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Why keep the exhaust wide open?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have seen several people suggest you keep the exhaust wide open during smoking. I have an Oklahoma Joe's and it is a challenge to hit 225 degrees with just adjusting the intake. Can someone please explain to me why you want your exhaust wide open?
post #2 of 12
You need good air flow for proper smoking. A good smoker can be controlled by leaving the exhaust wide open and just using the intake air vents.
post #3 of 12

Closing  or reducing the opening of your exhaust will cause a myriad of problems , Creosote production from trapped and stale smoke is your biggest enemy.


Runs of heat going too high or smothering your fire are among the mix. 


The exhaust (IMHO) is only to keep rain out of the smoker and rusting your toy from the inside out (I call it 'Smoker Cancer').


Open it wide open and forget about it . . . and as you smoke  . . . 

post #4 of 12

You have received excellent advice from experienced folks.


As stated, keep the air flow going and regulate temps with the intake damper.


Less worry about stale smoke and creosote.  Less fire control problems.


Good luck and good smoking.

post #5 of 12
I also have an Oklahoma Joe Longhorn & have been down the same road your going.


If you have it closed you will get a bitter & metallic tasting (creosote) meat.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
I may have left the wrong impression. I am not closing it completely, just enough to get it to 225. There is plenty of air flow.
post #7 of 12

I have an Okie Joe too, it seems like I need to have my exhaust only slightly open, maybe 1/2 +/- or the temps go way up. Am I using too much wood?

post #8 of 12

I run mine wide open as well. But someone here mentioned closing it when the firebox lid is open, basically trap the heat for a few minutes while tending the fire.

post #9 of 12

Prudent and Smokey bruin, closing the Exhaust may be a way for 'you' to control  heat , but it will come back and kick you in the rear some day.


Creosote production is caused by stale smoke being left in the cooking chamber, food gets coated and the walls of your Smoker will get a coating .


I know of no - one that uses the exhaust for control ; the only control of your heat is the  intake at the firebox . open it wide and control it by closing and opening .  You may have to add some smaller sticks to catch quicker ,,, or even open the door to let excess heat out or to get more O2 for your fire.


My suggestion is to practice often , at heat development ... I have an offset and can smoke from 150*F to in the 300's with no problem.  Took me some practice runs to figure it out , but after the learning process , you'll be fire control. :biggrin:


Hope this helps and as always . . .

post #10 of 12

thanks Old School, how are you getting down to 150 and keeping it that low?

post #11 of 12
Well I have my exhaust wide open and I am using my new coal basket, and the temps are holding perfect. Thanks for the.advise old school
post #12 of 12


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