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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 02-03-2020, 10:33 PM   #61
SmittyJonz
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I don't like Lump. Tried several brands in several smokers (and I've had a few........). Needs alot of Air to burn Well in my experiences and I had bigger temp swings in UDS and other smokers.......
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Old 02-03-2020, 10:47 PM   #62
SmokinAussie
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23 additional pounds of steel might slow you down as far as getting up to temp, but after that it shouldn't make much difference.

Adding a chimney full of lump should be OK... IF it was well and truly hammering.

Why not have a separate hardwood fire going on the side where you can add hot coals instead?

Still, I think it's cursed.
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Old 02-03-2020, 11:59 PM   #63
dummy que
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 93_confirmed View Post
Here's my final, long winded update and after this I will let this thread drift into the abyss.

I added the grate and Lavalock basket back into the firebox.
I lit one packed chimney of Weber briqs (last few attempts were top shelf lump)
I put the Smoke therm in and I picked up some cheap oven thermometers so had a couple strategically placed just to see what temps I'm getting throughout.
I dumped the lit chimney in. Exhaust and firebox door (NOT LID) wide open.
I pulled up a chair and waited with much anticipation.
Within 20 minutes she was at 250 and not long after I cracked 300.
Very mixed feelings here because still so many unanswered questions.
I threw a butt and some thighs on and all is well again. Hooray end of story right?? Not quite...

After a few hours of adding cherry splits, my coal bed was getting weak so I fired up a full chimney of lump this time. Nice chunks with some small pieces. Solid brand imo.
As soon as it was mostly lit I dumped it in and wandered off.
I checked the temp a while later to make sure I'm not too high and it's at 200F.
Open up the firebox and the basket is about 3/4 full and it's an inferno in there.
Hmm, WTF is going on here? I gave the basket a couple of shakes, ash was very minimal underneath, weather hadn't changed, setup didn't change, amount of meat didn't change. I was even more bewildered than in previous attempts.
I f'd around with it for a while by adding small splits and rearranging the fire and the best I could do was barely hitting 225. At that point, the butt was pretty far along so I bailed to the oven and shut it down.

So, the conclusion here is actually two takeaways.
1) How could lump charcoal perform worse than briqs when it is confirmed to burn hotter and faster? I would expect temps to spike faster and drop faster than the briqs but I actually saw the reverse. Weber briqs are amazing by the way and worth every cent.
2) One of the things I forgot to mention in this entire saga that I feel really stupid about is after the last successful cook on New Years, I replaced the stock chamber grates with the 2-tier setup from BBQMods in the link below and now realize that I added 23 extra pounds of steel inside that wasn't there before these temp problems started. I'm sure this isn't helping my situation BUT, the briqs still got me to 250-300F on this day with relative ease so maybe it's not an issue and just the lump not cooperating.

Thanks for listening and following and for all the words of advice and troubleshooting.

https://bbqsmokermods.com/oem-smoker...trolr-bbq.html (2 tier mod; wasn't worth the extra space for the $ if anyone is considering it. Adds about 300+ sq inches of cooking space but not much clearance for that space because of the lid).

https://rockwoodcharcoal.com/ (lump brand I was using)
NONONO!!!!!!!!!!!! Lump dose not burn hotter than brickets (amzing ribs .com) they halve proven carbon is carbon it burns at the temp it burns as for raising the end of your smoker heat & smoke rise yhats why drum smokers are so efficient
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Old 02-04-2020, 12:07 AM   #64
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A BIG P.S. tacking adv. of 60deg. weather cooked 3 racks of ribs had hard time keeping it under 245deg good luck
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Old 02-04-2020, 04:46 PM   #65
JiveTurkey
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It sounds like when you were burning sticks all was good then you added lump and things went south. Lose the lump and keep that coal bed alive with wood. The cherry I have doesn’t make a good coal bed so I oak to keep the pit alive.

Keep at it, you’ll find your groove!


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Old 02-04-2020, 07:30 PM   #66
Texan79423
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the first thing I learned about BBQ is fire management. You build a fire to produce coals. Your add wood to maintain the coals which is the heat. With out a good coal base required to cook your just burning wood and have temp swings. I am betting you are not maintaining the coal base properly.

Build a fire with a good hardwood at least and hour before putting on the meat build up a good coal base. Keep you a few sticks on top of your hot fire box as they ignite faster when added to the coals. Leave the fire box door cracked till the stick(s) flame up for a few minutes. It's best to prop them up against a burning stick so you get air flow around the new stick. Close the fire box if it goes to all white smoke open the door and give it air for a minute or two.

When I got a new Rocking W smoker I spend a full day just burning a fire to learn the pit and what it liked and what it did not like. The pit runs best at 275 to 300. Bringing it down to 225-250 choked it down. My prior pit ran best at 250.

All I can tell you is learn to build a fire and maintain the fire go out there and watch and learn. That's why we call them pit masters and not grill maters or just a cook.

Oh then there is seasoning that's a whole different thing too. Good luck.
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