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Keepin' the temp up.

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Alright fellows, I need some urgent help here!

Some may have seen I signed into roll call here yesterday and I'm trying ribs for the first time today. Ribs are so far so good but all the sudden, I can't keep the temps up.

I was holding a good 230ish for several hours. Temps started to drop, I added some charcoal and oak chips and lightly sprayed the ribs with apple juice.

Temps are holding low at around 175 and no matter how I adjust the vents we're not getting any hotter!

I started with the vent on the firebox about halfway open and the flue about 3/4 open. It's about 29 degrees outside and it's snowing but not too windy.

What am I doing wrong?
post #2 of 11
You need air flow to make the fire hotter. If you are not getting any temp increase with both vents fully open, the try turning the smoker (if you can) so what wind you have is blowing into the side vent. If not, can you use a fan or blow dryer? If you have a chimney, light some more charcoal for quick heat. Also, if you have an old blanket or sleeping cover the cooking chamber for insulation. Be sure to keep it off the SFB. These are a few suggestions.
post #3 of 11
what kind of charcoal are you using? I had the same problem once with Kingsford blue bag because of ash buildup.
post #4 of 11
Make sure the ash from your coals isn't smothering your fire. Gotta have air circulating around and under those coals.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hmm...I am using Kingsford in fact.
post #6 of 11
hey neighbor! i agree with oldwarthog, start some more coals in a chimney and add them in. and turn your smoker so the wind blows in the vents. i live about 1.5 hours from ya and we got the same weather. i've been doin ribs and fattys today, hope yours turn out good and don't forget the qview!
post #7 of 11
Tell us what kind of smoker you have and someone will come to help.icon_smile.gif
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Wow! Feeling like a complete noobie now. Went out to check the firebox and I believe y'all are right. Ash building up and cutting off air flow. I opened the end of the firebox (which I normally don't like to do) and dug around under the grate a bit. Let's see if this works, I hope! I really don't want to ruin this dinner!

I've never had this problem before.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

I've got an older model New Braunfels w/ side firebox.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well I think I've ruined what was supposed to be a real nice meal.

After 4 and 1/2 hours the meat isn't shrinking up past the bone tips much, if at all. I'm still having trouble with the temps being too low.

I just wrapped them in foil but I think I'm about to scrap the whole idea. Can't believe I can screw up a "fool proof" method. Pathetic thing is...I'm not new to smoking, just ribs.

Oh well.
post #11 of 11
In the foil put in the oven at 275' for a bit with some moisture, they will be fine.
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