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Unread 05-17-2013, 04:04 PM   #1
Hedgeley
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Question Napoleon Apollo AS300K Cooking Tips?

Just got a really good deal on this smoker, and I was trying to get some tips on how to use it. I've never smoked before (just grilled) and was going thru posts, but couldn't find anything newer than purchasing deals back 2 or 3 years ago.
Are there any current owners out there with ideas how it could be used? Should you always use all the sections together? Should you use the water pan? Which grill (top or bottom) should you use when smoking? Tips on how to control the Temp? The manual that comes with it is rather sparse. ANy help would be appreciated. I'll try to see if I can come up with some new stuff on my own, but right now I'm pretty clueless.
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Unread 05-17-2013, 04:45 PM   #2
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DrBBQ and Jacob could help you with that question... both are very familiar with the smoker.
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Unread 05-18-2013, 06:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgeley View Post
Just got a really good deal on this smoker, and I was trying to get some tips on how to use it. I've never smoked before (just grilled) and was going thru posts, but couldn't find anything newer than purchasing deals back 2 or 3 years ago.
Are there any current owners out there with ideas how it could be used? Should you always use all the sections together? Should you use the water pan? Which grill (top or bottom) should you use when smoking? Tips on how to control the Temp? The manual that comes with it is rather sparse. ANy help would be appreciated. I'll try to see if I can come up with some new stuff on my own, but right now I'm pretty clueless.
Thanks
Hedge
Hey there. I owned one for about three years. Was actually the Pro Q Excel that was selling here in the U.S. a few years ago. Got the extra stacker to I could go three high. At any rate, excellent smoker and retained heat very well. I pretty much never ran it with water in the water pan. I instead got a clay pot, foiled it and lay it in the water pan. Worked as a difuser and helps also to regulate heat.

These work pretty much the same as the Weber Smokey Mountain line. Search the internet for that and find enough info to last a lifetime !

Any othere specific questions please feel free to PM me.
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Unread 05-18-2013, 09:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireChief View Post
Hey there. I owned one for about three years. Was actually the Pro Q Excel that was selling here in the U.S. a few years ago. Got the extra stacker to I could go three high. At any rate, excellent smoker and retained heat very well. I pretty much never ran it with water in the water pan. I instead got a clay pot, foiled it and lay it in the water pan. Worked as a difuser and helps also to regulate heat.

These work pretty much the same as the Weber Smokey Mountain line. Search the internet for that and find enough info to last a lifetime !

Any othere specific questions please feel free to PM me.
Thanks, Firechief. I was going to get the Weber, but this thing was 1/2 the price tax in, so thought I'd give it a go. Did notice that there is a lot of WSM info out there, so I'll go research that. They look very similar, except I think the Napoleon has removable sections.
DO you remember how many of the bottom air vents you kept open and how much? This thing has 3 triple hole areas (9 vents!) at the bottom and one 3 hole on the top. The manual mentioned to keep the top one fully open all the time. Guess I'll have to experiment as to how many and how much the bottom vents need to be open/closed.
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Unread 05-18-2013, 10:00 PM   #5
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Great question ! You're right, technically there are 9 vents if you count all the holes. For me I think i mostly considered it 3 vents and either had them open or closed.

Pretty much, every time I started a fire I kept all of them wide open. Once I hit temp (I like to cook between 250 - 275), I would shut all but one vent down, meaning leaving three holes open. Take your pick, really doesn't matter which one. These vertical smokers are efficient because heat rises so it's imperative that you keep the top vent WIDE open. Never, ever close it. Tweak your temps down below.

By the way, only reason I got rid of my Pro Q was because I went all in on a massive stick burner. Hey, I'm a gluton for punishment and love burning sticks and tending a fire. Only complaints on my Pro Q was that the paint faded real bad and the handle on the lid broke off after about 18 months. Small things to me as I only cared about the Q and you should crank out some stuff on this unit. Best wishes and don't hesitate to reach out to me for more questions.
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Unread 05-18-2013, 10:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireChief View Post
Great question ! You're right, technically there are 9 vents if you count all the holes. For me I think i mostly considered it 3 vents and either had them open or closed.

Pretty much, every time I started a fire I kept all of them wide open. Once I hit temp (I like to cook between 250 - 275), I would shut all but one vent down, meaning leaving three holes open. Take your pick, really doesn't matter which one. These vertical smokers are efficient because heat rises so it's imperative that you keep the top vent WIDE open. Never, ever close it. Tweak your temps down below.

By the way, only reason I got rid of my Pro Q was because I went all in on a massive stick burner. Hey, I'm a gluton for punishment and love burning sticks and tending a fire. Only complaints on my Pro Q was that the paint faded real bad and the handle on the lid broke off after about 18 months. Small things to me as I only cared about the Q and you should crank out some stuff on this unit. Best wishes and don't hesitate to reach out to me for more questions.
perfect. Exactly what I was expecting. I'll try to take from here. My only fear is to end like you and burn the condo down. Discovery is a great thing.
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Unread 06-24-2013, 09:36 AM   #7
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Default Water or no water? Temperature control

I've done 3 cooks now. Used the water in water pan the first time for a brined chicken. Turned out not too bad - a bit salty cause I brined it overnight (too long I find out now), and a bit on the dry side (go figure). I did a couple of small beef roasts without water (or the water pan) and they came out quite nice - a bit overdone.
Now here's the question. With water in the pan, I couldn't get the top temperature over 220 or so. I"m assuming that's because that since water boils at 212 it won't allow the temperature to go much higher. Without the water pan, the temp just took off - 450 or more. I found that if I took the top section out (cooking with only one section) the temp climbed a bit.
all my cooking was done on the lower grill. Think I might try with the water pan dry and a clay pot bottom (or something similar and see how that works.
Also - it looks like the doors are a bit leaky. Is there a way to tighten this thing up airflow wise?
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Unread 06-24-2013, 09:42 AM   #8
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I would treat it as a WSM by a different name. All the same cooking techniques are used, and the cooker is going to function close to the same as a WSM as well. I'd personally ditch the water pan for a clay saucer or something as heating up all that water uses more fuel. People are concerned with keeping a moist environment so they think it's needed. It's not needed at all. Leave that cooker closed and the meat will create plenty of moisture.
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Unread 06-24-2013, 10:08 AM   #9
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Sounds like a plan. Not worried so much about moisture right now as temperature control. I would have bought a WSM but it was almost twice the price. And I get it that it's basically the same as the WSM. So I'll pretend it is. BTW, does the WSM also leak at the doors? Is there a way to fix this? I think someone said to foil the doors. Might try that too.
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Unread 06-24-2013, 02:30 PM   #10
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Temp is controlled by the rate of oxygen flow to the fire.
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