Well.... I've been busy working on my smoker! I added a damper after the fire box before entering the smoke chamber and on the exiting stove pipe on the smoke chamber. I added a fan on the bottom of the smoke house in hopes of being able to bring cold air in to cool off the box if it got too hot. That idea failed but is worth revisiting.
I ran a test smoke last week and decided to smoke a yard bird. The results were awesome! I broke down and used charcoal for fuel and added chips for smoke. It still worked very well. I used alder and mesquite for flavor. I also rubbed the chicken first with a Jamaican rub I cloned from a visit down south. Ultimately I smoked the bird for about 2 hours and then finished it on the firebox. I discovered that a large Webber grate fits perfectly inside of my smoker and also fits perfectly over my firebox. On the initial run I discovered I needed another way to control the flame. First off I made the mistake of loading up the firebox with coals. Big mistake. My firebox isn't completely sealed air tight and needless to say I had to cool down the coals a time or two to avoid hitting higher than I wanted temps. Ultimately, adding a second damper did the trick.
So after the first smoke, I decided I had better do another this weekend! I had been wanting to try making Summer Sausage. So today I did the Venison Summer Sausage recipe in Rytek's book. I started making the sausage this morning at 8 AM and it's now 11:46 and I still haven't finished smoking... The smoker is holding temp fairly well but the meat will not get over the 138 degree mark... I'm smoking it at 165-170. I initially had trouble balancing things out at 165 and was hovering right around 160 for about the first hour of cooking.
Pics of the final sausage post will come in the morning.
Try a vent opening on the top of the firebox to let heat out BEFORE it gets to the transfer pipe..... OR put a "tee" in the transfer pipe to let heat out....