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View Full Version : Requesting Seasoning and Fire Management Tips for a Shirley


Walshman
12-18-2017, 08:11 PM
Hey all, I'm looking for some tips on how to season my new cooker and also looking for advice on fire management control. I have my deposit in on a 24X50, insulated firebox, warmer box, modified trailer Shirley and hope to get it by sometime next fall. Anyhow, I'm coming from an XL BGE and this will be my first offset cooker.

How did you season your cooker when new? I plan to spray everything with Pam, but what temperature did you bring the cooker up to and for how long until its ready to go? I'm assuming the warmer box gets seasoned the same way as the main cooking chamber.

Do most of you start a fire with a couple of chimneys worth of hot coals and then add a few splits on top to get the fire going? Do you keep the firebox door and cooking chamber doors open when first starting the fire or for first 30 - 45 minutes? Are all vents all wide open? I mainly like to cook at around 300 plus unless I'm cooking ribs at which I try and maintain around 250 give or take. Any advice on how to maintain temperature (when to put on another split and how many splits to add)?

Basically any tips for fire management or any other tips for someone new to an offset cooker are welcomed and appreciated! Thanks in advance.

sudsandswine
12-18-2017, 08:18 PM
Open exhaust all the way, open intake about 50 - 60%, make a square of 4 splits in the fire box, then dump a chimney of hot lump charcoal in the middle. Come back in 20 minutes to push the splits in a bit towards the center, and it's at 275-300* in another 20 minutes.

I don't touch the vents for the duration of the cook...can t help ya with the seasoning though, I bought mine gently loved :thumb:

Westx
12-18-2017, 08:38 PM
Spray good with Pam or what ever spray you want to use. Keep the temp down around 225 to 250 for 3 to 4 hours the gradually raise to 275 to 300 over the next 3 hours or so. Through a fattie or two on and cook them to 165 enternal temp and she will be good and seasoned.

Hoss
12-18-2017, 08:58 PM
^^^^+1 ^^^^ on the seasoning.I start my fire with a 10 pound bag of lump charcoal and 4 splits on top of that.Light it with a weed burner and let it run up to about 400f and dial in what cook temp I want on the way back down.I cook with firebox intake and cook chamber exhaust fully open.

BBQ Freak
12-18-2017, 09:13 PM
spay pam cooking spray lightly over the whole inside of the cooker and very lightly on the doors because if it drip to the outside it will stain the paint . Bring it up around 200 to 225 degrees for about four hours and then raise the temp to 325 to 350 degrees for two more hours and the let the cooker come down in temp till burnt out . Do it like you re-seasoning cat iron cookware and I do not cook anything in mine the first time .

Smithers1945
12-18-2017, 09:39 PM
I have been wondering about this too even though I will be waiting quite some time for mine to be done. Thanks for asking, and thanks for the input everyone.

pjtexas1
12-18-2017, 09:45 PM
spay pam cooking spray lightly over the whole inside of the cooker and very lightly on the doors because if it drip to the outside it will stain the paint . Bring it up around 200 to 225 degrees for about four hours and then raise the temp to 325 to 350 degrees for two more hours and the let the cooker come down in temp till burnt out . Do it like you re-seasoning cat iron cookware and I do not cook anything in mine the first time .^^^ this. I start mine with about 2 pounds of lump and 2 sticks. Hit it with a weed burner for about a minute. Hope you have your wood seasoning already.

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sudsandswine
12-19-2017, 08:11 AM
Hope you have your wood seasoning already.


Definitely start procuring and drying some wood if you don't have any...there's enough time until you get your Shirley you could get some nicely seasoned wood on deck, and then you just have to keep cycling out your stash.

Shagdog
12-19-2017, 08:54 AM
spay pam cooking spray lightly over the whole inside of the cooker and very lightly on the doors because if it drip to the outside it will stain the paint . Bring it up around 200 to 225 degrees for about four hours and then raise the temp to 325 to 350 degrees for two more hours and the let the cooker come down in temp till burnt out . Do it like you re-seasoning cat iron cookware and I do not cook anything in mine the first time .

This is what you want. You need to start it slowly to season your paint. the first 4 hours you're really not doing anything to inside, its more for your paint. After the 4 hours are up, you need to get the inside up past the smoke point of the oil so you can carbonize it and give the bare metal a protective coating of carbon. Its just like seasoning carbon cookware or cast Iron. Be very light with your oil spray. It doesn't take much at all. Spray any bare metal inside your cooker, but I wouldn't bother with the fire box. Watch the doors and the holes where the damper handles come out. If you see any drips, wipe them up immediately.

A chimney of coals and 2 splits is probably a good place to start. Let that run for a while and see where you are. Managing the fire is easy once its going. Don't be shy about adding another split, its not going to hurt anything.

Walshman
12-19-2017, 05:35 PM
Thanks for all of the replies. This is some great information to know. What about the warmer? Is it easy to regulate the temps on the warmer? I'm sure its going to be some trial and error, but want to make sure I season properly and don't take temp too high. Thanks again for the great responses!

Hoss
12-19-2017, 06:18 PM
To be clear.I season as others have stated.That run it to 400 and stabilize temp on the way down comment was aimed at fire management AFTER the cooker has been FULLY seasoned.Yes,season warmer in the same manner as cook chamber.Very easy to control temps in both.Just wanted to clarify.I reread my original comment and see where it could be misunderstood.

Notorious Q.U.E.
12-19-2017, 09:13 PM
Walshman, you’re in for a treat,easiest pit to run on the market, it doesn’t get any better.

Shirley will do our Christmas cook since I want to use the varsity cooker! Still haven’t mastered the Vault quite yet