problem and possible solution

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by jeepnmatt, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. Got my smoker cured kept a temp around 250 and lower. when I put the water bowl in the temp dropped dramatically and then would not climb above 125. The coal tray is solid with no hole seeing this in the store while shopping i had the idea to drill holes in the tray to allow air. now looking at the designs themselves (provided below, or above, to the side.....not to sure where it will appear but it is here somewhere) using a grate that is provided, I figured getting out my handy dandy air powered evil [​IMG] (AKA cut off wheel) and cut a large square out of the bottom of the tray. Will there be any issues with heat control by doing this or will this help my situation. It sure will let the ash out. Any other ideas are appreciated as well. thanks!!

  2. i just realized, I really butchered the terminology.......LMAO
  3. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Congrats on the new rig.  Start by drilling some holes; you can always go bigger if that isn't sufficient....
  4. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Did you add cold water or hot water? That can make a difference.Always use hot water so the smoker doesn't have to spend energy to heat the water.
  5. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Adding the drilled holes will help keep a more steady burn. If you use a good lump charcoal, you won't have much of an ash issue. Too much ash can starve off a burn, not allowing enough air for combustion. Always try to add hot water to the pan, cold water will bring the temp down, until the water heats up. If later you notice the temp dropping, you might need to add more hot water. It's all good my friend.
  6. well i did use hose water. So what is an ideal temp for this unit to sit at while it is working its magic?
  7. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  8. would some kind of heat inducing stone like lava rock or firebrick help?
  9. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Those would help maintain temps. Have you tried using sand instead of water in the pan? It takes longer to warmup, but it holds heat much better, but does not help with humidity. I think you'll have to try different methods to find your answer. It's all good my friend.
  10. sand soaked with water..... or beer.......................
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I always boil my water, if I put any in my water pan.

    Heat your water to 220˚ (just kidding).

    Anywhere around 200˚ would be fine. I just Nuke it.

    If you put cold water in, that's making your smoker work a whole lot harder to get up to temp.

  12. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Slightly dampened sand, not soaked in a liquid. Have you tried adjust your bottom vents, if you have any bottom vents, try adjusting them a little, but keep your top vent open.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2011
  13. LOL....... well i think i would need a cylinder instead of a bowl

    Should the top vents always remain open?
  14. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

  15. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Why do you need water in the pan?

    Are you trying to add humidity or use it as a heat sink?

    I do not use water in the pan, and if additional moisture is needed, I inject my meat.

    Also, high humidity will slow the burning process of your charcoal.  Try using sand as a heat sink and if you need additional moisture, place a small pan with water on the lowest rack.

    You just have to experiment to see what works best.

    Good Luck!


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