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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 12-26-2012, 01:56 PM   #1
stephan
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Default Pitmaker safe

I smoked up some wings and a roast beef for Christmas dinner. I was done by 4 pm, I emptied the coals out at around 5:30- 6:00 and when At 11:30 I went to put the pit away the internal temp was still at 225 degrees and the outside temp was 35 degrees. You have to love insulated smokers.
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Unread 12-26-2012, 05:11 PM   #2
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Sounds like you like your Safe. I have a buddy looking at one, but it seems like I see more threads about them being difficult to control than positive threads.
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Unread 12-26-2012, 07:07 PM   #3
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--K-- I've seen a lot of the same post/threads about controlling a Safe or Vault. Being that these smoker are very efficient, the pit operator(s) needs to be patient during thier "learning curve". Once you've re-learned air/fuel management on these pits, you'll never want to cook on anything else.
That's how I feel about them......
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Unread 12-26-2012, 07:36 PM   #4
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I have not had a temp control issue. I have had it for about 7 months. I find it a lot easier to cook on then my old stick burner [ Klose ] like anything new you have to learn its peculiarities. Oh and yes I do like it alot
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Unread 12-27-2012, 05:59 PM   #5
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Thanks for the response.

And how long does it normally burn for on a single load of charcoal. That is the other odd thing I read about all the insulated vertical smokers. It seems like some people report refueling every 6 hours and others say they go 12+ hours. I really really like the fact that my drum can go around 15 - 16 hours on a load of fuel. I've developed my cook methods to take 12 hours for the typical butt/brisket so I can put it on around 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm and have it perfect for lunch the next day. Having to wake up and refuel early in the morning would make me really resent my smoker.
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Unread 12-28-2012, 10:03 AM   #6
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I have gone for about 10 hours on a full basket but thats not to say I couldn't have gone longer its just that I was done with my cook.
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Unread 12-28-2012, 11:40 AM   #7
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It's been my experience that if you cook using the water pan you get closer to the 6 hour mark with a single loading. Keep in mind that meat loading is also a large factor in this, as well as cook temp. When you cook dry, and you're not heating up all that water, your cook times can go 12-14+ hours on a single loading. Charcoal/wood arrangement is also a consideration. I use a horseshoe shape when I cook, with great results.ImageUploadedByTapatalk1356716386.447573.jpg
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Unread 12-28-2012, 02:29 PM   #8
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That is an interesting photo. I've never seen anyone use basically all wood like that. Is that how you typically smoke?


And, I just don't understand why the vertical pit manufacturers don't make bigger fire boxes. Just make them 2" taller is all I ask.
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Unread 12-28-2012, 02:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ---k--- View Post
Sounds like you like your Safe. I have a buddy looking at one, but it seems like I see more threads about them being difficult to control than positive threads.
Easiest smoker to control I've ever used - much easier than my ceramic and I love my Joe. User error is the reason you see posts about them being hard to control - they aren't. They run hotter without water but you can run them REALLY low with water. Everything I've cooked on my Safe has turned out very good to excellent. The consistency and predictability is unmatched by any cooker I've used.

They are also winning a bunch of championships on the circuit. Pitmaker Safes and Vaults (along with Jambo) are probably the hottest smokers on the competition circuit right now. There's a reason for that.

As far as build quality, they are without peer.
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Unread 12-28-2012, 06:57 PM   #10
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Good to hear you're enjoying your safe Libertarian :)

---K--- , I've grown to like this loading. There is a thin layer of lump charcoal under those wood chunks. I light the corner on the lower right side. close it up and let the CyberQ handle the rest. I have been thinking about a 100% wood loading, but have not had the time to try it yet. I also thought a 2" deeper charcoal basket would be great, but the Safe and the Vault don't need it in all honesty. They are very efficient smokers and the baskets are plenty big enough.
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Unread 12-30-2012, 05:26 PM   #11
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Sheriff-the vault has a much larger charcaol box allowing Vault owners to snake the charcoal around. It is much harder to do that in a Safe do to the size. I would love to be able to line my charcoal box like you have. I have had my share of difficulties with my safe, but was in Houston a few weeks ago and Victor gave me some pointers which have helped quite a bit. One of which is to use charcoal briquettes which is against my years of praising lump charcoal. Basically I havfound that I preheat my Safe with my flame thrower to the temp I want to cook at. Then stack charcoal around the edges starting 4 wide ending with th briquettes being 2 wide. Throw a couple long pieces of wood on the top of the charcoal and let er rip. Temp stays pretty much where I want it if it does get a little warm I throw some water in the pan and it will bring the temp down.

K-Sorry for not getting back to you, but after my visit to Pitmaker, I am probably just going to keep my Safe. You guys are more than welcome to take a look at it if you havent seen one in person.
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Unread 12-31-2012, 11:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiskeyPigBbq View Post
Sheriff-the vault has a much larger charcaol box allowing Vault owners to snake the charcoal around. It is much harder to do that in a Safe do to the size. I would love to be able to line my charcoal box like you have. I have had my share of difficulties with my safe, but was in Houston a few weeks ago and Victor gave me some pointers which have helped quite a bit. One of which is to use charcoal briquettes which is against my years of praising lump charcoal. Basically I havfound that I preheat my Safe with my flame thrower to the temp I want to cook at. Then stack charcoal around the edges starting 4 wide ending with th briquettes being 2 wide. Throw a couple long pieces of wood on the top of the charcoal and let er rip. Temp stays pretty much where I want it if it does get a little warm I throw some water in the pan and it will bring the temp down.

K-Sorry for not getting back to you, but after my visit to Pitmaker, I am probably just going to keep my Safe. You guys are more than welcome to take a look at it if you havent seen one in person.
I don't see the need to snake the charcoal - is that for longer burn times? My burn times are already pretty good and I can run the pit as low as I want if I'm using water. It's best to let the pit come 2/3's of the way to temp before adding water. I've heard of others having issues but I've never had one with mine. It is the easiest thing to cook on in the world. Nearly idiot proof.
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Unread 12-31-2012, 11:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiskeyPigBbq View Post
Sheriff-the vault has a much larger charcaol box allowing Vault owners to snake the charcoal around. It is much harder to do that in a Safe do to the size. I would love to be able to line my charcoal box like you have. I have had my share of difficulties with my safe, but was in Houston a few weeks ago and Victor gave me some pointers which have helped quite a bit. One of which is to use charcoal briquettes which is against my years of praising lump charcoal. Basically I havfound that I preheat my Safe with my flame thrower to the temp I want to cook at. Then stack charcoal around the edges starting 4 wide ending with th briquettes being 2 wide. Throw a couple long pieces of wood on the top of the charcoal and let er rip. Temp stays pretty much where I want it if it does get a little warm I throw some water in the pan and it will bring the temp down.

K-Sorry for not getting back to you, but after my visit to Pitmaker, I am probably just going to keep my Safe. You guys are more than welcome to take a look at it if you havent seen one in person.
Also, I used only Kingsford in my Safe (and only lump in my KJ). I actually prefer the flavor of the Kingsford and it gives me consistent burn rate and times. Lump is so unpredictable and every load/bag varies in quality and burn characteristics. With Kingsford, I know what I'm going to get every single time.
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Unread 12-31-2012, 12:49 PM   #14
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I also prefer briquettes for the same reasons mentioned by Libertarian.
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Unread 12-31-2012, 03:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiskeyPigBbq View Post
Sheriff-the vault has a much larger charcaol box allowing Vault owners to snake the charcoal around. It is much harder to do that in a Safe do to the size. I would love to be able to line my charcoal box like you have. I have had my share of difficulties with my safe, but was in Houston a few weeks ago and Victor gave me some pointers which have helped quite a bit. One of which is to use charcoal briquettes which is against my years of praising lump charcoal. Basically I havfound that I preheat my Safe with my flame thrower to the temp I want to cook at. Then stack charcoal around the edges starting 4 wide ending with th briquettes being 2 wide. Throw a couple long pieces of wood on the top of the charcoal and let er rip. Temp stays pretty much where I want it if it does get a little warm I throw some water in the pan and it will bring the temp down.

K-Sorry for not getting back to you, but after my visit to Pitmaker, I am probably just going to keep my Safe. You guys are more than welcome to take a look at it if you havent seen one in person.
No problem. I'm glad you got it working . Nothing like seeing it in person.

I would love to see one in person and may take you up on that offer one of these days. I'll pm you if I ever have time and we'll see what we can do.
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