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Fire management help

Spartan165

Newbie
12
3
Joined Nov 21, 2019
Hey everybody I just got a new Oklahoma joe highland a little less then a month ago and I have been doing some dry runs on it. I have been having problems with my fire management I think. I get a good bed of Coles going before I add my wood chucks and my temp goes through the roof. It shoots up into the 330 to 350 range and I cant seem to bring it down into the 225 to 250 range. What am I doing wrong?
 

smokingunny

Smoking Fanatic
306
17
Joined Jul 26, 2013
I have the same model. Sounds like the damper on your firebox is open too far. When the wood catches fire and blazes, your temps will shoot way up. Most adjustments you make will take 15-20 minutes until you see a change. Is your chimney vent open all the way?
 

phathead69

Smoking Fanatic
451
258
Joined Dec 23, 2016
Sounds like your adding well seasoned dry wood, a good thing. What temp are you adding the chunks? How many chunks? Sometimes I only add small pieces just to maintain, then I start running little low on coals so I add large pieces or more pieces. Boils down to practice which your doing. Just note what you have when you make addition and the results. One thing I learned from here is dont sweat the jumps to much. Mine jumps 50 to 75 degrees. Sometimes I damper down or sometimes I just leave it be , knowing it will be short lived.
 

Spartan165

Newbie
12
3
Joined Nov 21, 2019
I have the same model. Sounds like the damper on your firebox is open too far. When the wood catches fire and blazes, your temps will shoot way up. Most adjustments you make will take 15-20 minutes until you see a change. Is your chimney vent open all the way?
Yeah I have the chimney all the way open and the vent on the fb is about half way open.
 

phathead69

Smoking Fanatic
451
258
Joined Dec 23, 2016
Should have added if your gonna practice put a chicken in there. Cheap and if you get to see how the swings and temps effect the outcome. Tastes bad feed the dog. Tastes good give your self a fist pump and cold beer. Second thing I forgot fire management practice is more enjoyable with a cold one.
 

cliffcarter

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Group Lead
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Joined Feb 28, 2010
Sounds like you have too much lit charcoal in the firebox. Are you using lump or briquettes and how much do you use for the coal base?
 

cliffcarter

Master of the Pit
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Joined Feb 28, 2010
Lump burns much hotter than briquettes but does not last as long.
The first thing a recommend is to add the fully lit lump to the firebox and close the air intake until it is open 1/4. When you hit your target temp close it completely. When your target temp starts to drop add the wood, leaving the firebox door open until the wood catches fire. If the flame dies out open the intake on the firebox. All this is assuming that you want to cook with wood, if what you want is smoke from the wood chunks, then keep the air intake closed.
My other observation is don't get stuck on 225-250 as the optimum bbq cooking temp, I burn wood in my COS and it likes to settle in at 300, the quality of the final product is still excellent and I am done a little faster. YMMV
 

smokingunny

Smoking Fanatic
306
17
Joined Jul 26, 2013
What Cliff said. I try to get mine to run at 250 but it usually likes to settle in around 275 so I don't sweat it. Instead of using chunks you might want to start using split logs.
 

Spartan165

Newbie
12
3
Joined Nov 21, 2019
What Cliff said. I try to get mine to run at 250 but it usually likes to settle in around 275 so I don't sweat it. Instead of using chunks you might want to start using split logs.
I don't live in a big bbq area so in store my options are limited. All I was able to find locally were chunks, chips, and pellets. I am going to have to order wood online I guess.
 

smokingunny

Smoking Fanatic
306
17
Joined Jul 26, 2013
Do you have an Academy Sports nearby? I've seen hickory splits at Wax-Mart, Home Depot, etc.
 
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