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Question on reverse flow smokers

newbienick

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I have a Backwoods Chubby 3400, and I have posted a few times regarding air flow/fire management on it. I have always felt like I could not get enough draw through the box. I find myself making a very small fire in one corner of the firebox and keeping the inlet dampers mostly closed to keep the fire small. If I get too much fire, I cannot keep the smoke clean. When I look at the real outlet damper size, it really is tiny, perhaps 1"x2".

I have a question to folks that own other brands of reverse smokers. How much area do you have in your outlet damper? I have been looking at Humphrey Weekenders, but I would love to hear from anyone with a reverse flow smoker.

Thanks!
Nick
 

Chasdev

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Your statement is self contradicting, too little air coming in results in darker dirty smoke.
You want to run with the inlet door or vents wide open, along with the exhaust vent wide open, and control cook grate temps with how much or how little fuel you introduce.
 

newbienick

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Your statement is self contradicting, too little air coming in results in darker dirty smoke.
You want to run with the inlet door or vents wide open, along with the exhaust vent wide open, and control cook grate temps with how much or how little fuel you introduce.
There is one added detail that I did not mention. There are 2 inlet dampers, and when I have tried to open them up to give more inlet air, the smoke will tend to come OUT the inlet dampers. That was the first sign that I wasn't getting enough draw. Added to that, I've seen a lot of folks use 1" ball valves as inlets to their reverse flow smokers, and I have more inlet damper area than that.

I would still appreciate if I could get anyone with reverse flow smokers to give me outlet damper dimensions.

To Chasdev's point above, I could try limiting the fire size and fuel supply while opening up the inlet dampers.
 

SmokinEdge

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Pictures of the cooker and dimensions of everything would be most helpful in the diagnosis.
 

Chasdev

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I have to admit that I am not a reverse cooker driver, BUT dark smoke equals incomplete combustion so somehow somewhere it needs more air getting to the fuel.
This may seem a silly question, but is the cooker sitting level?
Smoke behaves like a liquid in some respects and if yours won't draw properly it may be tilted rather than level.?
 

SmokinAl

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I agree with the above you should keep the opposite end of the fire box a bit elevated to keep the smoke flowing good. Your stack should be wide open unless you are getting just heat coming out, then you my want to close it down a bit. The temp should be controlled by the size of the fire & the intake dampers. On my Lang I keep the exhaust about 3/4 open, & the intake dampers set with one open that is facing the wind at about 1/4 open, and the other one closed. With that configuration I can hold a steady temp between 225 & 25O, if I want to go hot and fast I just add more wood & open the intakes up for more air flow!!
Al
 

Berettaclayshooter

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Charcoal fired be damned! You have a problem with the sizing of your stack, either it's too short or too small in diameter or both. Use the build calculator and plug in the size of your smoker this will help you determine what you need to correct things. My Highland reverse suffered from inadequate draw and I made a new stack and it made a HUGE difference.
 

newbienick

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I appreciate all of the comments. After I thought through the comments about reducing the fuel supply, I decided to do an experiment. Rather than filling the entire charcoal pan, I just ran a 2" wide ring around the outside of the pan with charcoal/wood and started my fire in one of the corners. This was my take on the minion method.

I used more inlet damper than I normally do to get the fire really going, and my smoke cleaned right up. The fire itself was smaller than normal, so I could get enough airflow to keep up with what the fire needed.

I think that I'm going to rig up some baffles in my charcoal box to see if I can actually fill my pan, but restrict the fire size. Does that make sense?
 

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