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Question for offset sfb w/ charcoal basket mod

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
I have a horizontal offset smoker w/ sfb. I have not made any mods to it. I can get it to hold steady temps using a modified minion where I have an area of lit coals in one corner and a trail of charcoal around the perimeter of the firebox. With a few strategically placed wood chunks it puts out pretty consistent thin smoke. But 30-40 min. later I am stirring coals or raking them to the corner and building a new trail. I really don't mind tending the fire that often but I would like to be able to leave it alone for an hour or two at a time. I have seen a lot of sfb users have the charcoal basket-how long of a burn do you get? Do you have trouble with temps getting too hot with all that fuel? I want to make the change if it will help but not if I am just gonna trade one set of problems for another. Thanks for any feedback.
post #2 of 31
1 1/2 hrs max with a basket in mine. control the heat with air intake!
post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 
As is right now I have to empty ash out of the sfb chamber about every 4 hours so it won't choke my fire. I assume you go longer with the basket because the fire sits higher up off the lower grate??
post #4 of 31
yes, I don't(didn't) need to empty ash through any smoke, even 12 hr smokes. Basket was 12 x 12x 5 inches deep. Use lump charcoal, its the only way your gonna get a good heat sorce for 8-12 hrs without scooping out all the ash.wink.gif
post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
So after the 1 1/2 hours are you just adding fresh coals to the top of your fire that is now in the bottom of your basket or do you empty it and start over?
post #6 of 31
Here is my last smoke (12 lb turkey) - i got 6 hours or so on one lit chimney! Every 2 hours I shook the hot coals to the right of the basket (near the vent) and added a chimney of unlit coals to the left side of the basket. Average temp was 230.

Time Temp Int. Temp Comments
11:30a 80 55 add coals
12:00p 239 65 add turkey
12:30p 229 75 good
1:00p 227 90 good
1:30p 215 90 add charcoal
2:00p 218 100 good
2:30p 228 100 good
3:00p 247 120 good
3:30p 218 130 add charcoal
4:00p 245 140 good
4:30p 238 145 good
5:00p 224 145 add charcoal
5:30p 205 160 good
6:00p 256 160 good
6:30p 242 170 remove turkey
post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 
That is some good info Bishop. I would definately like to be able to leave the smoker alone for a couple hours at a time. (my wife would appreciate it as well) Do you have a custom basket or one of those "grill wok" type baskets?
post #8 of 31
Like Bishop, I shook it down and shook the coals to one side, then added coals(unlit) to the opposite side, yet touching a few of the lit ones, they just worked their way across to the other side lighting as they went. Looks like he got 1 1/2 to 2 hrs on his basket loads/chimney loads. Thats pretty much max I think, unless you are using a ceramic egg or UDS
post #9 of 31
here is what mine looks like, I made it myself, no welding needed!

post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 
Good pic. I think it is something I will have to look into doing. If a simple mod like that can buy me some extra time-it is worth it.
post #11 of 31
not expensive at all, here is what the smoke chamber side looks like!

that is with the cooking grates removed of course!
post #12 of 31
I've done all the mods on my SFB, except the basket and I'm making it this weekend. The biggest problem without the basket is the ash problem...4-5 hrs max before the air is just cut off.Hope this helps.PDT_Armataz_01_36.gif
post #13 of 31
Thread Starter 
Yeah I have to pull ash out of the sfb side door every 3-4 hours. I also need to do a baffle cause I have a hot spot in the cooking chamber right where the opening to the sfb is. Sometimes I like it though-I can really crisp up the bacon on my abtsicon_smile.gif
post #14 of 31

just remove the handle and hang it in the sfb
post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 
Easy enough and not a bad price.
post #16 of 31
there is some good info here on this thread too (i took it to pg.4 where some of the talk re: the basket starts.) HAVE FUN!!!

post #17 of 31
Dan, What are you using for the baffle? I have been drilling 1/16 sheet, but I would love to use the precut metal like yours on one I'm making for my dad. Where did you find it?
post #18 of 31
They are seat backs for an outdoor furniture company that is local. I got them out of the scrap barrel, cut off the rolled lip on each end, rolled them flat and trimmed to fit.
I also have a set of 1/8th inch thick plates that I drilled with 3/8 and 1/2 inch holes 2 inches apart from each other square. The plate with the 3/8 holes goes near the firebox, the one with the 1/2 inch holes has a 3/4 inch gap between it and the first plate. They actually work better than the chair backs, but I didn't have a pic of them.wink.gif
post #19 of 31
how far are you from the rr museum?
My smoker has stayed real consistant and uses less charcoal or wood since I sealed the smoke box door all the way around. I made a bottom brate that sits just above the ash tray and the basked slides in and out easily for quick filling and ash removal from a gentle shake. My ash tray gets emptied after the 8th hour, I havent had a big issue with ash build up and lack of air flow. If anything ive had to shut down 60% to keep the temps down.
post #20 of 31
Howdy Dave.
The one in old Sac? Prolly about a 15-20 minute drive up Elverta/Elkhorn to 99 and down 5 - not too far... biggrin.gif
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