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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 11-19-2012, 06:50 AM   #1
Williefb
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Default Fire Control / Lang 60

I bought a Lang 60 a couple of months ago and the learning curve for me on this rig is a bit different than my UDS. What I seem to notice is the presence of a lot more smoke than I ever saw with my UDS in fact with the UDS I could hardly tell if it was burning or not. I'm using charcoal to get a bed of coals and adding dry and seasoned hickory to get the temp up and backing into the cooking temp but I still seem to be getting more smoke than I should be. Many of the hickory pieces are slabs and none are huge chunks. The pinwheels on the side are open and the damper on the stack is open. If you have some suggestions you could pass along for fire management I would be most appreciative.
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Unread 11-19-2012, 08:10 AM   #2
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Sounds like your Lang is broken. I will be happy to take it off of your hands for disposal

Now, are you warming your wood before adding it? I know many people will set the wood on top of the fire box to let it get warm before adding it as this can help it burn quicker and cleaner. Are you getting smoke all of the time or just when you add wood? Do you ever get thin blue smoke?

Notice the difference from the one on the left to the one on the right.

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Unread 11-19-2012, 08:17 AM   #3
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It's the fuel. Slab has lots of junk in it besides wood. It will never burn clean.
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Unread 11-19-2012, 09:02 AM   #4
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I have a Lang 48 and start things as you do with a chimney or more of lump charcoal and two or three splits on top of that. Vents fully open, firebox door ajar and the chamber door open for about ten minutes. Close the chamber door and let it go for a few minutes then close the fire box door. Watch the temps and adjust the vents as necessary. When the cooker is up to temp, there is typically just 1 vent open about 1/2 way. I also put a stick or two on top of the fire box to warm up before they go in the fire. The smoke will be different that on a drum, ie more visible, but the flavor from that smoke will be smoother and more subtle. The smoke should still be a pale bluish though.

If by slabs you mean the thin outer slices of a log with a lot of bark and little real wood, that could be your problem. Small splits the size of your forearm and about 13" long work real well for me.
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Unread 11-19-2012, 09:27 AM   #5
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Agree with the above advice - the slabs have got to go... away from your firebox.

Properly dried wood splits will give you a big difference with flavor and the return to the desirable Thin Blue Smoke by maintaining a small and hot burning fire. There are also videos available on Ben Lang's site, too.




Note that he uses splits on the smaller 36 model, too.
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Unread 11-19-2012, 11:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captndan View Post
It's the fuel. Slab has lots of junk in it besides wood. It will never burn clean.
Please explain a bit more. The slabs that I have shouldn't have anything else other than the wood itself. They are only rough sawed hickory logs. Not being argumentative just trying to gain some knowledge.
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Unread 11-19-2012, 11:28 AM   #7
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Academy Sports has stores in your area, go there and buy a bag of Pecan, Hickory, Oak or whatever you like and burn it. This will go a long ways in telling you if it's your current fuel source or not.
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Unread 11-19-2012, 01:20 PM   #8
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I agree with the guys above.....and I'll add this.....I chased temps and had a lot of smoke also until I built a charcoal basket. A large bag of lump to start in the basket brings the pit up to temp, or close, then I start adding split pecan or fruit logs on top of that. Gets me back to a good clean, hot burning fire.
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Unread 11-19-2012, 02:21 PM   #9
Williefb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Draw BBQ View Post
I agree with the guys above.....and I'll add this.....I chased temps and had a lot of smoke also until I built a charcoal basket. A large bag of lump to start in the basket brings the pit up to temp, or close, then I start adding split pecan or fruit logs on top of that. Gets me back to a good clean, hot burning fire.
I like that. I think I will do the same.
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Unread 11-19-2012, 06:02 PM   #10
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This question pops up fairly frequently... this is a post I wrote (and saved for such occasions):

Ideally, you want to cook with hot coals. However, with a stick burner (at least with mine) - when you're cooking low and slow - you are gonna have to add a stick every 30-45 minutes or so.* Which means you will be cooking with coals and occasionally some flame.

I start my fire about an hour before I plan to put on meat. I load the firebox with a lot of wood and a little charcoal. I put on some lighter fluid and light it.

I leave all vents open and leave the firebox door open. After about 45 minutes, the fire should be roaring. That's when I close the firebox door. Wait about 10 minutes: the smoker will get HOT - 350 or so. That's when I put on the meat and turn the dampers to almost closed. It takes me about 10 minutes or so of fiddling with the cooking chamber door and dampers to get it to my desired temp (which is usually around 250.)

When you add more wood, you need to give it some air so the split will catch fire (Otherwise it will smoke too much.) Yes, the temp usually jumps a bit then. So, I mind the doors and dampers for a little while until things settle again.

A stickburner is more work. But, I like my results (and so do most of the people I have fed.)

* Lately I've been adding really small splits (hardly bigger than kindling) about every 20-30 minutes. It requires a little more monitoring, but the temps don't jump so much doing it that way. It also minimizes the white smoke.
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Unread 11-19-2012, 09:48 PM   #11
Williefb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry The Toad View Post
This question pops up fairly frequently... this is a post I wrote (and saved for such occasions):

Ideally, you want to cook with hot coals. However, with a stick burner (at least with mine) - when you're cooking low and slow - you are gonna have to add a stick every 30-45 minutes or so.* Which means you will be cooking with coals and occasionally some flame.

I start my fire about an hour before I plan to put on meat. I load the firebox with a lot of wood and a little charcoal. I put on some lighter fluid and light it.

I leave all vents open and leave the firebox door open. After about 45 minutes, the fire should be roaring. That's when I close the firebox door. Wait about 10 minutes: the smoker will get HOT - 350 or so. That's when I put on the meat and turn the dampers to almost closed. It takes me about 10 minutes or so of fiddling with the cooking chamber door and dampers to get it to my desired temp (which is usually around 250.)

When you add more wood, you need to give it some air so the split will catch fire (Otherwise it will smoke too much.) Yes, the temp usually jumps a bit then. So, I mind the doors and dampers for a little while until things settle again.

A stickburner is more work. But, I like my results (and so do most of the people I have fed.)

* Lately I've been adding really small splits (hardly bigger than kindling) about every 20-30 minutes. It requires a little more monitoring, but the temps don't jump so much doing it that way. It also minimizes the white smoke.
That sir is a great tutorial. Just like a wood stove, you really don't get the good heat until you get a good big bed of coals. I got it.
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Unread 11-20-2012, 02:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Williefb View Post
That sir is a great tutorial. Just like a wood stove, you really don't get the good heat until you get a good big bed of coals. I got it.
good except the lighter fluid part
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Unread 11-20-2012, 02:21 PM   #13
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I do the same as the Toad, EXCEPT I'll use a weber chimney to light a bunch of charcoal, and only when the chimney load is fully to coals to I thrown them on the bed
of unlit charcoal and splits in the firebox. No lighter fluid. Some people enjoy the flavor,
I happen to find it disgusting.
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Unread 11-20-2012, 03:11 PM   #14
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Slab is the first cut on a log. It is mostly bark. Harvested logs are green not aged. The slab being the youngest part of the log will contain dirt, bugs, and all kinds of baddies. The sawmill gives it away just to get rid of something they can't sell. For your stick burner you want dry splits. Hope this helps.
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Unread 11-20-2012, 08:26 PM   #15
Williefb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captndan View Post
Slab is the first cut on a log. It is mostly bark. Harvested logs are green not aged. The slab being the youngest part of the log will contain dirt, bugs, and all kinds of baddies. The sawmill gives it away just to get rid of something they can't sell. For your stick burner you want dry splits. Hope this helps.
That explains a lot. I understand.
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