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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 06-12-2013, 08:46 PM   #1
tubby384
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Default temperature control on offsets

I'm in the planning stages of having a pit built and was wondering if an ATC unit necessary for an offset? I've noticed that the top offset pit builders have great products, but won't they still have a margin for air leaks even though their doors are really sealed because of laser cut doors and such? Thanks in advance for your opinions.
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Unread 06-13-2013, 12:00 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubby384 View Post
I'm in the planning stages of having a pit built and was wondering if an ATC unit necessary for an offset? I've noticed that the top offset pit builders have great products, but won't they still have a margin for air leaks even though their doors are really sealed because of laser cut doors and such? Thanks in advance for your opinions.
I know that some people are using Gurus and Stokers on offsets but I'm not sure how well they're working with that style of rig. I do know however that it's very important to keep good airflow in an offset and when the Guru or Stoker fan cuts off there is generally no airflow and it seems to me that you're asking for trouble. If the cooker isn't drafting well then the smoke gets dirty and is also hanging out in the cooking chamber, which leads to creosote and bitterness on the meat! I think it's probably different with an Egg or WSM because the heat and smoke are travelling upwards and out the exhaust vent while in an offset it has to flow horizontally before it can leave the cooking chamber. The idea of anything stopping or interrupting airflow through my cooker is scary to me!
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Unread 06-13-2013, 01:08 AM   #3
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Just your vents is all you need. Youll be tending the fire every 45 min to an hour anyway. With a cheapo like mine.... more like 30 min.
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Unread 06-13-2013, 05:24 AM   #4
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The big offset we have I cut with a torch and used felt gasket. No leaks. It's a full reverse flow and temp can be controlled by leaving exhaust open and dampening fire box. Nothing fancy. Holds temp for about 90-115 min before fueling.
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Unread 06-13-2013, 05:45 AM   #5
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Build a big firebox for airflow and move the fuel off of the floor of the firebox. If you get the calculations correct an offset can be rock solid.
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Unread 06-13-2013, 06:07 AM   #6
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My Klose doesn't have gaskets, and it doesn't leak anywhere unless the exhaust is closed. I always keep the exhaust wide open, and temperature control is done with adjusting the airflow at the firebox vent. There will always be swings in temperature with an offset when you add a stick of wood or open the cooker. The dryness and density of the wood also affects how large the swing in temperature is. I have some very dry wood I keep on hand that I can use when I need a quick boost in heat. Once my cooker is up to temperature, It will hold steady temp for an hour or so depending on the number of sticks I'm using.

Cooking BBQ is something I do to relax, and tending the firebox is just a part of it. There are plenty of BBQ rigs out there that are set-and-forget if that's what a person is seeking. It's just a matter of choosing what fits your needs and lifestyle.
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Unread 06-13-2013, 07:51 AM   #7
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As already stated, off-sets need air flow and are designed to have a live fire and burn wood. I have a Lang 48 and it leaks a small bit, but I'm OK with it.The draft controls work best with charcoal and a small smoldering fire, IMHO. I do have a story to back this up too.

We were at small contest recently, 17 teams, and one team there was using a Lang 60 Deluxe. Charcoal fire. With an electronic draft control. Power was a freakin' gigantic and noisy 6500 watt generator! Things did not look too good with continuous white smoke for the entire cook and the results matched the assumption: Dry a$$ meat and tasting of an ashtray. Really terrible.

Now I'm not saying it can't be done and possibly done well, but a stick burner needs air and lots of it for the best results, hence tending to the fire frequently. There are lots of set-and -forget cookers out there that are perfect with a controller, in my opinion a stick burner is not one of them.
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Unread 06-13-2013, 08:00 AM   #8
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NO ATC IN OFFSET! Don't waste your time and money on that for an offset.. you will need to be around her and add wood every 45-75 minutes.. no way around that.. she needs air flow at all times.. leave exhaust wide open.. adjust intake to control temp.. Burn Splits.. (When I Say Burn I mean like a fireplace with fire) No smoldering or charcoal adding.. just straight fire..
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