Splits NOT burning???

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by danbono, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. Try no basket, no briquettes, one chimney of lump with 3 or 4 splits of hardwood on top. Let it burn!
  2. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Bono , hello . Your problem is not enough air , lose the basket and start a small hot fire , warm woodon top of the FB and add as needed. Open FB ,toss in stick , leave door open a short and let the wood start bruning ,close door and open intake fully and the exhaust stays open ,always ( close only when not in use). Your fire should start giving TS in about 5min.

    Use the coals ,this was placed 30sec. before ignition , closed the door and ,

    It started to belch out the smoke , then after 5 min.

    this was my smoke , whoops , don't see it , that's perfect smoke , you can smell it ,yes !

    JMHO , have fun and . . .
  3. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks All

    Will try all your suggestions next time.Yeah I was thinking of NOT using the basket time, and see what happens.

    Will post back with the results on next smoke.

    Thanks Again Dan
  4. thmoker

    thmoker Fire Starter

    Dan, if you continue to have problems getting the splits to catch, an emergency fix is to open up the lid and side of fire box and use your leaf blower to force a good flame up. Just be sure to aim it away from your food to keep ash from getting on the meat. I used to put some foil in to block the carryover. I have used this method in the past with smaller fire boxes. Don't blow it full blast, just idle or a little more...It only takes a minute or two to get that sucker raging. 
  5. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    HI All Another try at stick burning, here are the results..First off I tried to  use the charcoal basket, once again. Filled the basket 3/4 full of Kingsford Blue with a can in the middle/minion method, place the hot coals in the middle , once everything got hot, tried to get the a smaller cherry split/12x1  going, not much luck..

    I then  emptied the basket on the firebox grate which sits 4" above FB floor.Tried once again to get the smaller splits going , no such luck, but with firebox lid open there were flames, also at times with the vent door open, flames would appear. Some how I finally got a bigger split/12x3 to flame.Temps by the FB were around 300-350, on the end away from the FB temps were 300. I had to keep opening the cooking pit door to lower temps.Next timer maybe all small splits 6x3

    When I emptied the basket onto the FBI grate a lot of coals went under the grate. How do I fix that problem. Going to give stick burning another try. If NOT successful, I will go back to using charcoal and wood just for the flavor.Seems like I have an air flow problem?

    Thanks Dan

    PS With all that the ribs came out pretty good.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
  6. buttburner

    buttburner Meat Mopper

    make sure those splits are pre heated

    don't know if they were or not I did not ready carefully through every post
  7. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi All the splits were pre heated on firebox lid.

    Thanks Dan
  8. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I don't know what else to suggest, unless the wood you are using is not seasoned? Maybe someone else can help because something is going on.

    If you build a fire and maintain a decent fire then close the lid and it smolders or chokes then, yes you have a flow problem.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
  9. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi Yup looks like a air flow problem. Hard to believe that with soo many of these Smoke N Pits, using  wood for fuel.

    Any of you out there using wood for  the Brinkmanns  Smoke N Pit come across this problem?

    Thanks Dan
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
  10. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi All I would like to hear from other Smoke N Pit users, if they came across the same problem.

    Thanks Dan
  11. grillmonkey

    grillmonkey Smoking Fanatic

    Think of it this way; you fill a chimney with charcoal and light it from the bottom with newspaper or whatever. It starts smoldering slowly  from the bottom up, but it isn't burning fast enough to suit you. To speed things up, you squirt some charcoal lighter fluid on the coals on top, but it doesn't light as you expected it would. So, you take your lighter and put flame to the top of the chimney, expecting it to singe the hair on your arm when it bursts into flames. However, instead of bursting into flames, your lighter simply goes out. Not fiction, fact...that is what will happen. The smoldering coals are burning through the oxygen long before it reaches the top of the chimney. And, even though you are burning from the top down in a basket in your case, it doesn't take a lot of burning/smoldering charcoal to deplete the oxygen so that any wood you throw on top will only smolder just like the charcoal. Three quarters of a basket charcoal is a lot of charcoal. If you want to burn splits, just start with a half chimney of charcoal to get things going, then add splits as needed to maintain the temp you want.
  12. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi GM

    Will give it a try next time.Start a  small fire then add splits.

    Thanks Dan
  13. grillmonkey

    grillmonkey Smoking Fanatic

    This is all the fire it takes to keep my cheap, thin-steel, side-firebox smoker chugging along at 275 degrees:

    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014
  14. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi All Going to try to get the splits flaming again tomorrow. Here is the plan.
    1. lose the basket.
    2. lose the drier vent that went to the grate.
    3. start with 1/2 chimney of KB
    4. Heat the white birch splits. till they make coals.
    5. Add the apple or cherry splits, onto the white birch coals.

    Will post back with the results.

    Thanks Dan
  15. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi All Well here are the results. Most of time the new splits caught on fire, other times, it was MPIA to get them going.
    Here are my findings/thoughts on stick burning.
    1. Lest charcoal is the better way to go
    2.You MUST stay on the top of things. Once the fire & temps go down. it is HARD to get the splits burning and the temps up. Temps came really fluctuate.
    3. I had to use a lot splits 12 x 1/2 to keep things going. One could go broke using just wood.
    Speaking of wood I think can get Oak splits 17" x 3/4" x 3/4" for 50 cents a piece. 17" would be a tight fit in my firebox. Each should be good for about 1 hr. So 10 splits=10 hrs burn time=$5.00. Not a bad way to go "IF" I can get them big splits to burn.
    4. Half way thur I had to start and add 1/2 chimney KB, to get temps back up.
    5. It takes a lot of work to keep a stick burning going
    6. NOT sure if it is worth the time and effort or $$.
    Thanks Dan
    PS Last pic is the white birch, which was the 1st to go, before adding the apple.

  16. grillmonkey

    grillmonkey Smoking Fanatic

    Once you get the hang of it, you can hold the temps pretty good. Normally, I add a split or two every 20 minutes or so. Yes, it takes a lot of attention, but to me that's part of the fun. It also gets you out of chores, "Sorry Honey, I can't leave this thing for a minute."

    I live out in the country. There is lots of oak (red and white) and wild pecan on my property so wood isn't a problem for me. You might be able to find some reasonably priced wood in Craigslist. I know down here you can get a pick-up truck load fairly cheap and you'll get more burn time than the same dollar-amount of charcoal.

    This is red oak splits and some that needs to be split.

    The stuff that hasn't been split in this pic is white oak. 
  17. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    From the pic, your charcoal will choke the flame as there is no air movement underneath, as mentioned before try without the charcoal JUST WOOD, that's all I got... Goodluck!
  18. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    double post
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
  19. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi You mean start off with just the splits? That is why I started with the White Birch, to give me a bed of coals, before adding apple splits.

    Just picked a few cherry and oak splits. Going to try again soon

    Thanks Dan
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2014
  20. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You got me so confused at this point, did you start this last burn with wood then add coals later?

    My reference is to the pic I see above, this will choke the fire, if you started a fire with splits and still have a problem, then I'm really confused.

    As a test, Ditch the birch and try using something like maple, oak or hickory...As a fuel source..., after that I got nothing.

    I don't know about other but I have a hell of a time burning white birch when backpacking, its always too spongy and will not burn, not sure the condition of your birch.

    Just an FYI, Remove the bark on your birch before smoking.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014

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