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Hello from Ontario, Canada

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hello all, 

 

After watching my dad smoke a turkey last weekend, I decided to buy my own.  Unfortunately, my first try did not go well.  The smoker I bought does not hold heat and after 7 hours of attempting to do a whole chicken I gave up.  I'm going to modify the smoker a bit (it has 6 inch legs with an open bottom) and try again tomorrow.  Hopefully that works out!  

 

The smoker I have is a Masterchef Vertical Smoker.  Hopefully it won't be a complete dud!

 

Very disappointed after my first attempt, but still extremely optimistic!!!

 

Blair

post #2 of 10
Hi Blair! welcome1.gif to SMF!!! We're happy you found us! You've come to the right place, we have over 50,000 members who just love to share their experience and over 900,000 posts describing it!

The search bar at the top can be your best friend when you are trying to find answers to your questions but you can still ask too if you want!

We have an Articles section that is full of great information about smoking to include a lot of recipes and instructionals. Check it out there is a lot to learn in there!

You might want to check out Jeff's Free 5 day E-Course, it will teach you all the basics plus a whole lot more!
post #3 of 10

Blairwelcome1.gif

I hope your next smoke is better. Try leg quarters. They are cheap to learn how your pit works. and will take a wide temp swing.

Happy smoken.

David

post #4 of 10

Welcome to the SMF Family...You may wish to give more detail on what you were doing. What Fuel? How much? Adding lit fuel or cold?

Many of us started with similar smokers and all though they are a PITA, they can be managed with a lot of baby sitting...JJ

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

I used lump charcoal and pre-lit everytime before adding it into the smoker.  The thermometer on the smoker wouldn't go above 175, though it is very cheap and I don't think it was reading correctly.  No matter what I did though, I could not get enough heat.  After 7 hours, my chicken was at 160, about 20 or so lower then I wanted.  After all was said and done, half drunk and pissed off, I removed the chicken and the droppings bowl and put it back together at which point it jumped to 250.  I'm thinking I may have to find a way to seal up the bottom to force the heat upwards.

post #6 of 10

The lid Therm is usually crap but you had another issue. If that smoker was like mine the air supply to the charcoal was a 1" hole in the bottom of the bowl. This choked the fire after a short time and a little ash build up. You will get a better result by adding a small grate or some expanded metal to lift the charcoal off the bottom of the bowl and let air get to the fire and ash to fall away. Heat control is achieved by controlling the air to the fire. More burns hotter and shutting a damper restricts air and the fire dies down. So rigging a butterfly damper will give more adjustment. I don't know if sealing the bottom will gain anything as I never tried it...JJ

post #7 of 10

Welcome to the forums, Blair!  Glad you've joined us.  You've found a great place to learn and share ideas on our favorite pastimes...grilling, smoking, and curing great food!  There are lots of friendly and knowledgeable folks here who really enjoy helping one another.  Just ask any time you need help and you'll get plenty!

 

Red

post #8 of 10

welcome1.gif to SMF!  We are so glad you joined us!

 

If you didn't read the Terms of Service notes.....please do.  There are a few things that everyone should know about those pesky little rules before plunging into the forums. Rule #11......"Off Site Links are not allowed here at SMF" is something new. There are other simple guidelines for all of us to remember as we interact here.

 

If you need any help roaming around here in SMF....just give me a shout.  Happy to help any time!

 

Kat

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

I tried a whole chicken again yesterday and had great success.  I modified the charcoal pan by cutting a hole in it and attaching a 4 inch damper to the bottom.  The damper closed allowed some airflow in which helped a bunch.  It also allowed me to empty the pan of any ash without losing much heat (noticed about a 10 degree drop each time).  I think I'm going to fashion a cap for the damper and see how that affects the heat.  I managed to keep the heat between 220 and 270, so a bit of practise is needed there.  I'll post pictures of the damper later today before I fire it up again to do a pork loin roast.

 

Thanks for all the help!!

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
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