New smoker, need advice

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Txxsjstr
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New smoker, need advice

Postby Txxsjstr » Thu May 24, 2018 10:23 am

Hello all. Just joined this forum today. Been lurking for awhile. Just got a smoker, it is only 1/8" thick. Concerned with heat los/control. Trying to think of how to make it better. Considering external fire blanket wrap, fire bricks inside, on walls, possibly top of firebox if I can get it to stick. Firebox lid does not.open. Got it for next to nothing so I can't complain. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

On a side note, it has never been cooked in. I want to season/cure it tonight. Hopefully will have enough information. To decide what I am going to do when finished. Really want to cook on it before I go back to work Sunday night.

Thanks in advance to everyone!

I attached the few pictures I have taken. They were really just to have someone make a rack for the firebox to keep the wood off of the bottom.

Never had a pit like this so any advice or suggestions are greatly appreciated!
Attachments
20180522_213537.jpg
Inside of cooking area, has rust, never cooked on.
20180522_190830.jpg
Inside of firebox, 19"x19"x19" 1/8" thick
20180522_213456.jpg
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Re: New smoker, need advice

Postby OldUsedParts » Thu May 24, 2018 10:40 am

Good to see you started your own thread and posted some pics - - - - :tup:

Is there any identifiable Name/Manufacturer on this Pit that you know of :?: :dont:
OUP

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Re: New smoker, need advice

Postby Txxsjstr » Thu May 24, 2018 10:45 am

Was told that it is homemade.
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Re: New smoker, need advice

Postby txsmkmstr » Thu May 24, 2018 10:54 am

Congrats on the new pit. So, if you've been lurking for a while you likely already know all about what I'm going to type but since you asked here's a couple of suggestions.

1) Don't worry about making modifications until you see how it cooks first. Without some baseline it's tough to know what you should do.

2) Leave the exhaust and intake wide open.... WIDE open - to see how it draws. Don't even think about tinkering with the vents your first go-round.

3) Build a small fire using DRY wood - you can use some charcoal to start with but I'd really avoid that due to ash build up. Plus, this is a stick burner and not a charcoal burner. If you're unsure of your wood than go by Academy and buy some mini-logs or chunks. The mini-logs may need to be split some more but that wood will be plenty dry.

4) Once you get a small CLEAN burning fire (no smoke to light blue) then watch the temperatures and add wood as needed. Remember that thermometer placement is critical. I'd opt for a couple of cheap oven thermos at WalMart and place them right on the cooking grate to compare with your door thermo.

5) Oops - forgot to mention..... knock off the big rusty bits and wipe the interior of the cooking chamber down with vegetable oil or PAM BEFORE you start your fire. Try to keep your temps below 300 if possible and do your burn-in / seasoning for a few hours.

Let us know what you find and we'll go from there.
Custom LSG 24x40 - 36" Blackstone - (others - R & O FatGirl, ETSC RK-250, Tejas 1628 - all sold)
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Re: New smoker, need advice

Postby Txxsjstr » Thu May 24, 2018 11:18 am

Thanks for the info. I had my wife pick up some manteca for the curing this evening. Would you still advise Pam or vegetable oil over that? I plan on wiping it out with a damp rag, placing a fan in it to dry it quickly, then coating everything, and building a fire in it. I do know I need to install a thermometer on the door for the cooking chamber. The only one it came with is on the vertical door.
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Re: New smoker, need advice

Postby david brace » Thu May 24, 2018 10:33 pm

I seasoned all my pits with peanut oil.
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Re: New smoker, need advice

Postby david brace » Thu May 24, 2018 10:36 pm

txsmkmstr wrote:Congrats on the new pit. So, if you've been lurking for a while you likely already know all about what I'm going to type but since you asked here's a couple of suggestions.

1) Don't worry about making modifications until you see how it cooks first. Without some baseline it's tough to know what you should do.

2) Leave the exhaust and intake wide open.... WIDE open - to see how it draws. Don't even think about tinkering with the vents your first go-round.

3) Build a small fire using DRY wood - you can use some charcoal to start with but I'd really avoid that due to ash build up. Plus, this is a stick burner and not a charcoal burner. If you're unsure of your wood than go by Academy and buy some mini-logs or chunks. The mini-logs may need to be split some more but that wood will be plenty dry.

4) Once you get a small CLEAN burning fire (no smoke to light blue) then watch the temperatures and add wood as needed. Remember that thermometer placement is critical. I'd opt for a couple of cheap oven thermos at WalMart and place them right on the cooking grate to compare with your door thermo.

5) Oops - forgot to mention..... knock off the big rusty bits and wipe the interior of the cooking chamber down with vegetable oil or PAM BEFORE you start your fire. Try to keep your temps below 300 if possible and do your burn-in / seasoning for a few hours.

Let us know what you find and we'll go from there.


Forgot to mention that all this above are good suggestions. He probably has done some cooking in the past. :lol:
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Re: New smoker, need advice

Postby Txxsjstr » Fri May 25, 2018 7:52 am

Yesterday was very busy so I did not get the chance to take more pix OR season the pit.

I am attaching the the pix I took this morning. Will clean it up, and get it heated up to season it.
Attachments
20180525_071458.jpg
20180525_071449.jpg
Not too sure about the location of the firebox vent. It should be lower, correct?
20180525_071342.jpg
20180525_071506.jpg
Firebox to the cooking chamber.
20180525_071321.jpg
Cooking chamber to the firebox.
20180525_071415.jpg
Adjustable baffle between the two cooking chambers.
20180525_072346.jpg
Has two vents, one for each chamber.
20180525_072325.jpg
20180525_071217.jpg
Came with these three burners that attach to the back. Still not sure if I will leave it attached.
20180525_071211.jpg
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Re: New smoker, need advice

Postby OldUsedParts » Fri May 25, 2018 9:02 am

YOU are headed for a lot of outdoor Fun, Sir :tup: :cheers:
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Re: New smoker, need advice

Postby Txxsjstr » Fri May 25, 2018 9:17 am

Looking VERY forward to it. Want to get thermometers and drain done today before curing it. Really want to cook on it tomorrow or Sunday.

Will post updates on progress.
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Re: New smoker, need advice

Postby txsmkmstr » Fri May 25, 2018 12:36 pm

That looks like a pretty cool set-up to me. I would agree with you about the firebox door - almost looks like it was installed upside down. Still - wait and see what happens before making any changes. If you see scorching on the outside of the door at the top or you have to crack the firebox door open to get a clean burn then it's likely too high.
Custom LSG 24x40 - 36" Blackstone - (others - R & O FatGirl, ETSC RK-250, Tejas 1628 - all sold)
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Re: New smoker, need advice

Postby Txxsjstr » Fri May 25, 2018 5:31 pm

Well got it started with charcoal and then put some oak in it. Wife and I went running errands and came back to it sitting right on 225 degrees. Opened door to load some pecan to maintain see what it does and to keep it longer and the temp did not move, still 225. This is on the temp gauge on the vertical chamber. Still gonna consider modifying the door to put the vent closer to the bottom. Will decide after first cook. Was not successful at getting thermometers installed. But there is always tomorrow.
Attachments
20180525_143825.jpg
It is smoking for the very first time.
20180525_143813.jpg
First fire.
20180525_165117.jpg
Temp gauge.
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Re: New smoker, need advice

Postby limey » Fri May 25, 2018 7:17 pm

Agree on the damper for the firebox, do a test run after seasoning. Maybe cook some pork butts up and see how it is cooking. Looks like a well built pit though, smoke on brutha!
How bout some more beans Mr.Taggert? I'd say you've had enough!
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Re: New smoker, need advice

Postby txsmkmstr » Fri May 25, 2018 8:23 pm

Good Job.... Some thoughts if you don't mind.

First - looks like a lot of smoke coming out the firebox damper indicating the draw is not real strong.

Second - looks like your wood pieces are pretty large... might consider splitting them in half lengthwise. If you're getting a good flame and clean burn then ignore that observation. Pics can be deceiving.
Custom LSG 24x40 - 36" Blackstone - (others - R & O FatGirl, ETSC RK-250, Tejas 1628 - all sold)
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Re: New smoker, need advice

Postby Txxsjstr » Fri May 25, 2018 8:41 pm

No problem with your observations. I appreciate any and all input. That is just how I am burning it to season it. Temp holds well across the pit. I am gonna let it cool down on it's own. Tomorrow I put it to the test. We picked up some chicken, beef ribs, and sausage just to try it out. Ribs and brisket coming soon.

Did find one issue where the lid just on the left side touches the grating not letting it seal all the way. I will grind that down and primer and paint it after I christen it tomorrow. Other than that I am excited to try it out.

Will keep the posts coming.

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