To soak chips and chunks or not?
I used my off-set smoker for the first time yesterday. As per directions found all over the net I did not soak my chips or chunks. I put the chips in tin foil, the chunks as is......right onto the coals in my furnace box. It was cold outside and my basket was fashioned from chicken wire (for now this is all I have). I found if I shut the door on the fire box at all the temperature inside the cooking chamber went down. I attribute this to my coal basket being too big and there not being enough room around it for air to circulate. What I did was put a large brick chisel through the vent and underneath the basket to provide more room for air to circulate. This helped abit but I kept on having to push the basket in on the sides and up from underneath to keep my temperature up around 220f. The flew on the cooking chamber was open all the way all the time.
When the chunks were added they flamed immediately and the foil packs of chips flamed within a few minutes. The meat while smoky was NOT as smoky as when I soaked these on previous cooks and used my propane grill as a offset cooker with charcoal and soaked chips/chunks added.
I am going to do a cook tommorrow and am wondering what I should do. Any and all advice appreciated.
Am I doing something wrong here?