Don Godke's Downdraft – Anyone have one?

macabra11

Well-known member
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54
Location
Boise, Idaho
I was just curious if anyone here has installed a Don Godke Downdraft system to their RecTec? It seems like it would help keep smoke low in the chamber and potentially even out hot spots, all while saving pellets. The installation is simple and I like the adjustable butterfly valve. I was just wondering if anyone had any real world experience with one???

http://dongodkesdowndraft.com/
 

Mike

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1,823
Location
Lexington, KY
Grill(s) owned
  1. Bull
@macabra11 I've thought about buying one of these in the past but I've seen a ton of mixed reviews. Enough to make me think it probably doesn't do as much as you think.

If you do get one, I'd love to hear your input as well.
 

cutplug

Well-known member
Messages
455
I had a downdraft exhaust on my Traeger. I thought it was worth while. It put a bit more smoke on my cooks. it did even out some hot spots and maybe saved some pellets.
The newer ones now are only 3 sided and thinner material. I do like the Godke Idea of the vent.
Last I talked with him he hadn't made one yet for the Bull but I do believe he did for the 680 which would be the same. There is one other guy that makes them as well.https://shop.pelletgrillaccessories.com/ If you don't want Don's name on your grill.
I will pony up for one again eventually...
 
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cutplug

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455
Update, I did not speak with Don it was Mike from Pellet Grill Acc. I had his downdraft on my
Traeger without the vent. They are not listed on the website for the Bull but Mike said he makes them and to just contact them to order. I just don't want some dudes name on my BBQ!
A few favorable reviews found inlcude...
http://bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=229163 and

https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/downdraft-hood-for-traeger.172183/

one guy even says he doesn't need to use a smoke tube anymore.
and another who mentions using a 3" duct elbow instead.
The pic is of Mikes. As of Sept 2019 it was about 85 bucks including shipping.
I think I would reverse the vent door to swing down for more clearance.
 

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mooncusser2k

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Near a man-made island
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I have a Don Godke on my RT700, it's the same one listed for the 680. Got it when I bought the RT and installed it new, so I don't have a comparison for with/without. I've heard from others with experience that it helps even temps and reduce pellet use. I do perceive a difference if I forget to reset the opening. YMMV
 

Darkknight59

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Grill(s) owned
  1. RT-680
I have one installed on my 680 ...which I must add still performs exceptionally well with no breakdowns. I found the add on to be beneficial to increase smoke control.
The being said..I ordered a 590 to replace it and will be looking for that mod for the new RT when it arrives.
 

Darkknight59

New member
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2
Grill(s) owned
  1. RT-680
I have one installed on my 680 ...which I must add still performs exceptionally well with no breakdowns. I found the add on to be beneficial to increase smoke control.
The being said..I ordered a 590 to replace it and will be looking for that mod for the new RT when it arrives.
Well...looks like I'll be out of luck on that mod as I don't see availability for the 590...
 

Roaniecowpony

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A number of offset stick burners place the exhaust at grill level. I think there's more than one way to improve smoke circulation on a barrel pit.
 

macabra11

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54
Location
Boise, Idaho
I would really like to see a before/after test with/without the downdraft, of measuring pit temps at the grate across the entire RT700. My theory is that it would really help even out temps due to change in convection flow.
 

cutplug

Well-known member
Messages
455
The 590 does have the 3 vents in the back. Sure would be cute to have 3 downdrafts looking at you!
I would get a Godke if he didn't plasma cut his name on it. I emailed him and asked if I could buy one without his name, he said "sorry to disappoint, its his patent logo.
I will go with pellet accessories and order from Mike.
 

cutplug

Well-known member
Messages
455
I would really like to see a before/after test with/without the downdraft, of measuring pit temps at the grate across the entire RT700. My theory is that it would really help even out temps due to change in convection flow.
Not just your theory but listed as a feature from the folks that sell them. I had one on my old traeger and they did help a lot to even temps more smoke and less fuel usage.
 

Brian Vallotton

Well-known member
Messages
178
I was just curious if anyone here has installed a Don Godke Downdraft system to their RecTec? It seems like it would help keep smoke low in the chamber and potentially even out hot spots, all while saving pellets. The installation is simple and I like the adjustable butterfly valve. I was just wondering if anyone had any real world experience with one???

http://dongodkesdowndraft.com/
I had never heard of these before. Thanks for posting about it. I think I would like to add this to my new Bull. I do like more smoke rather than less!
 

Brian Vallotton

Well-known member
Messages
178
I have a Don Godke on my RT700, it's the same one listed for the 680. Got it when I bought the RT and installed it new, so I don't have a comparison for with/without. I've heard from others with experience that it helps even temps and reduce pellet use. I do perceive a difference if I forget to reset the opening. YMMV
I visited his site and bookmarked the page... I will revisit it and buy one soon! Thanks for sharing. I think it will pay for itself as much as I cook on my Bull!
 

Roaniecowpony

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I'm guessing any kind of additional insulation would also increase the smoke, since the pot BTU could be lower which allows the auger, and fan to work less for the same temperature. I would think this would be especially helpful cooking in cold weather.
 

cutplug

Well-known member
Messages
455
I got the downdraft in the mail yesterday. I was a little disappointed at first. The build quality is pretty rough. The door opening doesn't fit quite right and it doesn't quite sit flush perfectly.
The bolts don't match the originals. He does use 16 gauge 304 stainless though and I am sure It is not easy to work with. So again I was a bit put off and then I remembered some wise old
soul on this forum who told another member who was obsessing that and I quote " People, it is a BBQ not a god damned Ferrari!"
So now I am quite happy with it, it will do it's intended job and I will install it tonight and cook up some now marinating chicken thighs.
Just a caveat as since I brought up this particular vendor I don't want other folks to be as disappointed as I thought I was!
 

Blues1

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Glad you did....let us know what you think. Did you have to do any drilling to make hole line up?
 

cutplug

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455
No drilling required. Extra hands are helpful!
Here is the hood installed in the closed and open position. Cooked up some bone in thighs afterward. Can't really say much from one cook but my low temps stayed the same at 180
with min. feed rate set at 3.
From my previous experience with one that did not have the adjustable opening is that it is a subtle difference. The outlet exhaust square inch is exactly the same as original so it does not
block any air flow but just adjusts it down to grate height.

I don't really see a need to have it open at any time but we shall see.

0414201701a_resized.jpg
0414201702_resized.jpg
 

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