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Need advice on maintaining temp in offset stick burner

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Sorry if this has been discussed before. I did a search and couldn't find an exact question. I'm sure I just didn't look hard enough.

Anyway I have an OK Joes offset that I bought at Home Depot a couple years ago. I use it regularly and have turned out some pretty good Q. My question is I feel like I am working a lot to keep temps steady. I am constantly adjusting the exhaust vents and intake vents, especially when I add wood. It seems like when it finally gets where I want it with a nice flow of TBS it only last a few minutes before I need to add wood and then start all over going back and forth adjusting the exhaust and intake dampers. I guess I was never really taught the best way to do this. I guess my main question is should I leave the exhaust wide open and use the intake damper to adjust temps or should I leave the intake in a certain position and only adjust the exhaust, or is their no easy way and this is what to expect from a smoker of this quality?

Thanks for any advice.
Carlos
post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by harleysmoker93 View Post

.... I guess my main question is should I leave the exhaust wide open and use the intake damper to adjust temps or should I leave the intake in a certain position and only adjust the exhaust, or is their no easy way and this is what to expect from a smoker of this quality?

Thanks for any advice.
Carlos

 

Yes, this is what you should do. I cook with wood in my CharGriller and I have learned to worry less about regulating the temp in the cook chamber and simply keep the wood burning in the fire box, not smoldering. I make sure I have a small hot fire and add wood as needed.

As far as regulating temps, I try not to go below 230°, if I do I add more wood. Remember you need a small hot fire, you will have to add wood fairly often, probably about every 20-25 minutes.

I start my fire with lump charcoal and add splits as needed to the fire-

 

post #3 of 7
damn.. there's a good thread about stick burning 101... searching for it but can't seem to find it... somebody will come along and post it...
post #4 of 7
found it .... see If this helps .... http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/a/stickburning101
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you Cliff that made a lot of sense. I need to make my fires smaller using smaller splits. I think I'm using logs that are a little to big. They smolder at first causing me to panic because of the white smoke then they catch fire and temps rise too much.

Thank you Jack that was a good read. It really helped me figure out some things I'm doing wrong. I am defiantly saving that thread for future reference.

Again thank you guys for the help.
post #6 of 7

On my offset I build bigger fires, but it is large and also is made of 1/4 steel so more heat is needed to heat up the steel.  But I do not worry about the white smoke as much after my butts or brisket are wrapped.  Some guys also advocate having a separate burn grate and only add coals to the fire...I have never done that,  it would work...but have never been that motivated to use that approach.  I always leave exhaust wide open and control fire with intake air flow.  Make sure that if ashes are building up under the fire grate to remove them.  They can build up and choke off air flow.

post #7 of 7

The only rational approach I have ever heard on offset cooking is..give it all the exhaust you have and all the air to the fire it wants. If it starts stinking and smoking nasty it wants more air..usually..not counting skunky logs etc. The amount of heat delivered to the meat is dependent on building and maintaining the right sized fire..which knowing how to do that comes from cooking a few times on the pit in question. lol. The parameters can be very forgiving..just use all five senses to know when there is a crisis..lol Staying sober is real helpful but not tried often.

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