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Temperature Problem on Silver Smoker

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I recently bought a Charbroiler Silver Smoker, and am constantly grateful to have come upon this site full of enthusiasts like myself to pick up tips and know how. I did many of the modifications suggested here including adding a damper and some baffer plates to regulate temperature. However, my first few test runs, I could not get the temperature much over 200. Made it to about 220, but that was it. I have yet to finish making the charcoal basket for the firebox, and am using Royal Oak lump charcoal. Does anyone know why I can't get it hot enough? Last time I added about 2 chimenys of charcoal, and temp was not hot enough. I also feel like I am going through lump charcoal too quickly. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

post #2 of 9
I don't use lump, I use regular charcoal and apple/oak wood and it's usually the other way around...I have to vent to cool it down. Although I have it pretty nailed down now and can keep it really close to 225 without much fiddling.

I use about 12 to 18 pieces of charcoal in the chimney and then use the alternative Minion method in my fire box. I don't have a charcoal basket, just the bottom grate that I sit the charcoal on.

How far open is your firebox vent and your chimney?

Here's a pic of my firebox after putting the chimney of coals in.
post #3 of 9
Make sure you have the exhaust all the way open and the intake all the way open on the door. Make sure the Lump is elevated at least 1-2 inches off the floor of the firebox. Make sure that your baffle is no too great of an angle down into the smoke chamber. Be sure that the plates allow some room between for heat and air to excape and help with the "draw" of the heat/smoke. In my silver, I have the tuning plates just 1-2 inches below the food grate. What are you using to get the temps you speak of?
post #4 of 9
PDT_Armataz_01_36.gifPDT_Armataz_01_37.gif Welcome fellow Silver Smoker Operator from Sedalia, MO and Happy Smoke Rings. I am having some problems with the exhaust modification inside; but can easily keep the temperature at 220 on mine. I made a basket out of expanded metal 10 in by 14 in x 5 in tall. I cut some 5/8 ths rod long enough to hold it 4 in off the bottom of the firebox. I peeled off the Rutland's silicone sealant on the firebox (Not the Smoke Chamber though) and replaced it with some red head gasket maker I got at WalMart. I put plastic wrap on the firebox door and laid a bead around the firebox where the lid contacted and let it sit for 24 hours. Got a good seal and removed the saran wrap. The Rutland's got a good seal on the smoker chamber so far. That is the main thing I've done besides sealing between the firebox and smoke chamber. I put 2 thermometers in the door at grill level about 3 inches from the left and right sides. I try to control the temperature with the air intake below the charcoal basket. Hope this helps.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for everyone's responses! I've been using lump charcoal, and have both door and chimney open. Although the suggestion about the angle of my damper plate made me consider that I may have it extending too far into smoker itself. My plates are much lower than the grates, maybe I only need to use one? Also, would adding firebricks to the bottom help with heat? or just maintain temp.? The temp is holding pretty well, but I am just looking for a about 20-30 degrees more to hold it at, although it is pretty much what I am looking for so I can do some good 'que. Also, should I be lightning the charcoal in the chimney and adding it fully lit? or can I do something like a Minion and add fresh charcoal to existing burning coals(it seems when I do this, there is a lot of smoke created and I want to avoid creosote)
post #6 of 9
As mentioned above, what are you using to measure temps? There are 2 basic possibilities:
1.) Your temp measurement is off
2.) Your airflow is choked

Use a digital thermo, with the probe poked through a spud, grate level about the middle of the smoke chamber.

The top damper should always be fully open. Keep the intake damper open full until your desired temp gets close. Make sure you have airflow underneath the charcoal rack. If you are still only getting just over 200 degrees, you got me. My chargrill pro can get over 350 if I leave the damper open all the way.
post #7 of 9
im with you josh!
i have to leave my intake open half way of my char griller pro or it gets hot! i had the problem 2 weeks ago of maintaining temperature because of the wind i was dealing with. i turned the smoker around and the problem was solved. it came back up to temp and i was happy! i smoked a full load for 18 hours of total coking time on 30 pounds of lump. i thought that was pretty good!
post #8 of 9
Post a pic of the smoker mods so we can see the inside..
I can get 300+ with my silver smoker, so it can be done..
My guess is its your damper?? and the plates..
What helped me was raising the coal grate up several inches to get more air flow under them. As the ashes fell it blocked air flow and it was hard to maintain high temps for a longs smoke.
I had an old grill and took the grate from that and cut it down to fit the fire box.
post #9 of 9
I use the stock grate in the firebox. I use 100% pre-burnt oak and cherry and maintaining 250o is no problem. Stack wide open all the time and once desired temp is acheived I close the top vent on the firebox to about 1/8 open and the bottom vent to about 1/3 open and just add more coals ever hour or so.
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