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Pappy Q
07-20-2013, 11:46 AM
Have a new Competitor and Guru, new to these smokers and Gurus. No matter what temp I try to cook at, the smoker runs high at 20-30 degrees over set temp. This happens with fan at 1/3 setting, other vent closed and exhaust vet barely open. Water level is fine, doors are as tight as possible, fuel is in a "S" pattern. Any suggestions?

WineMaster
07-20-2013, 11:55 AM
Next time you start your cooker, as soon as your cooker gets to your desired temp, open the firebox and slide out your coal tray. Check to see how many coals are lit.

porkingINpublic
07-20-2013, 12:18 PM
What do u mean "fan at 1/3 setting". I have the exact set up and it will do 225* for 12+ hrs.

Vince RnQ
07-20-2013, 12:26 PM
Don't Guru fans have a damper that can be opened and closed to a desired setting to allow for more or less air flow? That may be what he means by 1/3 setting.

sdbbq1234
07-20-2013, 12:33 PM
For me, I fill the basket up as much as possible! And I mean full! The Guru will determine the burn rate for the most part. I am under the impression that using the snake pattern is for when you do not have a Guru; that controls the burn rate.

The WiFi Guru will actually "learn" your smoker and the type fuel you are using and adjust itself so as not to overshoot or let the temp fall to low.

Is temp you are referring to what is shown on the Guru?

Also, my fan damper is wide open, opposite side vent closed, and top exhaust open about the width of my index finger.

When I first start it, I have the exhaust wide open till it gets about 200*. Then, I close it to finger width.

wallace

Pappy Q
07-20-2013, 12:33 PM
Don't Guru fans have a damper that can be opened and closed to a desired setting to allow for more or less air flow? That may be what he means by 1/3 setting.

Yes, that's what I meant. The fan damper is 1/3 open.

Know Bull
07-20-2013, 12:49 PM
First, I LOVE my BBQ Guru on my Big Green Egg. Best money I ever spent on an accessory for a cooker.

I bought a used Backwoods Gater and an adapter plate for the Guru. I found it easier to regulate my heat on the Backwoods without the Guru rather than with it. Remember my cooker was used, and not nearly so air tight as a new one, and that may be a factor in my results.

I wrote a post to the Backwoods-Smoker forum titled "My How-To Guide" on my experience with Backwoods setup. Link here: http://www.backwoods-smoker.com/forums.htm/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=8509

I am sure others disagree, just my opinion......

WineMaster
07-20-2013, 01:09 PM
IMO, on a competitor, durring warm-up, the fan has to stay ON so long that it ignites far too many coals resulting in over-shot temps. Sometimes even though you are using a fuse or s-burn. Coals will still ignite on both sides of the metal.

Untraceable
07-20-2013, 01:13 PM
Dan's spot on. Check out his method of starting his MJH. Competitor is virtually the same size

Pappy Q
07-20-2013, 01:33 PM
IMO, on a competitor, durring warm-up, the fan has to stay ON so long that it ignites far too many coals resulting in over-shot temps. Sometimes even though you are using a fuse or s-burn. Coals will still ignite on both sides of the metal.

I let it come up to temp before turning on the fan. Only coals burning are within the metal. I'm at a loss.

sdbbq1234
07-20-2013, 01:37 PM
Another thing I learned, is to bring the unit up to temp slowly.. Get it up to 150, then 180, then 200, then 225-235 which is where I try to cook at.

I let the temp stabilize at each temp before climbing up.

I get about 8-9 hours cook time with. Full bracket of lump.

wallace

sdbbq1234
07-20-2013, 01:38 PM
First, I LOVE my BBQ Guru on my Big Green Egg. Best money I ever spent on an accessory for a cooker.

I bought a used Backwoods Gater and an adapter plate for the Guru. I found it easier to regulate my heat on the Backwoods without the Guru rather than with it. Remember my cooker was used, and not nearly so air tight as a new one, and that may be a factor in my results.

I wrote a post to the Backwoods-Smoker forum titled "My How-To Guide" on my experience with Backwoods setup. Link here: http://www.backwoods-smoker.com/forums.htm/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=8509

I am sure others disagree, just my opinion......

While I might not agree with everything, this sure is a great write-up!

Thanks!

wallace

Untraceable
07-20-2013, 01:41 PM
start closing off the vents earlier as you get to temp? the underlying problem is your ending up with a fire bigger than you need to sustain your target temps.

are you getting air leaking through the non guru vent that you dont know about? Its pretty common to see bws with the non guru vent taped off to eliminate air leaks

cant rush insulated reverse flow verticals. far to efficient to just bleed off excessive heat

swamprb
07-20-2013, 02:03 PM
All good advice in this thread.

Waiting for the BWS to come up to temp just kills me!

One method that I gleaned from the BWS forum for starting was removing the heat deflector and filling the waterpan as the pit starts reaching your desired temp. I speed things up by preheating (and burning/cleaning off the cook grates) the cook chamber with my weed burner, replace the deflector, check the coal tray to see how much has fired off and set the Guru with the pit probe on the door thermo.

Kit R
07-20-2013, 02:45 PM
I will add my technique I use in my Extended Party and Fatboy. I fill the basket pretty full, about 10 lb. of charcoal and light an absolute minimum number of briquettes, about 10 in a chimney (yes I use briquettes and this isn't intended to be a discussion on briquettes vs. lump). Place them in a corner away from the fan and set the Guru for 150. I let the temp come up slowly to 150 and stabilize for 5-10 minutes, then I set to 180. Repeat for 210 and then set final temp. That seems to work pretty good for me. I run a 25CFM fan wide open and top vent open about two fingers. The down side is this can take awhile, but I have time at a comp so I take the time needed. I get a good solid overnight cook out of that technique.

WineMaster
07-20-2013, 02:50 PM
Start a full chimney on a turkey cooker or however ya want. Dump said chimney into a 1/2 sheet pan. Pull the fire tray out of your cooker and set the 1/2 sheet of lit coals on the ash pan and close it up. Set the guru to your desired temp. While the cooker heats up, get your fire tray filled with coals and wood leaving a void in the corner where the fan blows. When the cooker reaches 200 Add hot tap water. At 220 replace 1/2 sheet pan of lit coals with your fire tray putting 10-15 hot coals in the void. When the cooker gets to within 10 degrees of your cooking temp. Damper down the guru.
I do it this way cause I dont have to use my cooking fuel to heat up the cooker then.
I also use Briquettes as I think lump burns too hot and less consistant.

rxcellentq
07-20-2013, 03:22 PM
We use a fatboy. I always load the coal basket full leaving only a well in the front right corner for a well lit chimney load. then I bring the cooker up to temp with the right side vent about 1/2" open. once up to temp I close down the vent and switch to the guru

sdbbq1234
07-20-2013, 03:34 PM
Start a full chimney on a turkey cooker or however ya want. Dump said chimney into a 1/2 sheet pan. Pull the fire tray out of your cooker and set the 1/2 sheet of lit coals on the ash pan and close it up. Set the guru to your desired temp. While the cooker heats up, get your fire tray filled with coals and wood leaving a void in the corner where the fan blows. When the cooker reaches 200 Add hot tap water. At 220 replace 1/2 sheet pan of lit coals with your fire tray putting 10-15 hot coals in the void. When the cooker gets to within 10 degrees of your cooking temp. Damper down the guru.
I do it this way cause I dont have to use my cooking fuel to heat up the cooker then.
I also use Briquettes as I think lump burns too hot and less consistant.

I think I read your comments on another thread and forgot about it.

However, I am making a written note of this! This seems like a great idea and I gotta give it a try. I really like the idea of getting the smoker body itself up to temp and then adding hot water, then, putting the fuel basket in with a full load.

It usually takes me about 2 hours to get up to stable cooking temps (no big hurry) and by then, have used a lot of fuel. This should give me a bunch of extra time as well as not having to replenish the water any sooner.

Thanks!! :thumb:

wallace

Big Ugly's BBQ
07-20-2013, 09:16 PM
Another thing I learned, is to bring the unit up to temp slowly.. Get it up to 150, then 180, then 200, then 225-235 which is where I try to cook at.

wallace

Gee, I wonder where you learned that???:roll:

Seriously though, that will help you, also take a looks at your charcoal. Depending on the brand, it may burn faster than necessary.....

sdbbq1234
07-20-2013, 10:02 PM
Gee, I wonder where you learned that???:roll:

Seriously though, that will help you, also take a looks at your charcoal. Depending on the brand, it may burn faster than necessary.....

Oh, fark!!!:tape:

wallace

sdbbq1234
07-20-2013, 10:08 PM
Gee, I wonder where you learned that???:roll:

Seriously though, that will help you, also take a looks at your charcoal. Depending on the brand, it may burn faster than necessary.....

Notice I did say, "I learned"........:doh:

wallace

Q-Dat
07-21-2013, 12:23 AM
I'm still fairly new to running a Backwoods, but am I the only one letting thr pit come up to temp with the meat in it?

coondogbbq
07-21-2013, 12:34 AM
I don't. I let it come up to temp and line out a little while first.

Big Ugly's BBQ
07-21-2013, 08:14 AM
No worries Don, its all good!

Mad About Que
07-21-2013, 09:35 AM
bricks? on the brethren? prepare yourself for excommunication. :doh:

about 10 lb. of charcoal and light an absolute minimum number of briquettes, about 10 in a chimney (yes I use briquettes and this isn't intended to be a discussion on briquettes vs. lump).

Mad About Que
07-21-2013, 09:42 AM
I run guru'd G2 Party and Chubby. My set up is lump charcoal with a couple of those weber starter cubes in the front right corner. get that going for a few minutes, then slide it in and shut the door. guru on for 250 (or 275) top vent wide open, side vent about 1/2. when I hit 200, I start bumping the side closed every few minutes. when I hit 230-240, side vent is cracked, exhaust gets closed to halfway. on the party, the highest i'll get on setting of 250 is 260. that's close enough for BBQ. could get it closer if I cared to manage the exhaust more.. oh, empty water pan until it hits 200. then warm water if I can. i'm usually up to temp in 45-60 minutes. my stickburner could take 2 hours to settle in. so i'm not complaining.

Hot Wachulas
07-21-2013, 05:09 PM
right after I light the corner of the charcoal I'll take the torch and burn off the grates inside the smoker. Give them a good scrub and heat up the cook chamber in the process. Cooker is up to temp in 10 minutes.

musicmanryann
07-21-2013, 08:08 PM
bricks? on the brethren? prepare yourself for excommunication. :doh:

An all-natural briquette is great for an even, steady burn. Best of both worlds, imo.

BigBellyBBQ
07-22-2013, 05:02 AM
I run my fan about 1/2, exhaust wide open always...watch for too much burn, over shoot temps then, so warm box with water 25 * below your cooking temp..once reached load up and re-set your temp to cooking temp..the guru learns your box...dont mess with you vents, the only vent used is the fans..keep it simple as once I load with meat about 11 pm, I will have another beer and climb in my camper...check on it about 3 or 4 am

smokeisgood
07-22-2013, 07:01 AM
Sounds like a lot of work Tom...I dunno, maybe you should go back to the Jambo. I'll be over to pick up the Backwoods and get it out of your hair...

Kave Dweller
07-22-2013, 08:03 AM
I "walk" mine up to temp. Leave the door up till 190-200, then set the guru at 215, when it over shoots to 220, I adjust to 220, and go up 5 degrees at a time. Its hard for them to cool once they are going, so I just take my time and walk it up.

Dragline
07-22-2013, 08:45 AM
Tom is your competitor new?

Kit R
07-22-2013, 09:07 AM
bricks? on the brethren? prepare yourself for excommunication. :doh:

I'm cool with being a heretic. I'll take the two GCs, five top fives overall and an additonal three top tens since last spring when I made the switch. Don't even get me started on the modified deflector plate I had made for my EP. It all works for me, but there's more than one way to the top of the mountain.

Kit R
07-22-2013, 09:10 AM
bricks? on the brethren? prepare yourself for excommunication. :doh:

I'm cool with being a heretic. I'll take the two GCs, five top fives overall and an additonal three top tens since last spring when I made the switch. Don't even get me started on the modified deflector plate I had made for my EP. It all works for me, but there's more than one way to the top of the mountain. Except putting beans in chili. If you do that, you're an idiot. :-P

Podge
07-22-2013, 09:14 AM
I've used briq's for 8 of the 9 years cooking on the backwoods. I've won a few things too.

Hawg Father of Seoul
07-22-2013, 10:07 AM
What brand of briqs are you guys using?

Kit R
07-22-2013, 10:13 AM
What brand of briqs are you guys using?

My prefered brand is Royal Oak Chef Select restaurant/institutional (marked "Not For Resale") in 40 lb. bags. I can get those for $17.00 a bag and have been quite pleased. As a side note, I find it kind of funny they say Not For Resale yet I'm buying them.


When I can't get the Royal Oak I use Kingsford Comp. Gotta be more careful with those as they burn pretty hot. Just one less variable to worry about when you're by yourself for 90% of the cook.

Teamfour
07-22-2013, 10:18 AM
My prefered brand is Royal Oak Chef Select restaurant/institutional (marked "Not For Resale") in 40 lb. bags. I can get those for $17.00 a bag and have been quite pleased. As a side note, I find it kind of funny they say Not For Resale yet I'm buying them.


When I can't get the Royal Oak I use Kingsford Comp. Gotta be more careful with those as they burn pretty hot. Just one less variable to worry about when you're by yourself for 90% of the cook.

I'm with Kit on this one. I use briqs in my Party. Lump burns too hot and fast.

Dragline
07-22-2013, 11:10 AM
briqs lump personal pref I use lump cooker don't care just have to learn the cooker with what one uses. Podge didn't you have an issue with your new BWS competitor when you first got it running a lil hot?

WineMaster
07-22-2013, 11:33 AM
Bet there has never been a comment card that says,
Tastes like you used Kingsford

Podge
07-22-2013, 11:56 AM
briqs lump personal pref I use lump cooker don't care just have to learn the cooker with what one uses. Podge didn't you have an issue with your new BWS competitor when you first got it running a lil hot?

I had door seal issues, that caused it to get hot, but got those fixed.

Podge
07-22-2013, 11:57 AM
Back to the Lump/briq question... if you have a BWS that is properly sealed, even if one fuel burns hotter than the other, therefore your BTU per pound of fuel may be different, but 225 is 225, and the guru will control that. The only difference you should see then, is the amount of fuel used per hour.

dhuffjr
07-22-2013, 12:17 PM
I use briq's because Old Dave told me they work better in a backwoods. Tried it and he is right. One of these days I'll get a bigger basket from Yolkup and get an even longer burn time.

Untraceable
07-22-2013, 12:49 PM
real blowhards claim that not only can they taste kingsford in a entry, but if it was also cooked on a backwoods too. lol

Kit R
07-22-2013, 01:28 PM
briqs lump personal pref I use lump cooker don't care just have to learn the cooker with what one uses. Podge didn't you have an issue with your new BWS competitor when you first got it running a lil hot?

Exactly. Perfectly stated. That's why I said that I didn't want to make this a briquettes vs. lump issue. If someone asks what I do I'll tell them (usually). It may or may not work for them. In fact, I've wasted more time than I care to admit taking something someone else does and trying to force it into my program, only to later realize it doesn't work for me.

Kit R
07-22-2013, 01:34 PM
Back to the Lump/briq question... if you have a BWS that is properly sealed, even if one fuel burns hotter than the other, therefore your BTU per pound of fuel may be different, but 225 is 225, and the guru will control that. The only difference you should see then, is the amount of fuel used per hour.

Whatever you use, you just have to be mindful of the BWS efficiency and heat retention. Once it gets hot it's awfully hard to cool it down. With my 22" WSM I can cool it down easily. One of the reasons why I brought it back on the comp trail. That's a plus and a minus, of ocurse. But for me it's nice to have the two options.

John Bowen
07-22-2013, 01:51 PM
I have a Party with a guru. I use two bricks to make a snake of lump and use two paraffin cubes to start it. I leave all vents open until it gets to 200 then I shut the vents down and let the guru walk the temp up to 230. Also I began to use smaller wood chunks for smoke the bigger ones would push the fire up faster.

When I first bought the Party I did not get the heat diffuser and had the worst time stabilizing my heat temps. Once I started using the diffuser and the snake method my temps stay at 230 for at least 8 hours.

John Bowen
07-22-2013, 01:54 PM
My prefered brand is Royal Oak Chef Select restaurant/institutional (marked "Not For Resale") in 40 lb. bags. I can get those for $17.00 a bag and have been quite pleased. As a side note, I find it kind of funny they say Not For Resale yet I'm buying them.


@ KitR - I use the 20lb bags of the Chef Select - I pay $6.00 a bag that is marked "Not for Resale". I love the stuff in my big smoker and grill!

Mad About Que
07-22-2013, 03:01 PM
@ KitR - I use the 20lb bags of the Chef Select - I pay $6.00 a bag that is marked "Not for Resale". I love the stuff in my big smoker and grill!


where are you buying this stuff? around here (Charlotte) I can only seems to find various lump, but nothing other than grocery store brands bricks.

I think this might have ended up the charcoal debate b/c of my attempt at a joke. sorry for the left turn.. hahaha.

but sense we are on the subject, I did get better temps with, gulp, kingsford. just tasted not so great. and the ash is just stupid. tried the RO lump and it's cheap at RD. so I use that. would love it if I could find a source of briquettes around here.

Q-Dat
07-22-2013, 03:01 PM
Anybody care to share where they are getting the Chef's Select? I never see it anywhere including restaurant depot.

John Bowen
07-22-2013, 03:18 PM
I buy Chef Select at Charcoal Warehouse in Memphis TN - great place and great people. You can buy it by the bag, the pallet or the truck load. They also have lump and wood chunks. I try and make a run up there once a month and stop at Resturant Depot as well. On the way home I stop at the Memphis BBQ Co.

I suggest everyone go by there and help keep them in business - I don't want to lose this source.

Pappy Q
07-22-2013, 03:59 PM
Tom is your competitor new?

Yes, it's new. With Podge's help, I think we figured it out. I'm still using my Jambo for a while until I get more practice with it.

Pappy Q
07-22-2013, 04:04 PM
@ KitR - I use the 20lb bags of the Chef Select - I pay $6.00 a bag that is marked "Not for Resale". I love the stuff in my big smoker and grill!

Where do you all buy this at?

John Bowen
07-22-2013, 04:31 PM
see post # 51

sdbbq1234
07-22-2013, 04:45 PM
I get RO Chefs Blend from the Meadow Creek store in Pennsylvania. Whenever we group there, I stock up.

Might try a Meadow Creek dealer if you have one around. Also, try Do It Best hardware store.

http://www.doitbest.com/Charcoal+and+Lighting+Items-Royal+Oak-model-10426-doitbest-sku-838136.dib

wallace

Balls Casten
07-22-2013, 04:55 PM
I have not seen anyone mention sealing up the backside damper.
We're still working on this but it has seemed to work well with the aid of a stoker.

sdbbq1234
07-22-2013, 05:48 PM
I have not seen anyone mention sealing up the backside damper.
We're still working on this but it has seemed to work well with the aid of a stoker.

Hhmmmm. Interesting, but I think I would not want that sealed as I do open it sometimes to get the fire gong faster than normal, or to let the existing fuel burn out.

wallace

Q-Dat
07-22-2013, 07:58 PM
Backside damper? I have a Fatboy. What am I missing?

Balls Casten
07-22-2013, 08:19 PM
The party has a damper on both sides of the fire box. When we sealed that off it helped damper the fire and keep temps under control.

Q-Dat
07-22-2013, 09:02 PM
The party has a damper on both sides of the fire box. When we sealed that off it helped damper the fire and keep temps under control.

Oh ok the Fatboy has both as well. When I read backside I actually pictured the backside of the cooker.

swamprb
07-23-2013, 11:05 AM
Anybody care to share where they are getting the Chef's Select? I never see it anywhere including restaurant depot.

Get it wherever you can! I get it at the local Do It Best Center year round, if there is one in your area you should be able to order it online and pick it up at the store. http://www.doitbest.com/search-Royal+Oak+charcoal.dib

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/BWS%20Gater/IMG_5085.jpg

Maple Leaf (if you can find it) is a great natural briq

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/BWS%20Gater/IMG_5459.jpg

I've been mixing Charcos Coconut Shell briqs with lump in my BGE's and briqs in the BWS Gater, it really helps in adding to the burn time.

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/Charcos/IMG_5963.jpg

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/Charcos/IMG_6033-1.jpg

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/Charcos/IMG_6047.jpg

Reusable Coconut briqs

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/Charcos/IMG_6065.jpg

I fabricated an expando ring that fits in the charcoal tray and inside the two level tray rails in the Gater.

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/BWS%20Gater/IMG_5442.jpg

YokeUp
07-23-2013, 11:15 AM
try one of those XXL baskets too :-D