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need some help - in the middle of a smoke!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

hi everyone -


can anyone lend some insight on this problem?  i just got a weber smokey mountin 18", put it together yesterday and decided to break it in today with a burger smoke.  i cannot get this smoker above 200 degrees!  i have a pile of charcoal and all of the vents are 3/4 of the way open.  it isn't even getting hot enough to burn my wood chips.  i checked for any major leaks but dont see anything.  can anyone provide some recommendations?  i've given up on the woodchips providing any flavor because i'm about 2.5 hours into this so i guess it has become just a slow cook.

post #2 of 7
I had that problem and it came down to the amount of charcoal. I usually put 1 full chimney of charcoal, start smoking, and start on the 2nd one. Once that one is ready I put the wood and cover them with the charcoal. That usually gets me to about 220.

On longer smokes, I add a new chimney of charcoal once temps approach 200.

How much charcoal did you add?

Good luck!
post #3 of 7

are you using the thermometer on the lid?

water pan?

what kind / how much charcoal?

open all vents until you reach the desired temp, then cut back on the bottom vents

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

i have that charcoal ring they provide about 1/2 full (maybe 1.5 chimneys)


water bowl is 1/2 full


kingsford charcoal


i'm using 2 thermos - the 1 that came with the smoker (on the lid) reads 170 but the one i have in the smoker reads 200

post #5 of 7

open those vents and watch the temps fly 

do another test run with more charcoal and get it up to 300

then play with the vents to learn how to control the temps


close the top if the temp is too high

open the bottom if too low 

post #6 of 7
Just an FYI if you're cooking burgers that temp will be fine. Now for getting the temps higher open your vents, more charcoal may be needed. Personally I run my smokers, all of them with the top vent fully open all the time. I use the lower vents to control temps. Having water in your water pan will also lower temps in your smoker. Try it without water, line the pan with tin foil to make the clean up easier. Or fill the water pan with sand and cover with foil.

As you get your smoker seasoned it will be easier to control temps.
post #7 of 7

Just what I was thinking , Chco .  that and keep the exhaust full open . . .


have fun and . . .

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