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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 09-04-2009, 11:14 AM   #31
nolesfan954
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B3 View Post
Big Jim: I hadn't realized the seasoning could give me a chance to practice temp control. I'll be sure to tend it closely, and I won't forget to have fun. Thanks.

D-Master: Is Christmas early this year? That is more advise than any newbie deserves. I assure you, it is much appreciated. While my butt meditates in the cooler, I'll also make it write your name 100 times on the blackboard.

Skidder: I'm still on the lookout for a digital thermo to stick in the meat that I can view outside the can. I've seen a few digital displays with leads in pictures on the forums. Any idea where I could pick one up?


Well, I've got the coal, a chimney starter, and my PAM all ready to go. I'm going to season/practice tomorrow evening. Ya'll are awesome.
"Ya'll"? Hmm, people look at me funny when I say that while visiting my friends in Columbus! Welcome!
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Unread 09-04-2009, 11:16 AM   #32
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Ok... I seasoned the can last night and that went well. I was able to get up over 300° pretty easily, and then I started trying to control the temp. I realized there are two very basic ways to adjust the temp: the fire and the air flow. So, question 1 is which is preferred? Does it matter? From this, it sounds like I should give it as much air as possible and adjust the fire accordingly. True? Not?
Keep the exhaust stack open 100%. Adjust the fire by throttling down the air intakes. If you still have problems with low temps... check for air leaks... gaps in the lid/box openings. Use aluminum foil folded several times as a temp gasket.


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Question 2 has to do with the left over coal and ash once the food comes off the grate. Do you just let the fire burn out, or can you save the remaining coals in any way?
If you are running a very efficient burner that allows you to choke out the fire 100%... go for it.
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Unread 09-04-2009, 11:20 AM   #33
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Ok... I seasoned the can last night and that went well. I was able to get up over 300° pretty easily, and then I started trying to control the temp. I realized there are two very basic ways to adjust the temp: the fire and the air flow. So, question 1 is which is preferred? Does it matter?
Can I say both? Actually if you use the "Minion Method" (this is a great description I found on the VWB site - http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/fireup2.html) you shouldn't have all that many problems. I like to try and keep the upper vent open (allowing the smoke to escape) and control the heat with the lower vents. You may find that you don't need them open very much at all, just a hair...

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Originally Posted by B3 View Post
From this, it sounds like I should give it as much air as possible and adjust the fire accordingly. True? Not?
I like to do it the other way around... If you give it to much air the temp of the cooker is going to really run away from you... Again, the Minion is your friend...

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Question 2 has to do with the left over coal and ash once the food comes off the grate. Do you just let the fire burn out, or can you save the remaining coals in any way?
I like to close the cooker all the way down and just let them die out... I should note that depending on air leakage, this could take a day so don't just toss them into the trash... I have a small metal trash can that I put all of my ashes into and let them cool (usually for a week) before I toss them out...
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Unread 09-04-2009, 11:40 AM   #34
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I like to close the cooker all the way down and just let them die out... I should note that depending on air leakage, this could take a day so don't just toss them into the trash... I have a small metal trash can that I put all of my ashes into and let them cool (usually for a week) before I toss them out...
True enuff.. watch out for those 'warm embers' when scooping out the firepit 24 hours later... (a bbq floor mat is helpful here).... and wear shoes when doing it... don't ask me how I know that. Having a hotflash in bare feet is no fun (too lazy mod).
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Unread 09-04-2009, 12:21 PM   #35
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Hi B3 - welcome to the party.
Use your air intakes to control your fire - and leave the exhaust wide open if you can.
As far as left over coals - after taking off your meat, shut down the intake and exhaust to put out the fire. Next day shake off the ash and keep the unused coals for your next cook.
Good luck with your butt - you got great advice from everyone so far. Take your time, make sure you allow some time to reset the butt in a warm dry cooler, and have fun. This quickly becomes an obsession.

Oh yeah - one more thing... throw on a fattie or 2.
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Unread 09-04-2009, 12:44 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nolesfan954 View Post
"Ya'll"? Hmm, people look at me funny when I say that while visiting my friends in Columbus! Welcome!
I may live in Columbus, but that's not where my family comes from. I've also been known to throw out a "yins." Perhaps that's the Ohio dialect.
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Unread 09-04-2009, 02:31 PM   #37
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Well good luck this weekend and GO BUCKS!! Second i have listened and learned the knowledge of smoke in this site should definetly make life with a smoker much much more enjoyable!!!
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Unread 09-05-2009, 08:24 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B3 View Post
Ok... I seasoned the can last night and that went well. I was able to get up over 300° pretty easily, and then I started trying to control the temp. I realized there are two very basic ways to adjust the temp: the fire and the air flow. So, question 1 is which is preferred? Does it matter?
I'm cooking on a UDS, but similar ideas apply:

- I found that I do temp control as it's climbing. If I over shoot, it takes some time on my drum to bring it back down. Easier to catch your cook temp on the way up...

- I don't ever change my exhaust, I regulate temp with my air intake. (Or spray bottle it something really get burning way too hot)

- How many coals you start affects how quick your air adjustments take effect. But don't play with the air too much. It takes some time for it to react, settle into a zone and just cruise along.



On the other hand, don't freak out/worry with cook temp on a butt too much. If it spikes for a little to 325, or drops to 200, you didn't ruin it, just adjust and get your smoker back to where you want it.
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Unread 09-05-2009, 10:52 AM   #39
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I agree. Out of all the meats you could have selected, Boston Butt is the most forgiving for your first cook.

If your temps get way out of wack (325* and above) you can even pull it off of the cooker until you get them back under control and then put it back on. Remember, you are cooking this for a long time, so as long as you don't burn it, it's still going to be good.
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Unread 09-06-2009, 08:45 AM   #40
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Well, I've got the meat in the cooker and I'm running into a couple problems. The first is with my wood chips. When I went to get the smoking wood at the store, they only had chips, so that's what I got. These little things are burning up so fast, I feel like I'm wasting them. So, I wrapped some up in foil, poked some holes, and put the pouch directly on the coals. I read that could help them smoke longer, but I'm not getting any smoke from it. Suggestions?

Second, because I'm using a Smoke 'N Grill, the temp is being very inconsistent. I've seen the mods people recommend and I've quickly learned how some of them could help. For instance, the temp was pretty good for the first hour or so, but then it dropped considerably. While I can lower the temp in the cooker by opening up the lid slightly, I don't know of a good way to raise the temp. There is no control of the air intake. So, when the temp dropped, I resorted to adding a bit of coal with tongs through the access door. Keeping in mind that this is a stock SnG, any suggestions on temp control?
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Unread 09-06-2009, 09:25 AM   #41
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Problems with ventilation can be a PITA... try keeping the little door open until you see the temp rise... then close the door when coming close. May require to manually stoke the fire more often without vent holes.

There is a recent thread on mods on the ECB (Extremely Cheap Brinkmann or El Cheapo Brinkmann)... which is one of the variations of your SnP. The mods within the thread would have been helpful.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...48&postcount=7

The charcoal pan "did" have air venting holes on the bottom of the bowl (once upon a time)... presented two issues. (One - hot embers dropping on ground - no good) and (two - allowed better air ventilation). A fire hazzard won out with legal issues.

If you must... a large drill bit in a few strategic locations might help... and add a bbq floor mat underneath.

The easiest is using a Weber Smokey Joe (Weber's smallest kettle) lower half as your charcoal pan... provides an independent container with a charcoal bottom grate, support legs, and a bottom adjustable vent. If you can... run out and find one at a Wal-mart/big box store. The trick is handling the original lit charcoal pan for a fire transplant to the Smokey Joe. Please be careful.
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Last edited by BBQ Bandit; 09-06-2009 at 12:21 PM.. Reason: typos
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Unread 09-06-2009, 09:37 AM   #42
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You've got some great advice from some very knowledgeable forum members. One other suggestion if I may: Get a camera!
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Unread 09-06-2009, 09:45 AM   #43
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I agree with keeping the door open a bit. Question, does it open side ways or slide up and down? Just wondering...

Also, did you get the grate for your charcoal? If not, it's not to late... Either way, I think you're going to need to stir the coals every 45 minutes or so...
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Unread 09-06-2009, 10:11 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by BBQ Bandit View Post
try keeping the little door open until you see the temp rise... then close the door when coming close. May require to manually stoke the fire more often without vent holes.
When I open the door, the temp immediately drops. Should I just leave it open and trust that it will rise again? Stirring the coals up helps raise the temp, but only after I close the door again.

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Get a camera!
I have been snapping shots, I just haven’t gotten to posting them yet.

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Originally Posted by Divemaster View Post
I agree with keeping the door open a bit. Question, does it open side ways or slide up and down? Just wondering...
It opens from the side on a hinge, just like a door.

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Originally Posted by Divemaster View Post
Also, did you get the grate for your charcoal? If not, it's not to late... Either way, I think you're going to need to stir the coals every 45 minutes or so...
I got a grate and it was about 3/8” too large to sit down inside the brim of the pan and had to return it. It was like a 3-point fit without the third point. If I poured my chimney coals on it, it could have flipped right over. I need a grate that was maybe 1/2" smaller or 1/2" bigger. Either would have worked, but I didn’t have a chance to go hunting for another one. As I said, stirring definitely helps, but only after I close the door.

Last edited by B3; 09-06-2009 at 10:42 AM..
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Unread 09-06-2009, 04:57 PM   #45
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How's it going???

Inquiring minds want to know!
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Race Fast, Cook Slow, and Enjoy Life!
If it don't come off a smoker, it's just a side dish!

Lang 60 Patio (The Mistress), Black Stainless Lang 36 (Little Princess), Large BGE (Ramona), Big Green UDS (Cottage Cooker), Brinkman SnP Pro (Little Bubba-Retired), 8 Burner Gasser, 3 - 22.5" & 1 - 18" (circa 1975) Weber Grills, & a Weber Smoky Joe.
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