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Thermal Mass with a Weber Kettle, a PartyA, and a Slow'N'Sear

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    I certainly do not have the answer but couple thoughts pop into mind:

    1. If this is freight rail aren't we talking close to if not we'll more than 100 lbs/ft?

    2. Would you be pre-heating the rail as it seems like it would take an enormous amount of energy to heat something with that mass?

    3. Would you not benefit from insulating the unit in addition to adding something with mass wether it be iron or some sort of ceramic material?

    just curiosity on my end as the concept is interesting.


      When trying to smoke a brisket on a PK Grill, I put a heavy cast iron griddle between the coals and meat as both a baffle and thermal mass. It's 1 unscientific data point, but I found it to work against me more than for me.

      I spent some time thinking about it - I'm by no means an expert, but I think physics and chemistry of energy transfer are basically the same now as when I studied them in the dark ages. Adding internal thermal mass without improving insulation means you still have the same amount of heat loss out of the system that has to be replaced by adding energy to the system. Depending on how you use the thermal mass (where it is placed, etc.) it might have some benefits when it comes to diffusion of temperature, consistency of temperature, etc. But ultimately by adding mass you are increasing the amount of fuel you need to heat the mass, and then you have to continue to burn fuel to maintain the temperature based not on the internal thermal mass but on the heat loss from the system.

      One man's amateur thoughts - what did I get wrong?
      Last edited by radshop; April 7, 2018, 12:48 PM.


      • holehogg
        holehogg commented
        Editing a comment
        radshop I agree with you and am by no means an expert but I think before adding internal mass, insulating the vessel should be the first consideration. I noticed a huge difference when insulating my vertical with aerolite material. jfmorris

      • holehogg
        holehogg commented
        Editing a comment
        Just on that point even when I cladded with timber boards with no insulation just an air gap between the SS container and the wood cladding also made a difference, I trust this makes some sense to the discussion.

      • radshop
        radshop commented
        Editing a comment
        Makes sense holehogg - I get the idea, but would love to see a pic or 2 if available.

      Dont mean to hi-jack this post but dont know where to post photo's otherwise radshop without cladding and with cladding.

      Click image for larger version

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      The smoker is still a work in progress and therefore haven't clad in SS sheeting as planned yet. I'm about 90% happy with the results, still figuring out a few tweaks needed.


      • radshop
        radshop commented
        Editing a comment
        Nice - thanks


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