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September 5th, 2020, 6:13 pm
#1
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: September 5th, 2020, 5:20 pm
  • Posts: 3
  • Location: Caledon, Ontario, Canada

We just got our Wichita and are still very low on the learning curve. I have had some experience burning sticks in a maple syrup evaporator. We modified our evaporator and found that after hours of boiling with a stack temp of around 1100 degrees you could still put your hand on the side of the firebox. Insulation matters.

It strikes me the this smoker is incredibly inefficient. Neither the firebox nor the pit under the thermal distribution plate has any insulation. So I have taken some firebricks and put in a layer under the grate in the firebox. We have not cooked since we added this but I am expecting a good result. If anyone wants a picture to see what we did I can upload a picture.

I am considering putting more firebrick under the heat distribution plate but I'm still scratching my head about how that will work with fat drippings. Maybe aluminum foil will work.

Our home is in the Caledon Hills just north of Toronto, Ontario and the season is changing so I think winter cooks will benefit even more from some insulation.


I'd like to hear some feedback

PS the first chicken went into the garbage. the next cook was ribs and they were the best I've ever had.

December 2nd, 2020, 8:30 pm
#2
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: October 9th, 2014, 4:50 pm
  • Posts: 7

I've been cooking on offsets for more than 20 years. I got my Wichita 2 years ago and have cooked in all seasons (maybe not quite as cold as Calendon Hills but certainly well below freezing on many occasions. I am very happy with the Wichita in all temps. Personally, I see no reason to insulate either the firebox or the cook chamber. After about the first hour when it's running happy, it just takes a little feeding of a split log every once in a while. My personal opinion would be to not mess with the space below the metal plate in the cook chamber so as not to mess with the air flow and fat drainage.

When 600 pounds of steel gets hot, it doesn't take all that much fuel to keep it running for a 6 - 8 hour cook. Just a little care and feeding. Is your reason for insulating to use less fuel? For me, a 6-8 hour cook uses some lump charcoal to get it started and then probably 3 or 4 logs (each split a couple times), even when it's cold.

February 5th, 2021, 6:58 am
#3
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: September 5th, 2020, 5:20 pm
  • Posts: 3
  • Location: Caledon, Ontario, Canada

thanks for the comments GaryK The learning curve on these is steeper than I anticipated. Getting the right wood and embers to make clean smoke is a challenge.

February 14th, 2021, 6:00 am
#4
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: February 14th, 2021, 5:48 am
  • Posts: 1

Broberts wrote:thanks for the comments GaryK The learning curve on these is steeper than I anticipated. Getting the right wood and embers to make clean smoke is a challenge.

Hey, I'm new here. Do you prefer pellets or chunks?

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