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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 03-16-2009, 12:47 PM   #1
bocephus
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Default A proper fire

Ok, I just read through all of the stoker debate, and really it all seemed to boil down do a proper fire, today is my first cook on a stick burner and it seems to me like I might not have a proper fire going, I would really apprciate any help that could be given. I have a double barrel drumb smoker, I know how to build a fire, however, I think it might be better for heating then for cooking. Im really just looking for any advice that cold be offered Thanks alot...
Oh and by the way I will be posting some pron pics of the first cool in a different thread in a while, its been cookin for about 6 hours, and goin pretty good, the ribs were great I can tell ya that much right now
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Unread 03-16-2009, 12:50 PM   #2
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What kind of offset is it? A smaller one line a Chargriller or a larger one like a Lang?
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Duh.
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Unread 03-16-2009, 12:59 PM   #3
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its a double barrel UDS so I have one under the other, firebox on the bottom, and cook chamber on the top
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Unread 03-16-2009, 01:28 PM   #4
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first question.

do u have the fire on a fire grate? Or are you building it on the floor of the barrel.? You need a grate to get airflow underneath it.

the first goal, which you can tweak as you improve, is fires should NOT produce smoke, wood should be dry, and preheated if you can, so it combusts as soon as it hits the fire. Start the fire with alot of airflow(open doors) until its burning hot, then close up and switch to damper control and to bring pit to temp.

Control temperature primarily with fire size and then with dampers, but u want to avoid having to choke the fire to cool things down.
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Unread 03-16-2009, 01:31 PM   #5
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my fire is on a grate, my wood is dry, and preheated, I just threw one on, and it cought before I cold barley pull my hand out, but I am producing alot of smoke, so Im not real sure what to do
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Unread 03-16-2009, 01:41 PM   #6
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here are a few pics of the smoker I am talking about... and my next question is do you all think I could just use charcol with some chunks or should I continue to try building my fire building abilities

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Unread 03-16-2009, 01:49 PM   #7
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a new log will produce some white smoke at the beginning.

are you using splits, or unsplit logs(bark smokes). Its actually the moisture in the bark. i prefer to always split the logs.

bottom line, if your smoking, and your wood is dry, you need air. Sometimes it may be moisture coming out of the wood (which is actually steam) Is the wood sizzling on the ends? The thin smoke coming out of the left exhaust in the above pic is ok. that will clear up.
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Unread 03-16-2009, 01:58 PM   #8
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yeah the pictures were actually of a season burn, its smokin much more than that now, I have tried to put minimul bark in but I think I have put too much in and that could be part of the problem, some of the wood sizzles some but not much, I guess that could also be the problem, I am finding out that I need another vent (right now I just have one on the left, and my door on the right. Im going to put another one ont he right so I can control the temp more, but thats the only thing I could think of
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Unread 03-16-2009, 04:42 PM   #9
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How big are the logs you are using?

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Originally Posted by bocephus View Post
yeah the pictures were actually of a season burn, its smokin much more than that now, I have tried to put minimul bark in but I think I have put too much in and that could be part of the problem, some of the wood sizzles some but not much, I guess that could also be the problem, I am finding out that I need another vent (right now I just have one on the left, and my door on the right. Im going to put another one ont he right so I can control the temp more, but thats the only thing I could think of
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Unread 03-16-2009, 05:58 PM   #10
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most around 12 - 14 inch long, and about the sise of my forearm, but I am a big guy, so prolly too big, im assuming
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Unread 03-16-2009, 09:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bocephus View Post
most around 12 - 14 inch long, and about the sise of my forearm, but I am a big guy, so prolly too big, im assuming
With a pit that small, I'd reduce the size and make sure each log is split at least once. In fact, I'd to a calibration run with no food on the line. Fill some pans, metal trays, etc. with ice water and load them in the cookbox to generate some heat demand. Setup a couple thermometers on the grate. Now build a small, compact fire (think shoebox size) and keep the FB door wide open. Get that fire to steady-state, with a good coal base and a strong crown of flames covering the fire. It'll help to have the logs roughly parallel. Keep the logs mounded to make the fire as vertical as possible. Work on the flame crown. Once you have that going pretty steady, look at your thermometers. Is your fire too big or too small? Adjust and repeat. What you are trying to do is develop the mental correlation between fire size and pit temp, with unrestricted air.
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