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Keeping an offset smoker fire going all night...

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Need some more advice. I started a test fire in my Brinkmann TLE offset smoker about 7pm one night and stoked it up again about 11pm to see if it would go the night. I closed the air vents down as much as possible and place a few wood logs in the firebox. Upon waking early the next morning the smoker was cool and fire out. Any advice for amount of wood or method to use.
Thanks
Bob
post #2 of 17

I would just experiment with bigger chunks of wood that you add to an existing bed of coals, then bank. Depending on the size of your fire box it may or may not be possible.

post #3 of 17

It's tough...best bet is a combination of a charcoal basket, minion method and something like a Stoker, BBQ Guru or pitmaster Iq would be a good idea. 

post #4 of 17

Well my friend I think you are tryin to mix apples and oranges.  Unless one of the BIG DOGS ( long time members ) know a trick I don't, I don't think set it and forget it is possible with an offset and charcoal.  What is the weather gonna do?  Close down the vents?  No air flow no fire. No fire no cook.  What if the breeze dies?  What if it rains?  Offset and charcoal is a serious smokin method that requires monitoring.  At least as far as I have done it in the past.  That's the fun of doin it that way.  Regulating the temp, changing the wood smoke, tweakin, always tweakin.  Gettin the subtle tastes.  Maybe someone will tell ya I'm full of *** but wouldn't be the first time. icon_biggrin.gif Always willin to learn.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

Danny

post #5 of 17

Ok, you have come to the right place! This IS my expertise, I do not own a single electric or propane smoker I am ALL stick burners. With your sized smoker, (shape) and insulation...It will be very hard I have a char-king offset smoker that is a similar sized rig. I can tell you that if you are going to be successful you will need to develop a range. What that means is brisket is out of the question. sorry, but if you are doing a big pork butt where you can smoke at 325 down to 200 and it will not compromise the meat (pork butt is very forgiving) you can set your temp with LOTS of charcoal and whole log possibly one that is still slightly green as it burns slower (hickory is good or pecan) oak burns to fast. as your charcoal (around 20 pounds) is burning to ashed over consistency your log will be burning outside to inside and as the charcoal is burning hot you have a consistant smoke, the charcoal will then burn out slowly and as your log burns out and splits open it will get hotter bumping your temperature UP again. I can tell you that you need to PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE! for 8 hours I have had a lot of luck with 1/2 damper and a BIG log (unsplit)

 

Things you can do to ensure a longer heat dispersement:

 

Insulate your thin metal smoker...Any extra insulation you add will prolong your heat and will require less wood in the ling run (paying for itself)

Log place should be closest to the vents, charcoal close to the meat; this will help your meat from being burnt by the fire if it flares up and keep the log burning close to the oxygen source.

Minion method with a twist: instead of placing unlit on top or bottom place the unlit UNDERNEATH your log this will cause a steady burn towards the log as temp drops it will pick back up.

Grab a fatty piece of meat: Fact of the matter is, even by getting the perfect log temp spikes will happen! If your meat is fatty and the fire kicks up to 350 even briefly the meat will be protected.

Use all of your space: sometimes I will cram my firebox full making the lid pop up slightly just to maximize space!

I use a temp range of 350-200 that's 150 degrees to work with assuming your smoker is well insulated this can add up to more hours of sleep you get at night!

I could type more but my hand is cramping. I can revisit this If you would like, remember...logs NOT chunks they burn to fast.

 

Good luck

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Backwoods BBQ View Post

Ok, you have come to the right place! This IS my expertise, I do not own a single electric or propane smoker I am ALL stick burners. With your sized smoker, (shape) and insulation...It will be very hard I have a char-king offset smoker that is a similar sized rig. I can tell you that if you are going to be successful you will need to develop a range. What that means is brisket is out of the question. sorry, but if you are doing a big pork butt where you can smoke at 325 down to 200 and it will not compromise the meat (pork butt is very forgiving) you can set your temp with LOTS of charcoal and whole log possibly one that is still slightly green as it burns slower (hickory is good or pecan) oak burns to fast. as your charcoal (around 20 pounds) is burning to ashed over consistency your log will be burning outside to inside and as the charcoal is burning hot you have a consistant smoke, the charcoal will then burn out slowly and as your log burns out and splits open it will get hotter bumping your temperature UP again. I can tell you that you need to PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE! for 8 hours I have had a lot of luck with 1/2 damper and a BIG log (unsplit)

Things you can do to ensure a longer heat dispersement:

Insulate your thin metal smoker...Any extra insulation you add will prolong your heat and will require less wood in the ling run (paying for itself)
Log place should be closest to the vents, charcoal close to the meat; this will help your meat from being burnt by the fire if it flares up and keep the log burning close to the oxygen source.
Minion method with a twist: instead of placing unlit on top or bottom place the unlit UNDERNEATH your log this will cause a steady burn towards the log as temp drops it will pick back up.
Grab a fatty piece of meat: Fact of the matter is, even by getting the perfect log temp spikes will happen! If your meat is fatty and the fire kicks up to 350 even briefly the meat will be protected.
Use all of your space: sometimes I will cram my firebox full making the lid pop up slightly just to maximize space!
I use a temp range of 350-200 that's 150 degrees to work with assuming your smoker is well insulated this can add up to more hours of sleep you get at night!
I could type more but my hand is cramping. I can revisit this If you would like, remember...logs NOT chunks they burn to fast.

Good luck
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
WOW, got some good info... Thanks for all your expertise. I'll need some practice and ill keep ya posted...
post #8 of 17

Never too old to learn and I'd never doubt  a fellow Tx. boy when it comes to a new technique. icon_biggrin.gif  Readin Backwoods advice; sounds doable to me.   I just never considered trying to use an offset in that manner with a 150 degree temp swing.  I usually try to hold a smaller temp range and often vary my woods to get subtle flavors into the smoke; as I'm sure Backwoods often does.  An interesting idea and well explained there Backwoods!  I may have to give that one a try just to say I've done it.  Like a challenge.  Backwoods did hit the nail SQUARE on he head by saying practice and knowledge of YOUR smoker is key.  Good Luck.  Keep Smokin!

Danny

post #9 of 17

Here , this may help...http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/a/stickburning101

This is as big a fire as you will need...

Stoke it as needed with warmed splits and enjoy the time with your BBQ friend (pit).

post #10 of 17
Thank you kc! I personally don't like to do it that way (150 degree swing will definately alter the BBQ but I you have to catch some zzzz's I would do it (unless I ha a propane smoker) ...gotta make one out of a fridge one day!
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot Backwoods for all the advice. I went out today and got me a small load of oak about 7 months old and picked out pieces without bark. I hope you didn't mean I can't do any brisket on my Brinkmann TLE because I'm was planning on doing one all day Sunday.
post #12 of 17

Well Backwoods, I am ashamed to say I can no longer use wood only. frown.gif As I now live in England, the weather has almost defeated me.  I have now sold my offset which was imported from Germany and I have a 1955 fridge I am going to convert and use propane for fuel.  I of course will deny ever admitting to any of this, and If you ever run across anyone I ever knew and repeat this I will be forced to call you ugly names. icon_lol.gif   Because of the rainy weather I had to come up with another option and an insulated fridge with a propane heat source was the only viable option.  That was a good tutorial.  Keep Smokin Brother!

Danny

post #13 of 17

No bsnemo.  He didn't mean NO BRISKET. What you asked was smokin all nite. Backwoods answered "smokin all nite".  I am gonna assume by that question you haven't smoked much yet.  If this is a first smoke or a 2nd smoke don't do the brisket.  Brisket is not forgiving.  If you are learning about your new smoker do some chicken quarters and maybe some burgers.  Learn how YOUR smoker cooks.  Find the leaks and seal em.  LEARN TEMPERATURE CONTROL with YOUR smoker and then move on.  If it burns, dogs get a good meal.  If it ain't done, into the oven.  Either way not much money wasted.  If your heart is set on the brisket, do a lot of reading.  Good luck.  Have fun.  Keep Smokin!

Danny

post #14 of 17

I add 1 - 2 logs every hour or so, so I couldn't imagine just throwing in a few logs and going to sleep. I will play video games or do the yard work while cooking though. ONce you have your dampers dialed in all you gotta do is feed the fire.

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by KC5TPY View Post

Well Backwoods, I am ashamed to say I can no longer use wood only. frown.gif As I now live in England, the weather has almost defeated me.  I have now sold my offset which was imported from Germany and I have a 1955 fridge I am going to convert and use propane for fuel.  I of course will deny ever admitting to any of this, and If you ever run across anyone I ever knew and repeat this I will be forced to call you ugly names. icon_lol.gif   Because of the rainy weather I had to come up with another option and an insulated fridge with a propane heat source was the only viable option.  That was a good tutorial.  Keep Smokin Brother!

Danny

Danny what about kamado style smokers, ProQ smoker or a drum style smoker?    All of those are efficient and would be good choices for crappy weather. 

post #16 of 17

Thanks FWIsmoker.  It's the rain and more rain.  I have no place to get the smoker outta the rain.  Either build some sort of shelter or go with the sealed and insulated fridge build.  So I sold my offset, bought a 1955 fridge and can't wait to get started with the build.  Sorry to hijack this thread. I'll shut up now. icon_biggrin.gif Keep Smokin!

Danny


Edited by KC5TPY - 6/20/13 at 2:24am
post #17 of 17
Not sure what a brinkman tle is, but All the basic principles still apply. I always like to remind people "the smaller the smoker, the more attention it needs" stuck burners mainly as the fire can get too hot or to cool VERY fast, grease fires can occur, etc good luck
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