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Unread 08-01-2013, 08:09 PM   #7
MilitantSquatter
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Originally Posted by early mornin' smokin' View Post
i'm picking it up second hand, but i may just have to give jay a call. sorry for being a PITA, but let's say i run both stacks half open, any tips on where to start with my intakes?
How much coal to light up at first? 1 spot, 2? multiple? it doesn't have a maze, just the standard charcoal tray.

Pat - you'll have no problem figuring it out after maybe 30 minutes of fiddling around after you get it near temp.

Here's what I'd do if you don't have a maze or a Guru and you were doing a long cook and you have time

- start off my pre-heating the cooking chamber by loading in 1 fully lit chimney and keeping bottom vent fully open.. Let that bring the temp up a bit ( I prefer this as you're not wasting wood just getting all that steel to temp). If you have a weedburner, you can do that as an alternative.

- after about 30 minutes most of the initial coals should be burned down a bit... move that over with a shovel.. then load in your unlit coal in a big pile in the center with wood chunks mixed in... then shovel the lit coals on top.. This will begin your Minion type burn.

- Now if this is too much work, then skip it all.. just load in a big pile of coal/wood and dump about 1/2 chimney of coal on top of the unlit pile.

- keep bottom vents open until chamber temp is about 25 degrees above your desired cooking temp.. Then as you add your meats, close bottom vents to about 1/4 open.. you're cooker should begin to settle in.

From here, adjust bottom vent open a bit more if needed, but it should be rare that you need to open the top vents more... if anything you will need to close them down a bit. Once that steel gets hot, it doesn't need that much air to keep temps steady with clean smoke.
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