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Massive lumpwood overshoot


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New to smoking.. Done a few cooks with a barrel smoker from Argos. Its similar to the cosmo bbq type smoker but has the chimney..

My question is I've tried snake and minion method with Big K lumpwood. However it always seems to ignite the whole amount of lumpwood amd therefore I hit temps of 250c.

I shut my intake to a tiny gap at 70c and my exhaust to 3/4 shut but still seems to fully ignite.

I've sealed the smoker best I can.

I'm wondering if I've to much in the chimney to start with? I usually light half a chimney.

Sorry for the big questions...

Cheers folks..

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Hi CheshireSmoker, welcome to the forum.

We are only to happy to answer questions.

First off, if you could put photos up of your set up, then it would be easier to comment.

Most people who use those methods use Briquettes, which tend to be harder/take more time to catch light. 
If you can get hold of a cheap bag of Briquettes and try them and see what the difference is.

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Hi, its a Barrel smoker I would presume. Not the best but starting out at the min. Do have my eye on a Masterbuilt 560 🙂

I have started on lumpwood and I know its a hotter faster burn. However I've tried snake method but it burned out to quick and have tried the minion twice but the whole lot of lump seems to ignite too fast.

I've tried closing the intake and exhaust as its building heat but it still overshoots all the time and doesn't hold temp on my target temp.



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  • 6 months later...

Hi Cheshiresmoker, 

Welcome aboard. As Dutchy says, you're better off using briquettes instead of the lump wood. Lumpwood will just catch too fast and burn too hot. Also, these relatively basic BBQs from Argos etc. are notorious for the amount of air they let in which causes the burn to be too high and fast. 

Switch to briquettes and see how you get on there, but these types of BBQ are designed for direct grilling with a suggestion that they can be used for smoking, but their main design is direct heat or shorter indirect grilling.

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I used to have a cheapo offset and I found briquettes far superior to lumpwood for temp control and burn time. All the times i tried different brands of lumpwood it would just burn as hot as it could and then fizzle out quickly.

I currently use a kamado with lumpwood now and get great control with it. The big difference is now I control ALL the air entering the vent since its airtight. My old grill was not air tight at all and lumpwood would just suck fresh air in through the gaps, even if the vent itself was shut.

I agree with what Dutchy and Danielson23uk said about using briquettes instead. My previous experience tells me that its your bbq that has a big influence to wether it should use briquettes or lumpwood.

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