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What's up with my off-set smoker?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I've had an off-set stick/charcoal Char Broil smoker for over a year now.  I've about had it with the thing.  My temps will hold at 225 for about 10 minutes and then it's up to over 300 in no time.  I have to put water on the fire to cool back down to 225, but then I'm either losing heat or gaining heat in no time again.  

 

It's become a battle every time I smoke, and I am really sick of the babysitting.  I have a hunch that the thing just isn't insulated well and it let's in too much air even with the vents closed and the stack open.  I'm really thinking about picking up a new smoker, but before I blow another $300-500 on a smoker, are there any mods I can do to help with my smoker?

post #2 of 9

I have had one of those smokers in the past. one thing i did that helped was put in a heat shield  next to the firebox in the Cook Chamber. take 3 to 4 loaf foil pans and fill them with playground sand. also you can build a smaller fire and add wood chunks slowly to the fire to keep a more even temperature. Search the forums here for other mods. i didnt like to mod my smoker much so i bought a Weber smokey Mountain vertical smoker....ready right out of the box!

 

Happy Smoking,

phatbac (Aaron)

post #3 of 9
Are you using charcoal or wood or both? Offsets tend to swing in temps but that's a big one. Sounds like too much air.,..
post #4 of 9
Could be a couple different problems. Sounds more like a fire management problem.
What for wood are you burning?
post #5 of 9
I'm working on mods on my new offset.
I'm making a heat shield base on this one,except I'm putting it just above the opening from the fire box instead of the bend. That puts it about a 1.5 inches away from the cooking grate. Do you think that's to close?

PS anybody use a fire controler on a offset? Like a iq110
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by gitaryzt1985 View Post

I've had an off-set stick/charcoal Char Broil smoker for over a year now.  I've about had it with the thing.  My temps will hold at 225 for about 10 minutes and then it's up to over 300 in no time.  I have to put water on the fire to cool back down to 225, but then I'm either losing heat or gaining heat in no time again.  

It's become a battle every time I smoke, and I am really sick of the babysitting.  I have a hunch that the thing just isn't insulated well and it let's in too much air even with the vents closed and the stack open.  I'm really thinking about picking up a new smoker, but before I blow another $300-500 on a smoker, are there any mods I can do to help with my smoker?

I have to close my exhaust vent down to about 1/4" open to get temps to stay down.. and that's with the intake closed completely... yea yea yea I know .. exhaust is suppose to be wide open.. but with so many air leaks that's the only way I can control it... try closing exhaust down next time starting at half way.. if temps still climb close it down more... try it and let us know ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elwood68 View Post

I'm working on mods on my new offset.
I'm making a heat shield base on this one,except I'm putting it just above the opening from the fire box instead of the bend. That puts it about a 1.5 inches away from the cooking grate. Do you think that's to close?

PS anybody use a fire controler on a offset? Like a iq110

these will only work if the FB is sealed tight with NO (or close to it) air leaks... but yes.. A lot of people use them on off sets...
post #7 of 9
Here is the picture of the heat shield base, I hope
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by gitaryzt1985 View Post
 

I've had an off-set stick/charcoal Char Broil smoker for over a year now.  I've about had it with the thing.  My temps will hold at 225 for about 10 minutes and then it's up to over 300 in no time.  I have to put water on the fire to cool back down to 225, but then I'm either losing heat or gaining heat in no time again.  

 

It's become a battle every time I smoke, and I am really sick of the babysitting.  I have a hunch that the thing just isn't insulated well and it let's in too much air even with the vents closed and the stack open.  I'm really thinking about picking up a new smoker, but before I blow another $300-500 on a smoker, are there any mods I can do to help with my smoker?

 

 

Can you take pictures of doors, air inlets, opening between the FB/CC.....   That will get us started.....

post #9 of 9

Assuming its not your gauges and your fire management is up to snuff, I would try the easiest, least intrusive method first before permanent mods,Phatbac has a great idea. What I do on my pit is use water pans to help stabilize temps, I keep temps pretty good without the water pans but it does reduce the temp swings and reduces fiddle factor.

 

Add Thermal mass and baffling. I have added lots of extra metal to my pit, like plate steel, old weber cast iron grates at one time I had a 25 lb piece of granite in there but it restricted flow a bit.

 

Increase Thermal Mass and add baffling in addition to what Phatbac said, try sand and then water, I prefer water because it will not go over 212°

 

26845859281_f864769f2a_b.jpg

 

 

I can have a tiny coal bed and a fire like this and keep the temps between 250 - 275 ° But I have a lot of thermal mass, I may even add another 50 pounds of plate steel. Thermal mass will help retain heat so you can control it better (reduce dramatic temp swings), I have already opened the firebox with 0 wood left and a few coals and the pit was barely dropping below 250°

 

26819926612_34a85b6f63_b.jpg

 

Anyhow, this has worked for me but YMMV. Goodluck and keep us posted on your progress.

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