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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 04-15-2013, 08:37 PM   #1
smokestorm
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Default newbie offset help

I just bought my first offset smoker...Char-Broil 300 series. Not a whole lot of choices in my part of Canada.

Before i fire her up for the first time, i want to do the typical mods but i have a few questions:
  • how far into the smoker box and how close to the bottom should the heat sheild extend? what angle should it be on?
  • how big should each of the tuning plates be? how much space should be allowed between the plates?
  • how far below the cooking grill should the tuning plates be?
  • should i fire it up to burn off any manufacturing oils, etc before doing the actual seasoning burn?
  • what kind of oil should be used to season it? i've seen everything from peanut oil to spray-on cooking spray. how about brushing on bacon grease?
any help will be greatly appreciated.
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Unread 04-15-2013, 08:49 PM   #2
DubfromGA
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Before you mod it.....do you know for certain that your particular grill even needs those mods?



I put my Akorn together and did zero mods. I have zero problems. Others started tampering before the first run.....and are still struggling to get them running right.



Test and evaluate first is all I'm saying.
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Unread 04-15-2013, 08:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokestorm View Post
I just bought my first offset smoker...Char-Broil 300 series. Not a whole lot of choices in my part of Canada.

Before i fire her up for the first time, i want to do the typical mods but i have a few questions:
  • how far into the smoker box and how close to the bottom should the heat sheild extend? what angle should it be on?
  • how big should each of the tuning plates be? how much space should be allowed between the plates?
  • how far below the cooking grill should the tuning plates be?
  • should i fire it up to burn off any manufacturing oils, etc before doing the actual seasoning burn?
  • what kind of oil should be used to season it? i've seen everything from peanut oil to spray-on cooking spray. how about brushing on bacon grease?
any help will be greatly appreciated.
smokestorm
Q. how far into the smoker box and how close to the bottom should the heat sheild extend? what angle should it be on?

A. I assume you been the baffle. Attach it just above the stock firebox to cook chamber hole and extend it down at a ~45* angle to as low as you want it. Mine maybe left a 5" gap.

Q. how big should each of the tuning plates be? how much space should be allowed between the plates?

A.Cut them length wise so they sit a few inches under the cooking grate. The point of the tuning plates is to heat up and then radiate heat throughout the cook to help keep an even temp. Best material to make them out of is 1/4" or 3/16" steel plate. The space between each plate is variable. Experiment with moving them closer or further apart to obtain even temps. They are called "tuning" plates for a reason!

Q. how far below the cooking grill should the tuning plates be?

A. Just a few inches. Cut them so they sit just above the lowest point of the baffle plate. You want the heat to come up from under the tuning plates. Having them sit lower than the baffle defeats their purpose.

Q. should i fire it up to burn off any manufacturing oils, etc before doing the actual seasoning burn?

A. Not needed, but if it eases your mind then go for it!

Q. what kind of oil should be used to season it? i've seen everything from peanut oil to spray-on cooking spray. how about brushing on bacon grease?

A. Any of the above work. Only questionable one would be bacon grease. If it was strained extremely well and you cooked it one immediately you should be okay. I would worry about it going rancid though. I use spray pam for my cookers.


Hope that helps!!

Feel free to ask more questions if something didn't make sense.
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Unread 04-15-2013, 09:18 PM   #4
Divemaster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokestorm View Post
I just bought my first offset smoker...Char-Broil 300 series. Not a whole lot of choices in my part of Canada.
First of all, enjoy it! In answer to a few of your questions, I would first do a "Muffin Test". What you do is pick up a tube of muffins and spread them out on your cooker. This is going to tell you where your hot spots / cool spots are. Then work with your tuning plates as above and try it again.

As for curing your cooker, I like a product such as 'Pam' and save the bacon grease for later to cure the outside of the cooker.
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