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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 01-27-2020, 09:06 PM   #46
Yellowhair42
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Good grief! FOG moments all around. 93 confirmed, post a pic of your fire so we can help.
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Old 01-27-2020, 09:36 PM   #47
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I wish I could offer you more help 93 but I'm having a very similar issue on my Klose. It's been rock solid since I got it ten years ago but for some reason the last few cooks it doesn't seem to get over 200*.

For my next cook I'm going to double the amount of wood I start my coal bed with and see if that changes anything. My wood pile is getting low and I think I'm subconsciously using less wood to start my pit which is creating a weak coal bed. Good luck, you'll figure it out.
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Old 01-28-2020, 07:51 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 93_confirmed View Post
The firebox door is open, not the lid. Do you really think I'd leave that open and wonder where the heat is going?? I've tried running the firebox multiple ways and doesn't matter.



I said I thought I was reading it wrong Sorry man, nothing about this makes a lot of sense, I figure there's got to be something we're missing here. Just tryin' ta help!
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Old 01-28-2020, 10:34 AM   #49
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I’d go grab a bundle or two of kiln dried wood from the gas station or Kroger’s (unless you have some super dry wood laying around. Smack them together and they should sound like some 2x4” at Lowe’s) and feed the fire box till the smoker cries. I guarantee you can get it over 200* with dry wood unless there is in issue with your thermometer.

I agree with what others are saying about a coal bed for more stable cook temps but for getting your temps up? It’s simple... add dry splits....need more temp? Add more dry splits. Difficulty catching fire or smoldering? Add smaller dry splits.

As the smoker/chimney heats up your draft will naturally increase because heat rises.

If the splits you add won’t catch or smolder you either have a drafting problem or damp wood.
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Old 01-28-2020, 11:50 PM   #50
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is your smoker sliteley out of level whith the end opposite the firebox raised the only thing besides larger coal base
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:52 AM   #51
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This works for me: This is for an Old Country Wrangler. First, allow at least an hour for the fire to get burning. I "ring" the firebox with very dry oak of varying sizes leaving an opening at the firebox door. I'm sure it's more wood than most would use to start out with but I hate a puny fire. Pour an un-lit chimney of charcoal in the center of the ring. I use a propane weed burner to get it going, making sure it's really burning. If you don't have a weed burner, just get the charcoal glowing hot before you pour it in the middle of the ring. Also, the entire smoker has to be hot. As it burns down a bit, I start adding dry pecan wood. You should have a BIG bed of coals by now. Leave the fire box door wide open. Put more splits on top of the firebox to get them hot for adding to the fire as needed. Control the fire with just the firebox door and the vent in the door. If this doesn't work for you, give it to someone you don't like and get something else.
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Old 01-29-2020, 09:09 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagdog View Post
I said I thought I was reading it wrong Sorry man, nothing about this makes a lot of sense, I figure there's got to be something we're missing here. Just tryin' ta help!
Sorry if my response was snarky.
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Old 01-29-2020, 09:15 PM   #53
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Quote:
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is your smoker sliteley out of level whith the end opposite the firebox raised the only thing besides larger coal base
Maybe slightly but not enough to prevent the air from flowing properly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sopchoppy View Post
This works for me: This is for an Old Country Wrangler. First, allow at least an hour for the fire to get burning. I "ring" the firebox with very dry oak of varying sizes leaving an opening at the firebox door. I'm sure it's more wood than most would use to start out with but I hate a puny fire. Pour an un-lit chimney of charcoal in the center of the ring. I use a propane weed burner to get it going, making sure it's really burning. If you don't have a weed burner, just get the charcoal glowing hot before you pour it in the middle of the ring. Also, the entire smoker has to be hot. As it burns down a bit, I start adding dry pecan wood. You should have a BIG bed of coals by now. Leave the fire box door wide open. Put more splits on top of the firebox to get them hot for adding to the fire as needed. Control the fire with just the firebox door and the vent in the door. If this doesn't work for you, give it to someone you don't like and get something else.
That used to be almost my exact process as of a few weeks ago and then it just stopped working. I really am thinking of selling it after this weekend if I can't get it up to temp. My last attempt will be on Sun - weather will be 50, sunny and light wind. The plan is:

Put the firebox grate and Lavalock basket back in
Dump two full lit chimneys of lump in (no wood)
Firebox door and stack wide open
Pull up a chair, crack a beer and watch the Smoke temps closely
If I don't get to 250F, I'm taking photos and it's going on FB Marketplace that day because its is officially "broken".
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:24 PM   #54
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It's cursed.

Have you tried dressing up in some old Indian Head Dress, loading up on Ibogaine and dancing around the smoker with a magic staff or something like that?

Sorry, I can't be of any help but this is getting funnier every day. You know the answer is going to be simple.... right?
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Old 01-30-2020, 07:28 PM   #55
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It's cursed.

Have you tried dressing up in some old Indian Head Dress, loading up on Ibogaine and dancing around the smoker with a magic staff or something like that?

Sorry, I can't be of any help but this is getting funnier every day. You know the answer is going to be simple.... right?
I would have done that if I knew it would work. I consider myself a pretty solid pitmaster and to have this kind of trouble with a fire is so embarrassing. My buddy dubbed it Temperature Dysfunction (TD) and told me they make pills for it.

The irony of the timing on all this is he and I cooked a flawless Prime brisket on New Year's and that is the last cook that the Joe worked properly. Did it realize it couldn't ever top that cook so might as well retire on top?
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Old 01-30-2020, 07:49 PM   #56
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As I noted before I was having the same problem. Last night I decided to load my Klose up with wood and see if it would keep giving me problems. I think loading it up and getting a hot fire going seems to have scared the curse away.

93, sorry I can't help but this is what I did and all was good. Post some pics of how set up your box and maybe the big brains in here can offer some tips.


Klose 20x30


6 oak splits cross hatch over 1 chimney of lit coals


Temps spiked quickly!


After a little while the fire settled and coal bed established


Temp on the way down, finally stabilized in the 325-350 range


Cheers Brethren!
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Old 01-30-2020, 09:23 PM   #57
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Try some white oak, move the fire forward. Make sure the grate underneath the fire has not collapsed. Make sure breeze is coming from the firebox side. Open up the lid light the fire at least one hour before you are going to cook, and get a hot bed of coals going, then let it cool down to the temperature you want.
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Old 01-30-2020, 10:47 PM   #58
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You checked your thermometers in boiling water? I'd swap them from another smoker if they fit. The fact that this is a new problem is quite odd for sure. Have you cleaned the inside of the smoke chamber, specifically the top? If new smokers (non seasoned) run hotter then maybe yours has too much built up seasoning/creosote on top which is restricting draw. If that's not the problem then maybe the thinning/rusting firebox is the culprit, maybe try a piece of sheet metal or something to fortify it. I have a 18 WSM that refuses to get above 300, I tried drilling 1 inch holes at vent level but that didn't help much, however really scraping the sides did help a little.
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Old 01-31-2020, 08:14 AM   #59
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Selfishly, I'd like to thank you for starting this thread. I've learned a ton (at your expense) about fire management...

Best of luck, and anxiously awaiting the final answer.
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Old 02-03-2020, 08:51 PM   #60
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Here's my final, long winded update and after this I will let this thread drift into the abyss.

I added the grate and Lavalock basket back into the firebox.
I lit one packed chimney of Weber briqs (last few attempts were top shelf lump)
I put the Smoke therm in and I picked up some cheap oven thermometers so had a couple strategically placed just to see what temps I'm getting throughout.
I dumped the lit chimney in. Exhaust and firebox door (NOT LID) wide open.
I pulled up a chair and waited with much anticipation.
Within 20 minutes she was at 250 and not long after I cracked 300.
Very mixed feelings here because still so many unanswered questions.
I threw a butt and some thighs on and all is well again. Hooray end of story right?? Not quite...

After a few hours of adding cherry splits, my coal bed was getting weak so I fired up a full chimney of lump this time. Nice chunks with some small pieces. Solid brand imo.
As soon as it was mostly lit I dumped it in and wandered off.
I checked the temp a while later to make sure I'm not too high and it's at 200F.
Open up the firebox and the basket is about 3/4 full and it's an inferno in there.
Hmm, WTF is going on here? I gave the basket a couple of shakes, ash was very minimal underneath, weather hadn't changed, setup didn't change, amount of meat didn't change. I was even more bewildered than in previous attempts.
I f'd around with it for a while by adding small splits and rearranging the fire and the best I could do was barely hitting 225. At that point, the butt was pretty far along so I bailed to the oven and shut it down.

So, the conclusion here is actually two takeaways.
1) How could lump charcoal perform worse than briqs when it is confirmed to burn hotter and faster? I would expect temps to spike faster and drop faster than the briqs but I actually saw the reverse. Weber briqs are amazing by the way and worth every cent.
2) One of the things I forgot to mention in this entire saga that I feel really stupid about is after the last successful cook on New Years, I replaced the stock chamber grates with the 2-tier setup from BBQMods in the link below and now realize that I added 23 extra pounds of steel inside that wasn't there before these temp problems started. I'm sure this isn't helping my situation BUT, the briqs still got me to 250-300F on this day with relative ease so maybe it's not an issue and just the lump not cooperating.

Thanks for listening and following and for all the words of advice and troubleshooting.

https://bbqsmokermods.com/oem-smoker...trolr-bbq.html (2 tier mod; wasn't worth the extra space for the $ if anyone is considering it. Adds about 300+ sq inches of cooking space but not much clearance for that space because of the lid).

https://rockwoodcharcoal.com/ (lump brand I was using)
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