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post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
hey everyone, i don't know if this is the right section to post this topic, but today i attemted to smoke a pork loin and used my side firebox for the first time. ( i normally just use half of the big barrell for my coal and the other half for my meat). i never really got the temp above 225 and it never really stayed there. i had my side vent open all the way and went through 1 1/2 bag of coals. what can i do to raise the temp and also to regulate it. after 5 hours my pork was only measure a temp of about 125.
please help
post #2 of 15
What kind of smoker? Any mods?
post #3 of 15
Well in my humble opinion-

Pork should be cooked to 250- 5 hrs at 225 would probably not get there, maybe more like 7 or so, be patient and let the meat roast!
post #4 of 15
I know this may sound crazy, but was your chimney open? Some of 'em have a spring loaded disc to keep things out when not in use. Was there a blockage of some sort between your firebox and the meat?
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
i have a char griller with the side box. i did use lump coal, but it seemed that as the day went on the ashes were piling up in the bottom of the box and air couldn't get in. i don't know if that could be a problem or not. i have no mods done to it. how much coal does it usually take to pre heat the grill in the side box?
post #6 of 15
that is a big issue.....air flow not just into the smoker, but around the coals. Raising the grate is a quick and easy (and cheap) mod.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
what sort of mods can i do to the firebox to insure a good airflow under the coals? i think that is one of my biggest problems. also are there any other "worth it" mods?
post #8 of 15

Here is a link to what I think are widely accepted as worthwhile mods.

You can raise the grate just by using bolts as legs to lift it up a bit
post #9 of 15
eek.gif Not at my house. That loin would be coming off at 150 to 155º internal....TOPS!! Maybe you had a typo confused.gif
post #10 of 15
yeah, I'll second that as well...........loin never sees anything above 155 at my place either.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
so is it better to have a charcoal basket (which is what exactly) or is it better to pile a bunch of unlit coals and then dump your lit ones on it? also these mods about lowering the vent pipe and putting sheet metal over the opening of the fire box, are they worth it. will it make my day go much easier? also how do you keep room under the coals once they start burning out to allow enough airflow in to put heat in the cooker? i have heard two opposing opinions about the stack vent. some say all the way open is for the hottest and others have said close it all the way to keep the heat in? i know i'm getting off the topic of just pork and more towards the topic of "how the hell do i do this"
post #12 of 15
Stack all the way open to avoid creosote problems. Air flow is key here.

The baffle and stuff is to help regulate the temps side to side. with the idea that you won't have to rotate meat (as often) if the temps are pretty close side to side. I didn't mind the temp variance personally, I just put chicken to the hot side and brisket to the cool side, etc.........

A basket basically just keeps your coals in a pile.........you still would probably want to use the minion method (or variation) either way.........putting lit on the unlit.

Keeping room under the coals is as easy as raising the grate.......choice is yours on how you want to raise it........still on long cooks you will probably have to scrape some of the ashes out or at a minimum give the charcoal grate a good wiggle or two to knock the gray off.

Hope some of that helped.
post #13 of 15
Or, consider a charcoal basket.... expanded metal basket that sits inside the box. Ash falls away from the burning coals in a basket. Might need a little tap once in a while, but they work great.
post #14 of 15
Man I hope that was a typo... 250°? PDT_Armataz_01_05.gif
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
guys i think that this has helped tremendously. i am going to try a pork shoulder and either chicken or ribs this weekend and will definatley work on these tips. i greatly appreciate it. i'm sure i will have lots more questions to come.
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