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February 25th, 2020, 5:20 pm
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: August 23rd, 2019, 11:33 am
  • Posts: 5

Late last summer I purchased the Yodersmokers' Cheyenne in Canada, I believe it's a great offset smoker and definitely have a lot more to learn.

From when I first got it and did the initial burn off until I cleaned it up for the season I believe the results have tremendously increased from the first brisket with an acrid bitter taste of smoke to fantastic beef chuck short ribs fall off the bone tender incredibly juicy and perfectly smokey.

Every cook the results seemed better than the last until towards the end of season in Fall which happens to be after the best ribs I made. It first happened with turkey legs, tasted great but very ugly in color not golden or dark just grey skin that left a white plate with a blackish grey oil on it, I cleaned the smoker thought that would fix it and a few days later I did some more ribs and when I poked it with my finger after 4hours my finger had black oil on it. Problem was not fixed I thought maybe I didn't clean it good enough so before packing it up for the winter (store in garage) I went so far as to sand everything down inside the cook chamber to the metal and repaint it to make sure it wasn't a build up off creosote. Also patched up the outside and looked brand new.

Recently we had a few warm days and some time off work so I pulled it out wasn't sure with being painted if I need to do another burn off but better safe then sorry, so I did and practiced fire management for two days, today I had some top sirloin decided to season it and put it on.

Without the heat management plate I found that the temperature increases much faster but I wanted the side closer to the firebox hotter so I could grill some chicken while the sirloin cooks. So I left it out this time.
Majority of the cook was 250-275 on the left side where the sirloin was, mid way through while the fire was good I put some chicken breast on, when I flipped it the parts that were not covered by the metal of the grate (inbetween diamond shape) were grey the parts on the grate were seared and not dirty yay for clean grates. This seems like the same problem I had last year only I speeded up the process by removing the heat management plate and cooking the chicken closest to the firebox, to clarify it can't be from a dirty smoker it's very clean inside; I try after every cook to sweep out any ash from the cook chamber and fire box wash it down inside with a towel and hot water and also it's only the third time using it 1st actual cook this season.

I believe that is also the problem that over long cooks I get a blackish oily residue on the meat.

From what I've found it can be if there is an orange flame - but after watching nearly every video about fire management there is always an orange flame until it starts to burn down to coals. Related is incomplete combustion which brings me to the next problem.

After watching Yoder Kirbys tutorial, atbbq chef toms tutorial and a few others on YouTube Kirbys and Chef Toms seemed to be the best, starting with one chimney of charcoal I put it on the woodgrate let it heat for 10-15 minutes add a split of wood beer can size 12" long then after I am adding half of a beer can size split every 20minutes about until the previous burns down. Yesterday it had no problem catching I got the firebox door closed finally and damper to almost 1/4 way closed through most of the cook with thin Blue to no smoke coming out the stack, once in a while I need to open the firebox door to let more air in. However today, I over shot the temperature a bit it went up to 300 so I let some heat out allowed the split to go out and coal bed reduce a little bit, and added one more split and was back on track for 275 then added the meat, it wasn't a long smoke but had a lot of difficulty shortly after I added the meat I got thick smoke, half the time was battling with having to open the fire box door it seems adding half a beer size can split is good but no matter the coal bed size small or big beer can size or half beer can size I need to adjust the airflow after adding a split,for 5-10 minutes then adding a new half beer can size split by 20 minutes.

Is this normal or would I be doing something wrong? Kirby and Chef Tom have different smokers to me but they are both able to set the airflow once they get to the desired temperature allow the log to catch and close the firebox door.

I preheat the splits I found whether it's a beer can size split or half beer can size split the difference between when it goes down to coals and adding a new one is about 2minutes.

Factors: using oak wood bought from a BBQ store sitting in my garage over winter (dry place) supposedly aged 2 years temperature outside 41F,

The taste of the sirloin was great no bitterness or off flavours cooked just under 3hrs, medium rare, but it did leave the same blackish oily residue.


1. Any suggestions about fire management maybe shorter splits?
2. Has anyone else had the blackish oily residue on a plate from BBQ or grey looking chicken/turkey when they cook?
3. Should there be only a blue flame or yellow is fine too?
4. How long should you leave the fire box open door before closing it normal to have to constantly adjust the damper to not get thick smoke?
5. Should you add the wood from the side or the front door I have been doing a combination yesterday had better results from the front and today from the side.

Thanks for the help, and any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

March 12th, 2020, 2:21 pm
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: August 23rd, 2019, 11:33 am
  • Posts: 5

Solved the problem noticed I did not clean the baffle and part of the firebox close to the chamber.. so I cleaned that did another cook and turned out great with chicken wings no grey color at all. I believe that was soot and very very fine particles of it that were being brought into the cooking chamber by the draft of the smoker. Still having trouble with fire management but I believe on the Cheyenne building the fire horizontally closer to the cooking chamber and heating the wood in the back right works much better than the back right side. Still expirmenting and learning but this seems to be better for now.

April 11th, 2022, 8:29 pm
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: May 17th, 2021, 8:05 pm
  • Posts: 10

Try not using the plate at all….I quit trying to use mine and have found managing a fire without it is pretty easy, not to mention everything is easier to clean!

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