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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 10-11-2011, 09:21 PM   #76
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Personally, I worry more about the "charcoal stall" then any stall in the meat.

"Charcoal Stall"????????????????????????????

My ECB has been converted to use an electric hot plate under the charcoal bowl. I can fill the bowl with charcoal and wood-chips and will need to add some additional fuel as the time passes. Only problem is, as the charcoal is consumed, the ash builds up. This is not a problem for a cook that only lasts 6-8 hours. But, if the cook takes longer then that, I have to deal with the ashes or the charcoal will not all keep burning and the cooker will begin to cool.

With my setup, all I have to do is lift the smoker off the hotplate exposing the charcoal bowl (I do this to re-load the bowl anyway) and empty the bowl, Then re-load with fresh charcoal and add the red-hot colas from the emptying process.

This is a simple thing, but it is something I have to deal with when it happens.

Other then that, my method is along the lines of what Ron Popeil says with his counter-top oven - "set it and FORGET it"



My method is actually quite simple.
  • I prep the meat according to what flavors I am trying for and what meat I am cooking.
  • I load the bowl and plug in the hot plate.
  • I place the cooker over the bowl and load the meat. (No pre-heating - just put it in, the smoke starts quite fast on my rig)
  • I put the lid on and walk away. (That was the hardest thing to learn)
  • I check on the heat with the built in thermometer in the lid and re-fill the bowl as needed.
  • When I think the meat is close to being done, I check it with an instant read thermometer. If has reached temp, I pull it, wrap it and let it rest.
So far, the family feels that I do it the right way as it is well received and disappears.
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Unread 10-12-2011, 07:56 AM   #77
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Pretty cool. I'm not sure I really agree, but it is certainly worth consideration and maybe a real food scientist will actually do some real testing to see if that's true.

I agree with landarc that a sponge is a poor test, and just because it acted as he expected (duh) doesn't really mean much.

The first hole I see in this comes in the form of foil. In a tightly foiled environment, evaporative cooling should not occur as much as when the steam is allowed to float away from the meat. Instead it is trapped inside and should, in theory, and in just as much theory as the sponge, it should not see a stall then if the stall is primarily evaporative cooling. Instead what you should see is a rise in the meat temp to a point more towards the boiling point of water at which point it would then stall.

So, I'm not so sure I understand why this is being paraded around as some sort of proven tested fact in light of all of this. Honestly, this sort of thing, and the parading around of info is a lot of the reason I stopped with the experiments. I'm not a professional food scientist with a multi-million dollar lab and deep enough pockets to grab whatever pricey equipment would definitively prove this particular minutiae or that. It was getting a bit ridiculous really.

In my opinion, it is a factor to consider along with the others, and you can take it or leave it. I have a feeling the meat is going to still cook the same way no matter what you "believe". Your thoughts have little control over that. Only changing methods will impact that...and if this causes you to change your method, then expect a change in cooking.

Still though, I did find it interesting, and I do see some merit in it. I just don't think it is as significant as the author thinks, otherwise you could bypass the stall by tightly wrapping in foil to avoid any possible evaporative cooling. However, I think we all KNOW that the stall STILL happens even when wrapped in foil. So there goes that.
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Unread 10-26-2011, 11:01 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigabyte View Post
Pretty cool. I'm not sure I really agree, but it is certainly worth consideration and maybe a real food scientist will actually do some real testing to see if that's true.

I agree with landarc that a sponge is a poor test, and just because it acted as he expected (duh) doesn't really mean much.

The first hole I see in this comes in the form of foil. In a tightly foiled environment, evaporative cooling should not occur as much as when the steam is allowed to float away from the meat. Instead it is trapped inside and should, in theory, and in just as much theory as the sponge, it should not see a stall then if the stall is primarily evaporative cooling. Instead what you should see is a rise in the meat temp to a point more towards the boiling point of water at which point it would then stall.

So, I'm not so sure I understand why this is being paraded around as some sort of proven tested fact in light of all of this. Honestly, this sort of thing, and the parading around of info is a lot of the reason I stopped with the experiments. I'm not a professional food scientist with a multi-million dollar lab and deep enough pockets to grab whatever pricey equipment would definitively prove this particular minutiae or that. It was getting a bit ridiculous really.

In my opinion, it is a factor to consider along with the others, and you can take it or leave it. I have a feeling the meat is going to still cook the same way no matter what you "believe". Your thoughts have little control over that. Only changing methods will impact that...and if this causes you to change your method, then expect a change in cooking.

Still though, I did find it interesting, and I do see some merit in it. I just don't think it is as significant as the author thinks, otherwise you could bypass the stall by tightly wrapping in foil to avoid any possible evaporative cooling. However, I think we all KNOW that the stall STILL happens even when wrapped in foil. So there goes that.
You must have missed the previous 6 or so pages. Wrapping in foil does prevent the stall, or the "Dreaded Stall", as it has become known.
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Unread 10-26-2011, 11:20 AM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokindave74 View Post
You must have missed the previous 6 or so pages. Wrapping in foil does prevent the stall, or the "Dreaded Stall", as it has become known.
Shortens the stall, yes. Prevents it entirely, no. Ergo, it is not evaporative cooling.
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Unread 10-26-2011, 11:42 AM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigabyte View Post
Shortens the stall, yes. Prevents it entirely, no. Ergo, it is not evaporative cooling.
You must have read a different article that myself. According to the Blonder Report there was virtually no stall in the foil wrapped pork butts he cooked. There was steady internal temp increase, whereas the un-foiled actually flattened and even lost a couple degrees around 170F.

When he took the foil off the wrapped butt and placed it back in the cooker, the temp dropped.....alas, evaporative cooling.

Pretty hard, if not impossible, to dispute.

On a personal note,

I am cooking a 9# boston butt this weekend for a halloween party. I am going to try and foil early (about 150F-155F), just to see what happens.

And, at a KCBS competition we did......

Had two pork shoulders that stalled about 170-175.....stayed there for 5+ hours. At the end of our time, we had no choice but to pull them off and rest them before turn-in. We sliced a little off of one to check it, and it was comepletely tender and juicy. We rested both for a half hour in a faux cambro......perfect. We ended up getting a pretty high mark at a KCBS event.....top 50%. Scratched my head on that one.

I have never cooked one at home that I didn't get up to 195F before resting and pulling it.
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Unread 10-26-2011, 12:18 PM   #81
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I'm just speaking from my experiences with foiling. When I foil, there is still a stall, and it is longer than only 4% of a regular stall. It is greatly shortened however.

So all I am really disputing in the article towards evaporative cooling is that it represents 96% of the stall. I am not dismissing the concept. In fact, I would actually believe evaporative cooling could represent the majority of the stall. My experiences do not match up to what he is claiming though.

In essence, what is being claimed is that your stall on a foiled piece of meat would only be 4% as long as a non-foiled piece of meat. That is more exaggerated I believe than it really is.

I do welcome the opportunity for multiple sources to check this on their own however. If it really does average out to only 4%, then I am clearly wrong (wouldn't be the first time, I assure you). However, seeing as this means a non-foiled butt would stall for 25 times longer than a foiled one...I'm really fairly sure that what will be found is that the time savings do not match the claims given in this article. It does not dismiss cooling as a factor, it just changes the amount it is responsible for it is all.
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Unread 10-28-2011, 11:25 AM   #82
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I found the article to be very interesting, so I thought I would give the method a try. And just like the article stated, no stall, the temp just kept on climbing. However, at 190*, the brisket was in no way done, not even at 205*, so I took it out of the foil and put it back in the smoker. In 5 minutes, the internal temp dropped from 205* to 167*, and sat there for the next several hours. Once the brisket was done, it was terrible. I don't think I will be using this method again anytime soon.
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Unread 10-28-2011, 11:38 AM   #83
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I thought it was very informative but, I'll stick to the way I do it too.

Sometimes it's nice to know why. That's why I like Alton he get's into all that stuff on

(wierd music) "GOOD EATS" (wierd music).
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Unread 01-20-2012, 01:06 AM   #84
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I have revived this thread so I don't hijack the Waygu thread.

An interesting point is made by Mr. Byte about a Waygu brisket having little to no stall. When I asked why he thought it was, he mentioned the connective tosses, or the lack of in a Waygu versus a standard beef brisket.

This is in line with my experience as well.

It takes energy to render fat. BTUs are the energy du jour in BBQ.

If you have 1000 BTUs (for simplicity sake) and it takes 800 BTUs to render fat, you have 200 BTUs left to cook with thereby lengthening the cook time.

You use foil, you reduce the evaporation (- XXBTUs) and hasten the rendering of the fat (+ XXBTUs), thereby shortening the cook time.

More connective tissues to render = less BTUs for cooking

less evaporation = more BTUs for cooking. (foil)

Less connective tissues = more BTUs for cooking.

It is basic thermodynamics at work
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Unread 01-20-2012, 01:10 AM   #85
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Obviously you weren't paying attention to the first 600 or so posts.

Wagyu's don't have a stall because they don't have any water to evaporate in the first place.

Why someone would eat a nasty piece of dry meat like wagyu is beyond me.

Sponges are better AND cheaper.
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Unread 01-20-2012, 01:13 AM   #86
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Yes but the first 600 posts didn't express the point of view I felt compelled to share this evening.
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Unread 01-20-2012, 03:08 AM   #87
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I spoke about this issue with a professor of physics, a man with impeccable credentials and a completely far beyond me understanding of thermodynamics and his response to my quandary of evaporative cooling versus connective tissue was...if you want a shorter stall, raise the heat.
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Unread 01-20-2012, 11:35 AM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigabyte View Post
Obviously you weren't paying attention to the first 600 or so posts.

Wagyu's don't have a stall because they don't have any water to evaporate in the first place.

Why someone would eat a nasty piece of dry meat like wagyu is beyond me.

Sponges are better AND cheaper.
I prefer these sponges.. the bark is outstanding!! ;-)

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Unread 01-20-2012, 12:46 PM   #89
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I'm going to try sponges at my first comp this year....it's all about the sauce anyway, right?? LOL
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Unread 01-20-2012, 01:34 PM   #90
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I'm going to try sponges at my first comp this year....it's all about the sauce anyway, right?? LOL
No, it's a meat competition, it doesn't matter what your sauce is, or how you present. The beauty of the Scotchbrites sponges is that the greenery is included.

Back on topic, I was curious about this, so I asked a few scientists, all carrying fancy pants PhD's in physics, bio-physics and thermodynamics and they all had the same response. That there is merit to the experiment as presented, however, there is not enough information or control as presented for them to make any assumptions as to whether or not the results are fully corrrect.

There is no doubt that evaporative cooling is a function that occurs and may affect the stall, but, there is not enough science there to prove that it is the primary cause of the stall. In fact, the importance and efficacy of convection ovens points to the importance of evaporation in cooking and in transferring of heat in cooking.

Further, I was told that a sponge is an acceptable analog for meat, in some ways. But, that the mass differential beyween a small sponge and a 9 pound butt is significant. Composition is also a factor and that the sponge provides a good start to pose the question, even as it is not acceptable as final proof.

In the end, each of them asked me how this information would affect my cooking for the time being, I said it does not, as i cook hotter and can offset whatever causes the stall by allowing the cooker to rise in temperatures throughout the cook. Hence the stall becomes academic.
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