HELP with Start Up Temps

Also called Stump's Clone.
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Texasbowhunter
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HELP with Start Up Temps

Post by Texasbowhunter » April 28th, 2020, 12:06 pm

Perhaps we could turn this into a sticky...For future educating's...
I was curious as to perhaps getting some detailed information on the process you guys are using for starting up the gravity feed smoker getting the temps brought up quickly to desired temps...
I'm still struggling with getting the temps brought up to temps in the initial start up...Its taking a very long time for me to get the temps in the CC up to the desired temps in the beginning of the cook...I have to be leaving a step or 2 out or my patience needs to be put in check...
This tutorial I'm requesting will be the complete guidelines for the members in which they will be able to start the fire and get the temps brought up in the CC done quickly and in a timely manner...

For me the process is which seems to the wrong approach to get the temps up fast is not working well for me
I use a weed burner to get the charcoal started, I leave the burner in different areas in the ash box blowing up into the charcoal for probably a minute or so, I usually start seeing smoke coming out the charcoal shoot about this time (Have considered using a chimney starter)
The fan is on at this time (To early?)
The CC vent is closed (I'm not sure when the best time to open or keep closed) My thought here is I keep the heat in so the temps would climb quicker
The CC door is closed ( Closed so the heat stays in)
after about 10 minutes or so I close the door to the Fire/ash box and the charcoal shoot when I see allot of the smoke escaping up the charcoal shoot and at this time I allow the fan to put the oxygen to the fire...(Should I leave the door open till the temps are approaching the desired temps in the CC and not worry about all the smoke escaping up the charcoal shoot) (One concern I have here is catching the charcoal shoot charcoal on fire)
During this process I may open and close the CC vent on top of the CC in hopes of getting the fire to catch and get the temps up however its seemingly achieved dismal results...( Not sure as to when to open and close the vent)
After about 15 mins and the temps are still not to desired temps I may add the flavored woods in the ash pan That has been soaking in water all night...(My understanding for this is to get the first smoking of the flavored woods going early before the meat goes on to help control the acidic taste...) (My taste buds probably would not be able to tell the difference unless somebody with more acute buds acknowledges this so I can actually tell the difference...)
I will then close the ash door and allow the fan to do its thing...
This process last couple times took hours to get the temp up to desired temp...
I have to be doing something wrong since it takes 1.5-2 hrs. to get the temps up to desired temps...



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Re: HELP with Start Up Temps

Post by Big T » April 28th, 2020, 8:24 pm

I don't have a GF (unfortunately) so I am of little help but you can call Frank and he can get you pointed in the right direction. You might have to leave a message as he's a busy man but he will call you back and he loves talking about smokers.


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Re: HELP with Start Up Temps

Post by Frank_Cox » April 28th, 2020, 8:45 pm

This is a great topic!
I am sure there are many opinions on the best way to get one if these gravity feed smoker runnin but here is my 2cents on the process.
At start-up I like to leave everything open. the cook chamber door, the top chute door, the stack, and the ash door... wide open.
If the chute is empty I start 2 chimneys of charcoal for the double pan and 1 for the mini.
You can use one fully lit chimney but you will need to leave the chute doors open a little longer.
Once the chimney(s) are lit I dump them in the chute and add charcoal on top and close the top door of the chute.

If the chimney has left over charcoal in it then I would use the torch method. you will need to leave all the doors open for a while to get the draft established and get a well lit coal bed. This may differ based on type and brand of charcoal.

I do not mix wood chunks in the chute with the charcoal so that I can prevent bridging. you can try this if you like just make sure the chunks are small.

Once you get a good coal bed going close the top of the chute but I prefer to still leave the ash door open for a little bit.

now we will try to establish a draft into the cook chamber.
close the cook chamber door and depending on the smoke stack size you will most likely close the damper half or so.
you can close the ash box door once you start seeing draft establish then I get the fan going.

This process usually takes about 30 to 45 minutes or so.
the quicker you get a good coal bed going the faster the cooker will come to temp.
Hope this helps!!!

Some of the other guys that use these gravity feeds might also have some tweeks to add to this method

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Re: HELP with Start Up Temps

Post by bjustison » April 29th, 2020, 12:46 pm

To light my mini gf, I fill up the chute with charcoal briquettes, close the chute door, open top cc vent all the way, and then use map torch for about 30 seconds to light charcoal in firebox. I then close the firebox door. I am using a CyberQ with fan. The fan is running while lighting. Smoke starts coming out of top vent almost instantly. It takes about 30-45 minutes to come up to temp. (250 F). I then close the top vent to about 30 - 50% open.



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Re: HELP with Start Up Temps

Post by Texasbowhunter » May 7th, 2020, 11:41 am

Thanks Frank and bjustison for the replys...
I would have figurered there would have been more discussion on what the members had found to work for them...
bj
I am presently doing pretty much what you had described and getting my temps up to temp has be a timely process...I to am using the cyber Q 25cfm fan as well but have been getting mixed feelings on this particular methods...
Frank
I believe I will try your suggestion the next time I fire up the Mini and see if the times to get the temps up are quicker...I sure hope so...Perhaps that is what I'm missing is the draft to get the fire going faster...
Thanks for the suggestions
Paul



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Re: HELP with Start Up Temps

Post by JKalchik » May 9th, 2020, 4:51 pm

I use a 50k venturi burner under the grate to light off the charcoal while I'm getting my ATC set up, etc. The burner is usually running for several minutes. I still allow over an hour with fan assisted draft, 2 is preferable.


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Re: HELP with Start Up Temps

Post by Diggerg » May 18th, 2020, 10:17 am

I use a mapp torch to light mine from the ash door. Leave the chute door open until lots of glowing coals. Then shut chute door and open CC exhaust. Takes about 45 mins to reach 250



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