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The fire Management

Martin Bang

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Joined Jun 4, 2018
So i have done some runs in my offset smoker. I have a Landmann Tennesse 300 AN50 modell. abit heavyer steal then the normal 300 modell.

anyway, sry for bad english writing.

As i have tried many thing, Charcoal casket.. etc easy to hold the temp didn't like the test. When i do only wood burn i like it much bether, but i have as many other problems keeping a steady temp. For me living in High North of Norway, weather is a damn stuggel. I manage to make some good ribs las weekend when it was good and warm outside. around 15 Celsius. "yeah summer in the north!" i cooked them at 275F, but to do that i had to check the grill every single 5 min and keep the wood burning very vell, to not get white smoke. Yeah the rib tasted so good it was a good deal. But i have seen other ppl on youtube that only add log every 30-45 min. I had to keep the vents Full open and the door. but if i didnt pay atetion it went up to 310+. when i then tried to close the vent i 1/4 it starts to produce white smoke.

For to day i am testing with no meat: full chimney of lump charcoal fully lit. added 3 sticks and burn them abit down before i close the lit, to get a good coal bed, preheated for 20 min before everything was burnt up. i close the lit and when i reached around 280 i started to close the vent and tried to tune it to 250, the exhauste was fully open . when i was looking into the firebook the lump where almost burnt away. so i mange to keep the temp for 10 min around 250. then it started to drop down to 220 in 15 min. and it started to produce white smoke. so i guess i mange to keep the steady temp aroudn 250 +- 10 degrees max 10 min and a clean smoke

The wood is birch wood. dryed under roof for 2 1/2 year. and preheated the next log in firebox. the bark was also removed. PS: the ribs where done with birch wood.

i have som pciture of the smoker. any help or tip would be nice.

I preheated the smoker around 30-40 min
I did not put any meat on.
the smoker: Is this a good smoke?
Smoker.jpg

the fire
Opedoor.jpg

Catching fire
refire.jpg


Closing vents:
Smoker.jpg

closingdoor.jpg

Is this white smoke? its kinda of moist outside and i have a waterpan.
fullviwe of white.jpg


Any help or tips would be nice. Yes i know stick buring is not a fire up and forget, but it had been nice to just have 20 min.

My guess is that mabe my logs are to small? the once in the picture i did just add and they ahve burnt for 20 min. so mabe i earlyer did split the logs 2 much.

best regard Martin - norway
 

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brent b

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Smoke looks pretty good to me I like heavy smoke myself. Offsets seem to be a bit temperamental in my opinion always tending fire I have an offset and tend it constantly
 

Martin Bang

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Smoke looks pretty good to me I like heavy smoke myself. Offsets seem to be a bit temperamental in my opinion always tending fire I have an offset and tend it constantly
Yes i know. But i have to check it evry min. I think my problem is to make a good coalbed and dont be afraid about abot smoke. I like to smell it but dont see it. But to be able to do that i need to have firebox door open. So if i had i better coalbed it mey hels the heat longer and dont go up and down like crazy. Its no coalbed like in picture
7211784C-00D8-4F0A-953B-53E60789B986.jpeg
 

dcecil

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I can tell you have studied this because you are doing all the right things. Your outside temp is going to be the battle. I agree with you about a bigger coal bed. Get that fire going really good So you can get a nice thick coal bed. During this process your steel will be absorbing heat as well which will help the cook stay more steady. Here’s a pic of my firebox when I start my cooks and I continue to add to it to get a nice bed of coals before I start cooking
F4F1417A-FA5E-4A7D-A0E4-3CAC42034144.jpeg
EF124EC4-FEC6-44BA-819A-961C37D61AB2.jpeg
 

73saint

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Your smoke looks good to me, and I think your English is pretty good too, so no worries!!

My dad has a similar offset and as I read your post, it reminds me of some of his issues. When he tries to burn only wood, he struggles with temp swings, especially in poor weather.

But when he starts with a good charcoal bed, and add small splits and lumps he does much, much better. I also made him a charcoal basket to keep the coal bed away from the ash build up. That allows him to maintain steady temps for longer periods.
 

73saint

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And also, your never not going to get some white smoke. Even when I have a good hot bed of coals and the splits ignite immediately, sometimes the smoke is thicker than others. My food never tastes acrid or bitter
 

brent b

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Joined Jan 28, 2017
Yes i know. But i have to check it evry min. I think my problem is to make a good coalbed and dont be afraid about abot smoke. I like to smell it but dont see it. But to be able to do that i need to have firebox door open. So if i had i better coalbed it mey hels the heat longer and dont go up and down like crazy. Its no coalbed like in picture

View attachment 368210
Oh yeah I start with a full chimney. At least
 

JckDanls 07

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Kinda wondering if your coalbed/fire aren't to big for that size smoker ... If it were me I would try a smaller fire ... half a chimney and much smaller splits ... The size fire you are trying to keep/build will heat my 120 gallon smoker ...
 

Martin Bang

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Kinda wondering if your coalbed/fire aren't to big for that size smoker ... If it were me I would try a smaller fire ... half a chimney and much smaller splits ... The size fire you are trying to keep/build will heat my 120 gallon smoker ...

Thnx for the advice. When it stops raining and the temp outside goes over 7 celsius(hehe) i will do a test with 1/2 chimney and splitt the alredy solitted in 2.

I have tested to solit it up more before. But then i used a full chimney of lit lump charcoal.
Istarted to think avout one thing. Mabe i have raised the fire to high above the vents in the firebox. Dont know i would have to trst to get them abit lower so they line up with the opening of the vents.

About smoke. What type of smoke would you say this is?
DF8BA3C3-B6B4-4CF3-ADD1-97002FE0E01C.jpeg


Alsow i will make me a new charcoal basket and try it with lumps. Last time i tried the minion method with briquetts the temp was ok. But the food tasted bad. Bitter and oversmoked. Even id i couldnt see the smoke.
 

SmokinAl

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I agree with Keith, start a smaller fire & get a good coal bed going, then add smaller splits.
Al
 

Martin Bang

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I agree with Keith, start a smaller fire & get a good coal bed going, then add smaller splits.
Al

Tnx. I will give that a try. Is it easyer with a coalbasket to keep the coals? Btw the picture above is that in the range of white smoke?
 

SmokinAl

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The smoke in the photo is fine, but any thicker than that & it would be bad.
When your burning wood you try to get just heat coming out of the stack, but in most cases some white smoke is acceptable & unavoidable. If your getting a lot of white smoke, just open the firebox door & let some air in. That will get the wood burning, instead of smoldering. When I add a split I usually leave the door open for a minute to get the wood burning good then shut the door.
Al
 

Martin Bang

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The smoke in the photo is fine, but any thicker than that & it would be bad.
When your burning wood you try to get just heat coming out of the stack, but in most cases some white smoke is acceptable & unavoidable. If your getting a lot of white smoke, just open the firebox door & let some air in. That will get the wood burning, instead of smoldering. When I add a split I usually leave the door open for a minute to get the wood burning good then shut the door.
Al
Thank you AL.

I will try make half chimney and cut the logs in two or split them. I think also my problem is time. I as many other wants the pit to get hot fast. Like give it the time and when you are starting to reach target temp then add a prheated log. Then i guess the tenp would be more steady sive the metal takes some of the heat

I’ll post a update when i have tested.
A picure of todays lovley westher in the nort of norway. no problem getting Wood.
39D2A218-EE3F-4E42-84D6-5D53D6279FD1.jpeg
 

Martin Bang

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Joined Jun 4, 2018
have to thank all of you for got tips. They made things in the right path.

Agin. sry for bad English writing.

Smaller fire is the best for my offset.

Incas anyone else have the same problem, or trying to figure out how to get things right. i have taken some pictures and done some notes. I'll try to keep them as a list. I did not cook any meat.

First of all. If you trying to rush things up, an offset smoker is probably not the right choice for you. Things take time, and you need to let them take time. If you don't have time i recommend a pelltsmoker(leave and fort"almost").

1. My Goal - PS: using Birch wood with no bark. They are at 18-21% moisture(good and dry)
My goal was to burn stick in my offset and not charcoal with lumps. So after the tip, i started a test to see what type of size and shape dose my smoker burn best. I did a test where i looked for how dose it burn, how long dose it burn and dose it leave any coals to refill my coalbed?
The winner stick in marked RED - The bad Stick that didn't burn good is in charcoal chimney
sticks.JPG thewinnersick.JPG badstick.JPG

2. My coal bed issu
I did as suggested above and filled a 1/2 chimney of lump charcoal(all natural). I waited to they where fully lit and dropped them in firebox. i then added 1/2 chimney of unlit. And why did i do that? because it was cold outside... and the smoker need to have time to heat up.I closed teh lite and the door and keept the vents fully open. When i started this test there was 8 Celsius outside/46F. I put some logs inside the firebox to preheat them. I think this is very important when cooking in cold weather. After 20-25 min i added some small preheated splits and started the making of the coalbed.
IMG_2538.JPG IMG_2542.JPG IMG_2541.JPG

after a while the the temp started to rise. My digital and analog thermometer showed that the pit was 230F. So i used a tool to measure the heat of the steel. Guess what? the steel in the cookchamber was only 103F. This was the most import discovery for me. No i understand why my wood was burning so fast and the coal bed burnt up. The thermometer only shows heat from the fire and not from the steel. So i closed down the lit and closed the vent 50%. i waited 1h. at this point i don't care about how the smoke looks. The only goal is to get the CC heat up while i maintain the fire and not adding to much wood. Let the time do the work. The CC need to be at temp to be able to keep a steady temp in the cook. This was my turning point.
The CC was hot enough after 1h and 20-30 min.
3. Target temp
I told myself: i am going to run a test for 2h and coock at 225F. I know i will never be able to hold 225 on the point for 2h with this smoker. So i changed it to: im going to coock betwen 225-and 250F. After 2h im going to cook at 250- and 275F for another 2H. By doing so i manage to stress down.
I stared my testing on vents and what type of size splits. when i found the split that burned good on my coalbed and left a good coalbed i started to take time. I found out it held the temp pretty god at 237F with 1 stick. i need to add 1 Stick every 20-25 min. I just added 1 preheated stick when the temp dropped below 220F. I manage to keep the temp for 2h hour with no problems no stress!. I found that by adding 2 stick i was able to hold the temp between 250-275. I also manage to find my sweet spot for the damper at the same time. And the smoke was never bad white.
IMG_2543.JPG


By doing this i mange to replicate this cook the day after with no problems, no stress!



1. If it takes 2h to preheat your pit, let it use 2h.
2. Find the right size of logs
3. run some test and fail!

Hope this can help someone who have trouble to keep a steady temp.
 
Last edited:

Martin Bang

Fire Starter
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Joined Jun 4, 2018
The smoke in the photo is fine, but any thicker than that & it would be bad.
When your burning wood you try to get just heat coming out of the stack, but in most cases some white smoke is acceptable & unavoidable. If your getting a lot of white smoke, just open the firebox door & let some air in. That will get the wood burning, instead of smoldering. When I add a split I usually leave the door open for a minute to get the wood burning good then shut the door.
Al
got things working. my result is above. tnx;)
 

JckDanls 07

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GREATTTT.. glad to hear things went better... and it only gets better from here on out... good job

let me suggest this... at start up... during this whole process do not worry anything about the temps... try it next time without adding the second (unlit) chimney of lump.... instead build a crosshatch of splits (6) on top of the hot lump you just dumped in... leave FB (firebox) door open (1/2 way) while they burn down to coals... closing FB door more and more as they burn down to coals... your CC will get HOT (above 350)... when coals are ready to start adding your 1-2 splits at a time...close FB door and adjust vents... Now take your water hose and use a spray pattern and spray the whole inside of the CC and then close the door... "STEAM" it (you will hear it)for about 5 min... this will "clean" and "cool" at the same time ... Clean grates and start your cook...
 

Martin Bang

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Joined Jun 4, 2018
GREATTTT.. glad to hear things went better... and it only gets better from here on out... good job

let me suggest this... at start up... during this whole process do not worry anything about the temps... try it next time without adding the second (unlit) chimney of lump.... instead build a crosshatch of splits (6) on top of the hot lump you just dumped in... leave FB (firebox) door open (1/2 way) while they burn down to coals... closing FB door more and more as they burn down to coals... your CC will get HOT (above 350)... when coals are ready to start adding your 1-2 splits at a time...close FB door and adjust vents... Now take your water hose and use a spray pattern and spray the whole inside of the CC and then close the door... "STEAM" it (you will hear it)for about 5 min... this will "clean" and "cool" at the same time ... Clean grates and start your cook...
Thank you. I will try to do that instead of adding unlit coals. Maybe it goes faster to get a the steel hot and good. The water hose was a good idea!.
As for to day its blowing 25-30 M/S so BBQ is out if the picture. I cant wait for good weather. Gonna do a test with some Ribs. Think the smoke on the last test was very nice.

Its so much more relaxing when you get things working.
 

red farr

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Joined Mar 16, 2013
….get rid of the grate in the fire box you’ll never have a bed of burning coals with a grate…..close off the cook chamber opening to the firebox see if you can burn a fire , wood only….the fire should burn down to a bed of coals without the grate…if you can’t burn a fire down to coals , not enough air is getting in the firebox you have poor combustion that’s why you have that dirty white smoke….firebox needs work….fire has to burn independent of the cook chamber….after you fix the firebox understand there is a relationship between the size opening to the cook chamber from the firebox and the size of the smokestack…the smokestack is not to burn the fire but to pull the heat through the cook chamber and out…clean burning fire no smoke…the stack looks like it’s about 3” diameter and curved , curved is good , 3” may be to small , where you live you can have a smaller diameter stack and they work fine…colder air…I would fix the firebox first see how it draws , insulate the exhaust stack , wrap it with paper towels till you can’t feel any heat , the temp inside the stack should be very close to the cook chamber temp…go from there…
Good Luck
Red
 

Martin Bang

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Joined Jun 4, 2018
….get rid of the grate in the fire box you’ll never have a bed of burning coals with a grate…..close off the cook chamber opening to the firebox see if you can burn a fire , wood only….the fire should burn down to a bed of coals without the grate…if you can’t burn a fire down to coals , not enough air is getting in the firebox you have poor combustion that’s why you have that dirty white smoke….firebox needs work….fire has to burn independent of the cook chamber….after you fix the firebox understand there is a relationship between the size opening to the cook chamber from the firebox and the size of the smokestack…the smokestack is not to burn the fire but to pull the heat through the cook chamber and out…clean burning fire no smoke…the stack looks like it’s about 3” diameter and curved , curved is good , 3” may be to small , where you live you can have a smaller diameter stack and they work fine…colder air…I would fix the firebox first see how it draws , insulate the exhaust stack , wrap it with paper towels till you can’t feel any heat , the temp inside the stack should be very close to the cook chamber temp…go from there…
Good Luck
Red
Tnx for the replay. I do a test with removing the grates and close the cc to test the firebox. The diameter of the stack is 3inches. And the opening from firebox to Cc is very large. Have been thining about reduce the size. Its not so warm here so i rly dont know about the stack. Normaly when i cook around 275-300 i get no smoke. On the last picture in the post i replayed AL. Is that what you consider bad smoke?
 

red farr

Fire Starter
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Joined Mar 16, 2013
…leave the back door fully open when you test…closing the rear door cuts off the air supply the fire starts to go out and you get smoke…the only reason to check the firebox is to burn wood…if you use charcoal you don’t need a lot of air , charcoal will smolder with very little air , wood is a different story…
Red
 

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