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Old 04-04-2006, 09:57 PM   #1
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Bar-b-Chef...Offset smoker...Fire Management Test

On Saturday I smoked a Boston butt and chicken thighs. I was also working on fire management again on my Bar-b-Chef smoker. I used a method found on the homebbq.com knowledge base by Dan Colmerauer. http://www.homebbq.com/content.asp?cont ... wledgeBase
I already had a charcoal basket made before reading his article. I was able to get a steady temperature between 220 and 250 for 5 ½ to 6 hours. I reload at that time with about the same amount of lump I started with (a basket full unlit lump and a chimney load of lit lump. The heat remained steady until I finish both the Boston butt and the chicken thighs (which I pulled at about 5:30 PM.). I put the butt on at 5:33 AM and pulled it off the smoker at 3:40 PM.

I placed a few chucks of wood in the basket to begin with. When I tried adding more a little later I would get that ugly smoke. I couldn’t get that wonderful blue smoke without leaving the fire box door open with would have used up the lump charcoal.

It still took a lot of lump charcoal for this cook. It took about 15 to 20 pounds for a 12 hour cook. Is this normal?

Here is a chart of the cook. http://usera.imagecave.com/cleglue/Apri ... Medium.JPG

The other week I tried to use sticks after the initial startup. I had to use very little sticks and keep the door of the fire box cracked to keep a steady flame. This saved a lot on charcoal and it worked but it took a lot of babying. I think I’m going to try this again. It was a little windy that day.

I’m told that these small offset smoker are hard to use a just stick burner. I know other have tried but I guess it is my turn.

I also made another batch of lump charcoal.
Here are some pictures of the entire day.

http://usera.imagecave.com/cleglue/April22006/
These pictures may not always be available because my free account is filling up.
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:19 PM   #2
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Cleglue I like to use the same setup with my char-griller. When I setup the unlighted charcoal in the basket I will mix in some dry wood to add in the smoking this should help with your problem.

Thanks for sharing, some day I will need to try to make me some charcoal.

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Old 04-06-2006, 08:53 AM   #3
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Re: Bar-b-Chef...Offset smoker...Fire Management Test

Quote:
Originally Posted by cleglue
On Saturday I smoked a Boston butt and chicken thighs. I was also working on fire management again on my Bar-b-Chef smoker. I used a method found on the homebbq.com knowledge base by Dan Colmerauer. http://www.homebbq.com/content.asp?cont ... wledgeBase
I already had a charcoal basket made before reading his article. I was able to get a steady temperature between 220 and 250 for 5 ½ to 6 hours. I reload at that time with about the same amount of lump I started with (a basket full unlit lump and a chimney load of lit lump. The heat remained steady until I finish both the Boston butt and the chicken thighs (which I pulled at about 5:30 PM.). I put the butt on at 5:33 AM and pulled it off the smoker at 3:40 PM.

I placed a few chucks of wood in the basket to begin with. When I tried adding more a little later I would get that ugly smoke. I couldn’t get that wonderful blue smoke without leaving the fire box door open with would have used up the lump charcoal.

It still took a lot of lump charcoal for this cook. It took about 15 to 20 pounds for a 12 hour cook. Is this normal?

Here is a chart of the cook. http://usera.imagecave.com/cleglue/Apri ... Medium.JPG

The other week I tried to use sticks after the initial startup. I had to use very little sticks and keep the door of the fire box cracked to keep a steady flame. This saved a lot on charcoal and it worked but it took a lot of babying. I think I’m going to try this again. It was a little windy that day.

I’m told that these small offset smoker are hard to use a just stick burner. I know other have tried but I guess it is my turn.

I also made another batch of lump charcoal.
Here are some pictures of the entire day.

http://usera.imagecave.com/cleglue/April22006/
These pictures may not always be available because my free account is filling up.
I have the same problem with my Char Griller, i'm using almost a whole bag of lump for one cook. Can you use galvanized steel for the mods?
I heard your not supposed to cook with it because it can be poisonous.
What did you make the charcoal basket out of? Can you buy them somewhere? Thanks for the info.
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Old 04-06-2006, 09:33 AM   #4
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galvanized metal is dangerous when welded. I would not use it around the fire box.
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Old 04-06-2006, 10:07 AM   #5
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Guys, I think the problem is this...well not a problem but a reason you are using so much fuel to keep the proper temp. I think the reason is that the material used on the Char-Griller and other simmilar type smokers are thin and will not retain heat like it would on a Gator or a Klose. Those fireboxes are made out of 1/4" steel standard and can be upgraded from there...the thicker the steel the more heat retention and the lower the fuel comsumption. Also, the tolerances are not what the higher priced cookers are so more air is getting in and burning up the fuel qicker too...just my thoughts!
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Old 04-06-2006, 11:36 AM   #6
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Wrap it with foil faced insulation and that should help if Greg is correct.
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Old 04-07-2006, 08:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finney
Wrap it with foil faced insulation and that should help if Greg is correct.
I'd be concerned about the fiberglass getting into everything, nobody likes itchy food
I've seen it before where more steel is bent and welded into place on the firebox and the cooking chamber, that would help.
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Old 04-07-2006, 08:40 AM   #8
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Is the firebox big enough to line with firebricks? Maybe just on the floor?
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Old 04-07-2006, 08:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Prochilo
Is the firebox big enough to line with firebricks? Maybe just on the floor?
On mine there wouldn't be much room left, unless maybe if the bricks were split in half.
Good idea though.
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Old 04-07-2006, 08:48 AM   #10
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They do sell a split firebrick. They are 4" x 8" x 1". Some mason supply yards have them or maybe a plumbing supply that specializes in furnaces.
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Old 04-07-2006, 08:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Prochilo
They do sell a split firebrick. They are 4" x 8" x 1". Some mason supply yards have them or maybe a plumbing supply that specializes in furnaces.
I'll have to check that out.
I've already bubbled the paint on the firebox trying to keep the temp up #-o.
Thanks Nick
Nice avatar by the way
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Old 04-07-2006, 09:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian j
i have a friend who insulated his fire box using the cement mixture they use to insulate boilers. i can find more info on the product if anyone is interested.
It's probably structolite. It is sort of a cement, but very "fluffy". You can build it out with quite a bit of thickness if needed. We use it quite often around fireplace opennings to gauge out for tile or marble instalations. Puff, you being a drywall contractor must have run into the product. It's a gypsum based product.
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Old 04-07-2006, 10:55 AM   #13
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[quote=Nick Prochilo]
Quote:
Originally Posted by "brian j":3s4qpw84
i have a friend who insulated his fire box using the cement mixture they use to insulate boilers. i can find more info on the product if anyone is interested.
It's probably structolite. It is sort of a cement, but very "fluffy". You can build it out with quite a bit of thickness if needed. We use it quite often around fireplace opennings to gauge out for tile or marble instalations. Puff, you being a drywall contractor must have run into the product. It's a gypsum based product.[/quote:3s4qpw84]
Yes I have used it as a scratch coat to repair old wood lath plaster.
As far as putting it on a smoker (inside) (outside) do you think it would take the heat and not crumble? It might be tough to adhere it to the steel.
This may sound silly, but as far as fire bricks, what about those ceramic briquets you use in gas grills?
The only place in my firebox I could put anything is in theslide out tray, below that there is zero clearance. But that might smother the fire.
I think they might retain some heat.
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Old 04-07-2006, 11:02 AM   #14
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Here is some information about the firebricks. I don't use them inside the firebox I used them inside the main chamber of the char-griller this give me a steady heat threw out my smoker and quite recover. I hope this help.
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Old 04-07-2006, 11:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Missing Link
Here is some information about the firebricks. I don't use them inside the firebox I used them inside the main chamber of the char-griller this give me a steady heat threw out my smoker and quite recover. I hope this help.
I'm going to try that plus the mods you talked about earlier.
We'll see what happens, thanks
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Old 04-07-2006, 12:02 PM   #16
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In my Chargriller I use the fire brick in the cooking chamber
to maintain even temps. Once they are heated up the temps are
very steady and less fuel is needed. On cold days you can even
pre-heat them in the oven.
I put the adjustable grate in the lowest position, then put down
a shallow drip pan. I have two lengths of angle iron resting on
bolts over which I lay another grate made of perferated metal
just above the opening to the fire-box. Next, I lay out the foil
wrapped bricks kind of like tuning plates with the first one right
up close to the fire box. The next 3 or 4 spaced out first with
narrow spaces then gradually wider.
I usually get 2.5 to 3 hours on a small chimney of coals at temps
of 225* to 250* once the bricks are hot.






Two other good heat saving mods are the angle iron seal mod on the
ends of the cooking chamber that are fitted when the lid is in the
fully closed position.



And...
The chimney extention to grate level mod, that keeps all the heat
from going out the top of the cooker.



Here's the expanded metal basket that rest on 2 pieces of angle
above the ash drawer so you can dump ashes without disturbing the
fire or coals.





These are the pics of the mods that I have on file but I can take
more if anyone needs them.
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Old 04-07-2006, 02:44 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian j
in addition to fire bricks in the cooking chamber you can also use a big slab of steel. i picked this 1/2" x 30" piece up at a steel fabrication shop for ~ $10. it weighs a frigg'in ton.

That's a good idea.
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Old 04-08-2006, 03:08 PM   #18
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To extend the chimney, can I use aluminum pipe?
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Old 04-08-2006, 03:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puff
To extend the chimney, can I use aluminum pipe?
Come on Puff, get you some big chrome extensions.
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Old 04-08-2006, 03:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finney
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puff
To extend the chimney, can I use aluminum pipe?
Come on Puff, get you some big chrome extensions.
:lcry: :lmao:
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