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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 12-04-2011, 09:09 PM   #16
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My grate is sized to keep lit charcoal in. I've been starting with a lit bed of coal and laying splits on top. I really like the idea Bandit, of laying down two splits then lit coals. Your base would be perfect then moving forward once the splits turn to coals.
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Unread 12-04-2011, 09:30 PM   #17
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The change that I've made recently is using much smaller splits. Maybe 3 inch diameter and 10-12" long. That has made a huge difference in the quality of my fire.
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Unread 12-04-2011, 11:15 PM   #18
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I can get my Stick burner up to 425 with a decent fire. She breathes really well with double hooters!

Here are 2 fires built for the 250-300 range.




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Unread 12-04-2011, 11:18 PM   #19
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Phrasty, looks like fairly small splits. What are you aiming for size wise? Also, Which cooker is that?
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Unread 12-04-2011, 11:33 PM   #20
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Hey Glenn, I supplement my burns with coal sometimes, I think that second shot was just after the fire was lit with a bunch of lump. I have all sizes of splits but usually I cut them 12" x 3-4"
This is some lychee:


And those were on this pit:


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Unread 12-05-2011, 01:57 AM   #21
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Thanks a lot brother, I'm trying learn stickburning without coal or lump because I have a bunch of red oak I got in exchange for two smoked butts. So any words of wisdom I appreciate :)
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Unread 12-05-2011, 02:37 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 42BBQ View Post
Thanks a lot brother, I'm trying learn stickburning without coal or lump because I have a bunch of red oak I got in exchange for two smoked butts. So any words of wisdom I appreciate :)
Not sure if my way of running fire in a stick burner is the "right" way to do it but I've changed it along the way since I've been using my pit. When I was running straight wood at first my food, especially ribs I found a bit too smokey. I found that smaller fires helped that. So what I started doing was when I was lighting the pit I'd lay down a bed of lump then put about 4-5 splits on top and light the fire. Once it's all lit I close the doors on the pit & I run the pit with all vents open to burn the wood down and preheat. Once it's up to temp I close the intakes to 1/4 & I add 1-2 splits at a time as the fire burns down. I usually keep a fairly small fire in the pit from here on out. I add extra coal when I'm doing a hot and fast cook.

Just sharing my method if it's of any use.

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Unread 12-05-2011, 06:43 AM   #23
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^^^ What he said!
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Unread 12-05-2011, 07:58 AM   #24
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I guess I run a medium sized fire probably due to the fact that I am too lazy to cut down my splits. With that said, I am able to manage the temps with the intakes, and preheat the sticks to ensure clean combustion. Here is a new fire on a cold night...
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File Type: jpg coldfire1.jpg (50.7 KB, 708 views)
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Unread 12-05-2011, 08:19 AM   #25
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I hit my steel with the weedburner to warm it up a bit. I also place some briquettes in the firebox first, light and then add logs as needed. 45 minutes to an hour.
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Unread 12-05-2011, 08:29 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cholloway View Post
I feel the secret to a clean fire is keeping a good bed of HOT coals under the splits.
You get that going and you could throw a concrete block in there and it'll burn!
Oh yeah... pre-heat the splits before you put them in the firebox. Makes a world of difference.
Also, if you can, the air intake needs to be below the fire, so that it pulls the air through/across the coals; makes hotter. I've raised mine (the grate) up a few inches and have had much better results.

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Unread 12-05-2011, 08:56 AM   #27
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I only use a small pile of charcoal to get a coal bed started. From then on it is splits only.
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Unread 12-05-2011, 12:01 PM   #28
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hmmm i think ill try to put the grate up on the next set of bars so it is a little higher than the intakes. maybe thatll help me out. and ill see if the coals r staying up on the rack enough.
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Unread 12-05-2011, 12:25 PM   #29
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In my Oklahoma Joe. Yes I have the worst fire grates in the world. They are on the list for a spring upgrade.

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Unread 12-05-2011, 02:03 PM   #30
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The first pic is how I start then I keep it at the burned down size. This size fire will keep my smoker temp between 225-275 degrees depending on how you handle the air flow.
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