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Insulated fire box test results

 
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JoeD
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Joined: 09 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Mon May 12 08 9:22 am    Post subject: Insulated fire box test results Reply with quote

5-11-08

Well boys and gals, I finally made it through…I’ve finished insulating the fire box and put two coats of paint on the cooker, the frame has one coat of primer and one coat of fire red, this week I’ll finish building the countertop supports and will apply the last coats of paint.

I couldn’t wait to try the cooker since the changes, so far ….GREAT RESULTS!

The wife picked a 18 lbs whole fresh ham last week which since then I’ve had it in sugar/salt/pepper and spices brine.

Using pieces of expanded metal, I made up this 21.5” x 21x 10” lump burning basket, the fire bricks are removable to cut back on its overall weight.



Three inches of the bottom, and just enough room on top to fit arm size wood sticks.



21:00, lit up my home made chimney started and in no time I had it fired up.

Loaded up the basket with approximately 15 lbs of lump laced with some hickory and oak chunks. Dumping the glowing coals:




Installing the ¼” aluminum plate and the two inch insulation pillow:



At 21:15 the cooker was up to 100* and up to 200* at 21:30. (insulation at work)
I made a the mistake of opening the air intake a bit too long, needless to say that the lump became happy and took off fast…

21:20, the fresh ham went in the cooker at 200* ; at 00:48 (mother’s day) the temp gauge read 230*; at 02:30 it read 250* and at 03:40 it read 240*, at this time the meat temp was up to 150* …the temp kept creeping up on me so every hour or so I would open the door to vent out some heat.

At any rate, I was not ready for a full overnighter so I decided to load up the basket with two full shovels of briquettes and went to bed for a nap, it was 4 in the morning.

Sh#@t its 09:00 already? Shocked …I muttered, Happy Mother’s Day and ran downstairs, to my relieve the cooker was still at 170*, the meat also read 170* and looked done, I figured the temps had peaked at 270*…Well, my 16 YO Bryan helped out with the goodness:



Either way just to be on the safe side, I put the meat in the oven set at 250* and removed when the internal temps reached 190*. Embarassed
The meat was extremely tender and moist, the smoke ring was well noticeable




His majesty was waiting for his share, after words he guards the cooker Laughing Laughing




Other than oversleeping it was another success cook out and a few more lessons learned about this cooker: I like the lump basket, I can also assure you that insulating the fire box was well worth the extra work and time, not only I got 12 hours out of approx. 15 lbs of lump, two shovels plus one chimney worth of briquettes, I also did not burn the paint job, at one time the whole basket worth of lump was red hot, even the brick were red hot…while the outside of the box did exceed 370*

I like the reverse flow and believe that when using the whole cooker the temps will be easier to maintain at around 225*, rather that 250*(not a bad thing)…remember I have a divider plate in the center of the cooker.

Also, I didn’t care to handle the pillow so I might modify the hatch and built in a permanent insulating box onto it, just like I did on the fire box door. I’ll install gaskets on the firebox door jams in order to minimize air leaking in.

For the next cook out, I’ll start warming up the cooker all the way to 250* using sticks and then go with a full basket of lump and wood chunks, I might gain steadier temps plus longer burning time.

Sorry for the long post…

Joe
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letseat



Joined: 18 Aug 2007
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Location: N. W. Indiana

PostPosted: Mon May 12 08 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic write up! I love the the photo's. I'll have to get a dobie to guard while I sleep also Smile
Nice pillow. Do you think the bricks made a difference from your tests without bricks?  Did the alum. plate melt at all?
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Smokin_On-The_Rio
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PostPosted: Mon May 12 08 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That Dobie ain't dumb he guards the thing that the goodies come out of Very Happy Great write up and pics.
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Tom C
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Joined: 21 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Mon May 12 08 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow Joe! I really like the basket idea! Great way to keep the weight down! To keep the temps from creeping up as much try putting less charcoal in the middle section of the basket. It will burn a little faster but you shouldn't see the temp climb as much either.

You’re really taking that smoker of yours to new levels of operation. Very impressive my friend!
Cool
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coal miner
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PostPosted: Mon May 12 08 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good job Joe.You know it is amazing the ingenuity and intelligence of the forum people here. The quest for the perfect smoker!
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Alien BBQ
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PostPosted: Mon May 12 08 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great write up, I look forward to more info as you go along.
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BBQMAN
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PostPosted: Mon May 12 08 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great skills, great looking puppie, great looking grub.

Nice job!
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JoeD
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PostPosted: Mon May 12 08 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks all for the kind words.

letseat wrote:
Do you think the bricks made a difference from your tests without bricks?  Did the alum. plate melt at all?



I assume you refer to the bricks in the basket...I didn't test w/out them, like I said, there's too much air leaking in the fire box allowing uncontrollable combustion which in this case I doubt if the bricks helped at all, however I hope to achieve better burning control by installing stove gaskets on the F/B door jams. The aluminium plate did not melt.

I forgot to mention...during the cook out, the front half of the cooker temp ranged from 100* to 140*, openening and closing its chimney damper would vary those numbers.

You know guys, I owe you all a lot... from everyone that has helped me with this project and everyone else that has shared info of home projects and great info from their experiences ...like they say "one picture is worth a thousand words"

Thank you.
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Smoke Fiend 24/7
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PostPosted: Fri May 16 08 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Job well done on the write up the food looks great and the guard dog a must have. Good Times Bbq Cool

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