I'm new to the forum and new to smoking. I've read BBQ forums for a while and just purchased a Brinkman Smoke N Grill. Today I used it for the first time and smoked 2 racks of ribs and 2 chickens. I had some temp control issues that I was hoping to find some help about.
Through most of the smoking time I had a really hard time keeping the temp above 220. I could get the temp up around 215 to 220 and then any time I'd open the lid to turn the ribs or add the chicken the temp would drop to around 150 and I would only get back up to around 195 or so, very slowly. The only way I could get the temp back up to 225 range was to add more charcoal. Through 6 hours of smoking today I used an entire 10 lb bag of oak lump charcoal and a few briquettes I had. This was my first time, but that doesn't seem like it should be normal.
My temp readings came from an Acurite probe I laid through the top rack. I haven't made any of the mods to my ECB. Will the air holes in the charcoal pan really make that much difference as far as helping it stay at temp? I'd like to do a brisket but I'm worried that I'll have to use 30 lbs of charcoal for that :-).