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Are you cooking with that fire door open?

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  • Thom Emery
    Former Member
    • Sep 2014
    • 447
    • Indio Ca

    #16
    Closed unless I’m running the pit over 350 Click image for larger version

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    Comment


    • Frozen Smoke
      Frozen Smoke commented
      Editing a comment
      That is one monster smoker you have there Thom Emery! Very nice!

    • Thom Emery
      Thom Emery commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks
      yea the door wont close when I’m running way high temps If the barrel is at 350 the firebox is like 400 something We can go even higher to cook pizza and steaks
  • Henrik
    Founding Member - Moderator Emeritus
    • Jul 2014
    • 4432
    • Stockholm, Sweden

    #17
    I'm with Aaron on that one, I run with my door wide open. I don't even have vents

    But, as someone else already mentioned: most offsets are created (slightly) differently, so experiment away and learn your cooker.

    Comment

  • jfmorris
    Club Member
    • Nov 2017
    • 3263
    • Huntsville, Alabama
    • Jim Morris

      Cookers
      • Camp Chef FTG900 Flat Top Grill (2020)
      • Weber Genesis II E-410 w/ GrillGrates (2019)
      • Weber Performer Deluxe 22.5" w/ GrillGrates & Slow 'N Sear & Drip ‘N Griddle & Party Q (2007)
      • Custom Built Offset Smoker (304SS, 22"x34" grate, circa 1985)
      • King Kooker 94/90TKD 105K/60K dual burner patio stove
      • Lodge L8D03 5 quart dutch oven
      • Lodge L10SK3 12" skillet
      • Anova
      Thermometers
      • Thermoworks Smoke w/ Wifi Gateway
      • Thermoworks Dot
      • Thermoworks Thermapen Classic
      • Thermoworks RT600C
      Beverages
      • Whatever I brewed and have on tap!

    #18
    I've watched Aaron Franklin on TV walking around showing off his smokers, with some of the fire doors open like you say. I think something important to realize is that his smokers are HUGE monsters, with huge stacks, and I would hazard to guess that without the door open some, there is not enough airflow with whatever intake dampers are on most of those bad boys.

    I feel like opening the door is just another means of temperature and air flow control, and depends entirely on the smoker design and temperatures, versus getting rid of "bad smoke" versus "good smoke". From what I read, the pro wood burners start the wood in a burn barrel before transferring to the smoker - that would get rid of some of the initial smoke. That said, if the wood is truly dry and well seasoned, you should not get thick white smoke anyway.

    My offset has a firebox with the lid on top, intake dampers on the end, and at the bottom a slide out ash tray. If I leave the door/lid open, all the heat is going up and not into the cook chamber of course, so that is not an option. Sometimes if the dampers being wide open is not enough to get the temperature I want, I will actually pull the ash tray out a little, to add extra airflow from below the fire grate. Of course once I do that, if I leave it for long, I have to reach back in there with a thin charcoal rake I have and rake out any ash behind where it slides into the bottom of the firebox, otherwise I cannot push it back in fully to choke the fire back down.

    To each his own, but I would not be leaving the door open just to leave the door open. I think it would be just part of fire management on a smoker that has insufficient intake vent area.

    Comment

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

      #19
      Burn barrels are what the purist use jfmorris as you say. I tried it for awhile but I was going through WAY too much wood per cook. I don't have a supply of free wood so I just couldn't justify doing it. All you get from your exhaust is a heat signature and you have to really look to see that. It burns clean. Almost all heat source and no smoke. I use oak almost exclusively which is a mild smoke flavor to begin with so I do like a good thin blue going most of the time.

      Franklin has some monster smokers and maybe he just needs that extra draw to pull it all the way through. Even at that I would think once you got the draw going and a hot fire You should be able to close the door if it's vented properly and the draw just takes over.

      Something I don't think I seen mentioned in this thread is what people are doing with the exhaust vent. Mine is wide open at all times. If I need to adjust any vents it's done at the intake end of things.

      Comment


      • jfmorris
        jfmorris commented
        Editing a comment
        Mine has no exhaust vent adjustment - the stack is wide open with a raised cap welded on a couple inches above the top. Later models my dad built had an exhaust adjustment that rotated over the stack to cap it off. He learned as he went I suppose. I’ve thought about getting a welder I know to help me add an exhaust vent but since I can get the temps I need I’ve not worried about it much.
    • 6th Borough BBQ
      Former Member
      • Feb 2017
      • 411
      • Jersey City, NJ

      #20
      I Leave mine open until the new log catches fire pretty good and then I close it or leave it very slighty open.

      Comment

      • 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.

        #21
        You have to consider that all of Franklin’s pits are in a semi closed area so there’s not as much air circulating as it would be outside in the open. That’s just an uneducated guess. Maybe if Clint Cantwell ever gets a chance to interview Aaron Franklin that will be one the questions he will ask him.

        I cannot explained why leaving my firebox open 3-5 inches controls the pit temp and the smoke so well but it works for me and I will continue doing it.

        Every smoker (stickburner) has their own unique way of operating.

        Comment

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

          #22
          Good point DWCowles his pits are in a enclosed area rather than sitting outdoors. Add to that the high humidity often found in Texas. High humidity days with little to no breeze can make it hard to get a fire breathing.

          Comment

          • CandySueQ
            KCBS President, and Moderator
            • Jul 2014
            • 1525
            • Pellet Fired Jambo, T1000 Woodmaster, FEC100, MAK 2 star, Yoder 640, Backwoods Pellet Chef, 14" & 22" WSM, 22" Weber Kettle, Stoven, Hot Box Grill, Hasty Bake Portable

            #23
            Frozen Smoke, good call on the cabinet doors. Since both my offsets have doors that lift up and lose heat, you learn not to open them unnecessarily. On the Grilla Grill, the door slides around from right to left. It holds heat better than the GMG or the MAK. My old FEC100 is about the ultimate cabinet cooker and it recovers heat very quickly.

            How does your pit pull? Is it under 10' long?

            Comment

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

              #24
              CandySueQ both my rigs from rear to tongue are about 16'. They both pull beautifully. But i'm always pulling with my motor home or my truck but I'd feel confident my Subaru would pull either no problem.

              The cabinet doors were something I didn't put much thought in to when I purchased it. But I realized the benefits of them over the counter weighted large mass doors rather quickly. I had a patio smoker with a big counter weighted door awhile back. I remember standing back when I opened it knowing all the smoke and heat was going to come flowing out. Opening it more slowly helped but once that counter weight takes over your kind of along for the ride.

              Comment

              • jfmorris
                Club Member
                • Nov 2017
                • 3263
                • Huntsville, Alabama
                • Jim Morris

                  Cookers
                  • Camp Chef FTG900 Flat Top Grill (2020)
                  • Weber Genesis II E-410 w/ GrillGrates (2019)
                  • Weber Performer Deluxe 22.5" w/ GrillGrates & Slow 'N Sear & Drip ‘N Griddle & Party Q (2007)
                  • Custom Built Offset Smoker (304SS, 22"x34" grate, circa 1985)
                  • King Kooker 94/90TKD 105K/60K dual burner patio stove
                  • Lodge L8D03 5 quart dutch oven
                  • Lodge L10SK3 12" skillet
                  • Anova
                  Thermometers
                  • Thermoworks Smoke w/ Wifi Gateway
                  • Thermoworks Dot
                  • Thermoworks Thermapen Classic
                  • Thermoworks RT600C
                  Beverages
                  • Whatever I brewed and have on tap!

                #25
                Well, after saying I never cook with the door open on my little offset, I had this going on today after adding some oak to the firebox... I was maintaining 250F at the grate with the top door open for quite a while. Enough heat from the coals was still making it into the cooker to keep things going.

                This was right after cleaning out the ashes and raking the coals to one side, before stoking the fire.
                Click image for larger version  Name:	2C925F6D-DF95-4EEB-BD87-6B47ADDFD41B.jpeg Views:	1 Size:	1.70 MB ID:	455474

                Comment

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

                  #26
                  That offset don't look so little jfmorris! Nice rig. Maybe after cleaning out the ash pan getting a good bed of coals and perhaps your sticks were at the perfect moisture level for burning you created the perfect fire! Stick burners can be like a good woman they always have a surprise or two left even after you thought you knew everything about them!

                  Comment


                  • jfmorris
                    jfmorris commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I consider it small compared to many I see. The grate is 22" x 34", body is a couple inches bigger in each direction, I guess 24" x 36" then the firebox on one end. It also has a charcoal grate I can slide into the main chamber for direct grilling, through the opening for the sliding vent plates at the far end.

                  • jfmorris
                    jfmorris commented
                    Editing a comment
                    You are right about moisture level. I had saved the small chunks and pieces from a load of oak that I had delivered a few months ago in a box in the garage, just to use for smoking, and they pretty much burst into flames even a few inches from the charcoal when I dropped them in!
                • overeasy
                  Club Member
                  • Nov 2017
                  • 116
                  • Sacramento Ca.
                  • Ironside Cabinet CDR "coming soon"
                    Karubecue C-60
                    Old Country Pecos Offset
                    Webber Kettle

                  #27
                  If there is anything we should have learned to this point it is to be flexible. Learn from your cooks....
                  So you don't have the "Perfect Rig " to cook on.... Make your best effort and adjust to what it wants. You'll be a better cook in the long run and have more to offer to your compatriots! Not to mention better stories to tell.

                  Comment


                  • jfmorris
                    jfmorris commented
                    Editing a comment
                    That's very good advice about not needing the "perfect rig". I really had bad MCS when I first joined here a couple of months ago, but gradually have realized I can save a lot of money to spend on meat if I just use the cookers I've got to the best of my ability, and tweak them if necessary.

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