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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 05-24-2004, 11:34 PM   #1
slat
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A little background first.

I use expanded metal as a grate. I have a baffle nearest the opening to the chamber and one near the damper, bent to go above the air inlet. I do this to get all the air to flow through the fire. The only other mod I have made is the baffle for the inside of the chamber to direct the heat across the bottom.

When I make a fire I start by placing a layer or briquettes (sp) 7 wide by 7 long. Across rows 2 & 3 and 5 & 6 I place a piece of hickory that is roughly a 3 inch square by width of 7 briquettes. Rows 1, 4 and 7 are built up to the same height as the wood give or take. I then dump about a 1/2 to 3/4 chimney (sp) of briquettes in front of all this to get it going.

Here in lies the problem, once all this gets going it gets way up in temp if I leave the damper and flue wide open. I have to close the damper and close the flue 2/3 to 1/2 way to maintain 225 to 250 degrees, (It will hold this temp for about 2.5 to 3 hours,) but I usually end up getting just a little bit of soot in the smoke which of course gets on the meat. Am I just using to much fuel? Should I not do the build up on rows 1, 4 and 7? I'm open to suggestions. Look forward to some help and hopefully some answers.

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Old 05-24-2004, 11:48 PM   #2
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Slat, been having start up problems of my own until last cook. I too had been starting with unlit briq as a base (no wood yet) then add lit stuff to make it go. I was ending up with too much fire, same as I think you're getting.

Last cook I started with a lit full chimney of lit lump/briq mix. As soon as I dumped it in added 3 solid fist size hickory chunks on top close it up. Go heat water and load meat on racks. Fill pan with hot water, put racks in smoker, add a split and chimney light to cookin in under and hour no excess heat, no problems.

BTW what do you burn after you get going?
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Old 05-24-2004, 11:55 PM   #3
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too much fuel mod
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Old 05-25-2004, 07:26 AM   #4
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Way too much fuel...

i use half a chimney, completely lit, and add a few fist size chunks of wood to get it going. after that its all wood unless i loose the coal bed. To replenish the coal bed, I use unlit lump.. if i no gots, i'll use kingsford, but always prelight it. Top damper wide open, firbox damper wide open to no more than half closed..
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Old 05-25-2004, 10:37 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. I'll try using less fuel. Of course warmer weather makes it a little more interesting too.
KC once I get going I use all wood unless the coal bed disappears, then I'll add more briq already lit.
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Old 05-26-2004, 06:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Of course warmer weather makes it a little more interesting too.
I was thinking last time I cooked that fall was gonna bring a whole new bend to the learning curve and a lot that I learned early (feb and march), and have abandoned for now will have to be relearned. Always interesting, no two cooks are ever the same.
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Old 05-26-2004, 11:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcquer
Quote:
Of course warmer weather makes it a little more interesting too.
I was thinking last time I cooked that fall was gonna bring a whole new bend to the learning curve and a lot that I learned early (feb and march), and have abandoned for now will have to be relearned. Always interesting, no two cooks are ever the same.
An August cook in Texas gets pretty economical. Big, black, metal box in the sun heats up in a hurry and retains heat with a small fire. That's offset somewhat by increased beer consumption, cost of ice, and sunscreen with an SPF over 25.
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