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Dgilleece
12-10-2015, 04:32 PM
OK so I have been on this site before and I have/had a natural gas burner smoker. Yes I know don't laugh. Well I took some of y'alls advice and bought a stick burner. I got the Oklahoma Joe Longhorn. I know from reading this site and others it is not the best but it is what my budget can afford!!!! Well now that I have it I have tons of questions. The first one what is the best way to heat it? Should I start with charcoal and then add either wood or should I start with wood? Another question, the smoker has one temperature gauge at the farthest end away from the fire box but I have the ability to add another gauge a little closer, the question is should I add another one or just use the temperature probes that I already have. Oh yeah if you add wood to the charcoals should I soak the wood chips or wood chunks or just add full sticks? Last question for now, is there a website or thread that is good to read before I start using my new smoker. OK so I lied I have one more question, I live in the Savannah Georgia area, for those of you that live in this area is there a good place to buy hickory wood sticks? I can get hickory chips and chunks at most stores in the area but if I need to use sticks how do I know that they are truly hickory? Thanks for any advice you lads can give this novice stick burner.

SmittyJonz
12-10-2015, 04:40 PM
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=209208

SmittyJonz
12-10-2015, 04:41 PM
Buy firewood off craigslist.

Shagdog
12-10-2015, 04:43 PM
Welcome to the club! You can start with a chimney of charcoal.. Once its all glowing, put it in the smoker and add a split. Should come up to temp in 20-30 minutes. Don't stress too much about your temp. Let it run where it likes.

I would use full sticks. Chunks will mean more temp fluctuations and you will be adding them more often. 12-16" splits about the diameter of a beer can. Once you learn your pit and how it likes to run, you should only need to add 1 split every 45 minutes or so.. And don't get em wet. You want to burn wood, not smolder it. If your exhaust is clear or light blue, you're doing it right. I would also recommend running with your intakes wide open. Control your temp with the size of your fire.

pjtexas1
12-10-2015, 04:45 PM
I find that starting with lump charcoal and sticks then feeding sticks works best. Temp probes at the grate are more accurate if the probe is accurate. Never soak anything. Use full size splits instead. If you can't identify wood then you need a reputable wood guy that will tell you he's out of whatever wood you need instead of selling you oak in place of hickory hoping you won't know the difference. Buying chunks at the store is expensive.

Doog
12-10-2015, 05:32 PM
The longhorn puts out some decent Q, but you have to stay after it.
I added a convection plate to help even cooking temps out. The other thing I did was add nomex self sticking gasket to the cooking door frame.
I would dump a weber chimney of hot coals into the firebox and the add 2 splits. Let it settle in and then add another split when your temp starts dropping.
When I would add a split I would open my firebox door for about a minute. To keep a clean fire,
I would also warm splits on top the firebox to preheat them.
I no longer have that smoker but give a shout if I can answer any questions.

Texan79423
12-10-2015, 06:21 PM
Glad you joined and are posting! You pit is just fine. IMO It's the cook not the cooker. Grab a beer or two built a fire and sit back and watch it burn. You need to learn to tend the pit and the fire, first and foremost, ie Pitmaster!!

Once you learn to manage the fire then you can really start cooking. Controlling the fire is what it is all about. Once mastered in what ever you cook on the q will be good. You can dream up all kinds of rub, spice and crazy stuff but the truth is if the fire is not right you will never get the product you want.

I cook and just mostly manage the fire and don't even have to open the pit to look at the
meat. If you lookin you ain't cooking!

Individual result may vary but go fire it up and learn to be a Pitmaster first!

mike-cleveland
12-10-2015, 07:17 PM
I never did any mods to mine. The fit will adjust with time and temp. A roasting pan helps on the firebox side to divert the heat. Small splits work best as Shagdog said.

blazinfire
12-10-2015, 08:24 PM
The best advice I can give you, if this is your first time running a stick burner take your time! I've botched a couple cooks learning my off-set because I was in a rush and trying to get food on the table! Stick burners are ment to burn with wood, I start with a pile of charcoal then switch to all wood from there. works great!

Joe Black
12-10-2015, 09:07 PM
I also start mine with a basket 1/2-2/3 full of lump charcoal. When that burns down to a good coal bed, I will add a couple of splits to continue to bring the smoker up to temp. When my cooking temp is reached, I will add several chunks of my flavor wood and put the meat on. When the temp begins to dip, I will put in a couple of small splits and a couple more chunks of flavor wood. (this is probably the last of the chunks) From this point, I will finish the cook with just cook wood, probably oak. I always pre-heat my splits to make them ready to ignite as soon as they are added to the FB.

I have therms on either end, just above the bottom grate. I also have therms just above the top grate in the middle of each door. This gives me the ability to check left to right as well as bottom to top.

viking72
12-11-2015, 06:58 AM
Welcome to the stick side!

Later,
Doug

ArnieTex
12-11-2015, 07:15 AM
Add the other gauge,, you'll be glad you did and you wont need to use your probe every time, especially if it's wet outside easier to watch the temps through the window :).

revkab
12-11-2015, 07:54 AM
Welcome to the club! You can start with a chimney of charcoal.. Once its all glowing, put it in the smoker and add a split. Should come up to temp in 20-30 minutes. Don't stress too much about your temp. Let it run where it likes.

I would use full sticks. Chunks will mean more temp fluctuations and you will be adding them more often. 12-16" splits about the diameter of a beer can. Once you learn your pit and how it likes to run, you should only need to add 1 split every 45 minutes or so.. And don't get em wet. You want to burn wood, not smolder it. If your exhaust is clear or light blue, you're doing it right. I would also recommend running with your intakes wide open. Control your temp with the size of your fire.

Couldn't have said it any better.

As for the thermometers, why not get a remote thermometer? I use a Maverick, and there are several others around as well. I use the double probe models - one I use to accurately measure the cooking chamber temp at the grate level, the other I use in the meat (not usually the ribs, tho.) This is really the only accurate way to understand just what temp you are cooking at, right where the meat is. Be sure to allow a bit of room around that probe so the air circulates around it well.

Bludawg
12-11-2015, 09:17 AM
As for the Installed thermometer, unscrew it plug the hole with a 1/2 pipe plug. Drill a new hole off to the side of the handle and 1" above the grate. in it's present location it will be close to 100 deg hotter than the grate temp. Pit temp at grate level is what you need to monitor.