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Old 07-18-2010, 10:21 PM   #941
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

quick question , and i am sure there will be diferent answers.

what do you use for fuel in your smoker?

and i am having a hell of a time keeping my temp up. what can i do?

ps ok two questions.
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Old 07-18-2010, 11:07 PM   #942
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kugie View Post
quick question , and i am sure there will be diferent answers.

what do you use for fuel in your smoker?

and i am having a hell of a time keeping my temp up. what can i do?

ps ok two questions.
What type of smoker do you have? The various types and styles of smokers can behave differently with different types of fuel.

As for the low problem, what temps are you running currently? What are you burning and how much? And have you checked the pit for air leaks?
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:45 AM   #943
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

I decided to break in the new OTG over the weekend and tried making baby back ribs for the first time ever. Sorry I don’t have pics, but the Canon software isn’t compatible with my laptop and the desktop just went kaput. Anyhoo, I used the set up that T.G. suggested. I poured a whole chimneys worth of unlit KF and put around 12 lit briquettes on top. It was a blistering 95* outside. It was windy and took me a while to get the temp stabilized at 330* (according to the lid thermometer that came with the kettle). It was the lowest I could get it. More on that later.

I cleaned two slabs and then rubbed them with this magic dust (about 2/5 down the page), threw a couple chunks of apple on and let them smoke away. The smoke died down after an hour so I threw another chunk on. I was planning on using the 2-2-1 method, but after two hours the meat wasn’t pulling back so I let it go for another hour. I foiled them at the 3 hour mark, sprayed on ľ cup of apple juice and they were falling off the bone after an hour…might have been too tender for some people. I quickly sauced them and gave it another 15-20 mins to let it set. They came out great for a first attempt…had a good smoke ring, were moist and good overall flavor.

As far as the grill temp goes, I wanted to get it down to 250-275*, but I think the weather and the wind messed with it. Next time, I’ll try using 6 lit briquettes and a water pan over them and see if that helps.

Anyway, If I can find a way to get the temp down, I'll try a pork butt.

Last edited by ucla695; 07-19-2010 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:34 PM   #944
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

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Originally Posted by ucla695 View Post
As far as the grill temp goes, I wanted to get it down to 250-275*, but I think the weather and the wind messed with it. Next time, Iíll try using 6 lit briquettes and a water pan over them and see if that helps.

Anyway, If I can find a way to get the temp down, I'll try a pork butt.
Congrats on the cook. One great thing about learning a new cooker is you get to eat the mistakes!!

When I used to use a Weber kettle as a smoker, and I did it a bunch, I would start with what I called a heavy half of a chimney of briqs. I would add 7 briqs and hour and I could run at 225-250 all day long. YMMV... but that was what worked for me.
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:44 PM   #945
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

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Originally Posted by T.G View Post
What type of smoker do you have? The various types and styles of smokers can behave differently with different types of fuel.

As for the low problem, what temps are you running currently? What are you burning and how much? And have you checked the pit for air leaks?
i have a Char grill smoker.
I am using Cowboy lump charcoal and for my heat source
The temp may get to 300 but it takes forever to get there and it won't stay at that temp.
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:46 PM   #946
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

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Congrats on the cook. One great thing about learning a new cooker is you get to eat the mistakes!!

When I used to use a Weber kettle as a smoker, and I did it a bunch, I would start with what I called a heavy half of a chimney of briqs. I would add 7 briqs and hour and I could run at 225-250 all day long. YMMV... but that was what worked for me.
Was the heavy half lit and then you'd add unlit to it?
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Old 07-19-2010, 01:04 PM   #947
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

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Was the heavy half lit and then you'd add unlit to it?
I light the heavy half of a chimney. When it is ready I put it on one side of the fire grate. Then I add 7 unlit briqs and hour to the lit briqs.
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Old 07-19-2010, 01:07 PM   #948
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

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I light the heavy half of a chimney. When it is ready I put it on one side of the fire grate. Then I add 7 unlit briqs and hour to the lit briqs.
I see. I'll give that a try. Thanks.
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Old 07-19-2010, 03:11 PM   #949
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

Mike.......I kinda figured you wanted to break in your new Weber and play with it so we decided to leave you guys alone this weekend....

On my OTG I usually light just the bottom third to half of a full chimney and dump that full chimney into the kettle and let the temp stabilize. Also, at that point, most all of the smoke from charcoals clears as well. I'm able to maintain temps anywhere between 250 to 400 for long periods.

I'm planning on doing 2 racks of dino bones (beef ribs) this weekend...
I got them at Costco a couple of weeks ago and they've been in the freezer. I will magic dust them too..
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Old 07-19-2010, 03:36 PM   #950
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

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Mike.......I kinda figured you wanted to break in your new Weber and play with it so we decided to leave you guys alone this weekend....

Quote:
Originally Posted by fxpose View Post
On my OTG I usually light just the bottom third to half of a full chimney and dump that full chimney into the kettle and let the temp stabilize. Also, at that point, most all of the smoke from charcoals clears as well. I'm able to maintain temps anywhere between 250 to 400 for long periods.
That's good to know. Thanks George.

Quote:
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I'm planning on doing 2 racks of dino bones (beef ribs) this weekend...
I got them at Costco a couple of weeks ago and they've been in the freezer. I will magic dust them too..


I'm going to have to try the Orange Marmalade Siracha wings, but I'm afraid of the mess.
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Old 07-19-2010, 04:10 PM   #951
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

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I'm going to have to try the Orange Marmalade Siracha wings, but I'm afraid of the mess.
Just make sure you foil and cup the bottom grate well. You don't want any of that stuff dripping onto the vent fins. If it gets caked on there you'll find the vents frozen stuck the next time you use your grill. You don't want that...
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Old 07-19-2010, 04:14 PM   #952
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

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Just make sure you foil and cup the bottom grate well. You don't want any of that stuff dripping onto the vent fins. If it gets caked on there you'll find the vents frozen stuck the next time you use your grill. You don't want that...
Good thinking. Seems like it'll be like culinary super glue once it dries.
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:08 PM   #953
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fxpose View Post
Just make sure you foil and cup the bottom grate well. You don't want any of that stuff dripping onto the vent fins. If it gets caked on there you'll find the vents frozen stuck the next time you use your grill. You don't want that...
Quote:
Originally Posted by ucla695 View Post
Good thinking. Seems like it'll be like culinary super glue once it dries.
If you don't have the side of the coal grate that is under the food foiled you can get some crazy drafts in there that can run your temps up.

I run foil on that side of the grate for drafts and I just have a $1 disposable aluminum turkey roasting pan in there to catch the drippings. I hardly ever bother to drain it, when it gets too gnarly or ends up with some small leaks, I just toss it and stick a new one in.

What did you have your vents set at and what fuel were you using when you were running into the 330F temps?
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:26 PM   #954
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

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Originally Posted by kugie View Post
i have a Char grill smoker.
I am using Cowboy lump charcoal and for my heat source
The temp may get to 300 but it takes forever to get there and it won't stay at that temp.
Two things come to mind for that much of a temp problem:
Cooking chamber leaking like a seive and firebox problems (if it's a side firebox).

Check around the lid/door seal on the cooking chamber, see if it's leaking. Is the door warped? If an SFB, check where the SFB mounts to the cooking chamber. Brad (OLS) knows the char-grillers well, he might have some tips on how to find it or where to look on them.

As for the fire box, i've seen some modifications to the charcoal baskets for the SFBs posted around. Keep the coals from being smothered in their own ash.

As for the fuel, while Cowboy charcoal has lots of shortcomings in the flavor, wood quality and burn time department, I don't recall low temp being a problem with it.
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:52 PM   #955
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by T.G View Post
Two things come to mind for that much of a temp problem:
Cooking chamber leaking like a seive and firebox problems (if it's a side firebox).

Check around the lid/door seal on the cooking chamber, see if it's leaking. Is the door warped? If an SFB, check where the SFB mounts to the cooking chamber. Brad (OLS) knows the char-grillers well, he might have some tips on how to find it or where to look on them.

As for the fire box, i've seen some modifications to the charcoal baskets for the SFBs posted around. Keep the coals from being smothered in their own ash.

As for the fuel, while Cowboy charcoal has lots of shortcomings in the flavor, wood quality and burn time department, I don't recall low temp being a problem with it.
Thanks for the info i will look more into it the next time I fire that bad boy up
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:00 AM   #956
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by T.G View Post
If you don't have the side of the coal grate that is under the food foiled you can get some crazy drafts in there that can run your temps up.

I run foil on that side of the grate for drafts and I just have a $1 disposable aluminum turkey roasting pan in there to catch the drippings. I hardly ever bother to drain it, when it gets too gnarly or ends up with some small leaks, I just toss it and stick a new one in.

What did you have your vents set at and what fuel were you using when you were running into the 330F temps?
I have the side of the grate under the food foiled and also have a large drip pan. The bottom vents were originally set between 25% and 50% for 25 or so minutes, but I ended up closing them to get a handle on the temp. The top vent was open all the way. I was using KF blue.

Last edited by ucla695; 07-20-2010 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:21 AM   #957
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

I will definitely foil up the food side now that you mention that TG.
As for the Char-Griller, I do not have a fire box, so I can't speak to that
but most people say that you get a lot of bolt holes that are drilled out
but not always used, and you get draft through there, so they fill with
random bolts. And also the lid is not a fantastic seal either, so you get
some leakage there. You can attach some 'foil rope' to seal the pit, some
people use fiberglass rope to do it as well. I just let it leak and keep my
vents nearly closed, chimney wide open. I pile my coals near the vent side
and cook on the opposite side. Not classic indirect grilling as Raichlen would
call it, but it cooks meat. Then I take my camera outside in my pocket and
forget that it's there.

At the reduced meat section yesterday, I got 7 lbs of 85 percent lean ground
beef for 6 dollars, some nice sirloin tip steaks for the jerkomatic and some chuck
steaks for the Jerkomatic. 7 different packs of meat for 18 bucks. Making some jerky
tonight.
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Old 07-20-2010, 12:22 PM   #958
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

We had a big Family get together for my Grandmothers 100th Birthday on Sunday.
I was in charge of the "Smoke" for 21 people.

Yup, you guessed it....Pork Shoulders.


(2) 7 lb Boneless Shoulders from CostCo.




This is 22 hours after the "Rub of Love"




14 hours later w/ I.T. of 200*




Ready to be wrapped up for 2 Hrs of the F.T.C. method



It pulled like a dream and tasted even better. Killer Bark. Sorry, no after pics. They came out super blurry.


After pulling and saucing I baked up 3 dozen of these suckers for the Pig/Barn Herf on Saturday. Peanut butter Chocolate Chip.

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Old 07-20-2010, 12:32 PM   #959
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Damn that bark looks good!....and cookies to boot!....Nice!
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Old 07-20-2010, 01:38 PM   #960
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ucla695 View Post
I have the side of the grate under the food foiled and also have a large drip pan. The bottom vents were originally set between 25% and 50% for 25 or so minutes, but I ended up closing them to get a handle on the temp. The top vent was open all the way. I was using KF blue.
Due to the larger vents on the 26", you might have to close them down much earlier than that. Thinking that in the 25 minutes, you might have had a large number of coals light off.

Also could have been the wind, creating a force draft in there.

Have you checked your lid thermometer for accuracy?

Just looked at your cook times, 4 hours total, that's about right for ribs. You might have been running a bit hot, but possibly not as hot as you might think.

I've long suspected that grate temps on these fire-brick modified webers are actually lower than the lid temps and exhaust temps, but I don't have remote probes to verify it with. My lid temp could be reading one number halfway up the lid, but yet my cook times to the point where I hit desired temp as indicated with a pocket thermometer probe and by feel with a fork, point towards a lower grate temp, like 30 degrees less than the $6 universal gauge from home depot tells me.
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