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BayouRouge

use of drain valve

Can you explain how opening or closing the drain affects draft and/or cooking chamber temperature?

I assumed that you should run with the valve closed but like to here other perspectives.
Eddie Z

You want the valve open for the grease to drain. If you think you are drafting air thru the drain into your cooker then maybe close it half way.
vandy

I usually keep mine closed almost all of the way because I have found that I can keep the temp in the 225 range better with it closed.  The only thing I have cooked that had enough grease to come out of the drain is a turkey.  If I want the temp in the 300 to 350 range I will leave it all the way open, like when I was cooking that turkey.  Think of the drain as almost another smoke stack on the bottom and only about half the size of the smoke stack on top so it will cause a draft, if I have it all the way open I do see smoke coming out of it.  Before I figured this out I could never seem to keep my temps below about 275 to 300 no matter how small my fire was unless it was cold outside then you almost have to keep everything open all the way to get a 225 temp.  Those are my observations with my 36 hybrid anyway but like they say your results may vary so just play with to see what happens.
BayouRouge

drain valve

I didn't mention that I have a 36 patio.
I am finding that I can get lower temps in the 225 range with it closed. It wanted to run 275+ when open. I don't have much if any grease draining during my cooks so closing is not a problem.
vandy

That is exactly what I found out when I left mine open all the way, I could not get the temp down below about 275 unless I let the fire die down then it would go too low so I would have to get it back up by adding more wood, then it would go up too high again so it was yoyoing up and down.  Since I started closing it off I can regulate the temps a lot easier.  I cooked a slab of ribs a couple of weeks ago and I was able to hold the temp close to 225 for the whole cook which was about 5 hours and the ribs turned out great.  When the gridle below the meat is good and hot you do not have much grease at all.
BayouRouge

drain valve

Vandy
It is good when someone confirms what you think is happening. I cooked ribs yesterday and had an easier time controlling below 250 and a small fire. It is also allowing me to adjust the vent stack to trim temps. With a small fire and not much coals, the smoke is a little ugly when adding a new stick if I don't give more air until it catches.

Thanks
Golopus

I have 48 deluxe,  for a year now.  Did big party yesterday and saw smoke coming from valve,  did not notice any problems in my cook. This is the first time I've seen this since I've owed the smoker.
Eddie Z

If you're getting smoke coming out of the drain then you're not drafting enough. Your pit might have been over loaded or you have a stack issue.

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