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Jeff_in_KC
02-05-2005, 01:38 AM
HOLY LIVIN CRAP! THIS BSKD BEAST SUCKS DOWN FUEL LIKE THERE'S NO TOMORROW! I cooked for about ten hours and went through 40+ pounds of lump and around 10 pounds of hickory chunk! The worst part was about six or 7 hours in, temps started dropping towards 150 and below and regardless of how much coal I put in the firebox, it never got back up much above 180! I finally got it to go from 150 to 160 in ten minutes by wrapping the grill grate in the firebox in heavy duty aluminum and using it as a heat shield... cooked the sh#t outta the foil in two hours! Also, my temporary HD foil, quadrupled was TOAST!

No idea how anything came out with the exception of a fatty, which was not as good as my first ones. I left them in too long and the bottoms were dry. Everything else issafely stored in the cooler, wrapped in foil and stuffed with towels and a heating pad on top. Everything's still nice and warm in there. I guess I should drop the ribs and brisket on the gas grill to heat 'em up good tomorrow afternoon?

I'll post some pictures tomorrow or Sunday.

Thank God we've alive again and the peanut mod thread (BBQ Brethren Holy Grail) is still here!

BBQchef33
02-05-2005, 02:13 AM
holy ****.. thats alot of fuel.

1- firegrate mod?? did u do it? grate has to be raised to get airflow under it.

2 - baffle installed?

3 are you using the door thermometer or a probe.? door thermometer can be off 50-70 degrees and what you think is 180 is really 250... then when u get it to 250, its really over 300 in the chamber.

jeffsasmokin
02-05-2005, 06:28 AM
Yeah, something definitely ain't right there! Follow Phil's directions on the fire grate and baffle. Test or calibrate your thermos!

Solidkick
02-05-2005, 06:46 AM
Lump burns hot and quick. I use Kingsford and compliment it with lump to get the heat up when needed. It wasn't a completely calm day yesterday either, so you lost some heat there too.

BigBelly
02-05-2005, 07:59 AM
Lump burns hot and quick. I use Kingsford and compliment it with lump to get the heat up when needed. It wasn't a completely calm day yesterday either, so you lost some heat there too.

I cannot agree more with Solidkick on this one. Lump is a fast fix to get the temps up when in need but to sustain that even longer burn the charcoal will fit the bill. Depending weather conditions I will normally go with a 40/60 Lump to Charcoal mix. And depending on what I am cooking (mainly smaller cutts like chicken, duck, turkey parts, jerky and tenderloins) I may just use the lump/ coal mix only to form the ember bed and go strictly all wood the entire session. It is all subjective.

Also, I could not agree more with Phil and others...something is just not right with the amount of fuel you used and the temperatures you are reporting. I would lay my dera on the line and say you need a more accurate way to measure the temperature. I don't use the door thermo...I normally dangle a probe to one of my thermos down through the exhaust chute and let is hang right near the grate where I am cooking at. If I have a full smoker I will just keep it dead center--making sure the probe does not touch a grate or food as to get an accurate reading.

If anything I hope you are using that stock grate they gave you for the pan on the lowest bracket you have in that firebox. Here is how you do it. Turn the grate sideways 45 degrees and upside down. Then slide it onto the lowest bracket in the firebox. This will give you plenty of air flow underneath your fire so you will get cleaner and hotter fires. The grates will sitting above the dampers on your firebox thus giving you superb airflow.

Neil
02-05-2005, 08:26 AM
Hell, I didn't use any where close to that much fuel on the 'dera a couple of weeks ago when it was single digit temps outside with below zero wind chill factor. I would definately check the thermometer you were using.

tommykendall
02-05-2005, 09:30 AM
When I was using more charcoal than wood and while smoking on really frigid days of winter it was not uncommon for me to use 20# of Kingsford plus a fair share of wood splits for a 10-12 hour cook. My 'dera is a fuel hog. Since lump burns much faster I could see you using 20+ pound, but 40 seems a bit much. You might consider a fire box.

Jeff_in_KC
02-05-2005, 10:19 AM
OK I did make the expanded steel fire grate... used the rod couplers and when I went down through the grate with 1.5 inch bolts to secure the steel strips to it, I then put the couplers on and screwed in four 3.5 inch bolts the opposite way to make the legs. The legs then fit perfectly in the corners on my ash pan. In hindsight, I wish I'd made it longer so it would have come back closer to the damper door but I should have gotten a lot better air flow under the fire grate.

I did make a temporary baffle out of heavy duty aluminum foil and slid the edge of it under the water pan holder to hold it in just the right position. Trouble was that the heat pretty much disentigrated the thing after 5-6 hours and I ended up just pushing the whole thing back out of the way because it would fall down, blocking the smoke / heat from the firebox from getting into the smoke box. I really need to do a permanent baffle but I'm not good with sheet metal.

Next time, I'll try to do it with charcoal AND lump to see what happens and yes, I'm sure I'm WAY off on my temps. I took really accurate cook notes but without having a NuTemp available yet, I think I was hosed from the beginning. But even so, a seven pound brisket flat SHOULD be done after ten hours I'd think. Hated to have to finish it off in the oven but we had to hit the casino! Good thing is I came out ahead $100 so now I've got nice funds to contact Nu Temp before my next cook!

Looking forward to the results of the Q this afternoon! :-) Thanks for all your advice.

kcquer
02-05-2005, 11:56 AM
I really need to do a permanent baffle but I'm not good with sheet metal.

Lets set up a time and we'll knock one out for ya. Makes a world of difference.

tommykendall
02-05-2005, 12:02 PM
I did make a temporary baffle out of heavy duty aluminum foil and slid the edge of it under the water pan holder to hold it in just the right position


The more I think about this I wonder if he pulled a Tommy foil mod - essentially blocked off the heat source with foil. :roll:

BigBelly
02-05-2005, 01:19 PM
LOL - the Tommy Foil Blunder mod!

Hey, don't be ashamed of using the oven to finish out your briskets, butts, or ribs! When cooking at home I almost always bring in the meat, once foiled, to finish in the oven. It makes no sense on burning more fuel when they are already foiled and will not absorbed any more smokey, smoke, smoke! Electricity and or Propane is far more inexpensive then lump, charcoal, or hardwood.

Sounds like you had a real good time and are looking forward to having many more.

BTW - I made my baffle out of some 16 gauge sheet metal found in Home Deport for less then 7 dollars. I printed out the baffle from this site, traced onto the sheet metal and used hand snips to make my baffle. I will admit that using hand snips was very rough on my hands but the end result was well worth it!

Jeff_in_KC
02-05-2005, 09:56 PM
OK Scott... what's your plans next Saturday? I will be down in Harrisonville for a friend's kid's birthday party at the bowling alley. Thought I might drive separately from the wife and then stop by after the party. I don't know the time but I can let you know later this coming week. I appreciate it!

Heimelswine
02-06-2005, 02:36 AM
Geez! I been using lump the whole way through. I'm going to assume that you guys start your charcoal and get it ashen before you add it to the firebox? Lump charcoals expensive and I purchased about 12 bags of Kingsford charcoal this fall when it went on sale. I never thought about adding it in as a heat adder. Geez.

kcquer
02-06-2005, 06:49 AM
I'm going to assume that you guys start your charcoal and get it ashen before you add it to the firebox?

If you add very much this is a very good idea, if you're burning mostly wood and just using briq to maintain your coal bed, 4-6 pieces added to the fire will only give a minute or two of white smoke. I usually add briq, then when it starts to give off white smoke I open the chamber up to rotate stuff, spray or check temps while the white burns off, then close it back up. I know Kick and Bill cut back their "white time" by keeping a little pile of briq preheating near the door (inside the fire box just not in the fire) and just push it into the fire when they're ready for it.

kcquer
02-06-2005, 06:59 AM
OK Scott... what's your plans next Saturday?

C'mon by, I'll clean off the table saw and we'll "Get 'r done"!!

For metal I used a 1' x 2' piece of 16ga steel I got at the Family Center. It was bit pricey and left some scrap but it was easy to find. Maybe you can find it cheaper.

Jeff_in_KC
02-06-2005, 10:15 AM
OK I'll go take a look at Home Depot and Lowe's this next week. How does it fasten to the side of the smokebox?

Looks like I gotta clean up this thing in the rain today! I was busy all weekend with family in and now there's a mess out back and a steady light rain. As soon as the wife heads to the airport to take her parents to the plane, I'm hittin' it! Hey, do you all use a grill de-greaser on the inside and bottom of the firebox or what?

Jorge
02-06-2005, 10:22 AM
OK I'll go take a look at Home Depot and Lowe's this next week. How does it fasten to the side of the smokebox?

Looks like I gotta clean up this thing in the rain today! I was busy all weekend with family in and now there's a mess out back and a steady light rain. As soon as the wife heads to the airport to take her parents to the plane, I'm hittin' it! Hey, do you all use a grill de-greaser on the inside and bottom of the firebox or what?

Knuckle dragger mod for me. Use a puddy knife to scoop the stuff up, and paper towels to pick up whatever grease remains. I don't want the funk to infest the beast, but I don't want to have to reseason after every cook either. Thats the smokebox.

Firebox I'll remove the ashes, sweep out the remainder with a little whisk broom, turn the leaf blower on it if needed, and then spray with pam.

Jeff_in_KC
02-06-2005, 10:26 AM
You spray the inside of the firebox with Pam? I assume to prevent rusting?

Man, I'll tell youb what... I lost a sh#tload of paint off the firebox! It's bare metal. I guess I ought to repaint that ASAP?

Heimelswine
02-06-2005, 10:30 AM
It will be interesting to see what the reply's will be to your cleaning question, but for me, I use news paper. I have a horizontal and a Weber. A friend of mine told me to pack news paper in them and light it. News paper burns quickly and it burns hot. It makes everything loose or chars it for easy cleaning. I usually have to perform this twice, but after things are charred and liquified, I can use a grill brush, a putty knife, and paper towels for cleaning my equipment.

Jorge
02-06-2005, 10:32 AM
You spray the inside of the firebox with Pam? I assume to prevent rusting?

Man, I'll tell youb what... I lost a sh#tload of paint off the firebox! It's bare metal. I guess I ought to repaint that ASAP?

Exactly. KC is the master at oiling his stuff down after ever cook. Inside and out I believe? I had the same problem. Kept painting, kept getting rust. Finally did it right. Sanded it down to the bare metal. Wiped it down good with a tac cloth, and then took the time to spray on about a dozen light coats of high temp paint. Before the final coat I hit it lightly with some wet/dry sandpaper and then sprayed a finish coat. Haven't had a problem in months since I did that.

BBQchef33
02-06-2005, 10:41 AM
I dont repaint all the time. I keep a bottle of oil nearby. Rub the lids down with some crumbled up foil, wipe it off and then brush the firebox with oil in betwen paint jobs. Keeps it somewhat protected. Then paint at the end of every season... with the wirewheel and 1400 degree paint.... then maybe one touchup during.

Solidkick
02-06-2005, 11:01 AM
Jeff,

Just so you can do a consumption comparison, when I cooked yesterday, I had a fire from 7:30AM until I pulled the product at 5:30PM. In a 10 hour cook, I used about 20#s of briquettes, about 5#s of lump, and about 14 3"X3" wood chunks. Outside air temp was about 68* at 4PM, with little wind. This is about 1/3 of what I used when the temps were in the teens and the wind blowing at about 15-25 MPH.
This was with using a charcoal basket. I did not load all 3 chambers, but waited until 2 hours in to load the 2nd chamber, then 2 hours more to load the third chamber. I only added lump to the first chamber to get my initial heat up, and the third chamber to help maintain.

Hope this helps..........

kcquer
02-06-2005, 11:48 AM
How does it fasten to the side of the smokebox?

You just loosen (one or more depending on design) bolt(s) that hold the smoke and fireboxes together and use them to hold the baffle in place also.


do you all use a grill de-greaser on the inside and bottom of the firebox or what?

Prior to the cook, I line the bottom of both boxes with a piece of HD foil. Remove the foil and 99% of the mess when done. I just use an old paint brush to sweep out any remaining ashes.


OK I'll go take a look at Home Depot and Lowe's this next week.

Jeff, 16ga steel is just what I could get at the time. Aluminum will work as will lighter steel, some have even used stainless. 16ga steel is about as sturdy as I would go as it was very difficult to bend.

http://www.bandera-brethren.com/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=1750&start=0

The 16ga was hard enough to bend I opted to make mine in 3pcs and screw the end caps on instead of bending from a single piece.

Jeff_in_KC
02-06-2005, 12:31 PM
Scott, you pics of the baffle and heat tiles looked great! Won't aluminum melt at those higher temps? If possible, I'd rather do the one piece and bend rather than cutting and screwing it all together. What's the most workable guage steel to use for bending? Finally, where did you get your tiles for the firebox? I think there's a fireplace/grill store in Lee's Summit I could check.

jeffsasmokin
02-06-2005, 01:17 PM
You spray the inside of the firebox with Pam? I assume to prevent rusting?

Man, I'll tell youb what... I lost a sh#tload of paint off the firebox! It's bare metal. I guess I ought to repaint that ASAP?Jeff, it seems like we all do pretty much the same thing. I line the bottom of my Chamber like KC, but not the Firebox (I have a steel ashpan in it). After a cook, I remove the foil and brush out the firebox, then I hose the livin' crap out of it! Then I'll put a light spray of "Mean Green" in the chamber and putty knife any large build-up. After another good hosing - I'll dry it off and spray it down with Pam or a sprayer bottle of canola oil. BOTH sides! Where the paint is burned off on the firebox, I'll oil as well (Until time to repaint) DO NOT forget the hinges!!!

Yeah, it takes a little time - but it protects your investment! Plus, I'm a little anal about it, like KC! :D

Jorge
02-06-2005, 01:25 PM
[quote=Jeff_in_KC] Plus, I'm a little anal about it, like KC! :D

(Must not hijack, must not hijack, must not....) :shock:

jeffsasmokin
02-06-2005, 01:33 PM
[quote=Jeff_in_KC] Plus, I'm a little anal about it, like KC! :D

(Must not hijack, must not hijack, must not....) :shock:No hijack, Jorge! I know how Scott is!!!!! 8)

Jeff_in_KC
02-06-2005, 05:14 PM
Mean Green in the smoke box or firebox??

jeffsasmokin
02-06-2005, 08:39 PM
Mean Green in the smoke box or firebox??Trust me, all it does is break down the top layer of grease! After the hose and dry - there's no residual. Plus, prior to every cook - I stoke the 'Dera for a good hour before I put anything on the racks! (Never said the firebox!) :)

Bill-Chicago
02-06-2005, 08:48 PM
Jeff, another issue you need to look at is your flaovr source

You got a cooker that is big enough to use split logs, but I think I read a bag of chunks was used.

Split logs has 2 advantages. 1 its adding flavor, and 2, the hardwoods provide more coal bed for the next pre warmed split.

I have used full two 18# bags of hickory chunk, but have used much much less when using splits

Jeff_in_KC
02-06-2005, 11:08 PM
I just bought more chunk because I seemed to be reading that more folks here were using it plus the guy at the Smoke store told me chunk is better. I guess I decided wrong. I'll look for split log next cook.

jt
02-07-2005, 09:12 AM
Jeff, splits have always worked better for me. Beer can diameter or smaller and about 7-12" long. Preheat 'em on the firebox lid and then throw one in on your coalbed. When you start losing heat add 2 or 3 - keep them close enough together so they flame up and feed off each other. You'll get heat back pretty quickly. I use oak all the time - even when I burn other stuff for flavor. The oak burns long and hot and leaves a good coal bed.

cayenne
02-07-2005, 01:33 PM
Yeah....I must say I was completely caught off guard about how many people use charcoal as their primary source of fuel.....and only use wood chunks for flavor. I thought this was only for the 'bullet' smokers....

I assumed that with an offset firebox, that most everyone would use all wood fires.....

I throw in charcoal just to get things going....and then add my first 3 logs or so...and keep adding 1-2 every hour as needed....

Another post on this thread said that lump charcoal was more expensive than regular charcoal briquettes. Where do you live? I find this interesting, in that down here deep south (New Orleans) until recently, I'd NEVER seen lump charcoal before....heck, if not for shows on Food TV would not have known it existed...all I've ever grown up with was Kingsford briquettes types stuff.

Now in recent times...the past year, I've actually seen the lump stuff in some grocery stores on occasion. And that stuff is almost half the price of briquettes...when I see this, I stock up big time.

I'm only using the lump for grilling....and damn if that stuff doesn't burn hot....still not completely used to it yet...

Also, I've not done any major mods to my 'dera. I often use a heat shield if the smoke compartment isn't full....and on my first smoke...I made a makeshift 'baffle' for the hole from the firebox into the smoke chamber our of HD foil. It has stayed there in good shape for all this time without replacement.....

I just turn my stock grate upside down and slide into first set of tabs/racks in firebox to keep it off the floor...seems to work pretty well..

BigAl
02-07-2005, 01:53 PM
If you live here, there is only Pine and hard wood is over $500 a cord plus delivery. And KinsgFord is $9.90 for 48 lbs. Wood chunks from the Brethren is my only supply for smoke flavor.

tommykendall
02-07-2005, 02:29 PM
Good to see that chunks made its way into this thread.

jt
02-07-2005, 03:12 PM
I assumed that with an offset firebox, that most everyone would use all wood fires.....
I like to use all wood (other than a lit chimney to get an initial coal bed), but I've been experimenting with more charcoal to reduce how much I have to tend the fire. I like to babysit the 'dera all day but sometimes it's nice to not have to add wood every 20-30 minutes. KC has done a lot with this and has gotten a 3 hour (that right, E?) burn in his Cimmaron.

Trout_man22
02-07-2005, 03:52 PM
Jeff

Looking at the height of your grate you've placed your fire too high IMHO, so your buring lots of fuel but not putting much into the smoke chamber. When you do you next version lower it so more heat is going where it needs to go.

Trout

kcquer
02-07-2005, 07:07 PM
the guy at the Smoke store told me chunk is better.

He wanted you to buy what he makes the most mark up on, same as Q store folk will try to tell you only to burn lump in your smoker. It's because they can't compete with wal-mart and home depot etc on briq.
I'll look for split log next cook.



I just bought more chunk because I seemed to be reading that more folks here were using it

This is all a matter of what type of fire you want to burn. If you're doing some varitation on the Minion Method chunk will go better with that. If you prefer stick feeding, spits are better. Jeff will have to cook a lot more to see what works for him.

I'll look for split log next cook.

Try the True Value on 291N just south of Chipman. 2cu ft bags of splits (just like jt suggests) are $20. This is kinda high but will let you try some different woods and see what you like on what foods. After you've a better idea of what you like you can spend some time looking for cheaper wood in quantity.

The_Kapn
02-07-2005, 07:20 PM
Yeah....I must say I was completely caught off guard about how many people use charcoal as their primary source of fuel.....and only use wood chunks for flavor. I thought this was only for the 'bullet' smokers....
Cayenne-
I fess up!
I was a devoted "stick burner" and swore never to change!

However, I tried Kingsford with "chunks" and was amazed with the flavor and smoke ring we developed!

I am now using a homemade basket with a serpentine design on a custom firegrate--still working on the details.

We are getting 6 hours of burn time with only a little "temp-tuning" and flavor to die for!

My cost is up a bit (wood was basically free), workload is way down, and quality is still fine :lol:

As DF says, I have "come over to the dark side" and now use charcoal for heat and chunks for the desired flavor.

We--DF and I-- are almost to the point of being able to "take a nap" during early morning competetion hours--not quite there yet :lol:

FWIW..

TIM

cabo
02-08-2005, 12:08 PM
Jeff
There’s been one thing not mentioned here, unless I missed it. Ash. 50+ lbs. of fuel is a lot by any standards, and it generates a lot of ash.
This may not be your problem, but it was mine.
After I got my basket from Al, I did a series of short time cooks 6 hours or less ribs, fatties, chicken, etc. It was outstanding. The first time I tried a long cook, I noticed a temp drop at about the same time that you did. I added more wood. Then I added more charcoal. It all combusted, but the increase in temp was negligible. About 190 was all I could get. Y’all are getting the picture now, right? I started looking around for something I had done wrong. The Beast got up to temp at the start and maintained for several hours. Was a chunk of foil restricting air flow (thanks T.K.)? No! I finally, after having yet another adult beverage, decided to open the firebox door, not the lid where I usually add fuel, and noticed, “Damn, that’s a lot of ash”. I used my fireplace shovel to move some of the ash around, and low and behold, I ended up with a temp spike, from all the fuel I had added. Removed some fuel, opened the smoke box door, and got the temp down to where it needed to be. All in all the cook turned out pretty well, and I learned something.

Jeff_in_KC
02-08-2005, 10:52 PM
Hmmm... sh#tloads of ash restricting airflow under the firegrate? I can definitely see that as a problem. Something I'll check on during my next cook. Thanks.

cayenne
02-09-2005, 02:16 PM
Try the True Value on 291N just south of Chipman. 2cu ft bags of splits (just like jt suggests) are $20. This is kinda high but will let you try some different woods and see what you like on what foods. After you've a better idea of what you like you can spend some time looking for cheaper wood in quantity.

If you have one of the "Academy Sports" stores where you live....give it a look. They only seem to carry the 2 cu. ft. bags of wood as described above as a seasonal item, but, they are priced at only $9.99 a bag. I started using these splits....but, when they quit selling them for winter (like we really have a winter down here in NOLA)...I found a fireplace wood person that delivered splits...in mesquite and hickory.

I'm surprised at the wood prices in CO...would have figured that was a haven for fireplace wood up there....so, price should be cheap I'd have thought....

But in the summer...check to see if you have the Academy Sports stores and look for the splits there. I got my Bandera at this store and was cheapest price I'd seen new in box...I think I paid about $179 or so for mine....

cayenne

417bullelk
02-10-2005, 01:06 AM
I didn't check the entire thread...just in casea someone didn't mention it....

Extended burn charcoal baskets are now available from Spicewine. I just received mine today. Can't wait to break it in. From what everyone says these can produce long burns with a minimal amount of fuel.

Again sorry if this was brought up already...

BigAl
02-10-2005, 10:42 PM
Jeff
There’s been one thing not mentioned here, unless I missed it. Ash. 50+ lbs. of fuel is a lot by any standards, and it generates a lot of ash.
This may not be your problem, but it was mine.
After I got my basket from Al, I did a series of short time cooks 6 hours or less ribs, fatties, chicken, etc. It was outstanding. The first time I tried a long cook, I noticed a temp drop at about the same time that you did. I added more wood. Then I added more charcoal. It all combusted, but the increase in temp was negligible. About 190 was all I could get. Y’all are gett......

For real long burns. you can move my basked up higher(before you start the fire) to get more ash room it is designed to "sit" on any of the fire box shelf tabs and still have the lid close.

chad
02-10-2005, 10:50 PM
Harry hauls ash! Pass it on! :D