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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 03-11-2016, 07:41 AM   #1
bbqpitsmoker
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Default 2 Problems for new Yoder Wichita owner

My first cook, have experienced 2 (perhaps related?) issues:

1. I have the heat management plate installed per the factory guidelines, and the temp on the left yoder thermometer was 250F. I put an accurate digital thermometer on the right hand side, and read 350F. 100F swing with the heat management plate fitted sounds way too high.

2. I really struggled to get the temp up. Even 2 hours later I was barely breaking 200F on the left side of the grill, and this was with starting off with red hot charcoal (5 pieces of lump each around as big as an orange), and then adding dry wood splits. Event stood there for 10 mins at a time with a Looftlighter fanning the fire. I noticed that every time I shut the top firebox lid, the fire would die down and smoulder. Both dampers were fully open. 3 hours later I emptied a full 10 pound bag of charcoal into the firepit on top of the already red hot embers and ignited it with the looftlighter so that all fuel was lit, and the temp on the left of the pit still didn't rise above 250F ?
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Old 03-11-2016, 07:45 AM   #2
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Doesn't the firebox have a door on the side as well as the top? I would leave the side door mostly open, and control the fire with the door instead of the dampers. Give that fire tons of air. That's how I control my stick burner. Once the fire is roaring, I will close the door and leave it cracked maybe two inches with the dampers always in the same place, about 75% open. I never fully close the door.
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Old 03-11-2016, 07:59 AM   #3
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Are you burning split firewood or chunks - how big are your pieces of wood ?
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Old 03-11-2016, 08:00 AM   #4
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Can you post pics of the heat management plaTe?
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Old 03-11-2016, 08:07 AM   #5
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http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=209208
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Old 03-11-2016, 08:10 AM   #6
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Old 03-11-2016, 08:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PekingPorker View Post
Doesn't the firebox have a door on the side as well as the top? I would leave the side door mostly open, and control the fire with the door instead of the dampers. Give that fire tons of air. That's how I control my stick burner. Once the fire is roaring, I will close the door and leave it cracked maybe two inches with the dampers always in the same place, about 75% open. I never fully close the door.

This. i has the same issues with a custom rig I was using and was battling it and then read Aaron franklins book on bbq and he says this is what he does, tried it the next cook and rocked 275 solid for 7 hours.
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Old 03-17-2016, 08:23 AM   #8
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I believe that my issue with the big temp swing was related to building the fire far to the left so that the heat of the fire was directly heating the heat management plate. I am now lighting the fire towards the damper side of the firebox, and temp across the cooking surface is within 20F when cooking low and slow (225) which I consider great. Just need to remember not to let the fire get built towards the heat management plate.

However, the issue with not really getting the temps up high remains. For example, I put in 2 chimneys full of coal, as well as 2 logs burning fiercely, and the max temp I have ever seen on the left of the cooker (non firebox side) is 280F. Does this seem right? For those that cook hot and fast (ie 350F) on a similar pit, can you describe how much fuel you burn at one time to reach that temp? Anyone hit a similar issue?

My damper settings are : chimney 100% open, firebox damper 100% open, firebox door open 3 inches. I am burning seasoned logs that would be around 4 inches across in size
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Old 03-17-2016, 08:39 AM   #9
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Controlling heat with the fire door rather than dampers works best for me. I think playing with too many things makes it harder to keep the heat steady.
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Old 03-17-2016, 09:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqpitsmoker View Post
I believe that my issue with the big temp swing was related to building the fire far to the left so that the heat of the fire was directly heating the heat management plate. I am now lighting the fire towards the damper side of the firebox, and temp across the cooking surface is within 20F when cooking low and slow (225) which I consider great. Just need to remember not to let the fire get built towards the heat management plate.

However, the issue with not really getting the temps up high remains. For example, I put in 2 chimneys full of coal, as well as 2 logs burning fiercely, and the max temp I have ever seen on the left of the cooker (non firebox side) is 280F. Does this seem right? For those that cook hot and fast (ie 350F) on a similar pit, can you describe how much fuel you burn at one time to reach that temp? Anyone hit a similar issue?

My damper settings are : chimney 100% open, firebox damper 100% open, firebox door open 3 inches. I am burning seasoned logs that would be around 4 inches across in size
Something else you might try is using smaller splits around 2-3" in diameter. The smaller splits light quickly and burn hot if given sufficient air. I'm using a pit very similar to yours and have found that the smaller splits in conjunction with maintaining a healthy bed of coals works fairly well though you may have to tend your fire a bit more frequently (30-45 mins). I can usually close the firebox door after I've gotten a fresh set of splits burning clean and maintain temperature with the vent alone, and that is usually no more than half open depending on the temps I cook at -anywhere from 225-350. Hope that's helpful and best of luck!
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Old 03-17-2016, 10:19 AM   #11
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Did you get a reading on the left side from the same digital therm or just the Yoder analog thermometer? If you are basing the 100 degree difference on the cold side being measured by the yoder therm and the firebox side is being measured by the more accurate digital therm then you might not really have a 100 degree difference. Try measuring both sides with the digital therm and that should give you a better idea of the true temp difference. I've found that the analog therms can be off by as much as 50 degrees (even the good ones like Tel Tru and River Country). I had to recalibrate my River Ciuntry therms the other day because they were off about 35-45 degrees.
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Old 03-17-2016, 10:25 AM   #12
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Thanks, I have simultaneously tested left and right with the same cyberq wifi device. Just to clarify, my issue with left/right temp variance across the grate is resolved per my post above. My current issue is that I seem to be using too much fuel to maintain even low and slow cooks, and have never been able to get the cooker over 280F. Thanks for everyone's advice!
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Old 03-17-2016, 10:32 AM   #13
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Split your splits one time. Stuffing to much fuel in the firebox at once disrupts the air flow ( takes up volume for air need for the fire.) So your making up for it by propping the door open. The pit is designed to run on the dampers alone. Control the air, control the fire,control the pit temp. The coal bed is the where you get the heat the bigger the bed the hotter the pit.
This is a 300 deg fire
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Old 03-17-2016, 10:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
Split your splits one time. Stuffing to much fuel in the firebox at once disrupts the air flow ( takes up volume for air need for the fire.) So your making up for it by propping the door open. The pit is designed to run on the dampers alone. Control the air, control the fire,control the pit temp. The coal bed is the where you get the heat the bigger the bed the hotter the pit.
This is a 300 deg fire
So Blu, you keep the firebox door closed, except to add splits?
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Old 03-17-2016, 10:58 AM   #15
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Yes you have to get the air to fuel ratio right.. if to much fuel you will need more air.. in absence of more air your fire will starve for air and not burn hot or completely. Objective is small, Hot, Fire Thin Blue smoke. achieving this in my 250 gallon smoker is accomplished by starting with 1/3 back of charcoal and 2 to 3 splits im up to 300 and adding a split every 45 minutes to 1 hour 15. stick burners need to be tended too.. not setting it and leaving here..
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