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Having trouble getting smoker above 300 degrees

kaveman42

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I have a Landmann vertical offset smoker and I cannot get the temp above 300. I'm using the Maverick 733, so I know its not the thermometer. I used a full weber chimney in the firebox and another full chimney after 20-30mins, the CC has not passed 300. I'm doing my first burn in for the new smoker so I was hoping to get to around 350. Do I need more charcoal? Forgot to add that I'm using Royal Oak Lump Hardwood.
 
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bmudd14474

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How do you have your exhaust and intakes set?
 

kaveman42

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The intake is all the way open and exhaust I tried it open all the way and 1/2 open.
 

SmokinAl

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A couple of splits of wood should take the temp up.

Al
 

kaveman42

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I'm going to attempt a rack of ribs today, so let's see how it works. The instructions said not to use wood during the break in so I avoided it.
 

cliffcarter

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Two chimneys of lit charcoal to begin would have given you 350° IMHO. Always leave the exhaust wide open and control the fire with the intake.
 

sauced

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Yes...like Al said, add some splits. And...keep the vent wide open and control the temp with the intake vents.
 

daveomak

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How hot is the firebox getting ??   Do you have a non-contact infra red temp gun ??   If the firebox is getting SCREAMING hot, it needs more air flow...   using a step drill or hole saw, drill a hole ABOVE the coal box so it will let air into the cook chamber and help move all the HOT air out of the firebox...  recommend the hole be directly across from the FB/CC opening...
 
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kaveman42

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Dave I think you're right. It looks like the fire is suffocating. I'm cooking a rack of baby back ribs right now and when the fire gets low I have to open the firebox side door to let in more fresh air. As soon as I open the door, the temp jumps back up to a desired range and then some. This is not ideal since I can't easily control the door gap as well as the vent.
 

daveomak

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.... click on pics to enlarge....

..
Any type of air regulating device will work....   slide gates....    ball valves...  swing gates....

Tin can lid being spring held is one I put together ....   just swing it to open or close the opening....
 
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daveomak

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I've seen lids like yours on other smokers....   Is it air tight ??   is there a gap around the lid letting air in  ??   How big is the opening between the FB and the CC ??   

...click on pic to enlarge....

 

bmudd14474

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Is that basket elevated a bit to allow ash to drop below it?
 

lemans

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Here is my experience with a offset smoker.. what ever the SB temp is , the cooking chamber is 1/3.. so you need a constant 900 degrees to get the smoker to 300!
And why do you need a 300 degree smoke? Are you Myron Nixon?
 

pc farmer

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I have the same smoker but it's a brinkman, no problem over 300. I don't have a basket. Only use the grate in the firebox. I start a chimney of lump then add wood splits as need for temps.

I would show pics but photo bucket doesn't seem to be working.
 

kaveman42

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I put the basket on top of the grates so there is room for ashes on the bottom. Also, the only reason I wanted to get to 300 was for the break in burn.
 

pete mazz

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If that intake in the pic is the only one, you definitely need more. Easiest would be drill some smaller ( 1"?) holes at the same height but on the back of the FB. Start with 2 or 3 and do a test burn to check temps. You want to get it to the point where you can still control overall temp with your intake damper. The downside to this is you won't be able to totally choke off your fire at shutdown.
 

wade

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From the photos the vent between your firebox and cooking chamber seems to be a good size and the size of the air intake vents look fine too. Not wishing to disagree with previous posters, but I think that drilling more holes in the firebox is a fairly drastic measure and should only be a last resort.

I think it is more likely that your firebox is just not producing enough heat - rather than it being an air flow problem through the unit. As Brian commented, is your firebox raised above the bottom to allow good air flow under and around your coals and to allow the ash to fall? Lumpwood will produce a fair amount of ash and it may just be this that is choking the burn preventing sufficient air getting to the charcoal to produce the heat that you need. It has been suggested that you try splits - which will probably help, but you would also benefit from laying these on top of a bed of good quality briquettes as these will burn hotter for longer than the lumpwood. I would suggest that you try making tweaks to your fuel before you start drilling any holes.
 
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