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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 01-27-2009, 08:36 AM   #1
KennesawBBQ
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Default Question for Lang / Offset users

I have been cooking on a Lang 60 for about 8 months now and I just can't seem to get the temperature to hold. It is either too hot or too cold. I know it is user error and I thought about buying the digiQ II but I can't see myself drilling a hole in the firebox on my beloved Lang.

I am looking for some guidance here. This is my typical set up. My hope is to get something dialed in so that I only have to tend to the fire every 1 to 1.5 hours or so.

Start fire with about 8 lbs. lump charcoal
Once white, add 2 sticks hickory
go through the spray / misting and smoke curing process
open chimney damper all the way
close firebox dampers to about 1/2 - 1 inch "open"

Once the food is on I find myself every 15 minutes or so having to adjust the firebox dampers or add charcoal / wood.

Please help!

Thanks
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Unread 01-27-2009, 08:57 AM   #2
Bbq Bubba
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The best you'll get as far as tending fire on a Lang is 45 mins!

I find the most important thing is warming the unit up, not sure if your getting the pit hot enough on start up to carry along the temps while smoking.
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Unread 01-27-2009, 09:27 AM   #3
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When I use my Lang 84 I build a hot fire starting with charcoal then add 3-4 sticks to get a good coal bed, heat the unit and clean it. Then... I close the unit down to about 300 and add the meat. I gather the coals it the center of the grate then add/stack as many stacks as possible between the vents and the coal bed. From there I rotate the sticks from each bottom as the heat up and add sticks to the top of each stack. I never place a stick on top of my coal bed. It is best to have a square blade shovel and some wood tongs and poker to assist it managing the stacks on each side. I have welded two short sections of angle iron on each side angling down toward the grate to prevent the sticks from blocking the intake vents. They stop about an inch from the grate so it can be easily moved. If I become photo literate I'll post a photo.
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Unread 01-27-2009, 10:10 AM   #4
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Managing/controlling a fire in a large offset(Lang, Greer, Klose, Gator, Meat Mama3000)
must be the sign of a pitmaster.
I am struggling to learn also. I have mastered the art of white smoke and longing to learn the secrets of thin blue stick burning.
It would be nice to learn from some of the pitmasters here.
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Unread 01-27-2009, 10:14 AM   #5
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First of all, do you have a charcoal basket? If you don't have one, get one.
You NEVER going to get good fire control on her without a basket to keep the coals in a pile.

I start my 84 with about a half bag of briquettes.
Vents ALL wide open.
When they get to be hot coals, I add three or 4 sticks about as big around as a coke can and 14-16 inches long.
When they going (pretty fast) I start adding sticks that size and just throw them on top of the coals.

As the fire grows and the bed of coals grow, I start throwing in logs as big as 3 - 4 - 5 - and 6 inches around.

When I get her up to the temp I want, I start shutting down the intake vents.
I can run my 84 at 300 with just one vent open half way.

I have to throw in a log or 2 every 30-45 minutes, but my temps do not vary 10 degrees throughout the entire smoke.

Come on over to my BBQ Class on Feb 21st and I'll show you. Once you get it down, it's the easiest smoker in the world to use.
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Unread 01-27-2009, 10:39 AM   #6
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kickassbbq,
How much time does it take to get everything ready to cook?
Does outside temp play a role in this?
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Unread 01-27-2009, 12:21 PM   #7
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My 84 takes right at an hour to get it to 300 degrees and ready for meat. I can get it there in that amount of time no matter what the outside temp.
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Unread 01-27-2009, 01:10 PM   #8
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Default Thanks Kickass

Where do you hold your classes?

Also, did Ben make that basket?

60 outside now and this topic has inspired me to cook. Throwing ribs, chicken, and moink balls. I will post my pron later.
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Unread 01-27-2009, 03:44 PM   #9
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Ben did not. My neighbor and I made that. I could not get a proper fire in that Lang until I made the basket.
Classes are in MN. If it was 60 here, I'd be ridin a hog instead of smokin' one.
Now get out there a smoke something!!!
Have a GREAT day.
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Unread 01-27-2009, 05:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbq Bubba View Post
The best you'll get as far as tending fire on a Lang is 45 mins!

I find the most important thing is warming the unit up, not sure if your getting the pit hot enough on start up to carry along the temps while smoking.
Actually, once 'The Mistress' is up to temp, I can usually go as long as 2 to 2 1/2 hours with out having to tend her. I am using a mix of usually either cherry or hickory (Scott please forgive me) and lump...

I have a 3 sided charcoal box and I keep the open side to the door.

I normally start a chimney of lump and put that on the bottom then I put a large (6 - 8" thick) log across the open end of the charcoal box. I then fill up the box with lump and set all of the vents wide open and "prop" open both the cook area and fire box door. I leave her to pre-heat until she gets to 300*.

I then refill the charcoal with lump, this time topping off with another large log, close both of the doors and all of the vents except 1 and the damper on the stack. I use the one on the fire box for any adjustments over 25* and the damper on the stack for any adjustments under 25*.

When I need to restock her, I open two of th fire box vents and the stack damper and fill with lump and a large log or two. Once she is back up to temp I go back to a single vent and the damper.

I don't know if it's right, but it sure works for me.
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Unread 01-27-2009, 05:40 PM   #11
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I can get around 2 hr out of my homemade offset. I get it up to 350 and when heat start dropping I add the meat work out pretyy good that way. I use only wood.
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Unread 01-28-2009, 06:12 AM   #12
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build a pretty good fire to start-you want a big bed of coals when you add the meat- when the temp drops 5 degrees its time for more wood- I also use 2 old grill grates propped up from the grate to the sides of the firebox above the vents forming a v- as the wood burns it slides to the center of the grate and keeps the coals in the middle
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Unread 01-28-2009, 07:44 AM   #13
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i have had my lang 60 since dec and used it 3 times. i am having the same problem but i have discovered that it needs to be level DUH!!!!!!
so maybe that will help you a little but haven't tried it myself yet sorry
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Unread 01-28-2009, 08:08 AM   #14
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Default Thanks everyone

As mentioned with the great weather I was inspired to cook. I started a fire with about 8 lbs. of lump charcoal. Once it was hot, I added 2 logs about 5-6 inches in diameter on the grate spaced about 4-5 inches apart. I then added 2 more spaced the same but perpindicular to the first 2. Finally then added a 5th log across and perpinicular.

Within about 30 - 45 minutes I had it up to 350. Fire tending was relatively easy the first 4 hours. I just added some fuel every 35 - 45 minutes and didn't have to adjust any dampers. Between the 4 - 5 hour mark, alot of attention was being paid to the fire. I don't think my fire grate allows enough space underneath for the accumulation of ash and it ends up smothering the hot coals. Oh well...pretty good cook and here are some pictures. Note: My wife ended up working late so during the final preparations I was trying to take care of a 3 year old and 10 month old as well as finish up the cooking, so I did not have a chance to take pictures of the final product.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Picture 016.jpg (57.6 KB, 402 views)
File Type: jpg Picture 018.jpg (79.2 KB, 399 views)
File Type: jpg Picture 020.jpg (89.5 KB, 398 views)
File Type: jpg Picture 023.jpg (74.6 KB, 398 views)
File Type: jpg Picture 031.jpg (65.6 KB, 399 views)
File Type: jpg Picture 028.jpg (90.9 KB, 400 views)
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Unread 01-28-2009, 08:27 AM   #15
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Way to much white smoke.

Remember, small, hot, clean burning fire!

Looking for thin blue smoke!
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