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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 07-13-2012, 12:51 AM   #61
mmmmeat
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Join Date: 10-21-09
Location: Sierra Vista, Arizona
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Y'all gotta refill the coal basket during a cook???...for a few thousand less, a UDS seems way more efficient, 16 or 20 lb bag o blue lasts 2-3 cooks...and I can sleep all night long, might as well get a lang if ya gotta refuel.

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Old 09-18-2014, 08:35 PM   #62
ColdSteel
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Join Date: 09-17-14
Location: Columbus, GA
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Everyone keep talking, I'm looking at these and I'm reading closely.......
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:56 PM   #63
JeffR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdSteel View Post
Everyone keep talking, I'm looking at these and I'm reading closely.......
It's been two years. Don't wait too long
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:24 PM   #64
Cloudsmoker
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Join Date: 10-30-11
Location: Dallas, TX
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Pitmaker fan here - Safe at home and Vaults on a mobile trailer.

I put aluminum pans in the water basin to help with cleanup, and add water as needed. Not a particularly big deal for me, but I don't use the Guru. The key for me is to creep up to the target temp (275, generally, for me) as it's teaser to ramp up then cool down.

As OP's have suggested, give Victor or George a call - they will work with you all day long.
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Old 09-19-2014, 01:46 AM   #65
Hookem
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Join Date: 06-21-12
Location: Lake Jackson
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Quote:
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It's been two years. Don't wait too long
LOL I stalked this thread when i was researching too...Just brought my Vault home this week. Ive only run it twice and I am already in love. I did all my dealings with Pete from pitmaker, awesome process from touring the shop and comparing options, to taking delivery. Really don't think you can go wrong with these guys
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Old 09-19-2014, 11:56 AM   #66
KJ's BBQ
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Join Date: 11-01-11
Location: New Richmond Ohio
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I have two vaults on a trailer that I got in 2011. When we first started using them we had a heck of a time keeping the temp under control. Our vault has one slider for air flow and found out that air was leaking in there. I use heat tape around the slider and Guru to keep out any excess air. Since Pitmaker has changed to a ball value it has solved that problem for new owners. After many different techniques of trying to control the temp I can now set the temp at 275 which is where I cook and keep it there for hours without water. In the fire box I do a "U" shape pattern with Kingsford blue. I light about 10 coals in a chimney starter and put in the corner I want the fire to start. I preheat the cooking chamber with a weed torch for about 4-5 minutes and try to get the pit to about 175 degrees. This will help keep to much charcoal from burning trying to get the temp up to temp which can cause you to over shoot. It can take up to 1-2 hours for the pit to get to temp. If you need it sooner use the weed torch longer. I set the Guru to 230 degrees and creep it up from there until I get to 275. The Guru is usually set at 260 but the probe will read 275. If the temp spikes you can add some water and it doesn't take much to bring the temp back down. And when you add meat it will also bring the temp back down. I hope this helps.
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Old 09-20-2014, 08:52 AM   #67
wagge
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Join Date: 11-13-13
Location: Houston Texas
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Like KJ said, its a matter of ramping it up. It does take some time to learn how quickly it ramps up depending on meat load. I heat cooking chamber 5-6 min, use u-shape coals about 5in wide and lite the front corner with weed burner. Leave ball valve open for about 30min as I see the pit within 25-30deg of cooking temp shut the valve to 15%. I watch it for about an hour then go about my business. I have the phone app to watch temps.

Guys, the pit temp gauge is adjustable, so use a accurate thermometer at mid rack and you can set the front gauge.

I will say there is a learning curve especially when loading the pit up with meat. For a couple of briskets I will use about 5-6lb of KBB and burn about 10hours or so. I have learned the pit cooks at 250-275 best, don't ask me why, it just does. It will also cook at 400 easily as well, so you can do some chicks in about an hour.

I still miss my offset, but I just do not have the time to sit and watch it, however when I retire I will have another.
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Old 09-20-2014, 09:39 AM   #68
jrben1
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Join Date: 07-20-13
Location: Waynesville, NC
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I don't have a Pitmaker but I do own two cabinet style insulated smokers.
These smokers are designed to be used with water. I always cook with a full water pan.
You also need to choke down on the Guru air intake by setting the damper to only 25% or 50% open.
Once you get these babies too hot, you have to shut down the intake and exhaust vents and wait up to an hour for the temp to come back down. Do not open the door as this will only stoke the fire.
If you don't use the Guru, shut down one vent completely at 175 degrees and only open the second vent about 1/8 inch at 200 degrees, then fine tune from there.
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