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Topic: Water Smoker Problems . . . . From: John,
Subject: Re: Water Smokers
I recently purchased a water smoker made by the New Braunfels Co. in New Braunfels, Tx. This is an upright unit similar to the one made by Brinkmann. For the most part, I am satisfied with it, but my problem has been sustaining adequate heat. As you have pointed out, water smokers operate at somewhat higher temperatures. It's a challenge to maintain a constant 250°F. The only way to control air flow is with the vent on top of the unit. There is no way to adjust the air intake at the bottom, where the charcoal and/or wood are located. My question is - how can I improve or make more air available to the fire so that it will burn at a higher temperature? The charcoal/wood are at the bottom of a pan where no air can circulate. Also, the ashes that accumulate have a smothering effect on the fire, so just adding more wood has not been the answer. Any info would be appreciated. By the way, you have a great web site!
If the cooker has no way to control the intake of air at the bottom, I would return it as defective design and find another model. Also, the fire pan should have a fire grate in it which allows the ashes to fall through while live coals still burn.
You are learning, first hand, why I do not recommend the little water smokers.