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Controlling temps with the exhaust vent?

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    Controlling temps with the exhaust vent?

    Any discussion on this?

    I tend to agree with Harry Soo, having discovered it by accident a couple of years ago on my modified ECB when I first started seriously smoking food. I was having trouble one day keeping the temp down. When I covered most of the holes I had drilled in the top of the lid, the temps dropped quickly, far quicker than closing the holes in the bottom. The whole pit just seemed to respond better that way.

    I've tended to go that route on my WSM and Cajun Bandit when I got them, although somewhat guiltily, as I can't remember reading an online forum, article or blog that didn't recommend keeping the exhaust vent 100% open during a cook.

    I'm curious as to what others think.

    #2
    That is how we control temp on the Pit Barrel. The intake does not get adjusted once you start cooking.

    Comment


      #3
      I'd be interested to see tests, but I would imagine you would get less smoke and lower temps adjusting intake.

      Comment


        #4
        I have been doint the exhaust vent for a long time, when i got into this years ago i watched bbq pitboys lots and they always did the top vent on the kettle

        Comment


        • IrondeQuer
          IrondeQuer commented
          Editing a comment
          Love the Pit Boys! It's amazing how much can be done on a simple kettle.

        • Jon Solberg
          Jon Solberg commented
          Editing a comment
          I also learned long time ago the there is much more control on a WSM using the top.

        • DWCowles
          DWCowles commented
          Editing a comment
          BBQ Pitboys is one of my favorite BBQ websites

        #5
        on my backwoods smoker though it dont seem to matter if the exhaust is wide open or not

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          #6
          I have been able to keep my WSM in a good range (220 - 240) but it always is moving either up or down and will not hold. Then I get spikes to like 250 - 260. It is seasoned. For this weekend I got some 2 1/2 inch thick dino style short ribs, a special cut by a friendly butcher. I am going to use use Harry's 70 - 30 method with the vents, no water, and I am ordering the custom front door he talked about for the next smoke.

          Comment


          • fear_vactor
            fear_vactor commented
            Editing a comment
            I have a WSM as well an I struggle with the same problems depending on the time of year. Mid- Summer in PA Outside temps can go anywhere from 70-90 degrees, when its at the top end of this outside I'm always fighting to keep temps low. However, Between 60-80 outdoor temps I can keep an almost exactly 235 using a full water pan and Kingsford competition briquettes and keeping all my vents 25% open except my top vent which is fully open. I also leave a sandstone brick thats about 5-6 pounds in the bottom which I think may help level temperature spikes and use the fuse method for lighting my coals.
            Last edited by fear_vactor; September 23, 2014, 09:57 PM.

          #7
          Originally posted by JPSurf View Post
          I have been able to keep my WSM in a good range (220 - 240) but it always is moving either up or down and will not hold. Then I get spikes to like 250 - 260. It is seasoned. For this weekend I got some 2 1/2 inch thick dino style short ribs, a special cut by a friendly butcher. I am going to use use Harry's 70 - 30 method with the vents, no water, and I am ordering the custom front door he talked about for the next smoke.

          I'd consider water in the pan. Harry cooks a LOT of meat all at once, which adds moisture. If you don't have 30+ lbs of meat in the WSM you aren't cooking the way he does.

          Comment


            #8
            Thanks Pit Boss. I don't think 30lb of meat was mentioned but then again this was coming from a guy that smokes for championships. Still learning here. I'll add a little water to the pan and see if the 70 - 30 helps control the temp better.

            Comment


            • grantw
              grantw commented
              Editing a comment
              Do it with just a foiled pan and try it, spritz or mop and it will be deadly i promise. There are as many great cooks that use water and that dont, you owe it to yourself to try it

            #9
            Interestingly enough, removing the water pan and replacing it with a terracotta plate stabilized the temp in my WSM (18.5). I was getting jumps like Surf before that. I still want to pursue this as one cook doesn't prove anything, so I'm going to stick with just the plate and some spritzing for a while.

            I think I'm going for the door too. I have a Cajun Bandit and their rotisserie and can't say enough good about Chris' customer service. For the price it sounds like a good upgrade.

            Surf, let us know how your cook goes.

            Comment


            • HC in SC
              HC in SC commented
              Editing a comment
              I have also heard a tip about leaving the water pan in, but filling it with play sand and covering with foil. The sand will help regulate temps and the foil on top is just to catch drippings so you can use the sand over and over. Interesting concept, but I have never tried it.

            #10
            I find that in my offset I have to adjust both. Since my cooker is horizontal, and NOT reverse flow (the smoke travels the length of the cooker and then up & out) closing the exhaust cap, even slightly, will lower the temp on that far side of the cooker incrementally, assuming because the wave of hot air is slowing its flow toward that area, but it doesn't affect the hotter firebox side.

            Comment


              #11
              My COS has so many leaks that using the exhaust doesn't do much other than force the air flow down to the grates more.

              Comment


                #12
                Not sure that techniques for a WSM (or Kettle used for smoking) will transfer to an off-set stick burner. I don't use either (have the Chargriller Akorn kamado style and a Weber kettle with a smokenator) and I use both bottom and top to control the temp. With the Kamado if I don't limit intake it will run WAY hot. But I might take some time to experiment. I have been doing the same "volcano" style building a fire for a while now, though. Good video. For my money, practice always trumps theory. In theory, theory should always be right but in practice, theory is NOT always right. ;-)

                Comment


                  #13
                  here is my stupidness shining through. doesn't closing the exhaust down cause the smoke to get rancid and sooty (if that is even a word)

                  Comment


                  • Huskee
                    Huskee commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Only if you have billowing low-temp smoke. If you have a hot fire, closing the vent down with next to invisible (or at least thin blue) smoke will simply limit overall flow and therefore temp, and the soot won't be a problem.

                  #14
                  Cool, thanks for the clarification my friend

                  Comment


                    #15
                    Originally posted by JPSurf View Post
                    Thanks Pit Boss. I don't think 30lb of meat was mentioned but then again this was coming from a guy that smokes for championships. Still learning here. I'll add a little water to the pan and see if the 70 - 30 helps control the temp better.
                    +1^^^^^^^^

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