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Mookieman 06-05-2017 08:35 AM

Still need some input on low temp problem
My first post must have been to long to stomach.....let me try a shorter one.

New Oklahoma Joe Highland. Can't get it hot enough without burning through large amounts of fuel (charcoal and wood).

Sealed tight, no leaks ✔
Latches ✔
BBQMods baffling ✔
Airflow good ✔
Dryer vent to grate level ✔
Raised grate in firebox ✔
Open smokestack ✔

I get the firebox roaring and consuming fuel at an astonishingly fast rate, but the pit barely gets to 300. I ain't in there looking every 2 minutes either. It just takes a half hour to get from a quick basting back to 250 even. What gives?

Piomarine 06-05-2017 08:41 AM

Try burnin splits. The OK Joe wasn't meant to run on charcoal and I know several here will tell you likewise. Start a chimney of charcoal, but only use it the get the log splits burning. From then on nothing but wood. Also try closing down your chimney damper some. If you're running it wide open it's possible that you are just letting heat escape through the chimney faster than you can replace it.

Mookieman 06-05-2017 08:46 AM

I did try backing off on the smokestack a little at a time. It's not the fire in the firebox that's the problem. I can get that hot enough to melt the paint off the sides. I'm have trouble transferring the heat over for some reason.

Notorious Q.U.E. 06-05-2017 08:48 AM

Wood's the way to go. As you'll see in my other posts, Kingsford Logs were my "gateway fuel" on the way to becoming totally hooked on stick burning. I go exhaust stack wide open.

To me, charcoal is just a startup and maybe middle-of-the-night maintenance heat source, whereas wood splits are the main event. Roger Davidson was the granddaddy of OKJ and he designed the pit with wood burning in mind. I believe his brother, Joseph, is the namesake of OKJ. Anyhow, wood all the way--you won't turn back!

Mookieman 06-05-2017 08:51 AM

I get that, but my problem isn't "the fire box isn't hot enough". I had that thing roaring twice now. The first time I started with a minion method with 100, then 150, then 200+ briquettes and I finally said screw it and went to a forest fire of wood and charcoal. The heat coming out of there just about enough to set your eyebrows on fire when you opened it.

Shagdog 06-05-2017 08:55 AM

I saw people answer you in the last one, so I didn't respond. Burn Splits. You can start with some charcoal to establish a coal bed, but you should be burning logs, not charcoal.

I would lose the dryer vent to grate level. I've always thought that was a dumb mod. It interferes with your airflow, and is potentially causing you problems. For that matter, I would look at your baffle set up too, it could also be hampering correct performance.

A minion method will not work in a stick burner. They're too drafty. Everything you put in is going to burn.

From what you're saying, I'm definitely thinking your mods are affecting performance. Lose the dryer vent first, burn splits, and see how it goes.

Mookieman 06-05-2017 09:00 AM

The dryer vent is adjustable, you can turn it so there's just a curve going left or right, but I will try just pulling it off completely (one thing I haven't tried). We'll see how that goes. Airflow still looked good with it in. Plenty of exhaust and nothing smoking from anywhere else. That thing is airtight everywhere else. It would probably float for hours in a lake (lol). I just can't figure out how it can be so blazing hot in the firebox and mediocre warm in the pit.

ps - I got zero replies on the last post (oh well)

Piomarine 06-05-2017 09:06 AM

Even with poor airflow smoke will eventually come out of the stack and give the illusion of performance, but you need more draw to pull more heat. This is doubly so in a reverse flow which I believe the highlander is. So like you said you do, pull the dryer vent, burn splits, and call us in the morning lol

SmittyJonz 06-05-2017 09:08 AM

Stick burners don't need to be airtight -they don't even need a door on the end of the firebox. Get rid of the dryer vent elbow and urn firewood like everybody has said.

SmittyJonz 06-05-2017 09:10 AM

Mookieman 06-05-2017 09:13 AM

The vent has got to be it. Like Piomarine said, you still need that "draw". If the vent is affecting the draw, that would be a significant development.

People keep telling me to burn wood, but getting the firebox hot isn't my problem. I can't get the heat to transfer. I can't see what difference it would make to burn a different material if you can't get it to transfer to the pit.

PatAttack 06-05-2017 09:15 AM

Like others have said...start with a charcoal bed and burn SPLITS!

SmittyJonz 06-05-2017 09:59 AM

Ditch the dryer vent and try charcoal again - it'll work but you may get tired of feeding it 2-3 bags per cook and reallze firewood is cheaper.......... or maybe you won't.

pitbossJB 06-05-2017 10:08 AM

It took me the longest time to realize that charcoal just doesn't work in a stick burner. I could get my firebox up to 900* and it still was cooking at 275-300, once I went to splits I was a happy camper. Even with the door open it was cooking nicely and the briskets were something to write home about. Wood is the answer and ditch your dryer hose.

Mookieman 06-05-2017 11:08 AM

Thing I can't figure out is, 900 degrees is 900 degrees. If it's hot in the firebox using one fuel, it should be just as hot for the other and the pit temp should be the same. I get it would be cheaper and the fuel would last longer, going with wood over charcoal, but even with the near nuclear temps I was getting the pit was barely getting to 300.

It's gotta be the vent. Also, I'm going to MacGyver a O2 delivery system out of my Qmaster. Something like a burner for air that runs under neither the firebox grate.

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