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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 03-30-2014, 05:02 PM   #16
Dale Nichols
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Mike, I can only make a guess because I have never cooked on or been around a insulated cooker. My experience comes from a WSM and it was designed to be used with water and when I use water my temps are much harder to get over 250 compared to with out. I also think the air leaks play a big part also and once they are sealed up with gunk I know it will help. Being insulated I am going to rule the weather out at 38 degrees because you can always lay your hand on them and not burn yourself when they are cooking so the heat in there stays in there. I am with ggee on this one.
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Unread 03-31-2014, 09:01 AM   #17
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Like Ive said before, I dont use water in mine. I use fire brick to create a fuse burn. I get very good temp control this way. I also plug the exterior water fill inlet to ensure Im not feeding air in or out of the cooker though this opening. I want to control the air in and out with the ball valve and exhaust damper. Remember, Chris Godlander, the builder has one of these on his patio too. So he is a good source for tips and techniques. Here is a picture of him and his cooker at his home.
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Unread 03-31-2014, 02:46 PM   #18
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Shagnasty, What do you use to fill the fill hole?
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Unread 03-31-2014, 04:42 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Nichols View Post
Mike, ... and when I use water my temps are much harder to get over 250 compared to with out. I also think the air leaks play a big part also and once they are sealed up with gunk I know it will help. Being insulated I am going to rule the weather out at 38 degrees because you can always lay your hand on them and not burn yourself when they are cooking so the heat in there stays in there. I am with ggee on this one.
Dale,

You are right, the use of water was the problem, and the the extra click to tighten the door seems to be the right right move too. I tested the door a couple of time s few minutes ago and it now has a bit us cushion when I close it, and it closed with a hardier click as it slams shut. I am going to leave the door adjustment as is, and see how the next cook goes.

I brought ribs in to work to share with friends and co-workers for which I received high praise. They turned out good, but I feel I can do better!

Let's talk weather. Yesterday a cold hard rain that turned to snow. Today a clear sky and temps at 70. Hmmm.... I think it's a conspiracy! Just kidding!
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Unread 03-31-2014, 07:20 PM   #20
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Hi Shag, just read your post. I agree, 100 times that using water was an error. I did build my fire as you described, with firebricks, and that worked great. I looked in the firebox after everything cooled down last night and virtually all of the charcoal is complete ash. I may contact Chris and see what has to say for advise on my first cook.
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Unread 03-31-2014, 07:40 PM   #21
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Look forward on hearing more stuff. I'm cooking this weekend.
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Unread 04-01-2014, 04:50 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Look forward on hearing more stuff. I'm cooking this weekend.
I will not be home this weekend at all, thus the big push to do it last weekend. I will be traveling the entire weekend. Next weekend, I plan on cooking.
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Unread 04-01-2014, 05:14 AM   #23
mutts&butts
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I also did my first cook last weekend, 8 pork butts for a retirement party. Took over 2hrs to get up to 250deg and I could never get over 250. I did use water and used my IQ120 along with keeping the cap off of the 2nd pipe. I burned thru a lot of charcoal (40lbs). I think the cold outside temps is why it took so long to heat up and I think using water didn't help raise the temps either. Will try the next cook without water and plan to use a weed burner to heat up the inside. Was very impressed with how moist the meat was along with a incredible smoke ring.
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Unread 04-01-2014, 06:22 AM   #24
clweed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mutts&butts View Post
I also did my first cook last weekend, 8 pork butts for a retirement party. Took over 2hrs to get up to 250deg and I could never get over 250. I did use water and used my IQ120 along with keeping the cap off of the 2nd pipe. I burned thru a lot of charcoal (40lbs). I think the cold outside temps is why it took so long to heat up and I think using water didn't help raise the temps either. Will try the next cook without water and plan to use a weed burner to heat up the inside. Was very impressed with how moist the meat was along with a incredible smoke ring.
How long was your cook?

I am a L&S guy, not getting over 250 would be a huge success for me :) I have Been using Lump Charcoal and been very happy with the results
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Unread 04-01-2014, 06:27 AM   #25
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Quote:
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How long was your cook?

I am a L&S guy, not getting over 250 would be a huge success for me :) I have Been using Lump Charcoal and been very happy with the results
12hrs from the time I fired it up to the time I took the meat off. Had to finsh the meat in an oven on site due to time. I'm thinking about trying lump this weekend along with using fir bricks for a more even burn.
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Unread 04-01-2014, 06:39 AM   #26
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I dont own a LS but I come in peace! These are huge smokers, lots of cold metal, water. I give myself 2 hours to get up to temp on a cooker about half the weight as a LS. 2 big things you can do to get to temp faster is by having more lit coals to start and invest in a weedburner. Lit your fire with the burner which also pumps alot of heat into the cooker, then take the burner to your grates and clean them off with the flamethrower, hit up the sides, dont be afraid if all the sudden you see your temps around 300 right away, they will drop down. Lump may help you get hotter, but also be aware that lump likes to take off if you dont have your airflow under wraps. 40 degrees is cold, but tropical compares to the -20 our last contest was when we lit the pits. You can do it.
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Unread 04-01-2014, 08:49 AM   #27
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The water probably had a lot to do with it also. I will try cooking with no water tomorrow and playing around. I should have messed around with it when I was conditioning it.
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Unread 04-01-2014, 10:14 AM   #28
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I cant speak for the insulated smoker yet, as mine wont be delivered till the end of May.

Speaking from experience using my 22" WSM. I use water religiously for all my cooks, as I am a pure low and slow smoker, and believe the moist environment is good to have. That huge body of water takes alot of energy and time to heat, and then only will hit 212F. Getting heat past that to the rest of the smoker will be hard. I am pretty sure if you dont use water, you will be able to reach and control much higher temperatures.

If you plan on using water, I highly recommend filling the water tray with boiling water (I boil water using 2 large pots before my cooks)

The weed burner sounds like a great idea as well to warm up the grates and the walls of the smoker. This is something I will be doing as well.
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Unread 04-01-2014, 12:09 PM   #29
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Just a thought for you to ponder. When I cook on my Backwoods I heat the water up before I start the fire and pour it in just prior to putting the meat on. This seems to help regulate the 250 that I am shooting for. Hope this helps.
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Unread 04-01-2014, 12:37 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mutts&butts View Post
I also did my first cook last weekend, 8 pork butts for a retirement party. Took over 2hrs to get up to 250deg and I could never get over 250. I did use water and used my IQ120 along with keeping the cap off of the 2nd pipe. I burned thru a lot of charcoal (40lbs). I think the cold outside temps is why it took so long to heat up and I think using water didn't help raise the temps either. Will try the next cook without water and plan to use a weed burner to heat up the inside. Was very impressed with how moist the meat was along with a incredible smoke ring.
Hey guys, I hate to tell you but in judging school they teach you to disregard the smoke ring. I have been a certified judge for KCBS, MIM, and the Florida Barbecue Association and they all say the same thing. Here is a link on Amazing Ribs about the smoke ring: http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_tech...moke_ring.html
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