Author Topic: Airflow  (Read 14354 times)

FunkedOut

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Airflow
« on: November 08, 2014, 09:07:10 PM »
Anybody modified their #3 to allow more air in?
Been thinking about getting an inlet port near the rear of the bottom to knock two birds...

1) get more airflow for eliminating more moisture.  I'm in FL and have plenty of humidity in my box.  can't seem to get a decent bark on anything or crispy skin on birds.

2) cooling off the rear of the element should balance it with the front (factory drain hole), hopefully making wood along the smoke box burn evenly.  at the moment, only the few half of the smoke box is functional.  front half doesn't produce smoke.

Thanks in advance.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2014, 09:10:13 PM by FunkedOut »
Joe, in FL
Smoking It #3, Auber PID, 23cfm of boost

DivotMaker

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Re: Airflow
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2014, 08:52:08 AM »
Before modifying anything, please contact Steve at SI and tell him what issues you are having.  Walt's right, I believe, that you may have a heating element issue.  These smokers are designed with little airflow in the bottom for a reason, and extra holes may cause unintended consequences.

Also - just go ahead and give up on the idea of ever getting "crispy" skin on poultry in an electric smoker; your life will be so much more stress-free! ;)
Tony from NW Arkansas
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FunkedOut

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Re: Airflow
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2014, 01:15:49 PM »
Have you thought about replacing your element before modifying?

in the introductions sub forum, old sarge suggested a bad element might be the cause.
I did just what he suggested and ruled out a bad element.
I ran the smoker for 5 min and then measured the element all along its length and found everywhere to be in the 340-420*F range with the exception of the very tip of the element.  Literally only the curved part of the element was in the 200*F neighborhood.  All of it was bright orange.
Joe, in FL
Smoking It #3, Auber PID, 23cfm of boost

FunkedOut

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Re: Airflow
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2014, 01:22:22 PM »
Before modifying anything, please contact Steve at SI and tell him what issues you are having.  Walt's right, I believe, that you may have a heating element issue.  These smokers are designed with little airflow in the bottom for a reason, and extra holes may cause unintended consequences.

Also - just go ahead and give up on the idea of ever getting "crispy" skin on poultry in an electric smoker; your life will be so much more stress-free! ;)

I want to be clear that I would not say I am having any issues with this smoker.  It is awesome.  Beautifully built.
I'm simply trying to make it mine for what I want exactly.

I smoke in a swamp that is at 90-100*F and 90-100% humidity.

I would definitely like to hear Steve's thoughts on the subject.  After all, he is the man that designed this box.
I figured he would join the discussion here.
I'll call him up during the week.  It just seems I only get time to play with this on weekends.

I was just polling the community for similar interests.
My idea was a 1" bulkhead connector (like the exhaust port) at the bottom rear, with a 90* elbow and a 1/4 turn valve to get the inlet adjusted just right (or closed).  All stainless, of course.  8)
The bulkhead would stick up just far enough into the box to keep any drippings or moisture from going into the new inlet and keep the original drip hole and pan the only point for the drippings to get out.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2014, 01:27:24 PM by FunkedOut »
Joe, in FL
Smoking It #3, Auber PID, 23cfm of boost

DivotMaker

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Re: Airflow
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2014, 03:38:40 PM »
Your idea of a variable port sounds reasonable.  I thought you were just going to drill extra hole(s) in the bottom.  I'd still be interested to hear what you find out from Steve.  He doesn't spend much time here, unless he gets a topic sent to him.  He stays pretty busy running his business, and I think he doesn't want to "interfere" with all of our "user" discussions on the forum.  I think he feels this is for us, and not for him to get too involved in. 

Email him, or send him a text, and he will get back with you!
Tony from NW Arkansas
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NDKoze

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Re: Airflow
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2014, 12:26:42 AM »
Personally, I would not drill any extra holes in my smoker. For many of my smokes, I like the moisture in the smoker and add water pans next to smoker box to add even more moisture and I always get really nice bark.

If you want to get moisture out of your smoker, I would just get a James Jerky Dryer. I have one that I use to remove the moisture during Jerky and Snack Stix smokes that works awesome to pull the moisture out of the box.

My 2 cents.
Gregg - Fargo, ND
Smokin-It #3 that has now replaced the Masterbuilt XL and 10+ Year-Old Big Chief. I also have a Weber Genesis Gas Grill, Weber Little Smokey at home and a Chargriller Deluxe (stick burner) and Camp Chef Three Burner Stove with Grill/Griddle out at the lake place.

Pork Belly

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Re: Airflow
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2014, 01:04:33 AM »
If you are in Florida or Arizona it should not matter regarding the amount of moisture in the smoker. yes Florida is very humid but the amount of air in the smoker at the start of the smoke and what little is drawn in is minimal. I'm in Michigan and my #3 is always steaming and smoking when I open the door. I gave up on crispy poultry and am happy. Poultry skin sucks in an SI, poultry meat is awesome as is all SI smoked meat.
Brian - Michigan-NRA Life Member
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DivotMaker

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Re: Airflow
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2014, 08:00:10 PM »
If you are in Florida or Arizona it should not matter regarding the amount of moisture in the smoker. yes Florida is very humid but the amount of air in the smoker at the start of the smoke and what little is drawn in is minimal. I'm in Michigan and my #3 is always steaming and smoking when I open the door. I gave up on crispy poultry and am happy. Poultry skin sucks in an SI, poultry meat is awesome as is all SI smoked meat.

+1!
Tony from NW Arkansas
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FunkedOut

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Re: Airflow
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2014, 10:29:13 PM »
If you are in Florida or Arizona it should not matter regarding the amount of moisture in the smoker. yes Florida is very humid but the amount of air in the smoker at the start of the smoke and what little is drawn in is minimal. I'm in Michigan and my #3 is always steaming and smoking when I open the door. I gave up on crispy poultry and am happy. Poultry skin sucks in an SI, poultry meat is awesome as is all SI smoked meat.

+1!

I agree with you guys too.
I'm looking to change the part about how little is drawn in.
My MES was a leaky box and gave me good bark.  it had a lot less power than this box; 40W vs 1200W.

The MES made excellent BBQ, but deteriorated quickly in the swamp.  the nail in the coffin was when the element died in March, and replacement elements were expected no earlier than August. 
Summer without BBQ was a no go.

Lots of research led me here and I stand by my choice.
I may just have to go against the grain on this one.  nothing wrong with that.
I'll report my results.

BTW, I got an email into Steve tonight to hear his thoughts.  I'll wait for that before punching a hole.

Also, NDKoze, I'm sure the jerky dryer works but maybe too well.  I don't want jerky everytime I get a brisket in there. ;)  I may decide to make some jerky in the future. 

thanks to everyone for their thoughts and time.
Joe, in FL
Smoking It #3, Auber PID, 23cfm of boost

NDKoze

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Re: Airflow
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2014, 10:39:27 PM »
I don't use the dryer on anything other than Jerky, Stix, or fresh sausage.

Plus, I have never had trouble getting good bark on any of my pork butt or rib smokes.

Are you using a mustard or oil binder? Or are you applying your rub directly to the meat?

You won't get crispy skin on your birds. That just isn't going to happen. The best bet is to take them off 10 degrees shy of 165 and finish on the grill or in the oven.

I have smoked in some pretty humid ND days (upper 80s/lower 90s with 90+ humidity) and never had a problem getting good bark. So, I am wondering if the issue isn't more with the process.

Just trying to find a way to help with your bark situation.
Gregg - Fargo, ND
Smokin-It #3 that has now replaced the Masterbuilt XL and 10+ Year-Old Big Chief. I also have a Weber Genesis Gas Grill, Weber Little Smokey at home and a Chargriller Deluxe (stick burner) and Camp Chef Three Burner Stove with Grill/Griddle out at the lake place.

FunkedOut

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Re: Airflow
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2014, 03:22:03 PM »
I use oil on birds and nothing on beef or pork; rub right on the meat.
If you use gloves, the rub will stick to the meat and not your hands/gloves.
I was on the very edge of getting good skin on the MES, some of it was crispy, some of it was rubber.
I'll get there with this box.

I have these methods down for some time.  All that's changed is the smoker so I know that's where the difference is.

I heard back from Steve.  He didn't have anything bad to say or fears about my plans.  He offered up a suggestion to restrict the exhaust 50% to see if the wood burns more evenly, before punching a hole.  I think that might work for the woods, not cooling off the front as much, but it's going the opposite way I want to go for the humidity.

I'm going to go ahead and execute.  Ill order some parts, implement and report back.
Thanks again to all.
Joe, in FL
Smoking It #3, Auber PID, 23cfm of boost

NDKoze

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Re: Airflow
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2014, 04:20:02 PM »
I would try using mustard as a binder before you give up on the bark and do the mods.

I also use oil on birds, but have always used mustard on pork and beef and have always had awesome bark.

Good luck on your mods. Let us know how it goes.
Gregg - Fargo, ND
Smokin-It #3 that has now replaced the Masterbuilt XL and 10+ Year-Old Big Chief. I also have a Weber Genesis Gas Grill, Weber Little Smokey at home and a Chargriller Deluxe (stick burner) and Camp Chef Three Burner Stove with Grill/Griddle out at the lake place.

DivotMaker

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Re: Airflow
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2014, 08:38:57 PM »
Cheap old yeller mustard = great bark! ;)   
Tony from NW Arkansas
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McKay

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Re: Airflow
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2014, 10:51:33 AM »
I dont use anything except rub and Im getting bark.

NDKoze

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Re: Airflow
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2014, 11:15:52 AM »
If you haven't tried the plain old yellow mustard, you owe it to yourself to at least try it to compare against your current method.
Gregg - Fargo, ND
Smokin-It #3 that has now replaced the Masterbuilt XL and 10+ Year-Old Big Chief. I also have a Weber Genesis Gas Grill, Weber Little Smokey at home and a Chargriller Deluxe (stick burner) and Camp Chef Three Burner Stove with Grill/Griddle out at the lake place.