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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 12-31-2005, 02:00 PM   #1
RichardF
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Default temperature control/length of smoke break-thru

Last night I finally had a temperature control/length of smoke break-thru, as the result of adding various modifications to my Bandera over the weekend.

First I installed my Chris/Jalapeno fabricated baffle, which was perfectly fabricated. Boy was I surprised when I opened the box to find not only the baffle, but instructions with color pictures depicting installation. I tore out my BYE'd (backyard engineered) baffle made from a disposable aluminum pan and in no time (thanks to the instructions) installed the new baffle.

Next I unpacked my Spicewine charcoal basket. I think the basket has more thermal mass then the Bandera. I'm sure the delivery man wasn't too happy when he had to carry the box up to my garage. After playing with several different ways to insert the basket into the firebox, without busting a knuckle, I finally figured it out. I set the two dividers so that the basket was segmented into thirds, and added Kingsford, filling each chamber.

Next I hooked-up my BBQ GURU, and used the GURU golf club fire-starter in the chamber closest to the smoker to get some coals going.

Ambient temperature at start of smoke (10:00PM) was about 50F. Temperature at 4:00AM was approximately 35F.

The first thing I noticed was how quickly the smoker came up to temp (225F). Typically it can take an hour +. With the new setup it was a little over 1/2 hour. Over the next two hours, the temperature never fluctuated more than the minimum reading accuracy of the Guru thermostat. At that point I went to sleep, but set up the baby monitor so that I would know when the temperature started to drop. I didn't add additional coal at that point because I wanted to see how long I could hold temperature on one full coal basket. Typically, with a BYE'd coal basket and the Guru I'd get 2 to 3 hours @ 225F per full coal basket.

The temp alarm went off at 4:00 AM, a full six hours of untended smoking and temperature control on one coal basket. I was amazed. After reviewing my setup, I realized that I hadn't properly seated the dividers in the basket, and that allowed for premature ignition of the second and third coal cells. After refilling and fixing the dividers I got 8 hours +, of at temp controlled, unattended burn from a full coal basket. I think this may be a life-changing event. Now just don't tell my wife that I don't have to watch the smoker.

I hope this may be of help to others - Have a Smokin' New Year's - Richard
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Old 12-31-2005, 02:34 PM   #2
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8+ hrs ....That's incredible Rich... Congrats...

Now, the only question I ask is .. Did you sleep well or were you concerned something was not working ? (After 4 or 5 hrs, I'd probably be thinking of dead batteries in the remote sensor or something !!!).
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Old 12-31-2005, 04:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilitantSquatter
8+ hrs ....That's incredible Rich... Congrats...

Now, the only question I ask is .. Did you sleep well or were you concerned something was not working ? (After 4 or 5 hrs, I'd probably be thinking of dead batteries in the remote sensor or something !!!).
Luckily, no batteries involved, everything plugs in. I did wake up once, but could hear the fan cycling, so no worries. When the Guru is holding temperature properly, the fan breathes about once every 5 or 6 seconds. You can set it so it beeps when it breathes, but I didn't want to annoy the neighbors. As it is, the regulars, who on smelling smoke, drift in around lunchtime to say hi. If I'm smoking overnight, I always have a butt ready for lunch.

My big concern was that my wife would figure out that the monitor was not in the baby's room...
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Old 12-31-2005, 05:27 PM   #4
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Thank you, thank you very much....I beta tested the Spicebag fire basket just so people like you could get the good results! The basket should have gone in thru the top and slid over onto the pegs.....Enjoy your new set up.....life is good!
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Old 12-31-2005, 05:28 PM   #5
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Great job Richard. I wish they had one that fit my Lang.
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Old 12-31-2005, 05:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawdustguy
Great job Richard. I wish they had one that fit my Lang.
I think Rich from Lost Nation uses a basket in his Lang. Don't know if it's a homemade deal, or what. I always wondered how you could get enough heat from a basket in a cooker that size.
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Old 12-31-2005, 06:56 PM   #7
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"My big concern was that my wife would figure out that the monitor was not in the baby's room..."

Now that to me is funny. That is exactly out of my book of tricks. But then again, I see no reason for diapers when kitty litter will do.
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Old 01-01-2006, 09:26 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=Smoker
But then again, I see no reason for diapers when kitty litter will do.[/QUOTE]

Why waste kitty litter - We have a floor drain, squeege and a hose
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Old 01-01-2006, 09:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backyardchef
I think Rich from Lost Nation uses a basket in his Lang. Don't know if it's a homemade deal, or what. I always wondered how you could get enough heat from a basket in a cooker that size.
We did a cook during the cold temperature spell we had recently. I had a big old steel box that I filled up with charcoal just to get the smoker warmed up and not waste precious wood just warming up the smoker.
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Old 01-03-2006, 03:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawdustguy
We did a cook during the cold temperature spell we had recently. I had a big old steel box that I filled up with charcoal just to get the smoker warmed up and not waste precious wood just warming up the smoker.
Guy,

How'd that work out? How much of a burn did you get, etc...? Someone else that I know cooks on a Lang-- he could not get it up to temp and/or hold it using charcoal. He switched to all wood and never went back....
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Old 01-03-2006, 05:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backyardchef
Guy,

How'd that work out? How much of a burn did you get, etc...? Someone else that I know cooks on a Lang-- he could not get it up to temp and/or hold it using charcoal. He switched to all wood and never went back....
Spilling Rob's secrets are we?
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Old 01-03-2006, 08:33 PM   #12
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Wink Shooosh!

Rob who? Don't know what you're talking about.
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