Trying the Afterburner

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by wahouse8, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. wahouse8

    wahouse8 Fire Starter

    Hello Everyone,

    I am going to try an afterburner I ordered online and received already. I have it all rigged up but have a few questions for those who have an afterburner on my vertical ECB.

    Do you use water or sand in your pan (I live in Southern Ontario, near Buffalo)?

    Do you use a mix of chips/chunks and charcoal in your can?

    Do you leave the smoke on for the whole time or remove the wood after a few hours to ensure it doesn't get 'too smoky' like on some charcoal only smokers?

    What if you do not have chunks or whole pieces like you see on your their sight but after chips, do you do anything different.

    Thanks and I will send picks when I light er up.

  2. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Aaron I personally don't have an afterburner but I do have a vertical unit and it's gas ( GOSM and a Smoke Vault24") but they still work about the same. So I use water in mine it helps to regulate the heat and keep it more even and will put alittle moisture in the smoker's air. This next one about chips and chunks you can use both or mix them (I do) and they will burn longer then just chips and the chucks will also light the chips along the way too. Now as far as the amount of smoke that is up to you and your taste but if you use a strong wood like hickory or mesquite those are some strong woods and will leave a very heavy smoke flavor to your meats. I personally use a lighter wood like apple, cherry, oak, and keep it smoking the whole time. Remember you just want a hint of smoke during cooking not the big billowing white smoke that will leave a bither taste to your meat. Thats why you always hear about the thin blue smoke around here. I hope that helps andif not someone else will be around with their 2 pennies soon.
  3. wahouse8

    wahouse8 Fire Starter

    Thank you thus far for the information!

    Do you add charcoal to your chips and chunks?

  4. This is still gonna come down to your individual taste but I find that the larger the chunks (within reason) the better it works.
    The little chunks seem to flare up and burn out rather quickly where the good sized chunks tend to smolder slow creating the light smoke we are looking for. Before going to a straight stick burner I cooked alot of good food over a combination of charcoal and wood chunks. I still get great results now using the coal only to start the fire but once it is going I just keep a couple of nice logs smoldering and it is a lot less work.
    Either way a bad night smoking always beats a good day at work.
    Good Luck...
  5. gnubee

    gnubee Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Aaron , I'm from BC, what province are you from?

    Depending on availability you should with a little detective work be able to find some local wood for your smoking. I live in Orchard country and haunt the backroads in the spring and fall when the farmers are pruning fruit trees. Most will allow you to cart off several 3-4 inch diameter branches that you can take home and cut into chunks for the smoker.
    Also my neighbour was getting a fir tree cut down. I asked the tree trimmer guy if he ever got extra fruit woods. Man! Goldmine! that guy gave me enough different fruit and hard woods to last a lifetime. FREE!
    I was at a nursery where they sell lots of decorative trees and such. I noticed some fairly large dead alders laying on the ground I easily bummed a couple of the right sized branches off the guy. Alder makes really good smoked fish.

    Wood is all around once you know where to look for it. I use my chop saw to make 1 inch chunks. When done in 1 inch pucks it takes about 3-6 months for them to dry out and cure then make great thin blue smoke .
  6. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Hi Aaron,

    I bought an Afterburner for my WSM, all I can say is be very careful. I have read where others have used them with success, not me, fortunately I was not severely burned, unless there has been a design change they have a tendency to flame out (read about it on the TVWB, do a search for afterburner) and I waited 5 minutes more than the instructions said before I tried to relight, again please be careful.

  7. wahouse8

    wahouse8 Fire Starter

    Hello Again!

    I am from Ontario Canada, St. Catharines to be exact. Hello to warm BC!

    I will have to start looking around, I know my neighbour has tons of wood!

    Gene! Thank you for the warning, I really am new to this so I am going to assume Flame Out is when the Flame blows out and the smoker needs to be opened up to let all the gas escape before re lighting?

  8. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Did you turn the propane off while you waited before you relit, or was the valve open??

  9. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member


    Yes that is correct, if there is too much pressure or too much area for the flame that causes flame out.

    I don't like to trash another man's work, but the one I bought would have never worked. Before you use it may I suggest you take a look at the area where the flame is, mine was a piece of 3 inch pipe with a piece of 1/2 inch bar stock welded in the center that held a flat plate covering the pipe, there was a 1/16 inch gap all around for the flame, If yours is like that then I suggest you take a look at the burners on your kitchen stove or any burner for a smoker of grill and you will notice there are individual holes for the flame. That gap is what causes the flame out, and any flame out is dangerous.

    If yours isn't like that then maybe there has been a design change and this is a moot subject.

    DDave, yes I turned the gas off at the tank, but that isn't the point, ...the point is there was a flame out EVERY time I lit it and that was caused by poor design, I said above, a flame out is dangerous and I feel that warning someone about this falls into the same category as warning some one about the temperature danger zone or adding cure in sausage that is to be smoked.

  10. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Agreed. [​IMG]

    There must be substantial differences in the way they function in a vertical as opposed to a horizontal with SFB. My Afterburner has the gap you describe but has run flawlessly for up to 17 hours on a brisket smoke with no flame out.


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