Afterburner and propane in general

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by bigsteve, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    I just got a propane afterburner for my Brinkman Gourmet. Have some questions.......

    The needle valve is very-very sensetive. The smallest adjustment up or down makes a large differance in temperarture. To smoke at 225* degrees, the valve is barely open, perhaps this is the reason? How do I determine if something is wrong with the regulator or valve? Can I buy a less sensetive valve at a propane dealer?

    The instructions don't give recommended temps to use it at. But IMHO, they imply to run the unit hotter than a charcoal smoker. I haven't done that, I'm trying to run it 225-235*. Should I run hotter?

    I'm using a coffee can with one or two chunks in it for smoking. Sometimes it smokes nice TBS, and sometimes it just doesn't want to smoke. I hate to fill it with chunks, thinking I'm going to get too much smoke. What do you guys do for propane smoke? I lay the can sideways, so that it rests with the open end on the rail away from the flame, and the closed end is on top of the burner, with direct flames on it.
  2. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Big Steve,

    Please be VERY careful with the afterburner, I bought one for my WSM and it flamed out all of the time!

    Unless they have changed their design it is a round piece of pipe section about 4" in diameter with a round flat plate welded in three places leaving about a 1/16"-1/8" gap, that is way to much flame area and that is the cause of the flame outs.

    On my kitchen stove there is a 3 1/2" burner with about 20 holes, it works fine, I did the math on it and the afterburner was like 500%-600% larger and that is what causes flame outs, there is too much open space and the flame is outside of the port instead of resting right at the hole and it is easily blown out.

    After a flame out I waited 5 minutes with the bottom vents fully open and and then tried lighting it again, it wasn't a pretty sight, burned all of the hair off of my arm and I threw the match into the smoker, it could of been alot worse if I had been standing closer or looking inside when I tried to light it.

    Like I said, maybe they have changed their design, mine looked like something a child had made, certainaly not professionally made, there are lots of bad reports about it on the web, seems the offsets work ok, but not the verticals.

    My needle valve had a T handle, a steel rod about 1/16 in diameter, when I was looking for a needle valve like the ones from Bayou Classic at online plumbing stores those kinds of needle valves were for liquids, the round handles were for gas, I don't know if that is gospel, but that is what the sites I visted said.

    Again, please be very careful and keep the kids away from it.

  3. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    [​IMG]Thanks for the input Gene. I didn't have any flameouts this weekend, other than when I was fiddling with the needle valve. I've been lifting the whole unit off the base when I re-light.
  4. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Did you get it from If you did, then call them and ask to talk to Ed. He is more than willing to help. I got an Afterburner H for my SnP last summer and he was very helpful with any questions I had.

  5. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    I did, and I will call. Sometimes experienced users know better then the folks that manufacter things though. Thought I'd ask here first for practical comments.
  6. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wish I could help, but I don't have the vertical version. Give Ed a call though. When I got mine he was very helpful with a problem that I was having that turned out to be caused by me and not the Afterburner.[​IMG]

    Did you turn the fuel off or leave the valve open for the 5 minutes? Did you open up the smoker so the gas could escape before you tried to relight it?

  7. That's the same set up I got about a year ago for my Brinkman SNP. The greatest thing I did to my smoker and love it man.

    I don't know what the vertical burner set up is but if it's along the same line as the H burner I got it should have an air gap hole in the pipe tube with a plastic sleeve just after the burner or close to it to allow more or less air, if the flames are blowing hard away from the burner holes then there's to much air kinda like a gas torch, more air the harder the flame and the flame is farther from the tip with the holes, you can cut down on the air and the flame will become more tame like a stove top flame, to do this slide the plastic sleeve to cover more of the hole in the pipe and the flame will be less intense and more yellow due to more gas and less air in the mixture.

    I may be off base to that set up but just some input into the flameout issue and controlling the hard blowing flame.

    The topic was on a regulator valve that's not so sensitive and I don't know much about that, and got side tracked.
  8. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    It's been hectic around here and I haven't had a chance to play with it much. The instructions say to start high, and get the water pan to a full rolling boil, then back down until it's simmering. But they don't say anything about temperature. I've been running it around 235~245, with decent results, and good TBS. But the water doesn't simmer at that temp, although it does evaporate quickly. I stuck my Mav probe in the water as I finished up the last cook. The water was 185*.

    I guess next time I'll bite the bullet, and use it as Ed designed it [​IMG] I've been hesitant to run it that high. I suppose I really should follow the directions though.

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