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Attention Keri C. Diamond Plate smoker info
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Hoochie-Que
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Joined: 27 Sep 2006
Posts: 371
Location: Park City, UT

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30 06 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, Keri...

Know a lot of interest this weekend is with what happened at the Jack...

BUT - how did you Senior-Q event go? Things work out well?... Here's hoping it was a big success... Cool
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BBQCZAR
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Joined: 15 Sep 2006
Posts: 236
Location: Phoenix,Az.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30 06 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Hochie,did you get your new Diamond Plate yet ? I was just wondering.I smoked this weeknd again and it all turned out great. I was able to onece again get the smoker to maintain about 235 deg for almost 3 hrs.,hey during comps I may actually get some sleep !!!! LOL !!!! I was going to use all wood ,instead I used about 20 lbs "good"lump,and a good amount of wood for about 16 hrs total. I also did not use the steamer,I will next time,I was trying to get a good dry run for the comp next week!
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Robert & Keri C
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Joined: 31 Aug 2006
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Location: Broken Arrow, near Tulsa OK

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30 06 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hoochie-Que wrote:
Hey, Keri...

Know a lot of interest this weekend is with what happened at the Jack...

BUT - how did you Senior-Q event go? Things work out well?... Here's hoping it was a big success... Cool


It went very well - I'm going to post a separate note about it.

kc
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Hoochie-Que
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30 06 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, Czar...

Nope, I am still awaitin'... OkieJay is checking with Travis to give me an update on the progress... Can't wait... I'll meet Jay in Durango, CO and bring 'er on home when things get ready... Hopefully in November before the snow really starts coming down...

Am glad to hear things are going so well for you with yours... From your posts, sounds like you will be ready for things this next weekend... Let me know how the lump and wood combo works for you... Since we are a little scarce on wood out here (other than cedar and pinion and sagebrush - LOL!!), I will be using a lump/wood combo more than likely as well... Am having Travis build me a special "charcoal basket" in addition to the regular "tray" that fits in the fire box...

Best of wishes this next weekend, Czar!... Would have liked to have made it down for that comp, but way too many other irons in the fire for me this year... Maybe next year... Cool
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AZBarbeque
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Joined: 06 Oct 2006
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Location: Scottsdale, AZ

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30 06 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey all, most of the times I cook with my 70 series, I use Lump and wood mixture. I find that this combo works very well and it is easier for me to maintain, especially during those long cooks.. Shocked
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Robert & Keri C
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Joined: 31 Aug 2006
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Location: Broken Arrow, near Tulsa OK

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30 06 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, guys, we tried starting off the Fat 50 with lump this weekend, but we were VERY awkward in getting the lit lump into the cooker. Do you have a trick to cleanly getting it into the firebox other than pulling out the rack all the way out to dump the lump in, dropping hot coals through the expanded metal in the process?
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AZBarbeque
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Joined: 06 Oct 2006
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Location: Scottsdale, AZ

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30 06 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use one of those fireplace shovels. I wear my welder's gloves and put a few scoops of lump in different areas of the firebox, depending upon how it is burning. Seems to work well and I don't have to keep taking the charcoal rack in and out. That is too cumbersome and awkard..

Hope this helps...
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AZBarbeque
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Joined: 06 Oct 2006
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Location: Scottsdale, AZ

PostPosted: Tue Oct 31 06 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey all, just an FYI, our big Lake Pleasant BBQ Cook-off to benefit the Charity Autism Speaks is this coming weekend here in Arizona.

I don't know if any of you are aware of this or not, but any team that comes to the event and cooks with a Diamond Plate Smoker is being given a 20% discount on their entrance fee.

So, if you have been wanting to come to the contest and compete and have a Diamond Plate Grill, here's your chance...

Hope to see lots of you out here, lots of great things going on all day.

www.LakePleasantBBQCookoff.com
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BBQCZAR
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Joined: 15 Sep 2006
Posts: 236
Location: Phoenix,Az.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 31 06 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AZBarbeque wrote:
I use one of those fireplace shovels. I wear my welder's gloves and put a few scoops of lump in different areas of the firebox, depending upon how it is burning. Seems to work well and I don't have to keep taking the charcoal rack in and out. That is too cumbersome and awkard..

Hope this helps...
I use the same type shovel,it works great doing it that way.Pulling out the grate is a pain ! Keri,get one of the shovels from Home Depot or any fireplace/BBQ store,it works out well and you can place the lump exactly on the grate where you want it.
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BBQCZAR
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Location: Phoenix,Az.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 08 06 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well the Lake Pleasant even has come and gone.Everyone had a GREAT time and the event was well organized and put together.Thanks go out to Mike at AZBBQ and Ryan for putting this all together.Next year it will have to be moved to larger location because it was so big and such a succsess ! I did not fare as well as I had hoped to although it was the first time using the Diamond Plate in a comp. I had the same problem using all wood as Keri said she had.I had some black, soot looking deposits on my food,not really noticable on the ribs or brisket,but could definately see it on the chicken.I also had some strange temp swings and had trouble holding temps for some reaso.I think I had the trouble because I tried using all wood.I am going to have to see if going back to lump and small fist sie pieces of wood for flavor will take care of the problem.I was using good apple,pecan.some cherry for the wood.I jsut had triouble adjusting the stack vents and the firebox vent to get temps to even out and to stay put for any length of time at all.Crazy,I thought I had a good handle on this unit ,but I was dead wrong ! The ribs did not get enough cook time before turn- in,the brisket got overdone,the chicken we did make the final table but did not even make the top 10 ! The grate temps were strange to,usually the front seems to be higher than the back,but it seemed to change periodically througout the cooking time of about 14 hours so it was VERY hard to get even cooking temps even from front to back.I think I will try this weekend and drill some holes at the 10 and 2 postition like Keri mentioned and then load up with charcoal and see if it will hold temp and have more even temps.I will then try again on Sun only with wood and see what I can find that way as well. I am not really dissapointed with the smoker,more with myself.I should have not tried all wood at the comp,I should have used combination of good lump and small wood pieces for flavor. Back to practice,practice, and more practice and some mods to the snouts and see if I can get a grip on this smoker ! Again any hints,help, or suggestions welcome from anyone including Keri,.Travis,Mike or Rannucci.
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Bedlam BBQ
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Joined: 31 Aug 2006
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Location: Broken Arrow, OK

PostPosted: Wed Nov 08 06 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Czar, I helped Keri and Robert out with the Senior Q so I got a reall good chance to see this pit in action -- and I was very impressed with it. I did notice the front of the racks seem to be hotter than than the back (and mainly front dead center of each rack). That is probably due to the snout that comes into the cooking chamber. It's curved on the sides so this holds the heat/smoke till the end of the snout, which at this point is about halfway to the front of the shelf. With the flow coming through, that heat would shoot more directly to the front of the pit -- thus resulting in the hot spot on that front middle of the racks.

Keri seemed to use this hot spot to her advantage when she needed an extra hit of high heat on a piece of meat. And the added mods she had done on the snout dampers really helped evenly distribute heat to both sides of the main chamber (or could be blocked from one side or the other to force more heat to the other side).
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BBQCZAR
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08 06 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats what I will try,drilling some holes in the snouts to even it out.I am not sure about the soot problem,I guess I will try using all lump with just a little wood for flavor.Again,I go back to the practice and drawing board !!! LOL !!
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OkieJay
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Joined: 04 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08 06 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cooked for a year and a half on the first Fat 50 (5 comps) and never had any problems with temp swings. I used ONLY wood and never had any soot problems. I aways started up and got a good bed of coals (maybe 45 minutes) before I added wood. Then I added one or two arm sized splits of seasoned Pecan avery 45 minutes or so. I kept both of the upper dampers closed about one inch and never really messed with them.

The only time I ever had real problems was on a very windy day with steady wind at about 30 and gust of 40+. I had to keep the firebos pointed in to the wind and I added foil wind blocks (looked like the curved back pipes on the exhust stacks of a truck) to the smoke stacks to keep the wind from blowing down into them. Did the job pretty well.

I never did drill the holes at 10 and 2, thought about them but never got around to it. I LOVED the hoy spots in front on the snouts. They really allowed me to do some special cooking.

Standard comp setup:
4 Butts on the rear of the lower large shelf.
4 Briskets along the sides of the lower large shelf.
Nothing over the hot spot.
Ribs on top large shelf moved back about 5-6 inches from front to avoid the heat the flows along the front of the smoker.
Chicken on the top smal shelf right along the fron to get extra hot.
(Move Chicken over the hot spots when needed.)
That layout always worked well for me.

Remember to not add too much wood at the same time, keep the stacks open all but about one inch.

Let me know if you have any questions,
Jay
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BBQCZAR
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Location: Phoenix,Az.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 09 06 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may have been adding too much wood at one time.I am going to try it again this weekend and see what I can come up with.I am going to drill the holes in the snouts though and see if I can even up the grate temps some. I also have a question for anyone here,I was told by sopmeone at the competition that you should NEVER use lump charcoal(or any kind of charcoal)in the Diamond Plates or any offset smoker.Is that correct and if so why ? I have never heard of that and I am wondering what the problem would be with using charcoal.Thanks !
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Lewis & Herschel
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Joined: 02 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09 06 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BBQCZAR wrote:
I may have been adding too much wood at one time.I am going to try it again this weekend and see what I can come up with.I am going to drill the holes in the snouts though and see if I can even up the grate temps some. I also have a question for anyone here,I was told by sopmeone at the competition that you should NEVER use lump charcoal(or any kind of charcoal)in the Diamond Plates or any offset smoker.Is that correct and if so why ? I have never heard of that and I am wondering what the problem would be with using charcoal.Thanks !



I use lump in my offset all the time. If there is any concern, it is that lump burns hotter so use less. Or in my case, doing the minion method, I use two chimneys on top of my pile instead of three on the grate.
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AZBarbeque
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Location: Scottsdale, AZ

PostPosted: Thu Nov 09 06 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tim,

I use lump all the time and have never had any problems. I wish you would have let me know you were having some heat issues out at the contest, I would have gladly worked through them with you.

When I smoke, I typically start off with the grate evenly full of lump charcoal and 3 pieces of wood. I do this to get a good bed of coals going and to get the unit up to temperture. Once this is going (about 30 minutes) then I just use wood, about 1 - 2 logs every 1 - 2 hours depending upon how fast they are burning and how big the logs are. About 5 - 6 hours into the cook, I add a few shovel loads of lump charcoal, but only in the middle third of the unit. This is just to keep the good bed of coals going, not for heat as hopefully I am maintaining a good solid temp.

Hope this helps, let me know if you want and I can stop by and discuss this with you in further detail.

A lot of it is just getting used to your unit and how it cooks. Each unit is different and has some adjustments over past units, so just play around with it until you figure out how she likes to run.

Good Luck!!! Smile
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BBQCZAR
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09 06 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info Mike,I didn't want to bother you at the lake,I know you had your hands full !! It is just going to take some practice, I will get it down before next comp comes up. I was wondering about the lump though because someone had said it was not good to use it in the DP or offsets,so I guess it was because it does burn hotter. I am smoking this weekned agian on it and will try it the way you said.I think I may actually was using too much wood and lump.I will give it a go again this weekend,Thanks !
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Robert & Keri C
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11 06 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm betting that it's not a question of lump vs wood, as we've only used lump in our cooker once to start things along and have used strictly wood for all the rest of our cooks with no problems. I believe that you may have hit on the problem when you said that you were possibly using too much wood AND lump, thus creating too active a fire. The only time we had the soot problem was that one time when we had a very high velocity / high draft fire going because of the extremely dry wood we were using. I'm convinced that the soot problem is a question of having a rip-roaring fire going that's quickly moving larger amounts of air through the firebox and through the cooker. As we were able to settle our fire down more - by getting away from the extremely dry wood, in our case, thus lowering the draft velocity - the soot problem has never raised its head again.
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Hoochie-Que
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11 06 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roughly how old was that wood (the really dry stuff), Keri? Oak? Hickory? Pecan?...

Thanks... Cool
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Robert & Keri C
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11 06 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was mainly pecan, very lightweight and very gray in color, that had mostly been sitting out uncovered for about three years.
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