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Unread 09-18-2013, 12:49 PM   #1
Damn True
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Default Lang 36 owners, a few questions....

So, I drove my new Lang 36 last night for the first time. Initial experience was very positive. I really enjoy how easy the cleanup was after seasoning the pit. I'm stoked on how clean and efficient the thing is as well when running.

I did have a bit of trouble getting the temps down w/o excess smoke. I was able to hold the pit around 280 or so by adding 1-2 splits every 40-ish minutes with both dampers open about 1". I had a tough time getting lower than that. My splits were wrist-fist diameter.

So I'm looking for some pointers on achieving various temps. Please share your temp control settings & strategies for various common temps.

The other question is shutdown/storage. When I was done cooking, I tossed in another split and opened the dampers to bring the temp up, then sprayed the inside to steam soften the crud from the cook, wire brushed and then let the cooker burn down and cool overnight. This morning I closed up the dampers & flue. Anyone do anything else for shutdown/storage?
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Unread 09-18-2013, 01:15 PM   #2
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I don't ever clean my 36 after I cook on it...I wait till the next cook and then steam clean it. My 36 likes to run hot. It will usually cadillac around 300 on the lid temp. I don't fight with it, though. I let it settle in where it wants to, not where I want it to. I've seen other competitors cooking low & slow on a 36 (225) but IMO, it's tougher to maintain a clean low temp fire in a cooker that small with good size fire box. To each his own though, there's definately more than one way to skin a cat. Trust me, after a few cooks, you will have it dialed in and will love that little cooker!
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Unread 09-18-2013, 01:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn True View Post
So, I drove my new Lang 36 last night for the first time. Initial experience was very positive. I really enjoy how easy the cleanup was after seasoning the pit. I'm stoked on how clean and efficient the thing is as well when running.

I did have a bit of trouble getting the temps down w/o excess smoke. I was able to hold the pit around 280 or so by adding 1-2 splits every 40-ish minutes with both dampers open about 1". I had a tough time getting lower than that. My splits were wrist-fist diameter.

So I'm looking for some pointers on achieving various temps. Please share your temp control settings & strategies for various common temps.

The other question is shutdown/storage. When I was done cooking, I tossed in another split and opened the dampers to bring the temp up, then sprayed the inside to steam soften the crud from the cook, wire brushed and then let the cooker burn down and cool overnight. This morning I closed up the dampers & flue. Anyone do anything else for shutdown/storage?
I don't have a Lang but your questions pretty much apply to any stick burner, so as for the temps just start with a smaller fire. You can always add to it to achieve higher temps during the cook but once the fire is too big it's a lot harder to get the temps back down without loosing your blue smoke. Also, with a smaller fire you can really open her up and let her breath. With any offset draft is very important and even more so with RF cookers since the heat and smoke are forced to travel all the way from one end of the cooker to the other and then back again before it can exit. So next time you fire her up start with maybe a chimney of lit charcoal and a couple of splits and then once the coal bed is established you can add to it as much fuel as you wish to achieve your desired temps but do so slowly. Once 1/4 inch steel gets heated up it really doesn't take much to maintain the heat. Keep the exhaust damper wide open and control your temps with the intakes. I believe you have at least two intakes on your firebox, so you'll have to experiment with them but with my single intake damper, I just keep it about 1/3 to 1/2 open depending on the temps that I want. If I have to choke down more than 1/3 open then I know that my fire is too big. Once you've played with it for a while you'll figure out exactly how big a fire you need to get your temps.. As for storage, I pretty much do what you do but make sure and remove ash from the firebox the day after. If moisture gets in there, the ash will become an acid and begin eating at the steel. I've never found a cover or a tarp that held up for very long, so I actually seasoned the outside of my pit as well as the inside with cooking spray. Any moisture that hits the pit has to go through baked on oil and the paint before getting to the steel. I'll repeat that every six months or so to keep a good protective coating on there.
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Unread 09-18-2013, 01:59 PM   #4
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I don't clean my out either. I'll crank it up to 300+ and clean off the grates a little if there's any big hunks on it, but other than that ...

Mine likes to run around 275. I keep everything completely open and adjust accordingly.
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Unread 09-18-2013, 03:04 PM   #5
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The 48 seems to like 275 as well. I would do a couple cooks WFO just so you know what it does when its breathing and go from there.
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Unread 09-18-2013, 03:33 PM   #6
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if you want a lower temp.. use less fuel.. lol
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Unread 09-18-2013, 03:38 PM   #7
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What length are your splits? If they are small in diameter but 16" long maybe it's still too much fuel?

Also, how seasoned is your wood? If it's been drying for over a year, maybe it's burning too hot and fast without a little moisture content to slow the burn? I think around 15-25% moisture content is where it's supposed to burn most efficiently.

Be mindful that this is all theoretical and is based only on what I've read. I'm a total noob so my advice may be bad =)
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Unread 09-18-2013, 04:17 PM   #8
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on a side note get a 2" to 3/4" bushing and about 2" long 3/4 nipple put a gallon jug under the drain, cap and toss makes cleanup even easier!
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Unread 09-18-2013, 04:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironmanerik View Post
on a side note get a 2" to 3/4" bushing and about 2" long 3/4 nipple put a gallon jug under the drain, cap and toss makes cleanup even easier!
Ive got a tin bucket that I'm hanging from the valve.
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Unread 09-18-2013, 04:30 PM   #10
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Damn True...Congratulations on your new pit...Welcome to the Lang Club!...

As far as temps go...You will need to explore a little and then you will figure it out...For me I start off with about chimney full of briquets...this is a good base to work off...add 2 1/4 size splits to the pile... hit with the weed burner...Don't be in a hurry to add meat, let the pit and coals get settled...then add wood as needed...Top vent for me always full open...firebox vents each 1/2 open...

For clean up...I'll knock the big stuff off after I pull the food...But,
I steam clean prior to cooking too(sometimes)...

Storage for me...no cover door propped open on the latch, top vent open...I like to have the pit venting since I get a lot of dew in the mornings......

This is what works for me...actual results may vary...Have fun...
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Unread 09-18-2013, 05:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironmanerik View Post
The 48 seems to like 275 as well. I would do a couple cooks WFO just so you know what it does when its breathing and go from there.
My 48 loves to hang at 275 as well...that's where I usually leave it
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Unread 09-18-2013, 06:58 PM   #12
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I cooked on a Lang for years , the one thing I learned was to cook where it wanted to cook. I even went to the lengths of trying to put fans on it to cook at lower temps , but to keep a clean fire you really just need to get the sweet spot of where your pit comfortably cooks. Mine was in the 250/260 range.

Hellavu good cooker , you'll love it!
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Unread 09-18-2013, 07:58 PM   #13
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I have the 36 (wish I bot the 48 ) -- it too likes to run at 275-300. I start with a full chimney charcoal. Toss in 2-3 small splits and let it run for a while to heat everything up. I think I end up with one side vert about full open and the other 1/4 - 1/2 open. I would say it is at least an hour before I throw any meat on.

I too steam clean when done--open everything wide till the morning to dry out and finish burning, shovel out and park in the garage in the AM
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Unread 09-18-2013, 08:22 PM   #14
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I also start with a chimney full of coals and add splits of Pecan as I go. Mine likes to cook at about 275 too. I always leave top vent wide open and burn a small hot fire with two firebox vents half open or less after she is warmed up.
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Unread 09-19-2013, 07:13 AM   #15
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I wonder - seems like many 36 owners say their cooker runs at 260-275 and that's where it wants to be. A few also start their fire with a chimney full of coals.

Has anyone tried half a chimney to start, to see about lowering?

I found on my new Meadow Creek 36 I started like many do, with a full chimney - and it liked running at 275. A few hours later in the cook, it settled in nicely at 250, even 225 - so I wondered about starting with less - either less lit charcoal, or just one split instead of two... just wonderin'.

Brisket didn't mind whatever temp it ran that first cook - it was off the chain, it was.

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