MMMM.. BRISKET..
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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 03-06-2018, 11:29 PM   #16
Dweverett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WareZdaBeef View Post
No offense, but you are the one posting you can't control temps. I mentioned a sure fire way to solve your problem. I will continue to enjoy my sleep and perfectly cooked briskets.
You’re sleeping through the night with the guru on stick burner and logs or are you talking about something with charcoal?
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Old 03-06-2018, 11:36 PM   #17
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You’re sleeping through the night with the guru on stick burner and logs or are you talking about something with charcoal?
Hybrid.
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Old 03-07-2018, 12:17 AM   #18
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I'm with the extra expanded metal to keep coals from falling thru. Another thing... Are those kiln dried splits? Sometimes those don't keep a good coal bed as they burn too quickly. If so, throw a hand full of lump in every now and then to keep the coal bed going. I'm guessing you started getting white smoke when you started losing the coal bed.

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Old 03-07-2018, 03:39 AM   #19
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^^^^^

What he said.

You cant keep a coal bed because it's falling through the holes. Put down some expanded metal as mentioned and it will solve 90% of your problem. You are also using kiln dried wood. Double whammy.



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Old 03-07-2018, 03:45 AM   #20
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Excuse the sideways pic!! I am not sure why mine are doing that nor do I know how to fix it. :(

The pics are sideways because you took the picture holding the phone vertical. Hold it horizontal.
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Old 03-07-2018, 06:52 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by WareZdaBeef View Post
No offense, but you are the one posting you can't control temps. I mentioned a sure fire way to solve your problem. I will continue to enjoy my sleep and perfectly cooked briskets.
Thanks for your input! I have other smokers that will let me sleep if the need arises.

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Originally Posted by pjtexas1 View Post
I'm with the extra expanded metal to keep coals from falling thru. Another thing... Are those kiln dried splits? Sometimes those don't keep a good coal bed as they burn too quickly. If so, throw a hand full of lump in every now and then to keep the coal bed going. I'm guessing you started getting white smoke when you started losing the coal bed.

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Yep its kiln dried. Its all I could get until I can get to my wood guy. This weekend isnt looking good either. Rain both days!!! Thats ok, it will give me time to get expanded metal.

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The pics are sideways because you took the picture holding the phone vertical. Hold it horizontal.
That makes sense. Thank you
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:28 AM   #22
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Your temperature is falling because your steel is not heated up. When you raised the temperature of the air in your cookbox to 285, the steel wants to be the same temperature so it is stealing heat from the air and dropping the temperature reading you are seeing. Start your Lang with a chimney or two of coals with all the dampers open, the chimney wide open, and the cookbox and firebox doors wide open. Add about 8 logs all at once in a lincoln log arrangement, or whatever turns you on, as long as it burns well. When you get a good fire going in your fire box, close the firebox door and cookbox door to "open latch" position, (i.e. the latches closed but with the door resting against the outside of the launch in a slightly open position. Wait a while and then close your cookbox door all the way. Let it go like this and get your temperature 25-50 degrees above your target temp. Then put your cold food on. The temperature should come down to around where you want it. If you're shooting for 285, your cookbox should be too hot to touch for any period of time.

This is generalized and not specific to the ambient temp, lbs of meat you are putting on, but this method is the Gospel According to Ben for firing up a Lang and it works.
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:00 AM   #23
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Some good advice in here already but I don't agree with adding expanded metal to your firebox grate. Doing so will likely cause an issue where not enough ash can fall away from the fire so you'll have problems with ash in the smoking chamber, as well as a lack of oxygen getting to the wood (ie covered in ash). The distance between the grate and the bottom of the firebox is very small, and hot coals from that distance will easily be enough to keep a fire going.

Start with all doors and vents open, dump a whole chimney of lump charcoal whitened over, and then add 3-4 splits stacked up nicely to allow for good airflow. Allow that all to burn down mostly to coals, and then add a couple of more splits and close your smoking chamber and firebox door. Leave your firebox vents and your exhaust vents open wide and watch your cooker for a bit. You should have some good, thin smoke flowing and it should heat up your smoking chamber within 30 minutes or so. Don't worry if you overshoot your target temp because that's what you want to do... when you open your door to add your food you'll lose probably 50° easily. From there you'll add a couple of small splits every half hour to hour depending on how your wood is burning. Different woods burn differently, for different lengths of time, and will give varying degrees of coals to re-establish your coal bed.

Keep an eye on the firebox and if you notice your coal bed isn't replenishing like it should just add a couple of more splits, or a chimney of whitened over lump charcoal, and you'll be good to go. It will take some practice but you'll learn when you need to add what size of wood, or how many splits, or even if you want to add charcoal. Fluctuation in a stickburner is normal and I generally shoot for 275° when I cook. I add splits when I hit 250-255, and then it goes back up to about 280-285, and it's just a small gradual swing between those temps. Sometimes temps will drop quickly and I know that means my coal bed is running low so I'll toss on a couple extra splits.

Good luck and that video someone posted by Jeremy Yoder (Mad Scientist BBQ) is definitely a very good place to start.
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:23 AM   #24
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From the pictures, it looks like there are quite a few ashes underneath the fire grate. You might try raking/shoveling some of the excess ashes out into an ash pan so that the airflow underneath the fire is not impeded?
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:37 AM   #25
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I'm a closet Pyro like many others here. I love playing with campfires and fireplaces. Little dancing lights, dancing, burning, dancing. Where was I? Having a good coal bed to get the logs started burning is our mantra. It took me several cooks on my stick burner to realize that logic is backwards when it comes to BBQ. Instead of keeping the coal bed going to light the next stick, we are feeding the coal bed to keep it heating the pit. We are not so much worried about the pretty flame, as we are replacing the coals as they burn through. It's easier to do that with smaller pieces, more often. I started using pieces of wood the size of a 12 oz beer can, a couple at a time, every 45 mins or so, and I was able to control my temps *and* maintain my fire for longer.

Think of it this way. Big fire at first to heat up all that metal and to build up our coal bed that will actually cook the food. Then we feed the coal bed several small pieces an hour to keep that coal bed for the duration of the cook. If you look at videos of the big places like Franklin's, he's not cooking with sticks. They are firing up sticks to build coals, and then shoveling those coals into his fireboxes. At least, that is the way my mind finally wrapped around it.

Oh, and did anyone mention getting another piece of expanded metal?
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:42 AM   #26
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I would caution you guys on 1 thing. This Lang 48 has a fairly small firebox. 18x18. If you add more than 3-4 sticks on top of a chimney of charcoal the temp will be 450-500.

In my 36 (17x17 firebox) if I start up with 3 sticks and a small Weber Chimney, I'm at 325 on the top rack within 30 minutes.

The 48 isnt much larger.
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:50 AM   #27
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I don't see a deep enough coal bed. Buy a piece of expanded metal from Home Depot and cut it to fit the fire grate. Set it in with the patterns in the EM opposing each other. It'll hold a coal bed longer.

How long are you letting it warm up before recording temps? I've got a Lang 36 stretch and it takes an hour or more to get all that steel hot. I might read 300 at the factory thermometer but the far end is still only warm to the touch.

To me it looks like you are measuring temps too soon and without a decent coal bed. Your temp swings may be following your pattern of a burning fire and not a truly hot cooker.
I disagree. I've got an 84, I think you're fine and need to make a few subtle adjustments and you'll be humming at whatever temp you like.

I run at 275. Sometimes it's closer to 300, other times closer to 250, but it's somewhere in that range.

Build a large fire to start, I give my 84 about 90 minutes to come up to temp, and likley come down a bit because it'll get too hot. THat'll set a nice bed of coals though. I supplement with charcoal periodically. Maybe a handfull every hour to hour and a half. Using smaller, skinnier splits will also help. They catch quicker, burtn hotter, and make it easier to mitigate swings in temp. However, you'll need to add more consistently. I'm typically adding 2-3 splits every 45 mins or so.

Good luck. You'll get comfortable with it.
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:06 AM   #28
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There’s no reason to just go out and buy a guru. I have had one on an egg and yes it was nice but I would rather learn to use the stick burner as it was meant to be used. It’s just a learning curve that I am asking for assistance on understanding.
if you are coming from an egg with a guru - that can maintain temp better (far better) than an oven - your expectations of the stick burner might be unrealistic.

here is a graph of the temperature profile of an EXCELLENT stickburner(member sudsandswine- shirley 24x84 I think). something like this, ie +- 25 to 50 degrees is what you look for with a stick burner



ie with a stick burner you just gotta let it do its thing.
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:53 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by el luchador View Post
if you are coming from an egg with a guru - that can maintain temp better (far better) than an oven - your expectations of the stick burner might be unrealistic.

here is a graph of the temperature profile of an EXCELLENT stickburner(member sudsandswine- shirley 24x84 I think). something like this, ie +- 25 to 50 degrees is what you look for with a stick burner



ie with a stick burner you just gotta let it do its thing.
My expectations as far as holding a temp are no where near what my old Guru would do. I will be happy if I can hold 25-50 degrees.
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Old 03-07-2018, 12:14 PM   #30
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My expectations as far as holding a temp are no where near what my old Guru would do. I will be happy if I can hold 25-50 degrees.
That should be no problem... good coal bed, small splits, and you will be good to go.
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