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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 06-26-2012, 10:23 PM   #1
WhiskeyPigBbq
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Default New Pitmaker Safe, Anyone cooked on one?

Finally got my new Pitmaker Safe and am curious who has cooked on one and it they could give me some tips. I am running a BBQ Guru with a 10 cfm fan. I have had three cooks on it so far and the temp keeps shooting up even with the Guru. Tonight I smoked some home cured bacon and had the temp set at 200 and the temp has now shot up to 300. I loaded about 3 lbs of charcoal with no water in the pan. I am a little frustrated any tips would be much appreciated......I have to say it looks much better than my old UDS's but not being able to keep a temp is ticking me off to say the least.

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Unread 06-26-2012, 11:26 PM   #2
LoneStarMojo
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Wish I could help. If I could, it would mean I have one of thos bad boyz to work with myself. I'm some of the brethren will chime in
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Unread 06-26-2012, 11:30 PM   #3
Midnight Smoke
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I have no experience with that cooker. My thought would be have you tried to cook without using the Guru???

Edit, looks like you have cooked without it. Only other suggestion is air flow issues. Too much possibly?
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Unread 06-27-2012, 06:50 AM   #4
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When I was considering pitmaker, I called the company and asked HOW do you control the heat from getting too hot.....and their answer was putting some water in the drip pan.......I know they look awesome but that just was NOT the answer I was looking for.....
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Unread 06-27-2012, 06:54 AM   #5
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Explain your start up process. Im sure we can nail down a cure. Any more than 7-10 lit coals at start-up by chance?
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Unread 06-27-2012, 07:16 AM   #6
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It's defective. Send it to me, and I'll gladly dispose of it for you.

Seriously though, maybe you've got a bad temp probe? It happens.
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Unread 06-27-2012, 07:23 AM   #7
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I think the water pan helps stabilize the heat in the cooker. I don't have a pitmaker but I have a Stumps. Different concept but I've never had issues with temp control. I set my guru and it stays at the set temp the entire cook.
You might want to talk to some owners of Backwoods cookers. Those cookers also use a water pan.
When I was in the market for a cooker, I looked at the Backwoods but I didn't want a cooker with a water pan. So that's one reason I chose the Stumps.
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Unread 06-27-2012, 07:33 AM   #8
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Honestly... I have a vault and hate how it cooks. 99% of the time I use my UDS. Keeping temps down is a nightmare, and if you get these things above 350, it puts a wierd burnt flavor in the meat. Don't even start me with their customer service!
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Unread 06-27-2012, 07:37 AM   #9
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I thought a may have a defective probe as well being that it was about 20 degrees off from the thermometer on the front of the smoker, but I tested it and it was accurate. I have tried lighting it a few different ways. The first time I loaded it up with lump and poured about a quarter of a chimney on top. I did have water in the pan this time. The scond time same process minus the water. I also didnt set my Guru to 225 right out of the gate. Rather I slowly progressed the temp upwards in hopes that I wouldnt overshoot the temp I was looking for. Last night I only loaded about 3lbs of charcoal and bought a blow torch to start the lump towards the back again with no water in the pan. I slowly increased the Guru temp up to 200. Once it got there the temp actually looked like it was going to stay......go back out an hour and a half later and the temp is running 280.

I thought by going with less fuel last night it may help keep temps down, but I was wrong. Then I got to thinking that maybe the 10 cfm fan was to big even though I had the draft slide choked way down. I have had water smokers before and they were very easy to maintain temps. i have three cooks coming up over the next three days and I would like to start getting some consistency.
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Unread 06-27-2012, 07:45 AM   #10
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WPB,

Maybe the probe is intermittent? Of course, your grate temp is going to be 10-20 degrees different than your door temp reads, but I'd probably either buy another temp probe (never hurts to have a back-up on hand) or test it against another, known to be good, probe.

The 2 people I have know who had the smoker you do LOVED them. You'll figure it out.
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Unread 06-27-2012, 07:47 AM   #11
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Close the slide on the Guru fan until it is open only 1/4 the way. That will prevent the natural draft of the cooker from sucking too much air when the fan is off. If you have trouble getting up to temp, open it a little more. The first time I used the Guru on my BGE, I set it for 250° and left the slide open all the way. The fan huffed and puffed until the temp. was 250° and shut off like it's supposed to do... but the temperature kept climbing because the Egg was sucking air through the fan. Closed the slide halfway but it still overshot. With the slide open only 1/4 it doesn't happen. Because the Safe is considerably bigger than a BGE, you will probably need the slide open a bit more than 1/4 but it's a good starting point.
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Unread 06-27-2012, 08:05 AM   #12
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Sir, please don't forget you have one of the most efficient smokers out there. Once its up to temp, it takes very little fuel to keep it there. I have a Pitmaker Vault and I to had a problem with run-a-way temps. I found that it was air leaking into the fire box. I use a Guru as well and I bought a small piece of sheet steel at Lowes and cut it to fit as shims to tighten everything up around the air inlet. It holds temp great now. I've never used water in my smoker. These smokers love to be loaded up. The more that I put in mine the better it work. I get my lump and oak going, put in the meat of the day, set the guru at 230, go to bed for 4 hours. When I get up to wrap the meat its at a steady 230. I wrap it, and it's back to bed for a few more hours (try that with off-set). I hope this helps. There is a lot to learn when cooking with these smokers, but it worth it!
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Unread 06-27-2012, 08:26 AM   #13
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I met a guy names Craig Sherry. Makes some kind of marital aide called Texas Pepper Jelly. At least thats what Bigmista said the jar was for. I am willing to bet if it tastes that good on my wife, it would be a well sought after aide to all sorts of BBQ applications as well... if Craig would ever see the potential of the product and sell it for something other than some kind of foreplay syrup. Man that stuff is good. Here is Sherry's set up.

I consider it one big assed viagra on wheels if you asked me; being that I got and instant wood when I got close to it. I got to see the vaults up close.... I was floored by how stout in construction they were. So... vault is a proper name.

IMG_1789.jpg
Big Bigmista and Sherry's Vaults

IMG_1787.jpg
Arriving for the second annual Bigmista's G Town Bash. Craig Sherry, Jim Puccetti (Against the Grain) and Bigmista

IMG_1790.jpg
Lolly-gaggin the day before Patrick Mullins and Neil's Momma

IMG_1820.jpg
Another shot of the Vaults

IMG_1798.jpg
Craig between the vaults... Jim at far Right

For those that don't know about Bigmista and the G Town BBQ Bash...

YEAR ONE

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Unread 06-27-2012, 09:44 AM   #14
WineMaster
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Try a bag of stumps briquettes. Lump burns hot and not as even as briquettes. Might be worth a try.
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Unread 06-27-2012, 09:53 AM   #15
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Run the pit with water in the pan , should keep temp . If I run my spicewine without water the temperature shoots up..
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