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John Bowen
05-15-2013, 07:27 AM
I believe I mentioned before that I purchased a BWS last December and I am still learning it. I love the unit but I have been getting used to some of the quirks / differences between it and my big smoker.

One issue I have been experiencing is a dramatic drop in temp when I put my meat on. I fire up the BWS as normal – with water in the pan- to 230 degrees. Once there I put my meat on (by sliding the whole rack in with the meat on). Then the temp drops 40 or so degrees and takes forever to return to 230 and often runs up to 250 to 260. The temp drops some on my big smoker but not that much and it quickly returns to the target temp. Granted the rack is in the unit so I am just putting the meat on a hot rack. In both cases I let my meat sit out about an hour or so to get to room type temp.
I can adjust to this but I really don’t want to – I would rather it be more consistent than that.

Anyone else have heat fluctuations like that?

Teamfour
05-15-2013, 07:59 AM
I have never had that issue with my Party. I do keep the racks in the smoker and place the meat on the hot racks but I doubt that would make a big difference. I am using a Guru and the temp rebounds in less than ten minutes. I do find that the sweet spot for my Party is 270 degrees and that is where I have learned to cook in that smoker.

John Bowen
05-15-2013, 08:06 AM
I use the Guru as well but I shut it off when the temp drops like that as not to stoke the fire up too much. Sunday it took 30 min for the temp to rebound then it parked at 260.

Other than to monitor temp the Guru did nothing the whole day. I fired it up at 2:30 we ate at 7:30 and the smoker rocked on at 260 until 9:30 pm

Teamfour
05-15-2013, 08:22 AM
What type of charcoal are you using? How much do you have the exhaust open? How much meat are you putting in the smoker? Are the racks completely full perhaps impeding airflow? Do you have a diffuser plate? Sorry for all the Qs, just trying to help.

John Bowen
05-15-2013, 08:38 AM
Questions are no problem – I have a heat deflector, the exhaust is open half way and the temp fluctuation has happened when I cooked 3 racks of ribs and again this past Sunday when I cooked 6 full chicken breasts and two links of kielbasa sausage.
I find it easier to position the meat on the racks outside of the smoker and it seems to be quicker putting the meat in not letting all the heat out. I have the water pan ¾ full of water and the fire is started with water in the pan. I start the fire with two paraffin cubes on the far left corner and run the guru (right side) with the other side vent open until the temp reaches 200 degrees. I then shut the side vent and let the guru take it up to 230 degrees. I let it hold about 10 minutes and then put the meat in.
This is the same set up I use with my big smoker minus the water pan. I just added the heat shield and that is about the time this started. I use Chef Select charcoal – a mix of white oak and hickory – and 3 small chunks of cherry wood chunks.

Smokin'Butts
05-15-2013, 08:46 AM
Trick I had to learn...don't use the guru to get up to temp. Let the smoker do the work by using the vents to control your fire. When it is up to temp then put the guru on. With the drop when you put the meat in your guru may be overshooting your target temp. When this happens you will have too many coals burning, this the higher temps. You honestly should not even be worried about the drop. That is normal and will correct itself if managed right. aiming for 250 you should expect to see fluctuations and 260 is negligible.

Teamfour
05-15-2013, 09:05 AM
Questions are no problem – I have a heat deflector, the exhaust is open half way and the temp fluctuation has happened when I cooked 3 racks of ribs and again this past Sunday when I cooked 6 full chicken breasts and two links of kielbasa sausage.
I find it easier to position the meat on the racks outside of the smoker and it seems to be quicker putting the meat in not letting all the heat out. I have the water pan ¾ full of water and the fire is started with water in the pan. I start the fire with two paraffin cubes on the far left corner and run the guru (right side) with the other side vent open until the temp reaches 200 degrees. I then shut the side vent and let the guru take it up to 230 degrees. I let it hold about 10 minutes and then put the meat in.
This is the same set up I use with my big smoker minus the water pan. I just added the heat shield and that is about the time this started. I use Chef Select charcoal – a mix of white oak and hickory – and 3 small chunks of cherry wood chunks.

Nothing out of the ordinary there except for using the Guru to bring the temp up as Smokin Butts stated. I use KBB and use one parafin cube to light the front right corner near the Guru. 30 degrees before the target temp I close both bottom vent and throttle back the exhaust vent to 1/3. I turn on the guru and it takes the temp to 270. This is with water in the pan from the beginning.

I would try lighting the front right corner next time to see if it makes a difference.

Bamabuzzard
05-15-2013, 09:15 AM
I've got a BWS "Patio Unit" that has since been discontinued. I had the same problem but the remedy I've found was to open the firebox door about six to eight inches and the temp comes up nicely and in short time.

The patio unit's "sweet spot" is between 240-250. It was real hard to keep it under that.

John Bowen
05-15-2013, 09:31 AM
Well thanks for the advice – the 250 / 260 is manageable but I tend to rub heavy with brown sugar and 260 is pushing it for me – gets a little too dark for my tastes especially on the top rack.
I will try walking it up without the guru and see what happens – again thanks.

Bamabuzzard
05-15-2013, 09:44 AM
Well thanks for the advice – the 250 / 260 is manageable but I tend to rub heavy with brown sugar and 260 is pushing it for me – gets a little too dark for my tastes especially on the top rack.
I will try walking it up without the guru and see what happens – again thanks.

Switch to Turbinado sugar aka "Sugar in the Raw". Can tolerate higher temps than regular brown sugar.

palmtreefrb
05-15-2013, 09:58 AM
Five minutes for me this morning on my Extended Party with a Guru WIFI. As you can see in the chart below I opened it up at about 6:05 to add my brisket. 5 minutes later I was back up to temp.

http://wedonet.net/images/OpenPitTemp.png

John Bowen
05-15-2013, 10:10 AM
Wow - Impressive

Ron_L
05-15-2013, 11:16 AM
Nothing out of the ordinary there except for using the Guru to bring the temp up as Smokin Butts stated. I use KBB and use one parafin cube to light the front right corner near the Guru. 30 degrees before the target temp I close both bottom vent and throttle back the exhaust vent to 1/3. I turn on the guru and it takes the temp to 270. This is with water in the pan from the beginning.


Stupid question...

How do you close both bottom vents? Isn't your Guru adapter mounted in one of the bottom vents?

Teamfour
05-15-2013, 12:27 PM
How do you close both bottom vents? Isn't your Guru adapter mounted in one of the bottom vents?

The right hand vent that the Guru mounts in will still open a third of the way even with the Guru adapter plate installed.

Ron_L
05-15-2013, 12:42 PM
The right hand vent that the Guru mounts in will still open a third of the way even with the Guru adapter plate installed.

Got that, but it won't close all the way with the adapter in place. So you're starting with it wide open and then closing it as far as it goes, right?

Ronald cage
05-15-2013, 12:43 PM
The Backwoods Party, is a great smoker. the only thing I found to be problem was not trusting it!

I start by lighting about 12 briquettes in my chimney. I let them get ashed and pour them into the right front corner. I fill the fire tray with unlit briquttes and put it in the smoker, close the fire door and start the Guru! The left vent is completely closed as my guru is attached to the right vent. It takes almost an hour or so to get to 250 degrees. After it hit tempature it is very stable. I have used many different brands of charcoal, including lump
and its the same method for all. Once it is up to temp, I put on my meat and close the door. I add my wood to the fire box, (take a few secs) close it and leave it alone. It will get back to temp on its own. Just trust it! The Party performs different from other smokers, but cook just as well or better. if you need more information, call Backwoods, they are more than happy to talk to you and answer all of your question on their equipment, ask for Mike or Chase!!:grin:

Bob S
05-15-2013, 12:51 PM
The right hand vent that the Guru mounts in will still open a third of the way even with the Guru adapter plate installed.

Mine had no opening at all when the guru adapter was installed and my temps were always rock solid. I would not want any airflow other than what the guru is providing - otherwise temps will wander. Are you sure you have it installed correctly and/or have the correct adapter?

Teamfour
05-15-2013, 12:55 PM
Got that, but it won't close all the way with the adapter in place. So you're starting with it wide open and then closing it as far as it goes, right?

Correct. In saying I close the right vent I meant to say I close it against the Guru adapter effectively making the Guru as the only source of air intake (provided the left vent is completely closed.

Teamfour
05-15-2013, 02:04 PM
Just for clarity:

Bob S
05-15-2013, 07:53 PM
That doesn't look right to me. When you slide open the vent door you should see the inner plate of the guru adapter. I believe I can see your firebox in there. If so, you have a large amount of airflow that you shouldn't have. The guru adapter should completely seal that vent.

John Bowen
05-16-2013, 08:15 AM
Well I guess my question should be what temp spikes do BWS users accept. Looking back at “palmtreefrb”’s WFI report his temp rolled back to 250 in about 5 minutes but by 6:31 am he was on a steady climb towards 300 degrees – he had at least a 30 degree increase.

Also is it normal for the temp to come back in 5 or so minutes and does anyone close off the guru at this time? I just don’t have swings like these in my big offset.

Kave Dweller
05-16-2013, 09:35 AM
I've found less coal or snaking the coal in your basket works best. 249 all day long last weekend with 4 slabs in

John Bowen
05-16-2013, 09:41 AM
Do you use lump or charcoal?

palmtreefrb
05-16-2013, 09:45 AM
I was doing hot and fast and my set temperature was 290. I just decided to put my meat in at 250 and let it continue to rise to my set temperature. Once the set temp is reached the Party will hold very well with a fluctuation of maybe +- 15. I never worry of fluctuations of +- 25 as it's done when it's done :grin:

Well I guess my question should be what temp spikes do BWS users accept. Looking back at “palmtreefrb”’s WFI report his temp rolled back to 250 in about 5 minutes but by 6:31 am he was on a steady climb towards 300 degrees – he had at least a 30 degree increase.

Also is it normal for the temp to come back in 5 or so minutes and does anyone close off the guru at this time? I just don’t have swings like these in my big offset.

Teamfour
05-16-2013, 11:11 AM
That doesn't look right to me. When you slide open the vent door you should see the inner plate of the guru adapter. I believe I can see your firebox in there. If so, you have a large amount of airflow that you shouldn't have. The guru adapter should completely seal that vent.

I follow your line of reasoning and I will take a look to see if I have the adapter installed wrong. You can see that when the vent door is slid shut it does overlap the inner plate for the adapter thus providing a pretty good seal.

However, under your scenario, if I did want to allow air in via the right vent IN ADDITION TO the Guru adapter tube (to shorten time to target temp for instance), I would not be able to do that or I would have to remove the adapter. Correct?

Teamfour
05-16-2013, 11:17 AM
Well I guess my question should be what temp spikes do BWS users accept. Looking back at “palmtreefrb”’s WFI report his temp rolled back to 250 in about 5 minutes but by 6:31 am he was on a steady climb towards 300 degrees – he had at least a 30 degree increase.

Also is it normal for the temp to come back in 5 or so minutes and does anyone close off the guru at this time? I just don’t have swings like these in my big offset.

I never close off the guru when opening the door. Once my temp rebounds to 270 within ten minutes, it is rock steady. The DigiQ display will lock in on the target temp when it is within 5 degrees of the target. That means my temp never swings more than 5 degrees in each direction or 10 degrees in aggregate.

Bob S
05-16-2013, 11:47 AM
I follow your line of reasoning and I will take a look to see if I have the adapter installed wrong. You can see that when the vent door is slid shut it does overlap the inner plate for the adapter thus providing a pretty good seal.

However, under your scenario, if I did want to allow air in via the right vent IN ADDITION TO the Guru adapter tube (to shorten time to target temp for instance), I would not be able to do that or I would have to remove the adapter. Correct?

Yes, you would not be able to introduce more air from your right vent. However, the left vent is available and will provide more than enough airflow if you want it.

swamprb
05-16-2013, 09:21 PM
I inquired about the Guru placement and whether it made any difference, since I've seen different vent arrangements on different BWS's.

I've got a 2012 Gater and the Left vent is in the rear of the cooker and the Right vent is in the front. I've tried both with the Guru 10cfm fan and have settled with the adapter secured on the LR vent, and start the briqs at that end of the tray. Does it make any difference?