Getting up to Temperature.

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Getting up to Temperature.

Post  Admin on Fri Nov 23, 2007 11:39 am

Some tips on how to get your unit up to the right temperature easily (200 - 250 DegF):
1. Top Vent - The vent on the lid must remain fully open during cooking, if closed, it will restrict the airflow and this may cause the fire to go out. Use the bottom vent to control the temperature.
2. Water pan - Use hot water to start with and only fill it to 3/4 full. Use less water for shorter cooks. The water pan may be run dry, but it is best to foil it 1st, in order to enable an easy cleanup.
3. Wind - Probably the greatest thief of heat, face the bottom vent into the wind, this will allow more air into the unit thus giving your fire more oxygen. A three-sided windbreak made from non-combustible material may also be used.
4. Fuel - Use a good quality Lumpwood or charcoal briquettes... no they are not all the same, some may even contain dodgy binders.
5. Ambient Temperature - Although there is not much that you can do about this, other than buy/ make a thermal/ flameproof blanket, it does make a difference (If it's snowing, assume that your food will take a bit longer to cook).

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Re: Getting up to Temperature.

Post  Don Marco on Sat Dec 15, 2007 12:26 am

Admin wrote:
2. Water pan...The water pan may be run dry, but it is best to foil it 1st, in order to enable an easy cleanup.


You gotta be very careful with the foil though, when it leaks and water gets between the foil and the hot metal pan, it will evaporate in seconds and then spill out of the foil at the sides of the pan.
Then it drops into the charcoal, wich gives nasty little puffs of ashes that will most likely cover your meat.

I like to fill the pan halfway with dry sand, cover the sand and pan with heavy duty foil and the fill it up with water.


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Second attempt at solving low cooking temp...success!

Post  bergydot on Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:43 pm

[b]After a less then successful 1st attempt to get my ProQ Excel 20 up to temperature, I researched your site and came up with these changes on my next attempt. 1st, a full bag of Kingsford competition briquettes (15 lbs.) arranged in the minion method with hickory chunks (next time I'll layer mesquite chips between charcoal layers!)was used for my fire. 20 Briquettes were lit in my starter chimney and added to the empty coffee can in the middle of my charcoal pan. Next, I experimented with no water in the pan, but the pan was foil wrapped. I was cooking chicken quarters, pork ribs, sausage, and boudain. The temperature on my pit came up to 250 degrees with the vents on the bottom opened half way in about less than thirty minutes. I closed the bottom vents back to a quarter open and the temp lined out at about 230-240 degrees. The top vent was wide open. I checked the results after 3 hours and everything but the ribs were ready! I tried the rib recipe that came with my smoker (cover in sauce and wrap in aluminum foil, back on the pit for 1-2 hours, then over the coals for a minute or two) and it turned out fantastic. I kept an eye on my pit for the next 9-10 hours and the temp stayed around 240- 250. My next cookout will be beef brisket and I'll need to cook it at least 10 hours! Thanks for the helpful tips!

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