First Time Disaster

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Original poster
I put some more briquettes on and left it a little longer. again, the temp didn't increase, i also made sure the chimney cover was open wide for more heat as I read that this is what I was supposed to do.

I also put some soaked and toweled dry apple wood chips on the briquettes and although it created smoke and smelt nice, the temp still didn’t increase.

in the end, i was too hungry and had to use the smaller smoker box as a BBQ and the steaks and sausages cooked perfectly.

can someone please tell me what i am doing wrong as I don't know why I’m not getting any temperature. I have bought 2 recommended books and none of them talk about the smoker and how to set it up although the food in the books look good
Can you give us more information about your equipment and how you set it up?  From a previous post I thought you were working with an offset wood burner,but you speak of briquettes.  How are you measuring your temperatures?
it sounds like that is the problem. I am using an offset Tri-Fire smoker. I didn't realise that i shuldn't use Briquets.

i put the briquets in the smaller of the 2 compartments as I was advised that this is where the fire/ heat needs to be and used fire starters to ignite the briquets.

it sounds as though i really shouldn't have used briquets. I wasn't sure what woods I can use in them and where to buy them here in Australia.
Hello Aussie Rach.  YEEEHAWW!  You got trouble girl! 
  I just wanted to make you feel better.  Seriously now.  This is only my opinion.  GOOD NEWS is this is probably easily fixed.  Some picts of your smoker would help so I am working blind but I am gonna post my standard offset mods:  You need to do a few modifications to that smoker to help with temp control.  Without meat, get a fire going in there to create smoke.  BIG smoke!  You can even spray a little water on the coals to create BIG white smoke.  What you want to do is see where the smoke leaks are.  Mark the leaks and when the smoker cools seal every leak you can using stove rope, high temp silicone and such.  Next, if you have a thin flimsy fire grate use it as a template and build or have built a grate out of 1/2" concrete reinforcing steel ( rebar ).  That thin grate will sag with heat and will rest on the ash cutting off air flow to your coals.  No air flow no heat.  Other option is build a charcoal basket.  You can find baskets in the build section.  Leave that exhaust fully open and use the intake vent to control the heat.  Last tip is go buy a cheap garden trowel.  Knock the wooden handle off and weld a 2-2 1/2' piece of that rebar to the shovel.  Now you can gently scoop out the ash without them blowing all over your meat and you won't burn your hands.  If the ash builds up to your fire grate , you lose air flow.  Next, my opinion is STOP soaking the chips/chunks. They will only steam and create white smoke until they dry out.  White smoke is not always bad depending on the application and length of time the product is in that smoke but for normal smoking white smoke is not a good thing. Finally, briquettes. Yuck!  And stay away from ANYTHING that says instant lighting, instalight or any such words.  That stuff is nasty.  Soaked with charcoal starter.  What you want is lump wood charcoal  NO fire starters YUCK.  YUCK is it will leave a bad taste on your final product.  As I stated this is only my opinion.  Others may have different advice.  I have smoked on an offset for many years so if you think I might be able to help further please feel free to PM me with any question you may have.  If I don't know I will find someone who does and we will learn together.  Sorry for the novel.  Let us know if you have other questions.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

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thanks for this Danny!

the model i have is this:

you would think it easy to pick up wood for smokers in Australia but i wasn't sure what kind. i will look for the lump wood charcoal as suggested and stop soaking the chips. I read the instructions and it said to soak but i think I'm best sticking to your advise as it seams to work.

i did leave the chimney cover wide open and the grate I have appear to be very good but i guess it comes down to the stupid briquet's i used.

will try again at the weekend and keep you updated

thanks again for your help and support, i really appreciate it is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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