Help: Costway 3in1 Charcoal Smoker Grill

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Original poster
Jan 6, 2022
Ocala, FL
I am new to smoking and received this 3-in-1 Portable Round Charcoal Smoker BBQ Grill Built-in Thermometer smoker for Christmas. I tried it out yesterday and no matter what I did, I couldn't get it over 200 degrees and it mostly stayed at 150.

I tried using lump charcoal and just plain charcoal. Neither one made a difference.

Anyone know anything about this smoker and what I could be doing wrong?
Does it have anywhere to adjust the air intake? If not, try leaving the door cracked. Temp should rise then
Does it have anywhere to adjust the air intake? If not, try leaving the door cracked. Temp should rise then
It has just the chimney vent on the top.
I tried just cracking the bottom door open to opening it all the way. Still no change.
The exhaust vent I tried at open, half open and closed. I mostly kept it closed. The temp stayed them same.

I am only going by the temp reading on the built in dome Thermometer.
You have your exhaust open all the way?
I just googled it and it says in the description: Adjustable air outlet makes controlling temperature even easier.

Sounds like a backward way to control heat in a smoker. It needs air coming in under the coal bed.
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Chris welcome to SMF glad you joined us.
The manual is saying to use "high quality charcoal" I would think lump would work but think I'd probably start with regular charcoal. It says to soak the wood chips and again to start with I think I would do that since they suggest putting them directly on the coals. Of course the whole top end of the smoker is not on it when you light it make sure you allow enough time for the charcoal to be burning good they should show a little ash to them at that point put the sections together I would not add water to the water pan right away put the rest of it together and open the top vent up about all the way. I would start with both doors closed but you may need to open the bottom one to allow some air in. Kind of see what kind of temps you get the first 45 minutes to an hour making adjustments to the bottom door if needed leaving the top vent wide open.
As was said you can't trust the thermometer that is mounted on the unit they are usually off sometimes way way off. You will need a separate thermometer which you will want anyhow so you can monitor the internal meat temperature, Many people will use a multiple probe thermometer so they can monitor smoker grate temp and also meat temp. When you get the thermometer fill a glass of ice water and place the first couple inches of the probe into it to check if your at 32 or not then put a pan of water on the stove and bring it to a boil and again put the probe into the water a couple inches using a oven mitt or tongs and see if it reads 212 if it's not exact it may have an adjustment or it may not but at least you will know what the temp is if it's off by 5 degrees and is not adjustable just add or subtract to the 212.
Good luck and let us know how it works or doesn't work
When doing the boiling water test take into account your altitude because water boils at lower temps as the altitude is higher, so you may see a lower temp in your boiling water.
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Thank you everyone for your replies!
I started it up again last night and did another test on it. I used a meat Thermometer and realized that, as I was told, the dome Thermometer was way off. I ordered a multi probe Thermometer, that I will receive on Sunday, to be able to see what really is happening with my Temps.
Thank you again for everyone's help!
I received my new Thermometer today. It has four probes on it. I fired up the charcoal and put a probe on each of the two racks to check it out.

It showed that the problem was not with the smoker, but with the dome Thermometer. The smoker workers great! Thanks again for everyone's input.
Welcome to SMF and glad the crew here helped you figure it out! Looking forward to seeing some pics of your Q! is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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