Smoke some of those rattle snakes
My First Reverse Flow Build - 125-Gallon Propane Tank (Plenty of Pics) - Page 7
SmokingMeatForums.com Top Picks
I have some pics (before digital cameras) of a snake I killed in my back yard. It was 72" without its rattle (14 of 'em) and head. If I can find them easily I 'll post some pics. Biggest damned snake I ever saw.
My first job was a land surveyor, every morning , all of the crews put a dollar in a pot and who ever came back with the longest Rattle snake at the end of the day won the pot (usually $50 - 60 bucks)
That was plenty enough back then to have all of us 18 year olds running around with mechette's chasing them down.
I purchased a handheld GPS a while back and it had a Geocache Icon on the main screen. I went online and learned what it was. (big scavenger hunt) My son, 9 years old at the time, thought this might be fun. So we started out locally and worked our way out. We came upon a Cache on a highway right of way. We pulled off the pavement and headed out on our search. We ended up standing on top of a pile of big rocks. I stopped and looked around at just where we were exactaly and found myself right smack in the middle of a rattlesnake den. Didn't see any snakes but we counted 9 BIG sheds within a stone's throw of where we stood. AND I thought I was way smarter than that. I put my son on my shoulders and got the hell out of there. No more Geocaching for us.
Yep, Grew up in SW Louisiana. Dad farmed rice. He could throw a #2 shovel with accuracy like nobody I ever saw. And here in Central Texas on the lake we have Cotton Mouths & Copperheads galore. We keep the kids out of the boat docks where they like to hang out. The kids were perch jerking one morning and a moccasin came off the bank, chased down and ate the perch while it was on the hook. When I pulled up in a bass boat, he tried to climb up in the boat with me. We keep shotguns at the ready. I'm sorry, but the only good snake is a dead one.
We don't have a bad moccasin problem lately, just rattlers, cause we don't have any water close to us... Look @ these pics. When the lake is full, the round table just behind the smoker is 10' from the waters edge, and the boat docks are usable. Way in the background the water is up to the treeline close to a mile across the cove. It is normal for the lake to fluctuate, but this is ridiculous.
Back to chopping & stacking wood. I'm stacking the wood on a rack that keeps the wood 8" above the ground in a shed. I even have mothballs thrown in & around the wood to keep them buggers out.
Well, I fired up the smoker today with mesquite wood. I let her heat up to 400-degrees. Then cooled down to 275-degrees and she held 275 like a champ. I rubbed a couple of chickens (halved) and tossed them on. The temp held rock solid once again. Then, when the heat started to drop, I pulled the birds & added wood, but the temps never came back. She never got above 225-degrees.
I figured the grate was too low and filled up with ash below, which it did. What's got me stumped is the temp never came back but the wood burned off. It actually burned FASTER with less heat.... Which was the exact results as my last test with charcoal 2 weeks ago.
I'm gonna raise the fire grate by 4" and run her up to 250 for as long as she will hold it, and re-stoke and see if the temps will rebound...
Another test and yet something else learned. I figure, 'When I stop learning, they will be throwing dirt in my face....'
Yeah. I was considering cutting a hole in the bottom of the firebox. I'm just trying to work out the control system now across the radius surface. I'd like to open up enough of a hole to dump enough ash to do some good and still seal tight enough so that I still have control of my fire. I'm thinking of a sliding system I want to have just as few holes cut into this thing as possible. Each hole is an uncontrolled air leak into my firebox. At some point I will lose enough control of my fire so that I cant idle her waaaay down (which is a requirement). I'm gonna rework the current dampener control handle as well. It just gets too hot. I'm gonna probably just turn it down. Once I get it worked out, I will get back with ya...
I still can't bring myself to cut another hole in my firebox. YET.
I fired it up with the grate raised 2 1/2", which gives me approx 4" off the bottom of the fire box in the center of the radius.
Here's a shot thru the vent. You can see the grate level thru the expanded metal...
I now am receiving fresh air under the fire grate.
My temps are coming up quickly and holding well, but my fire is V-E-R-Y short lived... I am having to re-stoke every 45-minutes or so with 4-5 sticks of 3-4" diameter seasoned mesquite roughly 10-12" long.
It just seems that I'm using about 2-3 times what I should be.
Here's a shot of one of my re-stokes..
Am I just not used to this larger smoker yet and being stingy with the fuel?
Thanks folks... I don't mind loading the fuel to her. I just want to be as efficient as posssible...
I'm tired of smoking the cheap stuff.. (Yard Bird, Ribs) The next fire will bring a brisket up to 200-degrees, the slow way....
Another thought, (hindsight, right)... I'm gonna install temp gauges in the door @ upper grate level and see what kind of temps live there.
Your burning with small splits ( i see a lot of people on here do that)
I'd experiment also with the size of the pieces of wood. Maybe cust your logs only 8 inches or so in length and just split them once. I've always liked cooking with chunks like that over splits. To me, in my smokers, I seem to get longer burns and have to tend to them less. I do get it fired up with the smaller splits though, gets it to temp faster.
Just a thought.
Very nice looking ribs, want to share with us what rub and suace you used? Cooking method?