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Is it temperature or fire control?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Read an article on here as well as a thread by Gary, my "smartphone" won't allow me to post links.
Anyways, been messing around with the RF I built. Using well seasoned Cherry Wood. Wood was down for a year before I got it. It's been split and stacked since April or so.
Have noticed if I don't peel the bark off I get a ton of smoke when putting a split on. Think of a very old diesel truck starting on a very cold morning.
If I keep the splits small in girth, about wrist size, and about 16" in length, and peel the bark off, I get minimal smoke when putting a split on. With the bottom vent about 1/4" open and the too about an inch or so the thermometers read 240* on the edge of the FB, 225* in the middle as well as on the far end.
If I use bigger splits, about the size of my elbow on it temperature climbs to 300* or so on the firebox side....the other two will be 10-15* cooler. If I do get the temperature up that high pretty much have to let it run there, the insulated FB holds the heat forever..this thing can teach my Eggs a thing or 2 about heat retention.
Sorry for the length...does all of the above mean I need split the larger ones down? I have a splitter so it won't be a problem.
It seems like the length of the splits has 0 effect on the temperature, just how long the split will burn.
Have yet to try any of the maple firewood, I am hoping it has similar burn characteristics.
My initial plan was to build a wood warming unit right on the top of the firebox. Was told that the wood will get to hot and I have a potential for a fire. I had it running for 6 hours a few days ago, with the CC hovering between 215*-250*, the lid of the FB measured no higher than 115*, according to my infrared thermometer. Really wishing I would have built the thing...
post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 
I would like to thank everyone for helping me figure this out..
post #3 of 14
Just saw your post man. Like you have found, I like smaller splits for better heat management and larger ones for higher heats. I use oak for heat and cooking, and chunks for flavor. My oak always has the bark on. I leave the dampers wide open most of the time and control the heat with the fire size. I like to pre-heat the splits and they usually catch right away. Sometimes a split will give off a small amount of smoke right at first, but not too much. Most of the time I'm running TBS, or no visible smoke at all. As for your smoke, are you storing your wood on the ground? The amount of smoke that you are talking about sounds like moisture???

Good luck. Let me know how it turns out. All you need is a little Dump Cake. Joe
post #4 of 14
You shouldn't have peel the bark off your wood.
Usually I throw a split in the firebox leave my firebox door open for about a minute and the split takes off and then I close my door.
Joe had some good points in his post. ^^^^^
I would try burning some smaller splits just to see how much they smoke. It's all about having a clean fire. And having good bed of coals helps with that.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardcookin View Post

You shouldn't have peel the bark off your wood.
Usually I throw a split in the firebox leave my firebox door open for about a minute and the split takes off and then I close my door.
Joe had some good points in his post. ^^^^^
I would try burning some smaller splits just to see how much they smoke. It's all about having a clean fire. And having good bed of coals helps with that.
I do burn small splits. Thanks to my wood being green I don't get a bed of coals. I have to manage my temperature with fire. Even though I am in the North West not much is available in regards to smoking wood. Do keep an eye on Craigslist. Which is where I got my load of "seasoned" wood. Was told it had all been down for 11 months. Hmmm....when I add a split I get a crap load of moisture bubbling out of the ends...
post #6 of 14
"Bubbling moisture" doesn't sound like seasoned wood to me. I pre-heat all of my splits on top of the FB for about an hour before they are loaded and ignition is almost instant with very little smoke for just a minute or two. As for a bed of coals, I start with a basket full of lump and it establishes a great coal bed and as the wood burns down the coal bed is replenished. I leave all of my vents open unless I need a very low 225* heat. My smoker settles in at 250-275* and I get results from her at that heat. 300*+ is not a problem for chicken, etc.

I'm getting very low on wood and need to buy some so it has time to get a little dryer before I really need it. I try to use about 10-12" splits and make them very small. I think they dry better and burn better. If I can find someone to cut them that short, it would be great and I wouldn't need to cut them in half. It would also make them easier to split. I have one of the foot pedal splitters and anything too big or too long is a real bi**h. If I don't get any better service this year, I may be looking at the one with levers unless someone knows of a better one.

Good luck and keep in touch. I'd like to know how the heat management works for you.

Joe grilling_smilie.gif
post #7 of 14

INK, at the bottom of the page are 2 rectangular blocks....     MOBILE and DESKTOP.....    click on the square MOBILE and maybe your phone will allow pictures.... 

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Black View Post

"Bubbling moisture" doesn't sound like seasoned wood to me. I pre-heat all of my splits on top of the FB for about an hour before they are loaded and ignition is almost instant with very little smoke for just a minute or two. As for a bed of coals, I start with a basket full of lump and it establishes a great coal bed and as the wood burns down the coal bed is replenished. I leave all of my vents open unless I need a very low 225* heat. My smoker settles in at 250-275* and I get results from her at that heat. 300*+ is not a problem for chicken, etc.

I'm getting very low on wood and need to buy some so it has time to get a little dryer before I really need it. I try to use about 10-12" splits and make them very small. I think they dry better and burn better. If I can find someone to cut them that short, it would be great and I wouldn't need to cut them in half. It would also make them easier to split. I have one of the foot pedal splitters and anything too big or too long is a real bi**h. If I don't get any better service this year, I may be looking at the one with levers unless someone knows of a better one.

Good luck and keep in touch. I'd like to know how the heat management works for you.

Joe grilling_smilie.gif
What I find really odd....my wood is obviously not very seasoned. Yet it ignites very easily.
Wanted to use the RF the other day. Has been raining and snowing, woodpiles are uncovered. Grabbed 5 smaller splits that only the ends were externally wet. Stacked them, sort of criss-cross. Took a 2' piece of 18" wide butchers paper, crumpled it up and put it in the splits. Lit it in one spot, half hour later the CC was at 175*.
When 2 splits are banged together I get a very dull sounding thunk. I have a moisture meter, if you bury the spikes in deep enough it reads 26-30% on the Cherry and slightly higher on the maple I have.
Thanks to one of my hounds chasing birds a portion of my wood pile collapsed. If it is not raining today I am going to restack it all, I don't think I allowed enough air flow to help it season. I will be looking on CL for more wood this spring, want to make sure it is seasoned.
Luckily a neighbor loaned me his splitter. With how bad my back is splitting it by hand would be a problem.
Next time I am using the RF, if I remember, I will try to get a picture of the wood bubbling
post #9 of 14
I have same problem water bubbling out wood, alao bought so called seasoned oak still pulls lot water out wood.i learned not cover ur pile of wood so tight,want air moving through wood but u do want it covered or it never dry.seems seasoned means cut down 6 months ago and split.hard find dry wood.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacedbysapp View Post

I have same problem water bubbling out wood, alao bought so called seasoned oak still pulls lot water out wood.i learned not cover ur pile of wood so tight,want air moving through wood but u do want it covered or it never dry.seems seasoned means cut down 6 months ago and split.hard find dry wood.
My pile is not covered. Thanks to one of the hounds chasing birds it is no longer stacked. Will restack it. Over the summer plan is to build a lean-to of sorts.
post #11 of 14
I use clear plastic at lowes use floirs if ur panting its cheap last maybe a year.than redo.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacedbysapp View Post

I use clear plastic at lowes use floirs if ur panting its cheap last maybe a year.than redo.
Do you just drape it over your pile?
post #13 of 14
Enough to cover top and half the sides use bricks to wiegh plastic down.i use to cover all way ground but wasnt allowing air move thru wood wasnt drying out.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacedbysapp View Post

Enough to cover top and half the sides use bricks to wiegh plastic down.i use to cover all way ground but wasnt allowing air move thru wood wasnt drying out.
Thanks
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