Off topic somewhat...burn barrel ideas?

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Chasdev
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Off topic somewhat...burn barrel ideas?

Postby Chasdev » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:45 am

Got back in touch with a friend from 20 years ago and turns out he not only cooks Argentinian style with coals only, he also is a welder now and has offered to make me a burn barrel device/contraption so I can feed my stickburner from a pile of coals as needed/if needed.
Anyone got ideas on what I should have him build?
Perhaps a smaller version of what the whole hog cooking folks use?
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Re: Off topic somewhat...burn barrel ideas?

Postby k.a.m. » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:24 pm

Just make a 24" to 30" fire pit from a tank bell. It should produce plenty of coals for your cooker size and you could have a swinger grill made for steaks and such.
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

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Re: Off topic somewhat...burn barrel ideas?

Postby Chasdev » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:31 pm

Sounds like a good idea but tanks are getting scarce here in the land of Franklin, I would have to buy the whole thing and discard 7/8's of it..
I was thinking 55gal drum or something cheapo..but hey, I'll suggest the cap off a tank and see what he says, who knows he may have one already.
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Re: Off topic somewhat...burn barrel ideas?

Postby limey » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:55 pm

Try a scrapyard or Craigslist on the bell cutouts, have seen a few of them on there.
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Re: Off topic somewhat...burn barrel ideas?

Postby Red Farr » Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:25 pm

...burn barrel
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Re: Off topic somewhat...burn barrel ideas?

Postby OldUsedParts » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:36 pm

I see old kettle grills at re-sale shops all the time and they should work shouldn't they :dont: :?: - - - MOF there's one over off 105 just West of that Catfish Place ? :scratch: BUT on the North Side
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Re: Off topic somewhat...burn barrel ideas?

Postby Chasdev » Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:18 am

Red Farr wrote:...burn barrel


That will work, thanks..
I'll see if I can copy your pics and send them to him..
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Re: Off topic somewhat...burn barrel ideas?

Postby rus_bro » Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:51 pm

Not sure if this is the place to bring this up, BUT. This is the first time i really think about a burn barrel, wouldnt adding burning coals kill the flavor of the smoke of burning wood. Most offsets toss a split or 2 on the coals to keep the heat up AND to get the smoke pumping through the flavor. IF you arent throwing the splits on, wouldnt that lessen the Smoke flavor?

just thinking outloud.

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Re: Off topic somewhat...burn barrel ideas?

Postby Chasdev » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:09 pm

My issue is keeping the coal base going while at the same time keeping the cook chamber temps down below 300.
Burning sticks provide the smoke but the coals provide the heat and also burn off the bad parts of the smoke.
When the coals burn down the fire wants to go out, and it takes time to re-establish which risks sour smoke until it gets going again.
Having a pile of hot coals ready to install in the burn box would solve my issues.
It's easy to keep a coal base, it's hard to keep a coal base and low temps (at least in my stickburner).
I've resorted to cutting my sticks down to mini sticks and adding two or three every 15 minutes but even so sometimes the coal base dies back to nothing and I have to almost restart the whole fire.
Having a pile of coals ready to go would prevent that.
I know it would waste wood and take some fussing but at least I could burn full sticks in the barrel and not have to cut all my wood down to matchsticks..
In addition, I could braze my chickens and steaks over fresh coals instead of from a bag...
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Re: Off topic somewhat...burn barrel ideas?

Postby k.a.m. » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:14 pm

Chasdev wrote:My issue is keeping the coal base going while at the same time keeping the cook chamber temps down below 300.
Burning sticks provide the smoke but the coals provide the heat and also burn off the bad parts of the smoke.
When the coals burn down the fire wants to go out, and it takes time to re-establish which risks sour smoke until it gets going again.
Having a pile of hot coals ready to install in the burn box would solve my issues.
It's easy to keep a coal base, it's hard to keep a coal base and low temps (at least in my stickburner).
I've resorted to cutting my sticks down to mini sticks and adding two or three every 15 minutes but even so sometimes the coal base dies back to nothing and I have to almost restart the whole fire.
Having a pile of coals ready to go would prevent that.
I know it would waste wood and take some fussing but at least I could burn full sticks in the barrel and not have to cut all my wood down to matchsticks..
In addition, I could braze my chickens and steaks over fresh coals instead of from a bag...

Add small splits sooner or time a chimney of lit lump or charcoal to replenish your coal base.
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

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Re: Off topic somewhat...burn barrel ideas?

Postby Chasdev » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:11 am

Here's what I'm burning so it would be hard to go smaller stick wise.
Part of what's going on is after the sun hits it, the cooker temps rise compared to full darkness or even shade.
In full sun I see at least 25 degrees just from solar, so even with mini-sticks the coal base gets smaller as I run due to needing less heat.
Maybe I'm dreaming but to me bagged coals don't smell right as they burn, or at least don't smell as good as fresh oak coals so I would prefer (if I can pull it off) to have coals from an oak fire to add.
FWIW, I am experimenting with more ash under the fire, it does seem for now to prolong the coals a bit or maybe shield them from over-drafting.
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Re: Off topic somewhat...burn barrel ideas?

Postby Red Farr » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:22 am

...sounds like a breathing problem in that your rig is to efficient , if you use larger wood it burns hot , so you're caught up in feeding it golf ball size wood to control the temp , if you can decrease the efficiency you'll be able to burn larger or same size wood and have less tending , don't close off the exhaust port that'll compound your problem leave it fully open , close up the opening from the firebox to the cook chamber some see how it burns , then open or close more … also you might check the diameter of your exhaust stack , to big or to small will change how your rig draws air as well as the way you open or close the back door stick burners are all about air flow you need the right size openings it's a tuned setup

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Re: Off topic somewhat...burn barrel ideas?

Postby Chasdev » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:52 pm

I leave the intake and exhaust all the way open all the time, the amount of fuel controls the heat.
Here's a pic of my last rainy day cook, you can see the size and placement of the exhaust pipe.


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Re: Off topic somewhat...burn barrel ideas?

Postby k.a.m. » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:39 pm

Chasdev wrote:I leave the intake and exhaust all the way open all the time, the amount of fuel controls the heat.

Have you thought about changing the way you manage your fire as in control the temp with your intake? It takes practice but once you learn the groove on when to add you can enjoy the cook without worrying about losing your coal base.

Chasdev wrote:Maybe I'm dreaming but to me bagged coals don't smell right as they burn, or at least don't smell as good as fresh oak coals so I would prefer (if I can pull it off) to have coals from an oak fire to add.
Try lump it is just charred wood with no binders. I am just trying to give you alternatives to making a simple process less complicated. :D
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

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Re: Off topic somewhat...burn barrel ideas?

Postby Chasdev » Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:08 pm

My goal is to never let the smoke get sour, I want very pale blue or next to no smoke at all.
I have tried restricting intake flow multiple times but each time the clean smoke starts to go gray and starts to smell wrong..
Tried several brands of hardwood lump and I might as well put the brisket in the oven, the heat produced is at the expense of the flavor that I lose by not burning wood and making wood coals.

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