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Unread 06-30-2010, 07:25 PM   #1
Chef Jim
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Question Pro Q Fire Control ?

I've been playing with my new toy and have a question.

First I have made a mod as to how the fire grate sits in the bottom. Just took off the brackets and used 1/4 20, 6 inch bolts in the same holes. No drilling. This raised the grate to a level above the vent holes which is what I wanted. I get a much better draft.

But, I like to use lump charcoal and I am not getting a good burn. I am using the coffee can method of starting the coals and things get going real quick. Then as time goes on it slows down. Adding chunks of wood for smoke is just a little difficult with the small door. But it can be done. This will get things going again. (I like a lot of smoke)

Was doing one chicken today and when I removed the bottom stack after 3.5 hours, I found that not all the charcoal and wood chunks were burning.
This was more on the outer ring but also some int he center, apparently from me moving the stuff around.

I have heard that briquettes will pack together better than lump and therefore burn all the way out.

I am not real fond of briquettes, so does anyone know how to get the fire to burn clean through with lump?

BTW, the bird was great (sorry no pron today, but it did happen). No brine, no injection, no sauce, just my homemade rub. Great red smoke color, moist, if I didn't know better I might think that I know what I'm doin.
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Unread 06-30-2010, 07:53 PM   #2
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Have you looked into a stoker?
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Unread 06-30-2010, 07:58 PM   #3
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Hey Jim that happened to me on one of my burns and on the next one I placed the lump around and tried to get an even spread and didn`t use really large pieces like in the one before. Also on the failed burn I think I didn`t let the lump in the chimney get going well enough. Anyway on the next burn after the failed one I had no problems at all and the Excell just chuged along.
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Unread 06-30-2010, 08:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haltech View Post
Have you looked into a stoker?
Yes, I looked at a Guru but not a stoker. What can you tell me about it. Also thought I would like to get to know the Pro Q before I went to that expense. Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by lionhrt View Post
Hey Jim that happened to me on one of my burns and on the next one I placed the lump around and tried to get an even spread and didn`t use really large pieces like in the one before. Also on the failed burn I think I didn`t let the lump in the chimney get going well enough. Anyway on the next burn after the failed one I had no problems at all and the Excell just chuged along.
I found the small pieces fall through the grid so I am making an insert with expanded metal to try to fix that. Doing a Butt on Sat. So will try again. Also tried Saiko's idea of using sand. so far I liked it. Thanks

Any other ideas?
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Unread 06-30-2010, 09:42 PM   #5
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I made new fire baskets for my Pro Q which raises it up above the vents for better air flow (and I also use a BBQ Guru) with the new basket and gurus I can get 16 + hours on a basket of lump.



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Unread 06-30-2010, 10:28 PM   #6
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Indianagriller, thanks. Looks like you made a larger diameter. Is that what makes it sit higher?

Are you having to add any wood for smoke during the burn? Or are you just dispersing it throughout the basket.

The fire control is very different on this than my Bandera or Offset. And what are you doing with the water pan? And what is with the bricks?
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Unread 06-30-2010, 11:05 PM   #7
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It is a larger diameter i believe i made it 18.5 x 5 so it actually sits at the top of the air intakes. I usually mix in a few pieces of whatever wood i am using in the lump, or if i am using my sponsors products i put them on the outer edge of the basket. I am just foiling the water pan for most cooks. Those two bricks in the basket are actually compressed wood bricks that my sponsor provides for competitions ( www.bbqsmokerinfusion.com ) they help provide a longer burn while at competitions. when i cook without the guru i open all the vents after lighting and once the temp gets close to where i want i start to dial it down one vent at a time.
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Unread 07-01-2010, 10:43 AM   #8
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Jim an other person to ask about Pro Q stuff is Crash he is very friendly if you message him I am sure he will respond. I talked to him before buying mine.
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Unread 07-01-2010, 11:12 AM   #9
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Sorry, Jim. I just use briquettes in my Frontier. However, I never thought of raising the basket up. I've always had trouble getting anything over 250*. I think I'll do what you did and see if that helps.

Thanks for the idea!
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Unread 07-01-2010, 06:10 PM   #10
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I sure wish I had an answer for you Jim, but I dont. I have only used lump one time (Ono brand) in my Pro Q E20 and had no issues with it. Every other cook I have done on our E20's has been with standard blue bag K. A lot of people dont like K briquettes, but I personally wont use anything else.

If I had to make a suggestion, I'd say to make sure that the lump is packed in to the fire basket tightly. Sorry, but that's all I've got.

Best of luck and if you find your answer, please share.
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Unread 07-01-2010, 06:26 PM   #11
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i've seen a pro q hold a steady 250 for 8+ hours with no mods using kingsford, i think it's just a matter of coming familiar with it
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Unread 07-01-2010, 06:57 PM   #12
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Thanks to all for the info.

I'll be watching this space with interest as I just got a Pro Q about a week ago. I've only done an initial seasoning burn but I noticed that with lump I couldn't get much over 300. The again it could be just be me as I am a total newb with charcoal having only used pellet poopers before this.
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Unread 07-01-2010, 09:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FattyMac View Post
Thanks to all for the info.

I'll be watching this space with interest as I just got a Pro Q about a week ago. I've only done an initial seasoning burn but I noticed that with lump I couldn't get much over 300. The again it could be just be me as I am a total newb with charcoal having only used pellet poopers before this.

Congrats on the new toy. I fired up the Excell today and watched even more carefully I have been running between 235 and 245 now for 4 hours I did have to play with the controls to get her where I wanted. I think I need to find a way to seal the doors better for better control
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Unread 07-01-2010, 10:05 PM   #14
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I played with fire today just to see and also see how it will grill. Packed the lump in a pile and this time used the weed burner. With no stack, just the lid. and everything wide open I got just over 400. BTW, no water pan. And had a few chunks of oak in it.

When I opened it the coals did not seem to be burning that well. Left the lid off and the fire seemed to burn better. I would think that is normal as there is more O2.

I added some more lump and got the fire going real good cause I figured the cookin grill was pretty high above the coals. Thru a ribeye on and it was excellent. I had forgotten how good real fire makes meat cook.

Am doing a butt on Sat. and will play some more, but I'm thinking that a Guru or Stoker might be a real answer. I might use some K that is left form the Memorial Day sale. Will post after it happens.
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Unread 07-02-2010, 12:07 AM   #15
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We just got a Stoker for our Pro Q's and they work awesome. It's definitely one of those things that I wish i hadnt waited so long to purchase.
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