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Havig trouble getting up to temp - Page 2

post #21 of 35

Great, I do most of my cooking at 225, but on occasion I'll bump it up.  I wanted to make sure you were not having to use more fuel than necessary to maintain your temp.  I am thinking out loud, with your FB to CC opening being way smaller than it should be, You can get the CC temps up but you are having to use more charcoal/wood to accomplish this. With a larger opening more heat and smoke can get to the Cook Chamber faster and hold heat better, that way smaller fire, less fuel and easier on you.  Just Saying

 I love smoking as much as anyone, but I don't want to have to use more fuel than necessary and spend my time monitoring it to make sure it stays up to temp. Since you live in Irving you and I have about the same seasonal temps. I like to smoke all year round and when it gets cold it will effect your smoker temps, so you want it to be doing its job and not make it harder on you.

 

Gary

post #22 of 35
Thread Starter 

I just checked the wings. Temp still holding around 210-215. However, some of the ones closest to the FB are done (almost over done) and others around the middle and near the far end are not done. I do plan to stick them on the grill to crisp them up some though. Another thing I noticed is that the smoky flavor isn't there or not as much as I would like. The last batch was much better for some reason. I added a couple of more sticks of Mesquite to see if I can get some more smoky flavor but I'm gonna have to pull them pretty soon. Also, I noticed that all the heat seems to be setting right next to the air vent in he FB. Not much of the charcoal and wood seems to be burnt on the far side. All my ashes are next to the air inlet.

post #23 of 35

Still sounds like you are having an air flow problem. Once you are done with the wings, post your pictures and measurements and I along with other members will help you get your smoker tuned in.

 

Gary

post #24 of 35
Thread Starter 

Thanx Gary, will do.

post #25 of 35
Thread Starter 

Okay, I cleaned up the cooker today and took some pictures and re-measured everything. so, here goes.

First, the airway from the firebox to the Cook chamber. Dimensions are  10 x 3 with the opening at 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches.

 

 

 

The firebox is 49 x 23 x 23 inches

 Inside dimensions of the cook chamber are 49 x 23 x 23

 

The circumference of the CC is 80 inches. The stack is 40 inches (at the max) and 4 x 4 square.

 

The air vent opening is 5 1/2 x 3 1/2 at max opening.

post #26 of 35
Thread Starter 

The wings I cooked Friday came out great and were a big hit. The temp held around 215 for about 4.5 hours. I then put them on the grill for about 10 min to crisp them up a bit..

I want to do something bigger like a brisket or pork loin but I want to be more comfortable with my air flow and fuel selection first.

post #27 of 35

Glad to see the pictures, I think that FB to CC  opening is to small. I have asked Dave Omak to take a look at your post, Dave has probably forgot more about RF smokers than most of us will ever know. Let's see if his assessment is the same. I am hoping this will be an easy fix.

 

Gary

post #28 of 35

Sammy morning.......  Looking at your smoker, a few things will help it.....

  

First, the fire needs to be elevated on an expanded metal screen so it is 4" above the bottom of the FB......

  

The FB to CC opening needs to be opened up to 48 sq in. if you leave the stack in it's same location....  

 

If you make it a Reverse flow smoker, open it up to 72 sg in...  

 

The opening would work best if it is cut to the contour of the FB and cut up 4" from the bottom of the FB to a horizontal line 17 1/2" wide.

 

In that smoker, it should have tuning plates... 18" long and 3-4" wide..... 

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/54542/building-an-italian-offset-smoker

 

tuningplatesandbaffleplss1.jpg

 

The plates must be installed above the FB/CC opening and run full length of the smoker with small openings between each plate...

 

The lid to the FB needs seals so it is air tight....  Check to see the CC door is air tight....

 

The chimney exhaust stack is too tall and draws too much air, cooling the CC....  cut it to 28" above the CC.....

 

When all of that is done, cut an additional adjustable air inlet to the FB directly across from the FB/CC opening....  3" down from the FB top plate, 1" X 3".....   That will improve heat flow and reduce the temp in the FB and reduce fuel usage......

 

That's where I would start.....     

 

Dave


Edited by DaveOmak - 11/11/13 at 2:05pm
post #29 of 35

I knew Dave would help.  Hope all this makes sense to you. You have a real nice smoker, now you'll have a great smoker. What you want is a smoker that doesn't work you to death and use twice as much fuel as it should. I know from experience from my early years. No pit calculators, no SMF hey no internet, only trial and error. You will see a big difference with these mod's.

 

Gary

post #30 of 35

Sammy, have you had a chance to do any of the mod's yet?   Be sure and keep us posted

 

Gary

post #31 of 35

Sammy, another thought. You said you got the smoker at a church auction. I am thinking if you contact the person at the church who was responsible for getting the smoker, they could get in touch with whoever built it in the first place. More than likely if you go over the problems and suggested modifications he could probably take care of this. Most welders and fabricators I know want the customer to be happy. And if he builds many of these it would be good information for him in the future.

 

Gary

post #32 of 35
Thread Starter 

Hi Gary,

I haven't had a chance to work on my cooker yet but I do plan to talk to the builder. I won't be able to do many mods as suggested. I don't have the welding skills nor any equipment. I do however plan to take about1/4 inch or so from the fixed damper from the FB to the CC. I also plan to use more wood than charcoal. I might go to straight wood. I used a lot last time and didn't have any trouble with temp.

 

I'll keep you informed.

 

Thanx,

 

Sam

post #33 of 35

Do talk to the builder, You want to get the most out of your smoker, Trust me you will see a difference.

 

Gary

post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy D View Post
 

Hi Gary,

I haven't had a chance to work on my cooker yet but I do plan to talk to the builder. I won't be able to do many mods as suggested. I don't have the welding skills nor any equipment. I do however plan to take about1/4 inch or so from the fixed damper from the FB to the CC. I also plan to use more wood than charcoal. I might go to straight wood. I used a lot last time and didn't have any trouble with temp.

 

I'll keep you informed.

 

Thanx,

 

Sam

 

Sam......  Cut the entire fixed damper out......   get rid of it.....   It is a negative attribute to your smoker.....   

post #35 of 35
Thread Starter 

Thanx Dave. That is something I have thought about. I was thinking if I did it might produce too much heat. I've had that problem on other cookers but they weren't set up like this one. They were more of a grill than a smoker.

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