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June 15th, 2015, 11:10 am
#1
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: June 15th, 2015, 10:53 am
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Greetings,

I'm a brand new smoker and I have a Cheyenne model that I love. I am having one problem with it that I'd like your input on.

I start my fire with a bed of lump or briquette charcoal and then add Oak for my heat/smoke. After about 4-6 hours into my smoke, I start to lose the charcoal bed and struggle with maintaining heat the rest of the smoke. There's a lot of ash at the bottom underneath the grate so I think there isn't enough space for the air to circulate and keep the heat going. I go from 220-250 to just below 200 and am playing 'catch up' ever since.

Does anyone have any tips/suggestions on how to better maintain the fire to stay around 220? If I am smoking a 12-14 lb packer cut brisket, then I need to do a better job of heat mgt.

Thanks in advance for your help!

June 15th, 2015, 11:36 am
#2
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Have you reviewed this video: viewtopic.php?f=49&t=132

Yoder_Herb
June 15th, 2015, 4:48 pm
#3
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As Herb said you may learn some tips watching the video. What I would suggest is using only quality lump charcoal, then I would add more charcoal instead of wood to the fire when the coal bed gets small to help rebuild.

With a smaller cooker, such as yours, you just don't have as much room under the firegrate for ash to go. Use the clean-out tool that came with your smoker to remove the old ash once you have a good coal bed. That ash can still give heat to the fire and help the coal bed along, so don't remove it unless you have a good bed of coals. So try to clean the ash out of the firebox every few hours. Don't clean it completely, just one quick pass with the tool to add some air room is all you need. Leaving a little ash and small coals behind is a good idea. So the key here is to stay on top of it and don't let the leftover ash get built-up too much.

Another reason to use lump is less ash is left behind. You may not need to worry about this if you use good lump. Briquettes make so much ash it's ridiculous.

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February 1st, 2016, 4:07 pm
#4
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: June 15th, 2015, 10:53 am
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Herb and Kirby, my apologies for my late reply. My fires have been much better now after reviewing the video. I still struggle from time to time with wind (I do live in flat-as-a-board Illinois) but it's something I'm getting better at. Thank you!

February 1st, 2016, 5:18 pm
#5
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I'm happy to hear the fires are better. Wind is a big enemy to stickburning and experience will help, but it's still going to be a factor if it's effecting the airflow.

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March 14th, 2016, 4:24 pm
#6
* Abilene ** Abilene *
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Hello
I recently bought a Yoder Cheyenne and it is a beast. I am having a little bit of trouble keeping the temp even from side too side, it seems to have
About a 75-100 degree difference in temp from the firebox and stack side. Will closing down the firebox damper more help even out the temp?
Thanks

March 14th, 2016, 10:35 pm
#7
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Do you have the HMS plate?

Have you watched this: viewtopic.php?f=49&t=132

Yoder_Herb
March 15th, 2016, 1:51 am
#8
* Abilene ** Abilene *
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Herb
Yes I have the plate, but I think I may have figured it out. I think it may be a combination of too much fuel and way too much airflow. I'm going to do a dry run tomorrow and experiment with it.

March 15th, 2016, 7:41 pm
#9
* Abilene ** Abilene *
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I fired up the Cheyenne today and the temp was running 275 on the firebox side and 195 on the vent side.
The cook chamber door is leaking pretty good so I think a silicone gasket may be in order. This is turning into a quest.

March 15th, 2016, 10:18 pm
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Is the heat plate installed correctly? The angled portion needs to be in the firebox.

Yoder_Herb
March 16th, 2016, 12:41 am
* Abilene ** Abilene *
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Herb
I have the angled part of the plate under the angled lip that is welded to the smoke chamber and pulled snug to the lip.
Does it need to be pushed in even with the firebox opening?

March 16th, 2016, 1:34 am
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The heat management plate should be installed so that the angled lip is in the firebox, and pulled to the chimney end of the cooker so that the lip is tight against the inside of the cooker body end of the firebox.

Yoder_Herb
March 16th, 2016, 1:45 am
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This is a plate for the Wichita, but you can get the idea of how the plate should be installed.

Wichita Convection Plate 01.JPG


Wichita Convection Plate 02.JPG

Yoder_Herb
March 16th, 2016, 1:54 am
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The idea here is to start your fire with the firebox and chimney wide open. I might even suggest leaving the firebox door open to get the fire burning hot. As the temperature climbs up to heat the metal mass of the entire cooker, after the temperature surpasses your desired cooking temperature, start by closing the firebox door, then wait for 10 or 15 minutes, then if necessary close the firebox damper slightly, wait 10 minutes, etc. Keep doing this until you have the fire burning properly, and you have the firebox damper set to maintain your desired cooking temperature. You can then fine tune the side to side by slightly closing the chimney damper, waiting 15 minutes, then making additional adjustments and waiting until you get close to the temperature differential desired, but, NEVER close the chimney damper more than 50%.

Wind is a issue with an offset cooker, the wind needs to be in the direction of the draft, i.e., from the firebox to the chimney. If the wind is blowing in the opposite direction, the temperatures and differentials will be off and hard to maintain.

Yoder_Herb
March 16th, 2016, 1:54 pm
* Abilene ** Abilene *
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Herb, the heat plate is installed correctly. At least I've done something right. I'm going to keep working with it until I figure out it's quirks.
I guess one doesn't go from novice to a pro over night. I didn't even consider the wind but I will from now on, I'm sure a thirty mph gusting wind
will make life hard for a smoker. Thanks for all your help and knowledge, I do appreciate it.

March 17th, 2016, 3:46 pm
* Abilene ** Abilene *
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Herb
My Cheyenne is now running 270 on the firebox side and 260 on the stack side. You truly are the " Guru of BBQ". I couldn't be happier if were twins! I believe this weekend will be time for brisket.

May 16th, 2017, 6:39 pm
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: January 6th, 2015, 8:15 pm
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Hello All-

I think I'm doing something wrong, but I'm not quite sure what in using my HMP on my Wichita. I've consistently found the best results with the HMP pulled about 1-1 1/2 inches away from the firebox wall. This seems to give me the most even temps and best airflow. At the same time, it can get pretty hot on the firebox end, especially on the 2nd level shelf. I hadn't thought as much about the wind, so that could be part of it. My smoker is also on a patio that is sloped for water run off, this means that the slope toward the smokestack is even more pronounced than the smoker is intended to have. Could that be a problem? Any thoughts are appreciated!

Happy smoking!

May 21st, 2017, 7:23 pm
* Abilene ** Abilene *
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these Yoder Smokers are very capable of even temps. Fire management is number one. If you build to big a fire the temps will be spiked on Firebox side. I have several videos on our Instagram account @marbque that shows these even temps across the Kingman pit. Yoder for the win.

Marbque Midwest Backyardoasis

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