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View Full Version : holding brisket/pork - 3 methods - which?


comfrank
04-22-2009, 04:27 PM
Hi,all,

I know the standard method of holding brisket and pork until turn-in time is to foil and put it in a dry cooler. I've recently gotten a DigiQ controller (if you check out my "hello" in the cattle call, you'll see why :icon_blush:). Not only can you dial in a temperature, but the DigiQ also has a ramp feature where as the meat approaches its "done" temperature, the pit temp decreases to match the meat. So that suggests to me three methods of holding brisket and pork until turn in:

1. Dry cooler.
2. Ramp feature.
3. Dialing in a holding temp--say 145F??

Now, naturally, I will try all three methods myself, but I'm wondering if anyone on the forum does either number 2 or 3. Any ideas as to which of the three methods would be preferred? Any gotchas?

Thanks!

--frank in Wilson, NY

Divemaster
04-22-2009, 04:40 PM
I really like using a cambro (or a cooler). My fear with option 3 is that you are still adding heat to the cooker even if it is low...

crd26a
04-22-2009, 04:49 PM
I would be afraid with #3 of it bringing the temp of the meat down too much. At least with a dry cooler (we foil ours and wrap in a towel we've heated on the firebox). This will keep at a higher consistent temp, as by the time you pull / slice, and deliver, the temps going to drop a fair amount. I'd hate to give myself a 30-40 degree handicap to begin with.

As for the Ramp feature, I'd be curious how long it would take to truly ramp up to the temp you want, without it being an absolute nightmare to try and know really well.

The Pickled Pig
04-22-2009, 04:54 PM
I vote for the dry cooler/cambro/carlysle option for a slightly different reason.

If you cook a brisket to 200F, let it vent for 15 minutes, then wrap it in foil and place in a dry cooler it is going to stay above 190 for a couple of hours and slowly go down from there. The time that the meat is hovering there above 190F is important because the connective tissue continues to break down without overcooking the protein. Then, the as the protein slowly cools below 190F it will absorb some of the moisture and flavor you have in the foil.

So, if you want to leave it in the cooker to rest instead of a dry cooler, I'd set the temp to 190 or so for a couple of hours.

Smokin Mike
04-22-2009, 04:57 PM
cambros are worth every penny!. I learned how to use it, and I swear bbq is better holding it in the cambro.

I just wish I had 1 more :)

I tried to "hold" with the fec, I gave up, wasted to much meat trying to make it work

jason
04-22-2009, 05:05 PM
What's a cambro?

musicmanryann
04-22-2009, 05:10 PM
What's a cambro?


http://www.acemart.com/renderImage.image?imageName=graphics/00000001/products/CAM300MPC-519.jpg

An insulated food holder...

Divemaster
04-23-2009, 03:40 PM
What's a cambro?

It's like a cooler only 10 times better. Normally used by catering. I've kept food above 145* for over 12 hours.

They aren't cheap but worth every cent!

KC_Bobby
04-23-2009, 03:53 PM
I've held pork butts in a cooler (Igloo Legend 40 qt) for over 10 hours (at home, not comp). When I pulled them, they were still steaming hot - I had to add cotton under the latex. At a comp, I generally have them in the cooler by the time I start cooking chicken.

I guess all I'm saying is don't be scared that a cooler will not work.

Jacked UP BBQ
04-23-2009, 03:53 PM
I try not to rest for hours. If I can get a nice foil rest out of it for like 45 minutes, it works great for me. If I do have to rest for a long period of time, I go with the cooler or cambro.

WineMaster
04-28-2009, 02:04 PM
It's like a cooler only 10 times better. Normally used by catering. I've kept food above 145* for over 12 hours.

They aren't cheap but worth every cent!

What is it that makes a cambro that much better than a 5-Day cooler?

Jacked UP BBQ
04-28-2009, 02:11 PM
What is it that makes a cambro that much better than a 5-Day cooler?

I would say nothing.

YankeeBBQ
04-28-2009, 02:11 PM
What is it that makes a cambro that much better than a 5-Day cooler?

For me it's the convenience of being able to slide a full or half hotel pan in there.

Scottie
04-28-2009, 02:12 PM
The same reason a dump truck is better for hauling gravel than a station wagon. Could you get it done in both? Sure, but one is made for the job and the other is compromised to make the job work...

Cambro's also hold stuff cold as well.

chad
04-28-2009, 02:19 PM
I would love to have two Cambros with the wheeled dolly.

They are stackable, hold standard width restaurant pans (stainless, foil, lexan), and hold temps for a long time.

I use 120qt coolers and while they get the job done they don't allow nice stacking of full sized pans. I've also warped a couple - but then I had about 80-100 pounds of hot foiled pork butt in them at the time.

As far as "ramping" or hold temps on the cooker. I used to use an Alto-Shamm slow oven for roast beef and prime rib. Cook at 250 for whatever and then hold at 160. Worked great. So, holding in an oven is doable if you have a true hold oven that's not going to vary between 140-200 degrees while "holding". A 50 degree swing is not uncommon in regular electric or gas ovens.

Basically, use what you find works best for your product, the time you need to hold, and how much you need to hold.

WineMaster
04-28-2009, 03:17 PM
The same reason a dump truck is better for hauling gravel than a station wagon. Could you get it done in both? Sure, but one is made for the job and the other is compromised to make the job work...

Cambro's also hold stuff cold as well.


Like Beer??????

Scottie
04-28-2009, 03:27 PM
Just put a tray of ice in there and it will keep anything cold....

smoke showin'
04-28-2009, 05:03 PM
Cambro cambro cambro

Jeff_in_KC
04-29-2009, 08:22 AM
I'd vote Cambro / cooler over the other two methods. I have a ramping mode on my Guru and tried it once but it really was a waste of time. Plus, if you're using the same cooker to do your ribs and chicken, you don't want your temps being ramped down to hold the big meats.

The only reason I could see purchasing a Cambro over a cooler is convenience. Sliding pans in to hold the meat stacked in there is a lot better than the mess created when you lay a bunch of foil-wrapped meats into a cooler on top of each other. When the foil starts leaking out all over everything and you have to clean it up, that's a pain in the ass.

musicmanryann
04-29-2009, 08:31 AM
I'd vote Cambro / cooler over the other two methods. I have a ramping mode on my Guru and tried it once but it really was a waste of time. Plus, if you're using the same cooker to do your ribs and chicken, you don't want your temps being ramped down to hold the big meats.

The only reason I could see purchasing a Cambro over a cooler is convenience. Sliding pans in to hold the meat stacked in there is a lot better than the mess created when you lay a bunch of foil-wrapped meats into a cooler on top of each other. When the foil starts leaking out all over everything and you have to clean it up, that's a pain in the ass.

Lol, I have had to do that more than once and I completely agree with you!:lol::x(<<This emoticon is not mad, but he does have a pain in his ass)

The other thing about Cambros/Carlisles, at least as I understand it as I cannot afford one yet, is that they will hold a temp for much longer than a regular cooler. I heard somewhere they will only lose one degree per hour for the first several hours.(?)

The other cool thing about Cambros is that you can say you have one. :lol:

early mornin' smokin'
04-29-2009, 10:22 AM
if pre heated with boiling water, a cambro will stay hot for almost a day! They wont warp, can be used hot and cold, and are easy to clean. Sliding in hotel pans is great, 6 half pans fit in there perfect, and it really helps to be organized and have stuff right at your fingers.

Chipper
04-29-2009, 03:08 PM
I got a couple from Craig's List a month ago and used them last week for the first time. A fine investment for sure.

HalfSauced
04-29-2009, 09:02 PM
As far as "ramping" or hold temps on the cooker. I used to use an Alto-Shamm slow oven for roast beef and prime rib. Cook at 250 for whatever and then hold at 160. Worked great. So, holding in an oven is doable if you have a true hold oven that's not going to vary between 140-200 degrees while "holding".

The Alto-Shamm is also a very humid environment. Do not expect the same from your cooker, unless it is also a humid environment. The shamm has a very tight fitting door gasket with two small vents to control humidity. Without the humidity, moisture would be pulled out of the product as it is being held to replace the humidity inside the oven/cooker.

The Cambro would be my vote. We have several at the restaurant, couldn't cater without them. BTW... They lose about 4 F per hour. So load your meat at 190 and your safe (above 140) for a very long time.

Plowboy
04-29-2009, 09:16 PM
The Alto-Shamm is also a very humid environment. Do not expect the same from your cooker, unless it is also a humid environment. The shamm has a very tight fitting door gasket with two small vents to control humidity. Without the humidity, moisture would be pulled out of the product as it is being held to replace the humidity inside the oven/cooker.

The Cambro would be my vote. We have several at the restaurant, couldn't cater without them. BTW... They lose about 4 F per hour. So load your meat at 190 and your safe (above 140) for a very long time.

I've held a full Cambro of butts out of the cooker for 24 hours.

I've seen Winston CVaps hold BBQ over 24 hours.

musicmanryann
04-30-2009, 09:48 AM
I've held a full Cambro of butts out of the cooker for 24 hours.

I've seen Winston CVaps hold BBQ over 24 hours.

What is this?:-?

wheels61
04-30-2009, 10:56 AM
doesn't the bark get soft and mushy in the cooler or cambro.

Scottie
04-30-2009, 11:28 AM
I'd take soft and mushy bark over hard and crunchy any day...

WineMaster
04-30-2009, 11:51 AM
I'd take soft and mushy bark over hard and crunchy any day...


Gotta agree with that

lwest99
04-30-2009, 03:43 PM
What model of Cambro's does everyone have?

swamprb
05-01-2009, 06:55 AM
Just curious about using the Cambro as an ice chest for the meats- would ice in a 6" full size pan on the bottom and meats in trays be sufficient? Or would ice and frozen gelpaks be overkill? I haven't cooked that much quantity of meat to fill a Cambro since I got them and still use a styrofoam Omaha Steak box around the house. I've got 2 of the 400MPC Cambros.

early mornin' smokin'
05-01-2009, 07:31 AM
im not sure of the model, but its the standard black one, holds 6 half hotel pans. As far as cooling goes, pre cool it first, ice and cold water and let sit, after that keep a shallow tray of ice in the top rack and it'll keep cool. Biggest thing with the cambro is keep the door closed!! Its not an oven, only a cooler.

DDave
05-05-2009, 08:52 AM
The same reason a dump truck is better for hauling gravel than a station wagon. Could you get it done in both? Sure, but one is made for the job and the other is compromised to make the job work...

Totally off topic . . . but that is without a doubt the best "correct tool for the job" analogy I have heard yet. :biggrin:

Caught me totally off guard. I'm still chuckling.

Bravo!!

Dave

WineMaster
05-05-2009, 10:23 AM
Probably more like a Pick-up and a Dump Truck.
But if your only putting some rock around the bushes ???????????????

Balls Casten
05-05-2009, 10:50 AM
The Cambros work better because there is less dead air or space to heat and cool.
You can place one pan on the top shelf and it will be as efficient as a full cooler.

Poker Smoker
05-05-2009, 11:35 AM
http://charlotte.craigslist.org/for/1129737661.html

DDave
05-05-2009, 05:30 PM
Probably more like a Pick-up and a Dump Truck.
But if your only putting some rock around the bushes ???????????????

Ah . . . but the station wagon made it much funnier.:biggrin:

Dave

Divemaster
05-06-2009, 08:09 AM
Just curious about using the Cambro as an ice chest for the meats- would ice in a 6" full size pan on the bottom and meats in trays be sufficient? Or would ice and frozen gelpaks be overkill? I haven't cooked that much quantity of meat to fill a Cambro since I got them and still use a styrofoam Omaha Steak box around the house. I've got 2 of the 400MPC Cambros.

I also have two of them... Use one to keep the trimmed meat cold and the other to keep the hot stuff hot...

As for pre-cooling, I put a full hotel pan of ice on the top shelf with a half sheet pan under it for support... Pre-chill it for about 15 minutes and then put the meat in... I found that that same full hotel pan keeps every thing below 40* for up to 18 hours....