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heat control

Discussion in 'Side Fire Box' started by shane58722, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. shane58722

    shane58722 Fire Starter

    Hi all I BAUGHT SFB FROM WALLMART I KNOW THESE ARE CHEAP BUT CANT SPEND A LOT ON A GOOD ONE SO I TRIED IT OUT THE OTHER DAY TEMP WAS ALL OVER THE PLACE IT GOT REALLY HOT ABOVE 300 then it dropped to below 200 couldn't seem to stabilize it went through a lot of charcoal a d wood chunks please help
  2. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    First... relax and turn off the caps lock.

    Now, are you using lump charcoal or briquettes?

    How much charcoal did you start with in the SFB? Was it all lit when you put it in?

    How long did the charcoal last each time you put some in the SFB?

    Did you try to regulate the fire by opening and closing the air intake damper on the SFB?

    You need to learn how to manage the fire, once you do you will be fine.
  3. shane58722

    shane58722 Fire Starter

    sorry about the all caps didn't realize they were onI did I'm sure I did many things wrong I guess I didn't realize how difficult temperature control wasI was using charcoal briquettes and wood chunksI guess I started with about 4 pounds but ended up using a bag and a quarter I know part of my problem was I was trying to cook it at 300 have a lot of timeI tried regulating with the damper on the firebox and the exhaust
  4. Hello shane58722.  If I may offer my humble opinion.  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.  Let us know if you have other questions.  Have fun.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!