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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 04-16-2013, 07:12 PM   #1
IamMadMan
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Default Who Uses A Backwoods Party????

I recently purchased a Backwoods clone and cannot get high temperatures.

I was told by the builder to partially close the exhaust vent......
This goes against everything I have done for the past 20 years?

I was wondering if the Backwoods Party can get hot (300 and over) with the top vent fully open??
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Unread 04-16-2013, 07:19 PM   #2
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Are you using water in the pan? If so, try it with an empty pan or a pan filles with crumpled foil. I've had no problem hitting 300 with mine with the pan filled with crumpled foil and then covered with HD foil for easy cleanup.
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Unread 04-16-2013, 07:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
Are you using water in the pan? If so, try it with an empty pan or a pan filles with crumpled foil. I've had no problem hitting 300 with mine with the pan filled with crumpled foil and then covered with HD foil for easy cleanup.
Ron,
I will try that this weekend and see if that helps regulate the heat.

My other concern with the cooker is that a full load (about 12 lbs) of charcoal I only get a 6.5 - 7 hour burn before I have to reload.

Closing the top vent almost all of the way makes me worry about bitter tasting meat from particle matter.

Without the water pan I can hit 350,
but with the water in the pan I cannot get much over 200.

I did four 8lb pork butts this past weekend and after 16.5 hours I had to put them into a 400 degree oven to finish them.

I was told to close the guru vent on the side and only use the pinwheel vent on the front. I will experiment this weekend and hopefully I will begin to like the new unit again.
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Unread 04-16-2013, 07:52 PM   #4
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Don't have a party but I do have a bws, I run my pan filled with sand and it works great for keeping the cooker steady but allows for high or low temps. Must be 10-15lbs of sand in the pan as a heat sink. Oddly enough, once my cooker runs clean, it seems to be the most responsive with the exhaust 1/2 open. Maybe mike wasn't full of it
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Unread 04-16-2013, 08:24 PM   #5
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Have a Fatboy....I usually leave all of my vents wide open. Mine likes to settle in at around 275-280 and she will hum along untouched for hours.
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Unread 04-16-2013, 08:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IamMadMan View Post
Ron,
I will try that this weekend and see if that helps regulate the heat.

My other concern with the cooker is that a full load (about 12 lbs) of charcoal I only get a 6.5 - 7 hour burn before I have to reload.

Closing the top vent almost all of the way makes me worry about bitter tasting meat from particle matter.

Without the water pan I can hit 350,
but with the water in the pan I cannot get much over 200.

I did four 8lb pork butts this past weekend and after 16.5 hours I had to put them into a 400 degree oven to finish them.

I was told to close the guru vent on the side and only use the pinwheel vent on the front. I will experiment this weekend and hopefully I will begin to like the new unit again.
Pinwheel vent on the front? Is that new? I don't remember seeing a Party with a pinwheel vent.

Your burn time sounds about right. You can add a basket to the firebox to allow you to pack in more charcoal and even set up a snake path that could extend the burn time.
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Unread 04-16-2013, 10:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
Pinwheel vent on the front? Is that new? I don't remember seeing a Party with a pinwheel vent.
I bought a clone from someone who rebuilds Backwoods. I was told it was better and $1000.00 less. This has an adjustable pinwheel vent on the front of the firebox, as well as a side ball valve for a guru.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
Your burn time sounds about right. You can add a basket to the firebox to allow you to pack in more charcoal and even set up a snake path that could extend the burn time.
I was going to go to the metal warehouse and make a divider to try and extend the burn.

I'm still in the learning curve here.
I was asking about the BW Party as it is supposed to be modeled after it.
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Unread 04-17-2013, 01:36 AM   #8
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Default Backwood Party

I run pizzas & bread in mine at about 400 degrees without any problems.



Here is another picture of my Party loaded with 4 of the 18 pizzas I cooked at a contest a couple of years ago. They were done with my crumpled foil water pan setup and the top vent wide open at all times. The baking temps were 375-425 degrees.


Last edited by Old Dave; 04-17-2013 at 04:23 AM.. Reason: Additional information added
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Unread 04-17-2013, 06:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IamMadMan View Post
I bought a clone from someone who rebuilds Backwoods. I was told it was better and $1000.00 less. This has an adjustable pinwheel vent on the front of the firebox, as well as a side ball valve for a guru.
That explains my confusion

Unfortunately, unless someone has that same clone any of our advice will only be close, but not great. When I did a couple of high temp cooks on my Party I have both bottom vents wide open and the top open until it got within about 50 degrees of my target temp (325, I think) and then I shut one bottom vent all the way and closed off the other slowly to stabilize temps. I think I had the top vent at about halfway when things were stable, but it's been a while.

I also worry about closing off the top vent of a cooker, but remember that the Backwoods design if a reverse flow. If you clone is the same, the smoke enters the cook chamber at the top and flows down over the food to the exit point near the bottom and then up the chimney. Partially closing the chimney in this design may not have the negative effects that is can with other cookers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IamMadMan View Post
I was going to go to the metal warehouse and make a divider to try and extend the burn.
There are some pictures both here and searchable through Google that may help. I'm not a fabricator, but I have seen folks mention leaving an air gap between the plates in the divider to prevent the fire from jumping the desired path because of conduction through the metal.
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Unread 04-17-2013, 06:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Dave View Post
Here is another picture of my Party loaded with 4 of the 18 pizzas I cooked at a contest a couple of years ago. They were done with my crumpled foil water pan setup and the top vent wide open at all times. The baking temps were 375-425 degrees.
Thanks for jumping in, Dave! I go the idea of using crumpled foil in my Party from your posts on the BWS forum and it's worked well for me!
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Unread 04-17-2013, 10:23 AM   #11
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I Have a G2 party I run it dry for all my cooks no prob with low temps or high temps.. You should never be running exhaust vent mostly closed try to have it as open as you can.
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Unread 04-17-2013, 09:18 PM   #12
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Thanks for all your help and replies.....

I will use the information and experiment this weekend.
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Unread 04-17-2013, 11:23 PM   #13
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I just sold my Party, but I could run at higher temps pretty easy without water in the pan. I would leave one bottom vent fully open and the top vent fully open. I also had a guru if I was cooking at a higher elevation.
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