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June 19th, 2016, 6:28 pm
#1
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: April 23rd, 2016, 10:22 am
  • Posts: 27
  • Location: Chevy Chase Md, Tilghman, Md

Perhaps I am being a little dense but I see references to controlling temperature by tweaking the slider plate and the chimney damper. But what exactly is the theory here.
I can see opening the slider all the way will create a hot spot fo grilling and the like but will opening a couple of inches blend heat and essentially lower the temp on left side vs right ?
What is the effect of closing the stack damper partially? Build up,heat on stack side?
I know it may be black art, but how are these controls supposed to work Together?
My experience is not with stick burners but rather ceramic and guru.
Very different as fuel is constant but burn rate controlled by air supplied by guru.

June 20th, 2016, 9:31 am
#2
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  • Joined: April 18th, 2014, 3:12 pm
  • Posts: 2278

Rorkin wrote:Perhaps I am being a little dense but I see references to controlling temperature by tweaking the slider plate and the chimney damper. But what exactly is the theory here.
I can see opening the slider all the way will create a hot spot fo grilling and the like but will opening a couple of inches blend heat and essentially lower the temp on left side vs right ? Yes, the heat will follow the barrel contour
What is the effect of closing the stack damper partially? Build up,heat on stack side? Yes
I know it may be black art, but how are these controls supposed to work Together? You are allowing more heat to flow through the chamber, and slowing the airflow through the cooker. Never close the chimney damper more than 50%
My experience is not with stick burners but rather ceramic and guru.
Very different as fuel is constant but burn rate controlled by air supplied by guru.

Yoder_Herb
June 20th, 2016, 1:14 pm
#3
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: April 23rd, 2016, 10:22 am
  • Posts: 27
  • Location: Chevy Chase Md, Tilghman, Md

Thanks.. Will experiment

November 17th, 2017, 3:35 pm
#4
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: August 21st, 2016, 1:10 pm
  • Posts: 6

Thanks for asking the question and clarifying a few things Herb.
Did you ever experiment Rorkin?

I'm going to write a few assumptions, so please correct me if i'm wrong.

After the computer temp gauge is established and in maintenance mode, temp the left side with a personal thermometer. If it is lower than the computers temp, then open up the slider plate. If it is above the computer then close the slider plate.

Next temp the right side. If the right side is hotter than the computer temp, then open up the smoke stack. If it is lower, close the smoke stack as long as it is not closed more than 50%. That about right?

I know this isn't completely a science, but have you experienced approx temp increases when closing the slider and smoke stack one inch? To clarify, is it fair to say opening the slider one inch increase the left side temp by so and so?

Cant wait to play around and figure this puzzle out.

November 17th, 2017, 5:34 pm
#5
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  • Joined: April 18th, 2014, 3:12 pm
  • Posts: 2278

There isn't a hard set rule, as each time you use the cooker you must take into account the ambient temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, breeze/wind, etc., as this all may affect the cooker. You further complicate things by putting meat in the cooker, i.e., amount, shape, placement, etc.

Here is exactly what I do:

If the cooker isn't unplugged from power, I unplug it from power.
Clean the cooker of all ash and cooking debris.
Make sure that the burn grate fitment into the firepot correct per the manual.
Replace the HMS and cooking grates.
Close the HMS damper completely,
Open the chimney damper wide open.
Open the cooker lid.
Fill the hopper with BBQR's Delight pellets (I use a 50/50 blend of cherry and pecan for everything)
Plug in the power cord.
Flip the power switch to ON.
Hit START, leaving the default 350 degrees as the set temperature.
I then stand by the cooker for about 5 to 6 minutes and verify that the fire ignited and there are flames.
Close the cooker's lid and walk away for 30 to 40 minutes.

I use the 30 to 40 minutes waiting for the cooker to heat up to do the final prep on the meat I am going to cook.

After the 30 to 40 minutes I open the cooker's lid and brush and wipe the cooking grates.
I then set my desired cooking temperature on the controller.
I load the meat I am cooking into the cooker.
After all the meat is loaded, I close the lid and walk away for 1 hour.

After an hour, I check back on the cooker to see how the door gauges are balanced, and if necessary, make small adjustments to compensate.
I then walk away from the cooker for another hour.

After an hour, I again check back on the cooker to see how the door gauges are balanced, and if necessary make small adjustments to compensate.
I then walk away from the cooker for another hour.

When making adjustments, always move the HMS until you are satisfied moving it will not help further, then start fine tuning by making small adjustments with the chimney damper.

By now you should have an idea of what I do, and how I run the cooker. It will never be exactly the same from time to time. Don't overthink things, keep things simple.

Notice I never opened the lid? Depending on what I am cooking, I know when it is time to open the lid and check on what's cooking. I never use pit probes anymore, but do use a thermapen to take readings of what is cooking and probe for doneness. Once you get into the swing of things, you can hear and smell when it is time to open the lid and poke at the meat.

Yoder_Herb
November 19th, 2017, 10:58 pm
#6
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: August 21st, 2016, 1:10 pm
  • Posts: 6

Yoder_Herb wrote:There isn't a hard set rule, as each time you use the cooker you must take into account the ambient temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, breeze/wind, etc., as this all may affect the cooker. You further complicate things by putting meat in the cooker, i.e., amount, shape, placement, etc.

Here is exactly what I do:

If the cooker isn't unplugged from power, I unplug it from power.
Clean the cooker of all ash and cooking debris.
Make sure that the burn grate fitment into the firepot correct per the manual.
Replace the HMS and cooking grates.
Close the HMS damper completely,
Open the chimney damper wide open.
Open the cooker lid.
Fill the hopper with BBQR's Delight pellets (I use a 50/50 blend of cherry and pecan for everything)
Plug in the power cord.
Flip the power switch to ON.
Hit START, leaving the default 350 degrees as the set temperature.
I then stand by the cooker for about 5 to 6 minutes and verify that the fire ignited and there are flames.
Close the cooker's lid and walk away for 30 to 40 minutes.

I use the 30 to 40 minutes waiting for the cooker to heat up to do the final prep on the meat I am going to cook.

After the 30 to 40 minutes I open the cooker's lid and brush and wipe the cooking grates.
I then set my desired cooking temperature on the controller.
I load the meat I am cooking into the cooker.
After all the meat is loaded, I close the lid and walk away for 1 hour.

After an hour, I check back on the cooker to see how the door gauges are balanced, and if necessary, make small adjustments to compensate.
I then walk away from the cooker for another hour.

After an hour, I again check back on the cooker to see how the door gauges are balanced, and if necessary make small adjustments to compensate.
I then walk away from the cooker for another hour.

When making adjustments, always move the HMS until you are satisfied moving it will not help further, then start fine tuning by making small adjustments with the chimney damper.

By now you should have an idea of what I do, and how I run the cooker. It will never be exactly the same from time to time. Don't overthink things, keep things simple.

Notice I never opened the lid? Depending on what I am cooking, I know when it is time to open the lid and check on what's cooking. I never use pit probes anymore, but do use a thermapen to take readings of what is cooking and probe for doneness. Once you get into the swing of things, you can hear and smell when it is time to open the lid and poke at the meat.


Thanks again!

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