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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.

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Old 02-13-2011, 08:30 PM   #1
Is lookin for wood to cook with.
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Join Date: 06-09-06
Location: Fontana, California
Default Fuel Hogs and Heat Loss

The Problem with heat loss and fuel hogs........

Still consider myself a novice. Much study and many questions. Much concern over fuel hogs and heat loss. Conclusions:
* All pits in the 1/4" thick offset, non-insulated category, will lose heat and be more high maintenance (use more fuel) depending on firebox and airflow configuration.

* Most sure fired method for maintaining temperature in an offset stick burner is to have a 1/2" insulated fire box and a convection plate for reverse flow.

* Upright insulated smokers, i.e., Superior, Stumps, Spice Wine etc, by design, take care of the majority of these concerns, and allow for less babysitting.

You gentlemen are the professionals. Where am I wrong? Where does my thinking need to change?

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Old 02-13-2011, 08:33 PM   #2
Babbling Farker
Join Date: 02-28-10
Location: North Potomac, MD

My BWS sure is efficient.
Graduate: Jack's Old South BBQ School, Smokin Triggers BBQ School, Paul Kirk BBQ School
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:49 PM   #3
is One Chatty Farker
Join Date: 10-16-08
Location: Virginia

I don't think your missing anything, a cabinet style smoker is a great thing. I have offsets mostly because anything in the cabinet style that will do capacities I need costs a lot more than an offset.

An example would be say a Spicewine on a trailer that I priced was $6500 and I can purchace a Lang or Meadow Creek that can do equal volume or more for half the price. Also if the cabinet smoker get too big like a Jacks Old South Cooker they really have to throw the wood to them, as much or more as an offset. That is unless it is insulated.
FEC 120, Lang 84, Custom Off Set
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:54 PM   #4
El Lobo
is one Smokin' Farker
Join Date: 01-18-11
Location: Great White North

Wood is cheap and plentiful (where i live at least), and Guru stokers keep my temps solid. Offsets have served me well.
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:05 PM   #5
BBQ Bandit
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Join Date: 02-15-08
Location: Harrisburg, PA

Thicker steel is nice... 1/2" steel is not mandatory.

Case in point: Can fire up my Lang offset (1/4" steel)... and will run 3 hours between loads with proper preparation.

It all depends on who is running the pit and how well designed it is.
Custom Klose Backyard Chef... of Snot, and a 22.5 WSM

Former smokers;
Lang 84 Deluxe kitchen, Lang 60 Mobile - The Damsel II, Lang 48 Patio - The Damsel, Bubba Keg Grill - RIP, Double Barrel Smoker and a BSKD
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:57 PM   #6
is One Chatty Farker
Join Date: 06-26-10
Location: Manheim, PA

Personally, I have not seen an offset advertised as having a 1/2" steel firebox. I'm sure somebody makes one somewhere but I have not seen it. I know that Meadowcreek now offers insulated fireboxes on most models. It comes for a price though (extra $600 and up depending on size of pit). HOWEVER, I could be wrong, I am plenty of the time. But still loving my Meadowcreek SQ36 with 1/4" steel firebox
Meadowcreek SQ36 with 2nd grate, 1991 Weber Performer w/ SS table, UDS, gasser.-Glenn-
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Thanks from:--->
Old 02-13-2011, 11:22 PM   #7
somebody shut me the fark up.
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Join Date: 05-10-06
Location: Overland Fark, KS

I am in full agreement.
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:41 PM   #8
Is lookin for wood to cook with.
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Join Date: 06-09-06
Location: Fontana, California

For a price, you can order 1/2" fireboxes from Klose, Gator and Pits by JJ. Thank you for your comments.

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Old 02-14-2011, 12:35 AM   #9
is One Chatty Farker
Join Date: 03-17-09
Location: Stowe, VT

Did you mean that there is 1/2" space between layers in the firebox? Your logic seems sound to me. I don't know about steel cookers, but with the ceramic thermal mass of my Large BGE, I can get 20 hours @230 without opening the lid with Wicked Good and my Stoker. These are equivalent of an insulated steel cooker I'd think.

Traditional Santa Maria Pit
Mini, Small, Medium & Large BGE
Weber 22" OTS & 26" OTG & 18"WSM & WGA
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:32 AM   #10
Full Fledged Farker
Join Date: 03-03-10
Location: lexington ky

$80 bucks will get you a welding blanket to keep the heat in.
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