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-   -   Pellet smoker 'General' guidelines ?? (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21645)

Q_Egg 11-04-2006 09:14 AM

Pellet smoker 'General' guidelines ??
 
... some helpful Brethren made some interesting posts on my initial Thread re. a recent Traeger Texas Style 075 purchase. As I try to come up to speed with the nuances of pellet burners, I hope there are some Brethren guidelines that can help me find the 'sweet spot' approach that makes the most of what these cookers can do. Clearly, I'm referring to 'non-smoke' type cooks like chicken , large pieces of fish, turkey or turkey breasts, ....

One comment I noted was start in the 'Smoke' or 180*F mode for the first 30 minutes or so and then crank up the temp to the appropriate range for the product. Did I get this right ?? ... and ... are there some other gems of wisdom to put out such great Q that wifey stops asking "why did we need another cooker" .....

I truly feel this is a great complement to the BGE and there's is not much I should'nt be able to smoke or cook proficiently with some time and expereince under my belt.

Any good thoughts from you capable pellet professionals ??


Q_Egg 11-04-2006 04:54 PM

.... must have been a butt _ignorant question. Sorry guys!

SmokeInDaEye 11-04-2006 05:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Q_Egg
.... must have been a butt _ignorant question. Sorry guys!

Not at all Q Traeg. I personally have never used a pellet cooker so am of zero help but it sounds great! As for the wife, just expain that this one practically cooks the meat itself, allow more time with her.:twisted:

Plowboy 11-04-2006 05:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Q_Egg
... some helpful Brethren made some interesting posts on my initial Thread re. a recent Traeger Texas Style 075 purchase. As I try to come up to speed with the nuances of pellet burners, I hope there are some Brethren guidelines that can help me find the 'sweet spot' approach that makes the most of what these cookers can do. Clearly, I'm referring to 'non-smoke' type cooks like chicken , large pieces of fish, turkey or turkey breasts, ....

One comment I noted was start in the 'Smoke' or 180*F mode for the first 30 minutes or so and then crank up the temp to the appropriate range for the product. Did I get this right ?? ... and ... are there some other gems of wisdom to put out such great Q that wifey stops asking "why did we need another cooker" .....

I truly feel this is a great complement to the BGE and there's is not much I should'nt be able to smoke or cook proficiently with some time and expereince under my belt.

Any good thoughts from you capable pellet professionals ??


Guys that use pellets for comp will use a pellet mix. Everyone has their own mix that they like, but it usually involves about 50% oak because its cheap. The other 50% is equally split between hickory and fruit wood.

I have yet to get a distinct difference in smoke flavor or color from different flavors of pellets. Pellets do a great job of giving smoke flavor, color, and smoke ring. The flavor differences seem more subtle than real wood... at least for me.

BTW, we call them Tree Turds.

Plowboy 11-04-2006 05:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SmokeInDaEye
As for the wife, just expain that this one practically cooks the meat itself, allow more time with her.:twisted:

That's good!

I'd love to have an Egg for the occasional need to play with fire. They seem awesome. If I can ever find a used Kamado, I'd have to pick it up. Been looking.

kcpellethead 11-04-2006 05:14 PM

Well, I complete so much cooking with pellets, I don't often cook other things (no time). I cook with two FE-100's. They are different than the 075. The 075 will work well for long cooks and short cooks. It will not get up to 450 - 500 degrees. It will cook at 350 easily. It will cook lower even easier.

I don't know which controller you have on your unit, but on mine I don't need to start on the 180 or Smoke setting. I have a 225 setting and use it a lot. Your fuel use will be moderate because the pit is not insulated.

Keep your unit clean & dry and you'll have many happy cooks with it. I don't know what else to tell you. Ask more specific questions when you think of them and we'll do our best to answer.

Rod

Plowboy 11-04-2006 05:36 PM

Rod - What's your take on different pellet flavors?

Wife and I are enjoying some Iowa chops and crab stuffed fungus. The 075 is a pork chop cooking fool! Great combination of smoke and sear. Smells great and is very juicy. Started at 180 for 30 minutes and then cranked to 325 for about another 45-60 min. They temp'ed at 165, which is probably a little hotter than I would have liked them still on the grill.

Q_Egg 11-04-2006 05:49 PM

.... OK, .... now I have a few 'nuggets'. Mixing pellets, tree turds, 225*F for many cooks, won't likely do the 450*-500*F stuff so will use the BGE for those. We love pork chops so that formula is a keeper.

Thanks gentlemen .... three large chicken breasts are almost ready ... 325*F for just over 1 hour and looking/smelling awesome (ly) ?? I appreciate the help.

Happy Saturday Night!

Kevin 11-04-2006 05:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Q_Egg
.... OK, .... now I have a few 'nuggets'. Mixing pellets, tree turds, 225*F for many cooks, won't likely do the 450*-500*F stuff so will use the BGE for those. We love pork chops so that formula is a keeper.

Thanks gentlemen .... three large chicken breasts are almost ready ... 325*F for just over 1 hour and looking/smelling awesome (ly) ?? I appreciate the help.

Happy Saturday Night!

Q_Egg, you are so polite! Rod (kc_pellethead) knows his stuff. I'm just glad to be along for the ride.

Q_Egg 11-04-2006 07:31 PM

... actually a sarcastic s_b, but trying to follow excellent examples (present company included) .....

Dang , that chicken is good!

Sawdustguy 11-04-2006 08:50 PM

Q_egg,

This is one cooker than you do not want to get wet. If you do not do it already, keep it in the gararge when not in use.

Q_Egg 11-04-2006 08:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sawdustguy
Q_egg,

This is one cooker than you do not want to get wet. If you do not do it already, keep it in the gararge when not in use.

----------------------------------------
... got the message ! Fortunately we stay very dry much of the year, but will want to plan ahead when our few 'monsoon' times come around. I'm already looking for sealed containers for the 'tree turds'.

A few years in No. Andover, MA taught me what Summer hum_dity is all about.

Regards,

Plowboy 11-04-2006 09:17 PM

A couple other tips...

May seem common sense to many, but it wasn't to me. Start your cooker on High or a high temp on your dial. This keeps the pellets feeding at a good rate until you get a good flame established. About 5 minutes and I find that my pit is up to 200 degrees pretty easily. Then back down to whatever temp you want to cook at. When I first started, I'd start my cooker on smoke or 180. This didn't feed the pellets in fast enough and I sometimes wouldn't get a good fire established before my hot rod shut down.

At some point this will happen to you. Your fire may go out. Either you are going to run out of pellets or you don't get a proper start. If you refill the pellet bin and don't turn your cooker off and back on, the hot rod isn't going to restart your fire. No matter how your fire goes out, make sure you look at the little fire ring in your pit to make sure that unlit pellets haven't mounded up in your pit. If they have and you restart, you could be burning a ton of pellets at one time and have a real problem on your hands.

So the tip is to look for mounded pellets if your fire ever goes out.

Plowboy 11-04-2006 09:22 PM

If you use a pellet pit for comp, you may want to carry a spare controller with you. Almost all of the pellet teams that we've talked to have spare controllers with them. We learned the hard way at a contest here in Blue Springs, MO this year. Two hours before turn in, the controller on our big cooker went out. We had no spare and had to hard wire the auger and hand feed pellets for 3-4 hours.

Q_Egg 11-04-2006 09:25 PM

Good tip! .. lots to learn. Tonight I was watching everything pretty close and saw the digital temp gauge drop down to 310* when I had it set to 325*. Opened the bin and pellets (sorry, tt's) were down low ... some up on sides but almost gone in center. Quickly dumped in more and away it went. This 'mounding' tip is great.

Thanks.


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