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Thread: Temp control: adjust top or bottom vents?

  1. #31
    TVWBB Platinum Member Dustin Dorsey's Avatar
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    The fluid dynamics of it is way over my head. I know at one time Harry Soo was advocating using the top to control temp. I think that's mainly how they control temps on big Jambo Pits. My thinking is there will be more gas coming out than what is coming in just because you are going to have gas created by the combustion that has to leave. Also the air as it is heated needs to expand. I don't think you'll see a real consensus on this. It's also not like the air can only go one speed in or out. It's going to speed up the air somewhat if you constrict airflow somewhat, right? Kind of like a garden hose.
    22.5 WSM, 22.5 OTS, Smokey Joe, Genesis 1000, Slow N Sear 2.0, Smokenator 1000, Old Country Pecos, Thermapen, Smoke, Maverick ET-732, Igrill 2

  2. #32
    TVWBB Honor Circle Timothy F. Lewis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Allingham View Post
    To me, it makes more sense to control combustion by controlling airflow into the cooker at the bottom where the fire is located, then allowing exhaust gases to freely leave the cooker via a top vent. For Weber to say the opposite in kettle grill instructions has more to do, I think, with the ease of seeing and adjusting the lid vent vs. fiddling with the One-Touch sweeper at the bottom of the charcoal bowl.
    I fully agree with the physics behind this thought pattern Chris! Restrict intake which will slow (reduce) the heat.
    In a very few instances the use of top vent to make minor adjustments is fine but, marking the catcher or learning where to close things down. It’s really about learning how to control a “Combustion Chamber”, reduce intake (choke) = slow fire...increase intake (open throttle) increase fire.
    Sorry to feel like a complete idiot but, this is stuff I learned when I did the first turkey I ever did on a Weber, 38 years ago.
    I think there are some threads that I should just leave alone.
    That said, it’s not as complex as “WE” seem to make it. Put food on grill, if it looks like it’s going too fast, choke it back, if it’s rolling along, just RELAX, the end product will be just fine.
    Some of the concern over minutiae is just silly. If you’re in competition, that’s a different issue which you can only learn through trial by fire, no pun intended but, surely applicable.
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  3. #33
    TVWBB Pro J Hasselberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Allingham View Post
    To me, it makes more sense to control combustion by controlling airflow into the cooker at the bottom where the fire is located, then allowing exhaust gases to freely leave the cooker via a top vent. For Weber to say the opposite in kettle grill instructions has more to do, I think, with the ease of seeing and adjusting the lid vent vs. fiddling with the One-Touch sweeper at the bottom of the charcoal bowl.
    Bingo. Manuals are written for the casual user and controlling temp with the top vent is a very simple-to-understand instruction and frankly, won't effect the outcome of a casual cook one way or the other. Imagine a manual for a product as ubiquitous as a Weber kettle that gets into fluid dynamics and the importance of balancing the temp, smoke and gasses. That's what forums are for!!

    Jeff
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  4. #34
    TVWBB Hall of Fame timothy's Avatar
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    Yea I dunno. You have more intake than outtake and on a WSM that would be 3/1 and on a kettle with a one touch maybe 4-5/1.
    Makes more sense to adjust the intake, but I guess that comes down to the individual and what your using now.
    My first kettle was a 3 vent daisy wheel, and like my WSM"s I'm just used to dealing with the intakes.
    I don't think we need a real consensus on this, just whatever works for you.

    Tim
    Different smokes for different folks. Wish the Dollar Store sold gas!

  5. #35
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    I always kept the top vents wide open and controlled the temp with the bottom ones with my WSM's.
    With my current smoker the WSC, I use both top and bottom vents. Bottom vent stays at the smoke setting and fine tune with the top vent. It's a different animal, much less air flow than the WSM.
    Last edited by Scott Saw; 09-22-2019 at 07:07 AM.

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