New to smoking, I need some help!

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Original poster
Jan 1, 2011
I bought a charcoal smoker from Home Depot yesterday in hopes of making tender, delicious brisket. I am using a combination of hickory wood chunks (soaked in water) and Kingsford charcoal. I put in the first batch of charcoal in and got the smoker to around 200 Deg F. The charcoal lasted maybe an hour so I had to add more, but now that I've been adding more wood and charcoal, the temp doesn't get passed like 115 Deg (according the the door temp gauge). I don't know what the air vents should be at to increase temperature. Anyways, how do I make the smoker hotter? I have a 6.5LB beef brisket smoking right now and the internal temp of that is only at 108 degrees. Also, any tips for smoking would help, I'm a beginner. Thanks.

This is similar to my smoker...
I would get yourself a new temperature gauge and just double check the true temperature.  those factory temperature gauges never work or are not very accurate.
Welcome to the party -

Sorry this is late but here is what I would do..

I agree with Ratchuck - check your thermo using the ice water or boiling water method to see where you stand there.

Next - do a search on the Minion Method for how to set up your fire.

To get a higher temp you need to have good air flow around your fuel - was your fire sitting on the floor of the cooker or was it raised some? Raising it will help.

The best advice it to read, learn, ask a million questions, and practice.

Don't give up and good luck.

I see this is your first post - why don't you head over to Roll Call and tell us a little about yourself?
Welcome to SMF - Ellie and Ratchuck steered you right - follow their advice and it will get better quickly is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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