Originally Posted by SmokinAussie
I've never seen this before. I can see how full you've got the firebox when you start, for a very long burn. You must have to dampen it down a lot. Do you close the exhaust at all. Secondly, I can't see what temp you're trying for???
With all my jack-assery I missed this one...
Alright, there is about 1 & 1/2 chimneys of unlit briqs and about 6'ish lit ones on the left side of the firebox (the furthest from the vents on mine). I keep the firebox vent completely closed, and the top stack wide open. The chargrillers are notoriously leaky and so plenty of air gets in for a low temp smoke like this one. It doesn't burn as clean as what I usually look for when q'ing meats, but it's a pepper and going to be used as an ingredient, so I'm ok with the heavier smoke on it.
The lid temp usually is between 75 - 100*F I really don't want to cook the peppers so I try to keep it low.
From times past, I have found that if the temp isn't up between the 75-100 range then A) the peppers take much longer to dry (especially if it's humid outside) B) they don't darken up as much, they tend to stay more green and while it's ok, I like the kind of toasted flavor that the darkend ones have, the flavor stands out more in rubs and in dishes. Just try not to burn em', that taste is not good.
Oh, in regards to the amount of fuel and duration of smoke... Honestly, this is the first time I've done it all in one fail swoop, since it takes so long, usually I smoke it either through the day into night, the fire dies and then sometime in the next 12 hours I fire it back up and let it roll for another full basket of briqs... This time I ended up burning 2 & 1/2 baskets of briqs and almost all of an 8lb of a bag of mesq chunks.
In all, they were prolly there for about 32 hours... the last 12 of which were really just to keep warm air moving to dehydrate them, no smoke during that time.
Here's a pic of them collected off the grill - I started with 2 heaping bowls this size and ended up with about 3/4 of a bowl.
I started with about 12.5 lbs and after weighing, I have just ever so slightly more than a pound and they're not quite all fully dried... Think of all the liquid smoke I could have caught from them! Anyone catch Alton's method in his beef jerky episode?
BTW - is it still a crime to use LS even if you make your own?