Trouble with temp today

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by footbrake, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. footbrake

    footbrake Newbie

    First time in about 4 smokes I had trouble maintaining temp. Did some chickens today and got the temp up to about 225 for about an hour and then it dropped off. Added more coal,put on a piece of wood, lots of smoke but not very good heat. Don't know what went wrong today with it.

    I usually start my lump coal in a large aluminum foil pan, (like you would roast a turkey in, in the oven.) This makes cleaning a breeze, after the smoke I just slide the pan out and dump it in the garbage. I put some paper under the coal first so it will light under the coal. Sprinkle a little lighter fluid on it and light it up. After it gets going I throw a piece of wood on it and I'm good to go, but today all my efforts failed to maintain a good heat. After 4 hours the chicken was still only at 140 deg. So I had to finish it off in the oven.

    Wish I knew how to post a pic of my homemade smoker so you could see what I'm doing wrong. Says my pic is too big to upload. I could still email them to anyone that wants to take a look. Thanks for any help-Russ
  2. danbury

    danbury Smoking Fanatic

    check your private message and send to that address.
  3. taterdavid

    taterdavid Smoke Blower

    Wow where to start, first we need more info but your roaster pan is not a good place to have your charcoal. You need to have airflow, look around this site some more and all your questions will be answered.

    First step by a charcoal chimmney, no lighter fluid. Then work on a better charcoal pan and you'll see a improvement.
  4. danbury

    danbury Smoking Fanatic

    Got em... I'll resize and resend to you so you can post. Give me a few minutes.
  5. danbury

    danbury Smoking Fanatic

    Actually I'll upload them to my host. Not a whole lot of time...
  6. danbury

    danbury Smoking Fanatic

    These pictures belong to "footbrake", I'm only hosting them for him for now.
  7. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What he said. Ditch the roaster pan and make a charcoal basket out of expanded metal or something that the ash can fall through.

    Make sure it sits up of the bottom of the smoker so that there is a place for the ash.

    Throw away the ligher fluid and don't ever buy any again.[​IMG] Use a charcoal chimney instead.

  8. gnubee

    gnubee Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You can even put your charcoal in a barbeque wok. Like this one... wally world has them , I have even seen a square one somewhere.

    They allow the coals to breath and the holes are big enough to let the ash fall through.

    Instead of using lighter fluid, ( the sure sign of a rookie ) get yourself a charcoal chimney. They burn cleaner, cheaper and faster, getting your coals red hot in no time. Lighter fluid will impart a nasty petroleum taste to your meat.

    This one works great. Stay away from models that are galvanized, galvanized gives of gasses that are not good for you. They work supriseingly well.
  9. taterdavid

    taterdavid Smoke Blower

    gotta say thats a great smoker built outta what ya got on hand, i dig it. your fire box may need some airvents also, all the pieces seem to be there they just need alittle tweak here and there
  10. graybeard

    graybeard Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I must say that you have the most creative smoker that I have ever seen. It has merits as well as faults but keep on smokin. What exactly WERE you smokin when you built it???

  11. fourthwind

    fourthwind Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dude I got to give you points for creativity!

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