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Breaking in my “new” offset

Firemedic76

Smoke Blower
117
76
Joined May 27, 2019
So I bought this used for 50$ only used twice. Right now I’m putting it through an intro stage so I can get used to the fire management but I had couple questions, and I watched some YouTube vids yesterday too. So I started with one full chimney of lump charcoal, let that get going and added it to the firebox. Let it free burn for a few minutes till the flames died down then I added a handful of chunks which is what I’ll be using for the time being. I guess my question is with the hunks they almost immediately went up in flames so are they adding to the fuel source as well as providing smoke flavor? And I read about clean smoke and not what’s in my other pic with that white smoke but I cant get it to burn clean or is that just when using wood as the fuel source ? After 15 min the log volume of smoke has died down into a more thin even smoke. I’m assuming this is what I’m looking for but won’t the smoke billow again when I have to add more chuncks??? I also noticed now that the wood chuncks have burned up the temp fell from 250 to 230’s and down to 150. So the initial bed of coals just completely burned out in 20min? So idk if I need to add 2-3 chimneys in the beginning to raise the heat source up so it falls back into range. So if my target is say 250-275 do I need to add more charcoal, chunks or both.
 

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Firemedic76

Smoke Blower
117
76
Joined May 27, 2019
yes this is cheap but it doesn’t hold heat at all and I’m gonna have to get some lava lock to put around the lid to plug the gaps. Still can’t figure out why the fire won’t stay hot. Wonder if the grate isn’t leaving enough room off the bottom for proper air flow. Idk. Cal me confused and a noob.
 

Firemedic76

Smoke Blower
117
76
Joined May 27, 2019
What are you basing your temps off of?
Maybe try bigger pieces of wood
i have my I grill2 ambient probe on the grate inside the smoker. This is where I can see splits being more effective and lasting longer than burning up like every 15-20min for the chunks.
 

1MoreFord

Meat Mopper
281
123
Joined Jan 4, 2020
Run it on lump charcoal and chunks until you find a source for splits. Let the lump supply the heat and chunks the flavor.

If your fire grate isn't 2"-3" off the bottom of the firebox you could well be choking air flow.
 

Firemedic76

Smoke Blower
117
76
Joined May 27, 2019
Run it on lump charcoal and chunks until you find a source for splits. Let the lump supply the heat and chunks the flavor.

If your fire grate isn't 2"-3" off the bottom of the firebox you could well be choking air flow.
yeah the grate is prob an inch off the bottom. I was thinking of getting some sort of paver or something to raise it up a bit Plus it would put the fire more in line with the opening to the pit. i worked on it for 4 hrs and found the temp would settle then drop I’d add wood chunks and it would go up to 275 then come back down to 245 after a bit so it was these wild ups and downs between 250-275 for like 3hrs. Don’t know how good that’s gonna treat the meat. I’d like more consistency and not such big swings in temp
 

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