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temp trouble

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
hey guys and gals, I'm having trouble with my temp. I have an okie Joe longhorn and am using frontier brand lump and hickory chunks. I got it going today and was shooting for about 240*. it got there after about a half hour and I've been struggling to keep it at 225* or so. it even dipped down below 200* for a while. well actually right now they read about 160*.

I have a lot of coal going, so much that to even stand three or four feet from the firebox you can feel the heat. I added two more thermometers to the door. one on either side of the handle and they read pretty close to the same on both sides.

the chimney damper is wide open, and the firebox damper is too. I feel kind of ridiculous asking, but am I doing something wrong?
post #2 of 12
Thread Starter 

post #3 of 12

Take what I say with a grain of salt because I don't have an OK Joe smoker.

 

I can look at the design and tell you your hot air is flowing up out of the firebox to the top of the smoker and out the chimney.  When the chimney exit is located at the top of the cook chamber instead of the middle, that's what will happen.  The hot air is riding on top of cooler air that has settled into the bottom of your smoker.  You essentially have an inversion layer in your smoker.  If your door doesn't seal tight it will be even worse as colder outside air gets pulled into your cook chamber.  You need better air mixing in the cook chamber to more effectively use the heat available from your fire.

 

Try closing down the chimney but leave the firebox vent open.  You should get better air mixing when the hot air can't escape so easily. 

 

Below is a picture with one easy solution to the problem.

 

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
I actually added one of those and the two extra temp guages after my first run with it because I noticed that very thing.


will closing my chimney more result in more creosote buildup?
post #5 of 12

Quote:

Originally Posted by IAShane View Post

I actually added one of those and the two extra temp guages after my first run with it because I noticed that very thing.


will closing my chimney more result in more creosote buildup?

 

If you are using charcoal with wood chunks.  Nope.

 

If you are using wood splits only once you have a hot fire, is the wood aged and dry?  If so, and you have a hot fire, and the splits are relatively small, you can open it up when you add wood, then close it down once the wood starts burning hot.

 

You can pre-heat your wood too which helps it carbonize faster.  Some folks with offsets would have ideas how to do that.  I have ideas how to do it but like I said, I don't own an offset.

post #6 of 12
Not sure about where the air intakes are situated.. But one low and one high on the firebox would improve heat flow. Lower would mainly control oxygen to fire...the upper will help move hot air from FB to cook chamber.

RG
post #7 of 12

Shane , it sounds like airflow to me also . I leave my exhaust wide open , I would have Creosote problems if I didn't...just sayin' :redface:

 

Have fun and . . .

post #8 of 12
Looks like the door leaks air..... I can see the smoke "stain" in the CC body.... The temp probe is holding it open is what it looks like to me... Drill a hole in the CC for the temp probe so the door can close...... Smokers need to be air tight to work properly....
Maybe try building a bigger bed of coals...

Dave
post #9 of 12

I have a OK Joe and I would say you have ash build up in the firebox. try raising your FB grate I raised mine about6'' an my temps went up fast and I can control mine a lot easier.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noboundaries View Post

Quote:

If you are using charcoal with wood chunks.  Nope.

If you are using wood splits only once you have a hot fire, is the wood aged and dry?  If so, and you have a hot fire, and the splits are relatively small, you can open it up when you add wood, then close it down once the wood starts burning hot.

You can pre-heat your wood too which helps it carbonize faster.  Some folks with offsets would have ideas how to do that.  I have ideas how to do it but like I said, I don't own an offset.

I'm using lump charcoal and wood chunks. thanks for the info, I was wondering how much I'd run into problems with it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RadioGuy View Post

Not sure about where the air intakes are situated.. But one low and one high on the firebox would improve heat flow. Lower would mainly control oxygen to fire...the upper will help move hot air from FB to cook chamber.

RG

there is a damper door on the bottom but none any higher. I sealed the gap between the two FB halves this past week so its now all sealed up.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolbbq View Post

Shane , it sounds like airflow to me also . I leave my exhaust wide open , I would have Creosote problems if I didn't...just sayin' redface.gif

Have fun and . . .

I agree with you. its like I'm not drawing the heat through the cooking chamber very well. I moved the chimney door a bit and didn't notice anything changing so I went back to wide open.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post

Looks like the door leaks air..... I can see the smoke "stain" in the CC body.... The temp probe is holding it open is what it looks like to me... Drill a hole in the CC for the temp probe so the door can close...... Smokers need to be air tight to work properly....
Maybe try building a bigger bed of coals...

Dave

there is indeed a few gaps around the door. I thought i had a good bed of coals going. and was adding to it regularly. admittedly I do not yet have the hang of stability yet.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by james1nc View Post

I have a OK Joe and I would say you have ash build up in the firebox. try raising your FB grate I raised mine about6'' an my temps went up fast and I can control mine a lot easier.

I took two of the coal grates and made a V in the fire box and took the third to prop against the outside wall to serve as a side. this elevated the coals better than I had previously, but I agree it could be better. I'm going to get a coal basket made up and see if that helps.


thanks everyone for the advice and suggestions. despite the temp troubles, my ribs were good. the chuck roast was ok, but I didn't pull it from the cooler until about 11 tonight. It had good flavor but wasn't pulled beef capable. we'll be eating it as steak I guess.

the rump roast however... holy moly that thing was tender, smelled great, and you could cut it with a spoon. I can't wait to eat it. anyway its late and Ill post Qview tomorrow.
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