I am from Grafton, Australia and have been barbecuing for a few years now, mainly on a Weber. I recently bit the bullet and had a local metal fabricator make me a reverse offset smoker. I have had a couple of test runs and have a few questions about maintaining heat. I would prefer to use briquettes/charcoal as it is more stable and I can set and forget it a bit more. with my weber I use a Digiq Dx2 with one 25cfm fan but because the volume is so much bigger on the smoker I am running 2 x 25cfm fans, so it is getting 50 cfm when both are going.
My first effort I couldnt get over 195F with 8 lbs briquettes and all vents closed. I had another crack and used timber as well, with the door slightly open and after it got going it shot over 330, but the temperature dropped when the wood burnt away. My third effort ( today) has both both fans on trying to get to 275 and more charcoal,( about 15 lbs.). Left the door ajar and got to 250 pretty easily but cant seem to go over that. I am expecting too much from the briquettes.?. The temperature probe is hanging off the top rack and the chimney draws low, near the grate. I dont mind using wood, but I dont want to be loading it in every 15 minutes.
The dimensions of my smoker are as follows.( both cooking chamber and firebox are round.
Cook chamber 41" long and 20 inch diameter
Firebox 18 inches long and 20 in ch diameter
opening from firebox to cook chamber 50 sq inches
4 inch chimney 40 inches long
Entire smoker is quarter inch steel
My questions are,
Will briquettes get hot enough?
How many briquettes do I need for a smoker my size?
Any ideas and what sort of temperature range should I expect from a smoker this size
Attached is a photo