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Can't get my temp above 200!!!!

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hi all, My name's Dana and I just got my first smoker. It's a horizontal smoker with a fire box. I'm trying to some some pork and I can't seem to get my temp in the large part above 200. I put in allot of chunk hickory and it's quite hot in the fire box but the temp gauge is just hovering at 200. Has anybody else had this problem or is there something that i'm not doing? Any help would be welcome.
post #2 of 32
Dana, welcome to the forum. We're glad you're here!

What kind of smoker (brand) do you have? The reason I asked is because I bought a CharGriller with side fire box that was preassembled at Lowe's. After I got to looking at the thing, I realized that the person that assembled my unit didn't knock out the plug on the side of the cooking chamber. The reason the plug is there is because the SFB is an option as some people use the CharGriller strictly as a grill.

Can you post some pics of your set-up?
post #3 of 32
Without knowing your exact brand and model of smokers, I'll take a shot in the dark: You have 2 problems.
1.) You are most likely getting your temps from the stock temp gauge, which, like mine is total garbage. Get yourself an inexpensive digital thermo, and use that for a reading. Or, even cheaper yet, go to Wally World and get a dial type oven thermo; they are like 3 bucks.
2.) Most charcoal grates on most horizontals are too low to the bottom and don't allow enough ventilation. Plop a couple rocks or bricks under the grate, and you will have plenty of air flow. Not to mention a place for the ash to buildup in a long smoke.

The only other thing that I can think of, is I have seen some folks install their side fire box without punching the knockout in the smoking chamber. For instance, my smoker is a chargriller pro. You can get this as just a grill; with the small 3" damper on the right side. If you install the firebox, you have to punch out the large football shaped opening or you will never get up to temp.

Let us know what kind of smoker you've got and I'm sure we can get you up to molten temperatures in no timeicon_wink.gif
post #4 of 32
like kev and josh said........

also where are you located........is the wind blowing a lot..........you mite have to add a wind break.......wind steals heat BAD........outside temps.......alittle more info would be nice......


post #5 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks guy's. I have a char-griller & smoker. I do wonder about the quality of the temp gauge and I will get a better one. I've taken in the suggestions so far. Here are some pic's of it.

This is a pic of the opening between the fire box and the grill. Is that the football shaped thing you were talking about?

edit: It's great to be here, I'm soooo excited about smoking! Thanks for the welcome! I'm in Phoenix, AZ....no wind haha The grill was like almost 100 just sitting in the sun!
post #6 of 32
Duckman knock that part out of there with that damper it is not supose to be there.

post #7 of 32
also welcome to the forum.

post #8 of 32
Welcome Duckman

No wonder you can't get it hot the doors blocked up! Save the little vent door might need it later!
post #9 of 32
Thread Starter 
Ok, well I have an adjustable lower grate and it was all the way up so I put it down.
Also the whole grill including the grates are cast iron. How do I cut that out?

Are the pics enough or do you all need more info?
post #10 of 32
Pull that tree out of the flue pipe....HeHe
post #11 of 32
just take a hammer and knock it out...........

post #12 of 32
knock it out with a hammer and chisel/screw driver also save the damper part.

post #13 of 32
Take the fire box off the grill. You will see a football shapes piece of metal with the damper in it on the grill. Take a hammer and screwdriver and Knock that piece out. You can turn your charcoal rack in the grill over to make a baffle also.
post #14 of 32
Duckman do it from the fire box side,also all the grates and all the other stuff are removable.

post #15 of 32
Thread Starter 
So I should just make a hole where the damper is? Or do i cut out the whole area that the firebox attaches to the main grill? Will a chisel and a hammer be enough to cut through the cast iron frame, because it's just bolted on to the griller.
post #16 of 32
Duckman, if you need an actual person to tell you how to do this process, I can call you. Shoot me a PM with your number, if that will help.
post #17 of 32
Duck Duck Duck,listen buddy that football shaped area will fall completely out
if you give it a good whack or three,it's tack welded in place.
the only castiron on that unit is the grates! they are removeable is that not one sitting on the bottom grate under the smoker??
just give it a whack!

post #18 of 32
what the heck kev.......the rest of us aren't REAL people?


post #19 of 32
No, I didn't mean that at all, Dude. It's just that sometimes it's hard to follow in text form. My apologies.
post #20 of 32
Thread Starter 
Yea, I got that, the grates are cast iron and i've removed them from the firebox. So from what I understand from what all of you are saying is that I don't have enough flow of hot air from the fire box. The opening is too small?
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