Not burning as good as I would like.

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by bishgeo, May 13, 2015.

  1. bishgeo

    bishgeo Smoking Fanatic

    My set up doesn't burn as good as I think it should especially since I got my hickory. Dn that wood is hard to keep going. Added stack extension today didn't do much.
     
  2. bishgeo

    bishgeo Smoking Fanatic

     
  3. bishgeo

    bishgeo Smoking Fanatic

     
  4. smokejumper

    smokejumper Smoking Fanatic

    Hey bishgeo,

    First off, the curved top of the stack extension is generally not a good idea. Any breeze coming from that direction will kill the draft. It could even back draft and make your fire go out.

    Beyond that, we will need to know a bit about your smoker to try and determine what the problem is.

    What are all your dimensions? CC size, FB size, FB to CC opening size, stack diameter and length, FB air inlet size.

    Start by plugging all your dimensions into the pit ratio calculator and that should point out any glaring problems in the smoker design.
     
  5. smokejumper

    smokejumper Smoking Fanatic

    Also note that your fire grate does not have mesh all the way across.

    You need to be able to maintain a solid bed of hot coals under your logs.

    I would recommend covering the rest of your grate in mesh. The mesh should not have too big of holes either, #9 is usually good.
     
  6. bishgeo

    bishgeo Smoking Fanatic

    I have a build thread if you can find it. Dave helped me design it. Had more mesh on grate and removed it. It's the same expanded metal as my racks. Thinking I might need more air holes have to leave fire box door open sometimes.
     
  7. lendecatural

    lendecatural Smoking Fanatic

    Ever tended a fire on an old pot belly stove? You need a grate and a bed of coals, it looks like your grate is too high above the ashes to keep the logs hot. Dave has posted a picture of the FB door with upper and lower vents on several threads, you need to make look like that.
     
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Does the CC door still leak..... What did you do to fix the door leak....

    Build a bigger fire.... more expanded metal on the grate to hold coals....
     
  9. dannyp

    dannyp Fire Starter

    also just a thought from a guy with a barn full of wood i seasoned for 1.5 years out of the weather, do you know that that hickory you just got is fully seasoned? how long has it been sitting? and do you have any way to keep it really dry?

     is it possible that the height of the grate and the height of the lower intake holes are close to the same? the grate may be blocking the holes at the bottom that supply the fire
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
  10. lendecatural

    lendecatural Smoking Fanatic

    ^ sneaking to Danny's house with an empty truck.....
     
    dannyp likes this.
  11. bishgeo

    bishgeo Smoking Fanatic

    Yea the lid still leaks a little if I lower grate air holes would be above grate. Would it be better with more expanded metal on grate or wider grate to let bigger chunks of coal to fall thru. I have more trouble keeping her below 250 than above had her 350 doing pizza on top rack. Have about 75 degree difference between top and bottom rack and about 20 degrees from end to end.
     
  12. smokejumper

    smokejumper Smoking Fanatic

    OK, now I'm confused.

    What exactly is the problem?

    When you said that it doesn't burn as good as you think it should, and that the wood is hard to keep going, that leads me to believe you have trouble keeping the fire hot enough to keep your temps up.

    Now it seems that is not the case.

    In any case, you do not want larger holes in your fire grate. You do not want the larger coals to fall through. Expanded metal covering all of your fire grate is the way to go. I don't think dannyp was suggesting you lower the grate; you would want to raise the grate if it is at the same height as your air intakes.
     
  13. bishgeo

    bishgeo Smoking Fanatic

    Well someone suggested grate was too high above firebox floor for coals to keep logs hot. Hardly ever see any coals on bottom of fire box usually all ash. It will burn at 450 degrees if I stole it and let it roll I have more trouble keeping low temps for a long time. Mate more expanded metal or smaller mesh or grate.
     
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Bish........... SEAL UP THE SMOKER.... AIR TIGHT..... before you go any further..... the smoker won't work if it has air leaks...... you won't be able to control the temperature....
     
  15. bishgeo

    bishgeo Smoking Fanatic

    I know sometimes easier said than done. I guess I need to try ribwizzards trick with the high temp rtv. Didn't seen too bad till I started using this hickory and it's hard to keep burning with out a good base of coals.
     
  16. dannyp

    dannyp Fire Starter

  17. bgingras

    bgingras Fire Starter

    As someone who just built one and had my first burn go to hot. It was the size of the fire. A SMALL hot fire, contained is the way to go. I'm using a basket for both my charcoal and my wood and it keeps things neat and stops the fire from getting outrageous.

     
  18. dannyp

    dannyp Fire Starter

    ^^^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^^^^

    looking at the pic it looks like your hickory splits are still pretty fat. if you want to keep them burning good and keep a small fire to keep the temps low id try splitting them down to 2-3 fingers wide
     
  19. dannyp

    dannyp Fire Starter

    this pic is the one im referring to about the logs being fat
     
  20. bishgeo

    bishgeo Smoking Fanatic

    Raise grate higher so air holes more under grate ??
     

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