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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 11-08-2012, 09:55 AM   #31
Mo-Dave
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I have to close down my dual exhaust a bit to make it run right on my Lg Spicewine, which is very similar to the Lg Safe. I wonder if this is an inherent trait on most vertical insulated smokers similar to these?
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Unread 11-08-2012, 02:08 PM   #32
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I sold my Vault after 6 months. I prefer an ofset, but they are very well built.
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Unread 11-10-2012, 03:31 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hook'n Bull View Post
I have a Safe. It has a slide door for air intake. I use a Guru every time I cook and can control my temp at 230° with no water in the pan. I do have a diffuser plate in the firebox below the water pan. Try this Whiskey...check your slide door, it needs to be really tight. If it is loose take a ball peen hammer and lightly hammer the door "track" inside the firebox against the slide door to "pinch" it down to a really snug fit. You almost need to tap mine with something to adjust it from outside. A really snug fit here will greatly improve your ability to control temp. Jmoney is correct on closing down on the exhaust while running the Guru. I close my down to about 20%. With a full load of lump and wood (about 50/50) I can get temp up to and maintain 230° for 14 hours without adding anything. And yes it produces the thin blue smoke from clean combustion. Good luck.
Thanks....for the suggestions. This afternoo I pulled the guru off completely and preheated the safe with a weed burner (which is just fun). I also filled a 5 gallon buckler full of hot water from the bathtub. I made a ring of lump a round the outer edge of the charcoal basket which had chunks of wood as well and started it at the end. We will see how it all works.
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Unread 11-10-2012, 03:54 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiskeyPigBbq View Post
Thanks....for the suggestions. This afternoo I pulled the guru off completely and preheated the safe with a weed burner (which is just fun). I also filled a 5 gallon buckler full of hot water from the bathtub. I made a ring of lump a round the outer edge of the charcoal basket which had chunks of wood as well and started it at the end. We will see how it all works.
Fail.........temp down below 200 from 275 and close to half the lump its gone after less than 2 hours. Intake half open and exhaust fully open.. Back to three drawing board tomorrow.
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Unread 11-10-2012, 03:56 PM   #35
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I haven't tried the charcoal in a ring. I just place a big split of hickory and the rest of the space with lump. I leave a small space in one corner that joins up to both the wood and lump. After preheating the chamber and starting a small amount of lump in a chimney, I add the well started lump to the empty corner and close it up.
I open the in and out vents wide open to establish a good flow through the reverse flow in the safe. Then I adjust the vents to my pre established settings for the temp that I want. Then wait..........
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Unread 11-10-2012, 04:20 PM   #36
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I've been following this thread since the beginning because I am considering a Safe in the future. The one thing that stands out to me is you trying to heat 5 gal of water and expect your temps to stay at 275, and your chewing through the lump at a high rate. Your using all the BTUs from a small fire to heat 5 gal of water. This is like putting a large stock pot on the cook top filled with water and putting the burner on med low and wondering why it wont boil to cook your pasta. I've watched the Video on the Pitmaker site, the pan is dry the exhaust is full open, the intake is barely cracked open and it is running at 255. This pit is just a super efficient UDS because of the insulation. I think you problem is fire management.
Fill the basket with charcoal and drop in a few chunks of wood remove a hand full of charcoal from the left rear corner of the basket( the furtherest from the intake) light this in a chimney and drop it back in the empty space close the door and open the intake and exhaust all the way when the temp gets to 175 close it 1/2 way, when the temp hits 230 close it to 3/4 closed at 250 close it to 1/8 open. Run the pan empty, once it settles in adjust the intake to your cooking temp.
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Unread 11-10-2012, 04:34 PM   #37
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When I picked mine up at Pitmaker I asked if they ever used the water pan. The answer was no, but it was there for those who wanted it.
I added a tuning plate between the fire and the bottom of the water pan just to keep direct heat away from it.
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Unread 11-10-2012, 04:57 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
I've been following this thread since the beginning because I am considering a Safe in the future. The one thing that stands out to me is you trying to heat 5 gal of water and expect your temps to stay at 275, and your chewing through the lump at a high rate. Your using all the BTUs from a small fire to heat 5 gal of water. This is like putting a large stock pot on the cook top filled with water and putting the burner on med low and wondering why it wont boil to cook your pasta. I've watched the Video on the Pitmaker site, the pan is dry the exhaust is full open, the intake is barely cracked open and it is running at 255. This pit is just a super efficient UDS because of the insulation. I think you problem is fire management.
Fill the basket with charcoal and drop in a few chunks of wood remove a hand full of charcoal from the left rear corner of the basket( the furtherest from the intake) light this in a chimney and drop it back in the empty space close the door and open the intake and exhaust all the way when the temp gets to 175 close it 1/2 way, when the temp hits 230 close it to 3/4 closed at 250 close it to 1/8 open. Run the pan empty, once it settles in adjust the intake to your cooking temp.
I bought this with a water pan with the intention of using it with water. Without water the temps spiked. Granted I was not running a ring.
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Unread 11-11-2012, 08:14 AM   #39
Hook'n Bull
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiskeyPigBbq View Post
I bought this with a water pan with the intention of using it with water. Without water the temps spiked. Granted I was not running a ring.
These pits are so well insulated they cook moist w/o water. I've cooked both ways and now prefer no water--dont like having to add as it evaporates. Consider unglazed ceramic tiles or low fire terracotta clay in place of the water. Doesnt evaporate and serves as a heat sink like the water does.
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Unread 11-11-2012, 10:30 PM   #40
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Are the safe and vault reverse flow type of cookers?
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Unread 11-11-2012, 11:01 PM   #41
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Quote:
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Are the safe and vault reverse flow type of cookers?
Yes, verticle reverse flow

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Unread 11-14-2012, 04:29 AM   #42
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Smile Vault Modifications

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I came across your Vault modifications on another bbq forum. You mentioned installing a ball valve for the air intake and a firebox with perforated sides. Anything else?
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Unread 11-14-2012, 07:06 AM   #43
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You can't compare the Vault to the Safe, IMHO, because of the size difference. I know lots of folks on the Safe that have no issues.

Ball valves will be a mod / addition for the Vault in the future.
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Unread 11-18-2012, 07:41 PM   #44
WhiskeyPigBbq
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Yet another try to have a satisfying experience with the Pitmaker Safe this time running no water in the cooker and running the Guru. I have used high temp duct tape to make sure the only air coming in is through the fan and the fan was choked off to half, the exhaust was also half closed......brought out the flame thrower and warmed up the cooking chamber a little then warmed up the charcoal chamber until the temp probes on the Guru were at 215. I set the temp on the guru to 215 I then inserted the half full charcoal grate with a 1/8 of that lit lump charcoal. I went inside got the pork chops and the temps had raised to 245 (not unexpected). Had the chops on for about 1-1/2 hours and the temps had risen to 285. Pulled the chops came in ate dinner and went back out to a pit at 362.....This is the last straw. I cant trust this pit. There is no way I could smoke something like jerky at 150. It is a pain in the butt to run water in it runs to hot without water, you have to sit on the thing with or without the Guru, it is beautiful and is built like a tank but that isnt a good trade off if it doesnt do what I need it to do.....the wife is going to flip but it is time for a new smoker!
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Unread 11-18-2012, 08:34 PM   #45
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I really don't know why you are having so much trouble with your Safe. I've had mine for 2 months and done about 8 smokes on it. I don't use water and the lowest temp I smoke at is 225. Only once did it "run away" and that was only to 300. It was my fault. It was at 200 and I was trying to raise it to 250, so I opened the vent 1/4" more and neglected it for about an hour. My bad......
I actually use a ruler to set my inlet now. When I set mine to 1/2 inch open, I can maintain a temperature where it is at. It can be at 225, 250 or higher. At one half inch, the temperature is maintained. If I open it even slightly more, the temp will start to rise.
I suggest you start "measuring" your inlet vent and experiment. I keep a ruler on my prep table all the time. I also adjust the outlet vent accordingly.
I also found that there is a tiny bit of in and out play on my vent, so I always make sure that I have it pushed in when I set it.
Extremely small adjustments make a big difference in the temps.
When I open the door for any length of time and then close it, I open my vents all the way to establish a "good" air flow. When the temp gets close to my target setting, I set it at "exactly" 1/2". Of course yours may be different.
I had a large ceramic Kamado for over 12 years, so I learned what effects a small inlet air flow can have on a very well insulated smoker.

You have to learn what it takes on your new smoker. This Pitmaker Safe is even more sensitive to air inlet than my old Kamado, so I had to learn some new stuff about it.

I don't use a Guru. It may be your problem.........

I hope you don't give up.

Doc
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Last edited by doctordun; 11-18-2012 at 08:37 PM.. Reason: Added Guru Comment
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