New Stick Burner - Need Some Advice

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by smokey kevin, May 10, 2013.

  1. smokey kevin

    smokey kevin Newbie

    Howdy All

    Just starting to experiment with my me OK Joe Longhorn.

    I have a great source for wood, and just bought a ton of seasoned, white oak. I had it cut into roughly 6" pieces. Not split.

    Looking for some proven processes for getting the fire started and just right. How much do you start with? Where do you keep the dampers to get things going? Once fire is going, how do you work it into the "zone", where do you keep the dampers? That kind of thing.

    Im playing around with it but could definitely use some pointers.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. I will usually put a couple of handfulls of charcoal and get that going first,  (firebox door open this whole time) when its white over , spread it out and start adding the wood.( once I get it burning good I will cose the firebox door and leave the dampner open all the way) I generally use larger pieces than what I see most people on this site use, and will place two nice splits on top of the coals, let them char over real good then add a third and wait for the white smoke to die down. I will take the smoker up to about 400* and let it sit there a little bit to burn it out, then close the dampner until it comes down to 300* and stays steady, then add my meat. This will drop it down to 275*. Adjust as needed to keep it around 280*. Usually the dampners are just slightly open. I keep a log on top of the firebox to pre warm it and dry out any moisture, and add just one log at a time, but always keeping 3 burning. Usually only have to add one every 1.5 hrs to 2 hrs

    Remember, always keep the exhaust vent wide open. If you get a lot of white smoke when you first add a new piece of wood, you can open the cooking chamber door and let it out before it effects the food, but drying it out on top of the firebox will help out there, as well as peeling any bark off .
  3. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

    Welcome Kevin!

    Ribwizzard is wise in his tutoring. 

    I was taught and agree that a smaller hotter fire will be helpful in preventing thing from going wild.    Pre-heating the wood will allow it to begin to ignite almost immediately upon placing it into the firebox.

    Leaving the exhaust vent wide open will prevent creosote build up and avoid a build up on the proteins you worked so hard on.

    Good luck!!!
    Last edited: May 10, 2013
  4. Thanks Frosty,

    I agree, a small hot fire is the key.  I forgot to mention that,
  5. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    Rib wiz hit the nail on the head. Another way is to have 2 fires and just add hot coals to your smoker as needed.
  6. The perfect set up is its about a 60* clear night, you have a little fire pit going pre burning the wood, kids are doing smores while you have a well deserved beer, smokers puffing away at a steady 275* loaded with ribs and sausage and you have all night just to sit there and enjoy it. Pull the food off maybe 3am when your ready to hit the sack and load it in a well insulated cooler, and keep it shut until Sunday lunch, when you pop open the cooler, the steam escaped and the meat is falling off the bones.
  7. tbjoebbq ss

    tbjoebbq ss Fire Starter

  8. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Kevin , Tbjoebbq has you covered with my article , if you need -PM me.

    Have fun and as always ...
  9. Are there any members here that can comment on stick burning as the only heat source, in a food service application, are there many out there?
  10. smokey kevin

    smokey kevin Newbie

    Just wanted to thank everyone for the input. After a few smokes I think I've got it figured out.


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