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Old 07-29-2007, 11:20 AM   #1
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Smokey Joe heat problem

I bought a Smokey Joe during the recent Ace Hardware sale to use for tailgating this year. I've tried it several times since then. I have a real problem getting it hot enough for direct grilling. I saw on some other sites where individuals have made extensive mods to them by adding a vent on the bottom. I'm lazy, don't want to do it!!

I'm trying something today that may be a solution. I'm using the charcoal grate from my WSM in it. It's larger and raises the charcoal level closer to the side vents. I'll see what happens.

Anyone else had the same problem and have any other suggestions???
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Old 07-29-2007, 12:31 PM   #2
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Drill a couple of hole in the bottom for some air flow if you don't want to add a vent.
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Old 07-29-2007, 12:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Wolfe
Drill a couple of hole in the bottom for some air flow if you don't want to add a vent.
I don't want to start drilling on it unless I can help it. Rather not make holes in the bottom because I'll be transporting it in my car after the game.
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Old 07-29-2007, 01:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PantherTailgater
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Wolfe
Drill a couple of hole in the bottom for some air flow if you don't want to add a vent.
I don't want to start drilling on it unless I can help it. Rather not make holes in the bottom because I'll be transporting it in my car after the game.
You can still transport it after the games, it will be a little lighter though.
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Old 07-29-2007, 02:23 PM   #5
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[quote=Nick Prochilo]
Quote:
Originally Posted by PantherTailgater
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Larry Wolfe":31ob8izk
Drill a couple of hole in the bottom for some air flow if you don't want to add a vent.
I don't want to start drilling on it unless I can help it. Rather not make holes in the bottom because I'll be transporting it in my car after the game.
You can still transport it after the games, it will be a little lighter though.[/quote:31ob8izk]

LOL! My concern was the remainining ash falling through the bottom holes that were drilled. Maybe I'm being a little too anal about it... I'll probably put it in a garbage bag after the game anyway so it's probably not an issue.

BTW, using the WSM charcoal grill worked better. However, the hot spot on the Smokey Joe is in the center. Had to rotate food to the center to get meat and veggies grilled properly.
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Old 07-29-2007, 02:47 PM   #6
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Problem...???? with ???


HUH??????


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Old 07-29-2007, 02:56 PM   #7
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Problem...???? with ???


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Oh yeah!

Lose those shades and that HAT!! Messes up the grill......
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Old 07-30-2007, 09:12 PM   #8
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Old 07-31-2007, 04:16 PM   #9
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I take it your new to this charcoal tail-gating thing.

You can get plenty heat out of a un-modified Smokey Joe for everything but steak and fish. Most tail-gate foods don't want a lot of heat at the meat anyway. Hamburgers, sausage, chicken, meat on sticks, etc., all do best at low medium. Webers do low through medium pretty well with their cute little lids on as a sort of mix of radiant and connvection heat.

If you're going to cook something that requires serious grill temp, like steak, you'll have to drill out a couple of vents to get some air under the fire. There is no other way. If you're very creative you'll liberate a rotating vent cover like the one that goes on the top and drill your holes accordingly. Even then, you're probably not going to get the 600+ degree temps you need to do steak right. Hell, you can't get that out of a full size kettle either.

One hates to sound harsh (or does one?), but if you want HEAT you bought the wrong grill. Like every Weber, it is what it is, and it's a damn good grill for things it does damn well. They have their limitations.

When you're done cooking, the fire completely out, the grill cool, ... etc., etc., bag the ash and put the bag in the grill until you can dispose of it. But you should do that whether or not you've drilled out the bottom.
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Old 08-01-2007, 06:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze
I take it your new to this charcoal tail-gating thing.

You can get plenty heat out of a un-modified Smokey Joe for everything but steak and fish. Most tail-gate foods don't want a lot of heat at the meat anyway. Hamburgers, sausage, chicken, meat on sticks, etc., all do best at low medium. Webers do low through medium pretty well with their cute little lids on as a sort of mix of radiant and connvection heat.

If you're going to cook something that requires serious grill temp, like steak, you'll have to drill out a couple of vents to get some air under the fire. There is no other way. If you're very creative you'll liberate a rotating vent cover like the one that goes on the top and drill your holes accordingly. Even then, you're probably not going to get the 600+ degree temps you need to do steak right. Hell, you can't get that out of a full size kettle either.

One hates to sound harsh (or does one?), but if you want HEAT you bought the wrong grill. Like every Weber, it is what it is, and it's a damn good grill for things it does damn well. They have their limitations.

When you're done cooking, the fire completely out, the grill cool, ... etc., etc., bag the ash and put the bag in the grill until you can dispose of it. But you should do that whether or not you've drilled out the bottom.
Ummmm.....thanks for the input. You mean I shouldn't sit my hot grill with all the hot ash in the back seat of the car without starting a fire or damaging the vehicle? Dang, sure would never have figured that out!

I wasn't referring to SEARING heat, I'm talking about adequate heat for burgers, chicken, etc. I've used it several times for those items and I've been unable to get it hot enough with a full chimney of lump (which I want to use because of quantity of ash) to get a nice grilled finish on those items. Maybe I'm too used to my Chargriller and the other Weber portable I have, the Go-Anywhere Charcoal.

I used the charcoal grill from the WSM, which raised the charcoal level so that it gets some air flow through the vents, and it appears to work much better now.

Maybe I'll be able to muddle through another year of tailgating........
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Old 08-01-2007, 10:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PantherTailgater

Ummmm.....thanks for the input. You mean I shouldn't sit my hot grill with all the hot ash in the back seat of the car without starting a fire or damaging the vehicle? Dang, sure would never have figured that out!

Maybe I'll be able to muddle through another year of tailgating........
No. I don't think you're that stupid. You think I am. I meant you shouldn't put a stone cold grill full of hot ash in the back seat of the car -- just in case there's a sudden stop on the way home. On that we have your confession :P

've used a few Smokey Joes and never had the problem you described in your last post, but I'm glad you resolved it so simply. I'm a little embarassed I didn't think of it. It seems like most of the time we have heat problems adding a little air-space under the fire does a world of good.
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Old 08-01-2007, 03:26 PM   #12
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How much trouble is it to add the vent??
I'm having the same problemo
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Old 08-01-2007, 03:50 PM   #13
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Sweet, thanks dude
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Old 08-01-2007, 03:52 PM   #14
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Who woulda thunk??? mods for a smokey joe
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Old 08-01-2007, 03:59 PM   #15
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Well now since I own a lid to one of them Weber Kettles I knows all about em of course Fact is I closer to an old ECB type person but I figger whut afflicts one also afflicts the other..which is not enough air to the fire. Thats why the firepan in all my ECBs look like a Swiss Cheese. That is caused by a 3/8" drill bit. Sure it cure the heat productioin problemo just fine in one of them high dollar kettles too. Now on to dealing with leftover fire. Try this: Go to Lowes, or Home Depot or ACE hardware etc and buy yourself a galvanized wash tub. I got the big one but get any size you think will hold your fire after you done using it..with some room to spare. When it come time to disassemble your stuff..dump the fire into the bucket or wash tub..then cover it with water and let it set and chuckle away for a bit. After you have decided the fire is no longer viable..sling the stuff across the parking lot or bag it up with the trash or whutever. Turn the bucket upside to dry it out. Also makes a great container to carry stuff to and fro to the event. That big washtub saved a big cleanup job one time. Me and the Rotty had been off cooking and he had a queasy tummy from too much free loading. Well anyway on the trip back home I fortunantly had the #2 washtub sitting upright in the floor of the MH and the Rotty backed up to it and went big time potty in the tub and not all over the camper floor. Whew..them are smart dawgs. I got to find me another. Sorry this is so long and windy. Its my day off and I'm bored

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Old 08-01-2007, 04:07 PM   #16
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Thank you for that before dinner story
Bored?? On a day off?? Get a hobby....maybe BBQin'
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Old 08-01-2007, 04:41 PM   #17
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Thank you for that before dinner story
Bored?? On a day off?? Get a hobby....maybe BBQin'
LMAO!!
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Old 08-01-2007, 05:16 PM   #18
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Hey I got a good excuse for not cooking today..it rainey and stormy outside. Yall trying to get me kilt by a cyclone?

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Old 08-02-2007, 02:49 PM   #19
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Another bad before dinner thought......BW in a kilt in a cyclone........
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Old 08-02-2007, 03:41 PM   #20
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Another bad before dinner thought......BW in a kilt in a cyclone........
Thank you for sharing.

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