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Unread 02-13-2013, 04:15 PM   #1
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Default a little hand holding stick burning advice please

Hey guys

I just bought a 3/16" Ok Joe (I know, a lot of you dont like it, but thats what I have)

I did some mods to seal things up and the tuning plates and its working well, but I have not actually cooked on it yet, only done test burns as its my first offset.

I am wondering about tending the fire. What I have been doing is putting a few splits in the box and adding a chimney of lit lump to start things off as per BBQ Bandits advice from an old thread.

Its been working real well.

But I am to the point after about 2 hours in as to how to keep my fire going.

I have my intake wide open, I have a nice TBS. I have some small splits that I keep heated on the firebox.

Question is, when do I add a split or 2? Do I wait until the temp starts fading or try to keep ahead of it? Right now I have been waiting, I want to keep the small hot fire going. Seems to work ok.

The other thing is when I add a split, most times I do get white smoke, but its only for a few minutes, this is with pre heated wood, I imagine this is nothing to worry about?

as you can see I could use a little hand holding

right now I am at 232f with a goal of 225-250 so I am real happy with how its been going.

I know most its all about learning your pit. Thats why I bought this cooker. Its a lot of fun and I have not even cooked on it yet LOL

thanks!!!
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Unread 02-13-2013, 04:17 PM   #2
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Sounds like you're good. A little white smoke when adding a split isn't a big deal to me. I will, however, keep the firebox door open until the smoke clears up a little. I also do this if the fire gets too hot.

Put some dang meat in there and post pron!
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Unread 02-13-2013, 04:25 PM   #3
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I put the splits on the air intake side of the firebox. The temp spikes about 10* for 5 minutes or so (when they start to burn), same with the whiter smoke. The smoke isn't denser, just whiter.
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Unread 02-13-2013, 05:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtr View Post
Sounds like you're good. A little white smoke when adding a split isn't a big deal to me. I will, however, keep the firebox door open until the smoke clears up a little. I also do this if the fire gets too hot.

Put some dang meat in there and post pron!

thanks guys

since you asked, there was some pron involved.

I did throw 2 nuclear chicken wings from GFS on with Mad Hunky rub. They came out fine but the skin was like rubber, but thats ok. I will figure that out
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Unread 02-13-2013, 05:45 PM   #5
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If you kick yer temps up to 300+ when cooking poultry that rubber skin thing will most likely go away. Regardless, I'd hit those!
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Unread 02-13-2013, 05:53 PM   #6
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I like to maintain 250 so I have learned that my pit requires a couple splits every 30 minutes to do that. IMHO, once you learn your pit's needs to maintain the temp you want all is good.

As for the white smoke when you add a split, no worries as long as it isn't for more than a few minutes.
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Unread 02-13-2013, 06:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
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If you kick yer temps up to 300+ when cooking poultry that rubber skin thing will most likely go away. Regardless, I'd hit those!
yeah, I know.

I just could not bear to have the smoker just sitting there with nothing in it

;)
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Unread 02-13-2013, 06:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by posey's_pork_pit View Post
I like to maintain 250 so I have learned that my pit requires a couple splits every 30 minutes to do that. IMHO, once you learn your pit's needs to maintain the temp you want all is good.

As for the white smoke when you add a split, no worries as long as it isn't for more than a few minutes.
thanks. appreciate it!!!

gonna throw some ribs on it this weekend

they are easy enough for a first real run
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Unread 02-13-2013, 07:24 PM   #9
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If your gonna cook gonna big boy pit you need to understand that you cook in a zone. I like to run a 300 my zone is 275-325. I add a split at 275 average every 45 min.YMMV As long as you preheat your splits on the FB. Mine are usually smoldering when I put them in the FB.a little white smoke is no big deal, just open the door until the smoke cleans up normally 3-5 min.
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Unread 02-14-2013, 08:26 AM   #10
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thanks a bunch guys

I will learn

thats the fun of it
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Unread 02-14-2013, 10:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
I just bought a 3/16" Ok Joe (I know, a lot of you dont like it, but thats what I have)

Just curious and not wanting to start anything but what issues do people have with that smoker? I ask because I really don’t know anything about them – never cooked with a stick burner and the only one I ever looked at close was a Lang.
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Unread 02-14-2013, 10:12 AM   #12
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Just curious and not wanting to start anything but what issues do people have with that smoker? I ask because I really don’t know anything about them – never cooked with a stick burner and the only one I ever looked at close was a Lang.
well I think the main thing is the name. Its not built by OK Joe, they sold the brand to Charbroil.

that seemed to chaff off a bunch of people, but from my point of view if the OK Joe people profited from the sale, more power to them

they are also made out of 3/16" instead of 1/4" like the old ones.

But I see a lot of people use propane tanks for hom made builds, those are 3/16" also so it cant be that bad.

I think its a nice enough smoker for the money and cant afford $800+ for one so this is what I went with

and I did look around for a used one but im ny area they are not easy to come buy and I am not going to comb CL for months on end looking for one.
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Unread 02-14-2013, 10:29 AM   #13
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Well thanks for the info and good luck learning about it – that is the fun part IMO.

It is funny though – some of the best BBQ I have had is from the guys at the plant next to ours. During the spring months (until it gets really hot) they BBQ pork butts and chicken in 2 old 55 gallon drums they “redneck” engineered out of spare parts around their shop. They fire them up every Friday morning 4:00 am central time. Been cooking on them for the better part of 10 years and I would bet well over 500 lbs of meat have gone through them.

Whenever people get real snooty on smoker types I always think of those guys.
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Unread 02-14-2013, 10:34 AM   #14
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^^^True dat. There are folks who can cook better BBQ over a hole in the ground than others can cook in a fancy pit. From what I can tell, a huge part of the history and tradition of BBQ is going with what you got and making it work. It sure didn't start with rich folks who could have any gear they wanted or needed.

And anybody who learns to control temps on a less expensive, thinner metal offset is a bad arse mofo IMO - that's a farking skill right there.
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Unread 02-14-2013, 12:16 PM   #15
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I've only done several cooks on my offset, but always w/ charcoal. No more. From here on out, it's real wood baby!

I always get a little bummed in spring when there's no more need for the wood stove....this will be a way to keep making fires. FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!
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