New reverse flow build

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Re: New reverse flow build

Post by doulbet » October 13th, 2018, 4:03 pm

Looks good, like the firebox amd door.

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Re: New reverse flow build

Post by Big T » October 13th, 2018, 4:08 pm

If you're finished with the fabrication then I would go ahead and season it seeing as you had it blasted. Just a light coat of cooking oil on everything inside the CC and get it up to 300-350 degrees for a little bit and then back it down, you can toss some fatty meat on there towards the end if you want. I wouldn't recommend getting any hotter than that because it tends to start warping the metal and you don't want that headache. I used the silver paint on mine also and it looked pretty good for a while but I went back with black paint when it was time for a make over.
:LG:


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Re: New reverse flow build

Post by Blondy_UK » October 14th, 2018, 2:19 pm

doulbet wrote:Looks good, like the firebox amd door.

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Thanks, took some time as never used a milling machine before.

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Re: New reverse flow build

Post by Blondy_UK » October 14th, 2018, 2:20 pm

Big T wrote:If you're finished with the fabrication then I would go ahead and season it seeing as you had it blasted. Just a light coat of cooking oil on everything inside the CC and get it up to 300-350 degrees for a little bit and then back it down, you can toss some fatty meat on there towards the end if you want. I wouldn't recommend getting any hotter than that because it tends to start warping the metal and you don't want that headache. I used the silver paint on mine also and it looked pretty good for a while but I went back with black paint when it was time for a make over.
:LG:
Could i use pallet wood to season or should i use only wood that i would cool with?

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Re: New reverse flow build

Post by Big T » October 14th, 2018, 5:02 pm

I would use cooking wood only.


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Re: New reverse flow build

Post by Blondy_UK » October 14th, 2018, 6:22 pm

Big T wrote:I would use cooking wood only.
Ok, will do thanks.

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Re: New reverse flow build

Post by Chromeski » October 15th, 2018, 12:50 am

Looks great, can I have it?



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Re: New reverse flow build

Post by Blondy_UK » October 15th, 2018, 7:03 am

Chromeski wrote:Looks great, can I have it?
I havent fired it up yet, it might not work. Lets hope it works better than my mk1.

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Re: New reverse flow build

Post by Chromeski » October 15th, 2018, 11:47 am

Blondy_UK wrote:
October 15th, 2018, 7:03 am
Chromeski wrote:Looks great, can I have it?
I havent fired it up yet, it might not work. Lets hope it works better than my mk1.

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I think it's gonna work great.



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Re: New reverse flow build

Post by Blondy_UK » November 5th, 2018, 5:21 am

Ok, i have fired it up seasoned it and set the paint then last weekend tried some ribs whick come out dried up, ribs fault i think, the only meat on them was between the bones hardly any sitting on top like you see on you tube in the states. I will have to source better meat i think.

Anyway it ran more stable than the old one but i was still in and out of the house tending so i wanted to ask if having the stack 4" too long would make much difference in the running of the smoker. I left it long so i could cut some off if i needed. I will add some pics of the calcs but the actual fbox volume works out at 120% of cc chamber not 122% as in pic and the stack is 16 1/4" and recomends 12". ImageImage

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Re: New reverse flow build

Post by AndrewPalmer71 » November 5th, 2018, 10:55 am

Can you give more detail? Did you have temp swings or were you in and out of the house adding wood? On my stick burners I can expect to add wood every 45 mins to an hour. Temp tends to go up a few degrees after adding wood then gradually comes back down and settles in the sweet spot. Through frequent well documented cooks, I have come to expect this and have an ideal range of temps. I don't make adjustments to my air inlet/stacks unless my temp swings like crazy outside if this ideal range. And I make sure to rule out other factors like flare ups, wind, etc. Prior to making adjustments.

I would Continue to cook and document the exact issues you are having before making any changes. With more information, The guys here will give you top notch advice.


Also, Sorry about the skinny pigs in the UK. Maybe some of the guys can send a couple of racks over to ya! Lol.



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Re: New reverse flow build

Post by Blondy_UK » November 5th, 2018, 11:55 am

AndrewPalmer71 wrote:Can you give more detail? Did you have temp swings or were you in and out of the house adding wood? On my stick burners I can expect to add wood every 45 mins to an hour. Temp tends to go up a few degrees after adding wood then gradually comes back down and settles in the sweet spot. Through frequent well documented cooks, I have come to expect this and have an ideal range of temps. I don't make adjustments to my air inlet/stacks unless my temp swings like crazy outside if this ideal range. And I make sure to rule out other factors like flare ups, wind, etc. Prior to making adjustments.

I would Continue to cook and document the exact issues you are having before making any changes. With more information, The guys here will give you top notch advice.


Also, Sorry about the skinny pigs in the UK. Maybe some of the guys can send a couple of racks over to ya! Lol.



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It wasn't so much the temp swings but adding wood before the coals burnt out and dropped through the grate. If i put on too big a log it would flare up to start with and catch then a couple of minutes after closing the door i would go and chech the stack and it would be smoking too much so i open the door to let it catch again and leave it open untill well om is way then i would keep feeding it smaller logs which burnt better but did not last as long.

I have cut some steel to put in front of the grate so that the air entering the fbox flowed under the grate rather than across the grate as senn in the pics, i havent tried this yet.

As for the skinny pigs here i think it is the butchers stripping them to the bone then selling the other meat as another cut. Ba*****s.
ImageImageImageImage

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Re: New reverse flow build

Post by Chromeski » November 5th, 2018, 12:30 pm

I think it may take some getting used to. Make sure you have a good digital thermometer. You may even do a few burns without meat just to get yourself used to the cooker. Adding wood every 45-60 minutes is expected with this type of smoker. After you learn how to work it go talk to your butcher, bribe him if you gotta.



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Re: New reverse flow build

Post by Blondy_UK » November 5th, 2018, 12:35 pm

Chromeski wrote:I think it may take some getting used to. Make sure you have a good digital thermometer. You may even do a few burns without meat just to get yourself used to the cooker. Adding wood every 45-60 minutes is expected with this type of smoker. After you learn how to work it go talk to your butcher, bribe him if you gotta.
Yeh, i need to learn this.

The calc recomends taking a quarter off of the stack and wondered if it being too long would makeuch difference.

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Re: New reverse flow build

Post by Chromeski » November 5th, 2018, 12:37 pm

I'm really not sure about the stack so I left that question alone. Doesn't seem too drastic to me.



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Re: New reverse flow build

Post by Blondy_UK » November 5th, 2018, 12:46 pm

Chromeski wrote:I'm really not sure about the stack so I left that question alone. Doesn't seem too drastic to me.
Yes i think i will leave that for now and have another go with that plate in there.

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Re: New reverse flow build

Post by Dirtytires » November 5th, 2018, 11:39 pm

Remember that your heat comes from the coals, not from the burning log. The key is to maintain a really stable bed of coals but feeding it fairly small splits of wood at a constant rate. I try for 1-2 splits about he diameter of a beer-can every 45 minutes. The small logs burn down into coals pretty quick but the goal is to get the next long on so you dont loose your coal-bed. You will have to experiment with how long between splits depending on your pit and wood type.

Keep your door closed. If you have nice coals it will light easily. With it open, you are fighting a loosing battle with airflow and fire control.

I never adjust my dampers...if I keep feeding it every 45 min, my temp never moves more than 15-20 degrees.

Lastly, if you have coals filling thru the grate than your bars are too far apart. Only the ash should fall thru. I might suggest dropping a piece of 3/4 by #9 flat expanded metal on top of your rack and see if that make a difference. I suspect your coal bed never forms if it keeps falling thru.

Did you get all that? Don’t get frustrated, it just takes time. And keep asking questions....



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Re: New reverse flow build

Post by Blondy_UK » November 7th, 2018, 6:09 am

Dirtytires wrote:Remember that your heat comes from the coals, not from the burning log. The key is to maintain a really stable bed of coals but feeding it fairly small splits of wood at a constant rate. I try for 1-2 splits about he diameter of a beer-can every 45 minutes. The small logs burn down into coals pretty quick but the goal is to get the next long on so you dont loose your coal-bed. You will have to experiment with how long between splits depending on your pit and wood type.

Keep your door closed. If you have nice coals it will light easily. With it open, you are fighting a loosing battle with airflow and fire control.

I never adjust my dampers...if I keep feeding it every 45 min, my temp never moves more than 15-20 degrees.

Lastly, if you have coals filling thru the grate than your bars are too far apart. Only the ash should fall thru. I might suggest dropping a piece of 3/4 by #9 flat expanded metal on top of your rack and see if that make a difference. I suspect your coal bed never forms if it keeps falling thru.

Did you get all that? Don’t get frustrated, it just takes time. And keep asking questions....
Thanks for your reply, if you add two splits of wood would that burn hotter or the same as one split with the same damper setting?

The coals only seem to drop out when they get really small (prob 15mm or so), when i check on the fire the coals look good untill i tap or poke them then they seem to disintegrate. Perhaps i am leaving them too long before adding wood.

Should i be adding pre lit lump or briquettes to maintain the fire or should wood split be all that is needed one the coals have formed?
I know its all about learning each smoker and cant wait to get it right with some good meat, but i may have left it too late this year with the weather getting cold but i will have a go if and when we get a good weekend.Image

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Re: New reverse flow build

Post by Dirtytires » November 7th, 2018, 10:44 am

If your coals are dropping when you bump it, the opening is too big. To test, just drop a piece of expanded metal on top.

Two splits don’t burn any hotter than 1 big one. The advantage is they burn quicker and break into coals quicker. Remember, we don’t want big flames, we want coals. The only way to get coals is to burn down logs. Smaller logs burn down faster.....not hotter. In fact, if I get behind on my fire-feeding, I will actually add 4-6 pieces of kindling to rebuild the coal bed and shortly follow that with my 2 normal splits.

I would not recommend adding charcoal between logs. My guess here is that you are waiting too long to add wood. This allows your coal bed to die because the new log can’t break down fast enough.

Classic mistake is trying to make too small a fire to controll temp. You actually need a descent amount of coals but you controll the heat by choking off some of the air so it burns slower.

It is actually easier, in my opinion, to practice fire management when it is cold outside. Everyone can make a bigger fire but it’s hard to learn to make a small/warm one. I have a real issue keeping my heat controlled when it is 110-120 outside (my pit reads 130-135 in the sun before I even light a fire). I have a much easier time when things cool off so I would recommend lighting your fire now. Who cares if it’s snowing? Once you learn how your pit runs and can co troll the temp it will be much easier to roll into warmer weather cooks.



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Re: New reverse flow build

Post by Blondy_UK » November 7th, 2018, 11:17 am

Dirtytires wrote:If your coals are dropping when you bump it, the opening is too big. To test, just drop a piece of expanded metal on top.

Two splits don’t burn any hotter than 1 big one. The advantage is they burn quicker and break into coals quicker. Remember, we don’t want big flames, we want coals. The only way to get coals is to burn down logs. Smaller logs burn down faster.....not hotter. In fact, if I get behind on my fire-feeding, I will actually add 4-6 pieces of kindling to rebuild the coal bed and shortly follow that with my 2 normal splits.

I would not recommend adding charcoal between logs. My guess here is that you are waiting too long to add wood. This allows your coal bed to die because the new log can’t break down fast enough.

Classic mistake is trying to make too small a fire to controll temp. You actually need a descent amount of coals but you controll the heat by choking off some of the air so it burns slower.

It is actually easier, in my opinion, to practice fire management when it is cold outside. Everyone can make a bigger fire but it’s hard to learn to make a small/warm one. I have a real issue keeping my heat controlled when it is 110-120 outside (my pit reads 130-135 in the sun before I even light a fire). I have a much easier time when things cool off so I would recommend lighting your fire now. Who cares if it’s snowing? Once you learn how your pit runs and can co troll the temp it will be much easier to roll into warmer weather cooks.
You have me "fired up" now, i will be trying your suggestions by the end of weekend for sure. I wanted to used expanded metal for the cooking racks for both of my builds but it is not easily sourced locally like in the US, but half inch square mesh may well be.

If i dont find any mesh before weekend i will try adding the logs before the coals breakup, i just thought if i added to much wood it would burn to hot but i should be closing the fb vent down to control heat?

Thanks again, i'll get there.

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Re: New reverse flow build

Post by Dirtytires » November 7th, 2018, 2:20 pm

665C03D8-7FB0-403A-9C9C-AD753374D768.jpeg

I just so happen to be cleaning my firebox from Sunday’s cook. Thought I’d snap a quick picture of my basket before I clean it. As you can see, I have about 3 inches of ash in the basket so you can see how the coal bed has to be. I dont want it to fall thru the grate or I loose it and the heat that it gives. Also, contrary to your home fireplace where you want to ‘bump’ off the ash, I never do on the smoker. The ash seems to restrict air flow a bit and help the coals last longer.

And yes, close off your inlet dampers. Once my pit comes to temp, I close off both my slides to about 1 inch (this leaves an opening of about 4-5 sq inches) and it drops my temp to 240-260and keeps them there.
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Re: New reverse flow build

Post by Blondy_UK » November 7th, 2018, 3:29 pm

Dirtytires wrote:
665C03D8-7FB0-403A-9C9C-AD753374D768.jpeg

I just so happen to be cleaning my firebox from Sunday’s cook. Thought I’d snap a quick picture of my basket before I clean it. As you can see, I have about 3 inches of ash in the basket so you can see how the coal bed has to be. I dont want it to fall thru the grate or I loose it and the heat that it gives. Also, contrary to your home fireplace where you want to ‘bump’ off the ash, I never do on the smoker. The ash seems to restrict air flow a bit and help the coals last longer.

And yes, close off your inlet dampers. Once my pit comes to temp, I close off both my slides to about 1 inch (this leaves an opening of about 4-5 sq inches) and it drops my temp to 240-260and keeps them there.
Is that the 3/4 by #9 exp metal you said about?
I am going to have to find some of that and make a 'v' shaped fire basket like that.
I read somewhere last year (not this site) about tapping the ash off the coals to get a cleaner burn/smoke but will stop doing that next time i try it.

I have the old fire basket i could try it is 1" square but the diagonal mesh of yours looks like it would retain more coals whilst having the same open area.
Image

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