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Cuisinart COS 118 getting up to temp issues

erexa

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Joined Sep 23, 2021
Hi folks,

Absolutely new to smoking and new to this forum.

Very first time firing up my smoker. Seems having difficult time getting past 170 F. (Using inkbreed to measure the temp inside not the gaugeon the lid). Top vent is wide open. Bottom vent is 3/4 open (tried few positions). Smoker been running for a good hour and a half and still temp is sitting around 170F.

How do I get to 225-250 territory?
 

xbubblehead

Fire Starter
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Joined Aug 31, 2021
Out of curiosity, are you using the water pan and have you tried it without the pan? I have the Char-Broil 16" bullet smoker and I have a hard time holding the temp down to 225F with a pan full of water!
 

erexa

Newbie
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Joined Sep 23, 2021
Out of curiosity, are you using the water pan and have you tried it without the pan? I have the Char-Broil 16" bullet smoker and I have a hard time holding the temp down to 225F with a pan full of water!
I am using a water pan half full. Should i just remove it?

I thought water helps meat to keep hydrated and not drying out. What do i do then? Sprinkle with vinegar or apple juice? Please suggest
 

sandyut

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the water bowl is to help stabilize the temp. (pretty sure). I used mine in my SWM for a couple years then as I got better at managing the temps i stopped putting water in it.

Are you loading coals with a full weber chimney, minion method or?
 

erexa

Newbie
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Joined Sep 23, 2021
the water bowl is to help stabilize the temp. (pretty sure). I used mine in my SWM for a couple years then as I got better at managing the temps i stopped putting water in it.

Are you loading coals with a full weber chimney, minion method or?
Oh I see, I will try without a bowl and see. I am doing minion method but here is a question. When do I pour chimney into the center? When the briquets are all flared on fire or as long as I got some fire going on in the chimney I can pour the briquets into the center of the bowl?

I am experimenting with it as we speak. I tried mixing briquets few times and it worked, temp got up to 250, now it is around 230 ish but it is slowly dying out. I opened the door and looked at briquets. It looks almost all of it is burned now, 3 hours into the process. The Cuisinart model's charcoal bowl seems to sit lower (holds less charcoal briquets) than the WSM. Could it be that? I mean these smokers should be able to run without adding more charcoal for 5-6 hours right?
 

xbubblehead

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I wouldn't remove it, running it dry should increase the temperature though you might have to spritz which is counter productive since you lose heat every time. You might try burning lump charcoal, it does burn hotter, so does wood but that could be a real challenge.
 

sandyut

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I used a 14" WSM for years and was able to get a solid 10-12 hours out of a full load of coals.

If memory serves...I used a mini chimney full for a full basket of coals. Minion method was less than that. I would get the starter coals pretty much all white then add them. The temp should spike up pretty fast tend then come back down.

I used this site for most of my usage before I figured it out. Conceptually these ought to be similar smokers.
 

erexa

Newbie
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Joined Sep 23, 2021
The design of this unit is not very smart, the unit gets very little airflow, due to design of only bottom vent it has. I ordered some extra vents (3) and will convert the bottom chamber of this unit to be like WSM is, with proper airflow I am sure it will be easier to achieve and maintain solid temperatures.
 

xbubblehead

Fire Starter
SMF Premier Member
30
14
Joined Aug 31, 2021
The design of this unit is not very smart, the unit gets very little airflow, due to design of only bottom vent it has. I ordered some extra vents (3) and will convert the bottom chamber of this unit to be like WSM is, with proper airflow I am sure it will be easier to achieve and maintain solid temperatures.
I think it's more than just the bottom vent. The Char-Broil 16" bullet has only a bottom vent and it want's to run a 250F naturally, I have to work to get it to run cooler. The air passage configuration on the inside around the charcoal grid and ash pan are as important as the vent configuration, maybe more so. I'd look at an aftermarket charcoal basket before cutting can't go back holes in the smoker.
 

JCAP

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Joined Jun 12, 2019
I started on a Cuisinart and was always adding charcoal every hour or two. Helped a bit when I got a bigger charcoal ring but still wasn't very efficient. Lose the water bowl and that will help. IIRC I would do 12 lit briquettes just starting to ash over into the center of the unlit. Wood buried under coals. I could hit and ride 240 w the water bowl.
 

erexa

Newbie
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0
Joined Sep 23, 2021
I started on a Cuisinart and was always adding charcoal every hour or two. Helped a bit when I got a bigger charcoal ring but still wasn't very efficient. Lose the water bowl and that will help. IIRC I would do 12 lit briquettes just starting to ash over into the center of the unlit. Wood buried under coals. I could hit and ride 240 w the water bowl.
I can get weber's ring. It has 2 layers of holes (stands higher). Also reduced water in the bowl.
So you are saying i should use wood logs under the briquettes? Like 4-6 logs then briquettes and just have 12 lit ones in the center right?
The problem of the design is that ash pan gets filled very quick and the ventilation is pretty much under the unit where ashpan is so air doesn't get into it from under it.
 

JCAP

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Jun 12, 2019
I can get weber's ring. It has 2 layers of holes (stands higher). Also reduced water in the bowl.
So you are saying i should use wood logs under the briquettes? Like 4-6 logs then briquettes and just have 12 lit ones in the center right?
The problem of the design is that ash pan gets filled very quick and the ventilation is pretty much under the unit where ashpan is so air doesn't get into it from under it.
I used the weber ring that's bigger too. And, at least for my unit where I live, the top vent would be wide open and the bottom vent like 1/4 open or something close to that.

Are you talking splits or chunks? I would use like 3 chunks under the coals. I never had an issue with ash clogging the vent area though, so if you're getting a lot of ash clogging the openings , that could be an issue.
 

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