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can only hold low temp (225) for about 4 hours then have to apply CPR

Don't know what I am doing wrong but I'm definately not read for a 20 hour cook. I mix up the old lump, get rid of the ashes, pour in some new lump (about 2" from top of the firebox bowl). cruise just fine till about 4 hour mark then temp drops, have to open up the vents wide, kick start the fire and monitor closely till done (happened both times i tryed this temp and duration).


  • hounddoghounddog Posts: 126
    fill the fire box to overflowing is my suggestion

  • GrumpaGrumpa Posts: 861
    new guy,[p]My luck has come from always using 80% (or more) new lump and leave the top vent wide open or even off. Control the fire with the bottom vent only. Try this and see if it helps in your case as well. Let us know how you do.[p]Bob

  • DavidRDavidR Posts: 178
    new guy,[p]You need to ignore what the manual has told you about how much lump to use. Fill the entire firebox with lump, clear up to the bottom of the fire ring. Dig a small hole in the center of the lump, place a firestarter stick or cube in there and light it up, and gently place a few pieces of lump on top of it. Ever since I started doing that for the low & slow cooks, I've NEVER had to lift that lid again until the meat was done, 24 to 30 hours later.[p]
  • new guy,
    Just took a look inside and 2/3 of the lump was unburned. only the about the middle 4" was burned amost to the grate.
    Does a big inverted cone shape pile (high in the middle) do better or does that create a hot spot in the middle? Or, using mostly new lump just level load it higher?

  • GaDawgGaDawg Posts: 178
    new guy,
    Use mostly new lump, load it up to the top of the
    ring, start the fire in the center with one fire starter
    and you'll have it made. Save any unburned lump and use
    it in your next high temp cook.

  • new guy,
    I'm new at this myself (3 months) and had similar problems. Then ran across Elder Ward's recipie (bible ?) for pulled pork - he also includes detailed instructions for fire preparation. Basically, large lump on bottom, then medium size chunks, then small. And fill the firebox to the top![p]The last two long cooks went 18 and 24 hours - steady temp and did not have to add more lump during cook. I'm still trying to break myself of the habit of checking on it every hour!![p]Another tid bit picked up here was when starting the fire for a long cook (most start the fire on top, I do) don't let it get too hot at the start. I now close the vents down at around 170 or so. Seems to have worked for the last two long cooks.
    Elder Ward's recipie, along with a slew of other great info, can be found at Tim M's web site in the cook book.
    Cruise through the posts and you will see his post's. Rule of thumb, for me at least, if anyone posts a link here, it is usually well worth the side trip.
    The wealth of knowledge you can find here will make your head spin. Good food and great people![p]Happy Eggin![p]LVM

  • LasVegasMac,[p]Thanks, I have gotten a lot from Tim's Site also (It's Great). Just looked there saw the pulled pork in the cookbook but did not see Elder Wards detailed recipe or firebuilding instruction. tryed doing a search here but could not get it to connect to any forum postings on "pulled pork". Any ideas how I can find it? (Does He go by "Wardster"?)[p]new guy

  • YBYB Posts: 3,861
    new guy,
    Here is the link your looking for.

    [ul][li]Elder Ward's Pulled Pork[/ul]
  • YB,
    Thank you very much!
    I think that is exactly the firebuilding lesson I needed.[p]New Guy

  • Thank you to everyone who responded. It is very much appreciated and very helpful. If it was not for a place like this with all you great people willing to give advice I would have gotten discouraged.

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