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Gas Assist For Large Log Burners W/Safety Features
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Finerider



Joined: 23 Feb 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Feb 28 11 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a newbie here but an old hand at bbqin' and smokin'. I'm impressed with the ingenuity I see here and I' m glad to see others who use LP to assist with their smokin'. When I first posted videos of my smoker on youtube a couple of years ago you would of thought I committed blasphemy for using a LP assisted smoker.

Thatís a great looking setup you have their BBQMAN. One thing I can firmly attest to after over two decades of smokin' on the same pit is, that by using LP or gas to assist with the smokin' cuts down tremendously on the amount of wood used without sacrificing the amount of smoke. Ease of controlling the temperature is a plus as well.

In comparison of your setup and mine, I notice your flame is directed straight at the wood to where mine is directed at the fire box the wood is in. Iím curious if that is why your LP use is 20 lbs. for a 14-15 hour smoke? I usually smoke brisket for about 12-14 hours and I get several smokes on a 20 lb. bottle using about 4 split logs per smoke that look similar in size to what you show in your pics. Other than that weíre doing basically the same thing.

I was also wondering if you use a water pan and where do your drippings go. Again, Iím just curious as I use a water pan and place the meat in a pan as well. Sorry for all the questions but I really enjoy seeing people get creative when it comes to building their own pits.

Great job on your build and I hope you get as much satisfaction out of it over the years as I have with mine. As far as the cost involved, itís like restoring an old classic car. Youíll probably never get back what you put into it, but man the satisfaction of the completed project and seeing it in action more than makes it worthwhile.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WPiiu39jmk&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL
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BBQMAN
BBQ Super All Star


Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 15474
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Mon Feb 28 11 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for joining us here Finerider!

To answer your questions:

My standard offset is anything but standard- it's LARGE! Cool

Not as large as some, but big enough for my needs at 38" in dia and 8' long.

It's also not as heavy metal as a LP cylinder, but is covered (rain really kills heat) and is not insulated.

If I didn't live in Florida I would have built an insulated cabinet style cooker.

My stack does not go down all the way to grate level, once again letting heat escape faster. But it's a cleaner smoke- there is a trade-off with that.

The burner is a log burner, not the same as what you have which is basically a heat source using wood like chips for flavor.

I burn a lot of wood, and can burn wood only.

The system allows me to do longer cooks and maintain even temps.

Yes there are things I could do to increase efficiency.

Offset log burners by nature use fuel.

For those that have been following along, after almost a complete season of non-stop use I am really pleased with the results here.

Well worth the money and work that it took to make it happen.

So far zero maintenance issues.
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treed
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Joined: 03 Apr 2010
Posts: 85

PostPosted: Sun Mar 06 11 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just put in my 75,000 btu orifice from Wayne, bench testing before mounting.
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Logtrucker
BBQ Fan


Joined: 28 Mar 2010
Posts: 366
Location: Dallas,Or

PostPosted: Sun Mar 06 11 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thats nice Ihave a build going now that i plan to put one of these burners on
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BBQMAN
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Joined: 13 Jun 2005
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Location: Florida

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09 11 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice to see some of you putting this to good use.

Treed- same set-up as mine but the snout is a lot longer.

All you need now is a controller (and relay unless it's built in) and a thermocouple and you're all set.
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treed
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Posts: 85

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10 11 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah mines alittle longer, older wayne burner that was 200,000 btus, I called wayne and they sent me a 75,000 btu orifice. I have a friend thats a hvac control guy, hes hooking me up with a sweet controller that has 6 inputs, can use 1 for pit temp and can monitor meat temps on other inputs with a labtop hooked in, he said he can program controller to start dropping temp as meat gets to temp, I'm really hoping this works as it will be a nice worry free setup to do other stuff while you cook
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treed
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Joined: 03 Apr 2010
Posts: 85

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22 11 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mounted in cooker

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Logtrucker
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Joined: 28 Mar 2010
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Location: Dallas,Or

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22 11 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice job did you get youre controller wired up
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treed
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Joined: 03 Apr 2010
Posts: 85

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23 11 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ran out of time, but this weekend for sure, it heats up the cooker pretty well with just gas only
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icecoldkicks
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Joined: 11 Aug 2008
Posts: 585
Location: SoDo District Georgetown, Seattle

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13 11 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like it BBQMAN, thats a complete hybrid setup u got there! Cool
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BBQMAN
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Joined: 13 Jun 2005
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Location: Florida

PostPosted: Wed Apr 27 11 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

End of my season update:

Since the install, zero problems.

Since the install, BBQMAN is a LOT less cranky than last season.

No noticeable change in flavor profiles, although I still use logs/large splits.

The commercial guys (some of them, anyways) rage that the flavor just isn't the same as going with logs only.

I'd have to say that the flavor is just as good (see above) and it's much much easier to maintain a consistent temp- which to me is and always has been key to producing good BBQ.

This system works, and works well.

The only down side is that the purists will still (pun intended) flame me for the LP use.

Then again, they don't loose sleep like some of us do during our busy periods.

My BBQ isn't any better/worse than it was before.

But the key is (for me) that it's the same as it ever was, just less time tending the fire (which as mentioned I can still readily do- when I feel the urge that is).

Only downside is the cost, but with that said I wish I did this 5-6 years ago.
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Florida Boy
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Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 151
Location: Central Florida

PostPosted: Sun May 15 11 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mike it's been a long time! U talked me into getting gas assist on my DPP one of the best decisions i ever made!
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BBQMAN
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Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 15474
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sat Jun 04 11 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've added Kronks experience to the lead page of this thread:

http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=51291&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

This is a clear and present danger of "what if" happening without a safety device.

Kronk is one very luck man to tell the tale.

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SmokerBuilder



Joined: 12 Jun 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Jun 13 11 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being in the food equipment industry and being one of the warranty providers for ol' hickory.... I just wanna say you can't go wrong with using a prebuilt burner like ol' hickory makes. All spark controllers, gas valves, and safety devices are not created equally! Always go the safest route for sure! Thanks for posting this thread BBQMAN! Very Happy
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BBQMAN
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Joined: 13 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13 11 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks smokebuilder!

As you know, Wayne actually builds a number of different sized units for David.

I can't say enough for the help the guys at OH gave me though.

I'm a former food industry machine builder and appreciated their help and expertise.

Why guess on what you need when the experts already have the answer!
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Coldholler



Joined: 10 Jun 2011
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06 11 1:48 am    Post subject: Wood/charcoal firebox option for gas cooker? Reply with quote

Hey -- here's a question about a variation. I'm clear on the danger of introducing gas where there's already fire. But I have a gas cooker that I'd like to modify so I can really smoke, with wood, when I have more time or don't need the convenience.

My gas cooker is a big round drum, on it's side and hinged down the middle. It has 2 stacks, each about 3". The 1" pipe burner runs the length and is vented below in the middle by a 5" wide hole in the middle and fed outside of one end via an open, (low pressure) cup-shaped funnel into which the hose is fixed. Don't know what you call that. It's covered the length by a thick steel angle pice that deflects heat from the open flame very well. The grill is at least 16" above the bottom, where the burner is. I can easily keep the heat at or well under 250. although it's possible to snuff the burner (but not the gas) by shutting the lid too quickly.

What I'd like to do is weld a firebox on the opposite end from the gas feed, temporarily cap the closer chimney, and burn wood. It shouldn't damage or clog the gas apparatus. I'd possibly still use gas to get the thing up to temperature but then detach the tank to make sure once a fire is started that no propane enters any chamber. When just using gas, I'd need a tight damper on the firebox opening and just reopen the other chimney.

Does this sound like a reasonable, safe plan? I'd love to have two smokers but can't afford another trailer setup. I'm new to all this but have been working my way up to some butts this weekend and a pig later in the month. I cooked 35 pounds of ribs at 250d for 3.5-4 hours last week and they were spectacular. I'm hooked!

Your posts are really informative. Here's my other inquiry with less broad, more technical questions: http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=52870. Thanks for any advice,

Mike
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BBQMAN
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Joined: 13 Jun 2005
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Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06 11 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey there Mike, welcome aboard!

Quote:
My gas cooker is a big round drum, on it's side and hinged down the middle. It has 2 stacks, each about 3". The 1" pipe burner runs the length and is vented below in the middle by a 5" wide hole in the middle and fed outside of one end via an open, (low pressure) cup-shaped funnel into which the hose is fixed. Don't know what you call that.


The opening down the middle provides make up air.

The bell shaped portion the LP hose is hooked up to is called a venturi, and it's what provides the burner with some of it's air supply for the correct mixture.

Quote:
although it's possible to snuff the burner (but not the gas) by shutting the lid too quickly.


That is a very dangerous situation, and one of the reasons I caution folks to be so careful.

The gas continues to flow, and an errant spark or smouldering log sets off all that fuel when you open the lid and all that air rushes in.

You then get rushed to the hospital (or worse).

To directly answer your question, yes, what you propose is feasible.

You would have to:

Not use the firebox in conjunction with the gas burner.

Build a removable cover for the air intake in the bottom of your existing tank.

Close off the smokestack on the firebox end, and potentially make the stack on the opposite end bigger for proper draw.

When using the gas, just close the air intakes to the firebox and leave it be. No need for fancy covers- heat rises and the empty space at the end of your tank won't make any difference.

A bit off topic, but I hope this answered your questions?
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Coldholler



Joined: 10 Jun 2011
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06 11 3:53 am    Post subject: Thanks a million! Reply with quote

yes -- you answered them very thoroughly. I appreciate it.

You also confirmed my concern. I check the flame every time after I shut the top and before I open it. Thinking of rigging a way to hoist it open without leaning over, for whenever I notice a snuff-out situation. I'm pretty good at avoiding it, but... That's also why I don't loan the pit to my friends. I come with it.

There's a great welder here who can do the mods. I'll post the dimensions in the cooker section to get some confirmations first.

I know this was a bit off-topic, even with the gas/fire issue, but thanks a lot for the help. When I figure how to post pictures, I'll get em up. Mike
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ClydeDale
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Joined: 21 Aug 2009
Posts: 38
Location: Hopkinsville, KY

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19 11 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well worth the money and work that it took to make it happen.

So what kind of numbers would a person be looking at if they wanted a set-up like yours; just a ballpark number?
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BBQMAN
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Joined: 13 Jun 2005
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Location: Florida

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19 11 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Clyde!

Not including the cabinets (which I already had) this was about a $1,000 investment in parts not including any of the labor.

Almost a year later I'm still very happy with the results.
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