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I'm back!

jonboat

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Joined Feb 8, 2010
Not that anyone probably missed me too much with all of the great members and discussion. I've not smoked anything in a couple years since my old, modified ECB was in such rough shape that I always had to debate myself over using it again. Well, now I can finally retire it for good, since I picked up an nice Char-Griller offset in decent shape at a garage sale.

Now here's the deal, I have never used an offset smoker until yesterday, when I did a full pork loin BBQ. The end result was awesome, however, getting temps right and steady was not what I expected. I couldn't get the temp over 200 for the first hour, and ended up lighting some extra charcoal in addition to what I had in the offset firebox, placing it at the opposite end of the smoking chamber from my meat to get temps to hold between 225 and 275 for the remainder of the cook. I tried both dampers wide open, firebox open and top in different positions, firebox in different positions with top wide open, 1/2 closed, 3/4 closed and closed. Any f you guys with lots of offset charcoal fired smoker experience want to help out a novice? What are the nuances of using the dampers on one of these puppies to get to and keep the heat right?
 

smokerjim

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Welcome back, been years since I used my offset but one thing I learned with it is patience and not to make to many adjustments to quick. I mainly kept stack wide open and used firebox door to adjust temps. How are you measuring your temps. Are you measuring ay grate level. Was it windy when you used it.
 

Hamdrew

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Jan 17, 2021
i too have recently ventured into the whole stick burning thing



smokin peachey smokin peachey sent some pics i sadly lost the laptop on nearly the next day, sort of a log cabin bed of ~7" splits, two running parallel with the cooker and two perpendicular. quarter chimney or so of lit coals poured onto the damper

pineywoods pineywoods advised to start off with ~four splits and let them burn down when starting it up

in any case, just watch the temps or let the meat tell you how hot it is. last week I went through tons of wood running the firebox open the whole time using huge splits. yesterday i had a much cheaper/less wasteful cook using some lump and smaller sticks
 

chopsaw

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What are the nuances of using the dampers on one of these puppies to get to and keep the heat right?
Leave the lawn chair folded up .
I'm not knocking the Char Griller . I had one . It was all stock , no seals or tweaks . Had two temps , to hot and to cold .
That being said , turned out some great food , and a good way to get started with an offset . Was just an all day battle for me .
This thread is old , but you can read thru some of the mods he did . I kno0w some of the guys have them dialed in .

 

smokeymose

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Joined Aug 13, 2015
I've had a CharGriller "Competition Pro" for going on 4 yrs now. The only "mods" I have is a couple of steel plates at the firebox end for a bit of baffling.
Are you only using charcoal? These things were meant to burn wood. I only use charcoal to get the wood going.
Leave the stack wide open and control the heat with the vent on the end of the firebox. You'll have to play with it!! Leaving the top door of the firebox open keeps heat and smoke from getting to the chamber. Don't do it unless you have to to get a new stick burning and close up as soon as it does.
My biggest problem is keeping the temps down LOL!
My biggest suggestion is to get rid of the charcoal only idea....
 

Bearcarver

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Howdy Jonboat !!
I can't help you, just wanted to say Welcome Back!!

Bear
 

SmokinAl

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Welcome back, there are a hundred videos on YouTube on how to manage a fire in an offset. I could spend an hour here detailing al the things to do, but a video will explain it in about 10 minutes. Watch them all & then go out & fire up your smoker. If the advice works your golden, but if it doean’t try another approach. It’s a learning experience & you will be a pit master in no time!
Al
 

jonboat

Smoke Blower
79
12
Joined Feb 8, 2010
Second smoke, switched from briquettes to lump and added a grate to the bottom of the fire box. Running right at 225-230 pretty consistently. Have my 3-2-1 ribs an hour into the "2".
 

jonboat

Smoke Blower
79
12
Joined Feb 8, 2010
Second smoke, switched from briquettes to lump and added a grate to the bottom of the fire box. Running right at 225-230 pretty consistently. Have my 3-2-1 ribs an hour into the "2".
So, Besides adding a grate to the bottom of the firebox - getting the coals up out of ash, I also went with the suggestion of keeping the stack wide open and adjusting using the damper on the firebox.
one hour into the "2" of the 3-2-1
KIMG0550.JPG
TBS for the final hour
KIMG0554.JPG
Final product... YUM!
KIMG0556.JPG
 

jonboat

Smoke Blower
79
12
Joined Feb 8, 2010
Welcome back, been years since I used my offset but one thing I learned with it is patience and not to make to many adjustments to quick. I mainly kept stack wide open and used firebox door to adjust temps. How are you measuring your temps. Are you measuring ay grate level. Was it windy when you used it.
I found that the temp changes very slowly, so yep, patience. I'm just using the thermometer on the lid. I figure if that stays between 225 nd 250, I'll be good to go. Second smoke went much better, followed your tip to leave the stack open and use the damper on the firebox for temp control. My old ECB worked better with briquettes, this one seems to like lump much better - the higher BTU's needed to heat everything make a difference.
 

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