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boiler93 04-04-2013 09:24 PM

Wondering about heat loss
I have a new offset reverse flow smoker and i have very little experience Qing on this size rig. I feel like I'm losing too much heat from the smoker door. How much smoke/heat can you expect to be loss from here and are there any quick mods to remedy the situation?

Related problem(??) is that it takes about an hour for the temp to reach 225 with the box full of oak sticks and can't seem to get higher than about 240.

The smoker itself measures 36x60 and the firebox measures 20x 24.

Any and all help is appreciated!

El Ropo 04-04-2013 09:30 PM

you haven't mentioned how much intake you are giving it. Franklin actually cracks his firebox doors open to allow more oxygen to get to the fire.

Many less than perfect offset COS cookers don't have large enough intake holes to allow for good draft. Easy solution is to crack the firebox door open and get a nice small clean fire goin.

On the smoker door, I'm sure it'll help to keep it closed. If there are signs of huge leaks in the door, a gasket kit might help.

Pyle's BBQ 04-04-2013 09:33 PM

How big are the sticks you are starting with? You will have heat loss, but an hour is not that long to get to temp. Have you calibrated the thermometer so you know that it is accurate?

boiler93 04-04-2013 09:46 PM

I have three nice sized air intakes: 2 on the side and 1 in the rear. I have not tested the accuracy of the thermometer but that is first on my list this weekend.

The sticks that i'm using are about 18 inches. Where can I locate a gasket kit if this ends up being the issue?

Bludawg 04-04-2013 10:33 PM

What make is it and why do want to cook at such low temps? if it is a heavy gauge pit 1 hr is pretty decent to come up to temp. Offsets are all about draft and fire management>It could be you have to much fuel in the box at once blocking up your air flow to the fire. That will greatly reduce the air space needed for good combustion. It is better to have a small hot fire and develop a good coal base and gradually increase the fire size over time until you reach your desired cooking Zone IE 275-325.
I start out with a 1/2 bag of lump and 2 splits to establish a coal base the 1 preheated split every 45-1 hr to maintain my Zone. One thing you can do to increase the draft and get to temp sooner is to place a pan of coals on the grate on the far end of the pit to pull the cool air through the firebox thereby increasing the efficiency, then remove it as you get close to operating temp.

TuscaloosaQ 04-04-2013 10:43 PM

In my opinion you firebox is undersized for that size cooker!!!!!!!!!

boiler93 04-04-2013 10:48 PM

Im trying to accomplish/master similar temp zones as you mentioned. I would like the ability to cook from 225 to 325 depending on the food. I recent purchased an Model A1 from custom pits and probably need more grill time to find out how she works. I guess I'm a little impatient being a results orientated guy (too many years playing and coaching football). Just checked her out and temp is up to about 265 after about 1.75 hrs. I appreciate all the advice!

boiler93 04-04-2013 10:50 PM


Originally Posted by TuscaloosaQ (Post 2435946)
In my opinion you firebox is undersized for that size cooker!!!!!!!!!

What size would be adequate?

TuscaloosaQ 04-05-2013 06:16 AM


Originally Posted by boiler93 (Post 2435956)
What size would be adequate?

Well you only give 2 numbers 20x24 what is the other number??? If I am correct about the cooker being 36ODx60long and the above numbers are right your last number is going to have to be really big. You give me the length width and height and I can get you spot on, on the size it should be. I am assuming it is a rectangular fireox. If it is round and the above size again you are really very small. It is not about how big of a fire you build, many people over fire their cookers, if the firebox is sized right then it is better to start out small and to keep it stabilized feed it regular and consistent. Bigger aint always better on a fire!!!!!!! The right intake, exhaust, and firebox is the key. No need to have to over fire a cooker

ButtBurner 04-05-2013 06:23 AM

posting pics of the pit would help too. Including one of the opening between the firebox and cook chamber

jacksedona 04-05-2013 06:33 AM

you have not mentioned the weather conditions which contribute much to heat loss. what is the tempersature where you are? what is the wind speed?
is the smoker protected from wind? these factors can dranaticallty lower your internal temperature. when i lived in ny state i had my smokers located near several walls to protect them from wind

posey's_pork_pit 04-05-2013 06:41 AM

If yours is like the one on their website, may I suggest the following:

When heating up, do not allow air flow from the cooking chamber to the warming box

The 2 side intakes, keep the top one closed and the bottom one wide open. The top one looks a bit high to me. Also keep the exhaust wide open. You want inbound air to flow under you coal bed not over it. I don't see a back intake in the picture but if it's high like the side one, I would keep it closed as well.

dwfisk 04-05-2013 06:50 AM

Looked up your pit online.
It does look like a nice rig, but I to am a little concerned the firebox is a little small in relationship to the cook chamber and warmer. Here is what I would do:
1) Double check the thermometers!
2) Make sure you have a clean, hot fire. IMO a smaller hot fire is better than cramming it full and choking it down. I start small & hot, build a bed of coals then build it up to the size I need depending on how hot & long I'm going to cook.
3) I would not fret about an hour to get all that steel up to temp. Mine is 24x72 and can take 30-45 minutes.
4) + 1 on what Bludawg & TuscaloosaQ are saying.
Good luck, It really does look like a nice rig, I'm sure you will get it figured out.

dwfisk 04-05-2013 06:59 AM

Hey neighbor, I just noticed I'm only 45 minutes down I75 (I'm in between Gianesville and Ocala). Since you are so close, one more tip: I've been using kiln dried hickory that it supposed to have <14% moisture. Don't know about that but ut sure burns clean and hot. Anyhow, Southern Fuelwoods is just down the road from you in Newberry.
Good luck.

boiler93 04-05-2013 09:14 AM

Thanks for all the tips. I will definitely start with a smaller fire and add to it. Watched a small video on the lang site and he seemed to stuff it full of fuel but i may be wrong??

The two air intakes on the side are parallel to each other not sure how it looks on website and both are near the the bottom-half of the box, that being said i guess they could be lower. I will post pictures this weekend.

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