After a number of discussions with Dave and others with their builds here, I had come to the conclusion I needed to try a mod for my RF pit. Mine is a fuel hog, I start my fires with 20#'s of charcoal in a coal basket I built, then start chunking splits on the coals once the top layer gets going good and it burnsw through some wood at comps and long smokes at the house. Dave has mentioned a number of times about needing and having an upper air intake (at or above your fire) on the firebox to not only help with draft, but also for fuel consumption as well. So I finally made the change this past week and got a smoke in Sunday.
Here is the mod:
You can see my original intakes, I have one on either side of the firebox. The new one is just above the opening to my basket, so it will be above or at the top of my fire.
Here is the basket with the lit coals on top starting to burn good:
At this point, I threw on 3 splits (12" long x 3" wide triangle shaped splits), 2 of oak and 1 of hickory. Exhaust and intakes all fully open until I get above 225, then Ill start closing down the intakes, the lower ones to maybe only 1/8 open and the upper to 1/2 open. This was the quickest the pit has ever settled in at 250, Probably had it there within 30 minutes, usually it takes at least 45 to 60 minutes for it to settle in. So far success...now as far as fuel consumption, I do feel like it gave me a better burn time, the charcoal I started with was Royal Oak briquettes, I have always been a Kingsford guy, mainly cause Lowes has the two 20# bags on sale a few times a year for less than $20, buit a few weeks ago a local store ran the Royal Oak 16# bags at $6.99 each, so I picked up 6 bags. I used some at my last comp and this was my second cook with them, I hope I can find some more on sale soon.
Here are the splits I use, they are oak 4 x 4's I get from work (I run a pallet mill). I split them at a diagonal and they work out great. There are also a few pieces of Hickory on top there. I show the axe to just give a point of reference of size:
Edited by bruno994 - 5/31/13 at 4:54pm