Emergency - Temp Control

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Original poster
Jul 2, 2007
Braintree, MA
I have the Charbroil Silver smoker with the mods made and I am smoking ribs today. I am having a problem with the temperature though. I am using Rancher Hardwood Charcoal and after lighting it, with everything wide open, temp went up to 280 after first 15 minutes. I closed the air controls (top and bottom) half way and it dropped to 260 after next 15. Since then, with everything fully closed I can not get it to drop below 250 and its been an hour and a half.

My target temp is 220-240. HELP!

Should I have immediately started closing the intakes once temp went over 240?
Most likely you started off with too many coals. Can you safely remove any of the coals? If not it will take a little time to cool down. Next time put some unlit charcoal in then put some lit coals on top of those to burn their way down. You should get a more consistant burn.

Keep Smokin
Thanks...I'll try to remove some. I did put unlit in and then a coffee can (Weber Chimney on order) full of lit in the middle. Unfortunately, my father-in-law was over my shoulder and before I knew it, he spread the lit ones around rather then let them sit in the middle and slowly heat all the others.
Had to tell him that it's not a charcoal grill, but he doesn't get it.
I should have asked ... what are you smoking? 250º isn't really that far out of line for your target temps. Once you put your meat in the temp will come down some.
You really shouldn't use the top top vent for temp control. Closing the top vent causes the smoke to condense and form creosote which will coat the meat and the inside of your smoker. Better off using just the bottom vents for temp control and leaving the top wide open.
I have used the "Minion Method" with a can that I then remove after I put
the hot coals in it.
Thanks for the tips everyone...this is my first smoke every, so I was getting frustrated when temp would go down. After removing some charcoal (that was an adventure) I got the temp down. The ribs have been on for an hour so far and temp is holding at 225-230. Where that's the temp from right side of the smoker, even though I've made the mods, I assume the left side is hotter so I just moved the ribs around side to side.
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