Need Help/Advice

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MikeD
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Need Help/Advice

Postby MikeD » Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:44 pm

Hello all. First an introduction as this is my first post. Weekend cooker, very traditional Central Texas style 'que and sausage making. After years of various store bought offset stick burners I inally broke down and bought one from a "builder" (not his full time gig). Has a 1/2" thick box, 3/8" chamber and 8" stack.

Here's my issue after my first cook and now messing with it today...right down the center it is running about 100+* hotter than the edges! The pull from the stack is creating a jet stream in the pit. Even with tamper on top of stack open about 1/4 way it's pulling crazy hot.

Any mods I can do or have done to prevent this? I'm sure I can manage if I'm doing a small cook by knowing my "hot spots," but I know a loaded chamber with multiple briskets would result in disaster.

Thanks for the help.
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Re: Need Help/Advice

Postby GRailsback » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:43 pm

Did you try cutting the fire box opening down or just the stack end?
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FAT
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Re: Need Help/Advice

Postby FAT » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:48 pm

How about a few pictures of the smoker?
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Re: Need Help/Advice

Postby MikeD » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:49 pm

I haven't cut or done much of anything shy of fiddling with what's already there. I'm not a builder or welder, so very little would be done by me short of maybe the addition of some sort of plate between the firebox and cooking chamber.
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Re: Need Help/Advice

Postby MikeD » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:53 pm

Sorry, guess they didn't make it on original. The digital thermometer is in the center near the stack.
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GRailsback
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Re: Need Help/Advice

Postby GRailsback » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:54 pm

And what are the actual temps? A 100+ hotter doesn't tell us much.
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Re: Need Help/Advice

Postby MikeD » Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:54 pm

The door grate level temp reads 200*, but center digital is at 300*, for example.
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FAT
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Re: Need Help/Advice

Postby FAT » Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:08 pm

Perhaps all of the thermometers are off.
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Re: Need Help/Advice

Postby MikeD » Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:16 pm

All calibrated prior to install. I expect the upper one to give me a pretty substantial difference from grate level, but it tends to not have quite as much swing once temp is regulated.

I think that the opening from the box to the cooking chamber may be too big after looking at my other smokers. Can I get by with some Home Depot caliber mods to close that off some?
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Re: Need Help/Advice

Postby FAT » Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:51 pm

Post a picture of the inside. You might get by with laying flat steel plate under grate at fire box opening too height.
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Re: Need Help/Advice

Postby MikeD » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:47 pm

I'll get one tomorrow. Had a fire going today, so the ones I got don't show much.
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k.a.m.
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Re: Need Help/Advice

Postby k.a.m. » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:08 pm

My guess is the exhaust is huge and below grate level is most of the problem. Is there a deflector at the firebox end?
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

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MikeD
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Re: Need Help/Advice

Postby MikeD » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:25 pm

There is a small plate leading in to the cooking chamber, but only about an inch or two wide and at about a 45* angle.

Top of firebox is about grate level.
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Re: Need Help/Advice

Postby GRailsback » Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:04 pm

Mike the right man is on it now, he will get you pointed in the right direction. Take K.A.M. advise, I promise you he won't steer you wrong.
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Re: Need Help/Advice

Postby MikeD » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:01 am

Here it is from both the chamber to the firebox and vice versa. The grate sits right above that piece of 2" steel that must have been there to prevent flare ups. The hole is substantial and I'm guessing disproportionate to the length of cooking space?

If I'm right about that and have it modified by adding a steel plate then...

1) should it be added from the bottom up causing the heat/smoke to enter closer to cooking height?

2) is there a ratio that establishes the size of opening compared to the other factors (length of cook chamber, size of smoke stack, etc)?

Thanks everyone for the input so far and for bearing with me. I'm obviously not a welder and realize my terminology and knowledge is probably elementary.
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