How to Maintain Temperatures In an Offset Smoker
Airflow is important when starting the fire in the firebox so Blake leaves the ashtray slightly open, the top 2 firebox vents closed and the bottom firebox vent completely open. He also has the flue damper completely open. Doing all of this allows the fire to draw in oxygen from the firebox and vent it out through the flue. Start off with smaller pieces of wood to light your fire and don’t put any big pieces on until later in the cook or you will smother the fire and it will go out.
This creates white smoke which is acrid and not what you want. The best smoke is blueish in colour or almost clear to give lots of flavour. Once the fire is going and coals are starting to form, shut the door on the firebox, leave the bottom firebox vent open but now close the chimney a quarter of the way. You want to have your temperature around 225-250°F/107-120°C for slow cooking brisket, pork, lamb and even chicken.
During the cook, just use the flue damper to increase or decrease the airflow through the smoker. If you find the smoker is getting too hot, just close the damper further. If you find the smoker is cooling down too much open the damper up and consider putting more wood in the firebox. If you find the heat is increasing too much, open the firebox door which will release some of the heat out of the pit.
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by: Rhiannon Peterson