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4th Smoke - First with my new mods

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Started my smoke of 3 racks of spare ribs for today. 4th smoke ever, and first with my mods.

Got my OKJ Longhorn offset  modded this week, with a convection plate, charcoal basket, Nomex gasket on chamber and firebox lids,  and alum elbow in the smokestack to extend closer to cooking surface.

 

Ribs rubbed with Jeff's rib rub recipe ( first time as well) last night, put on the smoker at 12:00 pm today:

 

 

The trimmings, are for the dog Sasha they brought with them - of course!

 

 

Don't know if you can see it in this photo, got some nice TBS going:

 

 

Put about 6-7 lbs of charcoal in my new basket, and lit about 15 to pour in the middle using minion method. Once burning, I threw about 3 hickory lumps on it.

 

So far, I am very pleased! It gradually got up to about 225, I then closed the intake damper about 2/3rd , and she is holding steady at 223 and has been for the past hour.  It will be trial and error for me with the new basket, on how much charcoal to actually start with to get a nice long burn, today's experience should be a nice starting point.

 

The Nomex got rid of most of the leaks, still have couple small ones in the upper curve of chamber lid. Very pleased with the new basket. You can see where I wrapped aluminum foil around where the smokestack chamber exits, to help on the leak there.

 

Convection Plate - it improved the temperature variance side to side,  not as much as I was hoping. it is now app 40 degree variance, previously it was like between 60-70. Certainly better though. I have seen where others have convection plates that hold within about 10 degrees - kind of what I was hoping for, but this at least is an improvement for me.

 

Will be using 3-2-1 method once again, have gotten good results with that. Spritzing heavily every hour with 50/50 mix of Apple Juice and Apple Cider Vinegar. Got family in for the holiday weekend, looking forward to around 6:00 pm this evening!

post #2 of 10
Looks good. I was looking at one of those the other day. With a few adjustments like you did it could do the job.

Give the plate some time to heat up. You will notice the temps even out more.

Can't wait to see the food now.....
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jarjarchef View Post

Looks good. I was looking at one of those the other day. With a few adjustments like you did it could do the job.

Give the plate some time to heat up. You will notice the temps even out more.

Can't wait to see the food now.....

 

Thanks!

I will check the temp variance when I spritz again, thanks I did not think of that.

My first three smokes on this new OKJ were pretty dang good, especially with me being a rookie - but thanks to this great forum!

 

I am about an hour and a half in now, so far I am able to very easily keep the temp right around 225 with an occasional minor adjustment to the intake damper. Most consistent temp wise I have ever done - and not needed to add any coals yet.

 

Oh one last thing I did - there is a substantial gap between the firebox door and firebox, when closed on this smoker. I spent about 15 minutes this morning with some aluminum foil, and got that gap sealed up enough to keep it from leaking.

 

By the way - I have a recent thread in the charcoal smokers forum, showing the mods I did with pics if you are interested.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Ok just a little update:

Three  hours in since I started the coals - this has been great, I have maintained right around 225 with very little effort. I have spritzed the ribs with my mop twice, even after that I have no trouble getting it back up to 225 in a matter of just a few minutes.

 

Have not had to add any coals so far, but think I will be before too much longer - probably should have started with  more in my charcoal basket for the minion. I will know next time. I am certain once I get the feel for how many coals, will not have any trouble with some long smokes without having to add charcoal much.

 

 Sitting here in my air conditioned house with my Maverick ET-732 receiver by my side,  loving life :).

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

4.5 hours now since I lit the coals.

Still have not had to add any charcoal, running on the original app 6-7 lbs I started with. Temp holding steady at 225.

I am very pleased with the results so far with the mods.

 

Sorry gang, I know for most of you this is like - so? cause you are so used to doing it - I am just excited being new to all this of what I have accomplished so far, due to the help on this forum!

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Just added some coals about 15 minutes ago -  probably around 3.5-4 lbs started in the chimney, made it 5.25 hours on the first batch.

Temp now holding steady at 228. Approaching the final hour - anticipation!

 

I used Jeff's Rub recipe for the first time - tasted some rib candy a bit ago, wow it was really good- think I have found myself a new rub.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Unwrapped for the final hour.

Jeff's rub looking mighty good on there!

 

post #8 of 10
Those look good......

I have 6 butts waiting to hit the smokehouse in the morning. Now I wish I had some ribs too.........
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks!

 

6 butts - yum!

Now that I have 4 rib smokes under my belt, today's coming out the  best - they were awesome, I am going to try a butt for some pulled pork next smoke I do. Especially now that I know I can get a several hour burn holding consistent temps throughout.

And Jeff's Rub recipe - wow, both the wife and I - and our company - loved it today. Wife says I better stick with it now, rather than the store bought stuff.

post #10 of 10
I was just told that I have to cater my mother in laws retirement/birthday party in a couple weeks. Looks like I will be doing beans, butts and slaw for 100-200ppl..... Fun times! My smokehouse will fit it all in one shot easy.....l can fit about 25 butts at one time....... Be ready once the word gets out that you have a smoker and know how to produce great Q...... You will get voluntold as well.....
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