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Unread 05-08-2008, 11:09 AM   #1
Roo-B-Q'N
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Default Fire Management Help!!!

OK you Spicewine brothers, I need some help, insight, suggestions you got it throw it my way.

I am having a heck of time getting my large spice to settle into a sustainable temperature. Here is what is going on right now.

This morning, I placed 20# oc Kingsford onto the grate in the firebox and spread them around. Using a weedburner I lit the right side of the charcoal and pushed in the trays. I am running without water.

I placed a nu-temp probe into the box via the potato mod. The door themometer and the nu-temp have been running 40 degrees or better different, the firbox themometer has gone from buried above 500 to holding at 275.

Just now all three thermometers were within 10 degrees of each other unfortunetly that was 190*. Upon looking I have used up half the charcoal.

In order to attempt to maintain temps Char (who is cooking today) has had to close down all vents until the temps came into line. She is now running with the stacks open three or four turns and the bottom vents 1/2 in the hopes it will come back up to 225*

So what am I telling her that is wrong that is making this cook so difficult? How should I approach firing up and then warming up the cooking chamber? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Our first comp with this is tomorrow and I don't want to have our heads handed to us cause I can't control temps.
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Unread 05-08-2008, 01:04 PM   #2
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I never have cooked that way with the Spicewine so I don't think I would be much help. I always use water, use 2 chimneys to get it up to temps and 1 chimney every 4 hours there after.

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Unread 05-08-2008, 01:51 PM   #3
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So it only takes 2 chimneys???? Man am I overkilling or what???

Am I missing something on the air flow? Keep the stacks open and control via the intakes?
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Unread 05-08-2008, 02:18 PM   #4
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We start with the bottom vents at half and the upper vents at half. If we want to bring it up faster, we open them up full and back down to half once we reach cooking temps in the upper cabinet. I am leaving right now for a Comp. , but I will get with you the first part of next week on this.

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Unread 05-08-2008, 02:35 PM   #5
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I had a backwoods that is similar to a spicewine. I only used about a 3/4 chimmey to get it going(of coarse is was smaller than your cooker).
Then I'd run the bottom and top vents at half doing most of the fine tuning with the top vent once I was up and running. If I need to heat up, I'd open all vents wide open.

See ya tomorrow, hope you can get it going.
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Unread 05-08-2008, 03:38 PM   #6
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The 2 chimneys are lit charcoal to start. You can also use your weedburner to preheat the cooking chamber by gently heating the insides with it. Also use hot water in the water pan when starting. it takes a lot of fuel and energy to heat the water. By using the water it will even out better. Also don't spread the lit charcoal out to thin, this will cause spikes and drops in the heat levels. And when adding charcoal, The way Jay does it it is also lit in a chimney before adding. Start the vents like Jay said and remember small adjustments. It may take 15-20 minutes for it to fully adjust, be patient and don't over adjust because it didn't seem to go fast enough. All that hot metal takes time to adjust. Hope this helps.
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Unread 05-08-2008, 07:30 PM   #7
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Perhaps you should consider using the charcoal ring from your WSM and the basket from your Backwoods on the fire grate. Add a chimney to each (one on each side of the waterpan. That way your coals stay together and light evenly. Once you get up 10 degrees below temp, almost completely close the bottom vents and close the top to 1/2. It should level out right at the temp you are shooting for.
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Unread 05-08-2008, 08:25 PM   #8
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I did a couple of cooks before I started using the GURU and the charcoal basket.

I did the charcoal just like Jay describes, although I didn't use any water.

I started out with the intakes 1/2 open each and the exhuast valves open 4 turns and the charcoal chamber was running MUCH hotter than the cook chamber. Like 250-300 degrees hotter. The cook chamber just didn't want to come up to temp and even after 1.5 hours was still lagging WAY behind the charcoal chamber and was only at 125.

What I figured out by trail and error was that there was too much draft and since the opening behind the water pan is right below the exhaust, it seemed like the heat was just being sucked right up and out of the exhausts. It was eating fuel like crazy too.

What I did was closed each exhaust down to 1 turn and closed the intakes all the way.
This slowed the draft way down and allowed the heat to build up in the cook chamber.

She leveled out just right and the charcoal chamber and cook chamber were pretty close. It took 15 to 20 minutes for things to start to leveling out. Even when closed all the way, the intakes still give you some air cause they are pretty leaky and aren't capable of shutting off all the air. It gave me just enough draft to maintain the temp and cut WAY down on the rate of fuel burn too.

I get roughly a 25-30 degree difference from front to back.
Hotter in the back.
Trying to figure out a way to eleviate this.
What I do now is put the GURU pit probe in the center of the middle rack and that is my target temp.
That way I know that it is only 12-15 degrees different in back and in front.
225 middle, 240 back and 210 in front.
Top to bottom is pretty consistent.

OSD is right, it takes a while for a small change to be complete.
I figured out that just 1/2 turn on the exhaust will make a difference, but you have to be patient with it.

Good luck Tom!
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Unread 05-08-2008, 09:13 PM   #9
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Running without water has two downsides, heat fluctuation will be more pronounced and depending on the amount of food you can end up with a lot of oil in there.

I run two chimneys of briq's to start. I put them about half way on either side of the water pan and then put chunks in between them and a little on top. Half and Half on the intakes until temp. If you don't have hot water then open them full up to help out. Once the temperature gets close I fire up another chimney wait until it's just red and white. I pour that in and then bring out the meat and put it on.

I usually pour 1 to two chimney's of lump every 4 hours and add chunks every 4 or 5 depending on temps and amount of wood.
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Unread 05-08-2008, 10:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesebob View Post
Running without water has two downsides, heat fluctuation will be more pronounced and depending on the amount of food you can end up with a lot of oil in there.

I run two chimneys of briq's to start. I put them about half way on either side of the water pan and then put chunks in between them and a little on top. Half and Half on the intakes until temp. If you don't have hot water then open them full up to help out. Once the temperature gets close I fire up another chimney wait until it's just red and white. I pour that in and then bring out the meat and put it on.

I usually pour 1 to two chimney's of lump every 4 hours and add chunks every 4 or 5 depending on temps and amount of wood.
Just curious, how do you set your exhaust Bob?
Do you leave them at one setting or do you change at some point in the
preheating process?
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[FONT=Palatino Linotype][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=blue][B][COLOR=red]Big Z's Sweet Gold[/COLOR] -[/B] [COLOR=black]R[/COLOR][/COLOR][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=Palatino Linotype][FONT=Georgia]ich honey mustard flavor with a BBQ kick. [/FONT][/FONT]
Great on chicken, burgers, brats, great on ribs too!
Get ya some @ [URL="http://www.greatlakesbbqsupply.com/product.sc?categoryId=3&productId=10"]Great Lakes BBQ Supply Co.[/URL]
[FONT=Palatino Linotype][FONT=Palatino Linotype]WSM, Weber Gasser, Weber OTG[/FONT]
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[URL="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Big-Zs-Sweet-Gold/115561446787?ref=nf"][COLOR=#810081]http://www.facebook.com/pages/Big-Zs-Sweet-Gold/115561446787?ref=nf[/COLOR][/URL]


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