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Damper closed or open???

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone! I am fixing to smoke ribs for the first time this Sunday for the big game. I have a Char-Broil Gas Smoker like this one http://www.charbroil.com/consumer/pr...10&Name=Series. I need to know how to control the damper on the top. I want to make sure that I don't ruin the ribs by them getting "smoked out" and tasting bitter from all the smoke. So my question is do I leave the damper closed or do I open it a certain amount? Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 9
First a caveat -- I'm a newbie myself, and I have never used that smoker. But here is what I have read here.

Most posts I've read say to keep the exhaust damper wide open, and control with the intake of the smoker (not sure if you can with yours or not).

Also, many, if not most here advocate the 3-2-1 method (or a similar variation). Do a search for it, it may even be a sticky.

I'm sure other more experienced folks will add add their input. This is a great place to learn.

Welcome to SMF!
post #3 of 9
I would say that since it is a propane smoker and holding the heat should not be a problem, that you want the top vent open all the way or near that. Let the smoke flow, mine leaks on top to let the smoke out. With yours I would control the smoke by amount of chips used.
post #4 of 9
With propane you need good air flow to the burner at all times or else the flame may go out with the gas still flowing....So if it has an adjustment vent on the bottom..I would say never use it anyplace but open all the way.
post #5 of 9
The exhaust vent should be all the way open. You can use the bottom vents (if so equipped) to help control the fire.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the quick responses. One more thing. When it comes to the wood chips, should I just fill the designated spot up with them or half or what? Also, I read somewhere else that using wood chunks is better when you are using a propane smoker. And lastly, how often should I change the wood chips/chunks?
post #7 of 9
I have a GOSM which is similar to your model. Everybody says to run the vents wide open, that is probably okay if you can maintain the temps you need. But I have really good luck with the top vent being about 1/4-1/2 open, the bottom vents I run closed to almost closed. The way I see it the bottom vents will control air flow to the burner, and also to the chips I think you want to choke the air supply to teh chips as much as you can to get a nice slow burn. This is how I do it to get the TBS we all are looking for (white smoke= bitter taste, thin blue smoke = holy goodness). As far as chips vs chunks, I use a mixture, I put as much chunks as I can fit then add some chips around them if there is room. You could probably get a way with just chunks, I have done it with good results. You will want to add chips when it quits smoking, there will be some charred wood in your chip pan, not ashes. It will be around every hour or so. Good luck and good smokin'. icon_mrgreen.gif
post #8 of 9
I leave the top vent open and remember if you can smell the smoke so can the meat. You don't need to see the smoke a wisp once in awhile is nice. As far as wood consumption that depends on the size of the chip pan whether your using chips or chunks or a combination of them and what smoker temps your running. Add more or at least check the pan when you can't smell or see the smoke anymore
post #9 of 9

Thanks for all the useful information. I just started my smoke of a whole chicken and sardines. The smoker is running hot  255 degrees  and I need to lower to 200 or 210. I cut off the bottom vents on my BBQ Pro Vertical GAS smoker. I hope this will help. I left top vent open all the way. If anyone has any suggestion please post.

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