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Why so hot?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hey gang, currently getting ready for my second smoke - 3 racks of spare ribs.

 

I think I may be putting too much charcoal in? I used the minion method, the chimney starter a filled about 1/3 full of coals and got them going and turning to ash gray. I had sat the chimney down in middle of the fire pit in my OK Joe smoker, and built up charcoal around it - probably around 5 lbs. I also put a couple chucks of hickory wood on top.

 

It has been burning about 30 - 40 minutes, and the temp keeps rising - inside down at the grate, around 350 on one side, around 300 on the far side. My new smoker has some leaks around where the lid lowers down.

 

I have fully closed the damper to the firebox now ( there is a gap there as well , not sure what I can do about that).

I will wait another 20 minutes or so and see if the temp is coming down.

 

Am I simply starting out with too much charcoal? I though the minion method, was so you could start with more and have it burn down gradually? To get it started good, I left the damper fully open for the first 20 minutes or so...

 

Thanks for any tips for this newbie!

 

Don

post #2 of 8

Don, morning....  Sounds like too many lit coals to start, and air leaks are killing your temp control....  

 

Dave

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post

Don, morning....  Sounds like too many lit coals to start, and air leaks are killing your temp control....  

 

Dave

 

Ok that makes sense, thanks Dave. Next time I will start with just a few lit coals. I just checked the temps, it is slowly coming down after I fully closed the damper - very slowly, starting to drop below 300 now.

 

I know how I can seal the leaks around the doors over the cooking barrel and the fire pit, but that side plate where the damper is, has a pretty good gap between the plate and the fire pit, not sure what I can do about that one.

 

I do have a convection plate, and charcoal basket on order with Horizon ( custom for the OK Joe), will be a few weeks before I get them.

post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by dburne View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post

Don, morning....  Sounds like too many lit coals to start, and air leaks are killing your temp control....  

 

Dave

 

Ok that makes sense, thanks Dave. Next time I will start with just a few lit coals. I just checked the temps, it is slowly coming down after I fully closed the damper - very slowly, starting to drop below 300 now.

 

I know how I can seal the leaks around the doors over the cooking barrel and the fire pit, but that side plate where the damper is, has a pretty good gap between the plate and the fire pit, not sure what I can do about that one.

 

I do have a convection plate, and charcoal basket on order with Horizon ( custom for the OK Joe), will be a few weeks before I get them.

 

  Got a picture ???    someone will help figure it out.......     

post #5 of 8

Dburne, Dave has got you covered! super.gif  If he can't help, the rest of us are in trouble!!!

 

Send a photo if possible, it will help.

 

Good luck!

 

Happy Independence Day!!!  usa.gif

post #6 of 8
Hey D! I'm not a pro or anything but I found that putting 30 unlit coals into my 22" Weber kettle with 8 lit charcoal does the trick. I've been able to maintain a temp of 225-235 for 4 hours straight without having to replenish the coals. It took me a few trial runs but I think I have it down.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post

 

  Got a picture ???    someone will help figure it out.......     

 

Thanks Dave and Frosty!

 

I have now got it down to around 230-240 or so, so I think I am ok. Just put the ribs on.

 

Regarding the gap on the damper plate to fire pit, I will take a pic later on when I can get a better shot, and see what you guys think,

 

Thanks so much,

 

 

Don

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert43 View Post

Hey D! I'm not a pro or anything but I found that putting 30 unlit coals into my 22" Weber kettle with 8 lit charcoal does the trick. I've been able to maintain a temp of 225-235 for 4 hours straight without having to replenish the coals. It took me a few trial runs but I think I have it down.

 

Thanks Albert, I am sure I had at least that many unlit coals, but certainly much more on the lit side, about a third of a chimney - I think that may be where I went wrong, got too hot at the outset.

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