Fire Management and Temperature Control Input Needed

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by sqwib, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey guys, time for me to pick everyone’s brain,

    I did my first cook on my reverse flow and couldn’t be happier, but I’m not posting to talk about the “Q” I need to get some input.

    Look at my chart below and give me some feedback.


    Time

    Temp

    Valves

    open

    Splits

    Notes

     

     

     

     

     

    9:50 am

    85°

    4

    6

    Preheat Burner

    10:00 am

    275°

    4

     

     

    10:02 am

     

    4

     

    6  logs ignited Log lighter turned off pre burner

    10:06 am

    350°

    4

     

     

    10:08 am

    400°

    4

     

     

    10:10 am

    450°

    4

     

     

    10:12 am

    465°

    4

     

     

    10:13 am

    475°

    4

     

    Shut Fire Box door.

    10:20 am

    500+°

    4

     

    Gauge Maxed out

    10:30 am

    500+°

    3

     

    Gauge Maxed out

    10:40 am

    500+°

    2

     

    Gauge Maxed out

    10:50 am

    500+°

    2

     

    Opened fire box door and stoked wood.

    10:55 am

    500+°

    2

     

    Temp started to drop, opened lid and seasoned inside

    11:00 am

    325°

    2

     

    Placed two 6.5 Boston Butts on each side

    11:08 am

    325°

    1

     

     

    11:18 am

    275°

    1

     

     

    11:30 am

    225°

    1

    1

    Added split, after initial logs

    11:32 am

    225°

    1

     

     

    11:35 am

    250°

    1

     

     

    11:45 am

    245°

    1

     

     

    11:55 am

    225°

    1

    1

    Added split

    12:05 pm

    250°

    1

     

    Spritzed Butts

    12:20 pm

    225°

    1

     

     

    12:25 pm

    225°

    1

     

     

    12:30 pm

    215°

    1

    1

    Added split Spritzed Butts

    12:48 pm

    225°

    1

    1

    Added Large split, Added Chili

    1:02 pm

    225°

    2

     

    Logs seemed to be chocking, so I opened #2 valve

    1:13 pm

    250°

    2

     

     

    1:26 pm

    220°

    2

    2

    Added 2 splits, Added Mac and Cheese, Spritzed

    1:28 pm

    220°

    3

     

    Opened Valve #3 Fire was chocking

    1:32 pm

    300°

    2.5

     

    ½ closed valve #3

    1:34 pm

    275°

    2.5

     

     

    1:50 pm

    275°

    2

     

    Fully closed valve #3

    2:03 pm

    250°

    2

    1

    Added split, Spritzed Butts

    2:15 pm

    300°

    1.5

    1

    ½ closed valve #2

    2:30 pm

    260°

    1.5

     

     

    2:45 pm

    200°

    2.5

    1

    Added Split, started to loose fire opened valve #3

    3:00 pm

    275°

    2.5

     

     

    3:25 pm

    225°

    2.5

    2

    Added 2 small  Splits

    3:45 pm

    235°

    2.5

     

    Opened #3 full

    4:06 pm

    275°

    3

     

    Spritzed Butts

    4:17  pm

    275°

    3

    1

    Added Split

    4:37  pm

    275°

    3

    1

    Added Split

    5:05  pm

    310°

    2

    1

    Closed #3 Added split, temp was high but fuel was low

    5:15  pm

    275°

    2

     

     

    5:25  pm

    275°

    2

     

     

    5:50  pm

    275°

    2

    1

    Added Split

    6:10  pm

    275°

    2

    1

    Added Split

    6:30  pm

    225°

    2

    1

    Added Split, Removed Butt # 1, right side

    6:50  pm

    275°

    2

     

     

    7:10  pm

    275°

    2

     

     

     

    I had about a 40° to 50° difference from left to right; I fried all my probes leaving them in the smoker at high temps, but had 2 that were ok.

    Anyway about the 50° difference, I was wondering if it’s because of my design.

    If you look at the picture below you can see where the heat would rise straight up and heat the top of the firebox which is about 10” into the smoke chamber.

    [​IMG]

    I was building the fire to the left directly under the 10” portion that goes into the smoke chamber, my thoughts are build to the right and check temps again and if that fails go to step 2 which is put a plate on an angle sloping down away (to the right) from the smoke chamber inlet.

    The RF has no problem with temp and recovers very quickly from an opened door.

    Ok onto my next question, now remember this is my first smoke on a RF.

    If you noticed my temps, at around 1:34pm 275° seems to be the constant.

    My concern with maintaining the fire was there were almost no coals after each split, I expected a coal base to build up, is this normal? (I was using cherry wood).

    Sometimes the fire would choke because I cut off some of the airflow because temps were higher than I wanted.

    My splits were wrist sized and about 16 -20” long.

    I know I need to practice more with fire management and one thought comes to mind, should I maybe use shorter splits?

    I would like to dial it in at around 240° to 260° range but kept choking the fire when reducing air intake.

    Would shorter splits keep the heat lower or just make the burn shorter.

    I posted a bunch of pics, maybe you guys can pick up on something I am missing…but don’t get me wrong I was very pleased with the performance, but wanted to try and dial it in a bit better.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    CHERRY SPLITS

    [​IMG]

    GOOD SMOKE

    [​IMG]

    BUTTS WERE AWESOME

    [​IMG]
     
  2. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    After a little practice you will learn when to add a split and also when not to add a split. Me personaly,I use a basket with the Minion Method. That way all you do is get your dampers adjusted to the temp you want and let it smoke! But in the long run nothing beats      experience, so keep at it!   My guess on the temp  problem is the same as yours! There may be too much radiant heat from the FB.                                                                                                                                                                                       [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2010
  3. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG]

    Man thats a nice smoker and it sure is doing a fine job by the looks of it. Now for the regulating the fire and temps practice will make perfect thats for sure. So keep on smokin and you'll learn with each new smoke.
     

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