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awest74
10-13-2015, 11:55 AM
Ok, I have moved from multiple 22" WSM to a Superior ss1 I got on CL. I have done 3 cooks now, using my Rocks Stoker (10cfm) set at 225, the ball valve full open and the top smoke stack cover about 25% open ( it looks like a 4" pipe). I am not using a water pan, and am feeding it royal oak in the chute and hardwood lumps in the ask pan. I calibrated my stumps and put the probe in the center on the second shelf from the top. I also check the front temps on the door dial.

My temps are ROCK steady, but my bark is getting burnt, especially on the lower shelves and the back of the smoker. The ribs, even with 321 are dried out on thin end and the bottoms are getting burnt.

My suspicion is flare ups, when I add wood into the smoke cavity or the fan is too strong and tunneling heat.

Rather than waste more meat on poor cooks, I thought I would ask others for advice. I would prefer not to use a water pan, as when not in competition I like to get some sleep, which is why I got a GF smoker....

cpw
10-13-2015, 12:50 PM
My first advice would be to do a biscuit test (put a few Pillsbury biscuits on each rack) to see where the hot spots are. I know on my superior the bottom rack was unusable except as a grill, and the next rack up was for when I needed to get things finished up in a hurry.

I never had any issues with burnt bark on the upper shelves.

awest74
10-13-2015, 02:02 PM
When you used it, did you use the water pan?

cpw
10-13-2015, 03:54 PM
Not even once. The guy who builds them told me he never used his, so we didn't.

padge31
10-13-2015, 04:21 PM
You should have your smoke stack open 100%. You need the air flow. The ball valve shouldn't be 100% open. On my Stumps the ball valve is at about 60% and I choke the fan down a little once she is up to temp and has been there a little while.

smokeacholic
10-13-2015, 06:43 PM
The stack should be 100% open and I open the intake 100% until the temp is up then close the intake to about 50%. I am controlling the intake air with the slide on a guru fan. As said the lower shelf it way too hot. Top three shelf's do fine.

bbqwizard
10-14-2015, 12:16 AM
I echo what the other brothers have indicated. I open the stack 100% and keep it that way. I open the ball valve 100% until it starts to get close to temp, then start closing the Guru valve to around 50%. I use RO Ridge briquettes and Mojobricks for smoke. I have run my Assassin 28 with and without a water pan. I know they are not neccessary, but I have found the results to be amazing using the water pan.

Wornslick
10-14-2015, 06:37 AM
You should have your smoke stack open 100%. You need the air flow. The ball valve shouldn't be 100% open. On my Stumps the ball valve is at about 60% and I choke the fan down a little once she is up to temp and has been there a little while.

I agree with padge31 100%. I know we are talking about ribs but with chicken and the ball valve and slide gate on the guru fan wide open, you are asking for a grease fire. Don't ask me how I know this, TWICE!!!!

pjtexas1
10-14-2015, 09:40 AM
No offense but unusable racks, grease fires, etc. This is the stuff that kept me from buying a gf. I really, really wanted one but I just couldn't get passed these couple of things.:sad:

Hope you get it figured out. I would cook everything in pans on a gf to avoid the grease fires and the pans will keep the bottom of your meat from getting burned.

bbqwizard
10-14-2015, 09:47 AM
No offense but unusable racks, grease fires, etc. This is the stuff that kept me from buying a gf. I really, really wanted one but I just couldn't get passed these couple of things.:sad:

Hope you get it figured out. I would cook everything in pans on a gf to avoid the grease fires and the pans will keep the bottom of your meat from getting burned.
I agree to some degree, but you also have to be able to work with what you have. Learn the cooker, no matter what kind/type it is. I use the temp variances to my advantage. you just have to adapt. IMO, no pit is perfect.

With that said, I wouldn't mind having something that is not vertical.

Bludawg
10-14-2015, 10:17 AM
Maybe you need to play with your meat more and use a drip pan on the bottom rack. I'd get rid of the blower too and use natural draft I don't put much stock in that stuff, The pit should cruise where you set it just like a UDS. BWTFDIK

cjtiger300
10-14-2015, 12:17 PM
This is one of the reasons I went with a Deep South. It's even as hell top to bottom.

itschris
10-14-2015, 12:56 PM
In a quality cabinet smoker... you really shouldn't need the guru unless you have the thing jam packed. I've got an Stumps XL Baby and a Classic. I've 10 in the XL and had no significant issues with temp control without the Guru. Yeah... it required a bit of watching (but I say that it was nothing compared to the amount of attention my offset needs... not even in the same universe) but nothing that made it a pain the butt.

If you just have couple things going on inside.. forget about the fans and all that... you shouldn't need them.

itschris
10-14-2015, 01:02 PM
No offense but unusable racks, grease fires, etc. This is the stuff that kept me from buying a gf. I really, really wanted one but I just couldn't get passed these couple of things.:sad:

Hope you get it figured out. I would cook everything in pans on a gf to avoid the grease fires and the pans will keep the bottom of your meat from getting burned.


I think all of these issues are exaggerated. My offset has hot spots and an sort of unusable area by the firebox though I do find uses for it along the way. But all of that is lesser so in my Stumps smokers. It runs 240 at the worst location when the probes and door gauge read 225.

As far as grease fires go... I'm not sure if those are more prone to cabinet smokers where the fire is directly beneath the cooking grates. I'm not sure how I'd have one on the Stumps where the firebox is off to the side separated by a grated port. But again I've seen my buddy's WSM destroyed by a fire... so I'm not sure it's just a cabinet smoker thing at all or maybe something potentially an issue in certain types if things are done wrong a certain way.

bbqwizard
10-14-2015, 01:21 PM
I think all of these issues are exaggerated. My offset has hot spots and an sort of unusable area by the firebox though I do find uses for it along the way. But all of that is lesser so in my Stumps smokers. It runs 240 at the worst location when the probes and door gauge read 225.

As far as grease fires go... I'm not sure if those are more prone to cabinet smokers where the fire is directly beneath the cooking grates. I'm not sure how I'd have one on the Stumps where the firebox is off to the side separated by a grated port. But again I've seen my buddy's WSM destroyed by a fire... so I'm not sure it's just a cabinet smoker thing at all or maybe something potentially an issue in certain types if things are done wrong a certain way.
Grease fires generally happen when the drip pan is full of grease. If the grease exceeds the "smoke point" then it will combust as soon as you open the door, letting air in. If designed properly, the fire is rarely started by the fire box alone.

pjtexas1
10-14-2015, 01:34 PM
I think all of these issues are exaggerated. My offset has hot spots and an sort of unusable area by the firebox though I do find uses for it along the way. But all of that is lesser so in my Stumps smokers. It runs 240 at the worst location when the probes and door gauge read 225.

As far as grease fires go... I'm not sure if those are more prone to cabinet smokers where the fire is directly beneath the cooking grates. I'm not sure how I'd have one on the Stumps where the firebox is off to the side separated by a grated port. But again I've seen my buddy's WSM destroyed by a fire... so I'm not sure it's just a cabinet smoker thing at all or maybe something potentially an issue in certain types if things are done wrong a certain way.
The top rack on my reverse flow insulated cabinet is about 10-15 degrees hotter than the other grates. I worry about grease fires so if I have a big cook and I cannot cook in pans I place a pan in my empty water pan. cooked 8 briskets with no issues. my cooker does have a heat deflector between the fire and water pan and I am sure that helps. I believe most use water in the water pan so that should also keep the grease from pooling and igniting.

itschris
10-14-2015, 02:28 PM
I don't have a water pan in the Stumps. There's an angled plate with a about a 4"x4" opening on the left side of the smoker. The grease drips on that and runs down to that opening, then drops down to the floor and drains out the hole in to a stainless hotel pan. That's all on the opposite side of the charcoal chute and firebox. I put a disposable tin in there and just check it about half way through the cook and dump it if it's getting a bit full.

I think that's different then some other cabinets I've seen where the firebox is at the bottom of the cabinet. Either way... being careful and being mindful is a must no matter what you're using. I'm pretty anal about my smokers... I've adopted procedures that help me avoid things along the way... learned the hard way from experience. I check and/or empty ash and change out the grease pans throughout the longer cooks. The last think I want is my smoker turning into a fireball.

awest74
10-14-2015, 04:04 PM
thanks everyone for the responses. I am glad to hear that others have had similar issues and over come them. I thought that my top stack should be wide open but honestly I am getting a half inch or more, lipstick pink smoke ring on my brisket, never seen anything like it, so I think I am doing ok on airflow.

Here is what I will try, I am going to open the top stack all the way and bring it up to temp with the stoker and ball wide open, then close the ball valve half way and let it settle at 225. Ill put a probe in the center of every shelf and then do a biscuit test. Next adjust the ball valve open or closed ( depending on temp stability and biscuits cook level) and do another test. Keep refining with biscuits, then Ill do a pork butt and see how it turns out, I have two extras here...

Again thanks for lending your experience, I cant wait to get this figured out!

itschris
10-14-2015, 04:14 PM
Brother... it's like magic when it all comes together. Report back on how things are going and whatever insight you've learned.

Mrfish
10-14-2015, 04:15 PM
Just another ditto on above. My rebel runs top full open, ballcock half closed and fan shutter 1/4 to 1/2 depending on wind. I let that expensive fan earn its money.

Wampus
10-14-2015, 05:44 PM
I have a "Stumps style" custom GF. I also use a Guru and my lower racks are always hotter. I've always assumed it's because of the fan pushing air into the fire. I've tried to run it once without the fan and bailed on it after it would never heat up.

I've never had a grease fire and I've ran mine pretty hot before.

I guess I'd try the biscuit test just to see what you get.
The thing is, though, mine will act differently depending on how full it is.
If I pack 16 butts in there, the. The bottom definitely gets hotter.

If I space things out to help with air flow, it's not as bad, although the bottom is pretty much always hotter since that's where the heat source is. I wish mine were a reverse flow.


Keep trying and testing. You'll get it figured out.
Bottom line is to learn your weapon and use it as you can.
Every smoker's a little different. It's all about how we use what we have IMO.

twatsonr1
10-14-2015, 10:49 PM
What's the point of shutting the guru fan down halfway? If you leave it open all the way the fan doesn't have to blow near as often? Or at least that's how it works in my mind? I'm still new at the gf just like the OP.

Wornslick
10-15-2015, 06:43 AM
What's the point of shutting the guru fan down halfway? If you leave it open all the way the fan doesn't have to blow near as often? Or at least that's how it works in my mind? I'm still new at the gf just like the OP.

I believe it has to do with the size of your smoker. With my Baby Stumps once it gets up to temp it doesn't take a lot of air to keep it at that temp. With the slide gate half closed along with the ball valve the same my fan only comes on for a second or two once or twice a minute. In my case when I was cooking chicken and had the grease fire the slide gate and the ball valve were wide open and at 325 degrees the fan would blow a lot more almost like a mini blow torch, causing hot sparks to fly through the grate and into the grease dripping from the chicken, along with all the air created the fire. When I keep them both half closed I do not have any problem at that temp with chicken.

awest74
10-15-2015, 07:18 AM
I was wondering the same about the fan. I have a rocks bbq stoker so can't change the internal baffle on the 10cfm fan.

If the closing of the ball valve doesn't restrict airflow a bit my next thought is I can cover the fan input half up to restrict the blower further....this wouldn't be ideal since it's more work to change than a ball valve or guru fan choke....well see hope to do tests tonight.

Goddahavit
10-15-2015, 07:22 AM
What's the point of shutting the guru fan down halfway? If you leave it open all the way the fan doesn't have to blow near as often? Or at least that's how it works in my mind? I'm still new at the gf just like the OP.


On a gravity feed, or any smoker for that matter if the guru fan and ball valve are left open there is a chance of a natural draft when the blower is not blowing causing temp increases. By restricting the gate and ball valve you only feed the fire as much air as you want to when you want to. Small adjustments are better for control than large blasts of air.

I personally have had this a few times, but still run the valve and guru open most of the time. I have reasons for that, but that's for another thread, lol

this is not a rule, just understand if you experience mysterious temp increases, it may be a breeze or draft issue.


As a side note awest74 you are also causing issues when closing up the exhaust, these cookers do not move massive amounts of air, by closing the exhaust you are choking the fire then blasting it with air causing it to ignite, then smolder. this is the reason you are getting such a great smoke ring... this is just my opinion, so take it as 2 cents worth.

Mrfish
10-15-2015, 08:06 AM
What's the point of shutting the guru fan down halfway? If you leave it open all the way the fan doesn't have to blow near as often? Or at least that's how it works in my mind? I'm still new at the gf just like the OP.

I live on top of a hill and it gets really windy. If I don't shut down some, the wind goes right through the fan box.

This allows the Cyber Q holds the temp mostly +-3 degrees once up to temp with most of the time within 1 degree.

awest74
10-16-2015, 10:46 PM
Ok, as prescribed I did a biscuit test tonight with the exhaust wide open and the ball valve half closed after hitting temp. Biscuits took forever to cook at 225, which I was ok with, longer sample period. to cut to the chase, the bottom shelf ones ( 5 on each shelf) did get done first, but only by a few minutes, for the next shelf it was slightly more cooked than the top shelf, but not much. last 3 shelves were uniform.

Summary is, I took a large step in the right direction in understanding my equipment. Now Ill spend the winter experimenting and "perfecting" if such a thing exisit.

thanks Brothers.