Temp probe locations (one more time)...

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Re: Temp probe locations (one more time)...

Postby Chasdev » Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:51 pm

Believe me, the smaller ones burn cooler than full splits..If I put a fresh split on an almost turned to full coals split, the temps want to run away..
I do modulate the intake air (with full open exhaust mostly) but only after I get the "good smoke", If I try to restrict intake air too soon, the smoke goes dirty.
Firebox is 19 inches long..
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Re: Temp probe locations (one more time)...

Postby k.a.m. » Wed Jan 20, 2016 6:48 pm

Can you get a piece of #9 flat or raise expanded metal the same size as the plate with the slit? If so replace the plate with it and your fire will breathe better and be able to run on a smaller coal base. A good sized split for your cooker is about 12" long and about 2" to 3" in diameter. You should be able to run that cooker on a chimney of charcoal to start and two splits the size I mentioned. Start the cooker with the intake wide open when starting then trim it back to about 3/4 or half when she peaks then monitor the temps. It is not uncommon to see some white smoke about two to five minutes when you add a split that is normal.
I am not sure how you start it but on my back yard cooker I light a chimney of charcoal and when it is fully lit I put it in the firebox then I place two splits the size I mentioned on top the coals. I let the cooker run with wide open intakes until she peaks at around 300° then when she starts to drop I decrease the intakes to about half and when the cooker pops 250° I add my meat and a split.
You can adjust this scenario to fit your needs and help you learn the cooker.
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

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Re: Temp probe locations (one more time)...

Postby dummy que » Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:18 pm

one thing that may help is run your smoker slightly out of level with the side opposite the firebox raized slightly remember heat and smoke rises
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Re: Temp probe locations (one more time)...

Postby Mark » Wed Jan 20, 2016 8:04 pm

That fire box is on the smaller size to me and sort of thin. Had a New Braunfels 20 years that was on the thinner side as far as thickness. I found that running a coal base made of charcoal and just adding a chunk or two (size of your fist) will operate that size pit just fine. Maintaining your pit temp will depend on the size or your coal base. Might need a burn barrel to add lit coals during cook. Thinner pits will require more attention to maintain your steady cooking temps.
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Re: RE: Re: Temp probe locations (one more time)...

Postby g2outfitter » Wed Jan 20, 2016 8:50 pm

k.a.m. wrote:Can you get a piece of #9 flat or raise expanded metal the same size as the plate with the slit? If so replace the plate with it and your fire will breathe better and be able to run on a smaller coal base. A good sized split for your cooker is about 12" long and about 2" to 3" in diameter. You should be able to run that cooker on a chimney of charcoal to start and two splits the size I mentioned. Start the cooker with the intake wide open when starting then trim it back to about 3/4 or half when she peaks then monitor the temps. It is not uncommon to see some white smoke about two to five minutes when you add a split that is normal.
I am not sure how you start it but on my back yard cooker I light a chimney of charcoal and when it is fully lit I put it in the firebox then I place two splits the size I mentioned on top the coals. I let the cooker run with wide open intakes until she peaks at around 300° then when she starts to drop I decrease the intakes to about half and when the cooker pops 250° I add my meat and a split.
You can adjust this scenario to fit your needs and help you learn the cooker.

Great post, when you say run full throttle are you refering to intake door all the way open or closed door and inlets open all the way. When temp hits 300, shut door and start closing inlets.

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Re: Temp probe locations (one more time)...

Postby RWBTEX » Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:59 pm

Late to the party too, how big is the cooking chamber? Sounds like the the chamber is to small for the firebox or the exhaust may be to small or you need to open it up. and slow down the intake as already mentioned. Pics of the whole cooker?
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Re: Temp probe locations (one more time)...

Postby Chasdev » Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:12 am

Cooker is almost exactly level with, a tad high at the exhaust end, but only because I could not find the perfect shims..
Expanded metal grate is my plan, placed just high enough to allow my fireplace shovel to sneak under it to de-ash.
Metal is 1/8 (I think) not the super flexible tin can stuff..Exhaust is large diameter and placed at the level of the cooking grate but perhaps could be taller?
Here's a 10 lb brisket ready to start smoking.
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Re: RE: Re: Temp probe locations (one more time)...

Postby k.a.m. » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:04 am

g2outfitter wrote:
k.a.m. wrote:Can you get a piece of #9 flat or raise expanded metal the same size as the plate with the slit? If so replace the plate with it and your fire will breathe better and be able to run on a smaller coal base. A good sized split for your cooker is about 12" long and about 2" to 3" in diameter. You should be able to run that cooker on a chimney of charcoal to start and two splits the size I mentioned. Start the cooker with the intake wide open when starting then trim it back to about 3/4 or half when she peaks then monitor the temps. It is not uncommon to see some white smoke about two to five minutes when you add a split that is normal.
I am not sure how you start it but on my back yard cooker I light a chimney of charcoal and when it is fully lit I put it in the firebox then I place two splits the size I mentioned on top the coals. I let the cooker run with wide open intakes until she peaks at around 300° then when she starts to drop I decrease the intakes to about half and when the cooker pops 250° I add my meat and a split.
You can adjust this scenario to fit your needs and help you learn the cooker.

Great post, when you say run full throttle are you refering to intake door all the way open or closed door and inlets open all the way. When temp hits 300, shut door and start closing inlets.

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My intakes are wide open not the door g2outfitter . Doing this my cooker will peak around 300° and then start to fall this is what I am waiting for as the cooker is fully warmed up and ready. I close down my intakes to about 1/2 open and when the cooker gets back down to 250° I add a split and my meat. It takes practice and notes to figure out the cooker. As far as heat goes I am not worried about how hot the top is or the bottom just where my meat is cooking the rest is irrelevant to me.
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

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Re: Temp probe locations (one more time)...

Postby Chasdev » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:18 am

The issue I'm dealing with is probably that the plates are too close to the cooking surface so they radiate too much heat to the underside of the meat, to the extent that if I cook by the clock alone, 1/8 in of meat on the underside is cooked hard while the rest of the meat is just fine even though the gauges (both digital at the meat level and analog in the lid) read 275/300.
Last cook I felt for flop, pulled it off early and saved the meat, but based on cook chamber temp readings it should not have been all the way cooked.
Only fix (short of buying a proper smoker) is to lower temps or raise the cook grate, but welders in Austin all drive BMW's seemingly and my fixed income is bouncing off the rev limiter..so fire size and tinkering with airflow are the theme..
OR, ditch the plates I paid too much for and live with the "hot on the right, cold on the left" dynamics it had before I installed the plates...at least my temp gauges were trustworthy back then.
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Re: Temp probe locations (one more time)...

Postby k.a.m. » Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:07 am

If the plates are 4.5" from the cooking surface that is fine. 4.5" to 6" is what I shoot for 6" being my target.
Remember a lang reverse flows plate is 1" below the grate at the firebox side.
While excessive may be messing with you the answer is in your coal base and reducing the temps on the cooker. This may require you relearning how you run it.
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

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Re: Temp probe locations (one more time)...

Postby Chasdev » Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:39 am

I think fixing the fire grate issue and smaller fires is the way to go too, thanks..
I bought another digital temp rig and am going to sample plate AND cooking grate temps at the same time along with the analogs, I may turn this into a space capsule yet.
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Re: Temp probe locations (one more time)...

Postby k.a.m. » Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:15 am

Buy you an infrared surface temp reader then you can just point and click anywhere you want in the cooker.
You do realize the plate temps are always going to be hotter than the cooking grates right? :lol:
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

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Re: Temp probe locations (one more time)...

Postby Chasdev » Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:19 am

Already got an infrared temp reader but those things are affected by surface textures and shades, also hard to shoot through the expanded metal grate grid too..
I think all retired auto techs have a few laying about...
I'm a junkie for data, even if it's confusing or contrary so knowing where the heat is and how much I'm dealing with is my mission.
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Re: Temp probe locations (one more time)...

Postby k.a.m. » Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:45 am

Chasdev wrote:I'm a junkie for data, even if it's confusing or contrary so knowing where the heat is and how much I'm dealing with is my mission.

Well everyone needs a hobby I guess. :lol:
I look forward to reading about what you come up with.
If you need any help just holler. :D
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

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Re: Temp probe locations (one more time)...

Postby Chasdev » Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:19 am

It is my new hobby for sure and a lot of fun too!
I know (to use an automotive reference) I'm trying to make a Fiat run like a Ferrari, but if I can't get there maybe I can get her to run like a 50 Chevy (perhaps my favorite car).
Gonna be a week or two before I cook again but I'll post up gauge readings and pics of the meat when I do.
I'm itching to smoke a prime brisket but will probably default back to a Wallyworld select for the test..funny thing is the last one of those I cooked was pretty darn good, and even excellent at the fatty end..

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