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Old 09-04-2010, 07:23 PM   #1
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Location: Longview, TX
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Cooking on a stick burner for the first time, need help

Hey guys & gals,

It's been a while. Im borrowing a neighbor's reverse flow stick burner on monday and was planning on smoking a brisket, butt, and some ribs. Im use to my trusty WSM and just use K with wood chunks. I need some instruction on the stick burner, I dont think my neighbor really knows what he's doing, so Im avoiding asking him. Any advice offered would be appreciated.

Im thinking of starting out with a chimney full of kingsford and then put wood on top of that. Now where do I go from there? How much wood do I use at a time? How burned down does the wood need to be before I put meat on the smoker? How often can I expect to add wood? Anything else I should know?

The smoker Im going to be using is reverse flow about 3-4' long by 2', not sure the size of the firebox.


PS: Congrats Diva Q!

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Old 09-04-2010, 08:27 PM   #2
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Re: Cooking on a stick burner for the first time, need help

start it up about 1 hour ahead of time. vents wide open. It won't take that long to heat up but will give you a little while to learn vent control - vs - heat control. A pit that size should come up to temp in 20 min or less if you are starting with a chimney full of kingsford and a couple of sticks. After the first load of charcoal, put it away and go straight to the sticks. Before putting meat on, make sure you are getting blue smoke and not white or dark smoke. A good bed of coals and a fairly hot fire will keep this going well when you add your wood. no need for pre-burn if you have a good bed of coals.

once the temp gets to the 250 to 275 range, take all your vents down by 1/2 and in 10 min see if the temp went on up or down. If it went up by more than 20 deg. Damper down some more. if temp starts to drop, maybe open a bit... it shouldn't take you long to get it dialed in. Always keep exhaust vent all the way open.

Every pit is different in fuel consumption. I would check it after about 45 min and see where you are. I have a Lang 84 (which is every bit of twice the size of the one you are going to be using) and I add a 6" diameter X 20" long log once an hour for a 235-250 burn. When you add wood, get in and get out of the firebox to avoid too much air to heat up the fire, unless you goof and let your coal bed run down, then you may need to open the door for a few minutes to allow the new log to catch and start to burn.

once you are getting steady temps, you can fine tune a bit if things need heating up or slowing down. Just a small tap to open or close all vents evenly will give you 5 degree bumps. Small adjustments are always best. If you open or close too much you will be fighting it all day. up and down. Just remember, 20 degree spikes are not ideal, but they are also, no big deal either.

watch it close for the first 2 hours then You'll soon learn how long you can leave it.

hope this helps


Gary Cline
Gary's Barbeque
McGaheysville, Virginia

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Old 09-05-2010, 12:24 PM   #3
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Re: Cooking on a stick burner for the first time, need help

Great info Gary. I don't have an offset but I've always wondered about controlling a fire on one myself.
Smokey Lew
Riverside, California
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