Q: Dr. BBQ:
I need some help here. I purchased and used a CharBroil water smoker (charcoal-fired) last weekend and had a hard time generating much heat and maintaining heat once I got some. I’m wondering if it might be due to altitude—I’m in Evergreen, Colo. at 7,500 feet. If I try to configure the smoker similar to a Weber grill (drilling some holes on top and rigging up a slide mechanism to regulate release of air), will that help create a chimney draw to generate more heat from the charcoal? Or will it lose more heat and smoke?
A: Hi Mike,
It’s possible that the elevation is affecting your little cooker but they are well known for exactly what you are experiencing anyway. The lack of airflow is definitely the main culprit but there is also the complete lack of control even if you make some holes. Lucky for us, all this is the perfect thing for an ambitious do-it-yourselfer/webmaster to tackle. Look around at http://www.randyq.addr.com/ecb/ecbmods.html and I think you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for.