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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    32

    Unhappy Disappointing maiden voyage

    Well, I fired up the new offset that I had built for her maiden voyage tonight. I kept it simple as I did not yet know how it would come up to temp, hold temp, etc. So, in an attempt to learn the pit, I seized the opportunity to throw on a few burgers and hot dogs for the kids, as well as some of Dutch's Beans.
    First off, the beans were killer. Slightly modified the recipe only because there were a couple ingredients that I didn't have, but put them in plenty of hickory smoke, and they were excellent.
    Now for the pit... I was hugely disappointed, and I have a lot to learn about this pit and how to manage it. I COULD NOT get it up to temp! One chimney of Kingsford original and one hickory chunk only got the pit up to about 120 degrees... Not gonna cut it. A second chimney of lit coals on top of what I already had going, and it came up to a balmy 152 and held. Threw another chunk on with no change. This by the way was with damper and smoke stack wide open. I mean, how much charcoal could I possibly need to get this thing up to 225 or better? I'm confused.
    So, now I have alot of playing around to do. Thankfully it was just burgers and dogs, so the grub was still good, but any other meat that I plan to smoke low and slow will be a challenge at 150.
    Any ideas would be appreciated. I'm leaning toward an air flow issue. The charcoal box that i'm using is a pan out of my drum smoker. No air flow besides the few hole I drilled into the bottom of it. Perhaps changing to a expanded metal charcoal box will help to get more oxygen to the coals??? I don't know at this point where to start, but I'm not giving up that easy. Anyway, excuse me while I come down off this soap box now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    32

    Default

    As a sidebar, I did pick up some head country bbq sauce at the walmart, and, for lack of better seasoning, some grill mates steak rub. Used both on the burgers. The sauce, good stuff. The rub, not so much. Couldn't really taste the rub. And I used it liberally. Oh well, on to the next experiment.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Green Bay, WI
    Posts
    405

    Default

    give it time...and keep using it til you figure it out.....try going the other way.....shoot for too hot and see how much it takes, maybe more wood than charcoal?? maybe its a hungry beast that wants to keep a belly full, then will sleep content for a long time
    22' reconstructed Weber
    Iron man- old red ecb w/ super mods
    AquaLung - UDS

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    32

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chester View Post
    shoot for too hot and see how much it takes, maybe more wood than charcoal?? maybe its a hungry beast that wants to keep a belly full, then will sleep content for a long time
    Good point. I'm gonna have to just spend a day on a dry run and figure out how much fuel this thing needs to get the temps up. I have no doubt that once it's hot, it'll hold for long periods. You may be right. May have to use logs for fire more so than charcoal. We shall see. Figuring out your cooker is majority of the battle.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Green Bay, WI
    Posts
    405

    Default

    well if dosen;t work out...i'll be down to do some red fishing someday, i'll take that beauty off your hands for ya and save ya the heart burn....just keep it in the garage til i get down there

    22' reconstructed Weber
    Iron man- old red ecb w/ super mods
    AquaLung - UDS

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Craig, Mo.
    Posts
    1,199

    Default

    Went back and looked at your build thread, looked your smoker over and my is you need a bigger air intake area on your firebox. Try a few things and let us know what you find that helps you get to temp.
    Steve


    1-UDS
    1-Homemade stickburner/ Buela

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    32

    Default

    Yea... Boy I wish I'd been more specific with my welder. I def am leaning towards an airflow problem. Just not sure how to correct it now that it's built. I feel like the intake is a little lacking for the size of the pit, and I feel like the smoke stack pipe is a little small. So all the way around I'm not getting a good amount of air flowing through the pit. At least that's what I'm leaning towards. I noticed I've got quite a bit of smoke coming from around the doors as well. Not sure how much that's affecting me or not. Frustrating to wait so long for a build and have hiccups right off the bat. But I guess that's to be expected...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    San Jose, California, United States
    Posts
    5,356

    Default

    I would try all wood.
    Paul

    CBBQA
    18.5 Weber Smokey Joe Platinum
    22.5 Weber One Touch
    Ugly Drum

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Texas Hill country
    Posts
    3,030

    Default

    Off sets need to run on all wood to run efficiently. When I fire mine up I build a BIG fire 1/2 a bug of lump & 2 oak splits to heat things up. I open everything wide open, then I let it die down into my desired temp ZONE so I have a nice bed of coals. I add a preheated split and adjust the intake once it has ignited to maintain my temp in the ZONE. cooking on an offset is lie manually controlling the oven in your house.( just because you set that box to 350 don't mean it is dead on 350 it cycles on and off when the temp drops to 325 it will kick on until it reaches say 365) you Run a Stick burner the same way! I like to cook at 300 25 deg either side I'm good no sweat no worries just let it do it's thing. When the temp dips to 275 I add a pre heated Split I let it get has hot as it wants normally it will go up to 325 or so the slowly drop back over 45 min repeat the cycle.
    Wood has more stored energy than charcoal and should be the main heat source, these are not a Set & forget WSM, Back Wood, UDS. You have to baby sit them and feed a steady diet of Wood Splits not little chunky pieces.

    If you are suspecting design flaws plug the main chamber dimensions in to the calculator you will know right quick http://www.feldoncentral.com/bbqcalculator.html
    Be kind to me, it's not my fault I'm a "PORK-A-HOLIC"!!
    *
    *
    MY Blog:Http://acountryboyeats.blogspot.com
    Chargriller Smokin' Pro/SFB
    Webber 22.5"
    Memorial UDS Big Jim

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    32

    Default

    Ok. I'm fairly new to this smoked meat thing, so bear with the dumb questions.

    Will an all wood fire not create too much smoke?

    When you say splits, I assume you mean simply splitting a full log, rather than using smaller pieces?

    Does it matter what type of wood I'm using for heat/fire, or just whatever flavor wood I'm using for smoke, I use that?

    When you light it up, and you open everything up, you mean doors and everything are open till it's all burning good?

    Sorry for the newbie questions. Just trying to get the basics down and figure out the issues with this thing.

    Thanks for the input btw guys.

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