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bitter brisket....trapped smoke

 
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bbqbrisket



Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue May 26 15 7:13 pm    Post subject: bitter brisket....trapped smoke Reply with quote

So I have this offset smoker and use a combo of seasoned oak and charcoal. I let all the wood and charcoal burn for a solid hour before putting a brisket on it.
I usually fill the firebox pretty full so I don;t have to had raw wood or charcoal during the cooking process.
If I open up the outlet a lot and close off the inlet, it gets too hot. If I open up the inlet a lot and close off the outlet a little, it gets too hot.
So, I'm left with closing off both the inlet and outlet to about 1/8 inch but of course it traps the smoke.
Having difficulty seeing a way out.
Any help....? Thanks
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SoEzzy
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Joined: 13 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Tue May 26 15 7:50 pm    Post subject: Re: bitter brisket....trapped smoke Reply with quote

bbqbrisket wrote:
So I have this offset smoker and use a combo of seasoned oak and charcoal. I let all the wood and charcoal burn for a solid hour before putting a brisket on it.


That's a good way to get the whole pit up to temperature.

Quote:
I usually fill the firebox pretty full so I don;t have to had raw wood or charcoal during the cooking process.


This is the start of where you are going wrong. If you run a small hot clean fire in the pit, you get the best heat / smoke mix in your pit, you get good clean burn, so there is less that can go wrong on the cook. But, (and it's a big but), you need to pay attention to your fire every 30 - 40 minutes, and add fuel as appropriate.

If you want a set it and forget it, style of cooker, then look at something other than an offset or reverse flow.

The gravity fed Stump's, Backwoods etc. may suit what you want to cook better, or perhaps a pellet pooper.

Start your fire with a chimney starter full of charcoal, add 2 or 3 splits and allow it to burn for 45 minutes, check to see how it's burning, estimate where the fire will be in 10 more minutes, and how many splits it will take to keep the fire base of coals for the next 45 - 60 minutes, pre heat 1 or 2 splits for that 10 minutes, then add that wood, check again when you feel that wood maybe getting burned out, repeat.

Quote:
If I open up the outlet a lot and close off the inlet, it gets too hot. If I open up the inlet a lot and close off the outlet a little, it gets too hot.


Start a burn with your exhaust fully open, control the fire on the intakes alone to start off with. Keep the fire small and burning hot, feed it when it needs more fuel, work with a variety of sizes of splits, you are better off with 2 or 3 smaller splits burning fiercely, than with 1 big split smoldering because there's no heat in the fire, or the firebox.

Quote:
So, I'm left with closing off both the inlet and outlet to about 1/8 inch but of course it traps the smoke.
Having difficulty seeing a way out.
Any help....? Thanks


Instead of filling the fire box with wood, then choking off the exhaust and the intake, get a small, hot / clean burning fire, and feed it as it need feeding.

When burning a fire in an offset or wood burning stove, you are trying to burn as hot as you can, as long as you can, for as little fuel as possible, to do that you need to conserve your fire base, by fire base I mean the pile of coals that keeps the fire in the firebox as long as possible!

You may find, (for example), that a base of coals, 1.5 - 2" tall, 8 - 10" wide and 13 - 15" long runs your pit at 250 - 275° for 45 minutes, before all the coals and ash, have dropped through your grate. If that's the case, then you know you need to create that amount of coals every 45 minutes to maintain that temperature in your pit.

Adding 1 split probably won't get it done, so you need to think 2 or 3 every 45 minutes, try 3, and if at the end of the next 45 minutes you have more fire base left than, 1.5 - 2" tall, 8 - 10" wide and 13 - 15" long, you added more fuel than you needed, if your fire base shrank, then it wan't enough fuel.

You can add another chimney starter of lit charcoal if you start to loose your base, aim no keep your fire base in the pit, at an even level, you can add wood split by split, or a couple of them at a time.

Here's a timeline based on my experiences with my small offset.

9:00 start full chimney of charcoal.
9:15 put lit charcoal in firebox, keeping it tight together in one heaped pile.
9:16 add a couple of splits, (my splits are the thickness of my wrist, and as long as from elbow to palm of my hand).
9:45 check on the fire, put 2 splits on top of the fire box to pre-heat.
9:55 add the 2 splits, keep door open until both splits have ignited and are burning.
10:30 check the fire again, put 1 split on top to pre-heat.
10:40 add 1 split.
11:15 check fire, light 3/4 chimney starter full of charcoal, pre-heat 2 splits
11:30 add the lit charcoal and the splits.

That whole process will sound familiar to anyone that has tried to keep a fire in a pit or a stove.

Give it a try on a test burn and see how you do!
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k.a.m.
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Joined: 12 Dec 2007
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Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Tue May 26 15 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your problem is fire management.
You need to be running a small hot fire instead of loading down your firebox and fighting temps with your intake and exhaust. You need to keep the exhaust wide open and control the temps with your intake.

I am not sure what size cooker you have but if it is like my back yard offset ( 24" x 36") I start with a chimney of lit charcoal and two splits about 3" diameter and 12" long.
This is enough to get my cooker up to temp at around 250° then about every 30 to 45 minutes I add a split, the trick is to learn when to add the split on the fall so you keep your coal base up.
On long cooks I will have to substitute a split for a fully lit chimney of charcoal this replenishes my coal base. So what size cooker do you have maybe we can get you lined out.
I hope this helps. Very Happy
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roxy
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Joined: 29 May 2005
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Location: Wasaga beach, Ontario

PostPosted: Tue May 26 15 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ Yep.. What these guys said. ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

Thought I could add something but its covered right there.
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