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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.

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Old 09-18-2019, 11:11 PM   #1
Found some matches.
Join Date: 04-30-19
Location: Rio Rancho, NM
Name/Nickname : Scottie
Default Lower temperature in el cheapo

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I modified my el cheapo offset w an extended chimney and a smoke baffle near the firebox. I'm afraid I made my smoker too efficient? Now my smoke chamber temps are running a bit hot (250+) for my taste. I try to keep the chimney and side door to the firebox open 100%. What is a good way to lower temps in the smoke chamber? Close off the chimney a bit? Or maybe close off the side firebox a bit? I'm afraid of choking off the fire!

FWIW in other news I had a BBQ brisket challenge vs a friend with a pellet smoker a couple months ago...judged by my KCBS certified inlaws...and I won! Thanks to advice on this forum too! But I need to be on point this weekend, I'm basically catering a big party. Any help or advice is greatly appreciated!
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:26 PM   #2
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Run a clean hot fire and you can safely run at 275 for ribs, chicken loves 325, and brisket or butts can handle it easily too.

Don’t fight a stickburner to keep it too low ( if you must then build a smaller fire). I run my Lang at 150-190 for hours at a stretch to cook jerky or bacon by building a really small fire.

But for everything else I’m between 265-310 with a 275 average.
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Old 09-19-2019, 05:06 AM   #3
Babbling Farker

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Join Date: 08-23-13
Location: Detroit Mi
Name/Nickname : tom

Use smaller splits. Like mentioned to maintain a smaller clean burning fire.
Easy check/test. Split a few of your splits in 1/2.
See how that works for you.
Yes you will have to add splits every 20 mins or so. But for those of us who like to tend a fire that is a plus.
If you have to go do something for a bit. Add one of your regular splits that you use to get that 30-40 mins between splits.
Keep at it. You will get it.
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:50 AM   #4
Monkey Uncle
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Join Date: 10-26-14
Location: Somewhere, somehow

I used a similarly modified COS for years. I found that I had to burn chunks rather than splits to keep the temp from running away from me. Generally I used chunks that were fist size or a little larger. Of course that means tending the fire quite a bit.

Don't be afraid to adjust the air intake if necessary. Most COSs are leaky enough that you aren't going to totally choke the fire even if you shut the air intake all the way. But I would leave the exhaust stack fully open unless you have to close it for a short period of time to tame a runaway fire.

Get comfortable with the fact that you aren't going to be able to maintain a completely steady temperature. I had to adjust the air intake almost constantly, and I was happy if I kept it between 220 and 270. You can still make good Q that way, it's just going to take a very hands-on approach. Eventually I got tired of it and switched to a WSM.
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Old 09-19-2019, 08:31 AM   #5
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Join Date: 01-03-14
Location: Detroit michigan

smaller splits and try closing off the intake some. as long as your fire is clean nothing wrong with throttling the intake some
Let's all just calm down and smoke a fatty

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Old 09-19-2019, 08:41 AM   #6
is one Smokin' Farker

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Join Date: 07-10-18
Location: East Peoria Illinois
Name/Nickname : Terry

Confirming what the Brethren has said, smaller splits or chunks, smaller fire.
Leave the exhaust wide open, throttle the intake if needed.
I can run my ECB below 100* with a couple of briquettes and a chunk of pecan for cold smoking cheese.
It does take a lot of fire management and your temps will look like a sign wave, but that's just how a COS runs.
Still turns out some pretty good grub.
Good Luck with the party cook!
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Old 09-19-2019, 04:41 PM   #7
Found some matches.
Join Date: 04-30-19
Location: Rio Rancho, NM
Name/Nickname : Scottie

Thanks for the advice everyone - I really appreciate it! I did switch from the chunks to sticks. I will chop them a bit smaller to see if that helps. I don't mind tending a fire and told everyone in my house that I am not to be bothered for anything Saturday. The only thing they should ask me is "want a beer?" Lineup for Saturday should include brisket, pork butt, and ribs. Can't wait! I'll take pics if I remember to do so.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:44 PM   #8
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Good luck, Scottie. Hope it turns out to be the best Q your guests have ever had!
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:35 AM   #9
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Join Date: 07-15-15
Location: Katy TX

Would a pan of water help you out? I think I remember doing that on the cheap offset I started off with. Did it too this past weekend cooking on my baby brother's gas grill when I couldn't get it to settle under 275 for the ribs I was making him.
Added a pot of cold water and it got me down to 250 for the duration of the cook 👌🏽
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