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Ongoing long burn tests - Page 2

post #21 of 26
One thing (and I may have mentioned this already....I visit too many forums to remember what I say and where): I place a 16 gauge piece of plane old weldable steel (not galv) over my basket. This does a few things:
1.) Avoids drippings causing a grease fire which will increase your temps or cause a flare. You still get the flavor of vaporized drippings as the plate gets really hot. However, if you have an excess of drippings, they run off away from the heat source (as opposed to sitting there burning or fueling the fire)
2.) reduces a hot spot in the middle of the grate. I found too much variation in temperature from the outer edges to the center of the grate. This reduces that variation
3.) I have found that the overall temperature variation is more consistant using this baffle. I suspect it is because the heat has to travel more disance and in an indirect direction to exit the drum. It also reflects the heat back down over the basket and allows it to burn more evenly.

It isn't a heat sink or water bowl, both of which will take away from the efficiencies of the drum.
post #22 of 26
I use two thermometer as for as pit temp is concerned. Have always used the 12" Turkey Thermometer through the lid at grate level and I use a smaller one at the exhaust. The temperatures are usually pretty close when use the dome lid.
post #23 of 26
While that sounds doable Dave why not just buy a rubber grommet and install it to slide the longer therm through.
post #24 of 26
Sounds like a great idea, but on the website that you linked to it says they are only good to 180°F. icon_sad.gif Plus the length of the bolt (1-1/2") will hold the thermo straight so it won't need support inside the drum.

post #25 of 26
I recall Bubba using grommets for inserting his probes. He never noted a problem.
post #26 of 26
This is for Nutz:

Am doing two pork butts today. Have re-arranged a baffle arrangement over the charcoal basket, but otherwise, no changes. With one chimney on top, I started with a full load of charcoal. After warmup, I put the butts on, set my ball valve wide open and walked away. Two hours later, I checked and temp had dropped to 150! (That never happens).

Opened the came back....which was good, I didn't have to relight anything. So I close the ball valve and open one of the unregulated side vents....a full 1 inch hole. Temp soars to 250. Close that and back to the ball valve and temps again drop below 200. Several hours of playing with options.....yo-yoing temps up and down. Now have a decent temp holding at 225 with part of a magnet over one unregulated hole.

Point happens. Except for the temps having hung at 150 for the past 3 hours....butts are looking good. At this point, however, I'm having serious doubts about dinner being ready at 6. icon_redface.gif

Post Script: At 5:30 PM, with the butts still hanging at 150, time for an executive decision. Bring out the leftover burnt ends! (As Jed Clampett would say about possum innards......nice thing about them is they are just as good the second day).

Butts were foiled at 8:30 (12 hours), removed to rest at 11:30 PM and pulled at 1:30 AM in the morning (with a couple naps in between). Hey....they get done when they get done. Butt were they tender? One fell apart trying to pull it out of the pan and broke into three pieces when it hit the cutting board.

Thinking maybe next time I'll start them around 10 PM and let the middle of the night stuff happen inside the drum on the front end.
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