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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 12-04-2016, 04:06 PM   #1
rikun
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Default Two fires in the same smoker, which one do you want?

Just a quick question,

Revisited the old topic, "OK, stickburners... let's see those small and hot fires." and though my fire looks nothing like that.

Those small fires in those pics looked to me that the wood was just barely burning, is that still a clean fire? I've always though you need to have the whole stick engulfed in flames to be burning clean, but I guess I've been dead wrong.

Inspired by the topic, shot two videos. Both done in the same smoker, bigger fire with intakes fully open, smaller one with intakes almost closed down.

1 - Small fire (intakes almost closed)


2 - Bigger fire (intakes fully open)


Which one do you want? Neither have a very big coal bed, I'm always losing it...

My feeling is that fire management is easier with the smaller fire, the bigger fire feels it's out of control and just burns how it wants to burn. But is the smaller fire still clean?
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Old 12-04-2016, 05:15 PM   #2
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How far along into the cook are you at this point? The big fire vid looks more like mine when Im getting it started to create my coal bed. The smaller fire looks similar to mine when I'm running after awhile. How many logs do you start with?
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Old 12-04-2016, 05:28 PM   #3
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It depends on your target temp, but the entire log usually should not be fully engulfed unless you are cooking hot. To cook slow with that kind of fire you need way too much airflow to keep temps down and too much fuel to keep it going like that. Burning clean is judged by the smoke, not the flame.
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Old 12-04-2016, 05:31 PM   #4
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small fire but depends on what temp too
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Old 12-04-2016, 05:42 PM   #5
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I may be wrong, but from the first video it looks like you are loosing some of your coal bed through the expanded metal.
I had the same issue on my cooker and bought a piece of thin expanded metal that I laid at 90 degrees to the existing expanded metal. That makes the openings a little smaller so you don't lose your coals bed as fast.

On my cooker the smaller fire in your video is about what keeps it at ~275. Perfect for how I cook.
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Old 12-04-2016, 05:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparctek View Post
I may be wrong, but from the first video it looks like you are loosing some of your coal bed through the expanded metal.
I had the same issue on my cooker and bought a piece of thin expanded metal that I laid at 90 degrees to the existing expanded metal. That makes the openings a little smaller so you don't lose your coals bed as fast.

On my cooker the smaller fire in your video is about what keeps it at ~275. Perfect for how I cook.
I agree on another piece of expanded metal .
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Old 12-05-2016, 09:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparctek View Post
I may be wrong, but from the first video it looks like you are loosing some of your coal bed through the expanded metal.
I had the same issue on my cooker and bought a piece of thin expanded metal that I laid at 90 degrees to the existing expanded metal. That makes the openings a little smaller so you don't lose your coals bed as fast.

On my cooker the smaller fire in your video is about what keeps it at ~275. Perfect for how I cook.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ Freak View Post
I agree on another piece of expanded metal .
Does that restrict airflow?
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:59 AM   #8
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it doesn't restrict airflow at all. The additional piece of expanded metal just allows the coals to hold stay together longer. You should not see any difference in airflow.
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Old 12-05-2016, 05:42 PM   #9
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I already have two pieces of expanded in there, you can see them on the first vid, but they are not perfectly aligned. I guess I would need to get something with smaller holes, since I really struggle to keep a coal bed.

I cook HnF 275-325 F being my target range.

The are both well into the cook, if I was trying to create a coal bed, I'd have at least 5-6 big splits fully engulfed lol. That's how I usually start my cook.

Guess what? I also have a problem with fuel usage and I have to feed my cooker a split every 15 minutes. Soooo.. trying to keep my splits burning 100% might have something to do with it :D

So I think choking the intake makes sense, I guess I've been burning clean since food tastes good and smoke looks good. Although it's usually dark outside when I cook, so all smoke looks pretty dense on a dark background...
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Old 12-05-2016, 05:49 PM   #10
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If your going though wood that quick your wood must be very well seasoned ?
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