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Old 10-23-2005, 05:56 PM   #1
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Re: So, where did I go wrong?

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Originally Posted by Q-Rookie
... Top vent is closed for heat retention. ...
That top vent has to be open, otherwise, you can't get the heat to rise thus creating the convection flow that the coals need. I think you choked your fire..
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Old 10-23-2005, 06:09 PM   #2
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I agree with Bill, you have to keep the vent open on the top...usually you close it to bring temps down in the pit, not to retain the heat! :biggrin:
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Old 10-23-2005, 06:11 PM   #3
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I can help you with the golf for sure. Now the cooking. I'd make sure all the coals are lit on a long cook at the start. Then add fresh charcoal to the hot ones, along with a few chunks of hickory as needed, probably every hour or so. Or just go with straight wood, that 's what I'd do.
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Old 10-23-2005, 06:29 PM   #4
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Re: So, where did I go wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Q-Rookie
TODAY is why I call myself a rookie. (Scroll down for the synopsis.)


Brand spankin' new firebox for the Char-griller, installed last night and prepped with corn oil for about an hour at 150F. Picked it up so I could "go big" with more stuff on the griller part. No issues with installing it and all the holes filled up nice.

Weather: from 49F at 0730 to about 58F at 1600, (when I threw in the towel). Windy; gusts up to ~20mph.

Get a chimney started at 0730 and add it to a pile of K-ford in the box. And wait...and wait...and wait. At 0930, the pit finally reaches 230F, so I plunk down a couple of shoulders, Pit temp drops to 160F and is pegged there for a good 30 minutes, so I add a chimney's worth of coals and open the vent up all the way from the 3/4 mark. Top vent is closed for heat retention.

And wait... and wait... and wait. Takes it's sweet arse time getting up to ~195F when I add more coals... and wait. Two chimneys, one air trough dug in the box, and 90 minutes later, I BARELY manage to hit 225F... not that it stays there for long.

Two MORE chimneys later, and I'm back at 225F when I add two large chickens... but again, breifly. Drops to 170F before I could get another chimney started. Finally ran out of coals...birds were finished, but I had to put the shoulders in the oven to finish them.

SYNOPSIS: After 6+ hours, I've gone through 20+ lbs of charcoal and have enough ash to compete with Mona Loa. Adding obscene amounts of charcoal and hickory chunks barely raises the temps enough to hit 220+F, let alone maintaining this for longer than 15 minutes or so. (The sholders are at 185F in the oven right now, thank you very much.)

So, do I need to

A) Use logs instead of / in addition to charcoal, (thinking a log fire in the box will be mo' hotter, mo' better);

B) Learn to wrestle the wind? This was the first thing my FIL mentioned when he called a while ago, (I've never been bit by the wind hard enough to to this...yet);

C) Something else?

D) Take up golf.


Thanks for your comments.
Scott
QRookie, you should always keep your exhaust 100% open as previously stated. No matter what. Control your heat with the intake. If it gets too hot, quickly open and close the lid to let the heat out. Closing the exhaust will result in your fire "smoldering" vs. "burning", which is BAD. It will create soot and leave your food black and bitter tasting. Your temp problems were most likely caused by the exhaust being closed. Don't feel bad, I've made the same mistakes! Do the same cook next weekend and it will be a better success!
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Old 10-23-2005, 06:40 PM   #5
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I'm going to be forced to agree with these knuckle-heads. I would say it was that your top vent was closed.
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Old 10-24-2005, 06:23 AM   #6
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Yup! Open the exhaust vent 100%. If that don't work, get a guru!
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Old 10-24-2005, 06:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Prochilo
Yup! Open the exhaust vent 100%. If that don't work, get a guru!
:ack: :ack: :ack: :ack: :ack:
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Old 10-24-2005, 06:38 PM   #8
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Re: So, where did I go wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Q-Rookie
TODAY is why I call myself a rookie. (Scroll down for the synopsis.)



Thanks for your comments.
Scott
Scott I have one too and I agree with everyone here as well leave the stack vent open all the way , I did this myself. I am using oak wood and Kingsford charcole, it works well together and provides a a great taste.
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Old 10-24-2005, 07:12 PM   #9
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I fully agree with everything every body said. If you can control the heat on a small,thin off set you can cook on anything. Hang in there it isn't easy.

Rich Decker
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PS there are a bunch of mods to make to make that pit cook easier
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Old 10-24-2005, 07:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnt Food Dude
I've just about given up on my Chargriller with firebox. I've tried just about everything. I've added mods, removed mods, put the ass end into the wind and still can't get the heat up to where I need it.

Since at least 2 of us here are having the same problem, whats the answer. It works great putting the charcoal & wood basket inside the main chamber but you lose a lot of grill space.
Here is what I do first I start the colesin one webber starter, wait till they are hot and white, I add them to the fire box, I wait to see the temp to go to max , then I add the wood, if the temp goes down I add more wood, I also keep a extra load of Kingsford charcole in the 2nd starter just in case. I keep the smoke stack vent open all the way during grilling,if I have to control the temp I use the vents on the smoke box itself. I go thru 2 Webber starters of Kingsford and about 3 pcs of oak wood in 6 hours. Average temp for me is 250 which is fine for me anyway.
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Old 10-25-2005, 06:30 PM   #11
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Just keep trying and if in doubt, ask for help, you will always get it here!
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Old 10-25-2005, 06:56 PM   #12
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You'll get an answer... anyway.
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