To much wood on the fire?

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Apr 16, 2006
Northern IL
Right now I am trying to cure my new double barrel smoker and I am having a problem. The fire. I am having a hard time getting enough air to the fire. I am having to open up the bottom dampaner to get enough air in.

I am just wondering am I trying to make the fire to large? I have about 4 logs in there.

When I close the dampaner on the door I get a lower temp and more of a white smoke. When I open the door to let more air in I get more of a blue smoke.

Thanks for any help on this. It took me a little to get lump coal down now I am having to learn all over again. This is the first time I am using wood for the main fuel.
Well, friend, it sounds to me like you are trying to rush your fire. And depending on the size of the logs you have overstuffed your barrel.

Always start with small, fast burning material and build to the larger stuff. A full, unsplit log of wood will actually cool and slow the fire. The comment you made about the white smoke also makes me wonder just how dry that wood is.

If I were to use your type of smoker, I would start with very dry small kindling under splits no larger than two inches in diameter. When everything is burning well I would add a few larger splits then wait till the coal bed forms At that point then add a few more splits and ONE log. As I said a full unsplit log will cool your fire. Your coals are the main driving force behind the heat and smoke generation. That one log will last quite a while and eventuially add to the coal bed.

I would pull coals from the main fire forward in the burner barrel and add my flavoring wood there if desired. Lets say your fire is based on oak wood and that is all you want to flavor with then do nothing else. but, if you wanted to flavor with hickory or cherry or whatever then keep your main heat fire to the rear and place your (soaked or unsoaked) flavoring wood over a separate coal bed that you have pulled forward.

Hope this helps you tame your new beast!

Best of luck!
Thanks that does. The wood I got was stored outside so I might have to dry it some I guess. I do see what my first mistake was. I started with lump coal for the starter and went right to 1/8 to 1/4 slits. I should have started with some branches first as you stated.

The wood I do have oak looks very dry. It is has cracks going down it and that just like stated it should be. I am guessing it being out in the open were it could get wet was the problem. I will now take some of the wood I am going to use tomarrow and put it by the bottom barrel to get some of the moisture out of it.

Thanks for your help at least I see what I have done wrong. About 1/2 hour this post I got it to a nice 220 and it stayed there for about an hour with out a problem. I just have to say though just a little move of a damperner makes a difference on this smoker my Brinkman was not this sensative.

Thanks again
Glad I could help.

Now that I know you are using oak, try this test. Take a piece and whack it up with an axe to knock off the bark. See if you have a damp slimey surface under the bark. Even though the wood is properly seasoned the bark can hold a bit of moisture that has hit it after cutting.

About the only cure is to strip all your wood of bark and store in a well ventilated area to allow the dampness to dry off. That moisture can start an anaerobic decay process that, to put it bluntly, stinks! It will also form different types of mold and encourage growth of different types of fungi.

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