Thanks Beer B Q - it's smoking right now so I'll try that tomorrow. Any tips on what I could use to strip the old RTV?
Hi All, I wanted to share this with everyone - may have discovered the problem...
Multiple and intermittent 4-alarm fires!!! BEC is no joke - 1500 watts of unadulterated, uncontrollable, rage. First seasoning attempt, entire fire box area (lower fridge unit) A B L A Z E. Santa could've used it for runway approach here in the Northern Rockies during winter storm...
Here's a hint - don't ever, never, ever never ever use wood to support insulation in fire box area. I had a steel tank 15" wide that I dropped into an isolated, and insulated 'box'. Yes aluminum burns...ok no, but it sure as freggin' melts...I have the proof. I walked outside to check on the seasoning and to strut around the yard - proud of my work. With my p.j.s tucked into my boots, and two jackets on (snow and cold), I walked into a mini-forest fire and could only see about 5' in front of me.
With a sinking feeling I slip over to where the garage was - or maybe used to be I imagine, and find my beloved fridge smoker, again, ablaze. It looked like a NASA rocket reached take off stage (blast off) but was chained down. I frantically begin shoving snow into the fire box - only to my amazement - more smoke than I've ever seen in my whole life... Still holding my breath after just coming outside, I wasted no time and nearly picked up the now 1850 pound fridge smoker (rivet weight) and thank God it was icy - slid the fridge out of the garage and into the yard about 20 feet. I open all hatches, doors, exhausts, and all door gaskets immediately slid off the doors and onto the ice. So much for strutting around.
I managed to slow the destruction to a slow burn - went inside, took ANOTHER shower (smoke damage) and went to bed...disgusted. The next day I sucked out my previous work with the shop vac - and started again, with steel.
Having repaired all the damage and replaced the melted; aluminum, wood, insulation, wood...I moved on with the seasoning process. Prior to every session I've been applying cooking oil - like any good redneck, very liberally. All was well until I started to notice black streaks in the food chamber that I thought was just oil at first. More and more I, and others on this forum, believe it to be the high - temp gasket silicon that's been M E L T I N G due to extraordinary temperatures. Funny, my temp gauge never got/gets above 350. Looking back I suppose that's the ambient air temp, NOT the surface temp levels usually found at the base of most lightening strikes.
So once again, ego having recovered, I seasoned the smoker for a few more days - adding oil every morning. I achieved a good deal of success in this regard. Mistakenly, I depended upon my Ambient air temp gauge to judge my success. Maintaining a nice warm temp I was pleased with myself - notice the trend here?
After going through 2 full bags of sweet hickory in a 3 - 4 day period, things started to smell...well, cockeyed. Now I'm one who abides (no pun intended) by smoke legend/law, never open the door so as not to waste that elusive and desirable smoke level and temperature. Until this morning that it. Dressed this time, I walked outside and took a nice big sniff - hoping to smell that ole hickory roasting away. What filled my nose was not what I anticipated. Instead, a rancid, black, used diesel fuel stench permeated the mountain side. Like any good redneck, I immediately examined the smoker exhaust and there was B L A C K smoke rolling up and out. Then I looked at the temp gauge and it read around 275. I thought that was ok so the next thing that popped into my head was...wait for it, wait for it, snatched open the door and crammed my head inside with my eyes wide open as fast as possible.
So, I still have my eyebrows but...I have seen hell. Faster than a democrat can raise taxes, all that thick black smoke instantly, and all at once I think, exploded into a raging inferno on every side of the food chamber, my head prominently placed in the dead friggin' center. After screaming like a school girl and convulsing my head out of harm's way, I slammed the door closed - thanking God for sparing an idiot and taking note if anyone actually saw what just happened. Now on my third life of nine, ok, I'm not a cat but I'm just sayin' - I unplugged the Brinkman and slowly cracked open the door and let it all cool down to about 800 degrees.
So, here's the point - if you decide to go with the Brinkman, go into it with your eyes open (no pun intended). It's a LOT of juice so be prepared to vent, or something...
Merry Christmas everybody.