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bk.hundley

Maintaining consistent internal temp across smoker

I'm still a rookie when it comes to my Lang. I have the 48" Deluxe model. Moving to a Lang was my first time using an offset smoker. Previously, I was using an Open Range model of The Good One brand with a BBQ guru attached. Is it possible to get an even temperature across the lower cooking area of my Lang? I seem to run 50 to 60 degrees higher on the right side closer to the firebox than I do on the left side. Is that just how it is with an offset and I just have to keep moving my meats around?
Eddie Z

It's all about fire management. Using smaller splits, raking the coals back, adjusting the exhaust dampers on the warmer box. I also have the 48 patio deluxe.  I'll probe both ends of the cook chamber using my tappecue. I set the probe thru the top grate and let it hang down a few inches off the bottom grate. Use a balled up sheet of foil and poke the probe tru it so the end isn't touching the metal.
gladsheismyx

constant temps..

I never have a temp variance from one end to another of more than 10 degrees, unless.. I mismanage my fire and controls. Recently we did a whole hog. it came out amazing. we did have fire control issues twice because we were not paying attention to our fire. we overloaded the firebox. But, we simply started a very active control management and we were able to get the temps even again and it stayed at 255F.
one thing I learned is how important it is to practice with just wood, no food. once I learned my rig, it is amazingly consistent. another thing I do when my temps spike because of my inattentiveness, I open that cooker door and let out heat while re adjusting my firebox and all of my controls. I love controlling and fine tuning the temps with the exaust stack vent! it really helps even things out. also, I preborn my wood and make coals as it helps a lot also. I have access to a lot of free wood so if I use up a bunch, no big deal.
KeystoneLight

Re: Maintaining consistent internal temp across smoker

Hi BK.  Looking to buy a Lang too but I'm in CA and want to check one out first.  You have any comparisons to share between your GoodOne vs. Lang?
Midwest Freak

have you let the cooker come up to temp and stabilize ? just saying that the metal of the smoker hast to heat up and it takes a little bit to heat up end to end before getting a accurate reading .
bk.hundley

Re: Maintaining consistent internal temp across smoker

KeystoneLight wrote:
Hi BK.  Looking to buy a Lang too but I'm in CA and want to check one out first.  You have any comparisons to share between your GoodOne vs. Lang?


I had the Open Range model, and it was great for the amount of cooking I do. The only problem was I could only really cook a few things at once (e.g. 2 briskets or 2 pork shoulders, or a few chickens. I'm not cooking for big groups yet, but I hope to at some point. I also like the idea of cooking with all wood - more traditional I guess. With The Good One, you use lump charcoal and wood chunks vs. all wood. I turned out some great meats on the Open Range model. Combined with a BBQ Guru, fire management was very easy - made overnight cooks a bit easier. I had to drill a couple of holes in the front and use the universal style connector, but it worked out great. At first, I was really skeptical about drilling holes thru my smoker, but I'm glad I did it. I really like cooking on my Lang smoker, but I've yet to master it. As you can see from some of the other posts, I need more practice with fire management. I did not realize how different fire management is on the bigger offset smokers. I've produced some good cooks on my Lang to date. But, I'm still struggling with fire management. Any advice from others is much appreciated. I guess I just need some more practice.
bk.hundley

Re: constant temps..

gladsheismyx wrote:
I never have a temp variance from one end to another of more than 10 degrees, unless.. I mismanage my fire and controls. Recently we did a whole hog. it came out amazing. we did have fire control issues twice because we were not paying attention to our fire. we overloaded the firebox. But, we simply started a very active control management and we were able to get the temps even again and it stayed at 255F.
one thing I learned is how important it is to practice with just wood, no food. once I learned my rig, it is amazingly consistent. another thing I do when my temps spike because of my inattentiveness, I open that cooker door and let out heat while re adjusting my firebox and all of my controls. I love controlling and fine tuning the temps with the exaust stack vent! it really helps even things out. also, I preborn my wood and make coals as it helps a lot also. I have access to a lot of free wood so if I use up a bunch, no big deal.


Any advice you have on how to use the different controls to help with fire management would be greatly appreciated. I admit, I have not experimented enough. I never thought of using the smoke stack vent to control my temperature. I'm always messing with the controls on the firebox only.
bk.hundley

Eddie Z wrote:
It's all about fire management. Using smaller splits, raking the coals back, adjusting the exhaust dampers on the warmer box. I also have the 48 patio deluxe.  I'll probe both ends of the cook chamber using my tappecue. I set the probe thru the top grate and let it hang down a few inches off the bottom grate. Use a balled up sheet of foil and poke the probe tru it so the end isn't touching the metal.


Do you vary both the damper between the cooking area and the warmer box as well as the exhaust dampers at the top of the warmer box, or do you open the main one wide open and vary the exhaust dampers only? Never thought using those would help even out my temperatures in the main cooking area. I need to experiment with raking the coals back. I typically build my fire in the middle of the fire box and never spread the coals out.
MOTU

I'm new to Lang's as well and have been having very consistent temps across the grate but the difference between the top and bottom shelf is as much as 70 degrees (top being hotter). I think that much of this is inherent in the design and the fact that heat wants to rise and take the path of least resistance towards the stack.

I do use a leveler and make sure that the bubble resides about 60% towards the right making for a slight nose up set up. Another thing I noticed is that when opening the lid to spray etc the top/bottom variance would shrink to about a 25 degree difference for about ten minutes or so but then ultimately climb back up.

Do any of you Lang gurus have any suggestions to help even out the top to bottom temps on a Lang? I did install some flashing inside to the bottom of the stack and it goes down to about 2" below the bottom of the top shelf but haven't fired her up yet. I'm hoping this will work but was looking for a more novel approach using the OEM design instead of rigging it up.

By the way, the tru temp that came with the smoker is off (boil test verified) by only one degree. Nice unit!
Eddie Z

Ive installed a 3"duct tube so that it will draw the heat down from the top. It does even out the heat some. The top rack will always run hotter because heat rises.
MOTU

Thanks Eddie. That's kinda what I was afraid of. it's not a huge deal but will likely end up having to rotate ribs and other pork/beef from top rack to bottom during those longer cooks when the smoker is filled up. The chicken can stay up there the whole time to get nice and crispy! Smile
MOTU

Update: So I installed the flashing to lower the smoke stack inside the cooking chamber and the result was too good.

Before mod: up to 75 degree variance between the top grate and bottom grate (top being hotter of course).

After mod: up to a 10-13 degree variance between the top and bottom but this time the bottom was hotter. Go figure. Maybe I can push the flashing up a bit so the bottom of the flashing is higher up in the chamber. A fine tuning.

Either way I am super happy with the result and would recommend this simple and cheap mod to anyone trying to equalize temps on the top and bottom portions of their smoker.
bk.hundley

MOTU wrote:
Update: So I installed the flashing to lower the smoke stack inside the cooking chamber and the result was too good.

Before mod: up to 75 degree variance between the top grate and bottom grate (top being hotter of course).

After mod: up to a 10-13 degree variance between the top and bottom but this time the bottom was hotter. Go figure. Maybe I can push the flashing up a bit so the bottom of the flashing is higher up in the chamber. A fine tuning.

Either way I am super happy with the result and would recommend this simple and cheap mod to anyone trying to equalize temps on the top and bottom portions of their smoker.


I read about doing this in Aaron Franklin's BBQ book (which is a very good read btw). What material did you use to lower the smoke stack, and how long did you make it? Were you able to balance out the temps with a few tweaks?
Wood River BBQ Team

I read about doing this in Aaron Franklin's BBQ book (which is a very good read btw). What material did you use to lower the smoke stack, and how long did you make it? Were you able to balance out the temps with a few tweaks?[/quote]

I have an email from Ben Lang where he thinks it will improve the efficiency of the Lang cooker. Actually, the ideas been around for a long time. It helped improve the efficiency of cheapo smokers but it's just physics -- you're changing the direction of the heat/gases/smoke. Those element, when they make the turn around the reverse flow plate, want to head directly to the chimney. The extension forces those elements over the lower grate.

I can't remember the details of my extension but I bought it at Home Depot in the section that has hot water heater exhaust tubing. The unit just shoves up into the chimney and cost about $6.00. Mine extends down to almost the bottom grate where I do most of my cooking but you can adjust it to any height.
MOTU

My experience is with a 36 patio. I used roof flashing that can be bought in 8 or 10 foot rolls. The dryer vent duct works as well. The first cook after the install I had the extension going almost all the way down to the lower grate. I went from a 70-90 degree variance from upper to lower grate to a 10 degree variance with the lower grate actually being the hotter area. A simple adjustment to the extension to just past the upper grate leveled it out even more. That the sweet spot on my cooker.
bosox1901

maybe this is a dumb question...but it moving the stack exhaust location lower to the bottom grate fixes uneven temps, and brings more smoke across the bottom grate, why isn't it designed that was from the jump?  seems like the logical thing, I've seen people do it on countless other smokers with good results.  just wondering why lang hasn't done it?  is there some other reason not to design it that way?
Baltimore Bull

For any folks out there who have done the smokestack extension mod, what diameter tubing (aluminum hose, duct connector, etc.) have you used?  The inside diameter of my smokestack measures around 4 1/4" and the outside diameter measures 4 1/2 ".

Thank you
Wood River BBQ Team

Baltimore Bull wrote:
For any folks out there who have done the smokestack extension mod, what diameter tubing (aluminum hose, duct connector, etc.) have you used?  The inside diameter of my smokestack measures around 4 1/4" and the outside diameter measures 4 1/2 ".

Thank you


I used a 4X24 duct connector. Perfect fit on my 36 pation. I just shoved it into the chimney. You could also secure it with a sheet metal screw. The duct connector is a lot easier than duct tubing .
JohnH12

Wood River BBQ Team wrote:
Baltimore Bull wrote:
For any folks out there who have done the smokestack extension mod, what diameter tubing (aluminum hose, duct connector, etc.) have you used?  The inside diameter of my smokestack measures around 4 1/4" and the outside diameter measures 4 1/2 ".

Thank you


I used a 4X24 duct connector. Perfect fit on my 36 pation. I just shoved it into the chimney. You could also secure it with a sheet metal screw. The duct connector is a lot easier than duct tubing .


Do you have any pics of the installed connector? I'm a visual king of cook.
Thanks.
Wood River BBQ Team

Thank you[/quote]

I used a 4X24 duct connector. Perfect fit on my 36 patio. I just shoved it into the chimney. You could also secure it with a sheet metal screw. The duct connector is a lot easier than duct tubing .[/quote]

Do you have any pics of the installed connector? I'm a visual king of cook.
Thanks.[/quote]

I don't have a picture readily available - there might have have been one with the topic when it first came up but I can't find it.  In any event, all you'd see is the duct connector shoved into the bottom of the chimney. The bottom of the connector ends up just above the lower grate. If it wasn't raining here I'd check but I think the duct is expandable so you can set it to any length you want. It's not necessary but you could drill a hole and add a sheet metal screw if you wanted to.  The result of all this is a consistent temperature top to bottom & side to side in your cook chamber.

Someone asked that if it works why doesn't Lang (or any BBQ builder) extend the chimney -- the answer is they save a few bucks in production cost and probably 75% of the BBQ cooks couldn't care less about the temperature differential. Most don't even know there is a temperature differential.

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