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Firebox hot coal situation.

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Post Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:43 pm
Fired medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 50
Location: Long Island
I have a not so great smoker that the wife bought me. It is not ideal but gets the job done.

Anyway I have been using it for a while now, and I always had the coals resting on a grate that was elevated by two small pieces of brick. So, the vents were kind of below the coals. Should I remove the bricks and just have the coals next to the vents, on the same level?

The only problem I guess I have with this smoker is with the current setup, coals elevated, the coals in the firebox tend to shoot flames into the main chamber.

Post Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:30 pm
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5376
Location: Damascus, Maryland
Let's start with the brand and model.
Once that's established the cavalry will
arrive with the help.

-YB
Weber Summit E-470
Weber 22" MasterTouch
Performer One Touch
Traeger Lil Tex
New Braunfels Hondo
Bar-B-Chef
Weber Q-220

Post Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:33 pm
scorched_porch User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 433
Location: Redwood City, California

Fired wrote:
I have a not so great smoker that the wife bought me. It is not ideal but gets the job done.

Anyway I have been using it for a while now, and I always had the coals resting on a grate that was elevated by two small pieces of brick. So, the vents were kind of below the coals. Should I remove the bricks and just have the coals next to the vents, on the same level?

The only problem I guess I have with this smoker is with the current setup, coals elevated, the coals in the firebox tend to shoot flames into the main chamber.


I'm thinking that if the coals are "shooting flames" into the main chamber something isn't sounding right. Are you lighting the briquettes/lump in the firebox directly or are you starting them in a chimney starter first? I'd have to say that by the time you are smoking, there shouldn't be flames coming off the coals...

Also - I'd worry about the fire putting itself out by getting smothered in it's own ashes if you didn't elevate the coals like you are doing. Others probably can comment also, but we might need some more data. Do you have any pictures? What kind of rig is it?
36" Argentine Grill
WSM 22.5, Pit Barrel Cooker
Weber Performer
http://thequinchoproject.wordpress.com/

Post Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:56 am
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7601
Location: Stoughton, WI
Since the chimney is above the coals and you want a vertical draft to feed the fire, keeping the fuel above the intake vents is definitely the way to go.

The Weber Smokey Joe Platinum had side-mounted vents above the coalgrate and the most common complaint about that grill is that it would never get as hot as its bottom-vented brothers.

Post Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:25 pm
Fired medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 50
Location: Long Island
The smoker is a BBQ Pro. She surprised me with it. The one pictured from the link below.

http://images1.americanlisted.com/nlarg ... 734470.jpg

I start the smoker with charcoal. Then I usually put in wood chunks or wood that I split and split again to fit. Should I be putting the chucks in a chimney starter first then into the smoker?

Post Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:33 am
tbk420 well done
well done

Posts: 721
Location: Western Pa.
Do a search for "minion method". It is a great way to control temps for longer cooks.

If you have flames capable of shooting into the main chamber, I'd have to guess that you have a very hot fire.

Post Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:35 am
tbk420 well done
well done

Posts: 721
Location: Western Pa.
Fired wrote:
The smoker is a BBQ Pro. She surprised me with it. The one pictured from the link below.

http://images1.americanlisted.com/nlarg ... 734470.jpg

I start the smoker with charcoal. Then I usually put in wood chunks or wood that I split and split again to fit. Should I be putting the chucks in a chimney starter first then into the smoker?



The chunks should go in the fire box. But a little goes a long way.

Post Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:46 pm
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5918
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
That is a nice smoker, actually. It's quite similar to a CharGriller Smokin' Pro but with a nice front shelf and better wheels. I'm a little bit familiar with these. :D

Keep in mind that these units are usually charcoal smokers, so if you're using all-wood fuel that's not a great idea as it burns too hot and too unevenly. Charcoal briquettes are best for these units rather than lump charcoal, which can also burn too fast and hot. (Royal Oak briquettes are my favorite choce here, not Kingsford). This might be the heart of the problem.

The side fireboxes on these units can be tweaked easily. In fact, the simplest modification that may solve the issue and also help control the heat better would be just to use a charcoal basket that fits the side firebox. I picked up a pair at a local superstore for about $8.00. Mine were about 8x8x12 inches and they last a few seasons.

The basket also solves another problem - I place mine on the bottom charcoal grate and it keeps the coals above the vent. I hope this helps. :D
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:55 am
Griffin well done
well done

Posts: 3312
Location: Dallas, Texas

x2 on what Canada said. That is a charcoal smoker. It works best with charcoal. You can add a few chunks for smoke flavor, but you don't want to cook with wood. Back when I used a similar offset (by Brinkman), I cut a thin piece of metal to fit in the cooking chamber that would block the direct heat of flames in the offset, but would still allow heat and smoke in. Sort of an angled baffle. Wish I had a picture I could share with you. I know its been covered in detail on the Smoke Ring Forum. Just can't find the thread right now.

Post Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:56 am
Griffin well done
well done

Posts: 3312
Location: Dallas, Texas

Something similar to this

Image

Post Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:15 pm
Fired medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 50
Location: Long Island
Thanks for the ideas.

I think I started out with charcoal and the smoker had a hard time getting hot enough, but I might have been using Kingsford. I tried Stubbs charcoal briquetts for the first time and these things burned way hotter, so maybe I will try these.

Post Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:26 pm
Griffin well done
well done

Posts: 3312
Location: Dallas, Texas

Play around and find the brand that works best for you. I used to use Kroger's brand of mesquite charcoal with my offset. The store was close, worked as well for me as Kingsford and was cheaper. I liked the mesqutie charcoal over the regular, but I grew up in South Texas where it grows like a weed and everybody uses it for bbq. I know some people think its overpowering, and for some things it is, but I still like it.


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