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Are you cooking with that fire door open?

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  • Tooslim
    Club Member
    • Mar 2016
    • 4
    • Portland, Oregon

    Are you cooking with that fire door open?

    That's what Aaron Franklin recommends..
  • Spinaker
    • Nov 2014
    • 10781
    • Land of Tonka
    • John "J R"
      Instagram: JRBowlsby
      Smokin' Hound Que
      Minnesota/ United States of America

      Dexter (Beagle mix)
      Kinnick (American Foxhound)

      Big Green Egg (Large) X3
      Blackstone 36" Outdoor Griddle 4-Burner

      Karubeque C-60
      Kamado Joe Jr. (Black)
      Lodge L410 Hibachi
      Pit Barrel Cooker
      Pit Barrel Cooker 2.0
      R&V Works FF2-R-ST 4-Gallon Fryer

      Weber Spirit Gasser
      FireBoard (Base Package)
      Thermoworks ThermaPen (Red)
      Thermoworks MK4 (Orange)

      Big Green Egg Plate Setter
      Benzomatic TS4000 Torch X 2
      Benzomatic TS800 High Temp Torch X 2

      Bayou Classic 44 qt Stainless Stock Pot
      Bayou Classic 35K BTU Burner

      Digi Q DX2 (Medium Pit Viper Fan)
      Dragon VT 2-23 C Torch
      Eggspander Kit X2
      Field Skillet No. 8,10,12

      Finex Cat Iron Line
      FireBoard Drive
      Lots and Lots of Griswold Cast Iron
      Grill Grates
      Joule Water Circulator
      KBQ Fire Grate

      Kick Ash Basket (KAB) X4
      Lots of Lodge Cast Iron
      Husky 6 Drawer BBQ Equipment Cabinet
      Large Vortex
      Marlin 1894 .44 Magnum
      Marquette Castings No. 13 (First Run)
      Smithey No. 12
      Smokeware Chimney Cap X 3
      Stargazer No.10, 12
      Tool Wizard BBQ Tongs
      Univex Duro 10" Meat Slicer
      FOGO Priemium Lump Charcoal
      Kingsford Blue and White
      Rockwood Lump Charcoal
      Apple, Cherry & Oak Log splits for the C-60

      Buck 119 Special
      Cuda 7' Fillet Knife

      Dexter 12" Brisket Sword
      Next Major Purchase
      Lone Star Grillz 24 X 48 Offset

    I know DWCowles does. Steve B might as well. PaulstheRibList might too. Huskee ?


    • Steve B
      Club Member
      • Jun 2016
      • 3076
      • Rockland county New York
      • Lonestar Grillz 24x36 offset smoker, grill, w/ main chamber charcoal grate and 3 tel-tru thermometers - left, right and center
        Yoke Up custom charcoal basket and a Grill Wraps cover.

        22.5 copper kettle w/ SnS, DnG, BBQ vortex, gasket and stainless steel hinge kit.

        Napoleon gas grill (soon to go bye bye) rotting out.

        1 maverick et-733 digital thermometer - black
        1 maverick et-733 - gray
        1 new standard grilling remote digital thermometer
        1 thermoworks thermopen mk4 - red
        1 thermoworks thermopop - red

        Pre Miala flavor injector
        taylor digital scale
        TSM meat grinder
        chefs choice food slicer
        cuisinhart food processor
        food saver vacuum sealer
        TSM harvest food dehydrator

      Absolutely. Thanks to DW.
      As he puts it. A lot of the dirty smoke can be exhausted out of the firebox and it really does make temp control much easier.


      • PBCDad
        Club Member
        • Jan 2016
        • 394
        • Seattle area
        • Pit Barrel Cooker - 2015
          22" Kettle + SnS - 2016
          Thermapen - 2016
          Jambo 24x48 offset smoker (Big Tex) - 2017
          Camp Chef Denali griddle - 2018
          Billows and Signals - 2020

        I don't, I haven't found the need to. Maybe it is because the fire is relatively small on the Jambo, or the door vent (which you leave alone) pulls enough air, or a combo of the two. I haven't seen any dirty smoke after reloading or closing the door. To be honest, it is hard to get dirty smoke at all on the Jambo.


        • smokinfatties
          smokinfatties commented
          Editing a comment
          Agreed, don't need to on the Jambo. Plenty of airfow thanks to the draw from the large smoke stack

        • Spinaker
          Spinaker commented
          Editing a comment
          Good point on the smoke stack being larger. smokinfatties

        • CandySueQ
          CandySueQ commented
          Editing a comment
          Funky wood can make dirty smoke! At a contest one time my buddy next door was complaining about a smell coming out of his Jambo after adding a stick of wood. "Take that stick out" was my response.
      • Frozen Smoke
        Club Member
        • Nov 2017
        • 1528
        • Northern Mn

        My fire boxes on both my stick burners have two doors. The one on the front of the box and one on the top. Only time I open the front door is to remove the ash pan. The front door is vented as are both sides with sliding vents.
        The top door is where I feed wood into the fire. Saves on the back and knees not having to bend down to load the fire or poke it.
        The only time I ever need a door open is in high humidity days with no breeze when the fire struggles a bit. Otherwise I have no issues with dirty smoke or need the extra intake of a open door to move the smoke through.


        • Spinaker
          Spinaker commented
          Editing a comment
          Are both of your stick burners, custom?

        • Steve B
          Steve B commented
          Editing a comment
          What kind of stick burners are you running?
      • Ahumadora
        Club Member
        • Oct 2015
        • 2151
        • Warkworth, New Zealand

        Stick burners work well ingesting a large amount of air. What does not get burnt and turned into smoke gets heated in the firebox and passes through with the smoke, so you have a milder and cleaner smoke.


        • KevinG
          Club Member
          • Oct 2016
          • 147
          • Hummelstown ,PA
          • Weber 26.5" kettle
            Weber 22" kettles (two, one at home and one at the hunting cabin)
            Kamado Joe Big Joe, with divide and conquer system (October 2016)
            Weber Smoky Joe portable kettle
            Napoleon 450 RBI gas grill ( currently "mothballed" in the basement)
            Thermapen Mk4 thermometer from ThermoWorks
            Smoke dual probe wireless thermometer by Thermoworks

          Whenever you all start talking stick burner jargon, I' always feel like I'm some junior varsity freshman listening to the varsity team talk strategy! Pretty awesome stuff IMO.


          • JCBBQ
            JCBBQ commented
            Editing a comment
            Coach told me i'll be on JV for a good long while.
        • PaulstheRibList
          Founding Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 1585
          • Lake Charles, LA
          • Started Low-N-Slow BBQ in 2012. Obviously, it's taken hold (in chronological order:
            1.) A pair of Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5's
            2.) #LilTex, a 22" Expensive Offset Smoker (looks like a Yoder Witicha)
            3.) #WhoDat1, a HUGE Gravity Fed Insulated Cabinet Smoker (cooking chamber 3'x2'x6')
            4.) A Full Size Commercial Dryer/converted to Vertical Smoker.
            5.) Jambo Backyard stickburner (my FAVORITE Pit so far)
            6.) GrillMeister, a huge 24"x48" Adjustable, Charcoal Grill from Pitmaker.com
            7.) 22" Weber Kettle with Slow-N-Sear
            8.) Vault insulated reverse-flow cabinet smoker from Pitmaker
            9.) BarbecueFiretruck...under development
            10.) 26 foot BBQ Vending Trailer equipped with HUGE Myron Mixon 72xc smoker is HERE, Oct 2016!
            11.) Opened www.PaulsRibShackBarbecue.com Food Trailer officially in March 2017
            12.) Austin Smoke Works 500 Gallon Propane Tank Offset Smoker, named "Lucille" as travel pit for PaulsRibShack, Oct 2018.
            12.) Opening Brick & Mortar location at 4800 Nelson Rd, Spring 2019. Had a pair of 1,000 Gallon Austin Smoke Works pits, both in RibShackRed for our new place!

            Fabulous Backlit Thermapens, several Maverick Remote Thermometers (don't use any remotes anymore), Thermoworks Smoke, Other Thermoworks toys, Vacuum sealer, lots and lots of equipment...

            I'm loving using BBQ to make friends and build connections.
            I have #theRibList where I keep a list of new and old friends and whenever I'm cooking, I make 1 to 20 extra and share the joy.

          Well, when I get my 1,000 Super Smoker from Austin Smoke Works, I'm sure I'll leave the door more open. My Jambo is tuned to work the way I like it with the door closed. You can adjust the amount of the "normal" opening on the Jambo to what you want. As you guys know, I, like you all, am a Blue Smoke Super Snob! I will, indeed MUST have a clean fire and that blue smoke. So whenever it becomes necessary to open that door to get the airflow necessary to get that clean fire, then Open It Goes!


          • FireMan
            FireMan commented
            Editing a comment
            You not only will leave the door open, you will be the “King”. When is ETA of the Super 1000?

          • Troutman
            Troutman commented
            Editing a comment
            I heard tell that's it's hovering at 10,000 feet requesting a landing !! Seriously though, that's a big boys pit. Glad you're making that move Paul, sounds like your business is going well !!
        • Oakgrovebacon
          Club Member
          • Apr 2016
          • 1963
          • South central Illinois

          I rarely do, I get big temp surges when I let mine have that much air. My air intakes are below the firebox door and below the grate level that the fire is on, hence I get great airflow through the coals and burning wood.


          • Steve B
            Steve B commented
            Editing a comment
            What stick burner are you running?
            We need to keep this thread going.
            So we know how each SB runs.
            This is a great topic.

          • Oakgrovebacon
            Oakgrovebacon commented
            Editing a comment
            Mine is one that I built as a reverse flow which started as a 125 gal propane tank.. I followed guidance from smokerbuilder.com. For firebox size and chimney size.
        • lonnie mac
          Club Member
          • Jul 2016
          • 1350
          • Bacliff, TX
          • Motovlogging for the freedom of old Hippies...


            Home of Brutus Ten!



            Weber Performer Deluxe W/ SNS, Craycort CI grates

            WSCGC (Weber Summit Charcoal Grill Center W/ SNS Plus, DNG

            Texas Original Pits Offset Smoker

            RecTec 590

            WSM 18" W/ Upside-down door mod

            Camp Chief Flattop, The big one...

            Weber Genesis II S-335

            Texas Fire Pit


            Maveric's Most all of em...
            FireBoard W/ Fan Control, GURU Fan
            ThermoWorks, most all of em...

          My stick burner works with well with the door closed. Franklin's may work well with the door open. He didn't recommend for every stick burner to run with your door open, he recommend's you learn your stick burner and run it well.


          • Steve B
            Steve B commented
            Editing a comment
            Agreed. What are you running Lonnie??

          • lonnie mac
            lonnie mac commented
            Editing a comment
            I gotta an old Texas Original. Soon, very soon, I hope to have a LSG!
        • Huskee
          • May 2014
          • 15331
          • central MI, USA
          • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

            Want a free bottle of whiskey? Check out my link to Flaviar.com, you join with it, we both get a $50 bottle free.

            Smokers / Grills
            • Yoder loaded Wichita offset smoker
            • PBC
            • Grilla Silverbac pellet grill
            • Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado (SnSK)
            • Dyna-Glo XL Premium dual chamber charcoal grill
            • Weber 22" Original Kettle Premium (copper)
            • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (black)
            • Weber Jumbo Joe Gold (18.5")
            • Weber Smokey Joe Silver (14.5")
            • Brinkmann cabinet charcoal smoker (repurposed)

            • (3) Maverick XR-50: 4-probe Wireless Thermometers
            • (7) Maverick ET-732s
            • (1) Maverick ET-735 Bluetooth (in box)
            • (1) Smoke by ThermoWorks
            • (1) Signals by ThermoWorks
            • Thermapen MkII, orange
            • ThermoPop, yellow
            • ThermoWorks ChefAlarm
            • Morpilot 6-probe wireless
            • ThermoWorks Infrared IRK2
            • ThermoWorks fridge & freezer therms as well

            • Instant Pot 6qt
            • Anova Bluetooth SV
            • Kitchen Aide mixer & meat grinder attachment
            • Kindling Cracker King (XL)
            • BBQ Dragon
            • Weber full & half chimneys, Char-Broil Half Time chimney
            • Weber grill topper
            • Slow 'N Sear Original, XL, and SnS Charcoal Basket (for Jumbo Joe)
            • Drip 'N Griddle Pan, 22' Easy Spin Grate, and Elevated Cooking grate, by ABCbarbecue
            • Pittsburgh Digital Moisture Meter

            • Favorite summer beer: Leinenkugels Summer & Grapefruit Shandy, Hamm's, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
            • Fav other beer: DAB, Sam Adams regular, Third Shift amber or Coors Batch 19, Stella Artois
            • Fav cheap beers: Pabst, High Life, Hamm's & Stroh's
            • Most favorite beer: The one in your fridge
            • Wine: Red- big, bold, tannic & peppery- Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauv, Sangiovese, Syrah, etc
            • Whiskey: Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Blanton's, Old Forester 1870, Elijah Craig, Basil Hayden's. Neat please.
            • Scotch: Current favorite- The Arran (anything by them), Glenmorangie 12yr Lasanta, sherry cask finished. The Balvenie Double Wood, also like Oban 18yr, and The Glenlivet Nadurra (Oloroso sherry cask finished) among others. Neat please.

            About me
            Real name: Aaron
            Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

            • Healthcare- Licensed & Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for MidMichigan Health, a University of Michigan Health System.

          I don't with mine. I too recommend learning your smoker. You'll always find tricks that don't necessarily work for the next guy. Just like fishing, or wooing your lady.


          • JCBBQ
            JCBBQ commented
            Editing a comment
            Can we re-name this thread to How to Woo your Off Set?
        • DWCowles
          Founding Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 9703
          • Smiths Grove, Ky
          • Hi, my name is Darrell. I'm an OTR truck driver for over 25 years. During my off time I love doing backyard cooks. I have a 48" Lang Deluxe smoker, Rec-Tec pellet smoker,1 Weber Genesis 330, 1 Weber Performer (blue), 2 Weber kettles (1 black and 1 Copper), 1 26" Weber kettle, a WSM, 8 Maverick Redi Chek thermometers, a PartyQ, 2 SnS, Grill Grates, Cast Iron grates, 1 ThermoPop (orange) and 2 ThermoPens (pink and orange) and planning on adding more cooking accessories. Now I have an Anova sous vide, the Dragon blower and 2 Chef alarms from Thermoworks.

          Leaving the firebox door crack about 3-5 inches works for me. As stated above all stickburners don't operate the same. The more you cooked with it the more you will learn about it.


          • Frozen Smoke
            Club Member
            • Nov 2017
            • 1528
            • Northern Mn

            Spinaker Steve B yes both of mine are custom. My horizontal is custom from the ground up as the trailer was custom built as well. Not a store bought trailer with a smoker welded to it. The tank itself started life out as a 125 gallon propane tank. Everything else is fabricated and custom. They guy must have hundreds of hours into it. I found it listed in the classifieds on the Smoke Ring some years back. A fab guy in Texas built it. Sadly he passed about a year ago now.

            The other rig is not as custom. It is made by Arizona BBQ Outfitters whom most of us are familiar with. Pics of it are in the classified section here as I am selling it. I choose a vertical smoker they made and the Scottsdale Santa Maria grill and had them trailer mount both so it's not as custom as my first one. This unit you could have them make and it would be identical to mine. However they will custom anything you want. My first rig is a one off and will never be duplicated.

            I know you are looking into having Lone Star Grilz do a stick burner for you Spinaker request a door put on the top of your firebox in addition to the one on the front or side you will be happy you did!

            Here are pics of my horizontal as I said you can see pics of the vertical in the classified section.
            You can see the fire box with the two doors in this pic.

            Click image for larger version  Name:	smoker.jpg Views:	1 Size:	56.4 KB ID:	454167

            Click image for larger version  Name:	wreckless_back_side.jpg Views:	1 Size:	65.0 KB ID:	454168

            Click image for larger version  Name:	wreckless_opened_2.jpg Views:	1 Size:	54.6 KB ID:	454169


            • Spinaker
              Spinaker commented
              Editing a comment
              I hear ya. I am more concerned with burn out, that is the only reason I was thinking to go with the 1/2" box. But I am also torn, because I think I would rather have the fuel savings from the insulated box, but I would lose the 1/2" walls and the direct grill top. How often am I really going to use it for grilling? PBCDad

            • CandySueQ
              CandySueQ commented
              Editing a comment
              You ever hang ribs in that Vertical? Very nice setup.

            • Frozen Smoke
              Frozen Smoke commented
              Editing a comment
              CandySueQ no have never hung ribs in it. When I'm doing ribs in that I'm usually doing it for a larger event so I need all the racks. I can fit 28 racks of good sized baby back loin ribs in it.
          • Frozen Smoke
            Club Member
            • Nov 2017
            • 1528
            • Northern Mn

            Mine is 1/4" steel with the exception of the tank and that may be 3/16" I have no problem holding heat in any weather. I have smoked in near zero temps with snow falling. I have smoked in 40 degree weather in a constant rain. My smoker is not insulated. It takes a bit more wood and a little longer to get the mass of steel heated up but once you reach that point everything rolls along almost as it normally would.

            I don't know that I'd pay the additional cost for insulation and give up the top door. If you look at my fire box location I'd have to be on my knees when I want to add a stick or stir the coals. Of course you can design things differently so the fire box is not so low but of course that changes everything down the line design wise.

            Another thing I've really come to appreciate are the cabinet style doors. You can open one of those doors and lose little to no heat. If I open it slowly enough I can actually watch the smoke flow through the smoke chamber.
            The reason for this is you don't have the large mass of a heavy door with a counter weight swinging upwards from the smoke chamber. This creates a vacuum pulling all the smoke and heat upwards and out as it follows the mass of the door.

            I've seen this effect on BBQ shows where I see guys swing that big door up. With cabinet doors you don't have this same effect the If you're lookin' you ain't cookin' doesn't apply at least not like it does with the other designs.

            These are just things I have observed from being a stick burner and using different designs in different environments. Others may have had different experiences in similar scenarios but as we know every stick burner will operate different than the next one.


            • Spinaker
              Spinaker commented
              Editing a comment
              Real, first-hand advise. You can't beat it. Thanks! I was thinking, being in Minnesota, I would need the insulated box. But, hell, your even further north than I am. Now you have me going back to the grill top box.

            • Frozen Smoke
              Frozen Smoke commented
              Editing a comment
              I didn't think I would use my top door much as a grill either but I use it more than I thought. Searing steaks on a open flame is hard to beat. Same with chops burgers, chicken or whatever you want to put a little char or crisp up. Cut a onion in half put some oil on it some of your favorite rub and put a nice char on it from the open flame! slice and top your burger!
          • Beefchop
            Charter Member
            • Oct 2014
            • 449
            • Lafayette, LA
            • XL Big Green Egg, Shirley Fabrication 24"x42" Patio Cooker

            So far my Shirley likes the door closed but the vents about a 1/3 open.




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