Second smoke with the iQue 110 and 22.5 WSM

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by cabin fever, May 4, 2011.

  1. cabin fever

    cabin fever Smoke Blower

    Following the great tips I got from Johnny and Al in an earlier thread, my second cook with the iQue is currently underway. I started with around 8 pounds of charcoal and I buried 2 small chunks of hickory in the middle of the pile the best I could. I've got the top vent opened 100%, the two front bottom vents closed 100% and the third back vent that the air manifold is attached to closed 50%.

    I started the minion method with 8 lit briquettes and then assembled the cooker with an empty foiled water pan. It's been 20 minutes since I plugged the iQue in and it's going to take a while to get up to 250 with only the 8 lit briquettes. I'll chime in a little later and let everyone know how it's going. BTW, I'm doing a rack of baby backs this time out and I'm not throwing them on the WSM until that bitter hickory smoke turns thin blue and sweet smelling. Meat ain't cheap!  [​IMG]   
     
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Open the vent attached to the blower 100% until the temp gets up to 220, then shut it halfway, then it will slowly get to 250. However if it was me I would smoke those ribs at 210-220. In that case you would shut the vent down to 50% or less at about 190.
     
  3. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Fl
    Good luck!!

    8 pounds to start..

    Makes me real happy I got the 18.5.

    4 smokes -- One eight pound butt,16 pounds if spares,ABTs and a pan of beans and still have charcoal left from a 10 pound bag.

    Haven't hooked up the guru yet either...

      Craig
     
  4. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Keeping the fingers crossed for ya! Hope it all goes better this time. [​IMG]
     
  5. cabin fever

    cabin fever Smoke Blower

    Well, talk about some bad luck. About ten minutes after I made this thread I went out to see how everything was going and the iQue had the WSM up to 250 and stable. I had the probe placed right in the middle of the top grate BTW. Bitter thick grayish-white smoke was billowing from the top vent and around the bottom of the lid. I thought this was just the wood chunks beginning to burn before turning into thin blue smoke so I started the waiting game. 

    An hour and a half went by with the same results. Nothing but bitter white smoke as far as the eye could see. I then noticed that the iQue was running almost constantly. It would run for 15 seconds, turn off for 3 seconds and then run again for another 15 and the pattern never changed. I tested the unit this time before hooking it up to the WSM and the fan blows a ton of air so I don't understand why it was running non stop. At that point it was getting too late to fiddle around with so I shut everything down and cooked the ribs in the oven for 3 and a half hours at 235.

    One thing I'd like to mention is that when I took the door off to see how much charcoal I had left, I took a pair of tongs and removed one of the smoldering hickory chunks. Even burning there on the ground it gave off the nastiest bitter smell you could imagine. I know this has nothing to do with how the iQue performed, but I've had this bag of hickory chunks in the garage for at least 3 years. Do wood chunks ever get to the point where they're just too old or dry to use? All of this has really thrown me for a loop. Any idea what could be going on?  
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2011
  6. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have heard of people talking about getting a bad bag of wood, but who knows. Do you have any other wood, or can you get a new bag? Maybe do a dry run with just 1 chimney of charcoal and see what happens. Also just to double check the obvious... did you check the iQue's probe in boiling water?
     
  7. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I think what Johnny said is right on. First off I would get rid of the wood, then check the iQue. It should only cycle on  about 3 seconds every 10 seconds to maintain the temp, at least that's what my guru does. 
     
  8. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Fl
    This is why I started out slow with my new WSM.

    New charcoal and chunks.

    I have been learning how the thing works.

    Once I get steady good cooks I will install the guru.

    Looks like ya got too much new stuff going which makes it hard to diagnose the problems.

    Of course that is just my opinion...hahahahahhaa

      Craig
     
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Al Knows His IQ.  [​IMG]

    Bear
     
  10. cabin fever

    cabin fever Smoke Blower

    Yup, did the boiling water test the day it arrived. My instant read thermometer showed 210 when the water started boiling so I set the iQue to 200. Right off the bat the light went to a solid green for stable. The fan would only run for 1-2 seconds every 15 seconds. To double check, earlier today I decided to test the iQue out in the oven with both set to 250 and again the unit worked like a champ.

    This time though the fan would only run for 3-4 seconds every 1 minute which I guess is due to the oven's temp being more stable than the boiling water. I'm going to pick up a new bag of hickory chunks over the weekend, but for now I'm just concerned with sealing the WSM up the best I can since the extra air flow through the cooker is the only thing I can think of that's throwing the iQue off. Any tips for straightening the top of the access door out a bit and making the bottom of the lid seal better with the middle section?
     
  11. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Don't worry if your leaking a little around the lid. The access door can be bent, but be careful not to put a crease in it. If you fool around with it you can get it to fit pretty good. The real important place that you don't want any leaks is the bottom vents. The 2 that are not being used by the iQue need to be closed tight.
     
  12. cabin fever

    cabin fever Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the tip about the two front vents Al. I did two test runs with the WSM and iQue today. One with an empty water pan and the second with a water pan filled with hot water. I took some high temp tape and covered each of the 4 holes on both of the front vents after closing them 100%. I fiddled around with the door for about 20 minutes to get it as snug as possible, but it still leaked like a bandit from every corner. More smoke was escaping around the door than out of the top vent. 

    The iQue performed the exact same way on both runs by running for 10 seconds and turning off for 1 second before starting again. The little fan inside the unit couldn't even come to a complete stop before kicking back on again. After about 45 minutes on both runs the light changed to flashing red for "fire". I'm just about fed up with the iQue to be honest. Nothing against the company or the unit itself, but I don't think my WSM will ever be air tight enough for it to run properly.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2011
  13. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would contact iQue & relay your problems to them. I think there must be something wrong with the heat sensor, because the iQue should only be cycling on for a couple of seconds when it gets to the desired temp. The leaks in your WSM should not matter. I looked at the iQue before I bought my BBQ Guru & concluded that the Guru was a much better unit. Maybe they will give you a refund & you could just get a Guru. Sorry for your troubles.
     
  14. cabin fever

    cabin fever Smoke Blower

    I'll shoot the company an email explaining my issues and see what we can work out. At this point I think I'd much rather receive a refund than deal with a replacement. Like you mentioned, the iQue should not keep running almost constantly once up to temp regardless of the air leaks.

    I researched both the Guru and iQue before making my purchase and every review I read on the iQue from various bbq forums was positive. I guess at the end of the day it always comes down to getting what you pay for. Thanks for all of your input and advice Al. I really appreciate it.
     
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2011
  15. how has your iQue 110 now??  I am debating on getting one.
     
  16. cabin fever

    cabin fever Smoke Blower

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