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Please help

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Have a new smoker with sfb. I lit the lump charcoal and put it in. I cant get it to 220. How much should I use. This is driving me crazy. Do I have to put in a whole bag. I am getting to the point were I may throw it in the ocean. The vent is set at 3/4 open both side and top. I put one oiece of oak in it. Pleasssssssssssssssssse help.
post #2 of 15


Welcome, Glad to have you with us. This is the place to learn, lots of good info and helpful friendly Members...

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post #3 of 15
Okay, several questions for you...
  1. Are you depending on the Smokers Thermometer or are you using a probe to check the temp?
  2. Thermometers that come with the smokers are usually not accurate and shouldn't be depended on for accuracy...
  3. What kind of Smoker is it?
  4. How much Lump are you putting in?
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
[quote=Beer-B-Q;359786]Okay, several questions for you...
  1. Are you depending on the Smokers Thermometer or are you using a probe to check the temp?
  2. Thermometers that come with the smokers are usually not accurate and shouldn't be depended on for accuracy...
  3. What kind of Smoker is it?
  4. How much Lump are you putting in?
THe thermometer got up to 220 - char-grill I put in one chimney full. It went to 220 then started dropping after an hour. When do I add more. It seems if I do a brisket it would take 3 bags of lump.
post #5 of 15
Got me thats my I'm a Gasser.
post #6 of 15
[quote=patriots;359789]
Test your thermometer in boiling water should read 212 and in ice water should read 32. bet it is off, most stock ones are
post #7 of 15
I'm sorry, but I didn't see if you answered the question about what thermometer you are using. If you are using the one that came with the smoker - those are almost always no good. For my two offsets, 220 reading on the "factory gauge" = 250 real temp!

Also, 99% of the time - ALWAYS KEEP YOUR EXHAUST OR TOP VENT ALL THE WAY OPEN!
You use the side vent, or intake vent (the one on the firebox) to control the airflow.

Stick with it - trial and error - and you'll be fine!

Also, maybe consider starting with something easy. A chicken, or a small pork roast, etc...a brisket is much more towards the difficult side.

Once again, I don't know how long you've been doing this...I'm not trying to be insulting by saying you should try something easy, but there is some truth there. If you start with easier smokes, the enjoyment level is high, the disappointment level is low - and you are more likely to stick with the hobby.

Good luck! This site is the best helper I've ever had while learning the art of real wood-fired BBQ!
post #8 of 15
open both vents all the way (especially the top one, which should always bee 100% open) -

test your thermometer and make sure it is reliable -

use a little more fuel, if necessary.
post #9 of 15
Check and make sure you have an opening between the sfb and the main chamber. I have heard before of the tab not being removed and the heat can't get into the cooking area.
post #10 of 15

Slow=Easy

First off buy a good thermometer, I tried to use a couple of digital oven/bbq therms i picked up at Walmart but was not real happy. Ended up buying a Maverick 73 which I had to send back for repair.

I agree with the others a 4 pound yard bird is cheap, if you have the room do 2. You can brine one, beer can one or inject one.

They are cheap easy and you will enjoy your efforts in short time
post #11 of 15
I have an offset that is just a tad larger than yours and I use wood as a fuel with this method and have very good luck with it.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you. I am new at this, but have been a chef for over thirty years. When you say wood do you mean oak or maple. I have plenty of both from my fire pit wood. I thought that this wood over smoke the meat. If I leave the top damper fully open will this cut down on the amount of smoke that will reach the meat. Thanks. Up here in Boston, we dont do much of this. They why I am trying.
post #13 of 15
No; it will not over smoke the meat. I'm making my best Q on my stick burner. Oak and maple, I use red oak as my main wood, are good for smoking.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
lets see how this works on sunday. Seems like a lot of work.
post #15 of 15
Keep in mind that weather conditions will effect the smoker temp quite a bit. I see you are in Boston so it is probably not getting all that cool where you are right now. ?? I have noticed with my snp that cooler ambient air temperature and even a slight breeze will make temps more difficult to maintain.
Try to shelter your smoker from the wind.

I did a couple of prime rib raosts a few weeks ago. The weather was what I would call ideal for smoking. Upper 70's in temp and sunny with just a slight breeze, just enough to keep a good draft going for the smoker.
It took nearly 90 minutes less cooking time for those roast over the previous time I had done them. The previous time it was about 8 to 10 degrees cooler and quite a bit more wind.
And as others have said use a good quality therm.
Also getting a steady 220 degrees from one chimney of charcoal for a hour or more is not bad at all. I usually start a chimney then add a couple of handfulls of lump on top of it once I dump it into the firebox.

Burning all wood will also give you higher temps for a more prolonged period. Someone mentioned red oak. This is going to burn hotter longer than any charcoal or lump you are going to buy.
All factors to consider. Keep at it and don't get discouraged.
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