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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 04-20-2014, 04:19 PM   #121
jrben1
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Default First Cook

Smoked some loin backs yesterday and everything went well. I love this cooker.

After reading about temp problems I decided to approach it a little differently. I started with 4 gallons of cold water in the water pan. The ambient temp was 47 degrees. After dumping a full chimney of lighted briquettes in the firebox, I added a small log on top of the lighted coals. I think it helped the cooker come up to temp faster.

Log Boost.jpg

After adding the lighted briquettes, it took one hour for the cooker to come up to 225 degrees, which is where I like to cook. This was with both air intakes open. I added the ribs and the cooker came back up to 225 with both vents open very nicely.

I then tried switching over to the BBQ Guru with a 10 CFM fan, but the Guru could not hold temp unless I opened the other air intake. After the food warmed up I could close the other air vent and the Guru took over nicely. I think Chris is right - a 25 CFM fan would work better.

Other than that, everything was great and the ribs were perfect.
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Unread 04-20-2014, 04:33 PM   #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrben1 View Post
Smoked some loin backs yesterday and everything went well. I love this cooker.

After reading about temp problems I decided to approach it a little differently. I started with 4 gallons of cold water in the water pan. The ambient temp was 47 degrees. After dumping a full chimney of lighted briquettes in the firebox, I added a small log on top of the lighted coals. I think it helped the cooker come up to temp faster.

After adding the lighted briquettes, it took one hour for the cooker to come up to 225 degrees, which is where I like to cook. This was with both air intakes open. I added the ribs and the cooker came back up to 225 with both vents open very nicely.

I then tried switching over to the BBQ Guru with a 10 CFM fan, but the Guru could not hold temp unless I opened the other air intake. After the food warmed up I could close the other air vent and the Guru took over nicely. I think Chris is right - a 25 CFM fan would work better.

Other than that, everything was great and the ribs were perfect.
Nice job on figuring out what works for you. It's so much fun figuring out different ways to accomplish your goals. I knew there had to be a way that didn't take 2 hours. Now if I did that in my tiny cooker I would be at 350° in 10 minutes.
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Unread 04-20-2014, 08:03 PM   #123
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I ordered a 25cfm yesterday in anticipation of needing more air. I already have a 10cfm that I use for my wsm. I am pretty sure the size of this sucker calls for more air movement to keep the fuel going efficiently. I even contemplated getting 2 fans, as the guru will let you double up with a fan splitter.

My smoker should be delivered tomorrow, and have to wait till next weekend to play with it. Hope it doesn't rain...
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Unread 04-21-2014, 07:15 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by darkoozy View Post
I ordered a 25cfm yesterday in anticipation of needing more air. I already have a 10cfm that I use for my wsm. I am pretty sure the size of this sucker calls for more air movement to keep the fuel going efficiently. I even contemplated getting 2 fans, as the guru will let you double up with a fan splitter.

My smoker should be delivered tomorrow, and have to wait till next weekend to play with it. Hope it doesn't rain...
Let us know how much fun you have getting it out of the crate. Be sure you have the longest crowbar you can find.
Enjoy.
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Unread 04-21-2014, 08:51 AM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkoozy View Post
I ordered a 25cfm yesterday in anticipation of needing more air. I already have a 10cfm that I use for my wsm. I am pretty sure the size of this sucker calls for more air movement to keep the fuel going efficiently. I even contemplated getting 2 fans, as the guru will let you double up with a fan splitter.

My smoker should be delivered tomorrow, and have to wait till next weekend to play with it. Hope it doesn't rain...
I would stick with just the single 25 cfm fan yes it requires more air movement to get it the fire going and pit heated up but once up to temp it needs almost nothing to maintain it. Two fans would stoke it faster but the problem is then you have twice the size fire you need once up to temp, you will over shoot and once you choke everything back your going to be left with a smoldering fire and billowing white smoke for a good amount of time. I did a brisket cook for Easter Sunday and aproched my water pan the same way as above, only adding about half the water then the rest once up to temp. I started at 60 ish and was at 215 (my target temp with 3.5 gallons of water) in 40 minutes running only the 25 cfm fan (I have never removed the extra air cap while running the guru). When I did add the extra water my pit had been at temp for about an hour and my food was on about as long. The extra 3.5 or so gallons of tap water didn't move the temp more than 2 or 3 degrees. At 215 degrees I didnt need to add water the entire 16 hours my food was on the pit. I think if your pressed for time heat the pit up first and add water a little at a time, if not add it all in the beginning it will just take a little longer to reach temp. My crating guy does go a little over board with the nails and I do get that a lot but if you saw how some shipping companies handle freight you would understand why I don't rain him in.
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Unread 04-21-2014, 09:02 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by lonestargrillz View Post
I would stick with just the single 25 cfm fan yes it requires more air movement to get it the fire going and pit heated up but once up to temp it needs almost nothing to maintain it. Two fans would stoke it faster but the problem is then you have twice the size fire you need once up to temp, you will over shoot and once you choke everything back your going to be left with a smoldering fire and billowing white smoke for a good amount of time. I did a brisket cook for Easter Sunday and aproched my water pan the same way as above, only adding about half the water then the rest once up to temp. I started at 60 ish and was at 215 (my target temp with 3.5 gallons of water) in 40 minutes running only the 25 cfm fan (I have never removed the extra air cap while running the guru). When I did add the extra water my pit had been at temp for about an hour and my food was on about as long. The extra 3.5 or so gallons of tap water didn't move the temp more than 2 or 3 degrees. At 215 degrees I didnt need to add water the entire 16 hours my food was on the pit. I think if your pressed for time heat the pit up first and add water a little at a time, if not add it all in the beginning it will just take a little longer to reach temp. My crating guy does go a little over board with the nails and I do get that a lot but if you saw how some shipping companies handle freight you would understand why I don't rain him in.
Hey Chris! This is good info that I think will help another poster. He has a Pitmaker Vault with some temp issues and your advice on adding water might help him as well!
By the way, I'm still loving my pit! See my avatar!?!
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Unread 04-21-2014, 09:38 AM   #127
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One approach that I use on my WSM--assuming you've got your fan hooked to one intake and still have a ball valve on the other, open up that ball valve until you get within 25 degrees or so of your target temp, then close it off and let the fan stoke you the rest of the way and maintain your temps. I do that on my WSM, I have a PartyQ that I use to hold temps, but I run all vents wide open while I'm getting up to temp, then close everything off and let the fan keep things working.
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Unread 04-21-2014, 04:25 PM   #128
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Quote:
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Hey Chris! This is good info that I think will help another poster. He has a Pitmaker Vault with some temp issues and your advice on adding water might help him as well!
By the way, I'm still loving my pit! See my avatar!?!
I would be happy to offer advise to anybody weather they bought a pit from me or not. Glad your enjoying your smoker, that's probably my favorite stick burner configuration for the back yard.
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Unread 04-21-2014, 04:33 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by jrben1 View Post
Let us know how much fun you have getting it out of the crate. Be sure you have the longest crowbar you can find.
Enjoy.
LMAO Ya. I Already have a friend coming over to help. I also have 2 of meanest crow bars I use for demolition

Ill take pics too...
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Unread 04-21-2014, 04:36 PM   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveAlvarado View Post
One approach that I use on my WSM--assuming you've got your fan hooked to one intake and still have a ball valve on the other, open up that ball valve until you get within 25 degrees or so of your target temp, then close it off and let the fan stoke you the rest of the way and maintain your temps. I do that on my WSM, I have a PartyQ that I use to hold temps, but I run all vents wide open while I'm getting up to temp, then close everything off and let the fan keep things working.
I plan on that method as well...good strategy.
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Unread 04-21-2014, 06:31 PM   #131
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LMAO Ya. I Already have a friend coming over to help. I also have 2 of meanest crow bars I use for demolition

Ill take pics too...
I also used an 8 lb sledgehammer on mine!
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Unread 04-22-2014, 03:35 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by lonestargrillz View Post
I would be happy to offer advise to anybody weather they bought a pit from me or not. Glad your enjoying your smoker, that's probably my favorite stick burner configuration for the back yard.
Yeah, after cooking on a horizontal offset for many years the vertical design is way more efficient and the amount of food that I can get on there is SCARY!
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Unread 04-22-2014, 04:38 PM   #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lonestargrillz View Post
I would be happy to offer advise to anybody weather they bought a pit from me or not. Glad your enjoying your smoker, that's probably my favorite stick burner configuration for the back yard.
Hey Chris, Again, thank you for your continued support! Did you happen to see the postings about my second cook? I used the same technique that is being described above and the cook went very well. Temps were pretty steady with only the occasional variance from set temp when additional water was added.

I do see where the 25 CFM fan will regulate temps better then the 10 CFM, so I will have one on order soon. The addition of a second ball valve does help. I used mine full open on start up, but left it fully closed for the rest of the cook.
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Unread 04-22-2014, 09:34 PM   #134
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ok! I am now the proud owner of the Lone Star Grillz Vertical Insulated Smoker. Try saying that 10 times really fast...

It was delivered today, and holly crap was it fun! (can you sense the sarcasm)

The crate was twice as large as the smoker, and didnt quite fit on the lift gate of the freight truck. What we did was quite unique and a little suicidal to get the crate onto the lift gate and safely on the ground :) I highly recommend this to be a 4 man job (we were 3 including the freight guy) LMAO

On with the adventure....Rolled (or should I say "pushed like mad" up the driveway) the crate into the garage (had one car out). You will need the space of one vehicle to begin the tear down of the crate. The "packaging" was incredible and the smoker arrived in pristine condition. I truly commend Chris and the Lone Star Grillz team. And, yes, they do go nuts on the nails. Took me and a friend an hour to get it into a position where we could roll it off the crate. That was almost as fun as pushing it over plywood to the backyard (glad the wood held up and didnt split in two). I used little pieces of the 2x4 blocks, from the crate, to make a make-shift ramp to gently roll the smoker off the crate. I am SOOOOO glad I had the wheels upgraded. Anyone planning on buying one should get the 8" wheels or "you aint moving this sucker" anywhere.

The trip to the backyard was just as fun. We re-used the plywood used to build the crate to roll it across the front yard all the way around the back of the house to the back yard patio. The smoker is too heavy to roll freely across the lawn, and the recent rain didn't help. A friendly neighbor saw how much fun we were having and offered to help, you'll need it. The trip to the back yard took a good 20 minutes.

Then came the unwrapping of the gift. I must say, the wrapping is top notch and protected the smoker very well. Unwrapping took another 20 minutes or so before I was able to hug her...LOL...Nuts I know...

Overall, this sucker is built like a tank. The 2" ball valves must weigh 4 pounds each, and bigger than freakin softballs...Awesome build quality and craftsmanship. My compliments to Lone Star Grillz!!!

I cant wait to fire it up this weekend if the weather behaves, but seems like it will rain...Not very happy...(dont have a covered patio, something I regret when I built this house! I wont do that again!)

In any case, this was definitely an experience I will remember, like the time I "dropped" an upright piano out of a truck onto the pavement in Highland Park Dallas LOL....and yes, it smashed to smithereens

I will post pics and such when I season it and cook on it in the weekends to come...stay tuned
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Unread 04-22-2014, 10:41 PM   #135
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Sounds like it was an adventure you had. I would love to come see it when you get to smoking.
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