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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 04-01-2005, 06:44 PM   #1
evilpsych
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Default adding propane to my bandera?

dumb question.. surely there are those that have added propane to their bandera (or other smoker) in an attempt to get a more consistent pit temps.. not that I dont prefer wood... i do.. but spending all night feeding the fire kinda makes the little woman mad. i was thinkin.. maybe a thermostatically controlled burner with pilot that will compensate when the wood or coals die down.. and will back off when the wood heat starts coming back..
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Unread 04-01-2005, 07:06 PM   #2
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after a little research.. looks like.. this can be done.. for like.. $9 for a thermostat, and then the burner and the regulator. (and of course a elec hookup)

I've hated falling asleep only to wake up to a dead cold bbq pit... could also watch the pit for me if i wanted to run to the store for something..

i dont necessarily see this as a bad thing... a pit minder... course.. could also be used to start up your briquette too!.
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Unread 04-02-2005, 07:21 AM   #3
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Purists will claim blasphemy! If it's okay to finish a brisket in the oven, it's okay to lazy Q. The important thing is that you spend time Qing and eating and sharing the final results of your efforts.
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Unread 04-02-2005, 07:52 AM   #4
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We all do what we can squeeze into our schedules, if gas lets you have brisket and sleep, have Hank Hill bring the propane by the truck load. Keep in mind that even with consistent gas temps, you'll still have to add wood periodically to keep the smoke going, otherwise it just as well be in the oven.
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Unread 04-02-2005, 10:10 AM   #5
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Wow! Lazy Q. I havent done that since igot the WSM's. What i used to do in the Bandera is to put a ring burner that I removed from a turkey fryer into the firebox and ran the line thru the damper. I then put a layer of lava rocks on the fire grate and layed a log or 2 on top of the lava rocks. Set the burner to low and went to sleep. If the wood ignited to quickly, i would put it into a coffe can laying on its side on top of the rock.

I liked it this way because it was not a permanent mod. No drilling, and no trasing the burner with ashes when i wasnt using it.

I think some lazy q mods are in the bandera 101 document.
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Unread 04-02-2005, 12:58 PM   #6
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well.. the idea's not to discard using wood or charcoal altogether.. i just dont want to have to watch it as much, and know that i can still have the great flavor of wood but with the temp consistency of gas... i'd still throw a load of wood in the basket every now and then... and the thermostat would back off on the gas until the chamber dropped below the temp i wanted to maintain...
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Unread 04-02-2005, 09:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
and know that i can still have the great flavor of wood but with the temp consistency of gas...
I don't think that will happen but give it a shot and let us know. Hell I have been trying now for two years and them sumbitches that make that gas refuse to make it taste like wood.
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Unread 04-04-2005, 11:36 AM   #8
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I've converted wood burning stoves to propane before. Take about 2 foot or so of black iron pipe threaded at both ends. If you use 1/2" diameter, it should slide through the damper slot; but 3/4" diameter might not. It should extend about a foot outside of the firebox (without holes) to keep it cool where you connect the propane hose to it. Cap one end and drill about 1/8 " holes about every inch on 2 sides for the part that will be in the firebox. Place the pipe so the holes faces to the sides of the firebox and not straight up or down. That should keep them from clogging. This approach should be safe.
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Unread 04-04-2005, 12:49 PM   #9
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well.. i was thinking of getting an old gas oven and using the parts from it... (i.e. thermostat, safety valve, burner etc...) obviously just setting the temp on your handy bandera knob... to whatever you want... (210, 200, 250, 375 for chicken! etc.. ) would simplify things a lot.. especially with the addition of woodsmoke flavor... is this much different than some of the commercially available cookers? no... is it still user friendly with the choice to use as much wood or as little as you want.. you betcha.
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Unread 04-04-2005, 01:47 PM   #10
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Or like Neil said; just finish it in the oven.
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Unread 04-04-2005, 05:01 PM   #11
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but the gf doesnt like it when i put wood chunks on the heater elements in the oven!
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Unread 04-04-2005, 05:18 PM   #12
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Here's some info on how smoke and meat work together. Form Smokey Hale.

"In recent times, smoke is used much more for flavoring than for preserving. It behooves us, therefore, to find out more about the flavoring process.

Wood smoke is a complex, and variable, witches brew that, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, contains over 200 identifiable compounds. Many of them, in sufficient strength and quantity, are seriously hazardous to your health. The complete list takes up two pages of double columns in "The Great American Barbecue & Grilling Manual."

The secret to success is to use the *right* amount of the *right* compounds at the *right* time to achieve either preservation or flavoring. To this end, serious scientists have, over the years, made several studies of the constituents of smoke and the deposition of smoke flavor and coloring upon the meat. We will extract and summarize, and try to translate, the information from several of these studies as it relates to using smoke as a seasoning during cooking on a grill.

Wood smoke is generated from smoldering wood where there is insufficient oxygen for complete combustion to occur. That is why a smoky fire can be made to burn a bright, clean flame if you supply extra oxygen with a bellows, fan or hair drier. In the absence of oxygen, wood is destroyed by distillation, driving off liquids and gasses. These are primarily acetic acid, methanol, tarry complex aromatic compounds and furans (flammable liquid hydrocarbons).

With enough oxygen, these liquids are changed into gasses and volatile gasses are burned. The final products produced vary depending upon the amount of oxygen available, the temperature of the fire, the type and the moisture content of the wood. What this means is that every fire or smoke stream is unique.

Wood smoke is a colloidal aerosol which contains solid particles, liquid droplets and vapor. The vapor is invisible but contains the compounds which give the characteristic flavor that we expect of smoked food. This means that if you can see it, you don't want it. Prior studies showed that solid and liquid particles did not contribute significantly to the flavor of smoked food. Solid particles, which are visible, were shown to absorb compounds from the liquid and vapor to form solids which were deposited on the food as "tarry deposits".

About 40% of the moisture in the smoke is made up of acids, the major one being acetic which give the tart flavor to smoked food. About 25% of the smoke is carbonyls which is mostly ketones and aldehydes (bad news guys). Around 16 % of wood smoke is made up of phenolics, various phenols, eugenols and vanillins. The carbonyls and phenols provide color and phenol is a preservative. Phenol is the source of the dominant odor, and the effectiveness, of the well known bathroom disinfectant, .............. Lysol.

Desirable, invisible, smoke flavor is deposited upon the surface of the meat then it is dissolved and diffused into the tissues. Acids accelerate the deposition, as does the difference between the food temperature and the temperature inside the grill. Therefore, early when the meat is just starting to cook, more flavor is deposited than later when the exterior of the meat approaches the temperature of the gasses in the grill.

Higher temperatures darken the surface of the food more than moderate temperatures. But the most important consideration in generating desirable smoke flavor is moisture content. A moist surface will absorb flavor while a dry surface will only attract tarry deposits. Thus, basting with a slightly acidic sauce will aid in the flavoring two ways. If the surface is kept moist and the temperature is moderate, barbecuing temperature -180-210 degrees, the absorption of beneficial flavors will continue and the color will be lighter than that cooked in higher temperatures with the deposition of tarry phenols and cresols.

At high temperatures, the maximum smoke deposition occurs rather quickly then stops. Lower temperatures extend the smoke deposition up to two hours, but most deposition occurs within the first hour. Meat and fish roasted and barbecued will get all the good smoke within the first couple of hours. Smoke after that will deteriorate the flavor.

When broiling, most of the flavor will be the result of the invisible vapors emanating from glowing embers. Throwing green/damp wood on immediately prior to putting the food on will generate more vapors, while the dense smoke is just passing by.

So the next time you see a grill belching dark smoke like an old coal fired railroad engine, have pity on the folk who have to eat the food. A faint wisp is all it takes."
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Unread 04-04-2005, 08:42 PM   #13
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Very interesting read, thanks for the information!
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Unread 04-05-2005, 08:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
This means that if you can see it, you don't want it.
Sweet Blue, baby.

Quote:
So the next time you see a grill belching dark smoke like an old coal fired railroad engine, have pity on the folk who have to eat the food
Oh yeah. And invite him to visit the brethren...

Awesome info BQ.
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Unread 04-05-2005, 08:59 AM   #15
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Fantastic stuff.
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