sunday: mixed results

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Mar 9, 2007
Williamsburg, IA
***how much does wind affect the smoker? we had gusting winds to 30 mph. it was difficult to keep the temperature steady, but if watched closely, not impossible.

***how does the vent affect the temp? is the vent something i can simply set and forget? understanding the qualities of this particular smoker's gonna take awhile, but i'm willing to learn.

changes in method:
fell- i was able to remove the fell with ease this time.
rub- simplified rub, used a whole lot less, and no massage.
wood- pre-heated & preburned the wood. oak/hickory blend, not just hickory this time.
coal- used 'genuine hardwood coal' as bed for wood and to regulate temp a bit
temp- i controlled the temp & did not allow the temp to skyrocket like last time.
sauce- i altered a Q sauce & applied for final 20 of hi heat.

baby back ribs and a whole chicken Sunday was delicious:
chicken- it was tender, juicy, and gone as soon as margaret cut it. the leg/thigh combos were the only chicken to hit the table the rest was devoured immediately.
ribs-very tasty. still a bit on the tough side. family said tasted great, BUT, still not tender enough in my opinion. good rub, add garlic. next time, start earlier.

i want to thank everyone who's responded to my questions these last few weeks. the quality of our meal was directly influenced by your suggestions.


next time.......... ribs, pork & beef, chicken will probably be a requirement every time now!
Mikey2gunz, congrats on the succesful smoke. It's great when you see the food go that fast.. you know you did it right, or you starved them for days.

The wind will have a big influence on your smoker temps. It will drag down the temperature in and around your smoker. A wind block will help on those windy days.

The vent will directly affect your temps too. Leave the stack vent open and adjust your heat at the firebox. You want the smoke to kiss the meat and go on it's way. The more air into the firebox, the hotter the fire. Just like you, fire likes to breathe.

Keep Smokin
thanks for the encouragement--

are you saying leave the vent wide open? i understand adjusting at the firebox and that more oxygen in there makes for a hotter temp. heck pre-burning the logs was like a blast furnace with the high winds we had!

trying to figure out-- would you only adjust the vent if you're playing with very fine heat adjustments then? (as one could do an emergency heat dump with simply opening the smoker bay)

another question--- cannot find the thread, but i read something about a heat sink/equalizing plate modification....would a LARGE PAN of BEER, WATER, or FRUIT JUICE underneath the grill act in the same manner?

mikey2gunz, I'm not sure what equipment you are using, check out these posts which might help you out some...

another question--- cannot find the thread, but i read something about a heat sink/equalizing plate modification....would a LARGE PAN of BEER, WATER, or FRUIT JUICE underneath the grill act in the same manner?

I believe that the water pan would help control the air temp in the smoking chamber by adding moisture to the air. Try it and report back on how it works.

Keep Smokin

thanks for the links, i'll search harder next time i'm asking for information. i'll try the large pan of juice next time and let everyone know how it works.

i found gunslingers cyclops info and the tuning plates. lots of good info. i'm already thinking of adding tuning plates to my rig, cannot wait and will advise. am a bit too dim to understand the deflector plate, angles, etc.

will read more and search more.

Mike don't be afraid to ask... it's the quickest way to a solution.. no need to keep reinventing the wheel when it's already done.
it's a monster compared what i'm used to as size goes. i've used it twice to decent results so far. i've not ruined anything, YET!
Yep it's a monster! Looks kind of like a torpedo >>>>>> FIRE!

Glad your figuring it out you can smoke for all of us in that rig! When it's REALLY cold and windy the only way I can keep heat up is the water pan - but I've only got a windle ECB.

Mikey - that thing looks like some sort of reservoir, air maybe? Heavy metal, made to take pressure. Reminds me of the main air reservoirs on locomotives, except they are huge. Anyhow, it also looks like it needs some baffles/deflector additions to even out the heat. As-is I bet it is HOT on the firebox end and not so hot on the other end. You might try removing the plugs and inserting a thermometer in each hole with it up to speed to see what sort of temperature variation you get across the length of the smoker, might be surprised. Then you could experiment with deflectors or baffles and recheck the temps to see what effect they have.
All in all, I'd say it will do the job fine once you get it figured out and fine tuned. Just needs some playing with, a great reason to smoke some meat!

yes, it's very hot at the fire and i've actually been leaving the ribs on the far left end so as not to overheat anything. have been thinking about those tuning plates to equalize the temp (i like your idea about the multiple temp guages)

have also thought about a damper, but after seeing some pics i'm a little bit confused about them.

as a noob, i'd certainly attribute my minor success to the info gleaned from this TWO times smoking have been edible, with the second classified as 'really, oh gosh, really good' from the family. if i can improve each time, it'll be nice.

I dig the rig! I can definitely see there being massive heat issues with the one side so close to the fire box. I would cook my chickens on that end to help crisp the skin up and my ribs/butts/briskets on the opposite end until you can get some sort of tuning plates/deflector plate installed.

My idea for an el-cheapo tuning plate system would be to get some aluminum pans about 12" wide X however long it would take to fit below your cook grate and still allow space underneath. Line these Aluminum pans up so that the first pan is up against the fire box and forces the smoke to go underneath it. Then give an inch gap and place the next aluminum pan and then 2 inch gap and another and 3 inch gap until the space is filled all the way across.

Then fill these pans with boiling water and refill them as needed with boiling water. That should even out the heat all the way across somewhat. The key is to force the smoke to go under the pans and come out the gaps in between.

thanks for the help and compliments. i'm going to use some kind of tuner next weekend. i've an idea for a heavy duty tuner system where the plates are 1/4" thick with sides that'll hold a fluid.... will ponder and probably figure out a reverse smoke system at some point as well. must study my smoker, to figure out the damper situation. cant wait!


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