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Old 11-11-2008, 12:21 PM   #1
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off-set fire maintenance

I have been doing some timkering with fire maintenance and wonder if the methods I usemake the moste sense. I wonder how you all deal with fire maintenance on your off-sets?

Here's what I have tried:
http://slowfoodrebellion.blogspot.com

What could I do differently?
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Old 11-11-2008, 01:40 PM   #2
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When I had a big offset smoker I would burn red oak down to coals and then add one or two hickory splits every hour or so.

Smaller offsets work good with a charcoal basket and wood chunks as long as there are no unwanted holes in the fire box.
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:06 PM   #3
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff H.
When I had a big offset smoker I would burn red oak down to coals and then add one or two hickory splits every hour or so.

Smaller offsets work good with a charcoal basket and wood chunks as long as there are no unwanted holes in the fire box.
Ditto. A good bed of coals is key as well as preheated DRY wood! The wood should pretty much instantaneously ignite, not smolder....
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:07 PM   #5
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[quote=Larry Wolfe]
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Cliff H.":71o7soyh
When I had a big offset smoker I would burn red oak down to coals and then add one or two hickory splits every hour or so.

Smaller offsets work good with a charcoal basket and wood chunks as long as there are no unwanted holes in the fire box.
Ditto. A good bed of coals is key as well as preheated DRY wood! The wood should pretty much instantaneously ignite, not smolder....[/quote:71o7soyh]That is pretty much the way ole Dave Klose told to me to do it. Pre heating the wood ignites pretty quick and seems easier to control fire. If I'm trying to keep a temp of 225-275 I will add 1-2 pieces of wood every 30-40 minutes or if I'm trying to maintain 300-350 it will take 3-4 pieces. Also found that the type of wood I'm burning makes a difference too.
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Old 11-12-2008, 01:48 PM   #6
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I have a small offset... I like to use lump and bank the fire...I use the lump for heat and the wood for flavor....I can get at least a 2.5hr burn with out playing with anything and the temp stays solid
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:25 PM   #7
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Never thought of preheating the wood. My Horizon has a heating plate on the firebox - great idea!

As far as using charcoal - here are some thoughts I have. I am trying to stick with wood because for me it's cheaper. I can but 900lbs for $50. Of course, I have to haul it and cut it - but that's kind of fun.

That said - perhaps that simply isn't a good idea. Maybe spending the money on charcoal - at least for a bet of coals will produce a better product- which is the point.

I'm taking lots of notes and learning a lot from y'all. Thanks! Keep your thoughts coming if you have 'em. Any of you use strictly wood for fuel?
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monty3777
Never thought of preheating the wood. My Horizon has a heating plate on the firebox - great idea!

As far as using charcoal - here are some thoughts I have. I am trying to stick with wood because for me it's cheaper. I can but 900lbs for $50. Of course, I have to haul it and cut it - but that's kind of fun.
That said - perhaps that simply isn't a good idea. Maybe spending the money on charcoal - at least for a bet of coals will produce a better product- which is the point.

I'm taking lots of notes and learning a lot from y'all. Thanks! Keep your thoughts coming if you have 'em. Any of you use strictly wood for fuel?
Come on over to my house and you can have lots of fun.
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Old 11-12-2008, 03:34 PM   #9
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At the time I got my offset...I could get charcoal cheap..good stuff..cheap in 40lb bags..anyway

With the way I do it...I don't get the temp spikes from adding wood..then it catches...temp spike..then it calms down...then its time to add more wood...ect....

Keep in mind its a small offset and it works for me...The big thing is doing what works for you and having fun experimenting
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Old 11-12-2008, 03:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wittdog
At the time I got my offset...I could get charcoal cheap..good stuff..cheap in 40lb bags..anyway

With the way I do it...I don't get the temp spikes from adding wood..then it catches...temp spike..then it calms down...then its time to add more wood...ect....

Keep in mind its a small offset and it works for me...The big thing is doing what works for you and having fun experimenting
Researching this topic has been a blast. I love to tend fires and it's amazing how many of my assumptions about what makes a good fire have been wrong. I have also been suprised at how little there is out there on this topic!!
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Old 11-12-2008, 04:00 PM   #11
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Well I cant quite figger out if you got a big pit or a little pit..perhaps midsized would be the propa terminology. If it happen to be considered big I would not waste money on using charcoal in it..especially if you got free wood. On the other hand with a small pit..a charcoal base with some wood for flavor works very well as described by Witt. Much easier to control the temp spikes and such thangs. Guess like somebody else say might be the best plan to play with it and see which way it likes to swing. It could be one of them AC/DC pits which swings both ways. Just trying to cover all the bases here. Do you have a firegrate in it by any chance?

bigwheel



Quote:
Originally Posted by monty3777
Never thought of preheating the wood. My Horizon has a heating plate on the firebox - great idea!

As far as using charcoal - here are some thoughts I have. I am trying to stick with wood because for me it's cheaper. I can but 900lbs for $50. Of course, I have to haul it and cut it - but that's kind of fun.

That said - perhaps that simply isn't a good idea. Maybe spending the money on charcoal - at least for a bet of coals will produce a better product- which is the point.

I'm taking lots of notes and learning a lot from y'all. Thanks! Keep your thoughts coming if you have 'em. Any of you use strictly wood for fuel?
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Old 11-12-2008, 04:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigwheel
Well I cant quite figger out if you got a big pit or a little pit..perhaps midsized would be the propa terminology.

Do you have a firegrate in it by any chance?

bigwheel
Here's a video of the cooker - if it helps.
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Old 11-12-2008, 04:07 PM   #13
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I thought those AC/DC pits were outlawed in Texas?
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Old 11-12-2008, 04:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jminion
BW
I thought those AC/DC pits were outlawed in Texas?
I thought those AC/DC were brought to us by the same people who brought us the TEXAS Crutch
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Old 11-12-2008, 05:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jminion
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I thought those AC/DC pits were outlawed in Texas?
I think he may be from Austin
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:54 PM   #16
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Definitely preheat your wood on top of that firebox. Your wood should be as close to combustion point as possible when you add it to the fire. When I had my old Klose w/o the insulated firebox, it would actually start fire on there on occassion. I never give much thought to the actual construction of the wood in the fire. Never use charcoal either. As Wheeler said, if you have fre wood, why?
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:55 PM   #17
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Well that was a very entertaining and enlightning video. I think that would classify as a big pit and best used with real wood especially since you get it free. Now on the one clear pic I got of the fire grate will tell ya its way too wide on the slats. A design like that will drop all your good coals on the bottom of the pit. It needs at least some large weave expanded metal on top of whut you already got. Now I got a cast iron oil field cat walk grate on mine. That works real good with maybe a little tighter weave so it keeps your fire all in the same general location. Your air intakes is a basket case. If you ever get industrious go look at a Klose and copy Dave's design as close as you can. Intake should span the entire width of the firebox and be infinitely adjustable at periodic intervals allowing for as much intake above the fire as below. Simple huh? Actually if you want to do it up right it needs a square and mo bigga firebox. Get rid of that log lighter while your at it..them thangs is dangerous. Seen a fella erupt into a ball of fire one time because of one. Now why them yankees insist on calling the Noo Yawk Crutch a Texas Crutch..I just aint sure. They even use Reynolds wrap in the crockpot from whut I heered. Yes Jim we are now very political correct down here in God's Country and AC/DC be just fine among consenting bbq pits. Now why they don't have beastiality pride parades yet...I just aint sure. I know some bbq cooks over in Sommerville County who would be glad to participate

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Old 11-12-2008, 11:06 PM   #18
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as i see it
i don't have a lot exp in comps,but i'm learning
i have been q-ing for 11 yrs or so with my offset, home made
barbie, one thing i've leraned over the yrs. is that all the bark
should be off the splits, well seasoned, and dry, now i've have
burned the splits down to coals then shovled them in the fire
box,, the burn box is more under control w/o great spikes,and
it makes a differance in the end product. to me the art is in the
control and the time it takes to achive it
THANKS
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Old 11-13-2008, 08:15 AM   #19
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My Klose Ultimate is 30x8 on the main. I usually start with a chimney full of either lump or briquettes to sped up a bed of coals. On top of that I'll throw 3-4 quarter sticks facing the baffle and open everything wide with exhaust about 2/3 open. After about an hour or so, I check and adjust the dampers. After it's running for a while, 1 preheated stick about every 1:05 seems to work. This can be longer or shorter depending upon air temp, wind, barometric pressure, and humidiy...all factors in combustion.
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Old 11-17-2008, 06:17 PM   #20
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Jamesb your so rigth,,it takes more wood two burn 2 pits,, yes it is more work, but like the 1st member stated free wood, mine is not free ,, I get pd to cut it n haul it...I just wish I got some hickory more offten,,, with char. costing $4-7 a bag i don't find it the best value so i use what i got oak, cherry, & maple and NO soft wood not even to start it up
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