly though.
I could be wrong but it sounds like you need a smaller, hotter fire with more oxygen in the equation. If your fire is too big in the first place and you have to choke everything off (including the stack) it'll be dirty, and you won't have a good draft through the cooker (hence maybe the hot spot and suction near the exhaust you mentioned previously). If you can get your fire smaller to where you need your damper most of the way open (maybe even the side door cracked) that theoretically should create a better draft and keep smoke/air going out our exhaust instead of it sucking in and help calm down that hotspot, although it may always be there a little. Better to add an extra split and keep everything running mostly open and running clean rather than choking it off and throwing the draft out of whack, not to mention having a dirty fire. I think the goal is to control the fire with fuel and not the dampers.
This essentially will be my approach as I finally purchase the Pecos and season it up tomorrow.
I'll report back on my findings and confirm just how much of the above is actually reality, but this is basically what I've learned from the stick burning 101 article as well as BBQ w/ Franklin.
Edited by JBurn244 - 6/13/14 at 7:00am