I've done a few more cooks since I last posted - and while they are getting better, I still think I'm having problems with temperature. Basically, I'm just not sure the smoker is getting hot enough.
I have a dual probe digital thermometer and a copy of the franklin BBQ book - he says you should aim for a temperature in your smoker of 275F as a decent reference - This seems right at the upper end of what I can achieve, its more around 220/230 most of the time.
having played around with various things - below are my notes & questions.
- I don't think enough air is getting into the firebox, even with the side flap open it doesn't burn properly - There is this whole 'backdraft' thing going on (as in the movie) where as soon as I open the lid a little it suddenly catches and I can see flames, and smoke of course.
- If I open the firebox lid just a little (I'm talking 2 or 3 mm) , I think I get more oxygen in. So I'm trading losing a little smoke (and heat) out of the top of the firebox so that I get a more intense burn and a higher temperature in the smoker chamber. I was contemplating propping this ajar, again only by 2 or 3 mm for the duration of the smoke - Is this a complete no-no?
- is the 275 degrees a fair reference? - am I aiming too high?