I am having trouble

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by don dollars, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. don dollars

    don dollars Newbie

    I am a Newbie and I have been having trouble BBQ-ing. I have a Char-Broil Silver Smoker (which I understand is a lower grade). I have used it to barbeque some salmon and some ribs now and have had some success. However, I do have a problem:

    * I am having trouble getting the temperature to reach a high enough level (225+). There are times that it sits at 175. I am also having a tough time regulating the temperature. I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions for me. Does it have to do with:

    - the amount of charcoal or wood being used?
    - How and when I add wood?
    - Something with the vents (the temperature really doesn't go up even if the vents are open fully)
    - the positioning?

    Any suggestions?
    Thank you!
    Don Dollars
     
  2. roksmith

    roksmith Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    I have a New Braunfels which is very similar in design.
    A few of the mods suggested for those things helps (extending the stack down inside the chamber helps trap the heat)

    ..but I believe you are just not building a large enough heat source

    ..try simply building a larger pile of charcoal..usually wood is only used for flavoring in those models because wood for heat produces too much heat.

    Also outside temp could be an issue..if it's cold, the smoker looses a lot of heat to the air..I've heard of some people using a water heater blanket around the cooking chamber to hold in more heat.

    Rock
     
  3. jlloyd99

    jlloyd99 Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    Are you using the factory thermometer that came with the smoker? If so you might want to consider replacint it or getting a digital thermometer to place inside the cook chamber. It sounds to me like your gauge might be off (we had the same problem with the ecb).
     
  4. scott in kc

    scott in kc Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    Don, take LadyJ's suggestion and first verify that the temp you're reading is accurate. A $1-2$ oven therm will do just fine.

    The next likely culprit is the fire is too low in the firebox. The fire grate should be just below the opening to the smokebox, not more than an inch or two. You may be able to rotate you grate 90 degrees and get a better placement or you may have to get some sort of rebar or other metal to go under the grate and raise it up.

    Keep you dampers wide open to ensure a clean burn, the dampers on an offset cooker are not intended for temperature control. You control temp by the size and position of the fire in the firebox.

    Don't sweat learning fire control too much, its' the one thing about smokin' that you just have to learn by doing. Recipes and cooking techniques are easily gleaned from books and posts on forums, but fire control is something that just takes a little practice.
    Cook as frequently as is practical, short cooks of chicken parts, sausages (brats, links etc) and the like will get you used to how the fire behaves.

    You'll get the hang of it in no time, a little practice will build your confidence and you'll be able to tend the fire in your sleep.
     
  5. bwsmith_2000

    bwsmith_2000 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Scott,
    Well stated! This is as good as it can be stated.
     
  6. bekellog81

    bekellog81 Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    Yea, well said Scott. THe advice about the dampers is right on. I am glad that I read it here instead of making that mistake. I think the SMF is a valuable tool for anyone who wants to make good Q!!!!!
     
  7. don dollars

    don dollars Newbie

    Excellent. Thank you for all of the information. This does help and makes a ton of sense.

    What is SMF?

    Also....If I am going to make the fire bigger and closer to the opening in the pit....do you have any suggestions on what to do if the temperatures get too high? For instance....what if the temperature gets up to 275 to 300....what can be done to counter?

    This site is phenomenal. Thank you for all of your help.

    Don Dollars
     
  8. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What is SMF?
    Smoking Meat Forums

    If I am going to make the fire bigger and closer to the opening in the pit....do you have any suggestions on what to do if the temperatures get too high? For instance....what if the temperature gets up to 275 to 300....what can be done to counter?
    If your temps climb, you can:
    1) pull your heat away from the chamber opening or
    2) move you food away from the chamber opening or
    3) remove some of the fire from the fire box.
     
  9. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What is SMF?
    Smoking Meat Forums

    If I am going to make the fire bigger and closer to the opening in the pit....do you have any suggestions on what to do if the temperatures get too high? For instance....what if the temperature gets up to 275 to 300....what can be done to counter?
    If your temps climb, you can:
    1) pull your heat away from the chamber opening or
    2) move you food away from the chamber opening or
    3) remove some of the fire from the fire box.[/quote]
     

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