Temperature Control of Smoker

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Original poster
I recently purchased a CharGriller Smoker Pro with the side firebox. I am having trouble regulating the temperature when smoking. I am sure this has to do with the opening and closing of the vent and stack, but cannot find how to regulate this factor. Any suggestions on how to regulate would help me out greatly. The book says more air-more heat, but I can't seem to get it regulated.
Howdy hillcitysmoker!

I don't have the CharGriller but talk with many that do. Most leave the vent stack open while smoking and regulate the temperature using the intake vent on the side fire box (opening the vent means more air and more air makes the fire hotter, likewise closing the vent cools the firebox). Many have either purchased charcoal baskets from CharGriller ( 2 fit nicely into the SFB) or have made their own baskets or rings from expanded metal. Having a basket allows you to add 1-1/2 to 2 chimneys (if you have a chimney starter) of unlit charcoal in a tightly stacked pile and the place about 12 to 15 lit coals on top for a "Minion Method" burn. When lighting the CG have the SFB intake vent wide open then as the main body's temperature approaches 200* close the vent halfway. As the temperature reaches 225* you may need to close the vent to 1/4 of less to maintain a constant temperature.

Using this method gets reported 4-5 hours of constant temperatures. As the temperature begins to drop it will be necessary to reload the baskets and place the lit coals back on top. To help recover temperatures more quickly add a little lump charcoal on top, just a little, so it will burn out by the time the temperature rises back up. Adding a little charcoal at a time will cause temperature drops and spikes making it very hard to control and requires constant fiddling with the dampers.
Greetings Bob-BQN:
Thanks for the response to my question. I am going to smoke a turkey this coming week end and will try your method. I am going to try to make a temporary basket for the charcoal until I get time to purchase one. In the times I have smoked, I usually use Kingsford charcoal and mesquite wood chunks; however, last time I used Cowboy lump charcoal which we did not like as well. Thanks again for your comments! :D
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