charcoal basket in brinkmann TMLE

Discussion in 'Side Fire Box' started by dmeyer24, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. dmeyer24

    dmeyer24 Fire Starter


    So I built this last night. Dimensions are 12x11x8 inches and it fits great in my firebox. I filled it up with my royal oak hardwood to burn off the Crap from welding. I put half a chimney of fully lit charcoal on top and let it go. It only burned for 3 hours at 233 degrees and was gone. I thought this was supposed to give me at least 6-8 hours using the minion method? Any suggestions? Maybe sealing my firebox will be my next step. I want to do overnight cooks in my brinkmann and would like some sleep.
     
  2. dmeyer24

    dmeyer24 Fire Starter


    This was an hour in. Seems as if the minion method isn't working.
     
  3. dmeyer24

    dmeyer24 Fire Starter

    Needless to say the temps stabilized at 233-235 degrees for three hours which is perfect for me but I want that for at least six hours. This basket will hold one bag of royal oak hardwood (not sure the weight) pretty easy and I would think one bag could get me six hours.
     
  4. dish

    dish Meat Mopper Group Lead

    Does a lot of smoke escape from the SFB lid?  I've heard of guys using tin foil or even using high heat sealant.  This might explain the fast burn.  What do you have your dampers set at?
     
  5. dmeyer24

    dmeyer24 Fire Starter

    Once to temp, I set the dampers to about half open. I held my temp pretty consistent for three hours but that was with one full back of royal oak lump. 10+ hour cooks I'm looking at multiple bags of lump. I know the trailmaster isn't a high end smoker but people have mentioned getting 6-8 hour burns with a charcoal basket only mod. My firebox has a little smoke escape from the lid when I initially put my wood chunks on. Once to temp, I don't notice the leaks.
     
  6. dmeyer24

    dmeyer24 Fire Starter

    I'm gonna take my firebox apart and seal every single crack with high temp sealant. I'm hoping that will help with some extended burn times.
     
  7. smoking gun

    smoking gun Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

     Have you modified the ash pan? Mine leaked air there badly. It's hard to get a long slow burn when you can't control airflow. I run with the damper 3/4 closed to maintain 275  and nearly 100% for 220 ish. Now that I modified the ash pan I can control it much better. It's been my experience that it's hard to control large amounts of lump because it burns so hot. Most drum smoker folks use briquettes for this reason. Load it up and let er smoke. Only problem is ash buildup and a couple kicks to the drum and its back to normal. I currently am using lump only to start my fire or for a quick temp boost if I nod off and the fire dies down.[​IMG] Instead I have been using mini logs I get from the local Cabelas. 12 bucks for a 50 lb bag of oak or hickory and 16 for mesquite. Can't beat the price unless u cut your own and you cant beat a real wood fire for smoking. If you want to cook overnight while you sleep you need a gas or electric smoker. Tending the fire is part of the job when using wood or charcoal in a SFB smoker.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  8. dish

    dish Meat Mopper Group Lead

    The bonus with using wood is it should help increase temps and burn time.  I haven't yet tried all wood in fear of maybe over smoking such as too much smoke flavor in the meat.  Also I wouldn't use wet wood chips for these add too much smoke and won't burn very hot until tried.  These are all just things I've found through searching this site and others.
     
  9. dmeyer24

    dmeyer24 Fire Starter

    I'm gonna seal up the firebox. I have some OEM high temp sealant which is rated at 650 degrees. Think that will work on the firebox or do I need something that's rated a little higher? I'm gonna try some other charcoal if you guys have any recommendations?
     
  10. dish

    dish Meat Mopper Group Lead

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/89284/food-grade-high-temp-silicone

    Check this thread out.  It looks like people recommend Rutland 500.  I think the OEM might gas off formaldehyde (might be spelled wrong).  Not sure but look into it.  People are saying make sure its food safe even if its for your firebox.  Let me know if you find anything.  I'm thinking of sealing mine up too.
     
  11. Rutland makes a black silicon sealant that is rated at 600 also, for a little more money. Just beware of the " latex" sealant, it will make a mess. And from what I hear, the cement does not hold up.
     
  12. dmeyer24

    dmeyer24 Fire Starter

    Yeah I am aware of the Rutland and it seems like the go to sealant. Anyone know about the Chem tech OEM stuff? Just if it is safe to use on my firebox.
     
  13. manolo578

    manolo578 Newbie

    I'd recommend starting your minion method with Royal Oak and using some natural  briquettes as the unlit coals. I use this method and I get hours of heat. The hotter temp of the lump gets the briquettes started. The advantage of using the briquettes as the unlit component is they burn slower and more consistently.
     
  14. dmeyer24

    dmeyer24 Fire Starter

    What is a good briquette that does not create a lot of ash? I like the royal oak lump. It has served me well but if I can get longer burn times, I'm all for it.
     
  15. manolo578

    manolo578 Newbie

    I use any briquette that is natural and has no chemical fillers. Personally, Maple Leaf natural briquettes serve me well, but I'm not sure if they sell it in America. 
     
  16. dish

    dish Meat Mopper Group Lead

    Kingsford competition burns hotter then kingsford blue. They say it is all natural.  I don't think it burns as long as kb though.  Both have about the same amount of ash.
     
    dmeyer24 likes this.
  17. smoking gun

    smoking gun Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    If I'm using briqs i use kingsford blue. Just empty your ash pan when it gets full. Home Depot runs a special every spring, 2 20# bags in a twin pak, 8.97, no limit. When I buy lump, it's either Royal Oak or GFS. GFS is the same as RO but comes in a 20 lb bag for 11.99.
     
  18. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Stubbs all natural briquettes are really good. Available at Lowe's. Good, consistent heat, low ash and ridiculously long burn times.
     
  19. comosmoker

    comosmoker Smoke Blower

    Half way through last season, I switched to 100% stick burn.  I was having trouble keeping my temps up.  Now, with using wood, that is not a problem.  I just have to be careful not to get it too hot.  Still use lump to get the fire started, but I have enjoyed using wood as the fuel.  I may do some more experimenting this season to see if I can find a happy medium.  [​IMG]
     

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