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Heat issue
August 2, 2008
3:34 pm
jpatts
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Forum Posts: 6
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July 20, 2008
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Hi everyone,

    I have an offest smoker and I tackled a brisket yesterday.  I had an issue with getting the smoker to come up on heat.  I had no problem with the smoker coming up initially, but after about 6 hours I could not get it to get come back on heat, it stayed around 200, I wanted to be at 225.  I ended up emptying the firebox of all the ashes, and then had no issues with the smoker getting up to and maintaining 225.  I used a combination of both Kingsford and Cowboy Lump.  I believe I ened up with too much ash and that waas snuffing out the fire to prevent it from reaching 225.  Does that makse sense?  If so what can I do so I do not have to empty the ashes in the middle of a smoke?

   Thanks

Jim

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August 2, 2008
9:46 pm
homebbq
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Forum Posts: 125
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June 24, 2008
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Hi Jim,

Yes, I think your right on what caused your heat issue. It sounds like the ash was blocking the airflow to the fire. About all you can do is either raise your charcoal grate up higher, and/or use a charcoal that produces less ash. Kingsford does produce a lot of ash.

Kevin
HomeBBQ.com

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August 4, 2008
10:46 am
jpatts
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July 20, 2008
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Thanks for the hints.  If I were to raise the grate, is there a too high level?  Will only a few inches be sufficient?  Kingsford is out, what do you use for charcoal?

Jim

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August 4, 2008
8:24 pm
gparzlaw
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July 30, 2008
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jpatts,

I found this link somewhere on this site before http://www.nakedwhiz.com/lumpi…..ge.htm?bag.  Hope it helps.

gparzlaw

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August 5, 2008
5:53 am
homebbq
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Forum Posts: 125
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June 24, 2008
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jpatts said:

Thanks for the hints.  If I were to raise the grate, is there a too high level?  Will only a few inches be sufficient?  Kingsford is out, what do you use for charcoal?

Jim


I think just about anything would help at this point. You need some distance between ash and the bottom of your fire grate for airflow. I would try to stick to just lump charcoal….

Kevin
HomeBBQ.com

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August 5, 2008
10:27 am
beltwaybbq
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July 10, 2008
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jpatts -

Have you done any modifications to your off-set?  In the process of doing mine, I solved the same problem you had.  First by changing the way that charcoal sits in my firebox.  I purchased a BBQ Basket at Lowe's for $14.00 (Char-Broil Brand).  See if there's a way to retrofit your box to add the basket.  If you have a Chargriller as I do, it's simple.  Just remove the existing bolts that held the charcoal grate and replace them with long bolts secured by a nut.  The longer bolts allow you to slide the basket in place with the bolts acting as a support if that makes sense.  The great thing about this modification is that it brings your coal up higher in the firebox which in turn, allows the ash pan to be pulled out during your cook if that becomes necessary.  The other thing that will help a lot is switching exclusively to lump coal.  It burns hotter, longer and produces little ash.  If you can do the firebox modification and use lump only, you'll be fine.

Good luck!

beltwaybbq

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August 6, 2008
8:28 am
beltwaybbq
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By the way, I love that lump coal website that was referenced (nakedwhiz).  I came across that site before I had seen it mentioned here.  Anyway, I can attest to the quality of a brand called Mali or Mali's that is reviewed on the nakedwhiz site.  In fact, they said that had the pieces of coal been a little smaller, it would have given it their very highest rating.  I used a large bag of it to do a pork butt and it was incredible.  It burned forever and produced so little ash I was blown away.  When I buy more, I think I will try and hit the outside of the bag gently with a rubber mallet to try and break up some pieces cause they are large.

I hope this helps someone.

JAC – beltwaybbq

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