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How do I keep the fire going?

Discussion in 'Blowing Smoke Around the Smoker.' started by rob sicc, May 16, 2018.

  1. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Hi All,

    I have been smoking for a few years. Everything I do is quick. I know that doesn't make sense in the smoking world but I mostly smoke Jerky and it only needs to be there a short time to get the flavor.

    I watch a lot of cooking shows and you tube videos about smoking and the one thing I learned is that you don't want actual flames in the firebox. You want glowing coals. That is correct right? I see people build a fire and then when the flames are gone and there are just ambers glowing they start to smoke. So if you get the wood and charcoal ambers glowing in the fire box, how do you keep adding to the firebox if you have say going to need to 8 hours? I'm sure the inital fire will go out and if I add wood or coals during the smoke the wood will flare up and raise the temp as well.

    As always, all help and comments are appreciated.

  2. oddegan

    oddegan Smoking Fanatic

    I will typically have a fire going in another area where I burn the wood down to good coals and then use my little spade to move them to the firebox of my smoker. Nothing but coals go into the cooker.
    rob sicc likes this.
  3. JckDanls 07

    JckDanls 07 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Rob.. this depends on what kind of smoker your using... The big "stick burners" (with side fire box) do have to have a fire (flame).. Using the intake air vents will control how big the fire gets which in turn controls the heat ... The charcoal/wood chunk methods would be for the smaller smokers ...
  4. motolife313

    motolife313 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    IMG_6457.JPG The flames going when I cook. If not u will get thick white smoke. Everything Is wide open on my smoker and I adjust temps with how big I make the fire
    rob sicc likes this.
  5. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    You use the Mac Daddy for jerky?
    That thing must be able to do 20 lbs of sliced jerky.
    You get a temp reading on all the racks to see where your at in there? The bottom rack hottest? You need no higher than 165 in that bottom rack.. the other racks will be lower temp?.

    Can you switch the racks around to get the even doneness?

    I think your dyna glo and the Mac both just need to be hot coals and no flames.
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  6. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Yes, I am using the Mac Daddy. I have no idea how to get the bottom rack to 165. The only temps gauges I have are in the door. Should I add 1 to the lower rack? If so can you recommend a type/brand/model of temp gauge?

    I do make Jerky and with the 9 racks I make a lot of jerky. I don't worry about temp. I am only trying to get the smoke flavor. It is already cooked before I put it on the smokers.

    With the mac daddy the firebox in under the cooking chamber. I need to get wood in it. If I wait till the wood turns to coals, will I get any smoke flavor?

    Thanks for the reply.
  7. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    I don't have a side firebox. The firebox is under the CC. I have to get smoke into the meat. If I use only coals, how will the smoke get to the meat?

    I do usually have a very hot on the bottom and they burn a little. Thats not a problem because I have a few friends that love the burnt pieces. lol
  8. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

  9. JckDanls 07

    JckDanls 07 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Rob.. in your case you would want to use the "Minion Method" .. do a search for it... you basically put a few lit coals on top of a pile of unlit coals (depending on how long you want to cook) .. also you would mix wood chunks in the unlit coals for the smoke...
    doughboyb likes this.
  10. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    I don't know if you can do this on your mac daddy (not that familiar with that smoker) if you are going to use charcoal i use the snake method to do jerky. you put the charcoals around in a 2 charcoal wide snake in the firebox in a ring, i light about 2-3 charcoals in a chimney and put them at one of the snake and let the lit ones burn and light the unlit ones. this take s about 8 hours in a WSM 22 ( i don't know how long in a mac daddy) put you like a AMNPS or something in the middle or near the snake to burn pellets and this will provide a nice smoke flavor to your jerky.

    something like this...

    Happy Smoking,
    phatbac (Aaron)
  11. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  12. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    That is what i do (the separation) the picture doesn't show that well. its how i start before i remove a few charcoals to light and let the snake go on one side, as Chris said. i also put a charcoal piece in the tray of pellets to get them going too. they last 8-10 hours easy in that tray if you light one end.

    Happy Smoking,
    phatbac (Aaron)
  13. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    i figured as much Aaron. I just couldn't make it out in the picture and didn't want Rob to fire it up and have it burn to hot or quick.