Originally Posted by John Bowen
Questions are no problem – I have a heat deflector, the exhaust is open half way and the temp fluctuation has happened when I cooked 3 racks of ribs and again this past Sunday when I cooked 6 full chicken breasts and two links of kielbasa sausage.
I find it easier to position the meat on the racks outside of the smoker and it seems to be quicker putting the meat in not letting all the heat out. I have the water pan ¾ full of water and the fire is started with water in the pan. I start the fire with two paraffin cubes on the far left corner and run the guru (right side) with the other side vent open until the temp reaches 200 degrees. I then shut the side vent and let the guru take it up to 230 degrees. I let it hold about 10 minutes and then put the meat in.
This is the same set up I use with my big smoker minus the water pan. I just added the heat shield and that is about the time this started. I use Chef Select charcoal – a mix of white oak and hickory – and 3 small chunks of cherry wood chunks.
Nothing out of the ordinary there except for using the Guru to bring the temp up as Smokin Butts stated. I use KBB and use one parafin cube to light the front right corner near the Guru. 30 degrees before the target temp I close both bottom vent and throttle back the exhaust vent to 1/3. I turn on the guru and it takes the temp to 270. This is with water in the pan from the beginning.
I would try lighting the front right corner next time to see if it makes a difference.