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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 03-07-2018, 11:54 AM   #31
el luchador
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Av8er View Post
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.

ok, gotcha. do note that the graph I posted is +- 25-50 degrees so it holds 50-100 degree range

maybe try adding two sticks everytime to keep that coal bed going - you may have to be happy with cooking at higher temps though.

ahh, the joys of stick burners.
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Old 03-07-2018, 12:28 PM   #32
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So the first time I was playing around with temps on the new to me Lang 48 didn’t go well. Temps were all over the place and she was billowing white smoke the whole time. It was suggested that I was using too large of sticks. Today I come home and split some hickory sticks I bought from Walmart this morning to give it a go again. I started a small chimney of kingsford and put in three sticks about coke can diameter and 12” long. After 45 minutes to an hour the temp was at about 285. It started dropping to about 270 and I added another split. It stayed there for about 15 minutes and started dropping again to about 250. I added another stick and it was just maintaining 250. Shortly after I added another stick trying to get the temp up to 275. It started blowing white smoke again and the temp came up a little. I finally just shut her down and come in for the night. What am I doing wrong? Did I not have a large enough coal bed? If you get below the temp you are shooting for, how do you get the temp back up without making it blow white smoke for a while? Each time I add a split I would leave the door open for about 3-5 minutes depending on split size. Any input on what I am doing wrong is appreciated. This is my first stick burner so I know there will be a learning curve.


Excuse the sideways pic!! I am not sure why mine are doing that nor do I know how to fix it. :(
Here's the way I like. It worked on my 36 and still works on the 60D.
Everything wide open and put in a bunch of wood splits. I use a weed burner to start the splits but don't use charcoal or chimney.
Let the fire get going really good with hardly any smoke and close the cook chamber and fire box doors to the partial open latch position as shown in Ben's video.
Once there's a good bed of coals and you see the chimney is drafting well you can add another one or two splits and close both doors.
Note: Add the splits crossways (opposite of your pic) and use them to shove the coals toward the front of the firebox closest to the cook chamber. This preheats the splits so there will be minimal smoke when you add more and shove the hot splits toward the coal bed.
Add enough wood to overshoot your desired temp and start closing the firebox pinwheels until you get down to what you want. I start by closing to half open and then slowly bump closed if needed only after the temp drop has slowed.
Some like to use the chimney damper to control temps but I leave it open and use the firebox pinwheels only.
Add splits as necessary but always add crossways and never directly to the coals. Always use the new splits to shove the preheated splits (some may have started to burn) towards the coals.
There's no set time to add more splits. It could be 30 minutes or maybe 45 or even an hour. Watch the temp gage and add as soon as you notice even a small temp drop. You'll learn the approximate time for given conditions as you run it more.
I also don't leave the firebox door open any longer than it takes to add the new splits. Excess or bad smoke has not been a problem since I started using this technique.
Good luck and don't give up. Soon you'll think back and wonder why you thought it was so hard.
One last note: Adequate brain cell lubrication and good fellowship are a tremendous help.
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Old 03-07-2018, 01:40 PM   #33
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As a followup to my post. This is where I started to use my current method which I freely admit I didn't invent. I tweaked it a bit but the sideways conveyor belt comment got me on the right path.
Read through the whole thread for some decent info on your Lang.
https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/lang...rked-t766.html
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Old 03-07-2018, 02:08 PM   #34
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I am willing to try anything as I have nothing but sticks to lose. I will give that thread a look once I get off work. Should I leave my grease drain open or closed?
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Old 03-07-2018, 02:36 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Av8er View Post
I am willing to try anything as I have nothing but sticks to lose. I will give that thread a look once I get off work. Should I leave my grease drain open or closed?

Keep it open.

Build a GOOD coal bed.
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Old 03-07-2018, 03:41 PM   #36
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I am willing to try anything as I have nothing but sticks to lose. I will give that thread a look once I get off work. Should I leave my grease drain open or closed?
I leave it closed.
Open and it seems to draft cooler air up through the drain tube and causes a larger temp difference left to right. That's on my 60D so it may not have as much effect on the 48.
It's easy enough to try both ways just don't be in a rush to change things. These cookers take awhile to stabilize after something has been changed.
After the cook I add enough wood to get the temp above 300, open the drain, and spray the cook chamber with water to steam clean it. There are several youtube videos from Ben Lang on various subjects.
Don't be afraid to call them if you have a question. They've been very helpful in the past for me.
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Last edited by JohnH12; 03-07-2018 at 03:54 PM..
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Old 03-07-2018, 03:49 PM   #37
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Quote:
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I am willing to try anything as I have nothing but sticks to lose. I will give that thread a look once I get off work. Should I leave my grease drain open or closed?
I haven't noticed a difference either way, but I leave a bucket under mine so I leave it open to allow it all to drain.
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:33 PM   #38
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WP_20180307_002.jpg

WP_20180307_001.jpg

I leave the drain open but don't think it breathes much with the3/4 nipple in a jug.

Build a fire, sit around drinking beer for a few hours without looking at the thermo constantly. Just keep the fire going, my money is on you figuring it out before you run out of beer.
p.s.
make sure you have a couple logs of Jimmie dean or keilbasa around, once you figure it out you'll want to cook something.
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:35 PM   #39
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I see no upside at all in ever closing the drain. But a huge downside in closing it and forgetting to open it. At my age, I tend to leave my zipper open more than I used to so, I just leave the drain valve open all the time. One less thing to remember to do ...
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Old 03-07-2018, 06:25 PM   #40
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Attachment 156137

Attachment 156138

I leave the drain open but don't think it breathes much with the3/4 nipple in a jug.

Build a fire, sit around drinking beer for a few hours without looking at the thermo constantly. Just keep the fire going, my money is on you figuring it out before you run out of beer.
p.s.
make sure you have a couple logs of Jimmie dean or keilbasa around, once you figure it out you'll want to cook something.
I used to use a plastic bucket under my drain also and left the drain open. I ended up with a terrible mess when the hot grease melted the bottom of the bucket.
Now I use a galvanized bucket and periodically open the drain only if I'm cooking a bunch of butts or chicken. I close it again after the grease flow stops.
As I said, it may not matter much with a 36 or 48 but it made a difference on my 60.
To each his own. I don't think there's ever just one "right" way to run the cooker.
I'll also say that I'm always afraid of getting arrested if I fire it up without a cold beverage open and nearby. Burning wood and smoking meat just ain't right without it.
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Old 03-07-2018, 06:48 PM   #41
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I have owned a Mixon 36" H2O stick burner for a little over a month, so I am an expert! My firebox has the same massive expanded metal grate that does not hold coals. I ended up putting a grill vegetable basket like this one in my smoker.

https://www.amazon.com/Vegetable-Hom.../dp/B01MFEYF8K

I light an entire chimney of lump which nicely fully fills the basket. I then start placing sticks on top of the coal bed to start the smoking process. I can easily maintain a 50 degree swing even in the freezing temps we have in the Northeast. I keep my dampers always fully opened and control the temp through the amount of wood I add to the fire.

I would try a basket to hold the coal bed.

Chris
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:00 PM   #42
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Thanks for the replies everyone. Tonight went better for sure.. I started with a big chimney and 4 splits on top. After 45 minutes I was sitting at about 310 degrees. It was higher than I wanted but that was ok. I was shooting for 275 so I let it sit until it got to about 260 which took a while. Once at 260 I added a stick. It went up to about 280 but didn’t hold long. It was back to 260 in about 20 minutes I so I decided to add 2 splits which brought it up to about 305. I let it drop back to 260 which took about 40 minutes and added a little larger single split. Once again it went up to 280 or so and 20 minutes later I needed another split. Only this time after adding the split, temp really didn’t raise and actually started falling while the split was still burning. I opened the fire box and most of my coals had settled down through the grate. I think once I get another grate and non kiln dried wood I will be good to go. My wife has come home the past two days and got excited when she saw me with a beer in my hand. That usually means I am smoking something or it’s Friday. She was thoroughly disappointed when she found out I was just burning sticks.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:36 PM   #43
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Sounds like you've got it now. I don't have the second grate either. Every 2-3 cycles I throw on the next splits 10 min early. That also helps keep the coal bed going.

That temp range rise and fall is perfect. You'll learn that cooking at 275 is really 260-310. The food won't know the difference and neither will you when you eat.

Now let's see some meat pics!!
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:37 PM   #44
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How is that good? The temp is swinging 50 degrees in less than 20 minutes through the whole chart. Looks like a mess to me.

Quote:
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.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:42 PM   #45
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Default what he said.......

This is exactly what I do....Preheat the split in the firebox and just push it to the fire and leave your next split at the front of the box. Works great and the splits catch fire immediately and sometimes even before you push it to the fire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH12 View Post
Here's the way I like. It worked on my 36 and still works on the 60D.
Everything wide open and put in a bunch of wood splits. I use a weed burner to start the splits but don't use charcoal or chimney.
Let the fire get going really good with hardly any smoke and close the cook chamber and fire box doors to the partial open latch position as shown in Ben's video.
Once there's a good bed of coals and you see the chimney is drafting well you can add another one or two splits and close both doors.
Note: Add the splits crossways (opposite of your pic) and use them to shove the coals toward the front of the firebox closest to the cook chamber. This preheats the splits so there will be minimal smoke when you add more and shove the hot splits toward the coal bed.
Add enough wood to overshoot your desired temp and start closing the firebox pinwheels until you get down to what you want. I start by closing to half open and then slowly bump closed if needed only after the temp drop has slowed.
Some like to use the chimney damper to control temps but I leave it open and use the firebox pinwheels only.
Add splits as necessary but always add crossways and never directly to the coals. Always use the new splits to shove the preheated splits (some may have started to burn) towards the coals.
There's no set time to add more splits. It could be 30 minutes or maybe 45 or even an hour. Watch the temp gage and add as soon as you notice even a small temp drop. You'll learn the approximate time for given conditions as you run it more.
I also don't leave the firebox door open any longer than it takes to add the new splits. Excess or bad smoke has not been a problem since I started using this technique.
Good luck and don't give up. Soon you'll think back and wonder why you thought it was so hard.
One last note: Adequate brain cell lubrication and good fellowship are a tremendous help.
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