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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 02-17-2019, 07:40 PM   #1
troy64
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Join Date: 03-30-15
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Default air flow question

Is there an ideal level for air to enter a firebox? By that I mean entering beneath the splits, same level as the splits or does it even matter? My firebox has two openings at 9 and 3 o clock but the floor of the firebox sits approx. 3 inches deeper. Just wondering if I were to elevate the grate that the splits sit on that it might provide easier starts. I have a T design smoker from Johnson smokers.
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Old 02-17-2019, 08:33 PM   #2
Joe Black
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I have a large air damper that opens just below the fire for good combustion air. I have a smaller damper higher in the FB to help direct and aid the heat into the cook chamber. These are on the end of the FB. The door is on top.
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Old 02-17-2019, 08:42 PM   #3
IamMadMan
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My intake is just above the grate, as long as air can flow under the fuel/grate, you should be ok.
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Old 02-17-2019, 08:59 PM   #4
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Just below or at firegrate level should work.
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:20 PM   #5
troy64
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Thanks everyone. I think raising the grate will be my next move. Starts are very sluggish and I think this recessed area is too deep.
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:46 PM   #6
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Agreed. Intake just below the grate will aid in proper combustion and fire efficiency.
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Old 02-18-2019, 12:34 AM   #7
ASAT
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Troy, I have looked into Johnson’s T pits - which one do you have? Can you tell us a little more about it? How it cooks, temps across and upper / lower, fuel use, clean up, etc please? Very little info on these but I would think they are a great back yard user pit, just not sure how easy to access firebox so low and under the pit like that.... do you ever have to run it with the FB door open? (Adding splits, startup etc) I would also think that elevating your fire grate would help. Thanks for any insights.....
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Old 02-18-2019, 12:47 AM   #8
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Air/Fuel = Combustion as the others have said.
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Old 02-18-2019, 04:27 AM   #9
troy64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASAT View Post
Troy, I have looked into Johnson’s T pits - which one do you have? Can you tell us a little more about it? How it cooks, temps across and upper / lower, fuel use, clean up, etc please? Very little info on these but I would think they are a great back yard user pit, just not sure how easy to access firebox so low and under the pit like that.... do you ever have to run it with the FB door open? (Adding splits, startup etc) I would also think that elevating your fire grate would help. Thanks for any insights.....

I have the 24" T model. I can't remember the exact specs on cooking space but it's a beast at approx. 15+ square feet. Aside from this question about the firebox it cooks great and holds temps very well. Fuel use is very good. I've done 8, 10 and 12 hour cooks with it loaded down and my average splits use is around 13-15 sticks (at the most). Originally I was skeptical about the location of the firebox with regards to standing at the pit with doors open during a cook. Nothing even close to uncomfortable is all I can say. I don't notice any issues with heat on or around my legs while I'm in front. I do keep the firebox door open during start up as well as the cooking section doors. There are two registers located at 3 and 9 o'clock on the firebox. I usually start up with everything open including the stacks. Once the smoke cleans up I close off the cooking section doors and dial in my temps. Most times the firebox door remains closed but I have left it cracked open on humid calm days. It's actually a dual reverse flow smoker. There is a baffle in the bottom of the cooking section. Pretty sure it's a 6" pipe split in half. The baffle is in two pieces and you can move it side to side. The width of the pit is 6 feet. There is a square opening in the belly of the smoker sitting right above the firebox. The baffle routes smoke and heat coming up from the firebox out both sides (left and right) and up to the cooking section. From there the smoke and heat move across the cooking grates and out two stacks. The stacks have dampers. Total weight is approx. 900 lbs. On the metal casters it comes with the smoker is not very hard to move on concrete but beyond that you'd have to position it with some assistance on a grass surface, etc. Chad Johnson with Johnson Custom Smokers was very helpful with all my questions. If you go to their website there is more detailed info regarding all the pits. If you have any other question let me know. Overall I've been very happy with the smoker.
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:54 AM   #10
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Ideally, air below the grate but high enough not to get blocked with ash.
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Old 03-11-2019, 06:22 AM   #11
troy64
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Well this definitely made a difference. Elevated the grate to near even with the air inlets on both sides of the firebox. I filled a tray with lit coals and placed it under the grate. The wood placed on the grate lit fast and the burn was very, very clean. I've since moved the bricks front and back vs on the sides and it's improved even more.
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Old 03-11-2019, 06:27 AM   #12
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I always wanted a T pit. Glad to see it is as advertised.
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