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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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Old 09-15-2010, 10:04 AM   #1
S-L-A-C-K-E-R
Knows what a fatty is.
 
Join Date: 07-07-10
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Default Firebox Question

So, I'm working on updating my brick pit in my backyard and I am considering creating a firebox off the back of it since I'm having trouble reaching the temperatures I need for low and slow indirect cooking.

I've been looking at offset fire box smoker pictures and I'm confused as to where the air inlet is on most of these things. Some of them look like completely solid boxes with a solid door. How does the fire stay lit in the firebox? How does it get the oxygen it needs to stay lit? Am I missing something?
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:21 PM   #2
MemphisQ
On the road to being a farker
 
Join Date: 07-09-09
Location: Nixa, MO
Default

If I remember correctly you had holes in the lower back where I suggested you shovel in already coals and cook on a lower rack to be able to cover the top. I hope that is correct.
Anyway I would suggest raising the level of your coals. You could put a some cinder blocks down in the bottom and either cover the entire space with them or place a piece of steel on top of the blocks and put you coals on top of the steel. Make sure you don't block the hole in the back so you still have air flow.

If you need to get more heat you might burn larger logs.

A fire box added to the back, in my opinion, only add to the problem unless you do a major modification.

I hope I am remembering the pics you posted correctly.
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:41 PM   #3
S-L-A-C-K-E-R
Knows what a fatty is.
 
Join Date: 07-07-10
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MemphisQ View Post
If I remember correctly you had holes in the lower back where I suggested you shovel in already coals and cook on a lower rack to be able to cover the top. I hope that is correct.
Anyway I would suggest raising the level of your coals. You could put a some cinder blocks down in the bottom and either cover the entire space with them or place a piece of steel on top of the blocks and put you coals on top of the steel. Make sure you don't block the hole in the back so you still have air flow.

If you need to get more heat you might burn larger logs.

A fire box added to the back, in my opinion, only add to the problem unless you do a major modification.

I hope I am remembering the pics you posted correctly.
Your memory serves you well. Here's a link to my other thread.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=88895

I guess I should have just asked my firebox question in that thread instead of starting a brand new one.

You're probably right. The firebox idea might make things worse. After all, I'm having trouble getting temperatures high enough. Taking the fire further from the cooking area is probably the wrong way to go. Plus, I already spent more than triple what I hoped to spend on this with the changes I made. I should probably try harder to just get it to work with what I have available.

I had a revelation yesterday and I am pretty confident that the main problem is the chimney. I haven't had time to test my theory, but I think that the opening to the chimney is not only really big, but it's also located above the cooking grate. Since hot air rises, I think all the hot air is just going right up and out of the cooking area I laid out. I think I need to find a way to have the entrance to the exhaust near or below the cooking grate so hot air can spend some time in the cooking area and heat things up a bit before going off on it's merry way.
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:16 AM   #4
MemphisQ
On the road to being a farker
 
Join Date: 07-09-09
Location: Nixa, MO
Default

If you don't have a damper on the chimney you are probably correct.

The "Redneck" way to find out the fastest is put a cinder block over the top of the opening on the chimney leaving a small opening. If that works better then you might look at spending some money on the bottom opening.

No need to spend money if it isn't the problem.
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