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-   -   clay saucer attempt #1 (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=151348)

souroull 01-12-2013 12:00 PM

clay saucer attempt #1
 
So i decided to do a test run with a clay saucer in the water pan today, as i'm having a hard time maintaining temps with water, and the fuel usage is not the greatest.

Setup was as followed:

1) Leftover briquettes from the previous cook, about 20-30 of them, half way done
2) Filled the ring with lump, almost to the top
3) Dumped a quarter chimney starter worth of briquettes on top, maybe a bit less (didnt count them)

During the first hour it was hovering around 235 both top and bottom grates, with one of the 3 vents just cracked. Over the moon by then. By the time the 2nd hour was up, it was in the 260s, and thats when i completely shut the cracked vent. Temp continued to climb to about 280, and an hour later went back down to around 270, where it's been sitting for the following 4 hours without budging, even though all 3 vents are completely shut.

I'm thinking leaking charcoal bowl? which could possibly loosely explain not being able to hold decent temps with water...

Thoughts? Can i, in this case use the top vent to try to regulate temps a bit or does the "wide open" rule apply to clay as well as water.

HeSmellsLikeSmoke 01-12-2013 12:07 PM

If you are talking WSM, I would look at the door fit first, then see if the middle section is out of round. Foil gaskets could eliminate the possibilities.

souroull 01-12-2013 12:23 PM

Its a proq excel20, aka napoleon bullet smoker.

I did make a foil seal for the mid stacker, doors, and lid, but not the charcoal bowl.

Closing the top vent about half way dropped temps to 240 in a very short time, about 15 mins if i remember correctly

I'll try making even a thicker gasket for the charcoal bowl. One thing is for certain, fuel usage went way down using the clay saucer, and now turkey temps are going to be a breeze.

souroull 01-13-2013 03:56 PM

any input guys? wont have a chance to test a sealed charcoal bowl until next week, but from the looks of it its nice and round and sitting just fine.

is it viable to control temps with the top vent as this seemed to have worked wonders when the bottom vents were shut and temps were high.

1911Ron 01-13-2013 04:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by souroull (Post 2327330)
any input guys? wont have a chance to test a sealed charcoal bowl until next week, but from the looks of it its nice and round and sitting just fine.

is it viable to control temps with the top vent as this seemed to have worked wonders when the bottom vents were shut and temps were high.

No you should only regulate temps with the bottom vents. If you shut down all of the bottom vents and temps either hold or get higher you have a leak somewhere,try sealing the bottom and see if that helps.

Water in the bowl will use up fuel trying to heat it up, the clay pot bottom will hold heat helping to average out rise and falling temps. Some folks will foil there water bowl(no water) and cook that way. Good luck!

HankB 01-13-2013 06:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1911Ron (Post 2327411)
No you should only regulate temps with the bottom vents.

I've heard this and practice it but I don't know why. Do you know the reason?

1911Ron 01-14-2013 10:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HankB (Post 2327564)
I've heard this and practice it but I don't know why. Do you know the reason?

Yea if you restrict the smoke it can get stale and nasty. Plus creosote can build up.

K-Train 01-14-2013 11:02 AM

Don't forget to foil that saucer. I forgot to foil mine during my last cook. Went to cook this weekend and had a nasty mess to clean first. Foil is your friend for cleaning

souroull 01-14-2013 12:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by K-Train (Post 2328281)
Don't forget to foil that saucer. I forgot to foil mine during my last cook. Went to cook this weekend and had a nasty mess to clean first. Foil is your friend for cleaning

thats a given

i hope sealing up the charcoal bowl real good with a thick foil gasket will help me regulate temps, else its going to be the top vent which i don't want to mess with considering info from all over the place.

would you guys figure about 10-15 briqs will be enough to begin the burn with?


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