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Newbie here

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I didnt know where to look for help and i found this site and i honestly didnt know where to post this. First time smoking ever and went at it blindly and as you could imagine didn't turn out so well. I have made my own smoker and went at that blindly as well but got the approval from a long time smoker enthusiast that i know. From my observation the cook chamber is only at a 100-130 degrees and not where i want it to be, i was hoping to hit around 225 or so. Im cooking outdoors and its around 11 degrees Celsius and i dont know if that has anything to do with it. Oh yeah in using charcoal briquettes and wood chips and also small wood chunks? I guess i dont really know. So yeah i think thats all i need help with but if i come up with anything else I'll see to posting it here.
post #2 of 8

I think I already saw you post in the Roll Call.  


For other questions or posts take a look at our Forums section and select a more appropriate location for specific questions.


Good luck and have fun,



post #3 of 8
Glad you joined us adonato, welcome1.gif from North Dakota!
What make and model charcoal smoker do you have?
With charcoal the temp is regulated by air flow and amount of charcoal. Don't smoke with your top vent closed, and same with the bottom vent unless it is running higher than preferred. Running to low of a temp may also be from too much ash surrounding the coals and/or not allowing ventilation.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
I Made my own smoker and i think the lack of vents is my problem here so I'm going to try to drill a few more holes on the FB or if that isn't gunna work im planning on add a second FB on the bottom exclusively for a heat source but I'm open to any other suggestions.
post #5 of 8

Hello andonato.  Here is my opinion for what it is worth.  Others may have different advice.  This is only my opinion.  My first prewritten response for smoker mods is: You need to do a few modifications to that smoker to help with temp control.  Without meat, get a fire going in there to create smoke.  BIG smoke!  You can even spray a little water on the coals to create BIG white smoke.  What you want to do is see where the smoke leaks are.  Mark the leaks and when the smoker cools seal every leak you can using stove rope, high temp silicone and such.  Next, if you have a thin flimsy fire grate use it as a template and build or have built a grate out of 1/2" concrete reinforcing steel ( rebar ).  That thin grate will sag with heat and will rest on the ash cutting off air flow to your coals.  No air flow no heat.  Other option is build a charcoal basket.  You can find baskets in the build section.  Leave that exhaust fully open and use the intake vent to control the heat.  Last tip is go buy a cheap garden trowel.  Knock the wooden handle off and weld a 2-2 1/2' piece of that rebar to the shovel.  Now you can gently scoop out the ash without them blowing all over your meat and you won't burn your hands.     NOW having pasted my "standard" reply most of which you have probably done already; it is hard to tell from your picts but it LOOKS like your air vent on the firebox is too high.  Picts can be deceiving so I might be wrong.  You also need a damper on your air vent to control heat.  The air vent needs to be BELOW your fire grate.  The air needs to flow from under your coals through the coals, then into the cook chamber and out the stack.  LOOKS to me as if your vent is at fire grate level and not below.  That is where I'd start if the vent is at grate level.  Hope this helps.  Keep Smokin!


Edited by KC5TPY - 10/29/13 at 8:25am
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'll take you advice in to consideration thanks. I have recently drilled a few holes on the bottom of the FB and I'm hoping that would be suffice. And also I'm going to try using a new heat source i feel the briquets aren't working for me but i could be wrong. Any more suggestions would be great.
post #7 of 8

Hello adonato.  First off, am I correct about the position of the intake vent?  If I am , your problems can be corrected.  Drilling holes in the bottom might let air in but you will have no way to control the air flow.  No air flow control, no heat control.  If I am correct the only solution is to move your intake vent or add another; in my opinion.  You did a great job building your smoker, you are almost there; that is the only mod you need to make ( if I am correct ).  I only use lump wood charcoal but that is beside the point.  If you change heat source you may still have problems.  If you choose propane and leave that air intake in the same place, without a damper ; you run the risk of a gust of wind blowing out the pilot.  I can't comment on electric as I have never used it but I feel the vent problem might still be an issue.  That is my opinion for what it is worth.  Others may have different opinions.  My last comment: no air flow, no heat.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!


post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
The door of the FB is 10 1/2 inches in height and the intake vent is right at the middle so 6 1/4 high. I drilled holes on the bottom of the door and because the lack tools i have at home i can install a damper so I'm just gunna try using aluminum foil to plug the holes if needed. I am smoking in a some what enclosed area not a lot of wind goes through the area a lot. Also making an elevated rack with a grate surface to put the briquettes on so air can go underneath.
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