What are the advantages of reverse flow?

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by nh3b's, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. nh3b's

    nh3b's Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    or disadvantages?
  2. pitrow

    pitrow Smoking Fanatic

    it goes backwards.

    just kiddin. I have no idea even what reverse flow is, at least in the context of smoking things, so I'm anxiously awaiting some replies.
  3. smok'n steve

    smok'n steve Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    In short, temperature control is much easier because there is a continuous baffle under the cooking area which allows the smoke and heat to pass under the baffle, heating the baffle(storing energy and increasing efficiency), then the smoke passes over the food kissing it ever so gently, and on to the chimney it goes.

    The stored energy of the baffle creates a really quick recover time if you open the door to peek. In my case, the Lang 60 also makes a really great grill because the baffle prevents flame ups but can still go to 550 for grilling. Also, the reverse flow system creates a moist cook because the baffle is so hot and so close to the cooking grates, that grease drippings sizzle and create sort of a self basting environment that just sounds and smells great!

    For me, reverse flow means that it is wicked easy and you can't screw up the food. I can't think of any disadvantages?

  4. nh3b's

    nh3b's Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Hey, Thanks Steve.

    Just outta curiosity, how far below the cooking grate is the baffle?

    Ive been following your smoker mods and have to hand it to ya...[​IMG] Very nice work!
  5. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    One of the advantages can be a disadvantage. The fat burning on the plate can impart a strange taste. Well, to me anyway. Running at lower temps it's no big deal, but I have noticed off flavors with poultry up in the 350 range on a reverse flow.
  6. neens

    neens Smoke Blower

    On the lang the baffle is in a V shape so at the ends of the cooking area its very close while in the middle i think its about 5". I can go check for you when the rain dies down.
  7. nh3b's

    nh3b's Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Seems to me Rich that wouldent be any different than my Weber silver B. I guess with more time and exp, Ill see.

    Interesting with the V shape. My portable weber has same design of heat shield. You dont have to measure it. I am "pimping" out my smoker and have several ideas. Im just putting it all together. Thanks
  8. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well, can you get those temps? I have never been able to get much over 300 in my ECB, unless it's in the summer sun heh. Plus, the water/sand pan won;t get hot enough to flash the fat. Yanno, now that you mention it I don't think I have ever finished poultry in my smoker. I always go to the oven for finishing/crisping. The turkey I had was done on a buddy's reverse-modded SnP.
  9. nh3b's

    nh3b's Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Ok Rich, I think we are getting chatconfused. Probably on my part. What your talking about sounds simalar with my Weber silver B Gas grill. They incorporate "flavorizer bars", 3 of them over the burners.

    The grease and drippings sizzle on them and supposedly flavor the meat. I grill chicken at 350-375. Ive never had a strange taste from that that my taste buds recall. I wouldent really be smoking at 350. I usually smoke stuff at 225-300. However, I was told when I did my turkey to raise temps up to the 325 range. "save low and slow for ribs and such".

    Anyway when Im done pimping, I will be able to ahcieve those temps consistently, i feel. I just didnt see the coralation between ECB and Weber silver??

    A reverse flow SnP?...Yea, thats one thing I was thinkin. I have a Charbroil silver but...same thing.
  10. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Ahhh... OK. Heh... I see. And also, maybe the turkey just was not a good bird/too fatty to start as well. But I sure noticed ALOT of fat smoke, and a fair amount of dark soot on the bottom and lower sides of the bird. And no, the smoke was pretty thin and blue. But that pit was HOT. I had nothing to attribute the soot to but the burning fat below the bird.

    On edit: Before someone gets the wrong idea here... Reverse flows are the BOMB! Advantages are numerous over other designs.
  11. smok'n steve

    smok'n steve Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've never had that problem Richtee, but honestly, I usually do my birds standing up at about 275 so that I can give them a little more smoking time:)
    On turkeys, I usually use a drip pan just to save the drippings so I can baste if the old bird is gonna be in the smoker for more than 2 to 3 hours:) There is a lot of convection airflow in the reverse flow too that helps speed up the cooking and you get some crispyness but its nothing compared to a broiler or grilling leftover parts after!! I find that if i poke a few pinholes in the thick skin areas, it helps dry out the skin some.

    Although, I recently did a few birds at a higher temp on my Lang 60 Mods thread just to try cooking in my warmer/cooker grill "Baby".

    Here is some birds cooked on the lang at 275........
  12. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Cool... nice looking birds. I'm guessing my experience might have been a flyer. But we did have to peel the skin offa that bird. Din't use a drip pan either, and that could be key.
  13. smok'n steve

    smok'n steve Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Richtee

    and to "nh3b"......your question below......

    In my case, because I modified my cooking grates to commercial cast iron charbroil grates, the furthest distance from the top of the grate to the baffle lowpoint before it V's out is 2", but the average is about 1 1/2 inches. Keep in mind this is the bottom grates, I do a lot of cooking about 7 inches higher on the upper shelf too:) I will enclose a picture of a similar baffle on an 84 then a picture of mine with the cast grates........
  14. peculiarmike

    peculiarmike Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You must have picked that Busch Light can up along the road. You surely didn't buy it. [​IMG][​IMG]

    Nothing wrong with a Lang Cooker. I've had some mighty good eats off a Lang. Versatile piece of equipment.
  15. smok'n steve

    smok'n steve Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes, Peculiarmike, I go for the cheaper beer, Natural Light:) Busch is too pricey!!!!! There are some interesting stats in that beer thread. Have a great day, I am out to go plowing for the second time today!

  16. capt dan

    capt dan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Dang it Steve, You are killing me here! i can't wait to get mine and fill it with different meats. Them birds do look mighty fine. I will have to chat with ya on the phone or on chat and get some pointers. I have heard that the Lang can be a different animal to learn, but once you do learn to manage the firebox, its all good from there.

    Chuck was on sale here today(this week) for 2.28 lb. so I bought 2 chuck rolls for the near future![​IMG] . One is 15 lbs, the other just over 16 lbs. Did I ever mention I love smoked chuck!
    You must be having a ball with the modification process. I want to give you some points, but the banner says no more for you till I deal some to another![​IMG]

    I am anxious to do a couple briskets too , in the near future. All I can find around here at Sam's club are some pretty sad looking flats. I may have to break down and visit wallyworld to get a packer soon.
  17. smok'n steve

    smok'n steve Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Dan:)

    Yeah, I get my packers at Wally World too. I was at Sam's today and saw the same price on those big chuck rolls. Is that what they call a whole shoulder too? I was tempted to buy one but didn't. That's one thing I have never done, so I will be interested in your methods and data when you do yours!

    I think you will find that managing your fire is going to be very easy. The learning curve is very short because it always responds in the direction that you want it too. Just let me know, and we'll talk. I am anxious to see how that warmer works and the other extras it is coming with.
  18. nh3b's

    nh3b's Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the advice everyone. The reason I wanted to know how far the baffle/plates were under the grate was for heat purposes....I think I have figured it out.....Im thinking too much!

    Im continueing on my show...Pimp my smoker!

    Thanks again

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