Ladies and Gentlemen of the Forum,
I am a first time smoker, long time fan. I recently purchased a wide body Dyna Glo offset smoker for Christmas. I have attempted to smoke ribs and a picnic pork twice. The issue I am having is reaching the 215-235 temp range. I use Stubbs charcoal briquettes and I have tried using the minion method and adding a chimney full of lit charcoals (I wait until I see flames coming out of the top and the bottom coals are glowing orange and the top ones are lit and ashed over, I do this every time I add coals from a chimney.
I have tried adding just the coals from the chimney to start the smoker, then when the temp stalls, adding a layer of unlit coals then a layer of lit Chimney coals. I have also tired a bottom layer of unlit coals followed by a layer of chimney lit coals, to start off with.
The issue I have is the top coals keep going out with either arrangement of coals. I have to poke the coals in the fire box every 15 minutes to keep it from going out. I have the bottom vent wide open and the chimney closed. But it takes about 2 1/2 hours to even reach a temp of 225. Then when I add my meat, it drops to about 150 and I have to start all over again and it takes about another 2 hours to reach 225. I do not use a water pan and I have used nomex tape and hi-temp silicone sealant around the all the doors, joints and lips.
But from the other posts I have read on this forum, and other websites, it should not be this hard. I am trying to figure out what I am missing or not doing correctly.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.