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Fire went out with Stoker???

PicklePickle Posts: 74
edited 11:21PM in EggHead Forum
Was cooking 2 butts last night. Went to bed at 11:30 with grate temp at 220. Woke up this morning, and stoker is blowing away, but grate temp at 76 and butt temp at 87? Trying to understand what I did wrong. I could feel air flowing out of the top vent. Anyone ever have this happen before?


  • bcrawfo2bcrawfo2 Posts: 85
    I'm new here too....but...
    Did you build your fire well?
    Did you have enough fuel?
    Did really get it lit (stabilized before you turned on the stoker)?

    I'm guessing you really didn't get a good fire started. You're going to get told...learn how to control temperature manually before you use a stoker.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    happens every now and then. powered draft fires can and do go out.

    not enough lump? center burn? what was the issue?
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • PicklePickle Posts: 74
    I had the stoker hooked up from 9-11:30, and temps seemed fine. Plenty of fuel. Thought the fire was stabilized pretty well. The only thought I had was maybe top vent wasn't open enough.
  • PicklePickle Posts: 74
    Had plenty of lump, and didn't appear that I had a center burn issue. Thought I had a pretty good fire established, but maybe wrong. I am also wondering if top vent wasn't open enough...
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    if it's open, it's open enough.

    sometimes the fires go out, unfortunately. tough to diagnose.

    if it was all huge chunks, the fire may have run itself into an island, and been unable to find new lump
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • PicklePickle Posts: 74
    That's probably it. I noticed the lump was very big, and I was happy with that when I loaded it. Not so much now.
  • PicklePickle Posts: 74
    Strange thing about that though. When I looked this morning there were coals that had a little ash on them, but not burned nearly all the way through. It wasn't like I had a pile of ash sitting on new lump. Oh well, just hope this is an isolated rare event...
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    it's a weird thing...
    big lump is great for air flow in a big fire (steaks, etc.). and it can be good at the BOTTOM of a fire built for lo-and-slo, but i found out the hard way that all larger chunks can sometimes (though rarely) be a problem. the fire has fewer contact points to fresh lump, and can get "stuck" somewhere. at least, that's the thinking.

    sometimes the buggers just go out.

    i used to just go to bed and take my chances. now, i go to bed around midnight, set the alarm for 4 am, and get up around 8am. the fire will never go out the second i turn my back, and so it'll never be a food-safety issue ("is my pork ok to eat").

    temps are (for me) luckily always stable. for me, checking the fire is more a peace of mind thing. though there is often temp-creep up or down ten degrees or so. jiggle the grate to loosen the ash, and adjust vents, then back to bed.

    small price to pay.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    I've only ever had one fire go out and I was using a Guru at the time. I was cooking 4 butts and had made a makeshift drip pan out of foil. 4 butts generated too much grease for the pan and one side collapsed spilling the grease down into the ashes creating a mud that clogged the air holes. -RP
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    I have had a fire go out with my DigiQII, it was a center burn. The burn pattern looked like a funnel.

    One needs to go back to the basics. Heat (the burn) = fuel and air.

    If the lump was filled up to the top of the fire box and there was not a center burn the heat should have continued throughout the night.

    It is possible too much air flow could be a problem but that would be unusual. The air flow can't be reduced on the Stoker so if you have the 10 cfm fan it would be pretty hard to not have enough air flow even if the DFMT was completely shut.

    If the holes in the fire grate and firebox were all plugged it is also possible the air flow went into the fire box then out and around the outside of the fire box and fire ring. The result would be that not much air would be feeding the lump/fire. With out more information this is all guessing.

    It would be helpful to see the inside of the egg and the lump.

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