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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 08-15-2019, 02:28 PM   #1
Zeta09
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Default Building the appropriate Fire?

Hey peeps I'm back....Got my RD Marshall 20" in May and have been using it as much as possible to learn the unit.

Looks like this has been discussed but the folks involved may not be around anymore or post much.

I have about 11 runs now on it and I'm finding that it seems to go through my splits pretty well to the point of which my temps dip not to my liking. Back in 15' it sounds like there was a discussion about this but not sure if any of those folks are around to chime in.

So far what I am doing is starting a fire with the (chimney) with a small amount of charcoal briquettes and mostly lump. I let this fire up. Put the pile in the Firebox then put a couple of splits in. This will usually get me to around 300F. Then afterwards once the temp comes down to 225-240 or so I'll start cooking. My box door is open (wide) and my top is open and if I put in another heated split it will last me around 40 mins (12x3) before I have to throw in another split. I feel and hear like the splits should last me longer

I have heard and read (from the 15' posts) that perhaps I should have a charcoal pile and then the split away from it for the smoke. I have seen vids tho of folks just spreading the coals out and putting the split on top then letting take then just let it run.

Regardless. Wondering if there are any Horizon owners that have their fire prep game down or have any recs to keep a temp (Offsets I am told are only about a range of temps) close to a certain level.

1) I want to (hope to) get more time out of the splits

2) Be able to get more of an idea of how to control the temp if I need to

3) Brisket is 10 Hrs + If I had a better idea of the usage of splits and building a fire could I do the "Minion Method" on the Offset to let it go and do more overnight cooks?

Thanks in advance
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:18 PM   #2
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I hear all the time here run with everything wide open. doing that you get a terrific clean burning fire. That door and the dampers are the solution to your problems. if you throttle down the airflow a little you get a longer burn. you can use both dampers Door and exhaust to control the airflow and thus the temperatures. You are no longer reliant on the size of your split for temperature control. On the inverse you do not keep as clean burning fire. You may actually taste a little smoke if your palate is refined enough :) last statement tounge in cheek.
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:27 PM   #3
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I don't burn logs every day like some, but I'll respond based on my experience.

1) 30 minutes to 60 minutes is what I get and seems typical.
2) I leave my exhaust wide open and try to control temperature (within a 50 degree window) with coal bed size and size of splits. If you're firebox is big enough, you can also move the coal bed closer or farther away from the pit.
3) These are set up to burn logs so I just use charcoal to get an initial bed. I use my WSMs if I want to sleep. I'm guessing some others have had success extending time with more charcoal in this type of smoker, but I haven't tried.
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:28 PM   #4
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40-45 minutes split adding interval is Normal. If you don’t like adding splits every 40-45 minutes buy a charcoal smoker
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarth67 View Post
I hear all the time here run with everything wide open. doing that you get a terrific clean burning fire. That door and the dampers are the solution to your problems. if you throttle down the airflow a little you get a longer burn. you can use both dampers Door and exhaust to control the airflow and thus the temperatures. You are no longer reliant on the size of your split for temperature control. On the inverse you do not keep as clean burning fire. You may actually taste a little smoke if your palate is refined enough :) last statement tounge in cheek.
What he said... I have a shirley patio for about a year and a half now and i run her as much as i can (probably 30ish cooks on it). Slow that fire down a little, shut the stack down to about 2/3 open and use the door damper wide open. The closed stack will keep the heat and smoke in the chamber a little longer AND lower the air flow that is keeping the fire raring. With the right setting you will still get a clean fire, but a smaller clean fire with more heat and smoke in the chamber. OO and keeping that door closed will keep more heat going through the chamber instead of creeping out of the open door.

Just my opinion of course. I have never met nor danced with your smoker.

On your point #3 - In my opinion, You have the wrong smoker if you are thinking of doing a minion method to smoke meat while you sleep. That is what charcoal smokers, blowers, and pellets are for. Offsets are a LABOR of love.

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Old 08-15-2019, 03:42 PM   #6
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All of the above are correct. 40-45 minutes is normal for me to add a couple of splits on my stick burner. Just curious, why do you keep the door wide open? I control my temp with the vents on the firebox. I can run 250-275 steady with my vents barely cracked as long as I have a good coal bed and good dry splits...
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creek bottom View Post
All of the above are correct. 40-45 minutes is normal for me to add a couple of splits on my stick burner. Just curious, why do you keep the door wide open? I control my temp with the vents on the firebox. I can run 250-275 steady with my vents barely cracked as long as I have a good coal bed and good dry splits...
Because Franklin does. People forget his cookers don't have intakes. If I leave my door open I can feel the heat going out the door instead of into the cooker.

Your cooker is running just like it should.

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Old 08-16-2019, 09:55 AM   #8
Zeta09
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Thanks very much for the replies:

Quote:
Originally Posted by creek bottom View Post
Just curious, why do you keep the door wide open? ...
So far it seems to have a cleaner fire. Once the heated split takes it is clear smoke for the duration of it's short span.

I think I know who "Franklin" is but I don't have one of his cookers (maybe he is credited with the concept) still I find so far that my Cooker has similar traits I was just hoping since I spent this much on this cooker I could find a technique that could get overnight cooks accomplished withOUT a pellet or charcoal smoker. I guess not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wbratt1 View Post
2) I leave my exhaust wide open and try to control temperature (within a 50 degree window) with coal bed size and size of splits. If you're firebox is big enough, you can also move the coal bed closer or farther away from the pit. ...
Sounds good, I don't think temp is the prob for me but I was just hoping to extend the length of the split

Here's the question for everyone: Do you ever wind up adding more charcoal to the Box after several hours or is it strictly splits after the initial?

Also I may have misspoke: I know the Minion method is for Charcoal but is there a techinque out there for Offsets that is similar that can provide a little less oversight to get you going over long periods?

Thanks again for all the responses and keep it coming....
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:10 AM   #9
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Lump just to get fire started. Splits for the rest of the cook...
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creek bottom View Post
Lump just to get fire started. Splits for the rest of the cook...
Also what he said...

When i am burning Oak, i also have smaller chunks of wood on hand to toss in to keep the coal bed going. When you get the good slow burning fire going, oak will burn so nice and slow that the coal bed is sometimes difficult to keep up with.

rb
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Old 08-16-2019, 12:30 PM   #11
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What do ya'll think about this?
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:37 PM   #12
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The problem with running charcoal in an offset firebox is always loss of heat and charcoal produces less heat than wood, so you have to burn it hot and burn more of it. Charcoal works great on vertical cookers where all of the heat goes through the cook chamber. That's where your minion method and fancy baskets come in. I wouldn't bother with charcoal in an offset unless it had an insulated firebox.
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:51 AM   #13
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I'll add a chimney of burning briquetes during a Cook as Needed - if your wood is too Dry it'll Burn to Ash instead of Nice coals........
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:53 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeta09 View Post
What do ya'll think about this?
I think that guy should of bought an insulated cabinet CHARCOAL Smoker........

But to Each His Own...........you'll Burn thru Alot of charcoal............I've Had Many Charcoal Hog cookers....Sucks when Charcoal n chunks is almost as much $ as the Meats.....Sold them All and Now have a single Vertical Stick Burner AND a Gravity Fed Charcoal Smoker and a cpl grills...........

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=216205
.
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:47 AM   #15
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I see.

Listen guys I've been grillin for years. I have one of these bad boys x 6 years and had this x 9 (I guess I should put this all in a sig; haven't gotten around to it)

I did the minion in the Kettle Grill many times with fairly successful results but decided to go with a dedicated smoker so I could have the big boy(i) freed up for major cooks during gatherings. I tried a Pit Boss pellet and must have gotten a bad unit since it nearly caught on fire, returned it and got an OK Joe reverse that I tried to seal but didn't get good results on it and sold it to go with the Horizon RD I have today.

I hope to get much more and many years of quality smoking going and for now I have been learning the unit. The Wood in the firebox seems to burn ok and more smolder when I have kept the firebox closed but damper full open

I think I will try to have the FB door 1/4 open and see if that will help with times and cleanliness of the smoke (kind of meeting the issue halfway if you will).

I guess I'll have to use the Kettle Grill to do the longer cooks like Brisket and Pork Butt and want to let it and forget it, but it's a mild disappointment to have to use that if I have a dedicated smoker
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