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Old 08-09-2007, 12:43 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bknox
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Originally Posted by boar_d_laze

"tune" your pit to lessen the differential to an acceptable level.
Rich,

Tuning sounds like something I should do immidiately. I would like to know more about making my new grill better tuned(?), in tune(?). I like the thought of having a well tuned grill. The grill manufacturer should tell you this right after the part about seasoning the grates. I will check the temps as you described Friday or Saturday.

Should I do this test with an even layer of coals in the cooking chamber as well as the firebox? Just so I am clear, I am looking for cool spots inside the cooking chamber?
No, only put coals in the fire box, with the damper (exhaust 100% open and the draft (on the firebox) about 50% open. Start with a full lit chimney of charcoal in the firebox. Put the pit probe of the Maverick on one end of the cooker and then insert the meat probe through a potato (until the tip is sticking out) on the opposite end. After about 15-20 minutes your cooker should be close to cooking temps.

Another way to test for hot or cold spots is to use the biscut test. Spread a couple cans of biscuts throughout the cooking chamber, bring your cooker up to temp, wait about 20-30 minutes, open the cooker and check the biscuts. Burnt ones are your hot spots, done ones are your ideal spots and raw ones are your cold spots.
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:46 PM   #22
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Rag,

Opening the door IS a bit of a drag. It's pretty easy with a dime or penny, but otherwise it's a thumbnail buster. The reason the switch is behind the cover is to keep the electronics -- switch, board, battery holder, the works -- protected from moisture by an o-ring. In fact, if you don't drill into it, the case is darn near weatherproof.

No shortage of irony here,
Rich
Come on fellas, it takes two seconds to open and close the back door of the Maverick. You do it twice for each cook, if you had to do it every 30 minutes then I'd agree. Yes, it could be easier, but it's not really that big a deal considering how often it needs to be opened.
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Old 08-09-2007, 01:29 PM   #23
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Larry,

Thanks, I may do both tests. I want to use my new thermometer and I like biscuits. Sounds like a win win situation to me.
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Old 08-09-2007, 02:30 PM   #24
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Come on fellas, it takes two seconds to open and close the back door of the Maverick...
Irony rusts pretty easy 'round here.

Small offsets are their own world. Other than ECBs they're probably the most difficult sort of smoker to make work well and consistently. A tuned pit makes cooking easier and better. You don't have to keep track of so many different temperature zones, nor do you have to rotate the meat. Every time you DON"T OPEN the cook-chamber door, is a victory.

I call my tuning method, the "two pan method." It's suitable only for small offsets. It works very well with some, but others will need additional measures.

Start by purchasing an inexpensive metal loaf pan (1-1/2# size) and a full size (#1) steam-table pan with 2" sides. Together, they should cost less than $15 at a restaurant supply. The loaf pan will be the "water pan," and the steam-table (aka hotel) pan will act as a "drip pan."

Here's the basic science:

The loaf pan not only supplies it is placed to act as a physical block to some of the major convections. The drip pan is the same sort of block. The increased humidity helps even temperatures by improving efficiency of thermal transference. The placement of the pans breaks up the strongest currencies and creates a homogenous, delaminar air flow.

Here's how:

When the cooker is cold, put the drip pan on the bottom rack, underneath where you plan on doing most of your cooking.

When you've got the fire going, the cooker coming to temp, and are ready to start stabilizing the temperatures -- fill the loaf pan with hot water from the sink, and place it so the long axis is parallel to the firebox bulkhead and the pan is about an inch from the bulkhead. The primary cooking area becomes the area between the water pan and the flue.

At typical barbecue heats, you'll need to refull the loaf pan (hot water) every three hours.

Use your thermometer to measure the temperature differential (left to right) in the cooking area of your pit before and after the pans are in place. My BBC Offset goes from >35 to <10 with this setup, and less than <5 once there's a reasonable amount of liquid in the drip pan.

If the differential is >20 after tuning, try adding water to the drip pan. If that doesn't do it, try moving the water pan around, perhaps to the other side or the bottom shelf. If that still doesn't do it, we'll do some thermal mass tricks and add a paving tile or two.

While you're in the fooling around mode, measure the temperature differential between top and upper and lower shelves (around 50 deg, usually) It's worth knowing for when you have a big enough cook that you'll really crowd the pit. In that case, you'll probably want two water pans, one on each shelf.

Rich
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Old 08-09-2007, 02:41 PM   #25
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Dude I think you type faster than I read. I am going to print out what you have written and use it when I begin testing this weekend (God willin and the weather holds out).

I can't wait to tell my wife I am going to be hopefully lessening the differential to an acceptable level so the grill smoker works better. I am sure she will either laugh and walk away or roll her eyes and hide the checkbook.

I am going to be taking a close look at adding the baffle between the firebox and cooking chamber and extending the chimney as well. These all seem like really good things to do. My chimney is connected the the lid so I may have to use my artistic engineers license. We will see.
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Old 08-09-2007, 02:52 PM   #26
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Bry,

Baffle and extend first. Tune later.

Rich
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Old 08-09-2007, 02:57 PM   #27
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I will. It only makes sense since these changes will change the way heat operates in the food chamber. I have already printed out everything.
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Old 08-09-2007, 03:19 PM   #28
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You're right, it only takes 2 seconds to open the Maverick door, well maybe a little longer for me, but I wander off out of range several times during a cook and have to turn both off/on to reset. That's why the finger hole, plus I'm lazy.
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:19 PM   #29
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You're right, it only takes 2 seconds to open the Maverick door, well maybe a little longer for me, but I wander off out of range several times during a cook and have to turn both off/on to reset. That's why the finger hole, plus I'm lazy.
I'll go out of range once in a while or it will lose transmission while doing an overnighter. The majority of the time I can hit the light switch button a couple times and it will regain transmission. Try that next time you go out of range and see if it works for you too.
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Old 08-09-2007, 07:26 PM   #30
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Bryan -- Bingo!

Larry -- Great tip. Roger. Wilco.
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Old 08-09-2007, 07:27 PM   #31
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The light switch in the bathroom or the kitchen? I know, you're thinking, 'wow, this guy plays with fire'?
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:10 AM   #32
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The light switch in the bathroom or the kitchen? I know, you're thinking, 'wow, this guy plays with fire'?
:damnfunny I'm sure you're kidding, but just in case.......the light switch on the Maverick!!!
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:09 PM   #33
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The light switch in the bathroom or the kitchen? I know, you're thinking, 'wow, this guy plays with fire'?
:damnfunny I'm sure you're kidding, but just in case.......the light switch on the Maverick!!!
[smilie=a_whyme.gif] [smilie=thumbdown2.gif]
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Old 08-10-2007, 07:11 PM   #34
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And I say again...........who's the brainiac that put the switch in there??
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Old 08-10-2007, 07:13 PM   #35
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And I say again...........who's the brainiac that put the switch in there??
Where, the maverick, kitchen or bathroom?
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Old 08-10-2007, 07:15 PM   #36
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And I say again...........who's the brainiac that put the switch in there??
Where, the maverick, kitchen or bathroom?
On the back of the .......you know
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Old 08-10-2007, 07:20 PM   #37
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And I say again...........who's the brainiac that put the switch in there??
Where, the maverick, kitchen or bathroom?
On the back of the .......you know
Oh. I don't have one anymore, I got rid of mine.
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:50 PM   #38
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Disagreement noted. Now, why?
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