How Much Charcoal?

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Kramergwt
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How Much Charcoal?

Postby Kramergwt » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:18 pm

First time I used the smoker I put in a Weber chimney full of hot ashed over charcoal. Got up to 235 on the fire side and only about 195 on the chimney side. It seemed to work Ok because I just put my chicken in the middle. I extended the chimney down to get more heat in the cooking chamber. It is still coming up (second time using it) and I have a second chimney full of charcoal ready to go in. Is 2 weber chimneys too much? I have a 12 x 12 x 6 expanded metal basket in the firebox to hold the hot coals. Getting ready to throw on a big rack of ribs.

Thanks in advance!
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Finatic
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Re: How Much Charcoal?

Postby Finatic » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:36 pm

It should be running hotter than that with one chimney of charcoal. Are you running with your exhaust wide open? If so you need more air intake. Try opening your air intake on the firebox.
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Re: How Much Charcoal?

Postby Kramergwt » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:49 pm

That info helps. Yes, the intake is wide open. the exhaust is wide open but to extend the chimney down to the grate, I ended up using an automotive exhaust fitting. Unfortunately, the only thing I could find at the parts store took the diameter from 3.0 to 2.5. My other problem is that the fire chamber seems kind of leaky. Due to the wonderful Chinese manufacturing, the top of the fire chamber lid interferes with the recess. I will need to shave off a bit so that it closes tight. Might also add gasket and some latches (non rubber type) to pull the lid down and lock it. ...but thanks to your reply, I at least know what I should be expecting. Brand new to this stuff.
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Re: How Much Charcoal?

Postby Finatic » Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:21 pm

Put a fan at the air intake side of the firebox and see if that raises the temps. If so you know your air intake is too small.
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Re: How Much Charcoal?

Postby OldUsedParts » Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:41 pm

Kramer is in the House and on a roll - - - - :salut: :tup:
OUP

" Country by choice, Texan by the Grace of God "
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Kramergwt
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Re: How Much Charcoal?

Postby Kramergwt » Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:39 pm

Finatic wrote:Put a fan at the air intake side of the firebox and see if that raises the temps. If so you know your air intake is too small.

Well. My 12" x 12" x 6" basket is completely full, intake and exhaust ports both wide open, and the hottest I can get it is 225. At least I don't have to worry about burning anything. Maybe too much heat is escaping out the fire chamber lid due to the Chinese welder that fabricated it in a hurry. Seems like for all the heat coming out of that fire chamber when I open it, more should be making its way into the cooking chamber. Do people really have to make the intake bigger? I suppose I could just open the side door and see what that does.

Sorry if I'm being a pest. Just want to get it working right, and I did do a fair amount of research before I fired it up for the first time. One good thing I noticed is that the difference between the right and left with the exhaust lowered and a water pan on the fire box side is only about 10 degrees. I'll graze off about 1/16" off the fire chamber door tomorrow and get it where the lid doesn't bind and find something else to cook for experiment #3. Can't have too much smoked meat in the house!
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Re: How Much Charcoal?

Postby Finatic » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:44 pm

If try opening the fire box door or putting a fan in front of the firebox door- something to increase the air intake and see if that makes a difference.
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Re: How Much Charcoal?

Postby Kramergwt » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:54 pm

I did leave the clean-out door open for about 40 minutes and the temp still didn't go above 225 at the hottest, so it's not the intake hole size. I know the lid isn't closing right because I could see the fire from a piece of apple wood I had thrown in a second before I closed the lid. It's a narrow crack but I think I am losing a lot of heat through that. Don't want to do it but going to use my angle grinder and cutoff blade to take 1/16" off the hinge side of the lid so that it drops down properly into the recess without interfering with the firebox at that same place. Might even put a gasket in there too.

If that doesn't do it I'll pull out the chimney extension and try looking harder for something the same size diameter. Current piece reduces the diameter from 3.25 to 2.5. ...although the ribs I just ate make me think everything is working just fine. ;)

Thanks for the ideas!

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