I am new to the forums, and new to smoking. Last week, the wife and I picked up a new Oklahoma Joe offset smoker from Lowes. I followed the directions and burned it in ( seasoned) last weekend.
I am planning to smoke some spare ribs for the 4th of July, having some folks over my daughter, her husband and children.
So today I thought I would give it a trial run, and see how it went before I do the big 4th smoke.
I picked up a rack of spare ribs, and they are currently on the smoker - using the 3-2-1 method. ( I have done some reading up on the internet).
They are in the 2 phase now. I got a chimney starter, and started the charcoal using the minion method. All went well, but I think I perhaps started with too much charcoal? I poured briquettes on the fire grate in the fire box, made them concave so the middle was lower than the outer ring, and poured the hot and ready coals on top in the middle area. I had the chimney about 2/3rd full.
I imagine probably somewhere around 6-7 lbs of charcoal overall. I also have a bag of hickory chunks, and have been putting 2-3 of those on top of the coals as I went to keep the smoke going.
When I first got going , the temp rose to like 300 F before long, and that was reading the installed thermometer on the stack side of the barrel. I am sure it was hotter than that near the cooking grate and firepit side.
I pretty much shut completely the fire pit draft door, as it has a little gap around it and still pulls some air. I have the exhaust stack cover about 2/3rd closed. I also notice I have some smoke coming out around the fire pit cover door, the barrel cover door, and where the stack goes through the smoker. Would this contribute to me not being able to get the temp down? Or did I just build too big a fire?
Thanks for any tips for this newbie,