HOW to CONTROL TEMPS on YOUR REVERSE FLOW or Any Stick Burner

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

gary s

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
Original poster
OTBS Member
Jan 6, 2011
26,256
4,695
How to Control Temps on
Your Reverse Flow
or
Any Stick Burner
Controlling temperature is not difficult. So many people get nervous when it comes to maintaining or changing smoking temps.

The very best advice I can give anyone is “Get to Know Your Smoker” it is imperative. This means you are going to have to smoke more than just on the 4[sup]th[/sup], Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Write it down (especially people new to smoking) keep a log. Weather conditions, what you are smoking, how much fuel, what temps etc. Until you are so comfortable it is second nature.

Weather conditions are a Big Factor, Wind, Rain, Cold, Hot all makes a difference. I burn more wood and charcoal in the winter and run my dampers a little more open than I do in the summer. To compensate for the outside temp.

First let’s get the smoker ready;

I start by opening the door to my cook chamber, stack vent wide open, both dampers on the fire box wide open and the door on the fire box open.

Now here is the part where you decide how much charcoal or wood to start with.  I use this as an example since I just smoked my homemade sausage. It needed to cook for one hour at 100 ° heat only no smoke. So - I started with a chimney full of Lump (I just dumped it in the charcoal basket in the smoker un-lit).

 I then get out my trusty propane weed burner,  

clip_image002.jpg
 fire it up, light my lump then heat up the inside of my cook chamber. I go over the grates, top, both ends and RF plate. This step really helps get it up to temp pretty quick. I then shut the Cook chamber door, and fire box door leaving all the dampers wide open.

Once my temp was at 100 ° I cut my top damper back to about 1/3 open and the bottom damper down to about 1/5 that’s because I am familiar and know my smoker.


clip_image004.jpg
 

It went for one hour, and then I bumped my temp to 110 °

I added about 2/3 of a chimney of lump that was already burning good, also added a couple of chunks of pecan. Opened my bottom damper a little more (just a bit) till the temp was at 110 ° bumped back the damper a little.


clip_image006.jpg


I changed 10° every thirty min to an hour, until I was at 175 °

By adding a little more and a little more lump a couple of pieces

Of Pecan, and adjusting the dampers






                                                                             
clip_image010.jpg


clip_image014.jpg


clip_image016.jpg


Main thing is just paying attention

Now when I do a Brisket, Butts, ribs anything that requires more heat, I start out the same way, just with a bigger fire. Usually a couple of chimneys of lump, then when it gets going I add splits, run my top damper pretty much wide open and the bottom damper about ½ open then adjust to maintain the 225 ° I usually smoke at. It’s Really Not hard, just takes practice

clip_image018.jpg
 

This is when I added the top damper       

Makes a huge Difference



clip_image020.jpg


Thanks hope this is somewhat helpful

Gary
 

inkjunkie

Master of the Pit
Nov 25, 2014
2,018
50
Funny I am reading this....just about an hour ago I had to move the compressor tank that will one day be a RF smoker...
 

gary s

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
Original poster
OTBS Member
Thread starter
Jan 6, 2011
26,256
4,695
Thanks Oldschool

Gary
 

Bearcarver

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
Sep 12, 2009
45,280
18,122
Macungie, PA
This has to be a Super help to stick burners!!
icon14.gif


I can't believe how Gary can control his temps as if he was using my MES 40 Watt Burner!!!
eek.gif


Taking Temps up 10° at a time-----It's just Amazing!!
icon14.gif


Great Thread, Gary!--------------------
points.gif


Bear
 

gary s

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
Original poster
OTBS Member
Thread starter
Jan 6, 2011
26,256
4,695
Thanks guys for the compliments and Bear for the point

Gary
 

mad dart

Smoke Blower
Mar 23, 2015
125
19
Murrieta, CA
Gary,

When adding the wood do you put it right on the lump or do you set it a little bit away from it? Do you only add 1 stick of wood at a time? I was reading that you don't want a fire going just smoke from the wood. This I will be trying to master! haha

Any help I would definitely appreciate. 

Louis~
 

gary s

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
Original poster
OTBS Member
Thread starter
Jan 6, 2011
26,256
4,695
Hey Louis,   I add my splits right on top.  Sometimes I'll add 1 and other times I'll add 2   Kind of depends on a few things, If I am trying to get the temp up faster and hotter I'll add 2 sometimes 3 splits

Once my temp is where I want it, I just keep and eye on it and add 1 split ass needed.     Play with it a few smokes, get familiar with your smoker and you'll have it down pat in no time.

Smoking and Grilling, are like anything else, the more you practice the better and easier it gets.

Gary
 
  • Like
Reactions: mad dart

gary s

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
Original poster
OTBS Member
Thread starter
Jan 6, 2011
26,256
4,695
Thanks Gary,     Way to many people try to over think and make Smoking too complicated .   If people would stop and think, watch what the pit masters do (NOT THE TV SHOW)

They keep things simple

Gary
 

for-q cookers

Fire Starter
Jul 6, 2015
44
12
Willis Texas
excellent tutorial, Gary.

My old OKJ is an easy read... damper stays open, 1 chimney full of charcoal to start, add a stick or two once coals are white. bring temp down by adjusting exhaust vent... throw a stick on as needed or every 3rd beer.
 
I have a Lang 36 inch reverse flow smoker that I am trying to get the hang of using.  I cooked some ribs this past weekend and managed to keep the temp between 250 and 275 for about 3 1/2 hours. You guys have given me some really good info on here so thanks to everyone.  How do you give points to someone?
 

gary s

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
Original poster
OTBS Member
Thread starter
Jan 6, 2011
26,256
4,695
 
I have a Lang 36 inch reverse flow smoker that I am trying to get the hang of using.  I cooked some ribs this past weekend and managed to keep the temp between 250 and 275 for about 3 1/2 hours. You guys have given me some really good info on here so thanks to everyone.  How do you give points to someone?
See the little green thumbs up at the bottom of the post you are wanting to give points too. Click on it a pop up box will open up just add your comment the click Add to Reputation   That's it  !!      Then Most people will leave a comment in the reply box and let them know they thought it was point worthy.  Hope this helps

Gary
 
  • Like
Reactions: doug kiser

Latest posts

Hot Threads