PDA

View Full Version : No-charcoal minion method; set and forget stickburner


matadorbait
04-21-2014, 01:31 PM
Hi All,

For those with stickburners, I think the consensus is that you have to add a split every hour or so (I've seed advice from 45 min to 90 min). And in many threads people talk about active fire maintenance is the biggest/only drawback to stickburners. So my question is this:

Are there any methods to get a longer burn with less maintenance from stickburning?

What I have in mind is this: what would happen if you filled a UDS basket with wood chunks (eg, use a bandsaw) and light from the top? No charcoal at all. Could it work for long cooks and need less frequent re-fueling?

I got the idea from this:

http://www.firewood-for-life.com/top-down-fire.html

When I light up my pit or pizza oven, I use this top-down method, and it works well. But I've always done it with splits on the grate. But what if one started with a basket with wood (not charcoal) chunks?

I've learned so much from this forum: I want to thank everyone in advance for your ideas.

Let the good ideas roll.....

pjtexas1
04-21-2014, 01:45 PM
This is going to get interesting.:boxing:I would think the basket would have to be bigger and I don't know how you would keep the chunks from lighting too quickly. I would say try it out and report back.

DaveAlvarado
04-21-2014, 01:51 PM
One of the things that makes the minion method work is that there simply isn't airflow to all the charcoal all the time. Some of it has to burn off for other charcoal to light. I think the big problem with wood chunks will be eliminating enough air space.

If you packed them tightly in a charcoal basket, it's certainly worth trying.

Usually when people want a nap with their stick burners, they burn a load of charcoal in a basket in the fire box. That buys you several hours of sleep time.

SmittyJonz
04-21-2014, 01:52 PM
I think the FB are too small but it could work for first 2-3-4 hrs then you'd have to go back to adding a split every 45-1 hr cuz it'd be a bunch of hot coals so you couldn't build another stack.........also think Temps would be Too Low

Try it in see and report back.............

matadorbait
04-21-2014, 01:53 PM
I'm gonna try it this weekend, once I'm armed (and dangerous) with everyone's ideas. I think the basket would have to be tall/narrow, so that the top layer--the part that's on fire, is not too big. Once it starts, it will be important to shut down the vents to keep it from running away.

I love stickburning, sitting around drinking beer and watching the fire. But sometimes I have other chores do to....

SmittyJonz
04-21-2014, 01:57 PM
I love stickburning, sitting around drinking beer and watching the fire. But sometimes I have other chores do to....

UDS - I've left for 6 hrs during a cook. Or even better would be a Humphreys Battle Box.........

oldbill
04-21-2014, 02:15 PM
The real issue with a stick burner is getting a good draft yet still getting a long burn. To lengthen burn-time you have to reduce the intake and in so doing you lose heat and increase the likelihood of dirty smoke from wood that is smoldering but not fully igniting.
Stick burners must breathe and in most offsets a basket or any other obstruction will kill the draft and lead to headaches.
Stick burners make the best Q in my opinion, it's worth the time and work of tending the fire and operating the cooker the way God made her to. A small hot wood fire with wide open dampers is the way to go.:wink:

Mark
04-21-2014, 03:05 PM
I'm with old bill on this. "Set it and forget it" with a stickburner might be possible with some sort of temperature-controlled damper system but I think there would be too much compromise in final quality of the meat.

Personally, I'm almost allways doing some sort of other work while I'm Q'ing.
You just got to remember to put some chunks on every 45 minutes or so.

matadorbait
04-21-2014, 06:13 PM
UDS - I've left for 6 hrs during a cook. Or even better would be a Humphreys Battle Box.........

That's one nice looking smoker.

So far, I'm thinking of trying a 5" diameter mesh basket and a 5" solid-wall basket (on a bottom grate) to see if I can get a 4 hour run with stable temp (ie, the whole thing going up in a big fireball or suffocating in thick white smoke).

matadorbait
04-21-2014, 06:44 PM
I still can't get my head around this

http://voices.yahoo.com/building-long-lasting-fire-2850985.html?cat=6

or this

http://people.eku.edu/falkenbergs/buildfire.htm

matadorbait
04-21-2014, 06:58 PM
these guys talk about 4-8 hours of burn from tightly packed logs, kind of like the ash tricks in the almanac above. if woodburning stoves can go for 8 hours....

http://www.woodheat.org/concise-guide.html

Trailer Trash
04-21-2014, 11:19 PM
You have my attention! I'm in as well for some experimentation. I have a Meadow Creek SQ36 that is a beautiful piece of workmanship however it frustrates me terribly because my temperatures are up and down, I'll even get bad yellow billowing smoke at times. I can't seem to get along with it (reminds me of my first wife).

I talked to Jesse from Meadow Creek and he's baffled cause all he hears is how great that model holds a constant 225 degrees???

After reading some of the links here, I'm wondering about a basket with a nice tight stack of wood about 3/4 up then pour on hot briquettes from a charcoal starter on top??? I'm going to try it and let you know!

Swine Spectator
04-22-2014, 04:51 AM
You might be interested in some tests that I have done:

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=158046

David

ButtBurner
04-22-2014, 06:53 AM
I use the method on the woodburner.org site in my wood stove at my cabin

I am not sure I would want that smoke on my food though.

It is not always TBS.

I dont know how you would control your heat very well either. Heating a cabin is one thing but cooking a brisket is quite another

I guess its worth a try. I dont know

my thought it if you want set and forget then use another type of cooker than a stickburner.

SmittyJonz
04-22-2014, 09:07 AM
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=138045

grill 'em all
04-22-2014, 09:22 AM
Not saying it won't work but sounds like complicating a time honored semi-simple process. While I would enjoy a few hours away from tending our stickburner I question keeping the cook chamber hot enough..Our UDS is very capable of maintaining a steady temp for hours on end..Waylon,however,just isn't wired that way..It is time consuming & requires near constant fire management(every 30-45 min.)..That being said it's not a pain in the arse to operate..Actually its very easy..I liken it to having a big block Chevelle with a small gas tank..Drives the same as anything else,just gotta take more fuel stops!

Give it a shot..Pass along what you come up with..

Good Luck!!

oldbill
04-22-2014, 10:39 AM
I use the method on the woodburner.org site in my wood stove at my cabin

I am not sure I would want that smoke on my food though.

It is not always TBS.

I dont know how you would control your heat very well either. Heating a cabin is one thing but cooking a brisket is quite another

I guess its worth a try. I dont know

my thought it if you want set and forget then use another type of cooker than a stickburner.And everyone said,... AMEN!:wink:

ag80n
04-22-2014, 03:21 PM
I have been thinking that a way to make a stickburner work like a minion or gravity feed would be to use an external hopper. Wouldn't be easy to figure out but I think it could be done. My thinking goes like this:

Set up the firebox with a dropdown door/chute on one side. Next to it would be a hopper loaded with splits. A system would be set up that could, on sensing a predetermined temperature drop, open the chute and drop one split down the chute. Connect this door and hopper system to a motor/actuator that is run by an arduino processor http://www.arduino.cc/. This processor would be triggered by it's own sensor or get it's information from a digi-q that would be set up to run air flow. It would have to be set up in such a way that a drop would first be reacted to by the digi-q. If it failed to bring up the temp in a prescribed time frame then the next split would drop. Right now this is just a thought in my head. May one day see if it could actually be done.

ShencoSmoke
04-22-2014, 05:06 PM
I have been thinking that a way to make a stickburner work like a minion or gravity feed would be to use an external hopper. Wouldn't be easy to figure out but I think it could be done. My thinking goes like this:

Set up the firebox with a dropdown door/chute on one side. Next to it would be a hopper loaded with splits. A system would be set up that could, on sensing a predetermined temperature drop, open the chute and drop one split down the chute. Connect this door and hopper system to a motor/actuator that is run by an arduino processor http://www.arduino.cc/. This processor would be triggered by it's own sensor or get it's information from a digi-q that would be set up to run air flow. It would have to be set up in such a way that a drop would first be reacted to by the digi-q. If it failed to bring up the temp in a prescribed time frame then the next split would drop. Right now this is just a thought in my head. May one day see if it could actually be done.

Stick burners need a clean burning fire. If i opened the door and chunked a split in (like the chute would- with no precision) the fire would smolder because the fire is not built correctly. It takes skill to maintain a clean fire, and a gadget has no skill. And if you wonder why us stick burners go to all this trouble? Because we enjoy it!

TropicDad
04-22-2014, 06:16 PM
It sounds like someone trying to get 50 mpg out of a full size pickup, if its 50 mpg you want buy a car rated for that. No offense its just a stickburner isn't designed for that. Low and slow, takes time to get that flavor.

dwfisk
04-22-2014, 06:26 PM
I guess the described technique of tightly packed wood, like for a long burn in a woodstove will technically "work", but I'm concerned about what kind of fire & smoke you will get? Like others have said the goal for a stickburner (at least my goal) is for a small, hot & clean fire with thin blue/clear smoke. I guess I'm envisioning a tightly packed firebox with air flow choaked down to burn for a long duration will result in a long burn with dirty white smoke; not the greatest for BBQ. I'll be interested in what you find out with your experiment.

toymaster
04-22-2014, 06:33 PM
I liken it to having a big block Chevelle with a small gas tank..Drives the same as anything else,just gotta take more fuel stops!!!

Damn!! I don't know the last time I heard someone describe a car using the words "big block" :clap2::clap2: Am I really that old?

HookedOnQ
04-22-2014, 06:38 PM
One thing to think about with a woodstove is your not trying to maintain a certain temp or keep a clean burning fire the whole time. Some things are better left alone and I believe this is one of them. If you dont want or have time to tend a fire all the time look into a uds, pbc, cabinet, or pellet pooper type smoker and use the stickburner on days you have time to babysit.

mchar69
04-22-2014, 06:55 PM
A lot of wise words in this thread, like most.

ag80n
04-22-2014, 07:02 PM
Stick burners need a clean burning fire. If i opened the door and chunked a split in (like the chute would- with no precision) the fire would smolder because the fire is not built correctly. It takes skill to maintain a clean fire, and a gadget has no skill. And if you wonder why us stick burners go to all this trouble? Because we enjoy it!

I agree totally with you that it takes a clean fire.:thumb: I am a stickburner and have been for years. I do it for two reasons. I enjoy maintaining the fire and, IMHO, it produces the best flavor. However, there are a few times when it would be nice to get the superior product a stickburner produces without having to tend a fire (at least not as much) such as when I have to do an overnight cook and go to work the next day. This seems to be what the OP was interested in. I am not saying it would be easy to design a working system and the question of fire quality had certainly come to mind. One solution I can think of for fire control is a system of guides and grates inside the firebox to help keep the fire in an optimal design. This idea may be more complicated than the OP wanted and I am not saying I will ever try it but it came to mind and I thought I would pass it along. Honestly I get fussed at by others for not being interested in getting a gravity-feed for competition but I just enjoy the process and taste of my stickburner too much - even if I am a little wiped out at awards :shock:

Teleking
04-22-2014, 07:31 PM
Not saying it won't work but sounds like complicating a time honored semi-simple process. While I would enjoy a few hours away from tending our stickburner I question keeping the cook chamber hot enough..Our UDS is very capable of maintaining a steady temp for hours on end..Waylon,however,just isn't wired that way..It is time consuming & requires near constant fire management(every 30-45 min.)..That being said it's not a pain in the arse to operate..Actually its very easy..I liken it to having a big block Chevelle with a small gas tank..Drives the same as anything else,just gotta take more fuel stops!

Give it a shot..Pass along what you come up with..

Good Luck!!

If you and know one else will say it, here it is.... "It won't work...period".

I have been raised on and currently heating with wood for 35 years. To many nastys to off gas from wood. Charcoal is carbon after the nasties are burned off and burns clean.

FatCoyote
04-22-2014, 07:50 PM
Hi All,

For those with stickburners, I think the consensus is that you have to add a split every hour or so (I've seed advice from 45 min to 90 min). And in many threads people talk about active fire maintenance is the biggest/only drawback to stickburners. So my question is this:

Are there any methods to get a longer burn with less maintenance from stickburning?

What I have in mind is this: what would happen if you filled a UDS basket with wood chunks (eg, use a bandsaw) and light from the top? No charcoal at all. Could it work for long cooks and need less frequent re-fueling?

I got the idea from this:

http://www.firewood-for-life.com/top-down-fire.html

When I light up my pit or pizza oven, I use this top-down method, and it works well. But I've always done it with splits on the grate. But what if one started with a basket with wood (not charcoal) chunks?

I've learned so much from this forum: I want to thank everyone in advance for your ideas.

Let the good ideas roll.....

Sorry to chuckle, but stick burners with a proper fire running only need attention every 4-6hrs. I get up twice in a night and usually just toss a large block on and head back to bed for another 4-5hrs.

SmittyJonz
04-22-2014, 07:56 PM
:shock:

ShencoSmoke
04-22-2014, 07:58 PM
I agree totally with you that it takes a clean fire.:thumb: I am a stickburner and have been for years. I do it for two reasons. I enjoy maintaining the fire and, IMHO, it produces the best flavor. However, there are a few times when it would be nice to get the superior product a stickburner produces without having to tend a fire (at least not as much) such as when I have to do an overnight cook and go to work the next day. This seems to be what the OP was interested in. I am not saying it would be easy to design a working system and the question of fire quality had certainly come to mind. One solution I can think of for fire control is a system of guides and grates inside the firebox to help keep the fire in an optimal design. This idea may be more complicated than the OP wanted and I am not saying I will ever try it but it came to mind and I thought I would pass it along. Honestly I get fussed at by others for not being interested in getting a gravity-feed for competition but I just enjoy the process and taste of my stickburner too much - even if I am a little wiped out at awards :shock:

I hear ya, and good on you for sticking with the stick burner. It's just that I ( and others) have a hard time understanding why folks spend so much time trying to get a square peg in a round hole.

ShencoSmoke
04-22-2014, 07:59 PM
Sorry to chuckle, but stick burners with a proper fire running only need attention every 4-6hrs. I get up twice in a night and usually just toss a large block on and head back to bed for another 4-5hrs.

I'd be interested in your pit design. Mine would be cold after 5 hours.

SmittyJonz
04-22-2014, 08:04 PM
I was thinking of filling my FB half full of pellets and tossing in a lit weber cube thing.....

ag80n
04-22-2014, 08:08 PM
I'd be interested in your pit design. Mine would be cold after 5 hours.

Me too. Longest I can get in my brick pit is not quite two hours and that's on a hot day after it's been running all day.

ShencoSmoke
04-22-2014, 08:13 PM
I was thinking of filling my FB half full of pellets and tossing in a lit weber cube thing.....

Don't forget the smokerator......

Teleking
04-22-2014, 08:14 PM
Me too. Longest I can get in my brick pit is not quite two hours and that's on a hot day after it's been running all day.

Home heating = absolutely : cooking on TBS = not a chance.

grill 'em all
04-22-2014, 08:47 PM
I'd be interested in your pit design. Mine would be cold after 5 hours.

I'm with ya on that!! If I had mine in the 250-275 range & walked away from it for 5 hrs I could most likely lay down in the cooking chamber it would be so cold!! The OP should check out Mr.Coyotes set up..Hell so should I!

SmittyJonz
04-22-2014, 08:57 PM
I'm gonna experiment this weekend with my Junky Bandera. I'm gonna pack as many splits as I can get as tight as I can get in FB on top of grate that sits 2" off floor and dump 1 chimney of lit coals on top and let it go. Not gonna put any food in till I see what it does. I think it'll be Heavy Harsh Smoke from smoldering wood but we will see. I have a guy at work who says his Church buddy does this and my work buddy swears the Q is Good (and he's had my Q many times- it's the guy who helped me patch up this Turd).

http://i1326.photobucket.com/albums/u645/bobjones79/582A9F33-0293-462D-8FF5-A7E335ABB555_zpsypmpbspu.jpg (http://s1326.photobucket.com/user/bobjones79/media/582A9F33-0293-462D-8FF5-A7E335ABB555_zpsypmpbspu.jpg.html)

ag80n
04-22-2014, 09:18 PM
Home heating = absolutely : cooking on TBS = not a chance.
I am assuming you were pointing out to me that I missed a joke about home heating. :wink:

If however you were saying my brick pit won't run that long between fuelings you would be correct. This is something that I only experience at the end of a cook on my brick pit. I know it sounds a bit far fetched :crazy: but it's the honest truth. In this pit I burn my wood down to coals in a hearth and only shovel in the coals. First hour or two it needs coals more often but once the bricks heat up it only needs coals once every 45mins to and hour but sometimes near the end of a cook I can do one last fuel to get the temp up to 250 and let the fuel run out. If it is hot enough outside it will coast slowly down to 225 as the bricks start to release their heat. The longest this has lasted after the last fuel is added was about 1:45. The TBS does die out over that time but it doesn't smolder. I guess I should have been more clear that this pit is not run exactly like my offset stick burner is. My bad. I was more stating this as an example of the longest I had ever been able to maintain a temp worthy of cooking at. I am in the same boat as everyone else seems to be with normal fuel intervals.

Trailer Trash
04-23-2014, 08:33 PM
Sorry to chuckle, but stick burners with a proper fire running only need attention every 4-6hrs. I get up twice in a night and usually just toss a large block on and head back to bed for another 4-5hrs.

Fat, I'm curious as well, what are you cooking on?

WildeMan
04-23-2014, 08:50 PM
When I first saw this thread, the idea of somehow incorporating a rocket stove came to mind; for some designs, they share similarities with a gravity feed cooker like a stumps. Then I found this video. Although this runs on pellets, I'm sure you could use wood chunks if you can get them small and uniform enough to flow in a hopper of some sort.

http://www.pelheat.com/Rocket_Stove.html

Notice how he has vents or "restrictions" set up to draw air from either above or below the fire, kind of similar to the intake vents on some wood stoves or stickburner fireboxes. This should give you more control over how clean your burn is, so the result isn't too smokey.

Now, the REALLY hard part would be to figure out sizing of the stove compared to the pit itself, in order to get the temperature range you want; ideally, in this case, between 200 and 400 degrees at the grate, and adjustable on demand. I think it's a good idea to start with though, compared to making something else like a UDS do something it wasn't designed for.

creekwalker
04-23-2014, 10:26 PM
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=138045

That's an interesting link. Am surprised that thread wasn't longer.

ButtBurner
04-24-2014, 06:12 AM
I'd be interested in your pit design. Mine would be cold after 5 hours.

yes please enlighten us with this pit of yours.

Murray in N.Z.
04-24-2014, 02:51 PM
Hi there, My name is Muzza and I'm a stickburner. I started burning sticks as a youngster along side my old man and really havn't stopped since then ... been over 48 years now since I started fires by myself after school .... Yeah those that have suffered from another addiction will recognise the speech!

I've found that it works best with a big stack of DRY wood. start the fire on one side of the firebox, it will smoulder away making its own charcoal for hours n hours .... but if'n you have a wet stick you will get creosote buildup sometime. I just picked up a stand alone wood fire unit to build a new firebox with that has absolutely perfect air control and a big solid firebox, I should be able to get 6 hrs out of it rather than 4 out of it.

Muzza.

PS. Hot n fast is pretty much a no no with my current setup.

Murray in N.Z.
04-24-2014, 03:21 PM
This thread should become a sticky ....

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/newreply.php?do=postreply&t=138045

looks like I can achieve a lot more from my efforts... thanks for posting it.
Muzza.

matadorbait
04-24-2014, 04:45 PM
Thanks everyone for your ideas. I hope there will be some experiments this weekend (I just whiled away a 2 hour meeting with my boss doodle-ing new firebox designs). I'm going to try loading up my insulated FB with a top-down fire and air-intake near the top of the FB. The insulation and high intake should help reduce creosote, since clearly a 6 hour burn of thick white is not the goal.

IF this method gassifies for the first few hours (and thus converts the wood to charcoal), that's fine--I don't need smoke in the second half of the cook anyway.

I also have a 'rocket stove' type idea for a downdraft firebox, but its a bit radical and will wait for next month.

SmittyJonz
04-26-2014, 12:46 PM
I could only get 6 splits in as Bandra FB are small - 1 hr now and low temps and heavy white smoke. I was gonna cut them in half and stand them up but I'm smoking on my cabinet smoker and didn't have time to cut up splits.


http://i1326.photobucket.com/albums/u645/bobjones79/54B7B4C5-4440-4C0F-B89A-1A4DC28A893D_zpsxarh8imm.jpg (http://s1326.photobucket.com/user/bobjones79/media/54B7B4C5-4440-4C0F-B89A-1A4DC28A893D_zpsxarh8imm.jpg.html)

http://i1326.photobucket.com/albums/u645/bobjones79/E6AECF8E-FDAA-4CBE-8793-DDA715958670_zpsuhojijuh.jpg (http://s1326.photobucket.com/user/bobjones79/media/E6AECF8E-FDAA-4CBE-8793-DDA715958670_zpsuhojijuh.jpg.html)

http://i1326.photobucket.com/albums/u645/bobjones79/9183DF7B-556B-4CBD-8F9C-E393F5E9307D_zpsqzzcijea.jpg (http://s1326.photobucket.com/user/bobjones79/media/9183DF7B-556B-4CBD-8F9C-E393F5E9307D_zpsqzzcijea.jpg.html)

http://i1326.photobucket.com/albums/u645/bobjones79/CB3EE2BB-A1BD-4B49-A11F-613827DCB504_zps0np56qxh.jpg (http://s1326.photobucket.com/user/bobjones79/media/CB3EE2BB-A1BD-4B49-A11F-613827DCB504_zps0np56qxh.jpg.html)

SmittyJonz
04-26-2014, 02:35 PM
Well I went to Store and when I got back Smoke Chamber was at 350* (no meat) and Smoke was not TBS but light enough to cook on. It's been going 2.5 hrs and still has plenty of wood left. It took 2 hrs to get to Temp and smoke to thin out but this may work for 2-3-4 hrs smoke after 2 hr warm up .........I closed intake a lil and it's leveled out at 300*ish

http://i1326.photobucket.com/albums/u645/bobjones79/193BD90F-FFB5-47E9-BBBC-18C1F450CF3E_zpsw2rumj0u.jpg (http://s1326.photobucket.com/user/bobjones79/media/193BD90F-FFB5-47E9-BBBC-18C1F450CF3E_zpsw2rumj0u.jpg.html)

http://i1326.photobucket.com/albums/u645/bobjones79/DAE3F165-D098-4C30-881C-D0A4F8284FF4_zpszf5pcsnj.jpg (http://s1326.photobucket.com/user/bobjones79/media/DAE3F165-D098-4C30-881C-D0A4F8284FF4_zpszf5pcsnj.jpg.html)

Bludawg
04-26-2014, 02:36 PM
:pop2:

SmittyJonz
04-26-2014, 03:27 PM
1 hr later and its cruising along 275-280*............

SmittyJonz
04-26-2014, 05:32 PM
Another 1 1/2 it was still 260* - I looked in FB mostly large coals with half a split burning- I went ahead and stirred it up a bit.

So I lit it at 12 - would've been ready for meat at 1:45 and would have cooked 3 1/2 hrs (till 5:15) before needing tending. Now I'd think I'd have go back to 1-2 splits every 45-1 hr as it's a large bed of coals now.

http://i1326.photobucket.com/albums/u645/bobjones79/372DC977-A664-427B-963D-594413682397_zpstaeyjwac.jpg (http://s1326.photobucket.com/user/bobjones79/media/372DC977-A664-427B-963D-594413682397_zpstaeyjwac.jpg.html)

SmittyJonz
04-26-2014, 10:43 PM
Anybody else experiment today ?

matadorbait
05-05-2014, 01:17 PM
Took a little while to finish eating the costco shoulder clod I did last month--you really need eaters to help with this hobby. Anyway, this weekend I gave it a try. I started with a 4# grass-fed packer from texasgrassfedbeef.com (which is my regular supplier). Grass-fed aint cheap, but the gap with grain fed is closing fast (and not in a good way).

95489

Meat is trimmed lean--no fat cap. I put the trimmings into render pot.

95490

Lightly rubbed with salt, pepper, and garlic.

95491

Started with 5.5 splits. Wasn't sure how much to use or how much would fit in my firebox. This is almond wood with a bit of oak. splits are on my 12x12 chopping block.

95492

Broke the spilts down a bit to improve packing. In retrospect, I should have done less--they fit fine and bigger wood burns slower.

95493

Firebox, viewed from top. Its not nearly full, but I was worried about having some headspace for the fire, so I didn't add any more. Dryer lint used for tinder nest along with a scrap of wax from a candle stub. The pipe on the upper right is a firebox bypass that allows secondary air into the top of the fire. This means the fire gets fresh air from top and bottom: this results in a cleaner burn.

95494

and we're starting up.
95495

The big picture. The smoke chamber is running 123C (about 260F) and the IT is 58C (135F).

95496

TBS. It was white for the first 15 minutes or so, but lightened up considerably around 15 - 30 into the cook. It stayed TBS for 2-3 hours and then when totally invisible (ie, just charcoal left). This picture is 1 hour from match.

95497

Rendered the trimmings for cooking. Beef fat fries!

95498

At 4 hours I needed more wood, I think, so I sawed a longish split in half and chucked it in.

95499

This is the firebox, 6 hours from match.X

95500

Pulled at 6 hours, rested 2. The IT was 85C (185F) but I cooked until probe-tender (just recorded the IT for reference).

95501

Sliced fine. I think the smoke ring is smaller than usual for me, but that may be because I didn't use a water pan or mop at all. Normally I use a water pan and get more ring.

95502

95503

95504

Next time I'll fill the firebox higher and expect to get a full 6 hour cook from a single load. Not sure if the reduced smoke ring was caused by drier chamber or what. The smoke was strong for the first 1-2 hours during gassification. Once gassification was over, it was like a charcoal cook.

We ate the point and some sweet corn fresh from the farmer for lunch. Smoke flavor was spot-on (no creosote, not too heavy, not too light)--at least for a stickburner.

ButtBurner
05-06-2014, 07:00 AM
this is pretty interesting.

I think I am going to try it this weekend on my El Dorado.

matadorbait
05-06-2014, 01:37 PM
On the El Dorado--the firebox looks sufficiently large for this, but I wonder if the firebox is insulated enough.

I think the key to success with this is an insulated FB, which allows choking down on the firebox full of wood without producing white smoke. OR, you would need a good, tight wood loading scheme to limit the size of the fire.

Let us know how your test burn goes. I almost didn't put meat in the chamber 'cause I thought it had little chance of success....

ButtBurner
05-06-2014, 01:45 PM
On the El Dorado--the firebox looks sufficiently large for this, but I wonder if the firebox is insulated enough.

I think the key to success with this is an insulated FB, which allows choking down on the firebox full of wood without producing white smoke. OR, you would need a good, tight wood loading scheme to limit the size of the fire.

Let us know how your test burn goes. I almost didn't put meat in the chamber 'cause I thought it had little chance of success....

we will see.

Smitty's bandera is not insulated. it seemed to work for him. I am not going to put any meat on it, just try a burn

I really dont think the firebox is airtight enough to control the fire

its worth a try

Yendor
05-06-2014, 02:26 PM
I just added gaskets all around on my El Dorado because I believe I can get better fire control with it. I was getting about 2 hours at 275-300 out of some splits on my last cook in it before i sealed it all up. I will be running a test burn this weekend with some wings to see how she does.

Keep in mind I had already worked on sealing up the all the seams and the lower vent door on the right side of it. My biggest issue was that my FB door is bent and leaked really bad. I partially fixed that with a seal of aluminum foil. The Nomex gasket I have should deal with it completely.

ButtBurner
05-06-2014, 05:12 PM
I just added gaskets all around on my El Dorado because I believe I can get better fire control with it. I was getting about 2 hours at 275-300 out of some splits on my last cook in it before i sealed it all up. I will be running a test burn this weekend with some wings to see how she does.

Keep in mind I had already worked on sealing up the all the seams and the lower vent door on the right side of it. My biggest issue was that my FB door is bent and leaked really bad. I partially fixed that with a seal of aluminum foil. The Nomex gasket I have should deal with it completely.

Mine is pretty good, its an older one. I can get it running where I want it, like my other stickburner the way it is.

Trailer Trash
05-06-2014, 11:07 PM
I just welded up a "Minion Box" for my Meadow Creek SQ36. Solid 11 gauge walls with a mesh bottom 12" X 12" X 8" high (in a maze type Minion pattern). I packed the bottom with beer can size pecan, filled to top (5") with Kingsford and started one end. It smoldered and had a messy charcoal smelling smoke for a couple hours until the briquettes were fully ignited across the top. Then burned great w/ very thin, pure pecan burning smell for almost 4 hours. Excellent temperature control (best I've had).

This weekend I will pack the bottom with beer can size pecan as before however, I will then pour already started hot briquettes over the top of the pecan and hopefully bypass the smoldering period and get right to cooking... Yet to follow.

ButtBurner
05-10-2014, 10:57 AM
as promised I am giving this a try.

I loaded up the El Dorado yesterday afternoon when I got to the cabin

no meat, just a trial run

actually worked good. Lots of smoke but its blue after it heats up.

Still leery, I put a fatty doused with SM spicy apple on it, I was curious as to the smoke taste.

It was just fine

so today I am rolling with a pork butt

I will start a new thread, but here is the firebox loaded up