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Author Topic: Mod a 22" kettle or .......gasp, go pellet.  (Read 1853 times)

mjacxx

  • Happy Cooker
  • Posts: 7
Mod a 22" kettle or .......gasp, go pellet.
« on: July 19, 2020, 08:45:26 AM »
A decision I have been debating. I have had mediocre temp control success while smoking on a kettle. I am considering investing in a fan and atc controller to perhaps solve temp control problems. However I could, almost, spend the same and have a small pellet rig.
I rv a lot but have space for both a grill and a separate small smoker. Weight and power isn't an issue either. Just cooking for two.
Thoughts?

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michaelmilitello

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1996
Re: Mod a 22" kettle or .......gasp, go pellet.
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2020, 02:50:32 PM »
Can you describe your temp control issues and how you set up your kettle?


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mjacxx

  • Happy Cooker
  • Posts: 7
Re: Mod a 22" kettle or .......gasp, go pellet.
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2020, 06:36:32 PM »
I close the lower intake vent half way. The upper vent is open 1/8 to 1/4.
I have married two Weber baskets together, fill add wood and light with 10-12 fully lit charcoal. I also have fire bricks next to the baskets, from side to side. The remaining area is foiled.
The upper vent/lid is placed on the side opposite the charcoal.
All adjustments are attempted with  the lower vent.
I see temp swings of 40-50 degrees and can't seem to get it to stay at any temp for longer than one hour.

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michaelmilitello

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1996
Re: Mod a 22" kettle or .......gasp, go pellet.
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2020, 06:54:19 PM »
Thanks. How do you measure temps?


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mjacxx

  • Happy Cooker
  • Posts: 7
Re: Mod a 22" kettle or .......gasp, go pellet.
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2020, 06:58:56 PM »
ThermPro. I forgot the model. 2 probes.

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michaelmilitello

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1996
Re: Mod a 22" kettle or .......gasp, go pellet.
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2020, 07:36:32 PM »
Well, thatís a head scratcher.   What you described should give you steady temps.  I would probably try a slightly different vent approach.  I do 1/4 open bottom and top wide open.

Does your lid sit properly?   Is the lid or bowl out of round?

Have you tried the snake method?


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mjacxx

  • Happy Cooker
  • Posts: 7
Re: Mod a 22" kettle or .......gasp, go pellet.
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2020, 03:53:16 AM »
Thanks. I will try your suggestions. I haven't tried the snake as I thought it was for much longer smokes than those I have attempted.

I have some free time so I'll do some tests. 1) your vent settings. 2) the snake. 3) fewer lit charcoal to start.

I will get a very slight wisp of smoke at the lid occasionally but a slight movement will fix it. Otherwise the lid is good.

I assume your not a fan, pun intended, of an atc and fan?

Thanks again.

michaelmilitello

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1996
Mod a 22" kettle or .......gasp, go pellet.
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2020, 05:26:35 AM »
Snakes are fine for shorter cooks too.   

Your technique is sound and I think you may have some analysis paralysis on your temps.   No disrespect intended.  Despite the temps, are you pleased with what youíre producing bbq-wise?

Personally, Iím not interested in Atcs but I have no issue with them.  Iíd rather spend money on quality meat.  I can live with 225-275 for my low n slow cooks.   My bbq turns out fine and Iím happy with the results.   I do overnight cooks for brisket and pork butts and set my maverick to alarm at 210 and 290.   Itís rare that I need to adjust unless itís windy or raining.  The fluctuation really has little impact except things might cook slightly faster or slower.   

I would worry more about the temperature of your beverage [emoji481].  [emoji3]. 

Btw, I had a Traiger and saw temp fluctuations with it too.  Pellets wonít solve the issue completely, especially if you are comparing the thermostat to another probe thermometer.  Itíll drive you nuts.


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« Last Edit: July 20, 2020, 05:35:05 AM by michaelmilitello »

mjacxx

  • Happy Cooker
  • Posts: 7
Re: Mod a 22" kettle or .......gasp, go pellet.
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2020, 10:49:10 AM »
Your snake configuration please.

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