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Question on Charcoal & Temperature

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by britsmoker, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. Hi all,

    Had the new smoker for a few weeks now and have done 3 smokes - just small stuff to get used to it.

    1st smoke - Whole Chicken & Baby Back ribs (had to do ribs)

    2nd smoke - pork tenderloin & trout

    3rd smoke - small 2.5lb boneless butt (and turkey breast for some sandwiches)

    Smokes 1 & 3 the temp seemed to max out at 225 - couldn't get it higher. Used a full basket of Frontier lump from Lowes.

    Smoke 2 had trouble getting above 200. Used smaller amount of Cowboy lump from Home Depot based on the fact I wasn't smoking for a long time. Tenderloin was bloody awful but I think it was partially because of the prepacked meat I bought.

    Looked here http://www.nakedwhiz.com/lump.htm  at some charcoal reviews but does anyone have a recommendation on charcoal? Would stuff that burns hotter help me to get a higher temp? Or is it just based on quantity and the smoker design?

    Does the water in the pan have an effect on temp? Should I fill it or use less and replenish more often?

    I have another couple of local charcoal supplies that I have not tried yet, but will.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Enough waffle, here's some pics from my first attempts at smoking. BTW, now know BB ribs are 2-2-1, not 3-2-1 they were a tad dry.




    meateater and mballi3011 like this.
  2. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    Everything looks pretty good but what would help is if you let us know what kind of smoker you have and someone with that model will come along and dial you in. Your pork has a small smoke ring so you are on track on that and your trout doesn't look dried out so kudos on that. [​IMG]
  3. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Well for having your smoker for only a couple weeks it looks as if you have got it well in control. You finished products looks fabulous and I'm sure mighty tasty too. I would also like to say that you have done quite well on some really hard dishes too.
  4. Thanks for the replies. I have the Apollo 3 'n' 1 smoker (AS300K) http://www.napoleongrills.com/Gourmet-grills/charcoal/smoker.html

    It's modular so I'm sure there is some heat loss due to that. I liked the idea that it's like the WSM but with some different features. It comes with a rod in the lid and 5 hooks for hanging stuff - should have hung my trout on there.
  5. All the great info I read on this site really helped me as newbie. Thanks to everyone.