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I just got this huge smoker and need some help.

magic4u

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Hey guys, I brand new to this. I was offered a great deal on a custom built smoker from a friend at church, I jumped on it. Now I am having a little trouble keeping the temp were I want it for more than 30 minutes. The smoke chamber is very large, about 2 ft tall and 3 ft round. the entire smoker is made of 3/8' steal. The chamber where I put the meat is 6ft long, and 2 ft deep. I start my fire with 2 chimneys full of Kingsford, once that is going good I put it in the fire pit. I then add 10 or so 1' to 1 1/2' of oak, then 6 or so 3' to 4' pieces. This normally takes about an hour to get a good bed of coals going, Once the smoke chamber hits 225 I put in the meat, Using the vents I can normally keep it at 225 to 230 for about 30 minutes before I have to adjust the vents, If I walk away for more than 10 minutes it will get up to 250 and even 275, it seems to be a constant game of adjustments.  I just can't seem to keep it steady for more than 30 minutes, any suggestions?
 

pineywoods

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Welcome to SMF some pictures of the smoker and the vent set ups would help to get an idea of what your working with
 

placebo

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As the other two said type of smoker will help. Sounds like you may need to check for air leaks. usually if you can't control temps with vents and it spikes on you that is because the fire is getting too much air
 

beer-b-q

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Welcome to SMF, Glad to have you with us.
 


This is the place to learn, lots of good info and helpful friendly Members.
 


For those of you new to Smoking, be sure to check out Jeff's 5 Day Smoking Basics eCourse.

Click Here it's "FREE" ... 5 Day eCourseE
 

mballi3011

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First off Welcome Magic to SMF. You'll like it here for there are alot of really good folks here that would just love to help you with just about anything to do with smoking. Now there are alot of proven recipes for some amazing things here too. So if you need sign up for the E-Course it's free and it will give you the basics of smoking and some good methods to use also. So the next big thing for you to do is go out and get you something to smoke and if you happen to have any questions just post it here and we will be happy to answer them for you.

Welcome To Your New Addiction      
 

rbranstner

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Sounds like an awesome smoker. There will be lots of suggestions on here once you can post some pics and you will have the temps figured out in no time. Each smoker runs a little different and it just takes a little practice and maybe a few suggestions to get it dialed in but once you figure it out it will be clear sailing. Once question I thought of is have you asked the guy at church if he was having similar issues at all? Maybe he could give you some suggestions or maybe he was having the same issues and there needs to be a few minor modifications that need to be done on the smoker to improve the performance.
 

squirrel

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Welcome aboard! You came to the right place for some help. Sounds like an awesome smoker, can't wait to see it!
 

magic4u

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Ok, I have a few pictures, let me know if you would like to see something more, As you can see, the smoker has a large fire pit on the bottom, the space between the fire box and the smoke chamber is a oven. It is a great addition. There are 2 large pipes putting smoke into each end of the smoke chamber. Heat seems to stay very even everywhere in the smoker I have tested it with 3 thermomitors and they are within 2 degrees of each other. Thanks for all the warm welcomes, I'm really looking forward to learning how to do this right.
 

squirrel

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Wow! That thing is massive! I have never seen anything like it. What a score, I bet it weighs a ton! This should get some interesting responses.
 

coffee_junkie

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A couple of suggestions. Do you have a grate below where the fire is? Some air circulation might help with keeping the fire more consistent. Also are there any dampers in the pipes that lead from the fire box to the cooking chamber? Dampers in the fire box? It seems to me it is just lacking some dampers in those places. Otherwise that is one sweet stick burner!
 

pineywoods

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Do you have and air intakes on the fire box portion of the smoker?
 

magic4u

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Joined Oct 12, 2010
Unfortunately, there is only one dampener and that is on the top of the pipe where the smoke comes out, I have to crack the door to the fire pit a little to add air there, but to cold isn't the problem, it is to hot, and the bottom door does seal tight. the only place that smoke comes out of it when it is fired up, is the top pipe tube and a little out of the doors to the smoke chamber.
 

placebo

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Does the fire go out if you close the bottom door all the way and leave the top vent open?
 

magic4u

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No, but it does cool down to much, and then even it I crack the door just 1/4 of an inch it gets to hot, from 190 to 250.
 

placebo

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Based on that if it were me I would most likely install an adjustable intake vent on the firebox. That is a very unique/cool looking rig!
 
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magic4u

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I do like the idea of putting a large grate in the fire box to keep the wood off the ground so air can get under it, that makes a lot of sense.
 

placebo

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I do like the idea of putting a large grate in the fire box to keep the wood off the ground so air can get under it, that makes a lot of sense.

That is a great idea and much easier than cutting a vent into the firebox. Another thing to try is to build a bigger fire then close the door and see if it evens out better.
 

magic4u

Newbie
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Joined Oct 12, 2010
Thanks, I'll see if I can get him to come out and cut a hole in it to install one. I have to say, it sure keeps the moisture in, when ever I open the doors they are always dripping with moisture. I think that my be because of the thickness of the metal or maybe how green the wood is. I have not been able to get seasoned wood, all the wood I have was cut up about 3 weeks ago. That my also be a part of my problem.
 

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