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HBMTN
11-05-2013, 05:35 PM
His name is "Sleep" baby :becky: I just ordered a new FEC120 for catering in 2014 and it should be here in the next 10 days. After going strong for 4 years with a Lang 84 and another stick burner it will be nice to "set it and forget it"

Plus when we sell at our roadside spot I usually take my trailer in on Friday evening and set it up and then come back home and cook all night on the Lang and pull it to town Saturday morning and vend. By Saturday evening after being up most of the night I am dead. This will allow me to get home Saturday evening and reload the FEC and go back and vend again on Sunday and get two whole nights of sleep while doubling my gross sales for the weekend!

landarc
11-05-2013, 05:39 PM
Slacker!


I think this is a good plan

Bbq Bubba
11-05-2013, 07:12 PM
Any worries on the difference in taste and texture going with the pellet pooper?

HBMTN
11-05-2013, 07:17 PM
Any worries on the difference in taste and texture going with the pellet pooper?

I've had a lot but have researched it for 3 months and everyone that I have talked to who cooks on them and all info I have found on the net has been 100% positive feedback. I only found 1 case where someone was not happy and they changed to a different brand of pellet that cured the issue they were having. I guess we'll see how it goes, I'll keep ya posted.

landarc
11-05-2013, 07:27 PM
I will be interested to see what your conclusions are as well. I have a theory that I have as a result of watching the food truck phenomena in San Francisco (a difficult and sophisticated restaurant market) and this would be related.

I figure that people adjust their expectations of food, based upon a variety of factors, but, chief amongst those is not price, but, rather, location and venue. Even a dive joint, because it is 'brick & mortar', suffers from the expectation that the food must be the same every time. There are expecations of permanence associated with a real building. When the same people buy from a trailer, despite the same, or higher costs and even the same location, there is an allowance that they are some how buying "pirate" food and a little variation is to be expected, even desired.

Bbq Bubba
11-06-2013, 06:47 AM
I've had a lot but have researched it for 3 months and everyone that I have talked to who cooks on them and all info I have found on the net has been 100% positive feedback. I only found 1 case where someone was not happy and they changed to a different brand of pellet that cured the issue they were having. I guess we'll see how it goes, I'll keep ya posted.

Just remember its positive feedback from people who probably have never cooked over wood! :wink:

Congrats on the upgrade. Get some rest. :thumb:

HBMTN
11-06-2013, 09:50 AM
Bubba I had two people that had for sure gone from stick burners to the FEC and they both loved the FEC. I will surely post my opinions once I give it a try. Could be a few weeks before delivery though, I have not gotten a date from them as of yet.

HBMTN
11-06-2013, 10:13 AM
landarc I'll have to agree with you, I think a lot of the time anymore that 98% of people would not know good BBQ if it fell in their mouth. There are a few places with in an hour of me that serve some of the sorriest pork one could ever cook but the places have a great atmosphere ad the reviews online are great and people love the BBQ at them.

I know of one that cooks pork loin in an oven, does not even have a smoker on the premises, chops it to almost hamburger with a buffalo chopper and people go crazy over it.

bjbbq
11-06-2013, 01:52 PM
I did a lot of research as well to see if a BBQ restaurant was feasible with a non stick burner. I found that the pellet smokers are able to get really good results. The electric smokers are pretty good as well, but the pellet smokers are much better.
My restaurant is in a state where the HD is pretty strict about outdoor pits, so I went with what I thought was best for what will fit in my place. I ordered 2 Pro Smoker pellet smokers which are very similar the the FEC120, so I will be interested to see how the OP fares. I will know within the next 2 weeks if my smokers will live up to what I need for my restaurant.

kurtsara
11-06-2013, 02:49 PM
I did a lot of research as well to see if a BBQ restaurant was feasible with a non stick burner. I found that the pellet smokers are able to get really good results. The electric smokers are pretty good as well, but the pellet smokers are much better.
My restaurant is in a state where the HD is pretty strict about outdoor pits, so I went with what I thought was best for what will fit in my place. I ordered 2 Pro Smoker pellet smokers which are very similar the the FEC120, so I will be interested to see how the OP fares. I will know within the next 2 weeks if my smokers will live up to what I need for my restaurant.



What town are you in?

HBMTN
11-08-2013, 07:25 PM
The FEC was shipped Tuesday and arrived on UPS Freight today, I had it shipped to my work place and we unloaded it with a Bobcat and forks right on to the back of my truck. Strapped it down and headed home, I thought maybe they were over estimating when they said the shipping weight was 515lbs but the thing is pretty stout. Now I have to figure out how to get it off my truck in the morning.

IamMadMan
11-08-2013, 08:21 PM
Congrats on the new acquisition, keep us posted on performance of the unit.

HBMTN
11-09-2013, 06:04 PM
It made it to the ground safely, we unpack-aged it and plan to give it a test run tomorrow. Gonna let it season for about 3 hours and then put a few yard birds on for dinner. I must say it's an expensive purchase but CookShack does load you up with tons of free (but highly paid for LOL) rubs and sauces, along with a smok'n book and several other goodies. The unit is larger than I imagined, my 13 year old son is in the pic to give it some scale. I could not find many pic's online that gave it scale when I was looking.

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e331/Ruben111/BBQ/photo67_zps0e325356.jpg (http://s42.photobucket.com/user/Ruben111/media/BBQ/photo67_zps0e325356.jpg.html)

HBMTN
11-10-2013, 06:32 PM
Well today I fired up the new FEC120 with in 15 minutes it was at 200 degrees and I run it several hours to break it in. I had to cook today for a tasting for a future booking bride and I cooked for her on the Lang 84 so I decided to cook half a pack of chicken legs on the Lang and the other half on the FEC. Both went on at the same time running about 260 degrees each. Chicken came off of both at the same time. All chicken in the pic came off the FEC except for one piece which came off the Lang. Both were great but I'd say if I had to pick a winner for today's chicken I'd pick the FEC. That could be that subconsciously I'm trying to justify spending $5500 too LOL.

The only thing I can call BS on so far is that Cookshack says the unit will burn 1/2lb of pellets an hour at 250 degrees. That is BS I run the unit set on 225 degrees for 3.5 hours and 250 for 4.5 hours and burned about 14lbs of pellets. By their calculations of burn-age I should have cooked at least 28 hours off of that. Which piece came off the Lang????


http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e331/Ruben111/BBQ/photo68_zps7239d1a0.jpg (http://s42.photobucket.com/user/Ruben111/media/BBQ/photo68_zps7239d1a0.jpg.html)

kurtsara
11-10-2013, 06:37 PM
Well today I fired up the new FEC120 with in 15 minutes it was at 200 degrees and I run it several hours to break it in. I had to cook today for a tasting for a future booking bride and I cooked for her on the Lang 84 so I decided to cook half a pack of chicken legs on the Lang and the other half on the FEC. Both went on at the same time running about 260 degrees each. Chicken came off of both at the same time. All chicken in the pic came off the FEC except for one piece which came off the Lang. Both were great but I'd say if I had to pick a winner for today's chicken I'd pick the FEC. That could be that subconsciously I'm trying to justify spending $5500 too LOL.

The only thing I can call BS on so far is that Cookshack says the unit will burn 1/2lb of pellets an hour at 250 degrees. That is BS I run the unit set on 225 degrees for 3.5 hours and 250 for 4.5 hours and burned about 14lbs of pellets. By their calculations of burn-age I should have cooked at least 28 hours off of that. Which piece came off the Lang????



The top left one?

landarc
11-10-2013, 07:48 PM
No, the one of the far right?

HBMTN
11-10-2013, 08:37 PM
No, the one of the far right?

You got it, it was a shade darker than the ones that came off the FEC

HBMTN
11-13-2013, 07:12 PM
Well the first run with butts on the FEC is complete. I did 7 butts on Monday night. I put them on at 9:45pm at 225 degrees. They were huge butts 10 to 12lb average. I slept a full night :becky: at 7am they were 161 degrees, at noon they were still only 183 so I bumped the pit temp up to 260 because I had to leave with them at 2pm for a school fundraiser. I pulled them from the cooker at 1:50pm and they were at 194 degrees so they spent right at 15 hours in the FEC. Color was great I'd give them a 10 there, texture and tenderness another 10 they were on the money. Aroma gets a 10 as well. Taste ........ well the jury is a little confused here. I want to say there was not enough smoke but i know that is not so because 15 hour in smoke and a good smoke ring was there. There was a taste difference and I'm not going to say bad better or worse but just a difference that I can't put my finger on yet. I used the Cookshack hickory pellets that came with the cooker (burnt 20lbs in 16 hours also) I believe the difference is that the FEC is getting it's heat from fire instead on a coal base and that it is burning much cleaner by doing so. I also think that the wood pellets are much fryer than firewood that I use and I think that makes some difference. Another factor is my Lang and my other offset have either a tuning plate or reverse flow plate that is extremely hot that rendered fat drips on to and and produces some of the smoke good or bad as well where the FEC has no heat from below and does not produce this effect. Over all I think I can work things out to produce a great quality on the FEC. I'm going to play around with a few different wood pellets and see what happens. Ultimatley with my business growing I need some sleep and can not continue to wor 36 hours straight 2 and 3 days a week and try to work a full time job on top of that so the FEC is going to be very nice. I posted a few pic's below but the pic's do not do the color justice. I turned the top 2 fat cap up as they suggest and the rest are cap down.

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e331/Ruben111/BBQ/photo69_zps1426cb7c.jpg (http://s42.photobucket.com/user/Ruben111/media/BBQ/photo69_zps1426cb7c.jpg.html)

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e331/Ruben111/BBQ/photo70_zpsc1edb74b.jpg (http://s42.photobucket.com/user/Ruben111/media/BBQ/photo70_zpsc1edb74b.jpg.html)

FatCoyote
11-13-2013, 07:22 PM
Congrats on your new toy and good luck.

landarc
11-13-2013, 07:37 PM
The difference in wood pellets might help, or so I have heard. Those sure look great, and your customers will tell you about the end product.

HBMTN
12-01-2013, 08:13 AM
I've just cooked for the second time on the new FEC, I have a tasting at noon and I have not tried the meats yet but I think that I have put my finger on one key difference between a stick burner and the FEC. I believe a major difference in the smoke comes from the fact that there is much less humidity in the FEC. When I first cooked on the FEC there was a noticeable smoke difference, I first thought that it was due to a much cleaner burn and I still believe that is a part of it but last night I put two butts on at 225* with a heavy coat of rub on them but instead of waiting for the rub to liquefy I put them straight on the pit. Sometimes if I am in a hurry I do this on the Lang as well. This morning at 7:30am the butts were ready to come off the pit yet the top layer of the rub still looked raw in a lot of areas. If I do this on the Lang they will liquefy and bark up nice. This leads me to believe that the firewood going in the lang has more moisture. I did read that the pellets are 8% moisture but I do not know what the moisture content of firewood is and we all know that more moisture will result in more smoke. My next cooking I will place a water pan on the top rack below the convection fan so that it hits the moisture and see if this makes a difference. My only problem with doing this is that I bought the cooker based on it holding at least 150lbs of meat and I would loose one rack to a water pan by using this method so I will mainly use it to see if it makes a difference and try to figue something out from there. The cooker makes great barbecue just as it is but I do think with some learning curve and adjustments this thing can cook awesome barbecue. Oh and the best part is I slept all night last night :clap:

Pyle's BBQ
12-01-2013, 04:28 PM
Is it possible to put a water pan on the bottom? I don't think you would need it right near the fan. As the water evaporates it would circulate with the other air. I am looking at getting a pellet smoker also. It is good to see that quality is not sacrificed for convenience. My reason for getting a pellet smoker is so that the staff can put meat on at close and it would be ready in the morning.

HBMTN
12-01-2013, 06:10 PM
Pyle on the FEC120 the heat source comes in on top and a convection fan blows the heat down and exhausts on the bottom. The grease drip holes are on the bottom so I am not sure a water pan would work down there but I will investigate that. I am very happy with the unit but it is just one of 3 cookers that I have and the other two are stick burners. There is a difference in the BBQ from the pellet cooker vs the stick burners, not better or worst just different. I'm just trying to tweak things to get the finished product closer to each other so that the finished product is not drastically different when cooked with pellets. I'll try but it may not happen.

Pyle's BBQ
12-01-2013, 10:19 PM
I'm really not worried about having all the same product. It will be my main cooker and I really don't think anyone would notice.

If you are doing mostly pulled pork on different cookers, I would take a but from each cooker and mix them together and see how it turns out. Just like painter mix different batches of colored paint to make sure there isn't a color difference.

HBMTN
12-09-2013, 09:34 AM
1st here let me say that I am keeping this post going and loading it with info on the FEC120 because I found as a caterer a lack of detailed info on the unit other than "it's great" and I want other caterers who are interested in it to be able to see some real life cooking info on the unit.

I had cook last night for a drop off today, we had a blizzard of an ice storm that started yesterday morning. I had some worries about cooking with a down pour of sleet and ice. I went out at 8pm last night to start the FEC, I had a cover over it but for a brief time yesterday it blew off. So when I went to turn the unit on the switch was frozen with ice, I laid my hand over the switch for 30 seconds and this gave me enough heat to thaw the switch to turn the unit on. Then I went to open the firebox door and it was frozen shut and I wanted to make sure the fire started so I went in the house and grabbed a hair dryer to thaw out the door. By the time I got back out side I could see the smoke rolling and the heat from the fire had thawed the door. I did have to heat the slam latch to get all the ice off of it because it was frozen and would not latch the firebox door. I went back inside for 30 minutes and the temp came up to 220* and I put the butts on. About 6am this morning my tv went to a snowy picture (I left it on so I would know if the power went out) The unit had reset and stopped cooking so I had to reset it, all went well after that and butts came off at 9am. So far I will say the unit uses closer to 1lb of pellets per hour and not the 1/2lb that is listed in the specs unless warmer weather will make a difference (I'm sure it wont hurt). One issue that I do not like and I am going to have to put a safe guard in place for is that if the electricity does go off and come back on the unit defaults and stops cooking. So if I went to bed with 150lbs of meat on and the electricity went out at 1am for a minute I would wake up at 7am with a huge problem. I am going to rig up my Maverick and get an alarm to put in my bedroom that plugs in a wall outlet and sounds an alarm if power is interrupted. I found a great deal on the Chargriller Pellets and have used them the past 2 cookings and they seem to be working as good as the Cookshack Pellets and with shipping they were half the price.

Know Bull
12-09-2013, 04:17 PM
I have an FEC 100 that I use for competition cooking. Just a couple of comments from my experience that you might find helpful:

Foil the bottom of your cooker with each use. Put multiple layers of foil. MAKE SURE YOU POKE THE DRAIN HOLE THROUGH THE FOIL. And if you find the need to make a big increase in temperature, you can just pull off the top layer of foil and you have a clean cooker right in the middle of the process and only had the door open for a few seconds. Aside from making the cooker easier to clean, it will reduce your risk of grease fires.

To increase the smoke flavor, you can start off big meats at 180 degrees for 6 or 8 hours. The pellets do not burn as efficiently at the low temp, and put off more smoke. Competition cooks will often go 6 to 10 hours at 180 to 190, then wrap the meat and bump the heat up to mid 200s. (Remember, this is the FEC100 I am talking about, you may have to adjust your results.)

Are you opening the door much? If so, that explains your pellet use. When you open that door you loose a HUGE amount of BTUs that must be replaced. After you learn your cooker, stay out of it.

All pellets are not created equal. Stay away from Traeger, no matter how cheap they look. Mostly filler wood, less BTUs, less smoke. It takes more pellets to cook and impart less flavor.
I hear lot of good things about BBQ Delight, but I have not used them yet. I bought a large stash of 100% hickory (no filler woods) from Fast Eddy last time I was in Kansas City. I also hear good things about cookingpellets.com.

Know Bull
12-09-2013, 04:29 PM
One more thing. Fast Eddy told us this weekend that he puts his brisket trimmings in the empty spots in his cooker. He thinks its increases moisture and flavor. It will increase your cooking time, but no more so than having to heat a water pan; you may wish to consider that solution before you resort to a water pan. If you use trimmings - see my comment on foiling the bottom.....

jasonjax
12-09-2013, 04:48 PM
One more thing. Fast Eddy told us this weekend that he puts his brisket trimmings in the empty spots in his cooker. He thinks its increases moisture and flavor. It will increase your cooking time, but no more so than having to heat a water pan; you may wish to consider that solution before you resort to a water pan. If you use trimmings - see my comment on foiling the bottom.....

Very interesting.

I too have an FEC-100 I use for competitions occasionally and doing some cooking for the masses for my son's cub scouts etc.

You can put a battery backup UPS of some sort on to handle the electrical issues. Just make sure it can handle the amperage draw and for how many hours you'd like to be covered. If the 120 is much like the 100 it will draw very little amperage after igniting the pellets. I'm thinking 1/2 amp or so based off my memory.

I really like this thread, and hope you post some more as you use it more. One modification I made to my FEC-100, which I don't think would work for the 120 is a small grate of expanded metal attached to the outer side of the firebox for me to add wood chunks for more smoke.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8004/7520360530_d7898ac51a_c.jpg

The Cosmic Pig
12-09-2013, 08:21 PM
Very interesting.

I too have an FEC-100 I use for competitions occasionally and doing some cooking for the masses for my son's cub scouts etc.

You can put a battery backup UPS of some sort on to handle the electrical issues. Just make sure it can handle the amperage draw and for how many hours you'd like to be covered. If the 120 is much like the 100 it will draw very little amperage after igniting the pellets. I'm thinking 1/2 amp or so based off my memory.

I really like this thread, and hope you post some more as you use it more. One modification I made to my FEC-100, which I don't think would work for the 120 is a small grate of expanded metal attached to the outer side of the firebox for me to add wood chunks for more smoke.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8004/7520360530_d7898ac51a_c.jpg

Oh, man, this is great! Exactly how did you attach the metal to the firebox? That's the only problem I have with my FEC...how to get more smoke flavor! Thanks in advance! Oh, and do you just hang the chunk slightly over the firebox to get it started?

HBMTN
12-09-2013, 09:31 PM
Know Bull - I never open the door so heat BTU's getting out that way. I bought it so I could sleep and I have been sawing some logs :becky:

Weardc - I like your smoke adapter I have thought about adding something small like that. There is room in the firebox for it, the firebox is on the back of the 120 where I think it is on the bottom of the 100. I could add a few chunks of wood for the first few hours, then go to bed.

early mornin' smokin'
12-10-2013, 08:30 AM
i'm looking at a pair of 120's for my place, what's your average capacity? max?

HBMTN
12-10-2013, 05:10 PM
i'm looking at a pair of 120's for my place, what's your average capacity? max?


I have not loaded it down yet as I have only had about 3ish weeks. It will hold 4 buts per rack and has 5 racks however they say not to blanket load the bottom rack (not sure why) So if you put 2 butts on bottom rack then you can get 18 butts per load.

The Cosmic Pig
12-10-2013, 07:26 PM
Know Bull - I never open the door so heat BTU's getting out that way. I bought it so I could sleep and I have been sawing some logs :becky:

Weardc - I like your smoke adapter I have thought about adding something small like that. There is room in the firebox for it, the firebox is on the back of the 120 where I think it is on the bottom of the 100. I could add a few chunks of wood for the first few hours, then go to bed.

HBMTN, the adapter actually belongs to Jasonjax. I want one, though! I just couldn't tell exactly how he had attached it, and I don't want to go drilling holes in a the wrong place! :oops:

jasonjax
12-11-2013, 09:23 PM
Oh, man, this is great! Exactly how did you attach the metal to the firebox? That's the only problem I have with my FEC...how to get more smoke flavor! Thanks in advance! Oh, and do you just hang the chunk slightly over the firebox to get it started?

I used the existing screws from the firebox. You just have to lift up the sheet metal. SUPER easy.

As for placing the wood chunks, exactly, just place them a bit away from the pellets dropping into the firebox and the heat takes over from there.

Know Bull
12-14-2013, 08:58 AM
HBMTN, the adapter actually belongs to Jasonjax. I want one, though! I just couldn't tell exactly how he had attached it, and I don't want to go drilling holes in a the wrong place! :oops:

Cookshack now makes a piece to hold the extra wood chunk for additional smoke in a FEC100. Simple bolt on, no drilling or cutting required. When I got mine a few months ago, it was so new that it did not even have a part number yet. Call sales or customer service.

HBMTN
12-22-2013, 06:09 PM
Well it looks like one of my biggest fears with buying the FEC has come true with barely having it a month. I went out and started up the cooker to put some butts on that I want done in the morning. After about an hour I was outside and checked on it (as I was still gun shy about it not running properly) and low and behold the unit was off. I checked the power supply and it was good. The FEC is currently DEAD :cry::sad::confused: Unit does not power up at all. The manual says there is a high temp cut out to check but it does not tell you where it is and I have removed the panels and checked everywhere and can not find one. I was only cooking at 200* so I can't imagine it got too hot. So I fired up the trusty old Lang 84 and put the butts in it. I guess I'll call CookShack in the morning to see what is up. Glad it happened now vs once I went to bed or I would have been dead in the water for my catering job tomorrow.

HBMTN
12-22-2013, 06:40 PM
OK I may have jumped the gun a little but I still like to post the real world cooking on one of these units so people can see "real life" operation of one.

The story - when I found the unit had turned off I went and checked where it was hooked to the outlet and it was mostly unhooked "I think my kids may have kicked the cord" but after hooking it back up the unit still would not turn on. Me being an auto mechanic by trade for 27 years could not let it rest and I went back to seek out and find the high temp kill switch and I finally found it. There is a black plastic piece on the back of the pellet hopper and as it turns out is simply a cap and when I twisted it hard it came unscrewed to reveal a push button under it and I heard it click when I pushed on it and I turned the unit on and it is now working. My theory is that when the power cord was close to coming unplugged it cause the high temp switch to trip. I am going to run and monitor it for a couple hours meanwhile I have the meat on my Lang and if all looks good I will switch the meat back over to the FEC before I go to bed. I will then get up and check on it a couple times throughout the night to make sure that is all it was. On a good note- Those butts getting a few hours on the Lang is a sure fire way to get smoke in them :)

HBMTN
12-23-2013, 09:15 AM
The FEC run all night with no high temp tripping issues. Last night was the first time that I have tried the cook and hold feature with the meat probe. I had it set so that when the meat internal temp was 195* the cooker would back down to 140* and hot hold for me. I went out at 6am and it was in hot holding mode. About 8am I decided I am very gun shy of the thing right now so I am going to go probe those butts. I checked them and they were not even close to done. I have read nothing nor can I find anywhere I that I need to calibrate the meat probe. I kicked the cooker temp to 325* and at 9am I pulled the butts and tried to have pull the meat and it took force so I pulled it down to smaller chunks and foil wrapped them meat in a pan and kicked the cooker temp to 350* and now I am praying. I have to pull that meat at 10:45am to have time to get to my drop off. This will be my closest call in 4 years in business. I know when I get this thing dialed in that it will be a good cooker but I sure am gun shy right now.

TailGateJoecom
12-23-2013, 08:46 PM
The FEC run all night with no high temp tripping issues. Last night was the first time that I have tried the cook and hold feature with the meat probe. I had it set so that when the meat internal temp was 195* the cooker would back down to 140* and hot hold for me. I went out at 6am and it was in hot holding mode. About 8am I decided I am very gun shy of the thing right now so I am going to go probe those butts. I checked them and they were not even close to done. I have read nothing nor can I find anywhere I that I need to calibrate the meat probe. I kicked the cooker temp to 325* and at 9am I pulled the butts and tried to have pull the meat and it took force so I pulled it down to smaller chunks and foil wrapped them meat in a pan and kicked the cooker temp to 350* and now I am praying. I have to pull that meat at 10:45am to have time to get to my drop off. This will be my closest call in 4 years in business. I know when I get this thing dialed in that it will be a good cooker but I sure am gun shy right now.

Hold on, let me see if I understand this. You did a probe cook, setting internal meat temp to 195, with a holding temp of 140. At some point in the night the cooker went into hold mode and dropped down to 140. You don't know when this happened, but at 6am when you looked for the first time it was already in holding, and at 8am you probed and the internal on the meat was south of 195.

Well, what I would think happened is, at some point the meat did finish at 195 (which may not have ever been cooked enough for that piece of meat, we know these things are variable) and then at that point it went into hold mode for some unknown amount of hours more than at least 2. Once the temp of the cooker drops below the internal temp of the meat, the meat temps will also drop as the meat will not stay hotter than the oven. After sitting in a 140 oven for a few hours, your meat is now below it's internal high temp of 195.

The hold feature at 140 is meant to keep food above the danger zone, not keep the internal temp of the meat at your set internal temp.

Does this sound plausible?

HBMTN
12-24-2013, 05:44 PM
As it turns out TailgateJoe the meat was not done. My best figures based on what I have found since is that it went to hot hold when the meat hit about 1605-175* I called Cookshack and they said they are having a problems with the processors not recognizing the meat probe temps properly and they were aware of the issue and correcting it. As soon as they get the updated processors finished they would ship one to me that would correct the issue. I asked if there was a way to calibrate the meat probe and they said no. Lucky after breaking the butts down to smaller pieces and keeping them wrapped they turned out perfect just when needed so my catering job went off great!

landarc
12-24-2013, 06:06 PM
Sounds like just more learning curve, and needing to keep the plugs in. Probably would have been fine minus the plug issue. Thanks for the rolling reports

HBMTN
02-02-2014, 07:57 PM
Just want to add that after cooking with the unit another month everything is getting better with each cooking. I have found that by starting the cook at 175* for about 2 hours and then bumping the temp to 225* it really helps get more smoke. A little spritzing goes a long way as well. I'm happy where it's at but I still want to find a way to get a little more smoke for some occasions but it's close. I was told by CookShack they would be sending me an updated processor with the inaccurate food probe temps but I have yet to see it and it has been over a month so I will call them this week. I bought the cover for for like $175 and it was well worth it.

bjbbq
02-03-2014, 12:34 AM
It is good to see that you are having good results with your FEC 120. Like you, I was also a bit gun shy about my poopers(Pro Smoker). My first issue was the outlet I used was a GFI and one unit would trip it when the element was getting it started. I just had to do change where they were plugged in to fix that.

I too noticed that the humidity is probably what seemed to cause my chicken's skin to be a bit tough. The next time I made chicken, I used olive oil before putting on the rub and they were perfect.

The rest of my cooks have yielded some of the best Q I ever cooked(even on my stick burners) and I do get to sleep like a baby at night with my GURU digiQ wifi. I have yet to have an issue, but i can't take the chance of a flame out with a couple hundred pounds of meat in the smoker.

I only added to this thread to help others in case they were thinking of going to a pellet setup. I know I don't have an FEC, but the units are very similar so my info could maybe help someone.

HBMTN
02-03-2014, 05:59 PM
bjbbq that is something I don't like is that if the power goes out for 15 seconds the system will default and stop cooking and you won't know it. I plan to hook my Marverick ET732 to the FEC and route the probe so that it will send me a signal if there is a low temp issue for any reason in the middle of the night.

ncBBQtx
02-04-2014, 10:50 AM
I know of one that cooks pork loin in an oven, does not even have a smoker on the premises, chops it to almost hamburger with a buffalo chopper and people go crazy over it.

That's an abomination! I don't even know if you should speak of this, it's the Voldemort of BBQ!

toadhunter911
02-04-2014, 04:43 PM
That's an abomination! I don't even know if you should speak of this, it's the Voldemort of BBQ!

As long as the guys not calling it BBQ pulled pork, fine. But it is puzzling what some folks consider good BBQ. :doh:

HBMTN
02-04-2014, 05:09 PM
As long as the guys not calling it BBQ pulled pork, fine. But it is puzzling what some folks consider good BBQ. :doh:


They do and they have been in business for over 30 years. I do believe when the founder ran it that they served real deal BBQ but now with children running it they don't but people still like it. Go figure.

toadhunter911
02-08-2014, 10:50 AM
They do and they have been in business for over 30 years. I do believe when the founder ran it that they served real deal BBQ but now with children running it they don't but people still like it. Go figure.

I always have someone at events telling me about the great BBQ pork they or their Uncle Bob makes in the crock pot. Than they taste what I brought...:loco:



:jaw:

iceblue
02-11-2014, 02:47 AM
Cookshack now makes a piece to hold the extra wood chunk for additional smoke in a FEC100. Simple bolt on, no drilling or cutting required. When I got mine a few months ago, it was so new that it did not even have a part number yet. Call sales or customer service.



I have an Fec100 but had no idea Cookshack offers this. Very interesting! Do you just attach with the bolts on the fire pot?

early mornin' smokin'
02-18-2014, 09:41 AM
iceblue, they now have an official line item for the piece you're talking about, it's called a "log burner" and attaches to the fire pot, dave is throwing them in with almost every new order free of charge.

Sinnfull-BBQ
02-18-2014, 11:00 AM
Thanks for the great post and keeping it updated with your experiences. I learned quite a few tips that i hope to pass on to a friend of mine who has recently got a 120. Thanks again and Best of Luck and continued success with your catering business.

HBMTN
02-18-2014, 03:21 PM
So it's been 2 two months and I'm still waiting for the updated processor to fix the inaccurate meat probe issues which kinda sucks because my season it getting ready to take off and I was planning to depend on the meat probe to drop the temps to a hot hold while I was still sleeping so for now at least my $5000 purchase to get sleep is still going to have me up probing meat temps in the early am. They tell me it issue is still in the hands of the software provider.

I catered my first wedding with this cooker this past Saturday and everything went well. I have pork and chicken that I am very pleased with however I will say for now that my stick burner will for some reason cook brisket way better than the quality I am getting off the FEC. I hope to keep tweaking and figure that our but for now there is a huge difference.

mchar69
03-03-2014, 03:56 PM
I catered my first wedding with this cooker this past Saturday and everything went well.

Nicely done. Any pics?

HBMTN
04-01-2014, 05:13 AM
So I figure another update was in order. As you can see maybe from my post time I am up at 5:30am as I was also at 4am and 5am. Why am I up? Because I have a time line that puts some butts needing to be done this morning between 4-7am and one of the big selling points for me on the FEC was the meat probe that could shut the unit down to hot hold when the butts reach the temps that I want. As of this posting date I am still waiting on a new processor from CookShack to fix the inaccurate meat probe issues that they have with this unit. It's been 3 1/2 months and when I called them the other day they said that they were still working on it and did not have a release date as of now. All I could read about CookShack when II researched buying this unit was how fast and efficient the made repairs/shipped parts and things of that nature. I bought this unit 100% so I could get sleep and here I am up just as much as with my Lang and I am not getting the sleep I spent $5k for. Can ya tell I'm a little P!$$ed?

On a side note I have noticed that 7.5-8lb butts take anywhere from 14-16 hours to reach 195* in this unit at 225 degrees. When I inquired about this to CookShack thinking that maybe the food chamber probe accuracy was a little off as well I was a little shocked when they told me that it is standard for them to see 14-16 hours cook time on a 7.5lb butt. When I questioned them about it as to why they proceeded to tell me about the plateau effect of meats yada yada yada. I told them I am not a newbie but every other cooker I have will cook a 7.5lb butt to 195* in 12 hours at 225 every time. While I have not taken the time to check with accuracy with another probe which I will do it sometime, I was just shocked when they said it was normal. I see this time period whether I have 2 butts on it or 10. I will just bump temps up some to find a 12 hour cook time.

Another side not is that if you stay awake at night and don't mind cooking longer hours the FEC120 will cook excellent pork, chicken and ribs. As for brisket it's good but nowhere near what a stick burner will do and I still have not figured out why it does so well on the other meats but not so much on brisket. It's not bad, just not near as good.

When I bought the unit all info said it burns 0.5lb of pellets per hour at 250 degrees. CookShack and since updated their info to say 1.5lbs of pellet per hour at 250 degrees. Seems they were off by 66% on their pellet amounts. I am seeing around 1lb per hour at 225 degrees. I have been recently using the BBQ Delight Pellets and they are way better than others I have tried. All in all my happiness with this unit rests 95% on CookShack getting the issues fixed with the meat probe. SO if you're in the market for one of these units I'd ask them if it has been corrected before I bought one. I'll post here as soon as I have it corrected as well.

TailGateJoecom
04-01-2014, 10:02 AM
So I figure another update was in order. As you can see maybe from my post time I am up at 5:30am as I was also at 4am and 5am. Why am I up? Because I have a time line that puts some butts needing to be done this morning between 4-7am and one of the big selling points for me on the FEC was the meat probe that could shut the unit down to hot hold when the butts reach the temps that I want. As of this posting date I am still waiting on a new processor from CookShack to fix the inaccurate meat probe issues that they have with this unit. It's been 3 1/2 months and when I called them the other day they said that they were still working on it and did not have a release date as of now. All I could read about CookShack when II researched buying this unit was how fast and efficient the made repairs/shipped parts and things of that nature. I bought this unit 100% so I could get sleep and here I am up just as much as with my Lang and I am not getting the sleep I spent $5k for. Can ya tell I'm a little P!$$ed?

On a side note I have noticed that 7.5-8lb butts take anywhere from 14-16 hours to reach 195* in this unit at 225 degrees. When I inquired about this to CookShack thinking that maybe the food chamber probe accuracy was a little off as well I was a little shocked when they told me that it is standard for them to see 14-16 hours cook time on a 7.5lb butt. When I questioned them about it as to why they proceeded to tell me about the plateau effect of meats yada yada yada. I told them I am not a newbie but every other cooker I have will cook a 7.5lb butt to 195* in 12 hours at 225 every time. While I have not taken the time to check with accuracy with another probe which I will do it sometime, I was just shocked when they said it was normal. I see this time period whether I have 2 butts on it or 10. I will just bump temps up some to find a 12 hour cook time.

Another side not is that if you stay awake at night and don't mind cooking longer hours the FEC120 will cook excellent pork, chicken and ribs. As for brisket it's good but nowhere near what a stick burner will do and I still have not figured out why it does so well on the other meats but not so much on brisket. It's not bad, just not near as good.

When I bought the unit all info said it burns 0.5lb of pellets per hour at 250 degrees. CookShack and since updated their info to say 1.5lbs of pellet per hour at 250 degrees. Seems they were off by 66% on their pellet amounts. I am seeing around 1lb per hour at 225 degrees. I have been recently using the BBQ Delight Pellets and they are way better than others I have tried. All in all my happiness with this unit rests 95% on CookShack getting the issues fixed with the meat probe. SO if you're in the market for one of these units I'd ask them if it has been corrected before I bought one. I'll post here as soon as I have it corrected as well.

To be honest, I never hear of anyone complaining about the probe, but I think that's just because nobody really uses it, myself included. Now, that isn't an excuse, it should work properly.

As far as your pork cooks, I am doing big loads of ibp butts around 9 lbs each at 250 degrees for 12 hours. Maybe try bumping your temps a bit. You can't always take an exact workflow from one cooker and transfer that directly to another cooker.

HBMTN
04-01-2014, 03:32 PM
To be honest, I never hear of anyone complaining about the probe, but I think that's just because nobody really uses it, myself included. Now, that isn't an excuse, it should work properly.

As far as your pork cooks, I am doing big loads of ibp butts around 9 lbs each at 250 degrees for 12 hours. Maybe try bumping your temps a bit. You can't always take an exact workflow from one cooker and transfer that directly to another cooker.


I was told there was a bad batch of processors causing the probe issues. I plan to do as you say on the times and thanks I'll try 250* next cook to see is that gets me to 12 hours. I am just scratching my head as to why they are not done at 225* in 12 hours as they would be on all other pits that I have and have ever cooked on.

TailGateJoecom
04-01-2014, 04:49 PM
I was told there was a bad batch of processors causing the probe issues. I plan to do as you say on the times and thanks I'll try 250* next cook to see is that gets me to 12 hours. I am just scratching my head as to why they are not done at 225* in 12 hours as they would be on all other pits that I have and have ever cooked on.

Maybe the temps on a computer controlled pellet cooker are more precise and you aren't truly cooking at the 225 you think you are on the other pits. The convection of the 120 actually allows you to either drop your cooking temps by 20 degrees or cook a little faster. I know guys using the fec100 doing 270 for 12 hours. I think truly cooking butts at 225 would take more like the 14-16 hours you are seeing.

HBMTN
04-01-2014, 06:23 PM
I was thinking maybe the tight air quarters in the 120 were causing a lack of air flow between shelves causing it. I would agree with you that a 9 or 10lb butt could or would take 14 plus hours at 225* but a 7.5lb butt taking 16 hours just ain't right in my book but hey it wouldn't be the first time I was wrong LOL. My other pits have AshCroft Gauges and they are the best that you can buy. It it possible that the radiation heat from the reverse flow plate and tuning plates on my other pits have some effect like you said.

It's a great cooker and I can see myself probably getting a second one next year I just want the probe working because it will help me the way I my times and sleeping need are. That has a lot to do with why I keep posting the good, and bad about my experiences with this unit as I found a lack of good info when I researched buying one.