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Unread 01-12-2013, 09:33 AM   #1
Swine Spectator
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Default Bad Cook?

Do you guys ever have a bad cook? I did last night.

Context:
I have a Klose 20x48 with a 1/2" plate fire box. I usually light a chimney full of limp, then put it in the firebox with two sticks on top. I leave the firebox open until the fire is burning cleanly, then I close it and add another stick. I let the pit come up to temp (~250). Then I maintain the fire by pre-heating sticks and adding them at ~45 minute intervals.

Last night I had invited some friends over and had planned to cook chicken thighs for them.

I lit my pit as described above. Within one hour, the pit was at 275. I put my thighs on the pit and then I noticed that my coals were almost gone. I added another pre-heated another stick (#1). in a bit, my temp had dropped to 225. I pre-heated and added another stick (#2). My temp continued to drop to 200. I noticed that the new sticks were nearly gone in about 30 min. I pre-heated and added another stick (#3). My temp held 200.

I had planned on a 1 1/2 - 2 hour cook. At 2 hours, my thighs registered 135#. I added more wood. The firebox was nearly empty. At 2 1/2 hours I pulled the thighs and was getting 165 - 170 temps on all of them. They came out fine, but took an hour longer than I planned.

Story:
I was using hickory that I bought at Academy. My suspicion is that the wood was over-dried and it was burning more quickly than I am accustomed to. I expected two sticks plus two additional sticks after the initial light to get me through. I ended up using 8 total.

Has anyone experienced this? Do you think I am right?

David
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Unread 01-12-2013, 09:46 AM   #2
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I'm part of the unwashed masses that use only Weber kettles, but in the colder weather things run differently......

Maybe try a welders blanket to retain some heat in the metal so you're not cooking the outside air along w/ your chicken....

Oh, and evey time I start with a chimney full of limp, things don't go well......
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Unread 01-12-2013, 10:18 AM   #3
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No such thing as "Over Dried Wood" you lost your coal base plain & simple. Again it comes down to Fire management. Build a little bigger fire to maintain a bigger coal bed. Burn Oak for heat & some hickory or what ever for flavor. That will be 25 miilloin dollars and call me anytime
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Unread 01-12-2013, 10:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1buckie View Post
I'm part of the unwashed masses that use only Weber kettles, but in the colder weather things run differently......
^ +1 Yes it does.....
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Unread 01-12-2013, 10:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1buckie View Post
I'm part of the unwashed masses that use only Weber kettles, but in the colder weather things run differently......

Maybe try a welders blanket to retain some heat in the metal so you're not cooking the outside air along w/ your chicken....

Oh, and evey time I start with a chimney full of limp, things don't go well......
HI buckie1 I was going to say something about using limp wood to start a fire not being a great choice I figured I would wait and see if anyone else caught that. We need to change your screen name to The Kettle King
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Unread 01-12-2013, 11:01 AM   #6
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It wasn't cold (~60 degrees). It just seemed that the wood was burning REALLY fast compared to most of my cooks. I think I am pretty good at managing my fire. I generally have no problem maintaining a clean burning fire and maintaining 225-250 or 250-275 depending on what I am cooking.

BTW - 1buckie - there is nothing unwashed about Webers. I love mine. If you were using a George Foreman... I might call you unwashed.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 01:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swine Spectator View Post
It wasn't cold (~60 degrees). It just seemed that the wood was burning REALLY fast compared to most of my cooks. I think I am pretty good at managing my fire. I generally have no problem maintaining a clean burning fire and maintaining 225-250 or 250-275 depending on what I am cooking.

BTW - 1buckie - there is nothing unwashed about Webers. I love mine. If you were using a George Foreman... I might call you unwashed.

Mine are generally unwashed, unless it rains...



But they still cook great just the same .....



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Unread 01-12-2013, 01:52 PM   #8
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I'm still thinkin' you might check this thread ~~>

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=151064

& like Mr. Dawg sez: start a slightly larger fire......

Little variations sometimes have a seemingly larger-than-life effect

Happy Smokin' !!!!!
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Unread 01-12-2013, 01:53 PM   #9
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Did you have any wind? I notice my WSM runs through charcoal faster in a slight wind (10-15 MPH). I'm guessing the wind helps supercharge the draft and burn through coals quicker.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 02:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
No such thing as "Over Dried Wood" you lost your coal base plain & simple. Again it comes down to Fire management. Build a little bigger fire to maintain a bigger coal bed. Burn Oak for heat & some hickory or what ever for flavor. That will be 25 miilloin dollars and call me anytime
However, he lives in NOLA, and if you have spent time there, you can often darn near drink the air. If he's used to using sticks stored in the yard, and this time used sticks stored in an climate-controled environment, perhaps the wood is dryer than what he normally uses.

Wood does acclimate to its environment.

CD
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Unread 01-12-2013, 03:17 PM   #11
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Sometimes, even though it was the same species of wood, where it grew and the condition under which it grew could affect burn rate. It may have been regrowth wood, that would be less dense.

I tend to agree with Bludawg though, you might just have been too late adding that extra wood, and lost the coals. And yes, everyone has bad cooks from time to time
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