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My First Build - Updated Sept 19 - 2nd Test Cook
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k.a.m.
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Joined: 12 Dec 2007
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Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 06 10 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rykymus, either one will work just fine for your grate. I have a Re-bar grate in my back yard offset that has lasted for years. Smile
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Wreckless
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Joined: 15 May 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06 10 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rykymus, it is coming along beautifully. During the build I have seen a few things that did not go as originally planned and were fixed nicely. For me, that is where some talent really shines thru. The smokestack is a prime example of this. For future reference you could burn this thread and insist the slight heenahoggin ( bend that is, I think these old Germans are rubbing off on me) in the stack was by design LOL. It looks pretty cool.
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rykymus
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Joined: 24 Jul 2009
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Location: Stockton, CA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07 10 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, this morning I rinsed her out and blow-dried her with the propane flame-thrower. (Don't laugh at my cooking location, it's about the only place I could get the smoker to and still be relatively level.) Then I sprayed the cooking chamber and racks down with Pam and built the first fire.

I had to get the fire really rolling to get her up to 500

There was about a 50 degree difference between the the left and right sides. (The firebox side being hotter)

But I'm going to wait and see what the difference is when I'm running down at cooking temp before I worry about it.

I can already see that I'm going to have to do some more work on the cooking chamber doors, as they leak a bit more than I'd like. I also need to install some drip rails on the inside of those doors so that I don't get grease running down the sides of the tank. The fire box door stuck when I had it up to 500, but once it got back down to 350-400, it didn't stick any more. I definitely need to put some expanded on the fire grate. And I think I'm going to build one from rebar.

I'm going to go and prep some ribs and rib tips to cook on this baby and see how well she cruises. More Pics later!

Rykymus
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roscoe1960
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Joined: 24 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07 10 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rykymus, just curious why did you run your cooker so hot? When getting it that hot metal does some wierd stuff probably warp doors and such sometimes it goes back in place and sometimes not. you can season a pit 300-350 for a few hrs. or low heat cure 225 for 8-10 hrs. BTW your R/F cooker looks awsome Cool
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http://thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=38513
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07 10 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rykymus, congrats on your first burn. Very Happy You definitely tested her walls with that burn, I agree with roscoe on the extreme temps doing some crazy things to doors and what not. 300 to 350 is a good seasoning temp. Now lets see those ribs my man. Very Happy
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rykymus
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Joined: 24 Jul 2009
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Location: Stockton, CA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07 10 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks roscoe1960. It seems like I read somewhere that I was supposed to take her up that high. I could be mistaken.

I loaded her up with rib tips from the freezer and 3 racks of back ribs.


She cruises nicely at 225 with a small - medium fire with the intakes 50% open. There is still a 20 degree difference between the sides, but I suspect it's because the left side is still in the shade and the right side is in direct sunlight. (And it is hot today, high 90's)


I also noticed that even when I let the fire get down to almost nothing, the heat stored in the walls and the RF plate kept her at temp. So far it looks like a small split every 30-40 minutes. I'm still using up the splits that were made for my previous CharBroil, which were pretty small. I'm going to try slightly larger splits and see how she works. So far, I'm pretty happy. It sure is better than tending the fire every 10 minutes like before! Very Happy Cooking on this rig is a whole different experience.

Rykymus
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07 10 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rykymus, your ribs are looking mighty Happy. Very Happy You will find her sweet spots on the grates. The R/F I built settles in after she has been running at a steady 225 for a couple of hours. Before that her temps very on the grates until everything is settled in.
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roscoe1960
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07 10 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rykmus, man that is pit full of goodness looks great my friend...on your heat difference on most R/F you can tilt the nose of the pit will sometimes change the uneven temps one way or the other, I know it would be easier if it were trailer mounted... but you stated earlier that is was hard to find a level spot for your cooker that could be a good thing, try moving it around next time to hit that sweet spot Very Happy
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Tom C
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Joined: 21 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07 10 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rykymus,

You did a fine job on that smoker! The ribs looked great. Half the fun will be learning how she cooks. You migh think about keeping a cooking log. It helps you keep track of what works well. I track weather, meat weight, cook times & temps, wood type, meat pull temps, rest time and comments from each cook. It has really helped me keep track of my BBQ.

Most of all, enjoy that nice smoker!
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rykymus
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07 10 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The product of my first cook on this build:




These were probably the best ribs I ever made. I didn't do anything different except that cooking them on a good cooker an maintaining a perfect temp the entire cook (instead of wrestling with temps that spike and dip all day long!) made a big difference. (Not only in the final product, but also in the enjoyment of the cook itself.)

There are still plenty of things left to do, and lots of little improvements I have planned. But this cooker held the temp with ease, used half the wood that the small (and much thinner) offset used, cooked the ribs in 4.5 hours instead of the usual 7, and recovered quite nicely when the doors were opened. I really like cooking with this thing, and today made all the effort well worth it. I was already hooked on Q, but now there's one other problem. I'm also hooked on building smokers! I'm going to cut back to working on it only a few days per week however. (The wife has got a honey-do list a mile long. Rolling Eyes )

I'll post more pics as I make changes. A big thanks to you all for your knowledge and especially your encouragement.

Rykymus
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07 10 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rykymus, congrats on a fantastic first cook those ribs look awesome. Very Happy Beautiful color to the bone. Nicely done my man. Very Happy I will be watching for more updates and progress pics of your build she turned out very nice you should be proud. Very Happy
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DKWRRT



Joined: 11 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07 10 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RYKYMUS, do you put any liquid on the RF plate, it seems to me that I have heard that alot of people with RF type smokers do this, I was just wondering as I am new to this type of smoking myself.

Your cooker is awsome and I hope you enjoy it for a lifetime. I hope mine turnes out as well as yours. Very Happy
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longbowben
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08 10 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great job and the ribs look tasty.
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roscoe1960
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08 10 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rykymus, wow!! the ribs look perfect, nice job Very Happy
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rykymus
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09 10 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, this isn't exactly about my build, but sort of related. My wife is requiring (as part of my punishment) that I post pictures of my amazingly stupid blunder. Embarassed

I really should've known better. I dumped the ashes from the ash can into the recycling bin just before I put it out on the curb for pickup in the morning.to keep
the homeless from sifting through our garbage. This is what I found the next morning.



I'm pretty sure I kept anyone from rustling through our trash. Rolling Eyes I guess those coals weren't quite dead yet. That little blunder is going to cost me $50 for a new
recycling bin from the waste management company. (Not to mention years of torment from the wife.)
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mbellot
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Joined: 16 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09 10 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rykymus wrote:
That little blunder is going to cost me $50 for a new
recycling bin from the waste management company. (Not to mention years of torment from the wife.)


Eh. $50 bucks isn't so bad. You were going to get the other part no matter what, so at least you got to burn something up.

Laughing Laughing
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nachovo
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09 10 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rykymus wrote:




OMG! I can't quit laughing! That there has got to be the funniest post to date I've read on the ring!

Excellent work on the cooker by the way!
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ChuckieD
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09 10 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rykymus,
Nice job on the cooker and the first cook! Cool You are killing me with the bin story and pic! Laughing... It could have happened to anyone Bro... and it could have been worse. My friend burned one side of his garage the same way... he was lucky he didn't burn down his house. Wink
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rykymus
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17 10 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got some more work in the last few days. First, I got the 2 top racks built.

I also decided to remove the handles from the lower racks and go with simple pulls on all 4 racks. It just looks cleaner. (I'm going to use those old handles on the ash pan in the firebox.)

I also added some expanded to the underside of the fire grate (per k.a.m.'s advice) so I won't loose so many coals to the ash pan before I've used up all their energy.


I also covered the air intakes with expanded as well.


I'm going to do some work sealing up the leaks around the cooker doors tomorrow and Saturday. Then another test cook on Sunday, this time I'm doing pork butts along with some whole chickens and more ribs.

More pics later.

Rykymus
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rykymus
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19 10 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lit her up at 0430 for 2nd test cook. (Had to test last weeks mods, as well as season the second set of racks.) Took about an hour and a half to get to temp and settle in. Found that by moving the fire away from the tank and closer to the door, the temp difference between the two sides dropped from 25 down to 10 or less degrees. (Probably cuz the first 6" of the RF plate is the firebox roof.)

For today's test run, we have 7#, 7.5# and 8.5# butts. (Where there's raw meat, you'll find the mighty hunter.)


Butts loaded, and a small/medium fire to keep the heat going:


Temps looking pretty close to even:


So far I only have to add a split every 40-45 minutes. This afternoon I'm going to add in 5 whole chickens and a bunch of thighs.

Rykymus
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