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First smoke, delicious, but not without difficulties.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Ok, so I seasoned my new smoker on Thursday and that went fine. On Sunday morning i fired it up. The butcher had half price baby back slabs so I picked a few up an rubbed 'em down and let sit for a few hours. I fired up the smoker and poured myself a bloody mary and threw 'em in the smoker with a 2lb fatty at around 9 am. I noticed right away that i was having a hard time keeping the temp up. It seemed like I couldn't get coals going fast enough to get them onto the fire and keep the heat up. What i noticed was that the lower coals were going out. My smoker has a bowl for coals and i just don't think they get enough air down there to really cook. So, i took a grate out of my other grill and placed it on top of the bowl to let those guys breathe a little but then i didn't have enough room to put enough coals on without burning the water pan which sits right above the coals. I still manage to finish the smoke and made some pretty good ribs but the fatty was the real success. Here's the question, I used briquettes because i had them in the garage and i wanted to get rid of them. Does lump burn hotter? In other words, can i keep less in the little bowl so it doesn't choke? any other suggestions? Thanks in advance for all the help.
post #2 of 13
Lump is indeed hotter. But like you mentioned...not even gasoline burns without oxygen.
post #3 of 13
lump burns hotter and maybe try drilling holes in pan if that don't work
post #4 of 13
Yep, gotta increase the airflow. Keep at it!
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
I thought about drilling it out before the next smoke. my only worry is that I could drop coals onto the bottom of the smoker and damage it in some way. The "instructions" say not to expose the surface of the smoker to hot coals which, yes i know, sounds kind of stupid.
post #6 of 13
yup drill holes in the pan-3/8-1/2 in and devise a pan under to keep them from your smoker bottom.
post #7 of 13
Sounds like the instructions for the Smoke N Pit. But then they give you this rinky dink little coal grate that warps under the heat. Another reason you need a charcoal basket in a side firebox model. So you can get enough coals in there to get the temp up but not "come in contact with the smoker".

If they made the smokers out of metal thicker than a beer can then maybe they could take the heat. Seems very likely that the designers have never used their products to actually smoke anything.

post #8 of 13
The"old" briquettes may have been moist from humidity, Get some lump and leave the briqs for the burger/hot dog hibachi. You'll be glad ya did!
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I'm off the bricks for sure. I just hate to see stuff go to waste. They were only about a month old though, so i don't think humidity was the problem. I'm gonna try to drill out that pan during the week and maybe i'll pick up a boston butt for this weekend and have another run at it as long as the weather stays nice.
post #10 of 13
Yup lump is hotter. Hey, did you get any pics of the smoke? We would like to see some.
post #11 of 13
I'm going to assume(not good) but it sounds like you have an ECB, if so the link below explains how to modfy it. Lump charcoal can be found in Home Depot or Lowes and it dose burn Hoter.
post #12 of 13
Air flow/circulation is crucial, otherwise anything burning can smother itself out. Give the lump a try.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

This is similar to my smoker, but not the exact same. Mine has 2 doors, one for the cooking area and one for the fire and water pans. It's not the ecb in the post that crockadale sent but it shares a some of the flaws. I'll probably try modifying it this week and giver her another whirl on the weekend. As for the pictures, Andy, yes i took some of the smoker and the results. I'll post 'em soon but i need to locate the usb cable for my camera first. I seem to have misplaced the darn thing.
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