Australian BBQer needs advice

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by swifty, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. swifty

    swifty Newbie


    I am from Grafton, Australia and have been barbecuing for a few years now, mainly on a Weber.  I recently bit the bullet and had a local metal fabricator make me a reverse offset smoker.  I have had a couple of test runs and have a few questions about maintaining heat.  I would prefer to use briquettes/charcoal as it is more stable and I can set and forget it a bit more.  with my weber I use a Digiq Dx2 with one 25cfm fan but because the volume is so much bigger on the smoker I am running 2 x 25cfm fans, so it is getting 50 cfm when both are going.

    My first effort I couldnt get over 195F with 8 lbs briquettes and all vents closed.  I had another crack and used timber as well, with the door slightly open and after it got going it shot over 330,  but the temperature dropped when the wood burnt away.  My third effort ( today) has both both fans on trying to get to 275 and more charcoal,( about 15 lbs.).  Left the door ajar and got to 250 pretty easily but cant seem to go over that.  I am expecting too much from the briquettes.?.  The temperature probe is hanging off the top rack and the chimney draws low, near the grate.   I dont mind using wood, but I dont want to be loading it in every 15 minutes.

    The dimensions of my smoker are as follows.( both cooking chamber and firebox are round.

    Cook chamber 41" long and 20 inch diameter

    Firebox 18 inches long and 20 in ch diameter

    opening from firebox to cook chamber 50 sq inches

    4 inch chimney 40 inches long

    Entire smoker is quarter inch steel

    My questions are,

    Will briquettes get hot enough?

    How many briquettes do I need for a smoker my size?

    Any ideas and what sort of temperature range should I expect from a smoker this size

    Attached is a photo

  2. [​IMG]

    First keep the top vent wide open all of the time. Adjust heat with the bottom vent. It takes fuel and air to make heat. It doesn't matter if you are burning sticks or coal. A rig your size is going to take a lot of fuel to get up to temp. Then you will probably have to add fuel every little bit. That is the nature of the beast. Their is no formula that I know of as to tell you how many  briquettes it is going to take. If the wind is blowing or it is cool out side it will take more. If it is cold outside even more. Most RF were made for 275° and lower. That is not to say that you can't get higher temps out of it. 

    You are asking a question that you are going to have to spend the time learning your pit for yourself. Take notes of what you are doing and adjust from their. You might sign up for the free 5 day e-course as well as take a look at stick burning 101.

    Happy smoken.

    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  3. [​IMG]   Good morning and welcome to the forum, from a foggy and cool day here in East Texas. Lots of great people with tons of information on just about  everything.

  4. swifty

    swifty Newbie

    Thanks for the advice.  After posting my question last night I went back out and had another play around with the smoker.  In the weber I had no issues getting to temp and the briquettes didnt look they were going well enough, despite all the air going into the firebox.  The grate my coal basket was on looked too high, so I took out the grate and just sat the basket on the bottom of the firebox.  It still left a couple of inches of space as the firebox is round.  The air from the fans fed the coals much better and the temp shot up to where I had set it, at 275F and stayed there for 8 hours easy, and I only had half a basket left by then.  Woohoo, problem solved. Went to bed a happy man.  Because there was so much space under the grate before the air was sort of going under up and into the cooking chamber without getting the coals going properly.  

    Now to prepare for the Superbowl in a couple of weeks.  I am having a few mates around and we are having a U.S theme day, Budweisers and ribs.  Only for us its 10.30am, Monday morning.

    Just have to finish painting grill and putting a shelf on the front.


  5. Glad to here you got your problem solved   Now for the Superbowl 

  6. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Who you rooting for?

    Budweiser sucks. Get some Pabst Blue Ribbon. Now that is American.

    Now that is American
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  7. wolfman1955

    wolfman1955 Master of the Pit

    [​IMG]By the way how did you get a picture of my fantasy?Woman,Cowboy hat and porta john all in the same pic LOL GO HAWKS and Yengling!!
  8. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Hey I like Yengling too but it is hard to get in eastern washington. And stop looking at my ex like that.
  9. swifty

    swifty Newbie

    Im a chiefs fan so no more said there. One of my mates is a patriots man so I'll be taking the seahawks for the day.
  10. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    You might be a believer after a day. Hahaha....
  11. swifty

    swifty Newbie

    Not many American beers are available here so it will be buds or coors . Not real fussed on buds either. How do they get the cat to squat over each bottle?
  12. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Coors is the worst. I worked for a rafting company on the colorado river and we did a coors commercial. Had to drink that stuff for way too long. they gave us a truckload. Of course it was in the hot summer. we did the best we could. I don't think any went to waste though. Never touched one since. I love lion red and that is what i drank most when I was building line in australia and NZ
  13. wolfman1955

    wolfman1955 Master of the Pit

    Many years of S pecial H igh I ntensity T raining goes into each and every cat at the Bud Brewery!! LOL
    Keep Smokin!!!

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