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Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by realtorterry, Mar 6, 2011.
Comosmoker can you please let me know what size plates those are thanks!
I will as soon as my neighbor completes them.
Purchased 2 thermos and tested them out. They both seemed like they were accurate. Installed them Friday night.
Filled chimney starter about 1/2 full and started it.
Loaded fire box with about 1'2 chimney of Kingsford blue bag and a few sticks if hickory. Once the lighted was ready, I dumped it onto the unlit and wood into firebox.
After about 20 minutes or so, this was my stack side reading...
and this was my firebox side reading
After about 30 minutes, stack side reading...
and Firebox side reading.
This is what the factory thermo in the top was reading.
After about 45 minutes, I closed down the intake about 90% and noticed a leak in my firebox. Going to fix that this week.
After about an hour or so, this is what the firebox side was reading...
and the stack side reading.
1 1/2 hrs into curing, I added a few more sticks of hickory and closed intake completely.
Firebox side reading after 1 3/4 hrs into cure...
And finally, stack side reading.
I learned a lot from my curing/dry run. I found a couple of leaks that I will easily fix this week. Without the charcoal basket and convection plates, the heat still stayed pretty consistent throughout the smoking chamber. The temps never varied more that 5 degrees from side to side. I was surprised at that due to the convection plates not being in there. I thought it would vary up to 30-50 degrees of so. The stack extension is an absolute essential mod IMO. Oh, and the weather was cloudy, cold, and a little rainy. About 45 degrees. Looking forward to completion of mods and fixes this week and begin the TLE journey of Qing this weekend. I will post Qviews! Thanks, again, everyone!! Happy smoking!!
Thank you. Did my curing/dry run and posted results on the next page.
Since those are my plates, I can tell you
they are 6" wide 18" long
you know guys, IF you are a serious griller/smoker go for industrail, NOT a Brinkman! Save your money till you can buy a real one! I bought a Vidila, YES it was costly, BUT I love it!! It can smoke, gas, charcoal, fry, steam, bake, roast, etc.!! I cook all the time, my only mistake, I bought the big one!! Living by myself, the middle size would of been better, BUT I love it, and great for my weekend barbeques!!
Great Thank You
I think you are missing the point.....some of us don't want a giant gas grill to roast, bake, steam or fry in the backyard. There is an oven and range in my house for all that stuff. I want a smoker. So I bought a smoker. More exactly 3...a WSM, this TMLE with the mods and a cheapo brinkman cabinet. What (and how much) i want to smoke determines which one I fire up.
If I put that fancy beast of a kitchen in my backyard my wife would come around my smoker section a little too often for my liking....
That stock thermo is such a joke. So funny that no one figured out how stupid it was before they went to production.
Bought my BTLE yesterday.
They now carry them at BJ's Wholesale club, $279.95!!
Plus I had a $5 coupon from new membership
Now I can get cheap gasoline from BJ's too, $3.81 here in NY at BJ's.
I am living on my boat starting May 1st so this will be set up for smokin at the marina.
Its still in the box, the manager is letting me keep it in the office for a few weeks, all the Sea Tow captains are already drooling about this summers good eats from the BTLE!!
I already ordered 2 thermos from amazon, i got the 3" easy-to-read-with-cool-colors from River Country
I used to live on my old boat on the weekends, when I was single. I had my old trust Weber kettle there
brings back a lot of good memories. it was my cottage on the lake
Hey Pvillecomp, I have the same issues. Trying to maintain 250 is not easy, but the main issue I found was like you , the factory thermo reads about 50 deg higher than the actual temps at the grates. I have a regular oven thermo on the grates and once I got a decent coal base, the factory thermo said 300 and the grate temp was exactly 250, so I just always run at 300 knowing im actually at 250. I think its just b/c the factory one is at the top of the unit, where the higher temp is. But the issue is that I can only go as low as this 250, with the air inlet totally closed. Im using the MONION Method and load up as much lump coal in the firebox as possible.
I also have read that too much air fuels the fire from the ash pan, so I am going to seal that up this weekend and try again. My lid and the rest of the unit have no real leaks that could cause this issue.
What did you guys do about the air leakage issue from the ash pan? I am 100% sure that this is the main reason I have my air inlet damper full closed and still burn way too hot on a 6" bed of coal. I am thinking of just having the pan fill up, to the point that is seals itself closed at the bottom, and then the only place air can possibly enter this firebox is via the manual damper.
I was having such a hard time keeping it right at 250 or 240, even though once I figured out the grate temp was about 50deg off, it made it easier. I am retrofitting mine this week with the chimney duct extension and 2 new grate level thermo's and will use a water pan for my heat baffle.
Hey, has anyone used a fire brick, to line the inside of the firebox......instead of using the expanded metal home made box? I did that mainly b/c the owners manual said to keep hot coals and hot wood away from touching the fire box (which I think is a joke for a smoker) but I put firebrick 1/2 way up the firebox walls so I can fill it higher with lump coal or briquettes.
Wondering if this is not a good idea or maybe it is???
Are you using a baffle plate or some other type of radiant heat deflector? Adding a baffle was the most significant thing that I did to lower the heat in the cooking chamber.
The ash pan will let some air in, but mine doesn't push the temp that high, as long as I push it in as far as it goes. Unless your tray or slide is warped or bent.
Water pan will reduce temp significantly. I stopped using one because i didnt need it after adding cold steel baffle and tuning plates. The water pan then brought temp down too low.
Rob did you seal the firebox with rutland (or other) hi temp sealant in all the joints when you put together your rig?
IF not then that is your problem and you will need to dis-assemble the rig and build it back sealing all the joints with high temp sealant. Without the sealant the thing lets in soo much air...
If you did do that already and you are still getting that high temp with the stack and the intake closed then the fire is certainly getting air from somewhere it is not supposed to.....that drawer is junk and maybe that is it for you...
Great looking minion box, but my questions is, since you said you got 8-10hrs when this was filled, did you do anything to stop air flow into the box through that damn ash pan? I think this is why I burn so hat and fast. I am thinking about either blocking mine off, or figuring out another way to seal it.
Let me know. I am going to build a box like yours tonight. Add on 2 more thermos, at grate level, and then add the 4" 90deg Elbow and hope for a much better smoking this weekend.
I am going to do all that sealing soon as I get the stuff in the mail from Amazon. It seems everyone did this and had much better results. I will disassemble and use this hi temp sealer along with the other mods. I actually might just seal off that ash pan 1st with a piece of sheet metal and see if that is all that I need to do.
For some reason, I noticed that once this ash pan was filled up past the bottom of the firebox, it seemed to seal up the air flow through there and then ran much lower and steadier.
I only used it 4x so I will have this damn issue fixed before the real BBQ season and families over etc. I cant keep messing with the coal and temps every 20 mins. crazy.
I agree....the ash pan is total junk and lets in too much air. I actually shimmed the back of the pan up to meet the ash pan holder and it helped a lot. It is still getting a little air but temps were easier to control. I did go through a full bag of lump and 1/4 bag of briquettes during my 6 hr smoke. I will have to investigate that. On Easter, I smoked a shoulder for pulled pork. My neighbors threw on a couple of pork chops for me to cook as well. I am not one to pat myself on the back, but I thought it turned out great for my first smoke. The neighbors enjoyed it as well! I used a water pan, as I don't have all my mods completed yet. i can't wait till the next smoke!!
On the smoker at 1:45
After 2 hrs
Wrapped it in foil for the last hr of the smoke, took it off and let it sit for 10-15 minutes...
End results. First smoke was a success!!! Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and ideas. Can't wait to finish my mods and get back at it again!!!