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Unread 12-01-2010, 11:22 AM   #1
allenayres83
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Default Maintaining temp

I have a grill I made that is similar to one made out of a 55 gallon drum. So when I cook it is over direct heat unless I build my fire to one side. It is designed so I can slide the cooking tray out and add coals. I am trying to figure out the best way to maintain about 225-250 degrees. I can hold pretty close to that temp but I have a small fire and have to open it to add unlit coals every 20-30 minutes. I am using briquettes and lumps of wood for smoke. Is there a better method where I would only have to open it every hour or so? Also how much temp variance is acceptable?

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Unread 12-01-2010, 11:29 AM   #2
Big_T_BBQ
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Minion method. Light 10-15 briquettes and dump them (once fully lit) onto a pile of briquettes. Control your air intake to catch your temp on the way up.
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Unread 12-01-2010, 11:30 AM   #3
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welcome. are you familiar with the "minion method"?
basically a pile of unlit coals with a 1/4 to a whole chimney of lit dumped on top.
with practice you'll be able to reach and maintain pretty much any temp you desire.
i would say a fluctuation of @ 25* from time to time wouldn't do much harm, but i could be TOTALLY off on that as i use a WSM and that thing doesn't budge on temp. it helps that i use a stoker too.
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Unread 12-01-2010, 11:43 AM   #4
allenayres83
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How long can you cook using this method without adding more charcoal?
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Unread 12-01-2010, 11:48 AM   #5
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depends on your cooker. i can run the big WSM for @ 12 hours @ 250 with 20#'s of royal oak lump. closer to 8 hours @ 300 plus.
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Unread 12-01-2010, 12:00 PM   #6
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I presume you're talking about a horizontal drum cooker. Make sure the only air getting in there is from your adjustable intake (down low on one end) and your exhaust (up high on the other end and kept fully open while cooking). If your're not set up this way, you may have to do some modifications. The more extraneous air leaks you can eliminate, the longer you can cook. Keep in mind, with this type of setup, where your fire is in the cooking chamber, the closer you are to the fire the hotter the temps will be. More than one thermometer might be in order.
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